Daily Archives: December 12, 2006

Young Man’s Hereford Wish Comes True

Young Man’s Hereford Wish Comes True

American Hereford Association

Chris Cummings’ wish came true on Dec. 2 as he stood in the livestock arena at the 2006 Hoosier Beef Congress in Indianapolis. This 15 year old from Union Mills, Ind., who is battling cancer, was able to show a Hereford steer at the Congress because of a wish granted by the Indiana Children’s Wish Fund.

When Chris was in Indianapolis for chemotherapy earlier in the year, Clarian North’s Center for Children’s Cancer and Blood Diseases staff presented him with the paperwork to apply for a wish, any wish. Most folks wouldn’t understand why of all the gifts he could’ve requested, Chris chose to receive and show a steer.

He explains, “I thought it’d be neat to get a steer instead of a video game or something like that. You get a real-life experience out of raising an animal.” Chris chose Hereford because he likes the look of the breed and has shown a Hereford steer before at the La Porte County Fair.

Chris tells that the Congress was a whole new experience because of its caliber, with more than 1,400 cattle exhibited. He enjoyed the event with his dad and mom, Tom and Carol, as well as his brother, Tom.

“We had a lot of fun showing,” Chris says. “I’d never shown at anything bigger than the county fair.” His brother adds, “It definitely helped Chris, and we all enjoyed it too. It took our minds off things.” The Cummings family hadn’t been able to enjoy a fun weekend together in more than a year.

In addition to the steer, the Indiana Children’s Wish Fund gave Chris an aluminum grooming chute, combs, halters and other fitting supplies to make the day complete.

Members of Chris’ community also played a large role in the success of his wish. Les Craft, a family friend and rancher in La Porte County helped acquire the Hereford steer from Larry Vukonich of Joliet, Mont. Les then broke the steer to lead. Neighbor and 4-H leader Dan Youngreen helped with clipping and grooming. More friends — Joy Griffin, Rob Fisher and Dave Ambers — helped with items like transportation and show entries. Joy also gifted a crossbred steer to Chris to add to his 4-H project, and helped him and his brother in preparation for the Congress. The family tells that Joy’s guidance helped make this first experience a memorable one for the whole crew.

When all was said and done, Chris’ steer stood sixth in its class of 11 at the Congress, and Chris stood by his side, proud of his accomplishment and grateful for those who helped him along the way. “We really appreciate the help and support,” he says.

The Hereford steer, Bob, remains at the Cummings farm, and Chris plans to show him at the county fair this summer, and possibly even at the Michigan Beef Expo.

“If people knew what the wish does for a kid, a lot more people would be donors,” Carol says. “It’s absolutely phenomenal.” She explains that when Chris found out about the wish, his chemotherapy went a lot easier, and that now Chris looks forward to feeding his steer each morning.

The Cummings would like to thank all the “wish” staff, friends, family, and their church family for their support and prayers.

Broad-spectrum Parasite Control Yields Heavier Heifers in Feedlot Trials

Broad-spectrum Parasite Control Yields Heavier Heifers in Feedlot Trials


Treating heifers with Safe-Guard® and then treating with Ivomec® yields more effective parasite control than a single treatment

DESOTO, Kan. (Dec. 8, 2006) – Broad spectrum parasite control from a treatment of a fenbendazole oral drench, like Intervet’s Safe-Guard, and a treatment of an ivermectin pour-on, such as Ivomec, provides a number of benefits according to the results of two large trials involving feedlot heifers published this year by the American Society of Animal Science in the organization’s Journal of Animal Science, a prestigious, peer-reviewed publication of research.


Sheep and Cattle Inventory Planned

Sheep and Cattle Inventory Planned

Meat News.com

UNITED STATES: The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will conduct sheep, goat and cattle surveys this winter to gather information about inventories for all states.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will conduct 2007 January sheep and goats and cattle surveys this winter to gather reliable information about inventories for all states.

Producers will be asked to report during the Dec. 29-Jan. 12 data collection period.


Purdue University receives INDOT funding to conduct study

Purdue University receives INDOT funding to conduct study

Brownfield Network

by Dave Russell

The growth in biofuels has the attention of the Indiana Department of Transportation. So much so, Dr. Wally Tyner, professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University says INDOT is funding a study by Purdue University to look into the transportation issues that come with the growth taking place in Indiana. “So we are going to try to study this whole set of transportation logistics issues and try to do a little forward planning in that area,” said Tyner.


Quality grades continue downward trend

Quality grades continue downward trend

By Donna Farris, For Lee Agri-Media / Farm and Ranch Guide

A gradual trend of declining marbling levels in beef has become more dramatic in the past 18 months, and a session during the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association Convention will delve into why and what can be done about it.

“Marbling, because of its relationship to flavor in beef, is very important,” said Larry Corah, vice president of Certified Angus Beef. “Unfortunately, we’ve seen a decline in marbling levels over the past 25 years, which has been particularly accentuated in the last 18 months.”

While the exact cause for the decline in marbling and quality is unknown, there are a number of changes in the cattle industry that could be contributing factors.


The latest buzz on beef

The latest buzz on beef


We are now getting more and better beef available in the US like grass fed, wet vs. dry aged, natural, organic, and certified humanely treated. There is more high quality Choice and Prime grades available than ever before, including some of the super high Japanese grades, like the famous and hard to get Kobe / Wagyu premium beef which comes in 12 quality grades. The finest US Prime, of which only 2% of US beef gets graded and most goes to restaurants, tops out equal to Japanese grades 4-6 .


Beef Producer University Will Focus on Professional Heifer Development

Beef Producer University Will Focus on Professional Heifer Development


Virginia Tech and Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Beef Producer University will be offered as a one day program in early February 2007. Beef Producer University locations are Wytheville, VA (February 7) and Charlottesville, VA (February 8). The topic of Professional Beef Heifer Development applies to producers of replacement beef heifers as well as producers that purchase bred heifers.

This year’s featured speaker is Dr. Patsy Houghton, President and General Manager of Heartland Cattle Company. Heartland Cattle Company, located in McCook, Nebraska, is a custom heifer development operation that has developed over 60,000 bred heifers in the past 16 years. In addition, Heartland Cattle Company conducts research on heifer reproduction and health programs for backgrounding cattle.


Scanning U.S. beef with x-rays not practical – AMI

Scanning U.S. beef with x-rays not practical – AMI

KNEB Radio

CHICAGO, Dec 8 (Reuters) – Scanning U.S. beef with x-rays in hopes of allaying South Korea’s mad-cow concerns would be costly, time consuming, and impractical, a U.S. meat industry official said on Friday.

South Korea has rejected three shipments of U.S. beef since September after x-ray scans there located small bone chips in them.

“We are not set up in our plants to x-ray product. It is a time-consuming and expensive process,” James Hodges, president of the American Meat Institute Foundation, told Reuters in a telephone interview on Friday.


Checks for USDA Livestock Assistance Grant Program on the way

Checks for USDA Livestock Assistance Grant Program on the way

Farm and Ranch Guide

The $1.8 million in funding allocated to the State of North Dakota for livestock feed assistance is being sent to livestock producers today, according to North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven.

The money was provided to the state through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Livestock Assistance Grant Program (LAGP) to distribute directly to livestock producers whose forage was adversely impacted by the 2006 drought.

“We have worked with USDA to provide this assistance,” Hoeven said. “We recognize that the money does not go far enough in helping ranchers recover from the extremely tough conditions which they experienced this past summer.


Animal Health Committee Asks USDA to Maintain Brucellosis Surveillance Program

Animal Health Committee Asks USDA to Maintain Brucellosis Surveillance Program

Billings, Mont. – Upon referral of a resolution from its Animal Health Committee – chaired by Missouri veterinarian Max Thornsberry – the R-CALF USA Board of Directors has adopted interim policy dealing with the continuance of the Brucellosis surveillance program. The organization also sent a formal letter to Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns that outlines the organization’s position.

“There is a significant problem with Brucellosis in elk and bison – particularly in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming – which is becoming a problem for independent cattle producers in those states, and potentially in adjacent states,” said Thornsberry, who also serves as R-CALF USA Vice President and Region VI Director.

The first part of the Animal Health Committee’s resolution states that R-CALF USA supports Brucellosis testing of bison in the Yellowstone Ecosystem in an effort to eradicate the disease, but Thornsberry emphasized brucellosis is not just an issue for Western states. On a recent trip to Central America, Thornsberry discovered that Brucellosis continues to be a problem for the cattle industry in those countries, as local veterinarians estimated the incidence of the disease to be above 10 percent of the population of breeding-age cattle in some areas.

“Many of those countries export cattle to Mexico, and then subsequently into the United States,” Thornsberry noted. “Border states should be quite concerned about Brucellosis, and producers in those states should support continuing Brucellosis surveillance.

“But particularly in Western states, periodic cases of Brucellosis are identified in farmers’ or ranchers’ cattle because of cross-contamination with some wildlife species, and when you come up with an individual animal with Brucellosis, that state loses its Brucellosis-free status,” Thornsberry explained. “The Brucellosis surveillance program identifies these cattle and it works. The surveillance program is functioning as it should, but the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are not taking any responsibility for the incidence of Brucellosis in wildlife. That stance is not acceptable to independent cattle producers and R-CALF members.”

“Traditionally, USDA has agency funds to assist states in conducting and maintaining a Brucellosis vaccination program, a blood-testing program at USDA-supervised livestock market facilities, and a Brucellosis surveillance program in slaughter facilities that slaughter mature breeding-age cows and bulls,” he continued. “Because a number of states currently are currently classified as Brucellosis-free – or perhaps have not identified a case of natural Brucellosis infection in several years – USDA has decided to stop Brucellosis testing and surveillance in some locations. In fact, funding for Brucellosis testing in Mississippi is scheduled to come to a halt in December, according to Mississippi State Veterinarian Jim Watson.”

Thornsberry said R-CALF USA’s Animal Health Committee holds the position that maintenance of a nationwide Brucellosis surveillance, vaccination and testing program would provide a proven, current and functional disease traceback system for cattle, without placing additional financial burdens and additional record-keeping burdens on independent cattle producers.

“The Brucellosis database system is already in place, and many states are currently involved in Brucellosis surveillance to some degree, with a well-trained class of dedicated people ready to continue administering the program,” he emphasized. “Our Animal Health Committee is simply asking USDA to continue a current program it now has plans to scrap.

Although the R-CALF USA Board of Directors recently implemented the resolution as interim policy, members will be asked to vote on the resolution next spring. Discussion of the resolution, as well, is scheduled for the Jan. 20 business session of R-CALF USA’s annual convention in Denver, slated to run Jan. 17 – 20, 2007, at the DoubleTree Hotel Denver, 3203 Quebec Street. For more information, contact R-CALF USA Membership Services Coordinator Jenni Ries at 406-252-2516.

Hay and silage require plenty of nutrients

Hay and silage require plenty of nutrients

Farm and Ranch Guide

Hay and forage production is an important part of agriculture in every state in every region of North America. Production of high-quality animal feed is a concern to many operations, including dairies, beef producers, and horse ranches. Forages are classified as either perennial or annual – cool season or warm season. In general, annual forage grasses have higher digestibility than perennials. Cool season forage quality is typically higher than warm season forage. Legumes tend to provide higher quality feed than grasses, says Dr. Robert L. Mikkelsen, western director, Potash & Phosphate Institute, Davis, Calif.


Brazil’s cattle ranchers are embracing change

Brazil‘s cattle ranchers are embracing change

By Barry Shlachter

Fort Worth Star-Telegram Staff Writer

VERA, Brazil – James King Carr De Muzio started cattle ranching later in life. But the easy-mannered 53-year-old Brazilian doctor and rancher feels as comfortable in the saddle as he does wearing surgical scrubs.

De Muzio – who says his mixed ancestry, unusual even in Brazil, includes Alabamans who joined a colony of Confederates after the Civil War on one side and a “tossed salad” Spanish-Italian-African heritage on the !other – counts himself among producers enlarging their cattle holdings as the country’s beef industry continues a seemingly insatiable growth.


Accurate delivery of phosphorus stretches fertilizer dollars

Accurate delivery of phosphorus stretches fertilizer dollars

High Plain Journal

Higher fertilizer prices are likely to continue, which is one reason why improved phosphorus use efficiency is critical in obtaining higher yields and profitability.

Growing strong crops isn’t all that different from growing a strong body. It requires proper nutrition, as well as the proper delivery of those nutrients, but one difficulty that has long plagued farmers is how to make sure their crops have available the phosphorus-fertilizer they need.

One Missouri company has developed a product that, using sound and proven science, helps phosphorus be more available to the crop and therefore improve yield potential.