Tour Opportunities

Start the conference out by learning a little bit about Texas production agriculture and processing by joining one of these tours on June 4, 2018. A few details about Texas Agriculture to get you started:

  • Texas leads the nation in cattle, cotton, hay, sheep,¬†goats and mohair production.
  • Texas leads the nation in number of farms and ranches, with 248,800 farms and ranches covering 130.2 million acres.
  • Texas has more women and minority farm operations than any other state in the nation.
  • Texas also leads the nation in value of farm real estate.
  • Rural lands, including privately owned forest, total 142 million acres, 84% of the state’s total land area.
  • 12% of Texas’ population resides in rural areas.
  • 1 of every 7 working Texans (14%) is in an agriculture-related job.
  • 98.6% of Texas farms and ranches are family farms, partnerships or family-held corporations.
  • The average age of Texas farmers and ranchers is 58 years.
  • The economic impact of the food and fiber sector totals more than $100 billion annually.
  • Agricultural cash receipts, including timber, average¬†$20 billion annually.

A look at large-scale beef and dairy production and processing
Drive through the beef cattle capital of the world in route to a modern beef cattle abattoir. View the packing process in reverse looking at the finished product and backing through the entire fabrication and slaughter process. Visit a large scale production feedyard yard and visit with the management about operating an enterprise valued at $60 to $150 million. A short drive, at least in Panhandle terms, down the road visit a modern dairy where tankers wait to load milk and haul to market with no additional stops along the way.

Explore Texas sized beef and dairy production with peek into cheese processing
Drive through the highest density beef cattle production in the world on the way to a modern cheese production facility. View the cheese making process and discuss with management how they handle product and waste streams. Depart for a tour of a modern dairy in the Texas Panhandle, an industry that has blossomed in the past 15 years to become a major dairy production center for the United States. Managers will share issues related to production, waste management and processing including handling routine mortalities and manure. The next stop is a beef cattle feedyard where participants can see large scale beef cattle production and learn some of the ins and outs of processing and distributing feed to the protein converters we call beef cattle.

Swine production and processing with a side of beef production
Wake early to depart at 6:30 a.m. for a trip north to tour a swine processing plant. During the return trip tour a modern pig farm with newly added capacity for sows and a nursery. At both stops you will be able to explore issues in waste management and at the farm how they handle routine mortalities and plans for catastrophic death due to natural hazards. The next stop along the back to Amarillo will be a moderate sized beef cattle feeding facility. Explore issues related to waste, such as manure and runoff, and routine mortalities.