Daily Archives: June 3, 2008

Symposium Speaker Make Recommendations

Symposium Speaker Make Recommendations

Kansas Livestock Association

All the consulting and teaching done by Colorado State University animal behavior expert Temple Grandin revolves around one principle: calm animals gain more weight. She told those attending last week’s International Beef Cattle Symposium in Manhattan this can be better achieved if handlers will, first, stop yelling when attempting to move animals and second, discontinue using electric prods.


Q&A: I am going to slaughter a couple of my cows to eat. I have been told that you should feed them out first. Can you give me info on if I should do this?

Q&A: I am going to slaughter a couple of my cows to eat. I have been told that you should feed them out first. Can you give me info on if I should do this?

Dr. Rick Rasby, Professor of Animal Science

Animal Science, University of Nebraska – Lincoln, Lincoln, NE

Q: I am going to slaughter a couple of my cows to eat. I have been told that you should feed them out first. Can you give me info on if I should do this?

A: A common question when feeding cull cows is how long should they be fed. One of the primary concerns associated with time on feed is fat color. It is more desirable for white fat as opposed to a more yellow fat color. Yellow fat is a result of the cows consuming high amounts of carotene, which is high in forages. High-grain diets, which are inherently low in carotene, will help convert yellow fat to white fat. Some research suggests that feeding a high-grain diet for as few as 56 days will result in a significant change from yellow to white. However, other research has not documented a change in the amount of yellow fat in cows on feed for as long as 105 days. So my best guess is somewhere in the 80 to 90 day range.

Disputing beef’s footprint

Disputing beef’s footprint

Greg Henderson


Last month, in observance of Earth Day, a number of people celebrated by not eating meat. Of course, many of those people celebrate every day by not eating meat, but that’s another issue.

Specifically, a growing number of activists are claiming the production of beef, pork and poultry are responsible for a significant share of the planet’s greenhouse gas emissions. These activists are calling on concerned people everywhere to stop eating meat in an effort to slow global warming.

In an editorial in The Boston Globe last month, “One less burger, one safer planet,” Derrick Z. Jackson called on the next U.S. president to “put meat on the bones of environmental policy by telling us to eat less of it.”

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Law of the West, Another Farm Bill

Law of the West, Another Farm Bill

John Scorsine


Well, it would seem to be that time again, when farming makes the news. Every few years Congress decides to turn its attention to the American Heartland and develop a statement of agricultural and food policy that not only has impacts within our Nation but across the Globe. This is one of those years. Last week, the Senate and the House approved the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 with veto-proof majorities; which if you are in favor of the Bill is a good thing since it is certain to be vetoed by President Bush.


Implanting Calves Still Pays Dividends

Implanting Calves Still Pays Dividends

Dr. Mark Wahlberg, Extension Livestock Specialist, VA Tech

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.


The Importance of Monitoring Livestock Water Quality

The Importance of Monitoring Livestock Water Quality


Rains in early 2008 have resulted in green pastures and full ponds for many cattle producers. This could ease your worries about water supplies for the summer, but will you have enough good quality water to get through the year? Early summer is the time to have your livestock water sources tested to be sure.

Water is the most important nutrient for livestock. Water is needed for all metabolic processes essential for life, growth and reproduction. The quantity of water that animals consume is affected by many factors including growth, pregnancy, lactation, activity, diet composition, feed intake and environmental temperature. The quality of water offered can also affect consumption and performance.


North Carolina to Host Gelbvieh Junior National

North Carolina to Host Gelbvieh Junior National

Cattle Today

The southern hospitality will be ever present at the 2008 American Gelbvieh Junior Association (AGJA) Blue Ridge Classic. The North Carolina Gelbvieh Association, North Carolina Junior Gelbvieh Association and the American Gelbvieh Junior Association are co-hosting the event set for July 6-11 in Waynesville, N.C. This annual event is rotated throughout the United States and this is the first time since 2002 the event has been hosted in the southeastern United States.

The Blue Ridge Classic will feature contests such as Impromptu Speaking, Photography, Poster, Sales Talk, Livestock Judging, Quiz Bowl Team competition, Creative Writing, Team Fitting and Showmanship. AGJA members will also vote for new directors to serve two-year terms on the AGJA Board of Directors. The AGJA Board of Directors set the policies for the organization and also make key decisions on program direction.


Labor dispute threatens family ranches raising all-natural beef

Labor dispute threatens family ranches raising all-natural beef

A union is trying to organize workers at a Boardman feedlot that fattens Country Natural Beef


The Oregonian

On the banks of Cow Creek in Douglas County, thousands of Oregon cattle fatten up each year in Kathy Panner’s pasture — without hormones, antibiotics or processed fillers. Panner has spent nearly a decade perfecting her recipe: two kinds of clover, two types of grasses and a breed of legumes to breathe nitrogen into the soil.

“All natural” is the essence of Country Natural Beef — a farmer-run cooperative that’s pushed the Northwest’s sustainable meats into butcher counters and restaurant menus nationwide.

With growing consumer demand for sustainable foods, Country Natural Beef is an industry leader and a model for change when it comes to the age-old economic relationships between growers and retailers.




The last six months of 2008 have been one of the greatest shows on earth! No movie, Superbowl, Olympics, Brad and Angelina, Brittany Spears or Royal Birth can compare to the spectacular, outrageous, full-blown television advertising windfall officially referred to as the Presidential Primaries. And the actual election is yet to come!

But with only six months left to go, television producers are already dreading the post presidential election blues, anticipating plunging plunder, pundit prostration and poor-house paranoia. The dilemma will be how to continue beating the dead horse once the election is over. They must be debating which scenario will be the most financially beneficial to their own bottom line.


Organic Prairie and Dakota Beef Enter Into Landmark Partnership to Boost Certified Organic Cattle Supply

Organic Prairie and Dakota Beef Enter Into Landmark Partnership to Boost Certified Organic Cattle Supply

Sun Herald

Multiyear partnership will maintain high quality product and supply to meet increasing consumer demand

CROPP Cooperative, North America’s largest farmer owned co-op, which markets products under the Organic Valley and Organic Prairie brands and Dakota Beef, the largest vertically integrated 100% Organic Beef producer in the United States, have partnered to expand the US organic beef cattle supply in a multi-year agreement. Consumer demand for high quality organic beef has been exceptional and this partnership will ensure supply to an increasingly savvy and discerning organic consumer.


Conservation Reserve Program Not Likely to Heavily Impact Grain Prices

Conservation Reserve Program Not Likely to Heavily Impact Grain Prices


Sign-ups for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) which began June 2, may not have an impact on feed grain demand, said a University of Illinois Extension marketing specialist.

“Clues about the potential impact of the CRP’s critical feed initiative on feed grain consumption will come from the number of acres enrolled,” said Darrel Good.

“The USDA’s September 2008 and December 2008 Grain Stocks reports will provide an opportunity to uncover the impact in the calculation of quarterly domestic grain disappearance.

“Our guess is that the impact will be small enough that it will be difficult to detect, lost in the noise of the annual variation of quarterly feed consumption.

“If so, this program has little implications for grain prices.”


Feed Efficiency Adds Value to the Cattle’s Production Cycle

Feed Efficiency Adds Value to the Cattle’s Production Cycle

Clifford Mitchell

Cattle Today

Professional sports franchises have a distinct pecking order when it is time for a decision to be made. The owner provides financial stability and calls on his staff to put together a winning combination. Closed door meetings often bring the general manager, a talent evaluator and the manger together with a financial consultant to institute policy.

They compile countless data sets to identify the missing pieces to the puzzle that separates a contender from a mediocre organization. These personnel decisions often revolve around “difference makers” and which ones it will take put the team over the proverbial top based on needs for the franchise.


Fairgrounds fixture banned by ag officials

Fairgrounds fixture banned by ag officials



Bill Mitchell has been a fixture at the Illinois State Fairgrounds for nearly a quarter-century, selling feed and bedding to livestock owners who came to see him as a friend as much as a businessman.

No more.

After losing his contract to sell supplies at the fairgrounds, Mitchell set up shop on a nearby parking lot. Now, however, the Department of Agriculture has banned him from the fairgrounds, and Mitchell’s customers are protesting as loudly as he is.

Mitchell’s low prices — $6.50 a bag for wood shavings, compared to $8.75 from the official vendor — aren’t the only reason.


US companies to indicate age on beef for S. Korea

US companies to indicate age on beef for S. Korea

US companies announce plans to label beef bound for S. Korea with cattle’s age after protests


Several U.S. beef companies said Monday they will begin labeling shipments to South Korea to note how old slaughtered cattle were at the time of their death, responding to weekend protests over fears that U.S. beef imports carry a risk of mad cow disease.

Springdale-based Tyson Foods Inc., as well as Cargill Meat Solutions Corp., JBS Swift & Co., National Beef Packing Co. and Smithfield Beef Group Inc., said the labels would show whether the cattle were younger or older than 30 months when slaughtered. The companies said in a joint news release that it would be up to South Korean customers to decide whether to purchase the meat or not.