By Julie Tomascik
Young farmers and ranchers in Texas are raising the steaks for consumers across the nation. To produce the best products, they need to have information, access to technology and pride in growing a quality product.
Later this summer, those young producers will have the opportunity to grow their knowledge and understanding of the beef industry through the Beef 706 Program.
The producer-education program builds on Texas ranchers’ understanding of raising cattle by providing knowledge on how to increase beef quality and consistency.
The program is sponsored by the Texas Beef Council on behalf of the beef checkoff and hosted by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.
“This program will provide information and hands-on experiences,” Whit Weems, Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) director of Organization, said. “It’s an opportunity for young TFB members to network, learn and continue to improve their operations.”
The Beef 706 session is set for Aug. 14-15 on Texas A&M University’s campus in College Station.
Participants will learn about the importance of producing a more consistent and high quality beef product through a series of hands-on lessons presented by various meat science faculty, staff and graduate students.
“By attending Beef 706, cattle producers will have a unique opportunity to not only see, but to experience the quality challenges facing the beef industry,” Jason Bagley, Texas Beef Council’s senior manager of Beef Resources, said. “They will learn what factors affect beef’s palatability and receive information to help use herd genetics, feedyard performance and carcass characteristics.”
Participants are divided into groups, select live cattle through video and follow the cattle through grading and a hands-on cutting session. This allows the participants a chance to experience first-hand the differences encountered in carcass composition.
This portion of the program allows for result comparisons, giving industry perspective and allows ranchers to review the beef production system from start to finish.
The program also will cover genetic selection programs and tools, factors that impact marbling, branded programs and market cattle grid buying, among other topics.
“Of the cattle producers attending the Beef 706 program over the last 25 years, 93 percent say they planned to adopt a new practice based on what they learned, and 98 percent of producers said they would make or save money based on what they learned,” Dr. Dan Hale, Texas A&M University professor and Extension meat specialist, said.
In addition to the Beef 706 program, TFB will host a dinner on Aug. 13 to discuss meat labeling and regulations for trichomoniasis bull surveillance and persistently-infected BVD (bovine viral diarrhea) cattle.
“These topics blend well with Beef 706 and give our young members a chance to consider the regulatory side of farming and ranching,” Weems said.
Seats are limited. Only 45 spots are available for TFB members who are young farmers and ranchers between the ages of 18 and 35.
Registration will open at noon on June 10 through the MyTFB membership portal at my.texasfarmbureau.org. Registration closes July 15 at noon.
A room block under “Beef 706” is available at the Ramada hotel in College Station for Aug. 13-14. Participants are responsible for making their own reservations and payments.
“Most of the meals are provided during the event, making it a low-cost program to cover important factors in beef production,” Weems said. “The return on investment is well worth it.”
More information on registration and event details can be found online at www.texasfarmbureau.org/YFR.
Additional Beef 706 information is available at https://meat.tamu.edu/extension/beef-706/.