From the Ground Up: Academia working with producers for best possible outcomes

Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 11:28 AM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Every now and then, you’ll hear of the term “public-private partnerships”: Businesses working alongside local government, or even academia, to unite around a certain mission. One of the ways that’s on display as at the world’s largest beef convention every year.

“What happens when the supply chain for the food system we eat gets disrupted?” Cliff Lamb, Department Head of Animal Science at Texas A&M University, asks. “Labor force is an issue, immigration causes issues to the supply chain... there are lots of other issues outside of just general production that have an impact on how we produce food and how we are food secure in the country.”

There’s a lot more to consider than just getting from farm to market in agriculture. Lamb is focused on giving his students and researchers everything they need to know about being better animal scientists, and their attendance at the Beef Cattle Short Course every year is crucial.

“Not just in terms of how we produce those animals and how we create value in those animals, but what are some of the things that are going to affect us in the future? We look at climates and what/how is that going to affect us from a drought standpoint or a rainfall standpoint?”

Lamb says Animal Science can mean biology, earth science, and even political science.

“There’s going to be discussions on policy, so making sure we know what policies are going to be coming out and having positive or negative impact on livestock producers [is important].”

Lamb says this is the culmination of an important partnership with academia and producers.

“Many of our faculty members are also here right, learning from some of the best people, they’re doing a lot of the educating, but our hope is that we’re learning too at the same time. Understanding what people are going through is important to being able to teach them. So, if we know what they’re dealing with we can actually go and teach them.”

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