COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Animal health issues affecting the Texas beef industry will be the focus of several sessions at the Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course Aug. 7-9 at Texas A&M University in College Station.
The short course is the largest beef cattle educational event in the country and attracts more than 1,600 beef cattle producers from Texas and abroad, according to organizers. The short course is hosted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the department of animal science at Texas A&M.
Cattle trichomoniasis, also known as trich, is a venereal disease in beef cattle and will be one of the issues discussed. Representatives from Texas’ breeding associations as well as the animal health industry are encouraging beef producers to attend the sessions.
“Trich is a financially devastating disease which can cause hardship very quickly (usually in one breeding season),” said Jerry Bob Daniel, a rancher who serves on the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association animal health and well being committee.
“Our herd contracted the disease three times between 2002-2011,” Daniel said. “It cost us an estimated $25,000, $8,000 and $200,000 respectively. Thanks to educational programs, I have been able to eradicate and manage the disease and the cattle have been free from it for the past six years.
“The good news is with education it can be eradicated from a herd in one breeding season. Additionally, with proper practices placed on a breeding management program this costly infection can be minimized or even completely avoided.”
Both testing and entry requirement rule proposals by the Texas Animal Health Commission will be discussed during the short course sessions.
“We are wanting to get as many beef producers involved as possible and join the discussion on these issues affecting beef cattle production,” said Dr. Tom Hairgrove, AgriLife Extension specialist in College Station.
“The health of our animals is becoming increasingly important to our industry as we strive to operate more efficiently and keep our businesses economically viable,” said Coleman Locke, chairman of the Texas Animal Health Commission. “The short course presents a great opportunity for ranchers to interact with fellow cattlemen, and hear the latest and most current information relating to animal health and other timely issues.”
On Aug. 7, Dr. Andy Schwartz, state veterinarian with the Texas Animal Health Commission, Austin, will give an update on regulatory diseases: tuberculosis, brucellosis and chronic wasting disease as related to exotics, wildlife and cattle. A panel of experts will discuss disease risk and parasite concerns with exotic and domestic livestock.
On Aug. 8, Dr. Dwight Wolfe, professor in the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine, will discuss bovine trichomoniasis, diagnosis and management. Dr. Peter Wunderlink, veterinary practitioner from Brenham, and Dr. Rob Conley, veterinary practitioner from Vernon, will discuss foot rot. A panel of experts will also be featured.
The afternoon sessions will focus on vector-borne diseases. Topics to be discussed include flies, gnats and ticks, including challenges and changes to the fever tick program.
A panel discussion focusing on bovine fecal chemistry and its applications for integrated tick management survey will feature speakers Dr. Pete Teel, Texas A&M AgriLife Research entomologist, Jay Angerer, AgriLife Research rangeland ecologist, Samantha Hays, Texas A&M entomology graduate student, and Shannon Degenhart, assessment program coordinator at Texas A&M — all from College Station.
Registration is $180 before July 31 and $220 after. The fee covers all breakfasts, breaks, lunch and the Aug. 7 prime rib dinner. For more information or to register, visit www.beefcattleshortcourse.com or call 979-845-6931.
Texas A&M AgriLife Today
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