South Dakota Mulls New Definition of Animal Torture
Jodie Hickman, Executive Director, SDCA
South Dakota Cattlemen’s Legislative Blog
SDCA joined many other livestock groups in opposing HB 1146 which proposed to implement a new definition for animal torture and make animal torture a Class 6 felony. To be clear – SDCA doesn’t condone animal torture. However, we opposed HB 1146 primarily due to concerns about how normal livestock production practices, such as castration and de-horning, might be interpreted under the proposed definition of torture. We believe the state’s existing statutes are appropriate to address the minimal problems with animal abuse in SD and, fortunately, the House Judiciary Committee agreed when they sent HB 1146 to the 41st day on a vote of 12-0 (with one member absent). Livestock producers had additional concerns with HB 1146 because its language was similar to language proposed last summer by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) – the same group responsible for banning horse slaughter in the United States. HSUS has publicly stated their goal is to end animal agriculture in the U.S. and SDCA resisted the passage of HB 1146 in hopes it would discourage this activist group from trying to establish state laws that would be detrimental to the livestock industry.
Vitamin A’s Impact on Quality Grades
Southern Livestock Standard
What child hasn’t been told to eat his or her carrots, because they promote good eyesight? It’s true of foods containing carotenes and carotenoids which are precursors of Vitamin A. Students of animal science learn early that Vitamin A may be of most practical importance to ruminant nutrition for other reasons too. Vitamin A is essential to normal growth, reproduction and maintenance. It plays a big role in the utilization of other nutrients. But levels of Vitamin A in the diets of finishing cattle may also influence carcass quality grade.
Conquering calving season
Tri State Livestock News
There is nothing quite like a group of healthy baby calves running around a grassy pasture, while their nurturing mothers call after them. However, it’s no secret to ranchers that this idealistic vision of a smooth calving season doesn’t come without intensive labor and great management skills. Whether an operation calves in early winter, mid-spring or the fall, Mike Patrick, DVM, has several management practices for producers to keep in mind.
BQA award winners announced
Two producers were named the 2009 Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Award winners for their exceptional day-to-day focus on quality, safety and wholesomeness. Anne Burkholder of Will Feed Inc. in Cozad, Neb., and Jim Docheff of Diamond D Dairy in Longmont, Colo., were honored at the 2009 Cattle Industry Convention. Funded in part by the Beef Checkoff Program, the BQA Awards program is also supported by Safeway, on behalf of its Rancher’s Reserve® beef brand, and Cargill.
Treating and preventing bull injuries
Last month I wrote about developing yearling bulls and some of the injuries that can be a concern when dealing with bulls. I would like to continue to emphasize bull management and other injuries that can limit a bull’s ability to breed cows. Because bulls are large and aggressive, it is not uncommon for bulls to have foot and leg injuries due to mounting activities or fighting with other bulls. In addition, bulls are susceptible to injuries of the penis, testicles and other organs of the reproductive tract.
Do COOL Plans Defy Obama’s Message?
Just as President Barack Obama works to assure the Canadian government the U.S. wants to maintain a strong trade relationship with the country – some farm lobbyists say a proposal for unofficial changes to country-of-origin labeling laws could revive a cattle trade dispute between the two nations. While Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack did not unveil details of the final COOL rule as planned Wednesday – a U.S. farm lobbyist told Reuters the damage is done – increasing frictions just in time for the President’s meeting in Canada.
Beef Processing Plant
More possible marketing opportunities for our beef producers.
FK Partner’s USA is looking at developing a beef slaughter facility in our state.
FK is owned by a Korean Company, but is registered in North Dakota.
How Meat Contributes to Global Warming
Producing beef for the table has a surprising environmental cost: it releases prodigious amounts of heat-trapping greenhouse gases
Pound for pound, beef production generates greenhouse gases that contribute more than 13 times as much to global warming as do the gases emitted from producing chicken. For potatoes, the multiplier is 57.
David Burton: Project looks at viability of ethanol co-product
Springfield News Leader
A joint project designed to evaluate the distribution and feeding of the ethanol co-product dried distillers grains got under way Jan. 26 at Whitehead’s Farm Supply in La Russell.
The effort is led by the Missouri Corn Merchandising Council and the University of Missouri Extension Commercial Agriculture Program. Both received a USDA Value-Added Producer Grant to learn about the likes and dislikes of Missouri farmers when it comes to supplementing beef cattle in the state.
Colorado ranchers pray for death of ‘death’ tax
International Herald Tribune
For Dale Allee, a second-generation cattle rancher in southern Colorado, the idiom that nothing is certain but death and taxes is now a reality.
“I just turned 80 last week. You know what that means? That means I’m not going to be around here very long, and somebody’s going to have to pay those taxes,” said Allee, who fears federal estate taxes will thwart his plans to pass his 4,200-acre Pueblo County ranch to his children.
Niman Ranch founder challenges new owners
San Francisco Chronicle
Bill Niman built a $65 million empire on a simple idea that revolutionized the food world – that meat could be more than just what’s for dinner. It could be raised naturally, humanely and sustainably, better for people and the planet. Niman knew success would take time, but believed his methods would prove profitable.
Cattle rendering firms gear up for new FDA rule
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Cattle rendering businesses in southwestern Minnesota are getting ready for a new Food and Drug Administration rule aimed at preventing mad cow disease from reaching the food supply.
UT bull sale offers beef management lessons
By Ginger Trice
Southeast Farm press
The quick twang of the auctioneer fills the room, but all eyes are on the 1,600-pound Black Angus bull that just entered the sale barn.
As he struts and snorts in the center ring, bids begin to fly from all directions. The auctioneer’s voice rising right along with the bids, getting stronger with each jump in price, until in a final frenzy he shouts, “Sold!”
JBS, National Beef call off deal
A beef industry buyout that regulators were trying to block on antitrust grounds has been called off.
National Beef Packing Co., the fourth-largest U.S. beef processor, said Friday that its sale to Brazilian beef producer JBS S.A. has been dropped.
JBS, the world’s largest beef packer and the third-largest in the U.S., said last March that it would acquire Kansas City, Mo.-based National Beef in a $560 million stock-and-cash transaction.
Treat ’em right
As director of Kansas State University’s Beef Cattle Institute, veterinarian Dan Thomson has a bully pulpit, and he’s using it to deliver a serious message about animal welfare. Here’s the short version: Let’s be proactive and make sure we get our act together.