Course Descriptions

44 Farms-Texas A&M International Beef Cattle Academy consists of seven online courses of approximately 30 hours each. The completion of six courses is required for certification.


Lead instructors: Dr. Reinaldo Cooke and Dr. Ky Pohler

Content highlights

  • Introduction to the International Beef Cattle Academy
  • Overview of the worldwide beef industry

Course 1 – Cattle Welfare and Behavior (30 hrs; October)

Lead instructors: Dr. Courtney Daigle and Dr. Ron Gill

Content highlights

  • Overview of ethics and bioethics, regulations, and welfare auditing
  • Stress physiology and impacts on animal biology
  • Types of stressors and mitigation strategies
  • Behavior and welfare considerations across beef production systems

Course 2 – Forage Production and Utilization (30 hrs; November – December)

Lead instructors: Dr. Jason Banta, Dr. Jamie FosterDr. Vanessa Olson and Dr. João Vendramini

Content highlights

  • New concepts in anatomy and physiology of forages
  • Forage production across the globe
  • Management, quality, and conservation of forages
  • Interactions among soil, plants and cattle

Course 3 – Nutritional Management and Requirements (30 hrs; December – January)

Lead instructors: Dr. Luis Tedeschi and Dr. Gordon Carstens

Content highlights

  • Overview of nutritional anatomy, physiology, requirements, and concepts
  • Nutritional management in cow-calf, stocker, and finishing (forage ad grain-based) systems
  • Diet formulation, metabolic modifiers, and nutritional disorders
  • Sustainability of beef cattle production

Course 4 – Reproductive Physiology and Management (30 hrs; February – March)

Lead instructors: Dr. Ky Pohler, Dr. Rodolfo Cardoso, Dr. Bruce Carpenter, and Dr. Cliff Lamb

Content highlights

  • Male and female anatomy, physiology and endocrinology
  • Breeding season management
  • Reproductive technologies
  • Pregnancy diagnosis

Course 5 – Breeding and Genetics (30 hrs; March – April)

Lead instructors: Dr. Andy Herring and Dr. Joe Paschal

Content highlights

  • Fundamentals of gene action and genetic influences
  • Breeding and crossbreeding systems
  • Large-scale genetic evaluation and genetic prediction (EPDs and EBV)
  • Genomic tests and applications, and utilization of genetic information in production systems

Course 6 – Immunology and Herd Health Management (30 hrs; April – May)

Lead instructors: Dr. Thomas Hairgrove and Dr. Reinaldo Cooke

Content highlights

  • New concepts in immunology, vaccinology, and parasitology
  • Etiology, characteristics, prevention, and treatment of major cattle diseases
  • Health management across all segments of beef cattle industry
  • Transboundary and vector-borne diseases

Course 7– Beef Quality and Safety (50 hrs; May – July)

Lead instructors: Dr. Matthew Taylor and Dr. Rhonda Miller

Content highlights

  • Concepts of food safety systems impacting beef production and their application.
  • Muscle ultrastructure, development, composition, and physiology
  • Pre-harvest production practices impacting beef safety and quality
  • Presence/transmission of human pathogens in beef
  • Harvest and production of beef carcasses
  • Beef grading
  • Beef fabrication
  • Factors affecting meat color, appearance, and palatability

Experiential learning and Graduation Ceremony at Texas A&M (August; NOT REQUIRED to receive certification)

Lead instructors: Dr. Reinaldo Cooke and Dr. Ky Pohler

Content highlights

  • Debrief and interact with lead instructors of each course
  • Visit to commercial beef operations in Texas
  • Tour of Texas A&M campus and research facilities
  • Graduation ceremony during the Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course


44 Farms-Texas A&M International Beef Cattle Academy
Dr. Reinaldo Cooke
(979) 458-2703

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