Media contact: Blair Fannin, 979-845-2259, firstname.lastname@example.org
COLLEGE STATION – Dr. Ron Gill, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service beef cattle specialist and associate department head for animal science at Texas A&M University in College Station, recently received the National Beef Quality Assurance 2018 Educator Award.
Gill was presented the award during the Best of Beef Award Session at the National Cattle Industry Convention and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Trade Show in Phoenix, Arizona.
Beef Quality Assurance is a national effort aimed at raising consumer confidence through offering proper management techniques and a commitment to quality within every segment of the beef industry. Its efforts are coordinated at the national level but implemented by each state affiliate and their partners. In Texas, partners are the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, Texas Beef Council and AgriLife Extension faculty in the animal science department.
Gill was recognized for his work in helping launch the initial Texas Beef Quality Assurance program focused on cow-calf and stocker operations. He served as state coordinator for AgriLife Extension for the first 10 years of the program. For the past 10 years Gill has traveled across Texas and the U.S. as part of the program teaching Beef Quality Assurance practices as well as stockmanship. He is considered a leading expert in cattle stockmanship, providing in-depth, indoor and outdoor handling demonstrations.
“One of the core tenets of Beef Quality Assurance is cattle handling and stewardship,” he said. “To me it’s a direct tie–in. Everything we do from a stockmanship standpoint will affect beef quality assurance. If we can handle cattle better, there’s less stress, less sickness, less need to treat and less potential for injection-site blemishes or residues. It all builds on itself.
“One of the best things about BQA is whatever somebody develops, everybody gets. Annually the BQA coordinators meet and share any ideas or procedures that can further the end goal of the BQA program,” Gill said. “It’s been a great tool to speed best practices along in a consistent manner, and we don’t keep reinventing the wheel. The ability to affect change in people’s lives, the ability to work in an industry I love, it’s been very satisfying.”
Gill coordinates education activities for AgriLife Extension’s animal science specialist working group statewide in addition to associate department head duties.