A trip across to the other side of Texas after WHR Shorthorns to visit Texas Tech University. I got to spend the week at the Animal & Food Sciences Department. When I first arrived, I got a tour around the Gordon W. Davis Meat Science Laboratory. The Meat Science Department has their own miniature processing facility which has the ability to process cattle, sheep, pigs and goats. The University’s meat judging team is then able to use the product to train for upcoming competitions. The product is then put in retail packages and sold through the university under the label Red Raider Meats. All the products are US inspected and passed by the Department of Agriculture. Anybody can buy the meat and the money from the sales goes toward funding scholarships at the university. I also met with a number of the staff and faculty members throughout the week and talked about some of their research projects that are currently being undertaken. I went into the ICFIE lab (International Center for Food Industry Excellence) where they were doing experiments on bacteria levels in bovine lymph glands and faecal matter. They were doing analysis for several different bacteria, with results from these in a matter of hours with a new system, known as BAX system.
I got to sit in on some classes and also go out to the university farm, where they run a SimAngus program. They had their cows and calves in a dry lot feeding them, due to the drought being very prevalent in that part of Texas. They also sell some half blood bulls, produced via their breeding herd, privately throughout the year. It is much cheaper to feed them this way instead of find pasture land to lease and graze them on. They also have a feedlot for which they do a number of trials in, and also have their own feed mill so as they can mix their own rations according to the different types of research being undertaken.