PRAIRIE VIEW, TX – Approximately 23 small farm beef cattle producers from Waller, Washington and Fort Bend counties attended a Beef Cattle Palpation Clinic held on the campus of Prairie View A&M University on April 29 – 30. The clinic is one in a series of workshops that will be held in 2011 through Prairie View A&M Cooperative Extension Program’s Tri-County Beef Cattle Series. Cooperative Extension Agriculture & Natural Resources agents, Kelvin Neal, Kenneth McCullough and Major Stevenson, Jr. implemented the Tri-County Beef Cattle Series in 2010 to help primarily limited resource producers improve their beef cattle and farm operations.
“We hosted this workshop to help our clients determine pregnancy in their cattle, which can help them make timely culling decisions and focus the resources of their beef cattle operations on sound, reliable breeders,” said Kelvin Neal, Extension agent – Agriculture & Natural Resources in Washington County. “Pregnancy determination can also help our clients manage feeding to meet the high nutritional demands of gestation, calving, lactation and rebreeding more effectively.”
Dr. Wendell C. Baker, DVM, Baker Veterinary Clinic in Prairie View, Texas, facilitated the clinic. Dr. Baker gave detailed information on management tools to use to determine pregnancy in cattle, practices to improve reproduction in the herd, culling decisions that need to be made and necessary equipment to use. Dr. Baker also took the producers through the cows’ reproductive cycle and gave them hands-on experience in palpation techniques to help them determine the stages of pregnancy in their herd.
“This was one of the best programs that I have attended, especially for small farmers,” said Fred Thomas III, a beef cattle producer with farm operations in Waller and Washington counties. “Dr. Baker was a great teacher in the classroom and in the field, and I gained a great deal of information on palpation. I believe with a little assistance I would be able to palpate my own herd.”
Cooperative Extension agents Neal, McCullough and Stevenson are planning future workshops and clinics for small farm producers and ranchers. For a schedule of upcoming Tri-County Beef Cattle Series events contact them at: Neal – 979/277-6212, firstname.lastname@example.org – Washington County; Stevenson – 281/342-3034, email@example.com – Fort Bend County; and McCullough – 979/826-7651 – firstname.lastname@example.org – Waller County.
Writer: Gloria J. Mosby, program director – Communications, Cooperative Extension Program
Photos: Alecea Rush, Communications Specialist, Cooperative Extension Program