With consumer interest heightening about where food comes from, grass-fed beef producers will have the opportunity to learn more about marketing opportunities and production trends during a May 28-29 conference in College Station.
Dr. Rick Machen, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service beef cattle specialist in Uvalde, said 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. Monte Rouquette, Texas A&M AgriLife Research forage agronomist from Overton,” Machen said. “Monte has clearly demonstrated how to produce forage-finished beef in East Texas. He’s among the best forage agronomists in the southern U.S. and has years of experience.”
Given the ongoing drought across much of the South Central U.S., sustainable forage production is atop everyone’s items of interest list, Machen said.
“As always, a significant emphasis in this year’s conference will be the importance of a sustainable forage supply in both quantity and quality, perhaps the most difficult part of a grass-fed beef production system.”
The conference will cover a broad range of important topics pertaining to grass-fed beef production and is open to both beef producers and consumers.
The following topics will be discussed: overview of the beef industry; defining natural, grass-fed and organic beef; forage-growing 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.
A live carcass fabrication demonstration will be a second day highlight.
The cost is $250 through May 15 and $300 after.
To register online, visit https://agriliferegister.tamu.edu/ and enter keyword “grassfed” or call 979-845-2604. The conference is sponsored by AgriLife Extension with funding from Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, which provides grants and education programs to advance agricultural innovation (http://www.sare.org/) .