Daily Archives: July 9, 2008

Paralyzed Today Waiting For The Changes Of Tomorrow

Troy Marshall

Beef Magazine

Change, change, change. At times, it’s difficult to sit through yet another presentation on change.

No one is arguing that the explosion of commodity prices ironically may be the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back in terms of spelling the end for the commodity-beef business. Niche and branded marketing brings with it a whole new set of challenges, but the trends toward becoming more consumer oriented seem unstoppable.

The real issue isn’t so much about embracing the concept that the industry is changing. After all, it doesn’t take any special insight to see the volume and magnitude of the change that’s occurring. The real question is how one deals with these changes.

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Reducing Postpartum interval of Beef Cows

Ron Torell and Ben Bruce, Livestock Extension Specialists, Mike Gerber, Owner/Manager Home Ranch O’Neil Basin


A cow that cycles and rebreeds 83 days post-calving will deliver a calf near the same date the following year. Several factors affect the postpartum interval (PPI) of cows such as body condition, age and genetics. “Backing cows up” or shortening the PPI is difficult under the best of conditions. This trial investigated the effect body condition and cow age had on PPI of beef cows.

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Young vet’s experience with sick cattle gets to core of field’s role

Bill Epperson

The Clarion-Ledger

As a young veterinarian, I felt anxiety when Dr. Voorhees stared at me and boomed, "Veterinary diagnostic labs do 3 things – they educate the public, diagnose animal disease and protect public health." This was something he needed me to remember.

Several years ago on Presidents Day, two dead cows were delivered to the diagnostic lab for necropsy (necropsies are autopsies in animals). They were normal-looking and full of feed, and there were no abnormalities we could find. They came from a herd of about 140 beef cows. Within the last 12 hours, 55 had died. Most cows showed no signs; they were just found dead. The owners and their veterinarian treated them with everything, but nothing helped. They were exasperated.

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Ag secretary visiting Nebraska meat processing plants



FREMONT, Neb. — After touring two Nebraska slaughterhouses and a meat processing facility in Omaha on Tuesday, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer praised the country’s system for ensuring meat safety.

"The facilities are well-run, with huge attention paid to safety," he said. "Employees are well-trained. There’s a lot of effort to put a good, safe product out on the market."

Schafer’s visit came in the wake of a 5-million-pound recall of meat processed by Nebraska Beef of Omaha.

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Turkey Calling for VA Cows


Nothing says customer satisfaction like return business, especially when the purchase is as substantial as cattle, and the buyer and seller are 5,000 miles apart.

In December, 2007, Turkish buyers purchased more than 1,800 bred Holstein, Angus and Hereford heifers through Culpeper, Virginia exporter T. K. Exports, Inc. With assistance from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, exporter Gordon Thornhill had assembled a shipment of cattle that met the buyers’ stringent requirements.

Less than seven months later, the same exporter, again working with VDACS, repeated the process, shipping more than 1,000 Black Angus beef heifers and 1,000 bred Holstein heifers to waiting purchasers in Turkey.

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Farms are Next Food-Safety Frontier, Says CSPI

Bush Administration Urged to Give One Agency On-Farm Authority

Center for Science in the Public Interest

Many government agencies monitor food, but no federal agency is in charge of food-safety practices on America’s farms, according to the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). CSPI today urged the Administration and Congress to make one agency responsible for improving food-safety practices on the farm, where harmful pathogens can contaminate livestock, fruit, and vegetables.

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Fighting Cow Methane at the Source: Their Food

Genetically modified grass could be the key to reducing cow emissions.

Amber Fields

While many cattle are stuffed full of grain, grass-fed cattle have been heralded as a greener way to get beef because it diminishes the need to feed the animals antibiotics and has a smaller carbon footprint, not to mention that it yields beef with less saturated fat. Those of us lucky (or wealthy) enough to feast on grass-fed beef can rest easy knowing we have taken a step toward protecting planet Earth—or so we thought. It turns out there’s a hitch: Cow burps, which send methane into the atmosphere, may increase global warming.
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