Saturday, February 6, 2016
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Cattle survey to assist in planning future research
A survey distributed to the Texas stocker cattle industry by Texas A&M University System agricultural agencies will help collect vital trend data to assist in meeting future research and educational initiatives, according to officials.
The mailed survey will help specialists with Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, and the Department of Animal Science and the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M gather information to evaluate field research efforts and educational programs relating to the beef industry.
Survey responses are anonymous and will provide an assessment of the stocker industry, said Dr. Russell Cross, head of the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M.
“It is vital that we understand the stocker segment’s needs in order to plan and develop practical applied research protocols and meaningful educational programs to assist in these changing times,” he said.
Cross said the stocker segment has a unique task of taking cattle from diverse cow-calf operations and preparing them for the structured feeder phase.
“The stocker industry also faces some unique challenges,” he said. “Cattle originate from varied climates and nutritional regimens, herd health programs are comingled and subjected to social and shipping stresses. And still stocker cattle are expected to remain healthy and gain weight.
“The cattle industry is scrutinized more today by consumers who are generations removed from agriculture. Animal welfare, antibiotic resistance, and environmental sustainability are buzzwords in the popular press daily, oftentimes without full understanding of these terms, forcing the cattle industry to deal with the repercussions.”
For more information, call the Department of Animal Science at 979-845-1543.
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