Three-night “Aggie Beef 706” to be held virtually this month
For the first time since its creation in 1993, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service’s Aggie Beef 706 program will be held virtually. Ranchers, educators and allied business people are invited to learn the same valuable concepts traditionally taught in Beef 706.
Participants will attend three successive night sessions on Tuesday-Thursday, August 11-13, from 6:30-8:45 p.m. The event is free, but does require advance registration, regardless of how many sessions attended.
“This Virtual Aggie Beef 706 will teach producers about the food side of their industry,” said Dan Hale, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension associate director and meat specialist, College Station.
“Cattlemen do a great job of raising cattle. But a lot of times they sell those animals, and they don’t have any idea what happens to them after they leave the ranch or leave the feed yard,” Hale said. “This gives them a better idea of where value continues to go as the animal moves through the beef value chain from market-finish steer to boxed beef.”
Presenters for the three days include Hale and Jason Cleere, Davey Griffin, Ron Gill and Joe Paschal, all Ph.Ds and AgriLife Extension specialists with Texas A&M University’s Department of Animal Science.
Rick Machen, Ph.D., with the King Ranch Institute, which is part of Texas A&M at Kingsville, will also participate.
On August 11, participants will learn about how cattle grow and develop in the feed yard, how to evaluate the carcass quality and cutout from live animal characteristics, and about beef carcass quality and yield grading.
For the second session on August 12, participants will learn what happens as the beef carcass is merchandised into the different meat cuts, how much bone and fat are in a carcass, and how much of a carcass is made up of the high-priced meat cuts such as tenderloin and ribeye.
To close out the course on August 13, participants will hear production experts give helpful pointers on maximizing the value of cattle through genetics and beef management practices.
During the program, participants will follow a set of market cattle of differing types from steer to steak, Hale said.
“Thanks to the incredible generosity of the Texas Beef Council, there will be no charge for this year’s program,” he said.
Sales tax holiday on school clothes, supplies Aug. 7-9
With the Texas economy slowly awakening from effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Comptroller Glenn Hegar reminds shoppers that they can save money on clothes and school supplies during the state’s sales tax holiday Friday, Saturday and Sunday, August 7-9.
The law exempts sales tax on qualified items—such as clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks—priced below $100, saving shoppers about $8 on every $100 they spend. The date of the sales tax holiday and list of tax-exempt items are set by the Texas Legislature.
“Even though significant uncertainty remains for our public and private schools as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the sales tax holiday is a perfect opportunity to save money on school supplies and other tax-free items at a time when many Texans are carefully monitoring their family finances,” Hegar said. “Online shopping is covered, so I encourage all Texans to shop online or practice social distancing when making in-store purchases. We want folks to stay safe while saving money.”
Apparel and school supplies that may be purchased tax-free are listed on the comptroller’s website at TexasTaxHoliday.org.
To promote social distancing, the comptroller’s office wants all taxpayers to know that during the annual sales tax holiday, qualifying items can be purchased online or by telephone, mail, custom order or any other means (including in-store purchases) tax free, when either:
• the item is both delivered to, and paid for by, the customer during the exemption period; or
• the customer orders and pays for the item, and the seller accepts the order during the exemption period for immediate shipment, even if delivery is made after the exemption period ends.
Texas’ sales tax holiday weekend has been an annual event since 1999, allowing Texans to save millions of dollars in state and local sales taxes each year.
Uncertainty surrounding consumer activity in the retail sector coupled with a lack of clarity regarding the timing and nature of schools reopening prevents the agency from producing an estimate for dollars saved by taxpayers during this year’s holiday.
Last year’s holiday generated an estimated $102.2 million in savings for Texas taxpayers.
“Raising Hill” efforts still
Local chambers of commerce and Hillsboro Main Street, through the Raising Hill campaign, are asking everyone to take action to support the community as the economy recovers.
Organizers are encouraging everyone to make it a goal, every Saturday beginning June 6, to spend $25 at one local Hill County business by shopping, dining or utilizing delivery, curbside and pickup options while observing the social distancing guidelines.
More information can be found at http://www.hillsboromain street.org/covid or http://www.raisinghilltx.com.
New date set for annual Go Texan dinner
The annual fund-raising dinner and drawing hosted by the Hill County Area Go Texan Committee has been rescheduled due to COVID-19.
Committee Ambassador Ken Gerik recently made the announcement due to the increased numbers of virus cases.
The event has tentatively been rescheduled for Saturday, April 17, at the KC Hall in West.
As a Go Texan county sanctioned by the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Association (HLSRA), a Hill County senior is guaranteed a scholarship.
This year’s $20,000 scholarship was awarded by the HLSRA to Avery Holmes of Hillsboro.
In addition, the committee awarded an additional $22,000 in scholarships to 16 other seniors in the county.
That money was raised at last summer’s dinner and drawing.
Since the committee formed in 1991, Houston has awarded $365,000 in scholarships, and the committee has raised an additional $221,576, totaling nearly $600,000 in awards.
The public’s support of the scholarship committee and its event is appreciated.