Category Archives: In the News

Welcome to BBQ University

By: Bill Heavey Armed with a notebook, a hairnet, and appetite, and plenty of Dr. Pepper, a novice backyard warrior enters the hallowed halls of meat science for an intensive lesson in fire, wood, smoke, and plain old great Texas ‘cue. The secret to making great barbecue is simple—good airflow. Without steady airflow through your cooker, you get dirty smoke and bitter meat. A guy like Bryan Bracewell, who runs Southside Market & Barbeque in Elgin, Texas, knows several blocks before he arrives at the store what kind… Read More →

SXSW BBQ Panel Recap

Texas A&M’s South by Southwest panels look to the future Aggie offerings delve into the scientific issues behind human rights, health care…and BBQ By Steve Kuhlmann, steve.kuhlmann@theeagle.com Barbecue enthusiasts were treated to a more than 45-minute panel with the “brisketeers” — Texas A&M professor Jeff Savell, AgriLife Extension meat specialist Davey Griffin and Rosenthal Meat Center manager Ray Riley — and author and cook Jess Pryles, who shared with the audience some of the principles they look for in meat and how their interest has built a community… Read More →

Training advocates for agriculture

Texas A&M has the largest Animal Science Department in the country and thirty years ago most of those students came off ranches or had some type of ag background. Many of the students today are quite different. Cliff Lamb is the head of Texas A&M’s Animal Science Department. “In the past, most of the students that came in had a really good appreciation for the animal part of animal science, and we had to teach them the science portion. Now we have a lot of students that come… Read More →

What are big carcasses doing to the future of the beef industry?

Large carcasses are forcing retailers to cut more of the middle-meat steaks thinner to meet package and cost restrictions. Does that move the beef business away from consumer preferences? Commentary by Dr. H. Russell Cross, hrcross@tamu.edu, 979-862-1705 It’s a conundrum that has long plagued the beef business—what’s economically necessary for producers presents big challenges for wholesalers, retailers and most importantly, consumers. Over the past several decades, the genetic direction of the nation’s cowherd has been driving us to bigger and bigger cattle. That, in turn, drives bigger and… Read More →

What Makes Wagyu Beef Smell So Good? Science Explains

Writer: Greta Jochem, NPR For about $150 per pound, dedicated carnivores and food connoisseurs alike can get their forks on a luxury: Wagyu beef. Its trademark marbled flesh and soft texture have launched the meat into caviar-like status. And because its fat has a melting point lower than the average human body temperature, it melts in your mouth. The vast majority of the beef comes from Japanese Black cattle. Part of its allure is the smell — a unique sweet, coconut-like aroma. New research from the Journal of Agricultural and Food… Read More →

Hurricane Harvey contaminates livestock water supplies

Writer: Roland Rodriguez, rrodriguez@kristv.com According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Texas farmers and ranchers have lost more than 1 million cattle that were in the disaster area affected by Hurricane Harvey.  As the recovery efforts continue, livestock owners should be aware of salt poisoning and water salinity concerns. “After the storm we began testing water where we felt the water could have high   salinity. After we determined there could be problems associated with the water on ranches between Aransas Pass and Rockport after Harvey, we began calling cattle producers… Read More →

Grainfed v grassfed: End the beef biffo, says prof

Writer: Jamie-Lee Oldfield US meat scientist Stephen Smith says he knows grainfed beef can actually be better for your health than grassfed beef. But he says the focus should not be on competition between sectors within the beef industry, but rather promoting the health benefits of red meat to the wider community. “I do have a bias towards grainfed, because our data keeps saying the same thing, that if you eat a constant fat level that grainfed gives you a better health profile, but grassfed isn’t bad for… Read More →

Legacy of Texas ranching on display at Bush Library

The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum’s latest exhibit celebrates the importance of ranchers and their place in Texas history. The Legacy of Ranching: Preserving the Past, Embracing the Future showcases Texas ranches and highlights how they’ve changed over time. The exhibit, which opened March 2, will be on display in the Ansary Gallery until Jan. 8. Warren Finch, the director at the George Bush Library and Museum, said the museum not only worked with ranching museums from across the state to put the exhibit together, but a… Read More →

This man should have died, but unusual infusions saved his life

Bacteriophages, or phages, are viruses that infect bacteria. These organisms are abundant in the environment and are a major predator of bacteria in natural systems.  Because phages naturally infect and kill bacteria, there is considerable interest in using them as antimicrobials to control bacterial populations, particularly pathogenic bacteria. Impressive and cutting-edge research is ongoing at Texas A&M University’s Center for Phage Technology where Dr. Jason Gill, assistant professor in the Department of Animal Science, serves as the Associate Director. For more information, visit the CPT website: https://cpt.tamu.edu/. Below is a… Read More →

“The Legacy of Ranching” exhibit opens at George Bush Presidential Library

COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) – Ranching played a crucial part in the history of Texas and continues to shape the state today. There’s a new exhibit at the George Bush Presidential Library that celebrates the legacy of ranching. There are opportunities to learn about the legendary King Ranch, the history of branding, and more. “There’s also hides of different animals that are here and they can feel them and they get to guess which one it is. There’s interactive media as well, like a barbecue exhibit section there… Read More →