Beef 706 Virtual Event
Beef 706 Program Takes Participants Through the Beef Value Chain
Since 1993, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service’s Aggie Beef 706 program has invited beef producers, educators and other industry stakeholders to learn more about what happens to cattle after they leave the ranch or feed yard. This year, the three-night program went virtual for the very first time, giving individuals the opportunity to participate from the comfort and safety of their homes.
Sponsored by the Texas Beef Council, Beef 706 took place August 11 to 13, with educational sessions from 6:30 PM to 8:45 PM. Each evening, approximately 280 pre-registered attendees joined the sessions, which were free of charge.
“For nearly three decades, Beef 706 has helped Texas producers consistently provide high-quality beef products,” said Jason Bagley, vice president, beef resources for the Texas Beef Council. “While we weren’t able to meet in person this year, various meat science faculty, staff and graduate students at Texas A&M did a tremendous job of adapting our agenda into a virtual format that still provided our participants with an inside look at how animals move through the beef value chain.”
This year’s presenters included Dan Hale, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension associate director and meat specialist at College Station, as well as Jason Cleere, Davey Griffin, Ron Gill and Joe Paschal, all Ph.D.s and AgriLife Extension specialists with Texas A&M University’s Department of Animal Science. Rick Machen, Ph.D., with the King Ranch Institute, which is part of Texas A&M at Kingsville, also participated.
Throughout the program, participants followed a set of market cattle of differing types throughout the beef value chain, “from steer to steak.” The first session on August 11 taught participants how cattle grow and develop in the feed yard, how to evaluate carcass quality and cutout from live animal characteristics and beef carcass quality and grading. The August 12 session reviewed what happens as a carcass is merchandised into different cuts, the amount of bone/fat on a carcass and how much of a carcass goes to high-dollar cuts like ribeyes and tenderloins. Finally, during the closing session on August 13, production experts gave pointers on maximizing cattle value through genetics and beef management practices.
While many of our participants may know a great deal about raising cattle, they aren’t as aware of what makes one particular animal more or less valuable than another,” said Hale. “After joining us for the Beef 706 program, they have a better understanding of how to ensure their operation is producing cattle that bring top dollar and add even more value to the Texas beef industry. It also, shows cattlemen how value transfers from a feeder calf, to a finished market steer, and then to a beef product that the consumer desires.”
Learn more about Beef 706 at https://meat.tamu.edu/extension/beef-706/.