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Virtual Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course set for Aug. 3-5

published: June 12th 2020

The annual Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course is going virtual this year due to COVID-19 restrictions.
    While it may be hard to ‘virtually’ eat the famous prime rib dinner associated with the event, the educational aspect will still be provided as it has been for the past 65 years to ranchers who need basic beef cattle production information and the latest on hot issues concerning their operations.
    The three-day online event is set for Aug. 3-5. Cost will be $99 before July 1, $129 after July 1 and $149 after the conference is over. Registration is open now as well as the opportunity to join the mailing list for continual updates.
    “Participants can still learn from beef industry experts, only they will be in the comfort of their home, learning at their own pace and able to watch sessions over and over again if they want,” said Jason Cleere, Ph.D., conference coordinator and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service beef cattle specialist in College Station.
    The short course is the largest beef cattle educational event in the country and typically attracts more than 2,000 beef cattle producers from Texas and abroad to College Station, Cleere said. It is hosted by AgriLife Extension and the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M University.
    “We still plan to offer more than 20 sessions covering basic practices, new technologies and hot topics, along with a virtual trade show and live cattle demonstrations,” he said. “Participants will be able to ask questions live during the sessions, and they’ll have the option of receiving a paper copy of the proceedings. There will also be a general session, which will address major issues affecting the beef industry.”
    These sessions provide participants an opportunity to choose workshops based on their level of production experience and the needs of their ranch, Cleere said.
    “One positive of a virtual conference is that participants are not limited to the workshops they can attend due to time and space,” he said. “The live concurrent sessions will be recorded, which will allow our participants the option to see all of the sessions on forage and beef cattle management, health, nutrition and reproduction, record-keeping, genetics, purebred cattle and much more.”
    Topics covered during the short course will include animal health, nutrition, reproduction, breeding, genetics, selection, research, marketing, animal handling, landowner issues, fence building and more.
    Management sessions include information on business, forage and range, and sessions will look at profitability issues during these depressed marketing conditions.
    The demonstrations will be on cattle handling, chute-side calf working, brush management, fence building, tractor safety and beef carcass value determination.
    “The goal of the short course each year is to provide the most cutting-edge information needed by beef cattle producers, and that won’t change this year even with the new format,” Cleere said.
    Speaking of the prime rib dinner, there will be a cooking demonstration for that and for every 100 people that register for the virtual conference, a free fully cooked Nolan Ryan Texas Aggie Prime Rib will be shipped to the lucky winners.
    Participants can earn nine or more Texas Department of Agriculture pesticide continuing education units if they are already licensed, he added.
    There will also be a virtual trade show as part of the online event.
    For more information, go to https://beefcattle shortcourse.com/ or call 979/845-6931.

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