Livestock ID program intended to track disease
Producers worry about cost of national system.
By SHAWNA RICHTER
Should mad cow disease or Avian flu find its way to a Des Moines County livestock herd, the disease could spread to 24 states within five days, said Byron Leu, Iowa State University Extension center livestock field specialist.
Within a month, he said, the disease could spread to 40 states.
And that’s under normal livestock movement.
While the odds are slim of that happening (the last large–scale outbreak was Newcastle disease in 2002), the U.S. Department of Agriculture and National Institute of Animal Agriculture have been working the past four years on a national animal identification system. The idea is to prevent the spread of disease, whether it occurs naturally or by bio–terrorists.
Bo Derek’s Washington Roundup
The Equine Activist Takes A Horsemeat Head Count
By Linton Weeks
Washington Post Staff Writer
For stallion tartare, mash together five ounces of minced USDA-inspected lean horsemeat with an egg yolk, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Flatten one side of the ball to position it on a plate. Pop some parsley, red onion and capers on top. Serve with tomato ketchup and olive oil. And, voila , that’s one way they do it in Paris.
But if actress-turned-activist Bo Derek can turn enough heads — and change enough minds — the French won’t be eating horsemeat imported from the United States anymore. Neither will the Belgians, the Italians, the Japanese or anyone else for that matter.
R.I. foundation collects sperm, embryos of endangered livestock
WLNE-TV. Providence (RI)
A Tufts University veterinarian says his foundation is producing the Library of Congress of cow genes.
Doctor George Saperstein is the top scientist at S-V-F Foundation which is collecting sperm, fertilized embryos, blood and tissue from cattle to preserve breeds.
Charley Reese: We’d better value farmers and ranchers
Enterprise Journal (MS)
Throughout most of what we call the Stone Age, human beings were hunters and gatherers.
One day, someone figured out that if you planted the seeds of wild grain and watered them, you wouldn’t have to go searching for them. That person was the human race’s first farmer and the founder of agriculture. About the same time, another bright person thought that if you pen up the animals, you’d have dinner on the hoof at your doorstep. That was the human race’s first cattleman and the founder of the ranching business.
Together, the farmer and the cattleman created civilization. Even today, the farmer and the cattleman are the foundation of our own civilization. That’s because, as Lin Yutang, a brilliant Chinese writer, once put it, “Man is born with a bottomless hole called a stomach that he must try to fill every day.”
Web site identifies resources for animal ID mandate
Lansing State Journal (MI)
EAST LANSING — Beef and dairy producers have a new source for important information about Michigan’s animal identification program – http://www.michigananimalid.com.
Launched this summer by the Michigan Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Education Task Force, the Web site offers a convenient, all-inclusive resource for farmers to learn about the Michigan animal identification program and take the steps necessary to bring their operations into compliance.
The task force is a partnership between Michigan State University (MSU) Extension, the Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA), Michigan Farm Bureau (MFB), the Michigan Cattlemen’s Association and the Michigan Milk Producers Association. Their goal is to assist Michigan livestock producers in implementing mandatory RFID by the March 1, 2007 deadline.
ALABAMA VOICES: AU veterinary school committed to proper care
By Timothy Boosinger
Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine is recognized around the nation for producing outstanding veterinarians and providing compassionate care for about 15,000 animals each year. Established in 1892, the college is the oldest in the South, and its award-winning work in small animal care, cancer and parasite treatment, neurosurgery and many other areas is enhancing veterinary medicine and leading to better lives for our pets and animals.
BeefTalk: The Future of Beef
By Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist
NDSU Extension Service
Recently, a notice of a notice of a notice popped up in my e-mail that caught my attention. The forward was noting a recent issue of an electronic journal by the American Agricultural Economics Association.
The discussion in the “Choices” journal (Volume 21, No. 3, 2006, http://www.choicesmagazine.org) focused on the future of animal agriculture. Sometimes news is hard to grasp without avoiding excessive repetition, but the beef cow is an animal and the future of the beef cow is certainly at the heart of all that we do. Sharing some of the findings of this group will be the topic of this and future BeefTalk articles.
At Your Service
Story & photos by Miranda Reiman
Surrounded by the Wildcat Bluffs and miles of grassland, Gary Darnall’s grandfather “proved up” in western Nebraska. That was 1892, and the cattle family has been there ever since. Roots in the cow-calf industry spurred their interest in feeding cattle.
“We’re a family operation,” says Gary, who manages the 20,000-head Darnall Feedlot with his son, Lane. “We’ve been here through the years and we enjoy what we’re doing.”
Breed Association Sponsored Commercial Marketing Programs
Producers can choose from a wide variety of commercial calf marketing programs. Many of the major beef breed associations in the U.S. promote the use of their breed’s genetics by providing marketing programs for commercial producers. By catering to the needs of commercial customers, breed associations position themselves to improve the demand for their bulls and females.
State-Inspected Meat Measure Introduced
U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO) has introduced the “New Markets for State-Inspected Meat and Poultry Act of 2006,” which would allow interstate shipment of state-inspected meat and poultry. In his introduction, Blunt said, “There are 2,000 state-inspected meat processors — 31 of them in Missouri — that are prevented from competing in the national marketplaces.
Serving The Underserved?
By Doug Perkins
Mainstream beef producers traditionally have looked at natural and organic beef as relatives no one wants to claim — the black sheep with strange sounding names that cause consumers to rethink their purchasing decisions.
But it’s time to revisit this position. These former “outsiders” could be doing the industry a favor by broadening beef’s appeal, and bringing in big numbers of underserved consumers willing to pay more for beef qualities they consider important. Those qualities include no, or limited use of, hormones and antibiotics, and documented animal-welfare practices.
Farm to Fork
Meat merchandisers witness birth to harvest during cattle industry tour.
In April, 16 representatives from The Fresh Market, neighborhood specialty grocer, enjoyed a Certified Hereford Beef (CHB) LLC sponsored tour of Western Kansas, which highlighted the CHB® farm-to-fork process. Tour participants visited National Beef Packing Co. LLC’s Dodge City packing plant, Ford County Feedlot and Sandhill Farms, Haviland. The Hereford Verified program was demonstrated throughout the tour.