Monthly Archives: May 2008

BeefTalk: Cow Size – To Win the Race, You Must Know What Race You Are In

BeefTalk: Cow Size – To Win the Race, You Must Know What Race You Are In

Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

Estimated Total Calf Production on 640 Acres Estimated Total Calf Production on 640 Acres

A utopian system that goes from conception all the way to the consumer has yet to be developed.

When selecting cows for size, the debate can rage on for a long time. In reality, personal perception defines large and small and many questions don’t have answers.

However, research data shows that cattle must fit the environment in which they are asked to produce. Small cattle are not bad and large cattle are not bad. Likewise, small cattle may not be good and large cattle may not be good.


Carcass Ultrasound 101: Becoming a carcass ultrasound technician

Carcass Ultrasound 101: Becoming a carcass ultrasound technician

By Patrick Wall, Director of Communications, The National CUP Lab

American Cowman

The telephone at The National CUP Lab rings often in the spring of each year, but as the bull and female sale season winds down, the clients’ questions begin to change from barnsheets, images, and data processing to “How do I become a field technician?”

Despite the rapid growth of available scanning technicians in the last five years, there are still parts of the country that thirst for someone to scan their cattle. Seeing an opportunity, a number of creative cattlemen have filled the void in their area by becoming a certified technician. On the surface, getting into the ultrasound scanning business seems quite simple: learn the science, buy equipment, find cattle, and scan ‘em.

However, there is a lot more involved in building a successful business in the carcass ultrasound industry. Passing the initial certification exam is just one step; mastering the craft of carcass ultrasound takes diligence and literally thousands of head of practice.


Large portion of 2008 Farm Bill goes into law

Large portion of 2008 Farm Bill goes into law


Farm and Ranch Guide

Despite a lot of last minute confusion over missing pages, all of the 2008 Farm Bill is now law minus the 34 pages containing the trade and foreign food subsidy title, which was omitted from the copy sent to President Bush for his signature.

On Thursday, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., and Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., issued the following statement:

“Following veto override votes of 316-108 in the House and 82-13 in the Senate, the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 has been enacted into law, with the exception of the bill’s trade title.

“The trade title was included in the conference report passed by Congress but was inadvertently left out of the official copy of the farm bill that the president vetoed. Today, the House also took action to correct the clerical error that resulted in the unintentional omission of the trade title from the enrolled farm bill and ensure that the entire farm bill is enacted into law swiftly. Most of the farm bill is now law and the Administration can begin implementing the new programs and policies immediately.”


Time To Re-evaluate The Checkoff

Time To Re-evaluate The Checkoff

Troy Marshall

Beef Magazine

How quickly things change. Not that long ago, it looked like the golden era of beef production had arrived – we had arrested the decline in beef demand, it looked like global exports would continue to fuel domestic industry growth, and profitability had been consistent.

Now the Beef Promotion Operating Committee has recommended a checkoff budget for the next fiscal year of $45.8 million, a decrease of 6.6% compared with last year, which saw the promotion budget cut by another 12%.

We are now spending less than $20 million/year on beef promotion when national ad campaigns are expected to cost a minimum of $150 million/year. When you listen carefully to those people who sit in the room and make the hard decisions on what to fund, their statements tell the whole story.


Indiana Beef & Veal Producers Team Up To Jump Start The

Indiana Beef & Veal Producers Team Up To Jump Start The

Hoosier AG Today

The Indiana Beef Council (IBC) coordinated a grilling event that took place on Friday May 23rd, 2008 at McCord’s and Connolly’s Do it Best Hardware Stores in Fort Wayne, IN. Teaming up with nearby Jamison Quality Meats and Weber Grills, the producers grilled Teriyaki Beef Flank Steak and Fresh Veal Burgers in the parking lots of both hardware locations. In addition to the sampling event, customers were given a $5.00 off gift card when purchasing $40.00 worth of beef or veal at Jamison Quality Meats as well as the opportunity to win one of the two Weber Gas Grills used to grill the beef and veal.

The cookout was preceded by two weeks of radio spots on WOWO 1190 AM informing the public of the upcoming events as well as live radio remotes from both stores the day of the cookouts. “Most Hoosiers have never tasted veal before and this gives us the opportunity to put our product in their mouths”, said Kosciusko County veal producer Randie Kopkey. “It also gives us the opportunity to speak directly with the consumer about the many misconceptions that exist about the veal industry.”


Cattle Health: Implanting Calves Still Pays Dividends

Cattle Health: Implanting Calves Still Pays Dividends

Growth-promoting implants are a well-established technology in the beef business. For more than 30 years some of these products have been available to improve growth and feed efficiency in cattle. A great deal of the more recent product development has been with implants designed for use in feedlot steers and heifers. However, there are a few implant products that are approved for use and will effectively work in calves prior to the time of weaning.

The use of all of the implant products is monitored by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Based on the research, FDA has determined that when used as instructed, implants have no withdrawal period.

Implants produce an increase in muscle growth, at the expense of fat deposition, in cattle of all ages. This growth effect is variable, and is affected by age and sex of calf, the calf’s genetic potential for growth, level of nutrition, and overall health and vigor of the calf. But in general, one implant administered preweaning generates from 10 to 25 pounds of extra pounds at weaning.


Grass-fed beef: A nutritional correctness dilemma

Grass-fed beef: A nutritional correctness dilemma


Miami Herald

The romance of the cowboy cuts deep in American culture and in all the cattle cultures of the world. From the South American pampas to the bull country of La Camargue in France, cowboys ride the range, driving cattle, roping and branding steers, tending herds in endless plains of grass.

But there’s another side to the business of raising cattle that is not romantic but repugnant: The feedlot.


Free-range ranchers in US prosper from changing tastes in fast food

Free-range ranchers in US prosper from changing tastes in fast food


Seattle Post Intellegencer

It’s been said that hot dogs – like laws – are something you never want to see being made.

But Steve Elzer is glad to know what goes into the wieners he buys from a new hot dog stand near his office – 100 percent grass-fed beef raised in the sunny, wind-swept pastures of California’s Central Coast.

“I love the feel, the taste, the pedigree that this meat is free-range,” the 46-year-old movie publicist said between bites at the chrome and ketchup-red Let’s Be Frank stand.


Greener pastures?

Greener pastures?

Groups claim cows are worse than cars

Columbia Basin Herald

Put down the hamburger. Stop eating steak. One more bite and you could help create more greenhouse gasses than ever driving a Hummer.

We’re not talking about methane.

The Group of 8 economic summit is taking place in Kobe, Japan, where the legendary, succulent Kobe beef is grown.

As they began the three-day summit, the United Nations was joined by vegetarian groups in pushing for a new way to reduce greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide buildup.

“One way to combat climate change is reducing meat consumption,” Ragendra Pachauri of the International Panel on Climate Change told G8 leaders, according to The Japan Times.


Trace Minerals: What to supplement and when

Trace Minerals: What to supplement and when

Jason K. Ahola, Ph.D.

American Cowman

U.S. cow/calf producers have been faced with an extreme increase in operating costs over the past year, especially for feed and supplements. Thus, even with strong calf prices, profitability can be hard to achieve.

One key method for improving profit is to reduce costs without negatively affecting performance – namely through reproduction. To do so, aim for better management of the high-cost trace mineral supplement you are feeding your cows. Let’s take a closer look.

Which trace minerals are most important?

Trace minerals are required at concentrations less than 100 parts per million (ppm, also known as mg per kg) of diet. The National Research Council (NRC) has identified 10 trace minerals as essential for beef cattle; however, only about 4 are generally recognized as the most problematic in grazing beef cattle: copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), manganese (Mn), and selenium (Se).


Infusing youth into herd with bred heifers

Infusing youth into herd with bred heifers

By Jeff DeYoung

Farm & Ranch Guide

Brad Klodt realized that to infuse some youth into his cow herd, he would have to learn to deal with heifers.

Klodt, who runs 265 cows near here in Van Buren County, farms with his father, Clarence. He has more than tripled the size of the herd in the last several years.

“I was looking to make the herd younger and to improve the genetics,” Klodt says. “I started buying bred heifers from a producer near here, and they were high-quality heifers that have done very well for us.”

He uses purebred Angus and Angus-Simmental crossbred cows on his southeast Iowa farm. Each year, Klodt says he brings in 30 to 40 bred heifers.


Marketplace: Changes coming in beef industry

Marketplace: Changes coming in beef industry

Travis W. Hoffman, CSU Colorado Beef Quality Assurance Coordinator

Journal Advocate


The beef industry, and everyone involved, has the responsibility to uphold the wholesomeness and integrity of merchandised beef products.

This week, the United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer announced the plan for a proposed rule to ban all non-ambulatory cattle from entering the U.S. food supply. This will remove the exception currently given to injured animals that are slaughtered at federally-inspected packing facilities following a satisfactory ante-mortem inspection.


Editorial: Helping an industry prevent a nightmare

Editorial: Helping an industry prevent a nightmare

USDA closes loophole on processing downer cows.

It was a YouTube moment capable of converting backyard barbecue enthusiasts into vegetarians: “Downer cows” — those too sick or injured to move — being shocked, sprayed with high-pressure hoses and forklifted to get them on their feet to be slaughtered at the Westland/Hallmark Meat Co. in Chino, Calif. The undercover video, taken by a Humane Society member who got a job with the meat company, created a media maelstrom and resulted in the biggest beef recall ever, criminal charges against some of the workers and the shutdown of the plant.


South Korea to resume US beef imports

South Korea to resume US beef imports


Wichita Eagle

South Korea’s government announced Thursday it is going ahead with a much-criticized deal to resume imports of U.S. beef, while thousands of protesters took to the streets to denounce the move.

Agriculture Minister Chung Woon-chun said in a nationally televised announcement that the government has finalized new quarantine regulations for U.S. beef in accordance with an April 18 agreement with Washington.


Rustburg farm hits century mark

Rustburg farm hits century mark

James Meadows

Womack Publishing Service

To some, a small plaque for Christmas might have little meaning. However, for Charles and Carole Fariss, it meant a lot when they received the gift from their son Matthew.

The plaque stated they were officially one of 75 farms to be recognized as a Virginia Century Farm this year. The honor is given by the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation.

“I thought it was a good recognition for the dedication this family has to agriculture for over 100 years,” said Matthew Farris.

“I knew we were eligible and I was happy he took the initiative to go through the process, and my wife and I are very grateful,” Charles Fariss said.


Veterinary Scholarships in High Demand

Veterinary Scholarships in High Demand

Cattle Today

In its inaugural year, the Fort Dodge Animal Health Legacy Scholarship received 158 scholarship applications from students across the country. This new scholarship program was announced at the 2008 Cattle Industry Annual Convention. Made possible by Fort Dodge Animal Health and administered by the National Cattlemen’s Foundation, five scholarships of $5,000 each will be awarded at the Cattle Industry Summer Conference, which will be held July 15-19 in Denver. In addition to the scholarship, all five recipients will receive an expense-paid trip to attend the conference.


North Dakota Attorney General: JBS Acquisitions Will Lessen Competition

North Dakota Attorney General: JBS Acquisitions Will Lessen Competition


R-CALF USA was pleased to learn that North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem has joined several other attorneys general in writing to the U.S. Department of Justice to voice concerns over the proposed JBS acquisitions of National Beef Packing Co., Smithfield Beef Group, and Five Rivers Ranch Cattle Feeding, the largest operator of feedlots in the United States, and how the mergers would “lessen competition to the detriment of many of the groups involved in the industry, including consumers.”

Several R-CALF USA members from North Dakota took time to contact Stenehjem with their concerns, two of whom were Link Reinhiller and Patrick Becker.


University of Tennessee to Host Field Day at Highland Rim Research and Education Center

University of Tennessee to Host Field Day at Highland Rim Research and Education Center

Cattle Today

Tobacco and beef production will be the focus of the June 26 field day at the University of Tennessee Highland Rim Research and Education Center in Springfield. Bioenergy crops and fruit, vegetable and forage production will also be discussed.

Tours will begin at 7:30 a.m., and the event will run through 1:00 p.m. A sponsored lunch will be provided.

University of Tennessee experts and others will be on hand to explore topics related to tobacco production, including better tobacco varieties, irrigation strategies that pay, effective tobacco sucker control programs, and new Ridomil® use patterns.


NCBA to USDA: Nice Gesture, But Wrong Solution

NCBA to USDA: Nice Gesture, But Wrong Solution


According to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association – the plan to open certain CRP acres to haying and grazing is well-intentioned – but doesn’t provide the right solution for cattle producers. NCBA does support managed haying and grazing of CRP acres during times of shortage – but only with a corresponding reduction in CRP payments. USDA’s plan does not include a payment reduction – and without it – NCBA says producers raising or obtaining their hay and forage from non-CRP land are placed at an unfair disadvantage.


Safe Food: Could it be compromised?

Safe Food: Could it be compromised?

Living in Missouri, a state that produces a large amount of the nation’s food supply, I am very much aware of the possible dangers of agricultural terrorism.

Of the 17 critical national infrastructures that have been identified by the U.S. government, agriculture is listed as one of the most vulnerable to terrorist attack. That is according to Amanda Marney, agriculture preparedness special, University of Missouri extension because the agricultural sector of our economy produces about 13 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product and accounts for 18 percent of domestic employment. This is a large proportion for the nation but for Missouri itself it makes it the mainstay of our local economy.