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2009 Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course Aug. 3 to 5


The 55th Annual Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course is scheduled Aug. 3 to 5 at Texas A&M University in College Station.

"Planning committee members from around the state have met with us and helped us put together another outstanding program," said Dr. Jason Cleere, Texas AgriLife Extension beef cattle specialist and conference coordinator.

Drought, high production costs, emerging diseases and a weakened market have made this a challenging year for cattle producers, Cleere said. The short course, sponsored by Texas AgriLife Extension Service, will address these issues as well as other topics during the three-day event, providing information for both the novice and experienced rancher.

"The short course has become one of the most comprehensive beef cattle educational programs in the U.S. with 20 different educational sessions taught by more than 50 different speakers," Cleere said.

The Cattleman's College portion of the short course provides participants with an opportunity to choose workshops based on their level of production experience and the needs of their ranch, Cleere said.

"These concurrent workshops will feature information on ranch management, nutrition, reproduction, genetics, pastures, carcass evaluation, record keeping, brush busting, cattle handling, landowner issues and much more," he said.

In addition to classroom instruction on Aug. 3 and 4, participants can attend one of the popular demonstrations on the morning of Aug. 5, said Dr. Larry Boleman, associate vice chancellor for agriculture and life sciences at Texas A&M and conference director.

"There will be demonstrations on chute-side calf working, cattle behavior, penning, selection and brush busting," Boleman said. "These provide an opportunity for ranchers to see beef cattle production practices put to use."

Along with the Cattleman's College, a key general session will be offered on the afternoon of Aug. 3.

"The goal of the Beef Cattle Short Course each year is to provide the most cutting-edge information that is needed by beef cattle producers," Cleere said. "This year's program is titled "Ranching for the Future" and will address several hot issues affecting beef cattle producers."

Participants can receive a pesticide applicator's license during the short course, and can earn numerous pesticide continuing education units if already licensed.

An industry trade show will be held during the event featuring more than 100 agricultural businesses and service exhibits.

Registration is $140 per person, and includes educational materials, a copy of the 600-page Beef Cattle Short Course proceedings, trade show admittance, admission to the prime rib dinner, meals and daily refreshments.

Registration information and a tentative schedule will be mailed to previous participants in June and can also be found on the short course website at http://beef.tamu.edu.

Producers can register online at http://beef.tamu.edu or contact Cleere's office at 979-845-6931.

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