Daily Archives: June 11, 2008

Illinois governor to release all agriculture money

Illinois governor to release all agriculture money

High Plains Journal

Gov. Rod Blagojevich will release all the $38 million in agriculture money that had been tied up in a state budget standoff, plus an additional $32 million, his office said May 2.

Aides said a day earlier the governor planned to release money for the University of Illinois Extension, soil and water conservation and agriculture research, but they didn’t specify whether the programs would get all the disputed money or just part.

But Kelley Quinn, spokeswoman for Blagojevich’s budget office, said May 2 the programs will get all of an estimated $38 million the governor withheld to help fill a budget deficit.


Comstock Named Executive Secretary of Red Angus

Comstock Named Executive Secretary of Red Angus

Greg Comstock has been named Executive Secretary of the Red Angus Association of America (RAAA). Comstock has been the Commercial Marketing Programs Coordinator since 2003 and is one of the driving factors in the breed’s growth to fourth largest in the industry. Comstock’s dedication to the commercial customer, experience in advertising, marketing, leadership development and purebred sale management has helped guide the increasing demand from cattlemen for Red Angus genetics. His progressive thinking has made Red Angus Marketing Programs the envy of the industry and his commitment to Red Angus breeders and their customers has been a catalyst for increasing Red Angus market share. As Executive Secretary, Comstock will be responsible for staff development, member services, industry relations and providing visionary focus for the direction of Red Angus.

Feeding Food Wastes to Livestock

Feeding Food Wastes to Livestock

Robert Myer and Holly Johnson

University of Florida

Many food wastes have a high nutritional value, and recycling them for animal feed can be a viable waste disposal option.

What are Food Wastes?

The term “food waste” used in this fact sheet is applied to wasted food from the food service industry (i.e. restaurants) and grocery stores. These wastes include plate waste (scrapings), food leftovers, kitchen wastes, spoiled food, expired food, mislabeled food, etc. Other terms to describe these wastes include food residuals, plate waste and kitchen scraps. Two older terms, “garbage” and “swill,” are still used, but the livestock and waste management industries prefer not to use these older terms.


Q&A: How do I predict mature weight in my bulls and cows assuming they are in a correct BCS?

Q&A: How do I predict mature weight in my bulls and cows assuming they are in a correct BCS?

Dr. Rick Rasby, Professor of Animal Science, Animal Science, University of Nebraska

How do I predict mature weight in my bulls and cows assuming they are in a correct BCS?

A: If you do not have a scales and want to predict weight, then you could use frame size. The table uses frame score at different ages and relates the frame score to body weight. It is assumed that the body condition of the cattle is BCS 5 in the 1 to 9 scale when the frame score is measured.

Frame score is a score based on subjective evaluation of height or actual measurement of hip height in beef cattle. This score is related to slaughter weights at which cattle should attain a given quality grade or attain a given amount of fat thickness. In other words, frame score is a convenient way of describing the skeletal size of cattle. With appropriate height growth curves, most animals should maintain the same frame score throughout life while their actual height will increase. This allows one frame score value to be used regardless of when the animal was measured.


Lack of Horse Sense Makes Congress Look Like a Horse‘s @**

Lack of Horse Sense Makes Congress Look Like a Horse‘s @**

Gary Truitt

Hoosier AG Today

Imagine elected officials passing legislation based solely on emotion and paid for media hype. That is just what happened in 2006 when Congress banned federal funding for inspection at horse slaughter facilities. Illinois lawmakers compounded the lunacy by passing a law that closed the only remaining horse slaughter facility in the nation in DeKalb, IL. Animal rights activists were beside themselves with joy at having manipulated US public opinion and flexed their political muscle to shut down an entire livestock sector. They based their fact-less argument on the theme that the slaughter of horses was inhumane. Yet, in the year since the last plant closed, the fate of many American horses has been far worse than anything the activists could imagine.


Iowa State researchers aim to improve nutritional quality of beef

Iowa State researchers aim to improve nutritional quality of beef

High Plains Journal

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.

“Our ultimate goal is to help improve human health through the beef people eat,” said James Reecy, associate professor of animal science. “For instance, we could identify genetic markers associated with increased levels of beneficial nutrients such as fatty acids like conjugated linoleic acid, and minerals like zinc, iron and copper. We can detect concentrations high enough so that a person could get an entire recommended daily allowance from one serving of beef.”


Driven by Emotion

Driven by Emotion

Meghan Richey

Angus Journal

There is a strong group of activists working to end the transportation of livestock in the European Union (EU). So far, it has made some major headway.

“We have quite a [few] hoops to jump through now, and not a one of them is based on any research or science,” says Eddie Harper, chairman of the livestock transport group of the Road Haulage Association and director of Assured British Meat. “These regulations are so restrictive we wonder about the future viability of our industry. You in America need to be aware of what can happen if you allow those who do not have the knowledge to decide the laws that dictate how you can do business.”


Meetings Will Explain Nutrient, Economic Value of Feedyard Manure

Meetings Will Explain Nutrient, Economic Value of Feedyard Manure


The value of manure to area cropping systems will be explained at two July meetings sponsored by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service and Texas Cattle Feeders Association.

As commercial fertilizer prices continue to escalate, manure is becoming a more viable option for nitrogen, phosphorus, micro-nutrients and other organic matter, said Patrick Warminski, AgriLife Extension risk management specialist.

At the meetings, experts will present current information on the nutrient and economic value of feedyard manure in irrigated and dryland cropping systems, Warminski said.


Officials explain MT brucellosis investigation

Officials explain MT brucellosis investigation

Montana’s News Station

North of Yellowstone Park, state and federal livestock officials are expanding their investigation into a brucellosis infection on a Paradise Valley ranch.

While the owners of the infected cow are involved in discussions about slaughtering the rest of their small herd, neighboring ranchers have been notified that their herds also need to be tested.

The owners of the cow that tested positive this week – have not been identified.


One family: In search of a simpler life

One family: In search of a simpler life


The Gunns ditched the corporate world for the family farm. They love their new life, but did it simplify their finances? Not by a long shot.

Five years ago, Kathy and Josh Gunn were typical urban professionals. Kathy started her day at 5 a.m. to get in a session with her personal trainer before heading to the office, where she put in 60 hours a week as an executive at a consumer electronics company. Josh traveled four days a week as a crop systems specialist for John Deere.

Meatpacker and USDA battle over right to test for mad cow disease

Meatpacker and USDA battle over right to test for mad cow disease

Consumer Reports

Any day now, we could see a decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that has important implications for meat safety.

The case of Creekstone vs. USDA will set precedent for the right to test for mad cow disease, a fatal brain-wasting disorder that cattle can acquire if they are fed the processed remains of mad-cow infected animals. If humans eat meat from a diseased cow, they can come down with the human version of the disease, which is also always fatal.


Whole Foods to buy beef from feedlot despite labor conflict

Whole Foods to buy beef from feedlot despite labor conflict


Whole Foods Markets says it will continue to buy Country Natural Beef finished at a Boardman feedlot, despite a labor dispute between feedlot owners and the United Farm Workers, the Oregonian newspaper reports.

It reverses Whole Foods’ earlier stand against buying cattle finished at Beef Northwest until the labor dispute was resolved.

The United Farm Workers has tried for more than a year to organize 80 workers at Beef Northwest, the state’s largest feedlot.


Brucellosis outbreak to cost ranchers millions

Brucellosis outbreak to cost ranchers millions


Bozeman Chronicle

Losing the state’s brucellosis-free status likely will cost the state’s ranchers about $6 million a year in extra expenses, plus an unknown amount in lost sales or lowered prices, according to a Montana State University economist Myles Watts.

There are two ways to look at that figure.

From one perspective it’s a minuscule fraction – less than one percent – of the state’s overall beef sales of $1.28 billion.

On the other hand, Watts calculates it will have a noticeable effect on many ranchers: about $1,000 to $1,500 for someone running a commercial ranch of 300 cows.


Angus influence affects efficiency, carcass merit

Angus influence affects efficiency, carcass merit

Certified Angus Beef

Successful producers have always tried to raise high-quality, high-performing cattle, but may have felt compelled to choose one ideal over the other. That’s not necessary, according to a recent analysis of data from the Iowa Tri-County Steer Carcass Futurity (TCSCF).

What is the effect of percent Angus genetics on performance in the feedlot and on carcass merit? Mark McCully, supply development director for Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB), worked with colleagues Larry Corah and Mike King at CAB, and Iowa Extension beef specialist Darrell Busby to present a research summary.


Korea’s U.S. Beef Brouhaha

Korea’s U.S. Beef Brouhaha

Moon Ihlwan


Rarely has a newly anointed Korean President fallen so far and so fast. Less than four months into a five-year term, Lee Myung Bak’s decision to remove restrictions on U.S. beef has sparked widespread protests over food safety and engulfed his administration in a crisis that threatens a free-trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries. Lee’s approval ratings have plunged to new lows, and opposition politicians are planning to boycott Parliament.