From the Ground Up - The 2012 TAMU Beef Short Course

Texas Agrilife Extension and the Texas A&M’s Animal Science Department on the College Station campus hosted the 58th Annual Beef Short Course this month that attracted over fourteen hundred beef producers from Texas, the U.S., and abroad.

Ranchers were encouraged to be optimistic about the beef industry’s future.

“The world loves beef, and the world is richer now, and every developing and emerging nation and economy that we have, first thing they want to do is eat more beef, and they’re getting money now to do so, so the worldwide demand for the product is going to do nothing but continue to grow.”

Lowell Catlett is the Dean of Agriculture at New Mexico State University. Many ranchers at Texas A&M’s Beef Short Course had to endure our state’s worst drought on record in 2011, and now they’re having to withstand a drought this year in the corn belt that has corn prices at historical highs, driving up their input costs.

“The old saying in economics very bluntly is, the cure for high prices is high prices. At $8.25 for corn, pretty good incentive to produce corn in lots of places.”

Catlett grew up on a ranch and found out that being on the front lines in production agriculture isn’t for everyone.

“No matter how hard or how smart we worked, Mother Nature could come in and just take it all away, and that’s the essence of agriculture, you’re dealing with Mother Nature. I realized you know I’m not really cut out to be in this business, so I sat down with my late father and said dad, I don’t think I can ranch. I like riding horses and doing a few things but at the end of the day it’s driving me crazy, and he said find something you love to do, because I love it and I guess I can put up with it.”

But Catlett says there’s a good reason to be optimistic.

“If you read history and have any understanding of history, you understand that no matter what’s happening in society, recessions, wars, rumors of wars, droughts, somehow or another we’ve faced them before, and we get through them.”

I’m Kailey Carey, looking at Brazos Valley agriculture, From The Ground Up.

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