Daily Archives: July 27, 2006

Demand for Grass-Fed Cattle Helps Ranchers Return to Their Roots

Demand for Grass-Fed Cattle Helps Ranchers Return to Their Roots

The Gazette, Colorado Springs, Colo / mycattle.com

by Debbie Kelley

Jul. 21–Great-great-grandfather was right, some ranchers are now convinced.

“A lot of what we’re trying to do goes back to the first settlers,” said Dave Pratt, chief executive officer of Ranching for Profit Schools, a northern California-based company.

Returning to the roots of the industry is helping ranchers build lucrative businesses, said Pratt, who is speaking today and Saturday at the annual conference of the American Grassfed Association at the Antlers Hilton in downtown Colorado Springs. The 260-member organization, based in Denver, supports producers of grass-fed animals of various species.

Using the methods of their forefathers makes good business sense, Pratt said.

“Most ranches are built to fight the environment, and as long as we’re fighting nature, we’ll never be profitable,” he said.

He challenges ranchers to consider changing calving and weaning times to be in accordance with nature, and to use pasture grazing as opposed to grain feeding.

“A cow is a wonderful factory that can take low-quality energy and turn it into a high-quality product. It doesn’t make sense to use high-quality energy.”


New IdentiGEN Subsidiary to Launch World’s First DNA-Based Meat Traceability System

New IdentiGEN Subsidiary to Launch World’s First DNA-Based Meat Traceability System

PR Newswire, mycattle.com

LAWRENCE, Kan. and DUBLIN, Ireland, July 26, 2006 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — IdentiGEN Ltd., a leading provider of DNA-based solutions to the agriculture and food industries in Europe, today announced the formation of a new subsidiary, IdentiGEN North America, Inc., and the hiring of Donald R. Marvin as president and chief executive officer. The new company will focus on the North American commercialization of IdentiGEN’s proprietary TraceBack(TM) DNA tracking system, which enables guaranteed verification of the source of meat products throughout the entire chain of production — from the animal of origin up through the producer, meat packer, food retailer and right to the consumer’s plate. The TraceBack system is practical and cost effective, requiring few changes in current handling or processing procedures, and it has been successfully commercialized in Ireland and other countries in Europe. IdentiGEN is now bringing its system to the U.S. and Canada, to help ensure the safety and quality of the $80 billion North American market for beef and pork.


Drought & Infertility – Find The Fertile Cattle & Sell the Rest

Drought & Infertility – Find The Fertile Cattle & Sell the Rest


Several weeks ago, as bulls were going out to pasture, an absolute requirement was fertility. Bulls incapable of settling cows are useless and with the current feed shortage, compromise the system.

Likewise, cows that fail to settle are similar. Open cows’ greatest value is salvage because they eat well, compete better and produce fat, which is not the desired product of a profitable and customer-orientated beef system.

Bulls that don’t settle cows cost money. So do cows that are not bred to calve early. Feed is short; there is no use living in denial. There is no room in the pasture for infertile cattle.

Early detection of open or later-calving cows can be a potential group of cattle to cull. Cow Herd Appraisal Performance System (CHAPS) benchmarks indicate that 6.6 percent of the cow herd is typically open and 5.4 percent of the cows typically calve very late, which is defined as 63 days after the start of the calving season.


Local Company Allegedly Imported Drugs From Mexico…

Local Company Allegedly Imported Drugs From Mexico

By Lisa Van Cise


Animal Pharmaceuticals is based in Yakima but distributes its farm supplies and livestock antibiotics nationally.

A grand jury indicted the company on 175 counts including trafficking counterfeit drugs and money laundering.

The indictment says the company bought drugs from California and Mexico and stripped the labels and expiration dates before selling them to customers.

Local cattleman David Taylor who also serves on the board of directors for the Cattle Producers of Washington, says the bigger issue now rests on the beef industry’s reputation.


Japan lifts ban on U.S. beef imports

Japan lifts ban on U.S. beef imports

Associated Press / Toronto Globe and Mail

TOKYO — Japan on Thursday announced the resumption of U.S. beef imports, ending a ban imposed in January due to concerns about mad cow disease that had strained ties with Washington.

U.S. Ambassador Thomas Schieffer immediately welcomed the move, which reopens Japan’s lucrative market to a select list of American meat exporters, saying that it resolved an issue of primary importance to the United States.

“We are pleased that Japanese auditors and officials have fou


Weather weighs heavily on cattlemen’s minds

Weather weighs heavily on cattlemen’s minds

By Bryan Painter

The Oklahoman

FLETCHER — James Birdwell, president of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association, says the pasture across the road from his house is shorter than it should be in August.

The problem with that? This is the fourth week of July. And it was even short in the spring.

So the Hereford cattle in this pasture beat a dusty trail to the side of the flatbed feed truck as a mix of corn and linseed pellets pours from the hatch of the feed bin.

The drought that brought these conditions has been a long time in the works. But Birdwell tries to explain the situation in one sentence.


Short term, heat wave may lower prices for beef

Short term, heat wave may lower prices for beef

The Wichita Eagle

Prolonged drought had already taken a toll on the pastures and fields of the Great Plains before this month’s heat wave.

Last week’s triple-digit heat and the prospect of hitting 100 degrees again this weekend has made the situation even more critical.

“We’re seeing cattle moving into the feedlots 30 to 60 days early in the northern Plains,” said John Harrington, an analyst with DTN. “All across Montana and the Dakotas, pasture is significantly below normal.”

An increase in cattle being sent to market early could, in the short term, lower beef prices for consumers. In the long term, though, it could mean an increase in prices.


Cattle working, selection demonstrations featured at Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course

Cattle working, selection demonstrations featured at Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course
By Texas A&M University
Jul 27, 2006

COLLEGE STATION – Whether a novice or veteran beef producer, there’s something of interest for everyone at the Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course, organizers said.

The short course, which takes place Aug. 7-9 at Texas A&M University in College Station, will offer 17 educational sessions.

“It’s shaping up to be one of the largest short courses ever,” said Dr. Jason Cleere, Texas Cooperative Extension beef cattle specialist and conference coordinator.

The three-day program is sponsored by Texas Cooperative Extension. Many changes and innovations are being introduced to the beef industry and this year’s program highlights many of them, said Dr. Larry Boleman, assistant deputy vice chancellor and conference director.

“One of the most exciting aspects of the short course each year is the Cattleman’s College,” Boleman said. Participants in Cattleman’s College can select from more than 60 hours of beef cattle instructional training through seminars, workshops and demonstrations taught by more than 50 different speakers this year.




by: Clifford Mitchell

New and change are words that have not been well received through the agricultural community in the past. However, in recent times, most cattlemen will readily accept something new, if it is justified from a cost standpoint. Every segment of the beef industry strives for continued improvement. The vast support group on the research end constantly works to find new ways to market products, store data and most importantly, identify tools that will help cattlemen in the selection process.

Deciding which tools that will not only help their customers, but also add to the bottom line is one of the greatest quandaries the seedstock producer faces. Simple performance figures, ultrasound, Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs) and most recently, DNA markers that identify traits underneath as well as outside the hide are the tools available to help cattlemen make genetic improvement.


Cattle Update: Junior Simmental Board Elected

Cattle Update: Junior Simmental Board Elected


BOZEMAN, MT. In recent balloting held at the American Junior Simmental Association’s (AJSA) National Classic XXVI in Madison, Wisconsin, the AJSA elected six new members and 3 incumbents to serve on its 16-member Board of Trustees.

Newly elected members to the Board include: Crystal Alley, Culver, OR, from the Western Region; Cliff Kaehler, St. Charles, MN, and Valerie Ujazdowski, Winneconne, WI, from the North Central Region; Webb Fields, Mt. Pleasant, TX, and Brittney Willis, Lebanon, OK, from the South Central Region; and Katie Linhart, Louisville, KY, from the Eastern Region. Re-elected incumbents include Megan Mavencamp, Hagerman, ID, Gary Reichel, McGirk, MO, and Aleesa Hege, Columbus, IN.


NDA Begins New Animal Identification Pilot Project

NDA Begins New Animal Identification Pilot Project


KEARNEY – Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) Director Greg Ibach today announced two new projects during a press conference at Huss Livestock. Ibach announced the start of an educational and promotional campaign called “Locate In 48” and kicked off a new animal identification pilot project associated with the State’s role in the National Animal Identification System (NAIS).