Youth Cattle Working Contest 2008: Teams Compete and Learn
Drs. Dee Whittier and Mark Wahlberg, Virginia Cooperative Extension: VA Tech
The Virginia Youth Cattle Working Contest had its 2008 culmination at the championship contest held at the Virginia Beef Expo on April 19, 2008. Statewide, 45 teams had competed at regional contests to qualify to compete at the event. Twelve teams competed in Harrisonburg. A Grayson county team representing both 4-H and FFA consisting of Jones Baker, Melissa Laws and Megan Spears emerged as the champions.
Healthy farm, healthy cows
Port Orchard Independent
It was hard to tell who was happier on a recent sunny afternoon at the Ashbys’ sprawling farm in South Kitsap — the animals or the humans.
“We’re real fortunate to have this place,” said Butch Ashby, who has lived on the nearly 50-acre property with his wife Myrna and generations of contented cows and chickens since 1966.
Marbling governs beef flavor
Western Livestock Journal
Steakhouses hold an allure for discerning diners, and Daryl Tatum knows why.
“Great taste is the primary reason consumers make beef their food of choice for a pleasurable dining experience,” says the Colorado State University meat scientist. Tatum recently authored a research review of 75 different studies titled “Producing Flavorful Beef.”
He identified consumer preferences and how producers can work to meet them.
Many studies point to tenderness as the main driver in taste equation, but that may be changing. The 2006 National Beef Tenderness Survey used Warner-Bratzler shear force to test steaks in 11 different markets.
Made in Vermont: Yak Farm
Up until twenty years ago, a farm on Route 100 in Waitsfield was home to a large herd of dairy cattle. But the farmer shut down the operation and the milkers weren’t replaced.
Farmer Dave Hartshorn sighs, “There’s a lot of talk about farms going out. A lot of doom and gloom pictures.”
Not here. This farm has an optimistic view of the future, because of its new residents: a herd of 24 yaks. Hartshorn chuckles, “Dairy cattle you can herd. These guys you can’t.”
Historic Camp Cooley Ranch to Disperse
Camp Cooley Website
It is with a sad heart that I am announcing the complete dispersal of our entire registered female herd. We will retain only our commercial recipient cows with their spring calves, the embryos already collected this year, and the females affected by the “hold order”. This was not an easy decision for any of us. All of the Camp Cooley Ranch people have spent the last ten years building the finest and most consistent herds of registered Brangus, Charolais and Angus cattle in the world. We have dedicated ourselves to our customers and our philosophy of “Breeding the Best – Better”.
Cow/Calf College set for UNCTA May 15-17
Farm and ranch managers can get new information at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture’s Cow/Calf College.
Scheduled for May 15-17 at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis, the college is sponsored NCTA and Land O’Lakes/Purina Feeds.
Management and production topics to be discussed include: using distillers grains for cows, heifer development, cattle-handling principles, immunology and biosecurity, working with your banker and herd health programs.
Report targets concentrated animal feeding operations
Western Livestock Journal
A recently-released report which is critical of confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) has livestock industry groups concerned about the report’s impact on the normal operations of animal agriculture in today’s price-competitive world. The report, a result of a two-and-a-half year study conducted by the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production (PCIFAP), takes issue with CAFOs in several different areas, including public health, environment, animal welfare and the quality of life in rural America.
The end of CAFOs would mean a drastic change in the methods and costs involved with livestock production, including aspects of the cattle industry which rely on feed yards to finish cattle prior to slaughter. The beef industry, however, is a lesser target than are the chicken, pork and dairy industries due to the nature of cow/calf operations and the natural environments in which most herds live.
Putting Distillers Grains On The Menu
Probably too much too soon has been written about distillers grains, the suddenly available coproducts of the recent huge increase in ethanol production. Separating fact from fiction – the wheat from the chaff to bruise a metaphor – is almost impossible.
Does adding DDG’s to your feed rations increase the likelihood that you’ll see a higher rate of E. coli O157:H7 according to reports widely circulated by the popular press? The Kansas State University research that led to a thousand news stories was probably flawed. Later research at K State and the University of Nebraska couldn’t repeat the finding.
So at least at the levels currently being fed in the industry today, let’s call that story a case of misinformation released too early.
Limestone LLC Donates 2009 Angus Foundation Heifer
The Angus Foundation announced that Chris McCutchen, owner of Limestone LLC, Perkins, Okla., will donate the 2009 Angus Foundation Heifer, set to sell at the National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colo., next January.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for Angus breeders to add outstanding Limestone genetics to their herds, while simultaneously supporting the future of the Angus breed,” Angus Foundation President Milford Jenkins says. “We are extremely grateful to the McCutchen family for their generous donation and commend their dedication to supporting education, research and the next generation of Angus breeders through the Angus Foundation.”
Reward is boosted in investigation of 10 dead cattle
The reward has been raised to $10,000 in the case of 10 dead cows in Tooele County.
State officials say Western AgCredit has pledged $1,000 and Dairy Producers of Utah has thrown in $500. The Humane Society of Utah has put up $5,000.
Carlin calls for big changes in factory farming
Kansas Gov. John Carlin heads a blue-ribbon panel that released a report strongly critical of factory farming practices.
The two-year study by the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production concluded that practices such as intensive confined animal feeding operations and widespread misuse of antibiotics pose a serious threat to human health and the environment, and sometimes fail to provide humane treatment of animals.
At the same time, factory farming shifts economic clout from farmers to corporate livestock processors.
Cattleman moves into niche, Grazing plan produces ‘ultra-natural’ beef.
If you’re taking a walk with Greg Judy around his cattle and sheep farm, be prepared to step over dung beetle castles and avoid decaying logs filled with insects.
These aren’t the signs of a lazy farmer, Judy said. They’re the signs of a healthy earth.
“There’s more livestock under the soil than there is on top. The problem is we’re killing them all with our grazing practices,” he said.
If Judy sounds like a naturalist, he’s not, at least not primarily. He’s a cattle farmer. But over the past three years he has embraced a type of “holistic” planned grazing on 1,300 acres that he owns or leases in north Boone County. The process is making him bigger profits just as it’s decreasing his impact on Mother Nature.
USDA: Chino slaugterhouse beef recall ‘not about food safety’
Orange county Register
The country’s top food safety official said late Sunday that America’s beef supply is safe.
The statement comes two days after a South Korean food official assured citizens that resuming U.S. beef imports would not bring harm to the country, which has banned American meat since 2003. South Korea suspended beef imports out fear of mad cow disease.
The speech by Dr. Richard Raymond, USDA Undersecretary for food safety, also came a day after a New York food company recalled more than 286,000 pounds of meat and poultry because it might be contaminated with the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes. The voluntary recall includes several different brands of fresh and frozen products made by Gourmet Boutique.
Livestock alert: Watch for rabies
Michael Fisher, Area Livestock Extension Agent, Golden Plains Area
In 300 B.C., the Greek philosopher Aristotle described the mode of transfer and subsequent host death for the disease that we know as rabies. In 2008, the disease is still an issue and has recently been a problem in the Golden Plains of Colorado.
It is believed that any warm-blooded animal that comes into direct contact with the rabies virus has the potential of contracting the disease. However, some species are more susceptible to the disease than others. Researchers have listed the top five susceptible species as the fox, skunk, cattle, dogs, and cats.
Cattle Producers Gather For Va. Beef Expo
According to Bill McKinnon, manager of the Virginia Beef Exposition, “The best thing for beef producers is just to get together. We do like to commiserate a little bit,” he confessed, but said producers mainly share ideas.
And given the recent dry conditions along with the spiraling corn, fuel and fertilizer prices, sharing with each other what forages and feeds they use for their cattle is very helpful.