Daily Archives: March 19, 2008

Angus Cattle, Industry Pioneer, Les Leachman Passes

Angus Cattle, Industry Pioneer, Les Leachman Passes

Zanesville Times Recorder

Lester James Leachman, 87, of Green Valley, Ariz., died March 5, 2008, at La Hacienda Assisted Living in Green Valley.

He was born Aug. 19, 1920, in Adamsville, and was a graduate of Ohio State University with a bachelor of science degree in animal science.

Lester, the youngest of seven children born to the late James Henry and Alice Starret Leachman, grew up in rural Ohio. Lester was well known for his lifetime achievement as a pioneer, leader and breeder of purebred Angus cattle. His portrait was hung Nov. 12, 2007, at the world famous Saddle & Sirloin Portrait Gallery, which is the internationally-recognized curator of the history of the entire spectrum of animal agriculture. As the largest gallery of portraits in the world devoted to a single industry, it is a shining example of the impact of animal agriculture in the United States on the nation and the entire world. Great men from many walks of life are represented in this collection.


Major Minerals for Beef Cows

Major Minerals for Beef Cows

Ropin’ the Web

Minerals are essential for the proper functioning of the animal. A problem arises when the feed does not supply enough to meet the animal’s requirements. This may occur because the feed is low in mineral, the availability of the mineral is low or another mineral or nutrient is interfering with the ability of the animal to absorb or utilize the mineral.


Assisting the Beef Cow at Calving Time

Assisting the Beef Cow at Calving Time

By Jack C. Whittier, Department of Animal Sciences, James G. Thorne, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri Extension.


Six to 10 percent of all calves born in beef cow herds in the U.S. die at or soon after birth.

About half of those deaths are due to calving difficulty (dystocia). This multi-million dollar annual loss is second only to losses from failing to conceive.

Calving difficulty has received much more attention in recent years, primarily because of the mating of larger European breeds of bulls to British breeds of cow. Increased calving problems are also being encountered within purebred breeds, as genetically large bulls are often mated to cows of only average size.

The purpose of this guide is to acquaint cattle producers with calving management principles that will help minimize calf loss in their herds.


Land-Grant losses continue to mount

Land-Grant losses continue to mount

Southeast Farm Press

During my time at Farm Press I have written a couple of times about the Land-Grant Death Spiral — the supposed downfall of the Land Grant System, which began in 1862 with passage of the Morrill Act by the U.S. Congress.

I spent a lot of my career at a Land Grant university. I believe in the system as it operated in the 1970s and 1980s. I wish I could do something to make it as beneficial to farmers as it once was. Some of the most dedicated public servants I know work at Land Grant universities. If you know one of these people, you should shake their hand and urge them to persevere — agriculture needs them.

The sad truth is that our Land Grant system as a whole is not getting better. And, it’s not just an isolated deterioration. My colleague Harry Kline, who is editor of Western Farm Press says the loss of key agricultural specialists at UC-Davis has created many problems for what for many years was considered the top Land Grant agricultural program in the country.


The Importance of the Breeding Soundness Exam

The Importance of the Breeding Soundness Exam


Cattle producers should seriously consider getting a breeding soundness exam (BSE). Before you jump to conclusions, let me explain! The examination is conducted on bulls prior to the breeding season to assess their reliability and capability as breeding animals. The cost of the test will vary, but it is usually under $50 and is arguably the best money cow-calf producers will spend on an annual basis. We sometimes try to save money by not spending it, but conducting a BSE is a prime example of how to save money in the long run by spending a little up front.

The test is conducted on an annual basis at least 60-75 days before turn-out by a licensed veterinarian. Conducting the test during this period will allow time to replace any “unsound” animals and to retest any questionable animals. This means that if you implement a spring calving season and turn bulls out in late spring/early summer, you should be preparing to do this in the very near future.


Coping with Hay Shortages in Beef Cow Wintering Rations

Coping with Hay Shortages in Beef Cow Wintering Rations

Christoph Wand – Beef Cattle, Sheep and Goat Nutritionist/OMAFRA.


Poor summer weather conditions and hay shortages often create feeding concerns for cow/calf producers

Culling, reducing wastage, substituting grain for hay or reducing feed requirement are all strategies for maintaining cows when hay inventories are low. This Factsheet discusses hay substitution and reducing feed requirements.


Cattle Business Profile: The Power Of Midland

Cattle Business Profile: The Power Of Midland


Forty miles southwest of where Leo McDonnell and Steve Williams stand, the Beartooth Range rises abruptly from the valley, blotting out the last traces of sunlight.

It is a still, perfect evening, and their cows have fanned out across the prairie, grazing the dry, native grass that spreads across the unbroken landscape.

The father-son duo spends a lot of time thinking about grass because they know their livelihood depends on their ability to understand the connection between grass and their cows, and to use both of them efficiently to produce products for the marketplace.

Leo and Steve are deeply rooted in the ranching business, and for three generations they’ve been catalysts of progress in the cattle industry.


Beef Industry Summit Focuses on Safety

Beef Industry Summit Focuses on Safety

Cattle Today

More than 160 leaders, including cattle producers, feeders, processors as well as retailers and foodservice operators, convened at the fifth annual Beef Industry Safety Summit March 5-7 in Dallas, Texas, to explore solutions to safety challenges as well as review and update best practices based on the latest science.

University scientists presented research results on pre-harvest and processing interventions as well as pathogen data which will be used to enhance beef safety systems. Experts on emerging issues including multi drug-resistant pathogens and non-O157 E. coli, shared information that will allow the industry to proactively address these challenges. Attendees also had an opportunity to hear from a live consumer panel highlighting perceptions and beliefs about food safety.


NCBA Slims Down Staff

NCBA Slims Down Staff


The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association is loosing four of its vice presidents. Jay Truitt will leave his post as Vice President of Government Affairs in Washington, D.C. and three Vice-President positions are being eliminated in the organization’s Denver office. Those positions were filled by Mark Thomas who headed Global Consumer Marketing; Don Rickets who was in charge of governance and federation relations; and Tim Downey who oversaw strategic projects. CEO Terry Stokes will run the Washington office in the interim.


Critics say “don’t test, don’t find” is rule for mad cow disease

Critics say “don’t test, don’t find” is rule for mad cow disease


The Press-Enterprise/Scripps News

After the country’s first mad cow case was found in 2003, the federal government ramped up testing cattle for the fatal disease.

But three years later, citing the “extremely low” incidence of the disease in the United States, officials all but eliminated that extra testing, scaling the costly program back by 90 percent.

Today, about 40,000 — or 0.1 percent — of the 37 million U.S. cows slaughtered each year are tested, a number that consumer groups say is too low, especially when compared to testing programs in other countries.


LSU AgCenter brings back ‘AgMagic’ April 21-27

LSU AgCenter brings back ‘AgMagic’ April 21-27

Delta Farm Press

The LSU AgCenter will bring the “magic” of agriculture back to its Parker Coliseum in Baton Rouge this spring as it presents its annual “AgMagic” event April 21-27.

The successful interactive educational event on the university campus in Baton Rouge is in its fifth year and is designed to give children and adults a fun way to learn that food, clothing, lumber and other products all are part of the complex system involving agriculture and natural resources.

AgMagic will be open for scheduled tours by school groups from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m., April 21-25. In addition, the public is invited to attend from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., April 26-27. Admission is free for all of the events.

“We’re proud to present this excellent educational event that offers fun for children and adults,” said William B. “Bill” Richardson, chancellor of the LSU AgCenter. “Our faculty and staff are putting together a great lineup to help the public understand where their food comes from and what agriculture is all about.”


American Feed Industry Association President Predicts “Perfect Storm” as Food Prices Continue to Rise

American Feed Industry Association President Predicts “Perfect Storm” as Food Prices Continue to Rise


Consumers will see another major runup in food prices this summer due to rapidly increasing animal feed costs, a result of competition for corn and oilseeds between livestock and poultry feeding and alternative fuels production, the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) board of directors was told at its recent meeting.

AFIA President & CEO Joel Newman, in his state of the industry report to the AFIA board, said Congress and the Bush Administration must recognize that $5 a bushel corn – and similar price jumps for soybeans and other food grains — can no longer be viewed as anomalies or temporary.

“$5 corn looks to be closer to the new ‘normal,” Newman said, adding ethanol’s use of corn will hit 27% of the U.S. corn crop during the 2007-2008 crop year.


Pfizer Animal Health to Acquire Catapult Genetics and Bovigen

Pfizer Animal Health to Acquire Catapult Genetics and Bovigen

Gene Marker Technology to Support Global Livestock Producers


Pfizer Animal Health today announced it will acquire two market-leading livestock genomics companies:

    * Catapult Genetics, Pty., Ltd., focused on developing and commercializing innovative livestock DNA tests and gene markers to assist global food producers, processors and retailers in improving profitability and quality in the global food chain; and

    * Bovigen, LLC, which markets DNA technology, including Catapult’s products in the U.S. and throughout Canada, Central America and South America.

Terms of the agreements were not disclosed. The acquisitions are expected to close by the end of this month. The two companies will continue to market products and services to their own customers as well as Pfizer Animal Health customers.

“This is a strategic initiative that places Pfizer at the forefront of livestock gene marker R&D and enhances Pfizer’s ability to offer more complete solutions to global livestock producers,” said Juan Ramon Alaix, president, Pfizer Animal Health.


Beef Grades

Beef Grades

By Chelsea Good, CAB Industry Information.

This is a report from the Certified Angus Beef Brand. The following information applies to the United States grading system. When the meat grader stamps a side of beef with a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) quality grade, he is estimating its palatability.

That stamp of approval on a Choice or Prime carcass predicts quality so that consumers have the confidence to pay more. Producers who sell in a valuebased system also earn more. But how do the graders decide which stamp to use? What separates a Choice carcass from a Select?


Feedlots, hog farms exempted from air-quality disclosures

Feedlots, hog farms exempted from air-quality disclosures


Pueblo Cheiftan

Democratic lawmakers are questioning a Bush administration plan to eliminate requirements for farms to disclose air pollution from animal waste.

Currently farms, such as cattle feedlots and confined hog farms, must report to federal, state and local officials when emissions of hazardous substances like ammonia and hydrogen sulfide exceed certain levels. In a little-noticed proposed rule change published in the Federal Register on Dec. 28, when Congress was on its winter recess, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed eliminating the reporting requirement.