Thursday, August 22, 2013

We Need To Promote Beef


I am 13-year-old Brody Hill and I raise and show Simbrah cattle.  I recently attended the youth program at the 59th Annual Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course with other junior Simbrah exhibitors, Olivia Vela, Ariana Cantu and Matthew and Amanda Salinas. I came home with something that shocked me.  People are not eating beef like they have in the past.
In my house, we eat beef on a regular basis.  Probably because my dad has always raised commercial cattle at one point or another in his life and he was raised with the belief that we need to "Eat More Beef” and because he doesn't care too much for chicken!  So, the numbers that the presenters were showing us really surprised me.  That made me realize that OUR industry, the beef industry, is in serious trouble.  I learned that less and less people are buying and eating beef products. Plus they are being persuaded every day not to eat beef, by either the other industries, famous chefs, and/or environmentalists.  These groups are targeting our consumers. 
Beef used to be the number one category, but now we are second and loosing ground by the day.  If we don't do something, we will soon be third, behind chicken and pork and possibly become an insignificant meat category.
What can we do, as juniors, as Simbrah breeders, as members of the beef industry?  We can ADVOCATE.  One of my favorite parts of the program was put on by a gentlemen named Bruce Vincent.  Mr. Vincent is a logger from Libby, Montana and his industry and his family business was targeted by environmentalists and it really affected his town.  One of the main points that he made clear was that just because you are small does not mean you can't be heard.  This really encouraged me that I can make a difference, however small I may think it is.  We have a big responsibility on our shoulders as future Simbrah breeders and cattlemen.  We have to start now telling kids our age that we do not treat cattle inhumanly, that we do not abuse animals, and that beef really is good for you.  I would encourage every Simbrah show kid to attend events like the TAM BCSC   We need to learn about more about our industry and how to promote beef. Thanks!

Brody Hill
Edinburg, Texas

Friday, August 16, 2013

Simbrah Juniors Participate in TAM Beef Cattle Short Course

Beef, beef, and more beef!
Simbrah showman and Linn San Manuel 4-H club members, Brody Hill, Matthew Salinas, Ariana Cantu, Olivia Vela and Amanda Salinas, along with leaders Ana Salinas and Tonya Hill,  attended the youth portion of the  Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course. We spent two and a half days learning about, evaluating, and eating beef. The first day we walked to the Rosenthal Meat Science Center.  There we learned about the life of a steer and how it goes from the feed yard to the plate. Next we learned about the A&M Meats Judging Team, yield grades and the USDA quality grades. We also judged four steer carcasses.  Then w headed back to the Memorial Student Center (MSC) and ate some good ole fashion hamburgers. After lunch, we attended the general session at Rudder Auditorium, which included a weather forecase, a glimpse of the changes coming the beef industry and learned about being an activist for agriculture.  Then we went to the Famous Texas Aggie Prime Rib Dinner.

On the second day, we went to the Agriculture and Life Science Headquarters. Dr. Chris Boleman talked to us about our position in the future of agriculture and inspired us to spread the word and promote agriculture. Then we went back to the MCS for lunch and were served roast beef sandwiches.   Then we headed back to the Agriculture and Life Science Headquarters. There we were given a beef related topic and had to present our topic to A&M professors. It was great learning new skills from the A&M professors and getting critiques from them.  After that we left and went back to the MSC for a fajita dinner.  The third day we met at the A&M Beef Center and went to the side chute workshop. We learned about syringes and needles, deworming cattle, dehorning cattle, cattle identification, castrating,  and branding.  Overall we all had a very good time and learned so much.  This will definitely help us as we start our new 4-H year with our cattle projects.
By:  Matthew Salinas, Amanda Salinas, Olivia Vela, Ariana Cantu

P.S.  from their judging coach, Tonya Hill
I would like to commend Ana Salinas, the 4-H leader of the Linn-San Manuel 4-H Club.  She has gone above and beyond to help me and encourage the students in our club to learn more about, not only their animals, but their industry.  Every crazy idea I throw out, she says YES!  I appreciate her support more than she can imagine.  She is a true leader and an  ADVOCATE of our kiddos in the Linn-San Manuel area.  Second, I would like to say a big THANK YOU to my crazy beef club kiddos.  They are a tremendously talented set of kids and I can't wait to see what they do with their super powers!  I rounded up all of these kids about six weeks before the State 4-H Round Up Invitational Livestock Judging Contest.  We practiced once a week until the contest and they ended up placing 6th out of 42 teams.  Now that's talent!  I also know that every one of them get out there and are hands on in raising their Simbrah cattle.  They've got a bright future and we should be proud that they chose this breed.  I can't say enough how lucky I am to get to lead these young people.  Lastly, to all of the parents, Simbrah leaders, industry experts....please continue to encourage these young people.  They truly are our future, not only in this breed, but this industry.  The agriculture sector is bleeding future leaders.  We need to keep talented kids like Mathew, Amanda, Olivia, Ariana, and Brody with us.  We cannot afford to loose this future.  I would challenge you to not only continue what you are doing.