Cameron, Texas-based 44 Farms has provided gift funds to become the signature sponsor of the Texas A&M International Beef Academy, which debuted earlier this year.
With its financial commitment, the program has been renamed the "44 Farms International Beef Academy at Texas A&M," according to program coordinators. 44 Farms is the largest registered Angus operation in Texas and the fourth largest in the U.S.
“We are extremely pleased to have Bob McClaren and 44 Farms make this contribution and commitment,” said Dr. Cliff Lamb, department head for animal science at Texas A&M. “44 Farms sees the value and tremendous educational opportunities by providing this international educational platform to further enhancements throughout the beef industry.”
The international academy debuted in March, and 13 students are enrolled from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Australia and Romania.
“We are on the second module and have received much positive feedback from students,” said Dr. Reinaldo Cooke, associate professor in the department of animal science. “The students are learning from renowned speakers not only from [Texas] A&M but also from other U.S. and international institutions. The students have indicated they are very pleased with the quality, novelty and relevance of information being presented.”
Funds from 44 Farms will allow for further program development, scholarships and promotion of the academy across the world, Cooke said.
The beef academy offers exclusive, customized and advanced learning experience tailored to the educational and professional needs of each participant, the announcement said.
“Participants have access to emerging technologies in cattle reproduction, nutrition, genetics, health and welfare related to all phases of beef production, including cutting-edge practices for the quality and safety of beef products,” Cooke said.
The academy caps enrollment, and applications are screened for selection. All instruction is online and consists of nine modules, Cooke said.
The academy is open to beef industry professionals, producers, professors, researchers or anyone with a good basic background in global beef production, he added.
“We want to introduce the latest in cutting-edge technologies,” Cooke said. “With this academy, we want to offer the best of the best. We will be collaborating with several other national and international institutions with guest lecturers. Upon conclusion, students will come to campus here in College Station [Texas] for hands-on learning opportunities and participate in the annual Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course before graduating.