Now in its fourth year, globally-proven program provides customized education and insights.
The 44 Farms International Beef Cattle Academy (IBCA) is accepting applications for its 2021-2022 online certification program. Applications for this comprehensive certificate program, through Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, are due August 9.
“We’re gearing up for our fourth year of the IBCA and looking forward to working with another group of farmers, ranchers and industry leaders from around the world,” says Dr. Reinaldo Cooke, Program Coordinator and Professor at Texas A&M University. “Each year, we hear from students how this program elevates their ranches or businesses and provides excellent return on their investment – and we can’t wait to get started with the Class of 2022.”
Who should apply?
All involved in the beef cattle industry are eligible to apply. An ideal student candidate is eager to learn and is passionate about driving the industry forward. Class size for the prestigious IBCA is limited to offer an exclusive and customized learning experience. The IBCA’s online learning format allows anyone from across the globe to participate.
Students of the current 2020-2021 class span worldwide. Each student started the course with unique goals and the curriculum was customized to meet them. A few of this year’s students included:
- A veterinarian from South Africa looking to start a community beef improvement project
- A recent Oklahoma college graduate pursuing his dream of turning his family’s property into a cow-calf operation
- An industry consultant in Brazil hoping to provide animal welfare resources to farms she works with
- A fifth-generation coffee grower in Panama transitioning to a beef-on-dairy program
- A meatpacker and feedlot owner in Mexico who markets steers to the U.S., looking for techniques and technology to increase profits
- An owner of a large Montana ranch, developing a plan to use regenerative ranching practices to increase grass, water and soil health for the long-term
What to expect
The 44 Farms International Beef Cattle Academy consists of eight courses with nearly 30 learning hours per course. Classes are taught online with pre-recorded lectures. In addition to the pre-recorded lectures, there is a weekly interactive session for the student and instructor. “The interactive sessions are customized based on individual student needs and recorded to ensure nobody misses anything,” says Dr. Ky Pohler, Program Coordinator and Associate Professor at Texas A&M University. Course topics include:
- Cattle welfare and behavior
- Forage production and utilization
- Nutritional management and requirements
- Reproductive physiology and management
- Breeding and genetics
- Immunology and herd health management
- Safety and quality of beef carcasses and products
Following online coursework, the academy typically concludes with an optional experiential learning period and graduation ceremony in College Station, Texas. “We’ve found this format to work very well for both information sharing and customized learning based on each student’s goals,” says Pohler. “Students learn from globally-recognized experts, discuss those learnings with professors and then gather at Texas A&M to bring it all together. This interactive and customized experience is truly one of a kind.”
Scholarships are available for interested individuals, covering up to 70% of tuition costs. To be considered for a scholarship, complete the IBCA application process and provide the information required for scholarship request. Scholarships are limited and will be awarded based on student profile and potential contribution to the IBCA goal: advance knowledge to enhance beef production and quality across the globe.
“The opportunity to participate in this world-class program is made even easier by scholarships, made possible in part by the generosity of our sponsors,” says Cooke. “Endowments from 44 Farms, Texas Department of Agriculture, Sydney and Buck Thomason (Indian Hills Brangus), and the Santa Gertrudis Breeders International Foundation help ensure IBCA’s success today and for years to come.”
Texas A&M, established in 1876 as the first public university in Texas, is one of the nation’s largest universities with more than 66,000 students and more than 440,000 living alumni residing in over 150 countries around the world. A tier-one university, Texas A&M holds the rare triple land-, sea- and space-grant designation. Research conducted at Texas A&M represented annual expenditures of more than $905.4 million in fiscal year 2017. Texas A&M’s research creates new knowledge that provides basic, fundamental and applied contributions resulting, in many cases, in economic benefits to the state, nation and world. The school’s Lead by Example campaign is a comprehensive effort to raise $4 billion by the year 2020, making it the largest higher education campaign in Texas history and the second largest conducted nationally by a public university. Aggies are known for their deep commitment to the success of each other and their strong desire to serve.