New Self-Assessment Tool for Beef Quality Assurance
Farmers are ranchers have a new tool for assessing their Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program. A checklist can be a fast and easy way to evaluate how you are doing with your BQA program. Thanks to funds contributed by the Cattlemen’s Beef Board from checkoff funds, “Quality Assurance Cattle Handling Practices, Procedures, and Facilities Evaluation: A Farm and Ranch Producer Evaluation” has been created.
This assessment tool deals with: Farm Facilities, Biosecurity, Cattle Corrals, Administration of Health Products, Stocker/Backgrounder & Feedlot Management, Cow/Calf BQA, Feedstuffs, Pesticides & Chemical Records, and Transportation.
USAHA recommends mandatory ID for cattle breeding herd
by Peter Shinn
The National Assembly of the U.S. Animal Health Association (USAHA) this week approved a resolution recommending national animal identification become mandatory for the U.S. cattle breeding herd. The USAHA’s Livestock Identification Committee approved a similar resolution as well. That’s according to Dr. Sam Holland, state veterinarian for South Dakota, who attended the Association’s annual meeting in Minneapolis.
“For animal health reasons, I think animal health officials at the state levels and many of those at the national level, and industry also, see it being mandatory to be effective,” Holland told Brownfield. “In fact, we passed a recommendation here out of the National Assembly that we recommend that we look very strongly and very quickly at instituting mandatory identification, and start with the segment, just one segment, of the breeding herd,” he added. “That also passed out of the ID Committee also, a resolution to that effect.”
Holland says USAHA is less concerned about bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) relative to animal ID and animal health, and much more worried about contagious cattle diseases like bovine tuberculosis, brucellosis and foot-and-mouth disease. “We really need to protect out industry that we see as growing in vulnerability to recurrence of some of the traditional diseases,” Holland said.
Smithfield and ContiGroup to Build New Beef Processing Plant
Smithfield Beef Group, Inc. and ContiGroup Companies, Inc. today announced an agreement in principle to form a 50/50 joint venture to build a new, state-of-the-art beef processing plant in Texas County, Oklahoma, that will create 2,500 to 3,000 jobs.
Construction of the plant, which will be the first of its size in more than 20 years in the United States, is expected to begin in January 2007, with completion scheduled for mid-2008. The parties plan to equip the new 650,000- square-foot facility with the most efficient and state-of-the-art operational and food-safety processes in the industry. Cost of the project is estimated to be approximately $200 million.
The Texas County plant is expected to process 5,000 head per day at full capacity. The new facility will likely draw employees from nearby communities.
“We reviewed more than 30 potential locations in five states, met with local economic development and agricultural leaders, and visited a short list of ten potential sites before deciding that Texas County is ideally suited for our new facility,” said Richard V. Vesta, president and chief executive officer of Smithfield Beef Group.
Deadline for Livestock Assistance Grant Program nears
by Peter Shinn
The deadline to sign-up for the Livestock Assistance Grant Program (LAGP) is October 25th, and cattle groups and state officials are urging producers to apply. USDA provided $50 million in emergency Section 32 funds, divided between drought-affected states, to create the LAGP in late August.
Nebraska Cattlemen Executive Vice President Mike Kelsey told Brownfield that because of the way the program works, the more producers sign-up, the less each gets, because benefits will be paid from a fixed pool of money from the Section 32 funds provided by USDA. But Kelsey said all livestock producers hard-hit by drought should still apply. He said if they don’t, Congress will get the wrong message as it contemplates providing drought aid when it returns for a lame-duck session after the November elections.
“If we don’t have a producers that apply, and so we have a low turnout, then the next time we go and say, ‘We need some help,’ they’re going to go back and look at previous records and say, ‘Well, look, you said it was this bad at this point and time; you didn’t have any producers apply, so it must not have been too bad,'” said Kelsey. “‘It’s going to be real difficult for us to justify getting you some money.'”
Cattle futures take ballistic ride
Akron Farm Report
It was like the arc of a skyrocket. The futures contract for live cattle delivery last week soared toward $95 a hundredweight. Then it floated downward, trading at $84.45 by midday.
Like few other signals in the post-BSE marketplace, the brief rise signaled the volatility that persists since what’s commonly called mad cow disease was confirmed in Canada, then in the United States, in 2003.
Futures traders did their big adjustments, apparently concluding that while this price rally is on solid ground, the future isn’t so clear.
Abingdon teen on state judging team
Attending college on livestock judging scholarship
By JOANIE STIERS
GALESBURG – Ryan Malone spends three nights a week and his weekends looking at livestock.
It’s no wonder he is one of the best young livestock judges in Illinois.
Malone, an Abingdon teen, is one of five members of the 2006 Illinois 4-H Livestock Judging Team.
Food From Cloned Animals Could Hit Supermarket Shelves
Some Consumer Groups Are Outraged
The Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday it was moving closer to approving meat and milk from cloned animals, and some consumer groups are outraged.
Although it sounds like science fiction, in the very near future, milk and meat from cloned animals could be as close as the corner store.
Since Dolly the sheep, the first mammal to be successfully cloned from an adult cell, sheep, cows and pigs have been cloned for research and breeding.
“We are not convinced that this is safe food,” said Jaydee Hanson, program director for the Center for Food Safety. “We haven’t seen the facts that would convince us.”