Beef Production From Conception to Consumption

An Innovative Program for Hispanic
& Other Under-represented Students

The Beef Production from Conception to Consumption (C2C) Grant will intentionally bring all phases of beef cattle production into the classroom through a curricula designed to meet the needs of producer and consumer.  Partnering with the Odessa College Agriculture Department, students will enroll in a curriculum that mirrors the biological timeline of producing a beef product, from the initial breeding of the animal until the consumer has a "steak-on-a-plate." The final meat products, marketed and sold through the Sul Ross Meat Lab Retail Center, will meet certain quality requirements, including flavor and tenderness.

Program Objectives

Beef Production From Conception to Consumption is designed to educate students in all aspects of generating beef products. Students will enroll in a curriculum that mirrors the biological timeline of producing a beef product, from the initial breeding of the animal until the consumer has a steak-on-a-plate. The final meat products will meet high quality standards prior to being offered to the public for sale. The C2C program objectives include:

  • developing a distance delivery beef production curriculum
  • maintaining and expanding the existing articulation agreement between Sul Ross and Odessa College
  • establishing student internship opportunities through the Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) of the USDA Livestock and Seed Program
  • educating and recruiting prospective students through partnerships with
    • Texas AgriLife Extension Service 4-H and Youth Development programs
    • College Tech Prep
  • providing tuition support to students enrolled in C2C courses
  • obtaining scientific equipment for instructional and hands-on use at Odessa College


Activities incorporated into the Beef Production C2C program include the following, with the purpose of recruiting Hispanic and other underrepresented students to enter the agriculture workforce:

  • Sul Ross State University students will maintain a herd of Herefords while Odessa College students will maintain a Red Angus herd to produce high quality beef products. 
  • The existing agricultural curricula at both SRSU and OC will be revised to include 10 distance delivery courses, new instructional materials, specialized experiential labs, and shared faculty and technological resources.
  • Classes will be scheduled to follow a real world beef production time line that will also maximize student experiential learning.
  • The existing articulation agreement between SRSU and OC will be modified to facilitate seamless transfer of students from the OC Associate of Applied Science in Agriculture to the SRSU Bachelor of Science in Animal Science degree.
  • Through a partnership with SCEP in the USDA, 8-10 students will have an opportunity to participate in the student trainee program, gaining valuable career experience while earning money for their education.
  • Partnerships with the Texas AgriLife Extension Service 4-H and Youth Development programs and updated articulations with College Tech Prep school districts will identify and recruit qualified junior and senior high school students.
  • C2C will fund tuition for potentially 39 undergraduate students to enroll in one C2C course per fall and spring semester for three years.
  • One qualified student graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree from SRSU will be sponsored to pursue a Master of Science degree in Animal Science.
    • This assistantship will cover tuition, books, a stipend, a computer, and travel to the American Society of Animal Science Annual meeting, and travel to a one-week leadership training program.
  • The Odessa College Agriculture Department will acquire scientific equipment for artificial insemination as well as a nitrogen tank for semen storage. Students will use this equipment during the breeding stage of the biological time line.

Press coverage on these activities can be found in The Skyline, The Odessa American, and on KWES-TV NewsWest 9.

Expected Impact

Consumers are looking for food products that are of high quality and that are safe. In addition, consumers want to know where their beef comes from. The C2C program will educate students to produce a beef product that is not only of high quality but is also safe to eat. Educational opportunities and resources at Sul Ross and Odessa College will be enhanced to provide a quality education for graduates who want to pursue professional careers in the agricultural sciences. Graduates will qualify for careers in the vast food industry as well as in academic, government, and private sectors. Students, and especially Hispanic and other underrepresented groups, will be attracted to and retained in a quality educational program that will educate them about the importance of agriculture in a worldwide economy. As a result of C2C, students will provide improved customer service in the Meat Lab Retail Center for both custom processing and retail sales. In addition, the goal is to increase consumer awareness of high quality beef products that are safe to eat. C2C students, faculty, and staff will produce a variety of media-rich educational materials for students and consumers, present at professional meetings, and publish in scientific journals, reaching far beyond their West Texas roots.


Odessa College

AGRI 1309 Computers in Agriculture Introductory course in application of computers in agricultural environment. Students develop a mangement system in care of animals in program.

Sul Ross State University

ANSC 2305 Meat Animal & Carcass Evaluation Evaluation of carcasses and wholesale cuts of beef, pork, and lamb, factors influencing grades, yields and values in cattle, sheep, and swine.

ANSC 3402 Beef Cattle Production & Management History, breeding, feeding, & management of beef cattle. Range laboratory exercises are an integral part.

ANSC 3403 Animal Nutrition, Feeds & Feeding A study of nutritive requirements for all classes of livestock and/or wildlife & feed suitability for each type. Emphasis on computing balanced rations from available feed stuffs.

ANSC 3406 Meat Science Harvesting & cutting carcasses of beef, lamb, & pork, plus cutting, wrapping, & storage of the carcasses. Meat quality & palatability are key components.

ANSC 3411 Livestock Slaughter Inspection Content deals with federal & state regulations pertaining to livestock slaughter for human consumption. Labs promote proficiency in meat inspection.

ANSC 4302 Management Procedures in the Meat Industry In-depth study of business management practices in the meat industry. Computer-based course focuses on specialized business aspects: ethics, branded product marketing, customer service, supervision/training, & computer technologies.

ANSC 4310 Artificial Insemination of Farm Animals History, importance & implications of artificial insemination; advantages & limitations of use in farm animals. Various collection methods are studied; evaluation of semen, dilution & storage of semen & techniques of insemination are covered.

ASBT 4350 Special Topics Agricultural Records & Accounting. Use of technology to manage a cow/calf operation with specialized software used.Principles of ag production: product costing, planning, control, standards & budgeting, profit-cost volume relationships.

ASBT 4350 Special Topics Agricultural Business Management. Farming/ranching as a business. Types of legal organizations of farms/ranches. Business management principles applied to the farm/ranch; emphasis on factors affecting profits, choice of enterprises; efficient

Program Contacts

SRSU Department of Animal Science

Dr. Scott Ericsson, Project Director (432) 837-8260
Dr. Paul A. Will, Co-Director (432) 837-8207
Mazie E. Will, Co-Director (432) 837-8072

Odessa College Department of Agriculture

R. Mikel Lemons, Instructor (432) 335-6335

use of financial & human resources.  

Animal Science