Expert-led sessions, live animal demonstrations, trade show planned

The annual Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course is going virtual this year due to COVID-19 restrictions.

beef cattle short course
The annual Beef Cattle Short Course will be held virtually this year. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo)

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.”

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.”

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.

Participants can earn nine or more Texas Department of Agriculture pesticide continuing education units if they are already licensed, he added.

For more information, go to https://beefcattleshortcourse.com/ or call 979-845-6931.