The Alabama Cooperative Extension System, in conjunction with the Alabama Beef Checkoff Program, is sponsoring an intensive three-day workshop that illustrates the path beef cattle take to the supermarket and the consumer’s plate.

The Alabama Beef Excellence Program will be April 16-18 at Auburn University.

Lisa Kriese-Anderson, an Extension animal scientist, says the program will enable producers to see their animals as a product and understand why different cattle bring different prices in the marketplace.

“Producers can lose sight of the fact that their animals will become a meal on someone’s plate,” says Kriese-Anderson. “This program, with its emphasis on the evaluation and grading of beef carcasses, will give them a new perspective.”

The program, which will be held at the Stanley P. Wilson Beef Teaching Unit and the Lambert-Powell Meats Lab, will include live animal evaluation and discussions on meat yield and quality grading measures.

Participants will begin with the evaluation of live weaned feeder calves. They then will turn their attention to cattle ready for harvest. Finally, producers will be introduced to processing of beef into retail cuts found in groceries and markets.

Bob Ebert, another Extension animal scientist working with the program, says this may be most enlightening for producers.

“There are some producers who have never seen how a meat processor reduces a side of beef into retail cuts,” said Ebert. “The hands-on demonstrations in the meats lab will give them an opportunity to actually do this. This exercise will again show producers why some animals have more economic value than others.

For those participants not interested in carcass fabrication, they can choose between presentations on Alternative Strategies for Marketing Beef or Grid Pricing of live cattle and carcasses."

For additional information about the program, which begins at 1:00 p.m. April 16, contact Bob Ebert at 1-334-844-1563 or ebertra@auburn.edu.