At the beginning of August, more than thirteen hundred and fifty beef producers from Texas and all over the world participated in Texas A&M’s Beef Short Course where they attended various cattleman’s college sessions ranging from forage production and nutrition, to cattle handling, genetics, and reproduction.
Jason Cleere is a beef specialist with Texas A&M Agrilife Extension.
“A lot of the challenges we’ve had the past few years deal with moisture and rainfall and the drought conditions, but I still think, from small or large, some of the things you have to think about is, if we’re thinking about rebuilding the cow herd retaining replacements, both groups are thinking about that right now. Feed prices continue to be a concern, fertilizer, hay costs. “
Cleere heads Texas A&M’s Beef Cattle Short Course that was held earlier this month.
“Our goal is to provide them with some tools to where they can further fine tune their operations to either save them a dollar or make them an extra dollar, and we try to provide information here that is really cutting edge, but also things that the ranchers in Texas really need to help improve ultimately the profitability of their operation and the long term sustainability of it.”
Cleere said that producers are facing other issues besides management considerations.
“I think one of the big challenges we have is continuing to educate the consumer on what the beef cattle business is about, and the steps and the things that go into place to make sure that we do two things. One take care of the animal because if the animal is not managed properly and its needs are not taken care of, we’re not going to have the performance, and our business is based on how well that those cattle reproduce and gain.”
Cleere also stressed that ranchers need consumers to understand that they are good stewards.
“It’s important to us to manage the resources we have. We’ve got a fixed set of resources and it’s land and soil and if we don’t manage those resources properly, we will essentially put ourselves out of business.”