Monthly Archives: December 2006

FDA Says Clones Are Safe To Eat

FDA Says Clones Are Safe To Eat

Voluntary Ban On Food Sale Still in Effect

By Rick Weiss

Washington Post Staff Writer

Taking a long-awaited stand in an emotionally fraught food fight, the Food and Drug Administration yesterday released a 678-page analysis concluding that milk and meat from cloned animals pose no unique risks to consumers.

The decision, subject to change after a period of public comment, stops short of approving the sale of food from clones and leaves in place for now a long-standing government request that farmers keep their clones off the market.


BeefTalk: The Future – Proven Bulls

BeefTalk: The Future – Proven Bulls

By Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist

NDSU Extension Service

There is nothing more relevant or futuristic in the beef business than a good discussion about buying bulls. This involves a process of selection that impacts the foundation of individual beef herds and the essence of the beef industry. As the discussion deepens, the concept of proven bulls has to evolve.

The result of purchasing semen from bulls that have proven themselves as being quality bulls is easily evident within producer herds. A bigger issue — that the beef raised and made available to the consumer must be of the highest quality — is absolutely critical.

Proven bulls, not just bulls, are the key ingredient. Proven bulls ensure that the right pieces are in the mix to allow management to fine-tune the ultimate product, beef. The industry’s reputation and future depend on these bulls.


Poor Temperament Adversely Affected Performance & Profit

Poor Temperament Adversely Affected Performance & Profit

Mississippi State Univ. researchers used a total of 210 feeder cattle consigned by 19 producers in a “Farm to Feedlot” program to evaluate the effect of temperament on performance, carcass characteristics, and net profit. Temperament was scored on a 1 to 5 scale (1=nonaggressive, docile 5=very aggressive, excitable). Three measurements were used: pen score, chute score, and exit velocity. Measurements were taken on the day of shipment to the feedlot. Following is a summary of results.


Winter Storm To Stress Western Plains Cattle

Winter Storm To Stress Western Plains Cattle

KANSAS CITY (Dow Jones)–The winter storm now developing in Colorado will add stress to feedlot cattle in the west central Plains, but defining the boundary for the worst of the storm is hard to do at this point, said meteorologists and cattle traders Thursday.

The storm comes a week after the last blizzard, which dumped up to two feet or more of snow on parts of Denver and eastern Colorado. Rain and snow also hit parts of the Texas Panhandle and southern Kansas.

Feedlot cattle endured rain and sometimes ice and snow from the storm directly, and then they had to deal with muddy feedlot conditions, feeders, brokers and market analysts said. Warm weather the last few days has allowed feedlot managers to scrape pens and generally get caught up with maintenance, but some of the cattle are just now getting over the health issues related to the wet pens.


Korea threatens total ban on U.S. beef

Korea threatens total ban on U.S. beef

South Korean lawmakers are reportedly threatening to ban all U.S. beef imports.

A South Korean parliamentary committee is threatening to completely ban imports of U.S. beef if Washington continues to demand Seoul ease its quarantine inspection regulations, according to an Asia Pulse news report.

South Korean officials have rejected all three U.S. beef shipments sent since Korea agreed to end a three year ban on U.S. beef imports.


Forage short course set

Forage short course set

Baxter Bulletin (MO)

A forage short course is set for livestock producers in Baxter, Boone, Marion and Searcy counties from 6-8:30 p.m. Jan. 9 and Jan. 16 at the Fred Berry Conservation Education Center in Yellville.

Space is limited and pre-registration is required.

The forage short course is designed as a two-night study on specific forage management issues.


Four State Beef Conference includes stop near Lewis

Four State Beef Conference includes stop near Lewis

By Jennifer Nichols, Atlantic News Telegraph

The 23rd Annual Four-State Beef Conference will include stop at the Iowa State University (ISU) Armstrong Research Farm near Lewis. According to a press release, the conference, which also includes stops in Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska, will be at the Armstrong Research Farm on Thursday, Jan. 11 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

“The Four-State Beef Conferences are designed to give beef cattle producers in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska an annual update on current cow-calf and stocker topics,” officials wrote in the press release about the event. “The conferences provide a forum of Extension Specialists from four of the USA’s leading beef cattle land grant universities. Sessions are also being held in Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri.”


‘Clone-Free’ Food Labels on Horizon?

‘Clone-Free’ Food Labels on Horizon?

By Libby Quaid

700 Club

Associated Press — WASHINGTON — Meat and milk from cloned animals may not appear in supermarkets for years despite being deemed by the government as safe to eat. But don’t be surprised if “clone-free” labels appear sooner.

Ben & Jerry’s, for one, wants consumers to know that its ice cream comes from regular cows and not clones. The Ben & Jerry’s label already says its farmers don’t use bovine growth hormone.

“We want to make sure people are confident with what’s in our pints,” company spokesman Rob Michalak said. “We haven’t yet landed on exactly how we want to express that publicly.”

For food that does come from clones, the Food and Drug Administration is unlikely to require labels, officials said.


Cloned animal products receive FDA approval

Cloned animal products receive FDA approval


Dec 28, 2006 – The practice of cloning animals has been largely debated ever since the now infamous sheep Dolly was cloned ten years ago. On Thursday, the FDA took that debate to new levels with the declaration that food from cloned animals is safe to eat.

The agency released the conclusion after years of study, saying the meat and milk products from cloned cattle, pigs and goats are safe to serve in restaurants and sell in grocery stores.


Cloning: Q&A

Cloning: Q&A

Are cloned meat and milk safe?

London Times (UK)

Yes. There are no reasons to believe that meat or milk from cloned animals are unsafe to eat. Studies have shown no meaningful differences except, perhaps, in the right direction. Beef from cloned cattle, for example, shows better marbling of fat and lean — a desirable feature — because the clones were made from prize animals that themselves had this quality.


FDA Ruling Could Boost Texas Biotech Firm

FDA Ruling Could Boost Texas Biotech Firm

By Renuka Rayasam

US News and World Report

At a Texas ranch run by a biotechnology company, a dozen brown-and-white longhorn calves frolic in a fenced-off plot dotted with yellow wildflowers. The playful 2-week-old babies nudge one another and run together. If the calves seem unusually close, it’s because they are. All clones of one show champion longhorn, they share the exact same DNA but were borne by 12 different surrogate cows.


Madison Co. ag center planned

Madison Co. ag center planned

20 acres purchased for facility across from MCMS, MCHS (GA)


It’s long been a dream in Madison County’s farming community to open an agricultural center, a place where young and old can learn about livestock, rural living and the land.

That may soon be a reality, not just a dream.

Plans are under way to open a privately-funded $2 million agricultural center across from the high school and middle school in Danielsville sometime in the next few years. And the property for that center is now secured.

Three Madison County agricultural organizations — the Farm Bureau, the Cattlemen’s Association and the Young Farmers’ Association — have joined hands to purchase a plot of land across from the high school and middle school for an ag center.

That deal was closed last week, with the three ag organizations buying just over 20 acres of land adjacent to the school sports complex from property owner William T. Meadow for roughly $160,000.

The proposed center will include a 20,000 to 25,000-square-foot ag facility, which will include an indoor livestock arena, classrooms and kitchen and dining area. There will also be “outdoor classrooms” where youth can learn about environmental science, horticulture, forestry and wildlife.


Temple Grandin Turned a Disability Into an Asset for Animals

Temple Grandin Turned a Disability Into an Asset for Animals

Voice of America

By Brian Larson

Greeley, Colorado

“There’s no way I would not want to be autistic,” Temple Grandin asserts. “That’s who I am.” When she talks about her autism, a common mental development disorder, she likens it to the number of Internet connections in a large office building. Some departments have extra cables running to the brain, she says, while others do not. She concludes, “I got hooked up sort of in the logic department and visual thinking department and I like the way I think. I like my very clear, logical, visual kinds of thinking.”


State Ag director leaves post

State Ag director leaves post

Bucyrus Telegraph Forum

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The state’s longest-serving agriculture director made great strides in raising the department’s profile but has a mixed record in keeping farms from harming the environment, supporters and critics say.

Fred Dailey, 61, is leaving the Agriculture Department after 16 years when Democrat Ted Strickland takes over as governor on Jan. 8. Gov. George Voinovich, a Republican, hired him in 1991.

He had served as Indiana’s agriculture director and worked for the Ohio Beef Council and the Ohio Cattleman’s Association. Voinovich’s successor, Republican Bob Taft, signed him up for another eight years in 1998.


Prices paid to some ag producers up, costs up for all

Prices paid to some ag producers up, costs up for all

Brownfield Network

by Peter Shinn

USDA said Thursday the average farm-gate price for all products rose by .08% in December, lifted by a 5.5% increase in feed grains and hay prices from the prior month, and held back by a 3.5% decrease in the value of livestock for meat compared to November.

Gains in the value of feed grains and hay were even more dramatic when compared to December of 2005. USDA said, on an indexed basis, prices paid for feed grains and hay were up 50% year-on-year. On the other hand, losses for meat animals were also significant compared to last year, down nearly 10% from December of 2005.


Stay In The Black

Stay In The Black

The top 11 ways NOT to spend your money.

by By Karl Wolfshohl

Progressive Farmer

Fabulous calf prices can make beef herds appear well managed the way a rising stock market creates brilliant investors out of mutual fund owners. But really doing things right never goes out of style, especially when it adds profit.

What is right, though? Decades of state cattle short courses and thousands of magazine articles have explained what you should do. So it might be easier to point out things that are commonly done but have no payback or a negative one. Even experienced cattlemen make mistakes.

Dr. Steve Wikse, a Texas A&M University veterinarian, has noticed money wasted as he and other pros have helped herds in A&M’ s Beef Partnership in Extension Program. He also spotted some management don’ ts when he ran his own private practice in northern California. Here are 11 mistakes that Wikse, forage specialists and animal scientists rank at the top of the list:


Cues From Consumers

Cues From Consumers

By Kindra Gordon

American Cowman

What will 2007 hold for the beef industry at the retail level? No one can say for certain, but in marketing efforts, health will continue to be a big driver in positioning foods among consumers, experts say. Here are two trends that are already emerging:

Healthier Fare For Kids. Among the future generation of kid consumers, expect healthier food options from corporate giants like McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Walt Disney. Many fast-food restaurants are already offering oranges or apple slices in their kid’s meals instead of fries. And recently Disney Co. said it plans to lend its characters’ names mainly to healthful foods.

As an example, in its Disney theme parks, it will replace fries and sodas in kid’s meals with vegetables and juice. In its licensing deals, by 2009 Disney will limit portion sizes and in most cases refuse to tie its brand to foods that get more than 30% of their calories from fat, more than 10% from saturated fat or more than 10% from added sugar.

The Disney decision follows reports by scientific panels that blasted the use of cartoon characters to sell children food with low nutritional value.


Vet Advice: When to call for calving assistance

Vet Advice: When to call for calving assistance

By Mike Apley and W. Mark Hilton

American Cowman

One of the beef producer’s biggest dilemmas during calving season is when to call for assistance for a cow or heifer that is calving. As a producer, the obvious goal is to get a live calf, but there’s always that worry of “calling too soon.”

Talk to veterinarians who do a lot of beef work and you’ll quickly discover “calling too soon” is something that seldom happens. “If I was only called a few hours earlier,” is a typical response from the veterinarian who delivers a dead calf.


Cattle Update: Using Animal ID As A Marketing Tool

Cattle Update: Using Animal ID As A Marketing Tool

There continues to be debate regarding the issue of a national animal identification system. Depending upon the publication you read, animal identification might be some government plot to drive the small livestock farmer out of business, or an absolutely necessary step to insure the safety and protection of the livestock industry, or maybe something in between.

Separating fact from rumor can be a challenge. However, stepping back from some of the emotional baggage that a national animal identification system brings, I want to consider just the issue of animal identification. For most beef producers this concept by itself presents no problem. Most beef producers have some system of identifying cows and calves. Are we at a place in the market and consumer demand where animal identification could be leveraged as a marketing tool?


University of Tennessee Center Completes 2006 Bull Evaluations

University of Tennessee Center Completes 2006 Bull Evaluations

Cattle Today

The University of Tennessee Central Bull Evaluation Center tested 112 fall-born bulls, 79 of which passed the rigorous requirements to qualify for the sale to be held at the Center on January 18, 2007. The tests, which began in July, were conducted at the Middle Tennessee Research and Education Center in Spring Hill.

The on-feed test identifies a bull’s ability to gain weight rapidly from weaning to one year of age. The ability to gain rapidly is influenced by genetics and is transmitted to those bull’s future offspring thus providing commercial cow-calf producers an excellent source for superior genetics to use in their herds. Breeds included in this year’s test were Angus, Charolais, Gelbvieh and Herefords.

Two different bulls from two different purebred Angus breeders were recognized as the high-gaining bulls. Richview Angus of Lancing, Tenn., and Bill Baird Angus of Blountville, Tenn., were the co-winners. Both of these yearling bulls were sired by the same purebred Angus bull, SA Neutron 377, and both gained 5.34 pounds per day while on the 112- day gain test. The overall average daily gain for all bulls in the test was 4.08 pounds per day and the average adjusted 365 day yearling weight of all bulls was 1244 pounds.