Daily Archives: February 12, 2008

Focus On Stocker Cattle

Focus On Stocker Cattle


Growing cattle. Backgrounding. Stocker programs. Preconditioning. Developing. The path a calf takes from weaning to the feedlot or breeding herd can follow many different routes. Available resources and market conditions drive the differences between geographic regions, between operations, and even between years on the same operation. Despite these differences, all operations share some common goals.


Baxter Black: Large Animal Vets and Bronc Riders

Baxter Black:  Large Animal Vets and Bronc Riders

The Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) is making an effort to encourage more young people to participate in the Bareback, Saddle Bronc and Bull Riding events. Simultaneously, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is making an effort to encourage more students to become livestock and equine veterinarians. Does that mean more young people are less interested in riding or doctoring untamed large herbivorous animals? Exactly!

In both cases the primary reasons given by the ‘non-interested’ are; the work is too hard and the pay is not enough. American and Canadian young people, as a rule, have become more worldly, resigned to life, and content with the path most frequently traveled, i.e., team roping and pet practice.


Register Now for Early Bird Discount for NIAA Annual Meeting

Register Now for Early Bird Discount for NIAA Annual Meeting

Cattle Today

If you’re involved in animal agriculture, then you’ll want to attend the 2008 annual meeting of the National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA), April 1-3, in Indianapolis, Indiana. And you can save $50 by registering before February 25.

“This year NIAA’s annual meeting is taking an in-depth look at animal care and well-being,” states Dr. Jerome Geiger, chair of NIAA’s Annual Meeting Planning Committee. “We’re focusing on the ‘what,’ ‘so what’ and ‘now what’ regarding animal agriculture’s real issues and perceived issues.”


NCBA goes head to head with report linking beef to cancer

NCBA goes head to head with report linking beef to cancer

WJBC Radio Bloomington

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association is declaring victory after going head to head with a highly publicized report released at the end of October blaming red meat for some big health woes…

NCBA Nutrition Vice President Mary Young says checkoff money paid for a team of independent researchers to study the issue…

Young says the fear in the cattle industry was that beef would become a primary target for health advocates. Young says after that checkoff-funded study, beef was mentioned in news articles almost as an afterthought, with highly processed meats and alcohol taking the lion’s share of the blame.


USDA: Number of beef cows down

USDA: Number of beef cows down

Tom Wray


Drought conditions and rising feed costs may be why beef cow and beef replacement heifer numbers were down as of Jan. 1, according to a South Dakota economist.

“The decline in heifers is among those expected to calve in 2008,” Matthew Diersen, a South Dakota State University economist, told the Associated Press. “It is as though the industry is geared up to try again to expand, unless cost conditions worsen.”

The beef cow and replacement numbers suggest a small calf crop for 2008, but calf prices will remain similar to last fall, according to Diersen.


Cattle Producers Beef Up Ad Budget

Cattle Producers Beef Up Ad Budget

Around the Net/Reuters

Cattle producers are boosting the fees they pay to finance the “Beef, It’s What’s For Dinner” advertising campaign and other programs as inflation and other costs cut into their buying power. At the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association annual convention over the weekend, members voted to increase the fee. Although no amount was included, an accompanying directive should kick it up to $2 per head–double the current rate.


Downer Recall is Perfect Storm for New Ag Secretary Shafer

Downer Recall is Perfect Storm for New Ag Secretary Shafer

By Martha Rosenberg


Like Goldie Hawn in Private Benjamin carrying a rucksack in the rain protesting “I joined the army with the swimming pools and sunsets,” people eat food from happy animals in shady pastures not the godforsaken ones shown in undercover videos.

Until now.

Now that people realize their children have been eating beef from the Hallmark/Westland Meat Company through the National School Lunch, Program Ed Schafer, the new Agriculture Secretary, has the perfect storm on his hands.


Beef Update: USDA Extends Comment Period For Naturally Raised

Beef Update: USDA Extends Comment Period For Naturally Raised


The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today announced that it is reopening and extending the comment period for the proposed voluntary standard for a naturally raised marketing claim for livestock and meat. The Jan. 28, 2008, deadline has been extended to March 3, 2008.

The comment period is being changed because a number of interested producers, processors, and marketers requested additional time to evaluate the full impact of the requirements of the proposed standard in order to provide more meaningful and substantive comments.

“We are reopening and extending the comment period to ensure that all interested parties have the opportunity to submit comments,” said AMS Administrator Lloyd Day. “We strongly encourage all interested parties to submit comments.”


E.Coli outbreaks not linked directly to distiller’s grain

E.Coli outbreaks not linked directly to distiller’s grain

Jennifer Johnson

Wahpeton Daily News

When the outbreak of E. coli first occurred in 1993, the United States Food Safety and Inspection Service established a program (combining science and technology) to test for the pathogen. While the reports have considerably subsided since then, a few beef-related instances have occurred in Minnesota during the past year, one of which occurred in late September.

According to a Natural News article dated Feb. 5, a woman in Cold Spring, Minn., consumed ground beef contaminated with E. coli and is now in a drug-induced coma. The article suggests cattle producers using distiller’s grain, a by-product of ethanol production, in their poultry and livestock feed might influence the incidence of the pathogen. After the starch in corn or other grain is fermented into ethanol or fuel, distiller’s grain is the remainder. Researchers at Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine found that beef cattle, fed on a diet that consisted of 25 percent distiller’s grain, experienced a “two-fold increase” of E. coli incidence. The report was released in January.


Transcript: THE HON. ED SCHAFER Secretary U.S. Department of Agriculture. Delivered at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Annual

Transcript: THE HON. ED SCHAFER Secretary U.S. Department of Agriculture. Delivered at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Annual 


SEC. ED SCHAFER: Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you, Andy, for the great introduction. Thank you for the warm welcome this morning, and I especially appreciate my North Dakota cheering section down here.

[Cheers and applause]


Arizona’s small ranchers, cowboys use old and new ways

Arizona’s small ranchers, cowboys use old and new ways

Steve Hammons

American Chronicle

Some Arizona ranchers and cowboys are returning the ways of the old West while moving ahead into the 21st century.

As competition with big cattle operations and beef producers has grown more challenging over the years, many smaller Arizona ranches have found it difficult to thrive or even survive.

Now, some are finding that by going back to cattle ranching in traditional ways, they are able to find lucrative new markets for naturally raised beef.

Instead of keeping cattle in huge feed pens, fattening them with grains and using pesticides and hormones, some Arizona ranchers and cowboys are going back to natural grazing out on the range.


NCBA seeks greater producer control of beef checkoff

NCBA seeks greater producer control of beef checkoff

Peter Shinn

Brownfield Network

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) will ask Congress to modify the beef checkoff. And they’re not going to wait for the 2013 farm bill to do it.

The Cattle Industry Convention and Trade Show wrapped up in Reno this past weekend, but not before NCBA, during their annual meeting there, adopted new policy that would give cattlemen the power to raise or lower the $1-per-head beef checkoff rate through a referendum process without going back to Congress. NCBA members also voted to ask Congress to allow any legitimate cattle industry group to serve as a beef checkoff contractor, irrespective of when they were established.


Natural Beef – Part 1

Natural Beef – Part 1


How much do you know about the meat in the grocery store case? Sarah Gustin joins us now with her special report, Natural Beef.

Consumers are asking for it and producers are paying attention

More and more producers are making changes in their operations to market their beef as natural. Yet, the United States Department of Agriculture has not established one definition for natural beef


Loomis cattleman raises specialty Japanese herd

Loomis cattleman raises specialty Japanese herd

High-end Kobe beef fetches up to $26 an ounce for some cuts

K.C. Mehaffey

Wenachee World

Sitting in an office chair at his Loomis ranch, Howard Asmussen punches a few buttons on his keyboard and up pops the completed form of a family tree, showing parents, grandparents, great-grandparents.

It isn’t the genealogy of the Asmussen family that this 73-year-old rancher is viewing on his computer screen. It’s the genetic history of one of hundreds cattle on his 60,000-acre ranch. And there are pages for any of the rest.

“If you want to know about this cow, press here, and we get a pedigree on it,” says Asmussen, who’s been in ranching since he was a teenager. “There’s the calves that cow had. Things about her weaning. All kinds of information about her,” he says, half amazed himself at how far technology has taken this ranch.