Live demonstrations highlight Texas A&M Virtual Beef Cattle Short Course Aug. 3-5

The annual Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course set for Aug. 3-5 has extended the early registration deadline to July 15, so there’s still time to register for the education-packed event featuring live demonstrations.

While the three-day event will be online this year due to COVID-19, the live demonstrations will continue, offering ranchers who need basic beef production information can see how things are done up close, said Jason Cleere, Ph.D., conference coordinator and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service beef cattle specialist in College Station.

“The Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course is a signature program of Texas A&M AgriLife and we are proud to offer the course virtually this year,” said Patrick J. Stover, Ph.D., vice chancellor of Texas A&M AgriLife, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and director of Texas A&M AgriLife Research. “In these unprecedented times, our beef producers need reliable information, and as the largest beef cattle educational event in the country, our experts can provide the latest technologies and timely topics for producers.”

Cost will be $99 before July 15, then $129 until the conference, and $149 after the conference is over. Registration is open now, as well as the opportunity to join the mailing list for continual updates.


Packed schedule

The short course is the largest beef cattle educational event in the country and typically attracts more than 2,000 beef cattle producers from Texas, the rest of the U.S. and abroad, Cleere said. It is hosted by AgriLife Extension and the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M University.

The event offers more than 20 sessions covering basic practices, new technologies and hot topics, along with a virtual trade show and live cattle demonstrations. There will be a live question and answer feature during the sessions, and each participant will receive a digital copy of the proceedings, Cleere said.

These sessions provide participants an opportunity to choose workshops based on their level of production experience and the needs of their ranch, Cleere said.

“The goal of the short course each year is to provide the most cutting-edge information needed by beef cattle producers, and that won’t change this year — even with the new format,” Cleere said.

Participants can earn nine or more Texas Department of Agriculture pesticide continuing education units if they are already licensed, he added.


Live demonstration schedule includes:

  • Beef Carcass Cutting Demo – Davey Griffin, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension meat specialist, and Dan Hale, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension associate director, both from College Station. This session will break a half side of beef down into the wholesale cuts to show where the cuts come from and their value.
  • Fence-Building Demonstration – Gary Craig, San Antonio Steel Company, San Antonio. This session will cover different types of fencing materials and designs. Learn how to build pipe stretch sections and string multiple types of wire during this demonstration.
  • Cattle-Handling Demonstrations – AgriLife Extension livestock specialists Bruce Carpenter, Ph.D., Ft. Stockton, and Ron Gill, Ph.D., College Station. The focus of this session will be on developing the handler’s sense about when to apply pressure and how much pressure to apply to get cattle to work smoother and with less stress. Additionally, they will tour and discuss different working pen designs.
  • Beef Cattle Chute-Side Demonstration – Castration, Implanting, Vaccination and Branding – AgriLife Extension beef specialists Jason Banta, Ph.D., Overton; Jason Smith, Ph.D., Amarillo; and Joe Paschal, Ph.D., Corpus Christi. The live animal demonstrations will cover basic cowherd management practices with emphasis on proper vaccination, castration, dehorning, branding, and tagging.
  • Reproductive Technologies Demonstration – Ky Pohler, Ph.D., assistant professor in the department of animal science. The live virtual tour of an in vitro fertilization lab and new chute side pregnancy detection technology that will be released soon.
  • Brush Busters Demonstration, three general CEUs — Robert Lyons, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension range specialist in Uvalde, and Barron Rector, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension range specialist in the Department of Range, Wildlife and Fisheries Management. The session will focus on integrated brush control using Brush Busters protocols and equipment and cut-stump treatments. Presenters will also cover how to manage and control mesquite, tallow tree, huisache, prickly pear, Macartney rose and cedar.

For more information, call 979-845-6931 or


Ron Gill, Ph.D., associate department head and AgriLife Extension program leader for animal science, demonstrates cattle handling during a past workshop (Photo by Blair Fannin)

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