The high price of fertilizer, diesel and other expenditures necessary to produce beef will be the focus of the 54th annual Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course Aug. 4-6 at Texas A&M University in College Station.

“Feed, fuel and fertilizer costs have nearly doubled in the past two years and are pressuring cattlemen to look for new ways to produce a pound of beef more economically,” said Dr. Jason Cleere, Texas AgriLife Extension Service beef cattle specialist and conference coordinator.

For many producers, cutting back production per acre of land in order to reduce input costs may not be an option, Cleere said.

“However, we can incorporate management practices that will make them more efficient,” he said. These are just a couple of the many issues and topics that will be addressed at the short course.

“The 2008 short course will be one of the most important programs of the year for today’s beef producers looking to the future,” said Dr. Larry Boleman, associate executive vice president for operations at Texas A&M University and conference director.

Information will be available for the most novice producers as well as for the most seasoned producers, Boleman said.

“Previous participants always comment on the variety of topics that are offered during the Beef Cattle Short Course,” he said. “Participants have an opportunity to choose from 19 different ‘Cattleman’s College’ workshops which will feature information on ranch management, nutrition, reproduction, genetics, pastures, carcass evaluation, record keeping, cattle marketing, wildlife management and landowner issues.”

The Aug. 6 ‘Cattleman’s College’ sessions are designed to offer a more hands- on approach to calf working, cattle handling, cattle selection, carcass evaluation and record keeping, Cleere said. Participants can receive private applicators license training that day and take a tour of the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine.

In addition to the Cattleman’s College sessions, a key general session will be offered on Aug. 4.

“The goal of the Beef Cattle Short Course each year is to provide the most cutting-edge information that is vital to beef cattle producers,” said Cleere.

Participants can earn numerous pesticide continuing education units if already licensed. The industry trade show will feature more than 100 agricultural businesses and service exhibits, Cleere said.

Registration is $140 per person, and includes educational materials, a copy of the 300-page Beef Cattle Short Course proceedings, trade show admittance, tickets to the prime rib dinner, five additional meals and daily refreshments.

Registration information and a tentative schedule will be mailed to previous participants in June and can also be found on the short course Web site. Producers may register online at http://beef.tamu.edu or contact Cleere’s office at 979-845-6931.