Upper Gulf Coast Ranch Expo May 10 in Simonton

Writer: Blair Fannin, 979-845-2259, b-fannin@tamu.edu

SIMONTON – Producers throughout the Texas Gulf Coast region will get a firsthand  look at Akaushi cattle and receive an overall update on the cattle market during the May 10 Upper Gulf Coast Ranch Expo in Simonton.

The event, to be held at the Twinwood Cattle Co., 4430 Guyler Road, will feature bus tours with several Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialists from College Station discussing beef cattle production, forage management, weed control and pecan production.

Organizers said they are expecting a large turnout.

“This is a regional event and we anticipate great interest in the topics that will be discussed throughout the day,” said Dr. Greg Kaase, AgriLife Extension program specialist-risk management, College Station. “With beef cattle producers looking to capitalize on continued strength in cattle prices, there will be a variety of management practices they can take home and apply in their own operations. Also, three continuing education units will be offered to all interested pesticide applicators.”

Registration and sponsored exhibits open at 7 a.m. At 8:20 a.m., Dr. Doug Steele, AgriLife Extension director from College Station, will provide opening comments. At 8:45 a.m., Stephen Deiss, U.S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resource Conservation Service, will discuss conservation and financial assistance opportunities.

Bubba Bain, executive director of the American Akaushi Association and Dr. Jason Cleere, AgriLife Extension beef cattle specialist, College Station, are two of the featured speakers who will be talking about the Akaushi breed.

“Akaushi cattle were imported to the United States from Japan in 1994, and the meat from them is very high in marbling,” Cleere said.

Dr. David Anderson, AgriLife Extension livestock economist in College Station, will give a cattle market update and outlook for the remainder of the year.

The tour portion of the program will begin at 9:45 a.m. with participants boarding buses for tour stops featuring beef cattle production; Dr. Larry Redmon, AgriLife Extension state forage specialist, forage production; Dr. Paul Baumann, AgriLife Extension weed specialist, weed control in pastures; and Monte Nesbitt, AgriLife Extension horticulturalist, pecan production.

During lunch, Miles Phillips, AgriLife Extension specialist, will present a program on ranch diversification through tourism. He will be followed by Anderson,  who will provide a livestock marketing update. Francisco Abello, AgriLife Extension program specialis, will provide an update on the Market Maker program. Dr. Aaron Sumerall, AgriLife Extension agent in Newton County, will discuss feral hog control methods and demonstrate different trapping methods. All speakers are from College Station.

Market Maker, available at http://tx.marketmaker.uiuc.edu/,  debuted last year and is a tool that can be used by a variety of agricultural producers.

“This is a free tool to help connect farmers with buyers,” said Dr. Marco Palma, AgriLife Extension economist from College Station.

“It also provides important marketing tools for farmers. We will be providing information on marketing a wide range of produce, including fruits and vegetables, as well as livestock and dairy, seafood, etc.”

Cost for the expo is $10 by May 6 or $20 for on-site registration. For more information, call 281-342-3034.

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