Grass-fed beef conference scheduled
With consumer interest heightening about where food comes from, grass-fed beef producers will have the opportunity to learn more about marketing opportunities as well as production trends during a May 30 to 31 conference in College Station.
Rick Machen, Ph.D., Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service beef cattle specialist in Uvalde, said producers can learn about all aspects of grass-fed beef production techniques at the conference, which will be held at the Rosenthal Meat Science Building on the Texas A&M University campus.
"One of the highlights will be Dr. John Andrae, Extension forage specialist from Clemson (University)," Machen said. "Among U.S. grass-fed livestock producers, John is well-recognized for his 'sustainable systems' approach to forage production and grazing management. Given the ongoing drought across much of the South Central U.S., sustainable forage production is atop everyone's items- of-interest list.
"Though we've talked about it before, a significant emphasis in this year's conference will be the importance of a sustainable--both quantity and quality--forage supply. Perhaps the most difficult part of a grass-fed beef production system."
The conference will cover a broad range topics pertaining to grass-fed beef production and is open to both beef producers and consumers.
The following topics will be discussed: overview of the beef industry; defining natural, grass-fed and organic beef; growing forage--the fundamentals; cattle types suited for grass-fed beef; forage-based nutrition for cattle; preventive herd health; handling cattle for wholesome beef; carcass fabrication; consumers and their expectations; marketing a unique product; and economics and sustainability.
A live carcass fabrication demonstration will be featured the second day.
Cost is $250 through May 15 and $300 after. Three continuing education credits will be offered to Texas Department of Agriculture pesticide applicators license holders. To register online, visit https://agriliferegister.tamu.edu and enter keyword "grassfed" or call 979-845-2604.
The conference is sponsored by AgriLife Extension and funding from Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education.