American Angus Association CEO John Crouch announces retirement
John Crouch, chief executive officer (CEO) of the world’s largest beef breed registry and a pioneer in the performance movement, has announced his intention to retire from the American Angus Association later in the year. He made his intention known Feb. 20, during a regularly scheduled Board of Directors Meeting in Saint Joseph, Mo.
The Board reluctantly accepted Crouch’s decision, Association President and Chairman of the Board Paul Hill said, noting Crouch is the first executive in 45 years to retire from the post.
“John Crouch has dedicated 34 years of his life to the American Angus Association,” says Hill of Champion Hill Farms, Bidwell, Ohio. “He’s the only chief executive to start within the organization as a regional manager, progress to director of performance programs, and then on to become executive vice president and CEO of the Association. The entire beef industry is indebted to John Crouch for advancing leading-edge genetic evaluations.”
Illinois Cattleman Willrett Elected President Of Cattle-Fax
Illinois cattle producer Jamie Willrett has been elected as the new president of Cattle-Fax, a member-owned and member-directed cattle market information and research organization.
Willrett is a partner in J. Willrett Farms, a diversified farming and cattle feeding operation located near Malta, Ill., about 70 miles west of Chicago. He is also co-owner of Beef Performance Technology, which provides ultrasound technology as a management tool for cattle feeders.
Active in both state and national cattlemen’s organizations, Willrett has held many leadership positions with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). He served on the NCBA Executive Committee from 2001 to 2003, and chaired the NCBA International Markets Committee in 2004 and 2005. He currently serves on the NCBA Live Cattle Marketing Committee.
If your budget for cow minerals doesn’t stretch year-round, at least make sure your females get what they need that last trimester of pregnancy.
“We need to focus the most on mineral nutrition the last trimester of pregnancy and the first 100 days following calving when cows are rebreeding,” says John Arthington, University of Florida animal scientist. “That includes both the quality of the mineral nutrition as well as the assurance they are eating the mineral in the proper amount.”
He explains, “Copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn) are both excreted from the body during stress, and calving is very stressful. Cows need stores in their tissues to replenish those lost in calving. They are also putting minerals in the calf through fetal growth.”
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Checkoff receives ‘Clean Bill of Health”
How well do you know your checkoff? Without prompting, 87 percent had heard of the program, and 68 percent consider themselves somewhat or very well informed, according to a recent study by Aspen Media & Market Research, Boulder, Colo. In total, random telephone interviews were conducted with a representative sample of 1,225 beef and dairy producers nationwide between Dec. 27, 2007 and Jan. 10, 2008 to determine their awareness of, attitudes toward, and concerns about the Beef Checkoff Program.
“The Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) has conducted this independent survey biannually throughout the history of the checkoff to make sure it’s funding the programs and producing the results cattle producers who pay the checkoff expect of their program,” says CBB member Richard Nielson, a producer from Ephraim, Utah, and chair of the Joint Producer Communications Committee. “In addition, the results of this survey help guide program recommendations of the producer communications committee. Our ultimate goal is to develop a plan of work for communicating information about Beef Checkoff Program investments to the beef and dairy producers, and importers who pay the checkoff, with particular emphasis on providing clear, consistent and no-nonsense answers to producer questions.”
BVD screening project enters third season in Montana
Montana State University
Montana ranchers who want to test their cattle for persistent infection of the bovine viral diarrhea virus can sign up for the 2008 Montana BVD-PI Herd Biosecurity Project.
Now entering its third year, the project is designed to improve the health of Montana’s cow herd and add value to the state’s calf crop. The project will provide technical assistance and a screening supply kit to participants through 2008.
“The project assists ranchers in preventing transmission of the BVD virus from PI animals to their breeding herds,” said Clint Peck of Billings, director of Beef Quality Assurance programs for Montana State University. The project is supported by the Montana Stockgrowers Association and funded through the Montana Beef Network.
Documentary explores how corn became king in America
By John E. Mitchell,
North Adams Transcript
In “King Corn,” two East Coast college boys decide to return to the roots of their family in Iowa and investigate the real meaning of the term “corn-fed.”
The film follows the blueprint of those amiable, first-person investigations where the journaling aspect of the documentary is meant to orientate people to the personal logistics and give the issue a face — in this era of Morgan Spurlock, everyone’s doing it. The issue is the prevalence of corn in the American diet, why it is so all-encompassing and how it may just destroy us all. That may sound dramatic, but by the time the film ends and completes its circle of allegations, a viewer walks away with the impression that the American people are paying out of their own pockets for the diabetes and heart disease — it’s just that the money is funneled through so many concerns that the process seems not that much different from the drug trade.
Young Guns Provide Progressive Genetics to Herds
An eye toward the future has always been a quality shared by top cattlemen. Whether it’s a seedstock producer positioning the herd to have a viable genetic base for generations to come or a commercial cattlemen looking to gain the edge by capitalizing on the right combination of genetics and management to be profitable in any market scenario, forward thinking has dominated production of recent times.
In the 21st Century beef industry, “the future is now” is very relevant to everyday production practices. Tools to improve genetics, management and efficiency are readily available through many different outlets. Two-year-old heifers and yearling bull management during the first breeding season still test cattlemen trying to capitalize on these important breeding pieces that could have significant impact on the program. These delicate items are often sacrificed at a huge loss due to lack of forward thinking. Restructuring management practices to keep them sound, both physically and reproductively, will pay dividends in the long run.