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New era of high expenses focus of 2008 Beef Cattle Short Course

“The New Era of High Input Costs” is the theme for the Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course scheduled Aug. 4-6 at Texas A&M University in College Station.

The annual short course, coordinated by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, will address many timely issues affecting beef producers.

“The cattle industry has seen input costs increase sharply in the past three years,” said Dr. Jason Cleere, AgriLife Extension beef cattle specialist.

“From the cow-calf operation to the feedyard, all segments of the U.S. beef industry have experienced dramatic increases in production costs. Most cow-calf producers are wondering how to deal with these cost increases and are concerned about the effect of high corn prices on the calf market.”

The general session will focus on the future of the beef industry and what producers can do to maintain profitability, Cleere said.

Dr. Steve Amosson, AgriLife Extension economist from Amarillo, will discuss the domestic and global factors that are causing sharp increases in production costs.

“We tend to blame the current situation on ethanol, and it is certainly a contributor, but there are many other causes,” Cleere said.

“As cow-calf producers, we know we have many hurdles to overcome, but the question is how to survive these higher input costs.”

Dr. Ron Gill, AgriLife Extension livestock specialist in Stephenville, will discuss simple as well as advanced production practices that cattle producers can implement to improve the efficiency of their operations.

Clint Peck, Montana State University beef quality specialist, will discuss “The Challenges and Opportunities for Feeding the World.” Peck will address questions regarding future global demand for beef and commodities, and the future of the beef export market.

The short course will also feature 20 other specialized workshops that are part of the cattleman’s college sessions. The Aug. 6 sessions will feature several live animal demonstrations and an opportunity for participants to obtain a pesticide applicators’ license, Cleere said.

Short-course registration is $140 per participant (a late registration fee will apply after July 28), and includes admission to the two-and-a-half-day conference, the cattleman’s college, a copy of the 300-page short-course proceedings, trade show admittance, tickets to the Aggie prime rib dinner, breakfast each morning, noon meals and morning and afternoon refreshment breaks.

Attendees can earn seven pesticide continuing education units, 15 veterinary credits and numerous Beef Quality Assurance credits.

Producers interested in attending may register online at or by contacting Cleere’s office at 979-845-6931 for more information.

TAGS: Management
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