A look back – The top 10 of 1997
By Sam Gazdziak
Senior Editor, The National Provisioner
The meat industry has gone through plenty of movement in the last decade. A quick glance through the list shows a number of familiar and current names, along with plenty of companies that have long been acquired or simply went out of business.
The 1997 Top 125 report was published in May of that year. At the time, ConAgra was the largest meat processor in the country, with IBP trailing by less than $500 million. Pilgrim’s Pride had not cracked the Top 10 yet — its sales of $1.14 billion put it at #15 — though it would eventually acquire two of the companies in the top 20 — Gold Kist (#11) and WLR Foods (#17).
Hudson Foods, on the other hand, was a leading beef processor (#14 on the list) with more than $1.3 billion in sales. Not long after the 1997 Top 125 Report was published, the company would be involved in what was, at the time, the nation’s largest beef recall. It would be bought by Tyson Foods a year later.
Cattleman of the year is a government watchdog
By DAVID LESTER
A healthy dose of skepticism keeps Gene Jenkins going.
It’s what gets him up at 5 a.m. to pore over thick documents before he puts in a full day at the Longmire Lane cattle ranch he manages in the Wenas Valley.
His skepticism centers on government and government agencies. But rather than sit on the sidelines and complain, Jenkins chose to get involved. The 54-year-old rancher figures he’s in too deep to get out now.
What do I need to know about Johne’s disease in beef cattle?
Johne’s disease, pronounced YO-knees, was identified more than a century ago, yet remains a common and, sometimes, costly infectious disease of dairy cattle. Johne’s disease has also been documented in beef herds throughout the U.S. Furthermore, Johne’s disease is not limited to cattle, since it has been diagnosed in a variety of domestic and free-ranging animals, such as sheep, goats, deer, llamas, elk, and bison, and other ruminants. The infection is not limited to the U.S. as clinical Johne’s disease has been reported in almost all countries around the world.
Beef-friendly ethanol is possible
By ALAN NEWPORT
FOUR or five years ago, a small group of people in north Texas and southwest Oklahoma got a crazy idea they could turn mesquite into ethanol. And they did. Only they produced just a little bit of it, and they did it with an unusual conversion technology. Now, all the attention and tax subsidies are rewarding the basic fermentation process that produces corn ethanol and biodiesel.
FULL STORY PDF
Balancers Work in the Pasture & the Feedyard
By Lori Maude, Gelbvieh World Editor
Eric Ehresman of Mechanicsville, Iowa, has a view of the beef industry from several angles. Whether as a commercial cow-calf producer, a seedstock provider or a cattle feeder, Ehresman has seen Balancer genetics work for his program.
Ehresman was introduced to Gelbvieh genetics through a veterinarian that ran Gelbvieh-influenced cows across the road from one of the Ehresman’s pastures. “We fed those Gelbvieh-influenced calves and their performance really impressed me,” shares Eric. “I bought my first Gelbvieh bull to use in our commercial herd in 1993.”
Eric and his dad, Myron, also run a 2,000-head feedlot on the farm. They raise all of their own feedstuffs and buy calves as well as feeding out their own cattle.
By feeding out their own cattle, Eric figures out what genetics work and which ones don’t in a hurry. “A 75 percent Gelbvieh will gain really well in the feedlot, but not grade as well as we would like,” says Eric. “I like a 50 percent Gelbvieh, 50 percent Angus the best. That animal gains efficiently and still does well with Quality Grade. I’m not totally sold on feeding the 25 percent Gelbvieh, 75 percent Angus cattle. I don’t see as many pounds of performance in those steers.”
FULL STORY PDF
National Animal Identification System: How Will it Affect Cattlemen?
by Heather Smith Thomas
Part Four: The Negative Aspects of the NAIS
The great advantage America has over most other countries is personal freedom for citizens and a free market system. Government involvement in free enterprise has always been detrimental, except when it is needed to ensure consumer and workplace safety and fair competition. But the NAIS, created to protect international markets and give unfair advantage to certain players, is being forced upon us in the guise of disease prevention. We were doing a good job of that already.
Sweet Clover Poisoning – Frequently Asked Questions
Ropin’ the Web
What is sweet clover poisoning?
Sweet clover poisoning is caused when feeding moldy sweet-clover hay or silage that contains dicoumarol. Dicoumarol is a toxic compound that is produced through weathering of a normal component of sweet clover called coumarol. It is the dicoumarol that causes the sweet clover poisoning, preventing normal blood clotting and causing extensive hemorrhaging.
What causes sweet clover poisoning?
When sweet clover becomes spoiled or is improperly cured the coumarol is converted to the toxic substance dicoumarol. This toxin interferes with the metabolism and synthesis of vitamin K. Vitamin K is essential for liver function, necessary to prevent the seepage of blood from the circulatory system and to establish blood clotting. Without vitamin K, the blood will not clot properly after an injury, and this is why sweet clover poisoning is also called sweet clover bleeding disease.
Is all moldy sweet clover toxic?
Not all moldy sweet clover is toxic, and just because no mold is present or visible does not mean that the sweet clover is not toxic. Poisoning occurs less frequently in silage than in hay, and rarely occurs in animals on pasture.