Leachman ranch, cattle interests tied up in court
By JAN FALSTAD
The Billings Gazette Staff
The fate of the Leachman Cattle Co. ranch 16 miles southeast of Billings took several more twists on its trail to liquidation this year. . .
For three decades, legendary cattle breeder and master marketer James Leachman ran a first-class bull sale east of Billings that attracted buyers from around the world. After serious financial and legal troubles surfaced in 2002 with outside investors involved, a district judge appointed Billings accountant Jerry Sauther as court receiver to liquidate Leachman Cattle Co. assets, including the ranch.
Cattlemen’s College® to Cover Wide Range of Educational Topics
Now in its 15th year, Cattlemen’s College® has established a reputation as one of the broadest and most thorough cattle producer education programs in the nation. Sponsored by Pfizer Animal Health, the 2008 edition of Cattlemen’s College® offers a wide range of informative, hands-on educational workshops designed for cattle operations of every size and sector.
The program will be held Wednesday, Feb. 6, at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center in Reno, Nev., headlining the first day of activities at the 2008 Cattle Industry Convention and Trade Show. Early registration for Cattlemen’s College® and the convention ends Jan. 11.
U.S. Beef Is The Safest & Best In The World, Let’s Keep It That Way
Beef is a staple in the diets of most Americans. Whether it is consumed in a hamburger for lunch or a steak at dinner – many Americans consume some form of beef every week. Millions around the world do the same.
American livestock producers work hard to ensure the beef they produce is the best and safest in the world, and it is. As a result, consumers worldwide buy American beef with confidence. However, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) could harm the work of American livestock producers with its recent approval of a rule that allows imported beef from Canada with higher risk for mad cow disease into our country.
Tracking Cloned Livestock
This week, livestock cloning companies ViaGen, Inc. and Trans Ova Genetics introduced a supply chain management program to identify cloned animals as they enter the food chain. The program acts as a marketing claim, similar to other process-based programs in ag such as USDA’s Certified Organic Program or Halal Meat Certification, but its aim is to allow companies in the food chain to identify and possibly exclude cloned animals.
Just to clarify, meat and milk from cloned animals is safe as deemed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) draft risk assessment released late last year.
IBA to Study Potential of Branded Beef Program
Illinois Farm Bureau
Randy Faber, a cattle producer from Sublette and president of the Illinois Beef Association (IBA), believes there is demand for a branded beef program.
A new study, funded in part by a $98,750 grant from USDA Rural Development, will help determine if consumers are willing to pay for it and if a branded beef program is economically feasible in Illinois.
“We’re trying to enhance Illinois products and get those products to consumers,” Faber told FarmWeek at the Illinois Commodity Conference, where IBA received the Rural Development grant.
Calmness In Cattle Pays In Multiple Ways
Research shows calmer cows have higher levels of milk production, which translates into more pounds of calf weaned. Meanwhile, calves with calmer temperaments exhibit a better response to vaccination at weaning, tend to exhibit better growth performance and body composition, are quieter and calmer in the feedlot during handling and have higher average daily gains (ADG) than cattle with more excitable temperaments. Calmer cattle also save on wear and tear on facilities, equipment and personnel.
Feedlot cattle: The lower emission, land use choice
By Cheryl Stubbendieck
Nebraska Farm Bureau vice president/public relations
High Plains Journal
I’ve learned at least two things in my 55 years. One, we don’t live in a risk-free world. Two, we don’t ever get to have everything our way. And, if I can add a third adage, it would be the one about nothing worth doing being easy.
I mention these bits of wisdom in an attempt to forestall a “Yes, but…” reaction to the Hudson Institute’s announcement last month that, pound-for-pound, beef produced with grains and natural and synthetic growth hormones produces 40 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions and saves two-thirds more land for nature, compared to organic grass-fed beef.
Government meddling threatens cattle industry’s future
Once upon a time, the 2007 Farm Bill was going to be about free-market reforms that would reward the innovative, entrepreneurial spirit of our nation’s farmers and ranchers. Time and again, we heard top officials in Washington, D.C., talking of the need to loosen government’s grip on American agriculture. As a National Cattlemen’s Beef Association member, this was music to my ears. NCBA embraces the philosophy of less government control and interference in our industry.
But now the heavy hand of government threatens to make this farm bill a disaster for cattlemen. The Senate Agriculture Committee’s version of the bill contains several anti-competitive provisions, including a ban on packer ownership of cattle more than 14 days prior to slaughter.
USDA Takes Another Step Towards Advancing Animal Disease Traceability in the Unites States
The U.S. Department of Agriculture released its draft of a Business Plan for Advancing Animal Disease Traceability. The business plan supports the 48-hour traceback long-term goal of the National Animal Identification System as well as provides benchmarks to guide the program as it moves towards optimum traceability. Animal diseases like tuberculosis, brucellosis or low pathogenic avian influenza are common threats to U.S. livestock and a reality for many producers. While disease events in this country often have been limited in scope, the threat of a catastrophic animal disease outbreak is real. Because these events are unpredictable, it is in the best interest of producers, the industry and the government to be prepared.
Cattle, stray voltage among power line worries
BY ART HOVEY
Lincoln Journal Star
For others in the path of a proposed high-voltage transmission line, it’s the usual story of not in my back yard.
For Ron Gade, it’s a matter of not in my feed yard.
As the Nebraska Public Power District gets ready to build a $185 million project between Lincoln and Columbus, the 1,000 head of cattle typically gathered around Gade’s feedbunks east of Seward are right beneath the spot where the proposed lines would carry 345 kilovolts of electricity.
Suddenly, the normally obscure subject of stray voltage and its possible effects on livestock are as relevant as corn prices.
Get facts on beef safety
This is in response to the article by Linda Hoffman appearing in the Life section of the Dec. 19 Coloradoan.
While the author makes some good points about grass-fed beef and the nutritional value of beef in general, I believe people should have the option of making choices based on accurate information.
After reading the article, I came away feeling she was the advertising agent for a particular producer while misstating some facts.
For instance, more than 95 percent of all beef produced in the United States is grain-fed in feedlots and raised in a scientific manner with a diet more nutritionally balanced than most people’s.
To say these cattle “eat a poor diet high in pesticide residues” and “need antibiotics to counteract disease” as a result of pesticides in the feed is simply not true. She says feedlot beef is high in steroids used to tenderize the meat.
Opportunities To Reduce Winterfeed Costs
If alternative feedstuffs are available (by-products of the milling and brewing industries or screening-type products), consider their use to reduce feed costs. By-product feeds may not be acceptable as a complete replacement for traditional feeds, but can be included as a portion of the ration.
Establish the value of the by-product feed by comparing the nutrient content of the by-product feed against traditional feeds on a dry matter basis. Develop sample rations to establish acceptable feeding levels of the by-product feed(s) and traditional feeds required to meet the nutritional needs of the animal.
Damaged crops salvaged from drought or hail situations can be used in a feeding program. Cereal crops, canola or hay can all be used, but there are limitations on the total amount, depending on quality. High nitrate levels or high sulfur content in canola salvage crops must be taken into consideration when developing the ration. Testing the feed is highly recommended.
Conaway, A&M forge beef industry deals with China
S. Rep. Mike Conaway and Texas A&M University officials has yielded progress toward helping the Chinese upgrade their beef industry by establishing huge cattle ranches and opening American exports to the world’s most populous nation.
Conaway and Dr. Russell Cross, deputy vice chancellor of A&M’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, said last week that the humongous country’s increasing affluence has sharpened its taste for beef.
Brasher: Who wins, who loses from energy bill
Agriculture has never had a bigger year in Washington. But the gains had nothing to do with the farm bill.
The biofuels mandate that President Bush has signed into law not only ensures strong commodity prices for years to come but also may change what farmers grow.
A lot of this new fuel – 21 billion gallons a year by 2022 – will have to come from something other than corn. Switchgrass, for example, and trees. Even algae.
Here’s a look at who wins and who loses from enactment of the mandate, and a few folks for whom the impact won’t be known for a while:
Ag organizations offer opinions on Senate farm bill
By Jennifer M. Latzke
High Plains Journal
An announcement of Senate approval of a farm bill brought responses from the various farm and ranch organizations across the country.
As with any bill, there are mixed reactions. Some groups cite parts of the Senate bill that must be ironed out in conference, but applaud the remainder. For the most part, the reaction across the board was a sense of relief that something is being accomplished before the holidays and before the spring planting season.
The Cadillac of cattle was a Japanese import to Texas
San Antonio Express-News
HARWOOD — Years after some wily Americans had slipped a small herd of coveted Akaushi cattle out of Japan through a tiny export loophole, Jose Antonio Elias Calles ran into one of their former owners in that country.
“He said at one point he had thought about coming to the United States and ‘killing these people who had stolen our children,'” recalled Calles, who now manages the only herd of Akaushi outside Japan.
“They call these animals their children because they have such an important place in their society. They have a powerful mystique for the Japanese,” said Calles, 44, the great-grandson of Plutarco Elias Calles, the former Mexican president.
Grass-fed steak is hot
I’m no Faith Popcorn. I love to read the trend-spotting guru’s predictions as to what people will be doing in the upcoming year, but forecasting can be tough when it comes to food. Just as soon as you spot a local trend, someone in another city declares it dead.
Pork belly, for example, has shown up on some of the city’s most creative menus for several years now. But are we over it and on to the next cool cut? I recently tried a fabulous braised pork-belly appetizer by chef Neal Brown at L’Explorateur, but will he abandon bellies and move on to, say, pork cheeks?
Cattle rustling lives on in Texas
LUBBOCK, Texas — A vestige of the Old West, cattle rustling lives on in remote parts of Texas, partly driven by high beef prices.
“There are more cattle rustling cases today than there ever have been before,” said Dean Bohannon, one of 27 investigators hired by the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association.
The trade group says its investigators recovered nearly $5 million worth of cattle, horses and equipment last year in Texas and Oklahoma.
N.C. Cattle Assessment Vote Comes Up Short
Carolina Virginia Farmer
A referendum calling for an additional $1 assessment on each head of beef and dairy cattle sold in North Carolina has failed to pass muster with cattle producers.
The November 14 vote found favor with 51% of producers who voted for the assessment, notes Bundy Plyler, executive director of the N.C. Cattlemen’s Association, but failed to get the needed two-thirds vote required for passage.
The failed vote for the additional assessment will not affect $1 the national Beef Checkoff Program that is currently in place. That $1 assessment for each head of cattle sold is split between the national promotion and education program and a parallel state program. The Beef Checkoff is collected in North Carolina and 50-cents of each dollar goes on to the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and 50-cents stays in the state and funds the North Carolina Cattlemen’s Beef Council, explains Plyler.
Cattlemen Seek Checkoff Changes
By NATE JENKINS
Cattle producers in Nebraska and other states are pushing for the first significant change to the national beef checkoff program since it started more than 20 years ago.
The beef checkoff program is behind the popular “Beef, It’s What’s for Dinner” ads that feature the distinctive voice of actor Sam Elliott. At a dollar a head, the checkoff fee pools about $80 million annually for beef promotion, research and education, among other things.
But more than two decades of inflation have decreased the buying power of that dollar, say checkoff supporters.