The Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course is held each year during the first week of August and has grown into one of the largest beef cattle educational events in the world. The 2021 short course is scheduled for Aug. 2-4 in College Station and is coordinated by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the Department of Animal Science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Each year over 1,800 beef cattle ranchers from Texas and across the U.S. travel to attend the event that features over 20 different concurrent sessions and a trade show with more than 120 vendors.
Topics during the three-day conference include animal health, nutrition, reproduction, breeding, genetics, selection, research, marketing and cattle handling. Management sessions include business, forage, range and purebred cattle. Landowner issues and fence building will also be featured at this year’s short course. The wide variety of sessions feature basic beef cattle information for the beginning rancher and cutting-edge information for the most experienced ranchers.
“We selected our speakers and topics this year to address what ranching is expected to face post-pandemic,” said Jason Cleere, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension beef cattle specialist in the Department of Animal Science and conference coordinator. “We all know that the pandemic threw us a curve, but many of the issues we face moving forward are not new.” Cattle prices still have not rebounded even with record retail beef prices. This is a major concern among ranchers today. Concurrently, feed and other input costs have dramatically increased over the last year.
The Beef Cattle Short Course has a tradition of providing timely cattle production information to ranchers year after year and 2021 is no exception. What will the market look like next year and how can I trim costs to be sustainable in the coming years? These are the questions ranchers are asking and the 2021 short course is going to provide ranchers with information to help make it through these challenging times. Additionally, the general session will feature a discussion on the changing landscape of rural Texas. Political, social and fundamental implications for ranchers resulting from population growth in Texas will be covered. A number of pesticide continuing education units and veterinarian continuing education credits are also available to attendees.
The 2021 Beef Cattle Short Course will kick off early with veterinarian continuing education trainings on July 31 and Aug. 1. A Managing the Ranch Horse daylong training will also be held on Aug. 1 at the Thomas G. Hilderbrand, DVM ’56 Equine Complex at 3240 F&B Road.
Cost is $210 for in-person attendance and $160 online before July 27. Registration is $250 and $200, respectively, after July 27. To register, go to http://tx.ag/BCSC2021 or for additional information visit our website beefcattleshortcourse.com or call 979-845-6931.
– by Jason Cleere, Ph.D., professor, Department of Animal Science
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service beef cattle specialist