Daily Archives: November 28, 2007

Baxter Black: Born with the Music in Ya

Baxter Black:  Born with the Music in Ya

Some people are born with music in ‘em. Other people do good with algebra, throwin’ a rope or rebuilding engines.

I am blessed with the music. My father’s family played, Grandpa played the fiddle, Uncle Wade the banjo, Uncle Bert guitar and second fiddle, Uncle Dink the mandolin and third fiddle, Aunt Effie the organ and “Hi-wa-yen slide git-ar” and my dad, the youngest, played whatever needed played.

I remember as a boy goin’ back to visit in Oklahoma. Saturday afternoon they’d have a “musical.” We’d gather at somebody’s house. Anybody that wanted to play would sit in a big circle in the living room, including kids. The recognized ‘first fiddle’ in the group would start playing. They never told you the song or the key. There was no singing and nobody else took the lead. In my memory he’d play 4 or 5 songs in one key, switch to another key, play a few in that one, then eventually he’d say, “Bert, why don’t you play one?” Bert, the acknowledged ‘second fiddle’, would graciously accept the invitation and play his favorites, then pass it on down. It went on for 3 or 4 hours!


New Report Says Beef With Hormones Produces Less Greenhouse Gas Emissions

New Report Says Beef With Hormones Produces Less Greenhouse Gas Emissions


New Beef Eco-Report: Pound-for-pound, beef produced with grains and growth hormones produces 40% less greenhouse gas emissions and saves two-thirds more land for nature compared to organic grass-fed beef.

To reach these startling conclusions, analysts at the Hudson Institute’s Center for Global Food Issues used beef production models from Iowa State University’s Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture and greenhouse gas emissions estimates from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UN IPCC).

More than 95% of beef produced in the United States is raised on grain-based diets in feedlots, using supplemental growth hormones, both natural and synthetic. The report details the extensive human and environmental safety requirements for the use of supplemental hormones on feedlots, as well as the growing body of environmental monitoring studies showing no significant negative impacts from their use. Instead, the data show major environmental benefits of this production system: Saving 2/3rds more land for nature and producing 40% fewer greenhouse gas emissions per pound of beef produced.


Research Shows Producers Can Improve Auction Prices

Research Shows Producers Can Improve Auction Prices

Cattle Today

In an auction barn, every feeder calf is judged for a few seconds before its value is determined.

Cow calf producers who sell at auction should take note of research by the University of Arkansas that documented distinct traits and management practices that can add dollars. In 2000 and 2005, the University worked with USDA Livestock Market News reporters to track data from 17 markets across the state.

The results showed the largest differences in price were due to health, muscle score, breed and body fill.

“There was a $42 (per hundredweight, or cwt.) spread between the healthy cattle and the sickest calf,” says Tom Troxel, animal science associate department head at the University of Arkansas.


R-CALF: Scholarship Applications Now Available; Deadline Extended To Dec. 31

R-CALF: Scholarship Applications Now Available; Deadline Extended To Dec. 31


Billings, Mont. – R-CALF USA’s charitable foundation, the United Stockgrowers of America Foundation for Research, Education and Endowment (USA FREE), is now accepting applications from students interested in winning one of three scholarships to be awarded in February 2008, at R-CALF USA’s annual convention in Omaha, Neb.

To qualify, applicants are required to write a research paper about a current threat to the U.S. cattle industry and include a solution. First place winner will receive a $2,000 scholarship, second place winner will receive a $1,500 scholarship and third place winner will receive a $1,000 scholarship.


USDA Announces Listening Sessions on Marketing Claim for Naturally Raised Livestock

USDA Announces Listening Sessions on Marketing Claim for Naturally Raised Livestock

WASHINGTON, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced today that the USDA is considering the development of a voluntary standard to address production practices associated with the term “naturally raised” for livestock.  Three listening sessions will be held to provide for public input on a voluntary marketing claim standard specifically for Naturally Raised Livestock.

Working with industry representatives and other interested parties, AMS facilitates the marketing of agricultural commodities by developing and maintaining U.S. standards for nearly 240 agricultural products.  Producers and consumers use the standards in the marketplace to specify the quality of commodities.  Standards provide a common language for trade and a means of differentiating value in the marketing of agricultural products.


More sorting, more beef quality

More sorting, more beef quality

Certified Angus Beef

Sorting cattle helps eliminate outliers in a pen, but the extra effort may be rewarded by higher quality grades, too.

A study by Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB) shows the more sorts the better the grades in most cases.

“Our data says those cattle that were sorted three or more times have much higher CAB acceptance rates than cattle that were just sold as one group,” says Gary Fike, beef cattle specialist for the company.

From 2005 to 2006, CAB tracked data from its 63 licensed feedlots in 15 states (see table). Cattle that were marketed together had an average CAB acceptance rate of 23.3%. Cattle in two sort groups improved to 29.6%, compared to those sorted three times or more at 33.9%. That 10-percentage-point increase means more dollars for the seller.


Sustainable Crops and Livestock Workshop Scheduled For Dec 1st

Sustainable Crops and Livestock Workshop Scheduled For Dec 1st


Practical production methods for sustainable crop and livestock producers in western Nebraska will be highlighted during a Dec. 1 workshop at Sidney.

“Sustainable Crops and Livestock Systems Workshop for High Plains Agriculture: Practices That Work For Western Nebraska” will take place at Western Nebraska Community College, 371 S. College Drive in Sidney from 8:45 a.m. until 3:45 p.m. The workshop is sponsored by the University of Nebraska, Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society (NSAS) and Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA) NE Chapter No. 2.