Florida Beef Short Course and Florida Cattlemen Convention

By Raluca Mateescu, Department of Animal Sciences, University of Florida

Recently, I had the privilege of meeting the new ABBA Executive VP, Dr. Joe Paschal and the new Director of Breed Improvement, A.J. Knowles, during three important events for the Florida cattlemen: the Florida Brahman Field Day, the Florida Beef Short Course and the Florida Cattlemen Convention.

I was impressed with their visits, their desire to connect with Florida Brahman producers, exchange ideas, and address the challenges and opportunities faced by the industry. At the same time, I think they enjoyed these events, and they asked me to outline a few takeaways for the readers of this journal. The 72nd Annual Florida Beef Cattle Short Course was held in May, with an attendance of 303 people and focused on nutritional and management strategies that can assist beef producers in adding value to their production while helping manage costs. Experts from several universities across the U.S., as well as industry leaders with ample experience in the beef cattle business, spoke in the plenary sessions.

On Thursday, a series of hands-on activities related to cow size, liquid feed and feed/hay delivery equipment and structures, supplemental feed and feed storage options, were conducted in our state-of-the-art Beef Teaching Unit. The event closed with a Research Update session on Friday featuring short presentations on the latest research conducted in beef cattle.

Join us for the 73rd Annual Florida Beef Cattle Short Course from May 8th to 10th 2024, an event that unites the beef industry community and offers a valuable platform for networking and knowledge sharing. It provides an opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals, exchange experiences, and gain insights into the latest trends and practices in the beef industry.

The UF Animal Sciences Brahman Show Team serves as one of the goals for undergraduate education for the UF Brahman Project. This year, the Trimble Family hosted our team for a trip to the Houston Livestock Exposition. Our team was featured on the Expo’s Facebook page. We want to thank the Trimble family for their kind support of our students and Show Team.

The 2023 Florida Cattlemen’s/Cattlewomen’s Annual Convention and Allied Trade Show brought together dedicated beef cattle producers from across the state. The convention served as a powerful reminder of the immense value that these hardworking individuals bring to our communities, our economy, and our dinner tables. One morning session provided an opportunity for the principal investigators of the 2022-2023 Florida Cattle Enhancement Board grants to showcase their projects. The Florida Cattle Enhancement Board provides funding to “conduct programs and research designed to expand uses of beef and beef products and strengthen the market position of Florida’s cattle industry in this state and in the nation”.

“Thanks to the Trimble family for their kind support of our students and Brahman Show Team on the trip they hosted for the team to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.”

A number of research and education priorities were identified by the Florida Cattlemen Association and include fertilization, pasture and forage management, ranching activities – interactions with the environment, calf weaning rate, herd nutrition, animal health, Brahman genetics, beef and beef products. Results from 12 projects related to a range of issues from new warm-season perennial grass cultivars, agronomic and environmental impacts of new FL-DEP biosolids rule, animal performance and methane emissions of cattle grazing stockpiled ‘Gibtuck’ limpograss, to impact of implant strategy on Brahman sired steer performance, carcass traits, and tenderness and genomic methods to estimate heterosis in crossbred cattle, were presented.

Attending these events underscored the incredible value that beef cattle producers bring to our state. From their role as land stewards and economic contributors to their contributions to food security and preservation of tradition, their impact is immeasurable. As consumers, let us take a moment to appreciate the hard work, dedication, and commitment of these remarkable individuals who play a pivotal role in our lives. Together, let’s celebrate and support our beef cattle producers, ensuring a vibrant future for this essential industry.