Beef Central 2024 study tour: networking and learning in Texas

Beef Central, 06/09/2023

WITH plenty of interest already being shown in Beef Central’s 2024 US study tour and seats starting to book up, it is worth looking at the Texas part of the trip.

While the tour starts in Chicago visiting the Australian beef industry’s single-largest customer, McDonald’s, most of the time will be spent in America’s biggest and arguably most patriotic beef producing state.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, the Texas cattle herd started this year at 12.5m head – with some of the country’s largest producers, feedlots and abattoirs. It also has some of the global beef industry’s most significant universities and cultural landmarks.

Using the networks of Beef Central and Quadrant Ag Tours, led by cattle industry identity Ross Keane, a program has been put together with the aim of learning, networking and experiencing the heartland of the American cattle industry.

This article will run through the highlights and opportunities in Texas.

Cattle feeding country

The Texas tour will start in the city of Amarillo, in the northern “panhandle” part of the state, which is the largest lotfeeding area of the US.

Kicking off with a meeting at the Texas Cattle Feeders Association, which represents lotfeeders in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico, the group will get an overview of the American cattle feeding industry. TCFA members market 6m fed cattle each year, which is about 28pc of US fed cattle.

Time has then been set aside to visit a meat packing facility and feedlot the next day before heading to Lubbock, which is the home of Texas Tech University where the group will look at the research feedyard and laboratory.

Stud and commercial operations

The trip will then head further south towards Dallas and onto Houston, where it will visit some of the country’s largest breeding and stud operations.

Some of the highlights include the JD Hudgins Ranch and the 6666 ranch – which was recently made famous by the hit television series Yellowstone.

The group will inspect the Brahman seedstock and commercial herds at JD Hudgins, which was established in 1908 and its bloodlines extend back to 1944. Hudgins bloodlines run deep through the Australian Brahman industry, providing an absolute cornerstone for the success of the Northern Australian beef industry, numbering around 15 million head.

Houston Livestock Show

Following the in-depth look at the Texas cattle industry, the tour will finish at one of the world’s largest livestock shows in Houtson, which hosts about 7,000 head of cattle and two million people over three weeks.

As part of the Houston Livestock Show, the group will take part in the International Livestock Congress, a research and education focused conference backed by some of the biggest agricultural companies in the US.

The show also has a rodeo that can bring the 80,000 seat NRG park to capacity, as well as cutting and stockhorse competitions.

“The Houston Livestock Show has been on my bucket list for a long-time. Having been to dozens of commercial cattle operations and feedlots in Texas, they all tell me that it is the one place I need to go,” tour leader Ross Keane said in a previous article.

“It is America’s equivalent of Beef Australia – other shows are good, but it is the one where the serious beef producers go.”

Flexible program

With the tour finishing at Houtson, there is an opportunity for delegates to stay and look into other parts of the livestock show – such as stud cattle or horses. Beef Central will follow up with another article when the show’s programs and catalogues have been released.

It is also worth noting that the tour finishes on the same weekend the NRL is playing two games in Las Vegas.

  • The program has been designed for flexibility and adaptability to the make up of the group. Feel free to contact Quadrant Tours or Beef Central with any inquiries, questions or suggestions. Click here for more information.











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