Semen storage and handling for A.I.
By Joseph C. Dalton, Caldwell Research & Ext. Center, University of Idaho
Artificial insemination is an efficient and cost-effective strategy to improve the genetics and reproductive performance of a herd. Reputable commercial AI studs and custom semen collection businesses, through stringent collection, processing and quality control, provide a highly fertile product to their customers. When semen is purchased and transferred to the producer’s or professional AI technician’s liquid nitrogen refrigerator, the maintenance of male fertility is in the hands of the producer, farm employees, and AI technicians.
In order to realize the maximal potential fertility within straws of frozen semen, the liquid nitrogen refrigerator must be managed properly. The liquid nitrogen refrigerator consists of a “tank within a tank,” with insulation under vacuum between the inner and outer tanks. Liquid nitrogen refrigerators should be stored in a clean, dry area, preferably on a wood stand to avoid possible corrosion (due to contact with wet or damp concrete).
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Ranch Employees are a Forgotten Resource
by: Eric Grant
Several decades ago, Burke Teichert learned a powerful lesson about managing people.
Hired by Harold Schmidt, a California-based veterinarian and self-made millionaire, Teichert was called into his office and asked to carry out a specific assignment.
“Burke, I want you to look into this,” Schmidt said, “and I need it back in three weeks.”
Teichert, who had grown up working on his Wyoming ranch for his micro-managing father, wasn’t accustomed to such “management” generalities. He was used to structure, and felt a pinch for more information before he began the task at hand.
Josh Chrisman travels highways and byways in promotional vehicle
By Marcia Schlegelmilch
MCCOOL — At first glance, it’s a mini-van, just like any other traveling down the highway. At second glance it’s not … it’s the Beefmobile and it is being piloted by McCool Junction’s own Josh Chrisman.
Chrisman, a 2005 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, holds a bachelor’s degree in agriculture, leadership, education and communication. The 25-year-old is putting everything he has learned to good use as a wrangler for the beef checkoff program operated through the Cattlemen’s Beef Board.
The Cattlemen’s Beef Board is comprised of cattle producers and importers who direct the national beef checkoff program, with oversight from USDA. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) is a contractor of Checkoff dollars used for beef promotion and research efforts on behalf of the Beef Board.
NCBA official seeking input on checkoff hike
By Robert Pore
Since 1985, the national beef checkoff program has been collecting a $1 per head fee on each head of cattle sold.
The checkoff program has helped expand beef sales and fund important research programs that are beneficial to both producers and consumers.
According to Terry Stokes, CEO of the National Cattlemen Beef Association, while his organization hasn’t endorsed any proposal that would increase the checkoff, he is traveling around the country, seeking input from cattle producers about any possible checkoff increase.
Ranchers: Checkoff should support USA beef
North Platte Bulleting
Recently, Terry Stokes, CEO of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and Michael Kelsey, the CEO of the Nebraska Cattlemen, toured the state trying to drum up support for a 100-percent increase in the Beef Checkoff.
At every stop and press opportunity, they claimed that any such increase would be driven by producers, who would then have a chance to ratify it with a vote.
Well, Mr. Stokes and Mr. Kelsey, let’s take a look at how 8,000 beef producers voted in a recent survey conducted by the Gallup organization under the direction of the USDA and the Livestock Marketing Association:
· Only 5.7 percent said the Checkoff should be increased; 91 percent of the respondents said it should remain at $1 (per head) or be decreased.
· 92 percent said Checkoff dollars should be used to promote products from cattle specifically born and raised in the U. S. Under current rules beef can only be promoted as a generic product, with no regard to its origin.
Identify Your Calf Market, Then Add The Value
For all the opportunities that come with value-added markets, they can be the tail wagging the proverbial fleabag if you lose sight of the core product while focusing on the extras some buyers are enamored with some of the time.
Far as that goes, it’s still too easy trying to market what you have to sell, rather than identifying markets and demands before building the product.
“Do the marketing first and the production second. Know where and how you will sell the calves you intend to produce, and maybe even who you’ll sell them to. Then go back and create the calves that market wants in a way that makes economic sense to you,” advises Bill Mies, beef management consultant to Elanco Animal Health’s Global Beef Management Group.
Cattle Preconditioning Combined With A Marketing Plan Can Increase Calf Returns
There are several different marketing opportunities available to Kansas cattle producers which will pay premiums for preconditioned calves. If you have good quality calves to start with, this is a way to add value and increase your bottom line. To take advantage of those markets, now is the time to begin making preparations.
First of all, we need to define preconditioning. Some producers think they have preconditioned a set of calves if they gave a 7-way blackleg and/or respiratory vaccination at branding or turnout time. However, those buyers who are willing to pay a premium are not looking for a calf that is advertised as having had “all its shots”, but for a comprehensively-managed calf that is expected to have minimal health problems once it enters the feedlot.