Daily Archives: May 19, 2008

What will COOL require of cow/calf producers this September?

What will COOL require of cow/calf producers this September?

Western Livestock Journal

The title of this article asks a question that is not yet totally answered. However, the answer is beginning to be clearer and soon may be finalized. As you likely know, in 2002, the U.S. Congress passed a law requiring certain “covered commodities” to be verified and labeled as to their county of origin. The acronym used commonly for this law is COOL, denoting Country-of-Origin-Labeling. Final rules for COOL will be written following final passage of the 2007 Farm Bill which has passed the Senate and House Conference Committee and will likely be sent to the president’s desk soon. If the president signs the Farm Bill, final rules will then be written. As of now, the following definitions and requirements are likely to become rules. Let’s examine some of these as they apply to cow/calf producers:


High input costs force rethinking of cattle grazing strategies

High input costs force rethinking of cattle grazing strategies

Mark Parker

Farm Talk (Parsons, Kan.)/Tahlequah Daily Press

Change never stands still for a cattleman trying to throw a saddle on it.

Back in the once-upon-a-times, great cattle drives stirred the dust across Texas and Oklahoma as ranchers pointed their herds up the trail toward Kansas.

That era lasted less than 20 years, though, because the industry changed and, suddenly, being the best trail boss in the world didn’t count for much.


CAFOs in conflict: Huge farms increase efficiency but create environmental concerns

CAFOs in conflict: Huge farms increase efficiency but create environmental concerns

Rosemary Parker

Kalamazoo Gazette

First of a four-part series

Factory farms. You’ve gotta hate ’em.

Opponents of huge livestock operations complain they cram animals together like sardines, threaten the environment with massive quantities of waste and generate smells that could peel paint off the walls.

Concentrated-animal-feeding operations, or CAFOs. What’s not to love about ’em?

Supporters call them technological models of efficiency and energy conservation that protect animals from predators and disease, manage manure wastes that were once scattered across fields and streams, and create cheap food and full-time employment.

Modified cattle feed may prevent mad cow disease

Modified cattle feed may prevent mad cow disease

U of A scientists hope to give immunity to BSE

Sheila Pratt

The Edmonton Journal

In the not-so-distant future, Dr. Nat Kav hopes to be in a greenhouse tending a special crop of plants that could inoculate cattle against mad cow disease.

Kav, an associate professor in the University of Alberta agriculture department, says the idea is to give cattle protection against bovine spongiform encepthalopathy by growing antibodies to the disease in plants they eat.


Find Bad Udders Now

Find Bad Udders Now


One criteria that should be examined to cull cows is udder quality. Bad udders should be culled. Spring calving cows are in the peak of lactation. This is an excellent time to note in the cow record book any cow that has an unsound udder. Cows that have obviously poor udders could be marked for the cull list and removed from the herd next fall when the calves are weaned. Beef cattle producers are not as likely to think about udder health and shape as are dairy producers, but this attribute affects cow productivity and should be considered. OSU studied the effect that bad udders had on cow productivity. They found that cows with one or two dry quarters had calves with severely reduced weaning weights (50 – 60 pounds) compared to cows with no dry quarters. Plus, cows with bad udders tend to pass that trait along to daughters that may be kept as replacement heifers. Udder conformation and soundness is moderately heritable.


Size matters in veterinary medicine

Size matters in veterinary medicine

Couple bridges urban-rural differences.



When Darren Loula and Katie Waddington met in a Pre-Vet Freshman Interest Group at the University of Missouri, the city girl interested in small animals and the country boy who worked with farm animals had little in common, and their paths seemed divergent.

But yesterday the couple graduated from the College of Veterinary Medicine, and soon they’ll be taking jobs together near Springfield.

“We’re lucky. We’re in a state with a larger rural population than most of the country,” said Jeff Tyler, a professor of food animal medicine at the vet school. “Within an hour drive of Columbia, Missouri, reside one half-million cows.”


Documentary explores Nebraska’s beef history

Documentary explores Nebraska’s beef history

The Grand Island Independent

A new NET Television documentary will explore the history of Nebraska’s beef industry.

“Beef State,” a co-production of NET Television and the Nebraska State Historical Society (NSHS), is a new hourlong documentary on the history of the beef industry in Nebraska airing statewide at 6 p.m. on June 1 and repeating at 8 p.m. June 2 on NET1 and in high-definition on NET-HD.


T.D. Steele Inducted Into Angus Heritage Foundation

T.D. Steele Inducted Into Angus Heritage Foundation

Gay Brownlee

Lancaster Farming

Thomas (T.D.) Steele’s prestigious honor of having been inducted into the Angus Heritage Foundation in November of 2007 was almost like another pit stop in the race track of the active cattleman and real estate developer’s life.

Four or five times a year the circuit takes him from Virginia to Maple Hill, Kansas, where he takes care of business at his property Mill Brae Ranch.

Perhaps Steele is eager to prove that he prefers to “wear out instead of rust out,” according to a favorite adage of his late father Byron Steele.


Everybody’s Talkin’: Where to find the beef, Meet Andy Boston

Everybody’s Talkin’: Where to find the beef, Meet Andy Boston

Times Mail

When you work at a newspaper based in Lawrence County — one of the top beef-producing areas in the state — you find yourself doing things you wouldn’t originally do.

Like flipping through the current issue of Indiana Beef magazine.

And there, staring up from the pages of the magazine, was a familiar face — Andy Boston, who recently retired from the Orange County extension office.

Boston has received an award from the Indiana Beef Cattle Association for outstanding support of affiliate activities. He also received the association’s distinguished service award.


Seedstock Breeder of the Year Shares Farming Insights

Seedstock Breeder of the Year Shares Farming Insights

Linda Williams

Lancaster Farming

Sam and Sherrill Wylie received the Seedstock Breeder of the Year award at the annual Cattleman’s Banquet, held March 27 at State College. The award followed closely to winning the Pennsylvania Angus Association award at the annual Pennsylvania Angus Banquet during Farm Show week. The Wylies were also recently added to the Tallgrass Beef Company Preferred Genetics list.


Combining distillers grains with low quality forages creates storage solution

Combining distillers grains with low quality forages creates storage solution

Jennifer M. Latzke

High Plains Journal

In the business of agriculture the mantra is “waste not, want not.”

And in an era of high corn prices and rising input costs, livestock producers are learning new methods of reducing waste in their feed rations, particularly when it concerns the use of costly corn, hay and forage.

That’s why many producers are now looking to adding distillers grains into their cattle feeding rations.


Iowa State Researchers Aim to Improve Nutritional Quality Of Beef

Iowa State Researchers Aim to Improve Nutritional Quality Of Beef


Iowa State University researchers are identifying opportunities to advance the nutritional value of beef.

Funded by recent grants from Pfizer Animal Genetics and the National Beef Cattle Evaluation Consortium, the research brings together experts on molecular genetics, biochemistry, meat science and animal breeding to identify cattle genetics that lead to desired nutritional traits in beef.


Sharpshooters kill more than 1,200 deer in NW Minnesota in battle against bovine TB

Sharpshooters kill more than 1,200 deer in NW Minnesota in battle against bovine TB

Brad Swenson

Bemidji Pioneer

A total of 1,207 deer were killed by state and federal sharpshooters, hunters and landowners the past six months in bovine tuberculosis-infected northwest Minnesota, the state Department of Natural Resources said Wednesday.

The sharpshooting effort to remove deer started in February and ended Friday, the DNR said. Free-ranging deer, believed to be carriers of bovine TB to cattle, were targets of removal since the deer-hunting season closed last fall.


Farmers not raking in profits

Farmers not raking in profits


Bucks County Courier Times

In the Disney cartoon “Duck Tales,” the lead character Scrooge McDuck, a billionaire, enjoyed swan diving into his vault of money and swimming around amid gold coins.

If you think Bucks County farmers are doing something similar because food prices are soaring, think again.

With fertilizer and fuel costs spiking, among other increased expenditures, it is proving increasingly dear to bring bounty from the county’s approximately 76,800 acres of farmland.


Russia flirting with U.S. genetic technology

Russia flirting with U.S. genetic technology

The Tribune

The embryonic transplant lab at the Aristocrat Angus ranch in Platteville is tightly nestled between a large feed lot and vast grazing lands. It looks like a small greenhouse, but the work that actually goes on in the lab sounds straight out of Aldus Huxley’s, “Brave New World.”