STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — To help advance the beef industry in the commonwealth, Penn State Extension, with support from the PA Beef Producers Working Group, hosted a three-day Beef Cattle Short Course Oct. 16–18.
Beginning Monday afternoon, the course began at the Snyder Ag Arena in State College, as Ben Williamson, Penn State Animal Science instructor, discussed a class of cattle and helped participants to estimate how those animals will grade on the rail.
Tuesday featured a slate of speakers discussing topics pertinent to the beef industry. Workshops included “Food Security from Meat Scientist’s Perspective” by Dr. Henry Zerby, professor at Ohio State University, “Balancing a Complete Diet” by Dr. Tara Felix, Penn State Extension Beef Specialist, “Global Food Insecurities” by Rachel Cloninger, from the Department of Animal Science at Penn State, and “Feeding for Yield and Grade,” by Dr. Francis Fluharty, Research Professor at Ohio State University.
“I was very excited to bring a course to our Pennsylvania beef producers that will benefit not only their excellent cattle production skills but also their beef marketing,” said Dr. Tara Felix.
The final day allowed participants the opportunity to grade carcasses and watch carcass fabrication at the Meat Science Laboratory.
Dr. Jonathan Campbell, Penn State Extension Meat Science Specialist, helped participants evaluate the carcasses from cattle that they had evaluated live on Monday. During this time participants learned about the yield and quality of each animal as Dr. Campbell broke down a carcass during his demonstration.
Registration was limited to 25 attendees and the class filled to capacity; however, organizers are hopeful about offering the course again in fall 2018 because of the level of interest from producers.
— PA Beef Producers Working Group