Daily Archives: September 11, 2007

Fred Johnson Jr., Angus Breeder, Innovator Passes

Fred Johnson Jr., Angus Breeder, Innovator Passes

Morning Journal and News

SALEM — Fred H. Johnson Jr., 91, passed away on Sept. 6, 2007, at his home in Summitville, Ohio, from complications of cancer. He was surrounded by his wife and family. Born in Clearfield, Penn., on March 26, 1916, the son of Frederick and Ethel (Carthcart) Johnson, he moved to Summitville, Ohio, with his parents in 1921 and resided there for most of his life.

After retiring, Mr. Johnson dedicated his full energies to the family cattle operations, Summitcrest Farms, which he established in 1949. With cattle breeding operations in Ohio, Iowa and Nebraska, and a genetics company in Montana, Summitcrest’s champion breeding cattle have developed into a brand recognized around the world.

Mr. Johnson was a past director of the American Angus Association, a past president of the Ohio Angus Association and a past chairman of the Ohio Beef Council. In 1985, he was appointed by Secretary of Agriculture Stewart Ling to the National Beef Promotion and Research Board where he was elected its first treasurer and was subsequently named chairman of the board.

In 1978, Mr. Johnson helped found Certified Angus Beef and was chairman of that program for its first six years. Certified Angus Beef is the largest and most successful branded-beef program in the world, with current annual worldwide sales of well over 500 million pounds.

In 1989, Mr. Johnson was inducted into the American Angus Heritage Foundation Hall of Fame and the Ohio Agriculture Hall of Fame. The 29th All-American Futurity was dedicated to Mr. Johnson. And in 1990, Angus News named him the Man of the Decade. The Beef Improvement Federation named him Seedstock Producer of the year for 1989.


Online Guest Book

Talking The Game Vs. Living It

Talking The Game Vs. Living It

Beef Magazine

Troy Marshall

I’ve attended meetings where I’m sure that by instituting some changes in our grazing strategy we could consistently reduce cow costs by $50/year. Or that by utilizing a herd bull costing $2,000 more, I could generate $50-$100/calf. The list goes on.

Yet, for some inexplicable reason, those ideas have all gone into “the good ideas that I need to implement some day” file. If I’m going to be honest with myself, I have to start asking the question: “Do I really want to improve the financial performance of my business? Or do I just want to make more money doing things the same way I’ve been doing them?”

That latter question comes pretty close to the definition of insanity we’ve all heard many times — “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” But I believe it’s a fairly common ailment among ag managers.


Preparing For Herd Bull Procurement

Preparing For Herd Bull Procurement


A lot of planning and thought should go into herd sire selection and acquisition decisions to successfully build a quality bull battery. Identifying and investigating sources of quality herd sire genetics should be tackled well ahead of needing a breeding bull to turn out with the herd. Taking the steps necessary to procure the “right” bulls for the cow-calf operation takes some time and effort if done properly.

Sources of Cattle

Sources of breeding bulls must be identified and investigated in enough time before the breeding season to have a good selection of bulls to choose from and to be able to make informed and well thought-out bull selection decisions. Potential sources of quality herd sires include private treaty purchases (direct sales), consignment sales, and production sales. Electronic versions of bull sales are also common today. Internet  sales, video sales, and satellite sales are now a routine occurrence. Extra effort mayneed to be put forth by bull buyers to obtain good information about the sale offering prior to bidding at an electronic cattle sale. Many breeders and sale managers offer DVDs containing video clips and other information on sale lots that can be obtained prior to a sale upon the request of the prospective buyer.


Activists take Al Gore to task on his diet

Activists take Al Gore to task on his diet

Free Republic.com

He may be the hero of the environmental movement for his crusade against global warming but Al Gore is about to be targeted by animal rights activists over his carnivorous contribution to greenhouse gases.

Citing United Nations research that the meat industry is worse for the environment than driving and flying, animal rights groups are directing a campaign at the former American vice-president’s diet.

When he delivers a lecture on global warming in Denver next month, protesters will display billboards bearing a cartoon image of Mr Gore eating a drumstick and the message: “Too chicken to go vegetarian? Meat is the No 1 cause of global warming”.

The campaign is being organised by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) and is backed by other animal rights groups.

“For Al Gore, the fact that his diet is a leading contributor to global warming is a highly inconvenient truth – pun intended,” said Matt Prescott, a spokesman for Peta.

Mr Gore won an Oscar this year for An Inconvenient Truth, the documentary based on his lecture-circuit presentation detailing how man is allegedly destroying the environment.

But he is now under fire for failing to highlight the impact of meat-eating.


Beef study one focus of field day

Beef study one focus of field day

By Mike Surbrugg

Joplin Globe

MOUNT VERNON, Mo. — The University of Missouri’s 898-acre outdoor laboratory — better known as the Southwest Research Center in Mount Vernon — will have its annual Field Day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday.

The event coincides with efforts to renovate more than 70 acres of one-acre pasture lots divided as part of a beef efficiency study to help select animals that will require less feed to put a steak on the dinner table.

To do this study, a new cattle barn and 64 grazing paddocks with a water system are to be built north of Interstate 44.

Ninety heifers have been purchased from Nichols Farms, Lamar, and are now at a research barn at Columbia. They are to be at the Southwest Center before Field Day. At Columbia they are being evaluated for their genetic make-up for feed efficiency and at Mount Vernon they will be divided into high-, medium- and low-feed efficiency groups. They also will be bred to different bulls to see how feed efficiency genetics are passed to calves.


Bovance is new bovine cloning provider

Bovance is new bovine cloning provider

High Plains Journal

Trans Ova Genetics and ViaGen have partnered to launch Bovance, a new company offering cloning services to the cattle industry. Bovance combines the cloning capabilities of ViaGen with the broad bovine reproduction expertise of Trans Ova Genetics. Breeders of dairy, beef, bucking stock, Longhorn and all other cattle now have access to bovine cloning technology.

Cloning is a valuable tool in any strategic breeding program because it can more quickly and precisely extend elite genetics for additional embryo or semen production, increased breeding opportunities, protection from untimely loss of superior individuals, and more generational influence of producers’ best genetics. By cloning the most elite animals, with the most sought-after genetics or greater disease resistance, breeders can advance the efficiency, quality and consistency of their meat and milk production.

“We see cloning as a way for producers and ranchers to turbocharge their breeding programs,” said ViaGen President Mark Walton, Ph.D. “The FDA is preparing to green light the use of cloning technology in beef and dairy, so with our partners at Trans Ova Genetics, we’ve put together the right team and the right brand to help breeders take advantage of this new option.


New Sorghum is Ideal for Both Fuel and Feed

New Sorghum is Ideal for Both Fuel and Feed

-by Jan Suszkiw

New, low-lignin sorghum germplasm lines developed by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and collaborating university scientists are now available for bolstering the grain crop’s value as both a livestock feed and ethanol resource.

Lignin is a “cellular glue” of sorts that imparts rigidity and strength to plant tissues. It also helps plants fend off attacking insects and pathogens. However, studies by ARS scientists Deanna Funnell, Jeff Pedersen and John Toy in Lincoln, Neb., show that reducing sorghum’s lignin content can also be beneficial.