Daily Archives: March 17, 2008

We’ll miss Paul Hitch

We’ll miss Paul Hitch

Dan Looker, Successful Farming magazine Business Editor

I’m among the many who mourn the passing today of cattle industry leader Paul Hitch. He died this morning after a difficult bout with cancer. He was 64.

The last time I saw Paul was several years ago when I was passing through Guymon, Oklahoma. Guymon is an Oklahoma Panhandle town that is the headquarters of Hitch Enterprises, a family-owned farming and ranching operation that feeds cattle and hogs. We had lunch a modest Mexican restaurant that served tasty food.


New feed supplement helps newborn calves cope with scours

New feed supplement helps newborn calves cope with scours

Western Livestock Journal

AgriLabs has introduced First Arrival with Encrypt, a feed supplement that enhances the natural immunity of calves, helping them cope with scours. Specially formulated for newborn calves, First Arrival is built around targeted egg-yolk proteins to help combat 11 scour-causing pathogens. It also features Encrypt, an innovative formulation of organic, non-charcoal carbon sources to help improve gut health.

 “In addition, Encrypt provides two unmistakable cues to know whether animals have been treated,” says Bill Vaughn, business unit manager, AgriLabs. “Milk and milk replacer become black when adding First Arrival, and calves’ manure becomes a characteristic dark-gray color. This unique confirmation reassures producers that calves have received this supplement, which is specially designed for both natural and conventional calf-raising programs.”


American Simmental Association schedules SimPlace 2008, a 40-year celebration

American Simmental Association schedules SimPlace 2008, a 40-year celebration

High Plains Journal

The American Simmental Association marks its 40th Anniversary in conjunction with SimPlace 2008, highlighting “The Science of Making Better Cattle and Better Beef.” SimPlace will be held April 8 and 9, in Urbana, Ill., at the Holiday Inn and Conference Center.


Hundreds of calves lost on Marion land

Hundreds of calves lost on Marion land

Cattle had been fattening up, then disappeared; police investigate.



A Wisconsin rancher doing business in Marion County might legitimately be asking: “Where’s the beef?”

An estimated 500 head of cattle – sent here to be fattened up – seem to have vanished into thin air.

On Friday morning, Ocala Police Department Cpl. G. Clark went to Cuatro Light Co., at 3425 N.W. 21st St., after a report that 500 calves, worth an estimated $250,000, were missing.

Inspector Leo Smith was brought in last Saturday to assist Reid Ludlow, the owner of the calves. Smith told the officer that between Oct. 1 and March 8, someone removed the cattle from the property. Ludlow owns Rush Creek Ranch in Wisconsin.


Should Cloned Animals be Used as a Food Source?

Should Cloned Animals be Used as a Food Source?

 Heather Smith Thomas

Cattle Today

Ever since the first experimental clone was born—Dolly, the sheep born in February 1997, cloned by scientists at the Roslin Institute near Edinburgh, Scotland—the public has been divided in opinion on whether or not livestock should be produced in this manner. Heated controversy over cloning put it in the media spotlight early on, since some people questioned the ethics of the procedure and some were concerned about safety issues with food produced from cloned animals.

By now there have been hundreds of cattle cloned, and a growing number of horses, goats, sheep and other animals, since the process has been commercially available for a number of years. As of October 2007, an FDA census listed 570 cattle clones, with many more “on the way”. A growing number of livestock producers (and horse owners) are recognizing cloning as a way to enhance reproductive technology and reproduce their very best genetics. The beauty of it is the ability to make countless new models of a superior animal, or of one that cannot reproduce. For instance, you could clone your best steers, after finding out which ones had the best rate of gain, carcass traits, etc. and use the clones as bulls to sire many, many more exceptional animals.


House Ag Committee Hears Testimony On Promoting USA Beef

House Ag Committee Hears Testimony On Promoting USA Beef


This week, Kansas Cattlemen’s Association testified before the Kansas House Agriculture Committee supporting a resolution to urge the United States Congress to enact revisions to the Federal Beef Promotion and Research Act to allow for a minimum of 50% of those assessments to be used for the promotion of USA born, raised, and processed beef.

“According to the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, 51.6% of the funds they received were used for promotion efforts.  However, under the current act, checkoff funds may only be used to promote a generic product.  As a mandatory program, U.S. producers bare the brunt of the cost but cannot promote their own product within the United States.  Yet, beef checkoff funds can be used to promote specific cuts of beef directly benefiting retailers.   Corporate entities, such as Applebee’s, are able to utilize checkoff funds to promote beef at their restaurants, directly benefiting the restaurants.  As well, U.S. beef can be promoted outside of the U.S., such as the efforts in Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, the European Union, Guatemala, and Mexico,” stated KCA Executive Director, Brandy Carter


How I got into the cattle business — a cautionary tale

How I got into the cattle business — a cautionary tale



Sometimes when I am standing in 6 inches of mud, heaving 100-pound bales of hay into a cattle feeder, I think about how I ended up here.

Raising cattle had never been part of my life plans when I was young. I was a city kid, very bookish, and with no interest in animals at all. So, how did I get into cattle?

I got married.


Professor: Slaughterhouses can work in a humane way

Professor: Slaughterhouses can work in a humane way

By Mark Petix,

Pasadena Star-News

CHINO – When Temple Grandin saw the video of cows being sprayed in the nostrils with water, shocked and prodded with forklifts at Chino’s Westland/Hallmark Meat Co., she could only shake her head.

The professor of animal science at Colorado State University has spent years designing slaughterhouse systems in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Australia.

About half the nation’s slaughterhouses use her curved chute systems to move cattle calmly to slaughter.

She said what happened at Westland/Hallmark was chaos, and cruel.

“If a cow is bellowing, it’s saying `ouch, ouch ouch’ or `you’re scaring me, you’re scaring me, you’re scaring me,”‘ she said. “If you go to a well-run plant, you see cows walking right in there. You say `Oh, that’s the way it’s supposed to work.”‘


U.S. Premium Beef LLC Unit Holders Approve Agreement with JBS

U.S. Premium Beef LLC Unit Holders Approve Agreement with JBS


U.S. Premium Beef, LLC (USPB) on Friday announced that its unitholders overwhelmingly voted to approve the sale of National Beef Packing Company, LLC (National Beef) to JBS S.A. (JBS).

 “Our unitholders, with more than 90% approval, have strongly stated they support our Board of Directors’ and management’s recommendation to approve our agreement with JBS,” Steve Hunt, CEO of USPB, announced at a special meeting of unitholders today. “Our unitholders view this as a tremendous opportunity for their company and all producers who have marketed, or may want to market cattle through USPB in the future.


Balanced Cattle Nutrition: A Key Part Of Your Herd Health Program

Balanced Cattle Nutrition: A Key Part Of Your Herd Health Program


We often consider nutrition and health of the beef cowherd as separate management areas. But in reality, the two are closely intertwined. A “well balanced” nutrition program is only effective when herd health is maintained, while nutritional status directly impacts an animal’s ability to resist infections.

More specifically, animals that are fed properly exhibit more antibody production, more immunity to disease, better body tissue integrity, greater detoxifying ability, and increased blood regeneration. And of course a balanced diet prevents development of diseases that are directly caused by nutrient deficiencies.


Hoop Beef System keeps feeder cattle out of cold, heat

Hoop Beef System keeps feeder cattle out of cold, heat


Farm & Ranch Guide

Brent Bryant with a model of his Hoop Beef System at the N.D. Stockmen’s Association meeting in Bismarck, N.D. 

Bitter wind chills, freezing rain, blinding snow, and mud during the thaws – that’s all routine for producers who winter cattle in the Upper Plains.

Cattle in feedlots adjust, but the stress can affect performance and even lead to disease, says Brent Bryant, cattle feeder and managing director of Hoof Beef System, LLC.


Breed type important when raising grass-fed beef

Breed type important when raising grass-fed beef


Prairie Star

Mark Erikson who ranches near the southeastern edge of the Red River Valley in Stevens County, supplies grass-fed cattle to Thousand Hills Cattle Co.  

Genetics can be a real headache for producers finishing cattle on grass.

There are many challenges with raising grass-finished cattle for meat, but it starts with genetics.

In early October, Erickson expects each cow to still nurse a calf that is more than half her size. Each cow needs a small frame and a deep body, and she needs to stay in pretty good condition while raising that calf.


Don’t Let Cows Lose Body Condition NOW!!

Don’t Let Cows Lose Body Condition NOW!!


The winter of 2007-2008 has brought challenges in the form of very high feed prices, cold weather, and in some instances, short hay supplies.  Cows in many Midwestern herds are calving in marginal body condition.  Unfortunately, this is a season where maintaining or gaining body condition on spring calving cows is really quite difficult.  Warm season grasses have not yet begun to grow.  Dormant grass (what little is left) is a low quality feed.  Cows cannot, or will not, consume a large amount of standing dormant grass at this time year.  If the only supplement being fed is a self-fed, self-limited protein source, the cows may become very deficient in energy.  Remember, the instructions that accompany these self-fed supplements.  They are to be fed along with free choice access to adequate quality forages.

There is another factor that compounds the problem.   A small amount of winter annual grasses may begin to grow in native pastures.  These are the first tastes of green grass many cows have seen since last summer.  The cows may try to forage these high moisture, low energy density grasses, in lieu of more energy dense hays or cubes.  The sad result is the loss of body condition in early lactation beef cows just before the breeding season is about to begin.


Proper nutrition requires new thinking

Proper nutrition requires new thinking

—Studies show producers might need to re-evaluate heifer development strategies.

Western Livestock Journal

The impact of nutrition on cow and heifer pregnancy rates has been well documented over the years by a number of studies. Now there are new details emerging which show that what we know about cow herd nutrition is far more complex when it comes to getting cows and heifers bred, said University of Nebraska animal scientist Rick Funston.

Studies conducted on cowherds demonstrated the importance of properly conditioning cows prior to breeding. Those with inadequate energy prior to breeding were 13 percent less likely to conceive a successful pregnancy. Likewise, those receiving less than adequate energy post-calving were 26 percent less likely to breed back during a confined exposure to bulls. The effects of proper protein supplement were even more severe. Adequate consumption of protein prior to calving increased pregnancy rates by as much as 25 percent, while post-calving supplementation increased pregnancy rates by as much as 21 percent.


N.D. stockmen group leader retiring

N.D. stockmen group leader retiring


BISMARCK – Wade Moser, executive director of the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association in Bismarck, is retiring at the end of the year.

Moser said he wants to spend more time with his family and cattle herd.

His 26-year tenure as state cattlemen’s association executive officer trails only that of his counterpart in Louisiana.