Author Archives: harkin802

Thousands across nation attend A&M’s annual Beef Cattle Short Course

More than 2,300 agriculture producers and ranchers from across the United States and beyond have descended upon College Station for the annual Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course, which began Sunday and concludes midday Wednesday. Well over 1,000 attendees filled much of A&M’s Rudder Auditorium Monday afternoon for a general session on various aspects of the beef cattle industry. Monday evening, participants enjoyed the annual Texas Aggie Prime Rib Dinner Monday afternoon’s general session featured a lively presentation on the relationship between climate change and beef cattle production, analysis… Read More →

Differential skeletal muscle mitochondrial characteristics of weanling racing-bred horses

By Christine M Latham, Clara K Fenger, Dr. Sarah H White Abstract Responses of equine skeletal muscle characteristics to growth and training have been shown to differ between breeds. These differential responses may arise in part because muscle fiber type and mitochondrial density differ between breeds, even in untrained racing-bred horses. However, it is not known when these breed-specific differences manifest. To test the hypothesis that weanling Standardbreds (SB) and Thoroughbreds (TB) would have higher mitochondrial measures than Quarter Horses (QH), gluteus medius samples were collected from SB (mean… Read More →

How the barbecue boom affects you

By Patrick Graves However you spell it — barbeque, bar-b-que, bar-b-q, BBQ — Texas-style smoked meat has entered the rarefied atmosphere of cultural phenomenon. Beyond trendy, it’s now a bona fide thang, y’all. Shall We Gather at the Smoker? Worshipers queue up two hours early at lunchtime outside the modest temple that is Franklin Barbecue  in Austin. Fifty miles northeast in tiny Lexington, rustic Snow’s BBQ  has become a barbecue mecca, despite being open only on Saturday mornings and, like Franklin’s, serving until there’s none left to… Read More →

Texas Sheep and Goat Expo to feature performance sale Aug. 17

SAN ANGELO — A performance sheep and goat sale will be a part of the Texas Sheep and Goat Expo, put on by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. The sale will take place at 2 p.m. Aug.17 at the Spur Arena, 200 W. 23rd St., San Angelo. The sale is exclusively for sheep and goats that have been performance tested using the National Sheep Improvement Program. “It is a small-scale elite sale to showcase animals selected based on estimated breeding values and to demonstrate how both seedstock… Read More →

Protecting Penned Animals from Fire Ants

By: Molly Keck and Bastiaan M. Drees The red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), poses serious threats to many small and young animals. While true for animals that roam free or are confined in a large corral or pasture, animals that are even more confined are at a higher risk of attack. Confined livestock (such as chickens, goats, pigs, rabbits, and sheep) for 4-H or FFA programs, pets in kennels, horses in stables, and exotic animals in zoos are just a few of the many… Read More →

Grants awarded to AgriLife Extension for sheep, goat genetic advancements

SAN ANGELO — The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in San Angelo has been awarded a trio of grants totaling over $136,000 to further develop research and educational outreach projects related to improving sheep and goat production in Texas. Although it is the largest sheep and goat producing state in terms of numbers, Texas has not widely adopted the genetic technology proven to improve the health and productivity of small ruminants, according to AgriLife Extension specialists. Dr. Reid Redden, AgriLife Extension sheep and goat specialist, and Jake Thorne,… Read More →

Texas Sheep and Goat Expo offering youth workshop Aug. 17

By Susan Himes SAN ANGELO — The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will hold a youth program and skillathon on Aug. 17 as part of the fifth annual Texas Sheep and Goat Expo, which runs Aug. 16-17. The youth event will run from 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Spur Arena at 200 W. 43rd Ave., San Angelo. This will be the third year this program dedicated to educating youth has been part of the expo. The $15 cost of the skillathon includes breakfast and lunch, which is sponsored by Sheep and Goat… Read More →

Lab-grown ‘meat’ far from real deal

By Joe C. Paschal There has been much concern among livestock producers about research and commercial laboratories growing muscle fibers and their plans to market them as meat, specifically “clean” meat, in direct competition with the safe, wholesome, true meat we raise. Meat is defined as “the flesh of an animal,” especially a mammal, used as food. Promotion by livestock producers in the U.S. and the world and the growth in the world’s economy and population is projected to increase the demand for meat 73% by 2050. Livestock… Read More →

Selling lambs or goats? AgriLife has an app for that

By Susan Himes SAN ANGELO — The Lamb and Goat Market Forecast app for iPhone helps producers pick the best time to sell by projecting marginal revenue per head. The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the San Angelo State University information technology department developed the predictive program, and it’s available for free at  https://apps.apple.com/app/id1467220182.  “This app addresses the basic question producers face: ‘Should I sell them now, or do I retain ownership and sell them a little bit later down the road? And if I do wait, what… Read More →

The weight of labor issues on animal welfare

By Courtney Daigle Producers face challenges in recruiting and retaining stockpeople. There are two job openings for each applicant, and much of the agricultural workforce is composed of immigrants. Immigration reform is making it difficult to generate a sustainable agricultural workforce, even as the U.S. demand for foreign labor has increased fivefold in the past 13 years. To overcome these challenges, producers are identifying out-of-the-box solutions including alternative labor sources (e.g., prison inmates) and are quick to implement new technology that makes managing more animals easier and more… Read More →