Whether it’s learning about virtual fencing or equipment to treat unwanted brush or proper cattle handling techniques, the 70th annual Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course on Aug. 5-7 in Bryan-College Station has a demonstration of interest to livestock operators.

In one of the live demonstrations, a man in a white shirt and cowboy hat is in a pen with outstretched hands toward cattle in a corner.
Ron Gill, Ph.D., Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service beef cattle specialist, demonstrates cattle handling techniques at the Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course in Bryan-College Station. (Michael Miller/Texas A&M AgriLife)


  • Register by July 27:
    $300 for in-person attendance.
    $160 for online.
    $150 for youth.
    $40 late registration fee will be charged.
    Online registration, or call 979-314-8507 or [email protected].
  • 50+ hours of training.
  • 20+ courses on practices, technologies and hot topics.
  • Youth track.
  • 150+ agriculture-related businesses and trade show exhibitors.
  • Continuing education units.

The three-day annual event, hosted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M, is expected to attract as many as 2,000 producers from around the world.

While many may attend for the Texas Aggie Prime Rib Dinner or the Cattleman’s College, a big attraction to the nationally and internationally recognized event are the live demonstrations offered each year on the final day, said Jason Cleere, Ph.D., conference coordinator and AgriLife Extension beef cattle specialist in the Department of Animal Science, Bryan-College Station.

Experts across the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences demonstrate the important tasks and issues performed on every livestock operation, offering attendees a firsthand look at new technology and techniques and a refresher on everyday tasks like fencing and brush control.

“We added the fence demonstration about 10 years ago because, as I travel down Texas roads, I see many poorly designed fences that are falling down,” Cleere said. “It has been very popular.”

Demonstrations by the experts

From 8:30 a.m. to noon on Aug. 7, attendees can attend one of eight different demonstrations across the Texas A&M campus. Demonstrations and the experts leading them include:

•  Ag Technology Demonstrations: The Future is Now! – Egleu Mendes, doctoral student, and Jacquelyn Prestegaard, Ph.D., statewide AgriLife Extension livestock sustainability specialist and an assistant professor in the Department of Animal Science, will present virtual fencing and facial recognition for cattle technology, among others.

•  Cattle Reproduction Management Demonstration – Tom Hairgrove, DVM, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension cattle veterinary specialist and professor; Ky Pohler, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of the Pregnancy and Developmental Programming Area of Excellence; and Rodolfo Cardoso, Ph.D., DVM, Ph.D., associate professor and reproductive physiologist, all in the Department of Animal Science, will conduct three simultaneous programs with the groups rotating hourly on bull breeding soundness exam, methods of pregnancy diagnosis in cattle, and toxic plants associated with reproductive failure.

•  Fence-Building Demonstration – will start at 7 a.m. – This session will cover the different types of fencing materials and designs. Attendees can learn how to build pipe, stretch sections and string multiple types of wire.

•  Brush Busters Demonstration – offers three CEUs – Barron Rector, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension range specialist and associate professor, Bryan-College Station, and Megan Clayton, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension range specialist and professor, Uvalde, both in the Department of Rangeland, Wildlife and Fisheries Management, will discuss some of the newest methods to control brush. Brush is a challenge for most ranchers in the south, and this three-hour workshop demonstrates do-it-yourself equipment and specific methods for controlling specific brush species, including mesquite, huisache, prickly pear, Chinese tallow tree, Macartney rose, cedar, greenbrier, cut stump and mixed brush options.

•  Live Cattle Handling Demonstration – Bruce Carpenter, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension livestock specialist and professor, Fort Stockton, and Ron Gill, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension livestock specialist, Stephenville, both in the Department of Animal Science, will provide guidance on proper cattle handling/working. Gill is known worldwide for his expertise in working cattle on foot and by horse.

•  Beef Carcass Value Determination Demonstration – A team of AgriLife Extension meat specialists from Bryan-College Station, Davey Griffin, professor; Dan Hale, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension associate director for agriculture and natural resources; and Drew Cassens, Ph.D., assistant professor, all in the Department of Animal Science, will demonstrate with anyone interested in raising their own beef or marketing it on the ranch how important a variety of beef cuts can be.

•  Chute-Side Working Demonstrations – AgriLife Extension beef cattle specialists Jason Banta, Ph.D., associate professor, Overton; Jason Smith, Ph.D., associate professor, Amarillo; Prestegaard; and Karl Harborth, Ph.D., assistant professor, Corpus Christi, all in the Department of Animal Science, will lead this demonstration. They will cover basic cowherd management practices, emphasizing Beef Quality Assurance, vaccination considerations, needle and syringe selection, castration, implant considerations, hot iron and freeze branding, and tagging. 

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