With consumer interest heightening emphasis about where food comes from, grass-fed beef producers have a chance to learn more about marketing opportunities as well as some production trends during a May 30-31 conference in College Station, Texas.
Dr. Rick Machen, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service beef cattle specialist in Uvalde, says producers can learn about all aspects of grass-fed beef production techniques at the conference, which will be held at the Rosenthal Meat Science Building on the Texas A&M University campus.
"One of the highlights will be Dr. John Andrae, Extension forage specialist from Clemson (University)," says Machen. "Among the U.S. grass-fed livestock producers, John is well-recognized for his 'sustainable systems' approach to forage production and grazing management. Given the ongoing drought across much of the South Central U.S., sustainable forage production is atop everyone's items-of-interest list.
"Though we've talked about it before, a significant emphasis in this year's conference will be the importance of a sustainable—both quantity and quality—forage supply. Perhaps the most difficult part of a grass-fed beef production system."
The conference will cover a broad range of topics pertaining to grass-fed beef production and is open to both beef producers and consumers.
The topics will include: an overview of the beef industry; defining natural, grass-fed and organic beef; growing forage—the fundamentals; cattle types suited for grass-fed beef; forage-based nutrition for cattle; preventive herd health; handling cattle for wholesome beef; carcass fabrication; consumers and their expectations; marketing a unique product; and economics and sustainability.
In addition, a live carcass fabrication demonstration will be featured on the second day of the conference.
Conference cost is $250 through a May 15 deadline, or $300 after that date. Three continuing education units can be earned.
To register online, enter keyword "grassfed" or you can also call 979-845-2604.