Category Archives: In the News

Anthrax a growing concern as Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory confirms 20th case

By Susan Himes SAN ANGELO — Anthrax continues to be a growing concern in Texas, especially through the “anthrax triangle” region, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialist. The Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, TVMDL, has now confirmed 20 positive cases of anthrax in animals, the Texas Animal Health Commission announced in their fifth situational update report. The first case was confirmed June 21 and the most recent case was confirmed Aug.13. In an average year, TVMDL diagnoses two to three cases. However this year’s wet… 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 →

Study: Severe Air Pollution Can Cause Birth Defects, Deaths

A team of Texas A&M researchers says breathing bad air can result in numerous problems for pregnant women. By Keith Randall, Texas A&M University Division of Marketing & Communications In a comprehensive study, researchers from Texas A&M University have determined that harmful particulate matter in the atmosphere can produce birth defects and even fatalities during pregnancy using the animal model. The team of researchers from Texas A&M’s Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Geosciences, the Texas A&M Health Science Center, and colleagues from the University of California-San… Read More →

Texas has the largest cow herds in the US

By Rolan Rodriguez Now  beef cattle numbers in the state are the largest in the country for the first time in years. Unfortunately for those who love steak and hamburgers, the expanding herd size hasn’t translated into dropping the retail prices. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension beef cattle specialist Dr. Joe Paschal says Texas has the largest cow herd in the U.S., including cattle, calves, and dairy cattle. He estimates the total at about 94 million head. “Right now, based on the number of heifers that are entering the feed… Read More →

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 →