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After a historic run in beef cattle prices, producers are left with many decisions regarding the future of the cattle market, consumer demand and long-term weather projections, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service beef cattle expert.

These topics and more will be discussed at the 62nd Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course Aug. 1-3 at Texas A&M University in College Station.

The 62nd Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course is scheduled Aug. 1-3 at Texas A&M University in College Station.

'We've had quite a run over the past two years with regards to high cattle prices,' said Dr. Jason Cleere, conference coordinator. 'Cattle prices fell considerably last fall and ranchers are concerned with where they will go in the future. While a lot of folks have enjoyed healthy bottom lines over the past few years because of high prices, margins are smaller this year and producers will have to manage costs to maintain profitability. This year's short course will focus on controlling costs while improving productivity of the ranch.'

The short course is the premier beef educational event in Texas, attracting more than 1,400 attendees annually, Cleere said. It features 20 sessions covering basic practices, new technologies and other important industry topics. These sessions provide participants with an opportunity to choose workshops based on their level of production experience and the needs of their ranch.

'Concurrent workshops will feature information on forage and beef cattle management, nutrition and reproduction, record keeping, genetics, purebred cattle and much more,' he said.

In addition to classroom instruction, participants can attend one of the program's popular demonstrations on the morning of Aug. 3, Cleere said.

'There will be demonstrations on brush control, chute-side calf working, cattle handling, bull fertility testing, brush management and beef carcass value determination,' Cleere said.

'The goal of the short course each year is to provide the most cutting-edge information needed by beef cattle producers. We think we have information for everyone to take home and apply to their operations.'

Participants can earn seven Texas Department of Agriculture pesticide continuing education units if they are already licensed, Cleere added.

An industry trade show, featuring more than 120 agricultural businesses and service exhibits, will be held during the event.

'And the famous Texas Aggie Prime Rib Dinner is always a highlight of the short course,' Cleere said.

Registration is $180 per person before July 25 and $220 afterwards. It includes educational materials, a copy of the 600-page short course proceedings, trade show admittance, admission to the prime rib dinner, lunches, breakfasts and daily refreshments.

Registration information and a tentative schedule can be found on the short course website at www.beefcattleshortcourse.com

Producers can also register on the website or by contacting Cleere's office at 979-845-6931.

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