Daily Archives: July 28, 2008


There they stood out on the loading dock at the back of the administration building. Huddled behind a dumpster to protect themselves from the biting wind, they shivered, occasionally glancing over their shoulders at the solid metal door.

People that walked by glanced at them then quickly looked away. It could have been a picture from a depression-era hobo camp, or a group of refugees waiting for a food distribution truck. I ambled up to the crowd and said, “Gotta light?” (Just a joke, folks.)

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Livestock Haulers Become Modern Day Trail Bosses

Clifford Mitchell

Cattle Today

Livestock transportation has made many strides over the years. From the trail drives of the days of old, to the rail car and finally, modernized hauling rigs that took advantage of this country’s vast highway system to get from point A to point B.

No matter what era, from the Trail Boss to the modern day cattle hauler, these ramrods are a rare breed. Although the business of livestock transportation has changed vastly through the years, the kindred spirits who claim to be masters of the trail could be the same men through the ages. Today, it’s still a business where a man’s word is his bond and firms depend on a third party to get their product to town in a reasonable amount of time.

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King Ranch symposium offers pre-event cattle handling training

High Plains Journal

Demo’s offer unique methods designed to improve daily livestock work

"Entertaining, educational and informative–just great!" from a Springfield, Ill., beef producer.

"I liked your practical methods which anyone can use–how they save time and money, too. Also, your message about how we cattlemen can help the (beef) industry was very important. One of the top programs I have ever been to." from a Abingdon, Va., cattleman.

These are just two comments from participants who have attended seminars by Stockmanship and Stewardship clinicians Curt Pate, Dr. Ron Gill and Todd McCartney. Everyone who handles livestock will benefit from this unique educational program offered during the King Ranch Institute’s Pre-Symposium Training, Oct. 29 and 30 in Kingsville, Texas.

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Red Angus Association plans 2008 convention

Prairie Star

The Red Angus Association of America (RAAA) is holding its 54th National Convention September 17th n 19th, 2008 at the Little America Hotel in Cheyenne, WY. This annual event draws Red Angus seedstock producers, commercial customers and advocates of the breed from across the country as well as Canada and several other foreign countries.

This year’s event features a Commercial Cattlemen’s Symposium to be held from 1:00 n 5:00pm on Wednesday the 17th. The key topic of the symposium will be cowherd efficiency and the importance of selecting for genetics to help lower the maintenance requirements of cattle throughout the cattle cycle.

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Analyst: USDA cattle reports won’t impact markets much

Brownfield Network

Peter Shinn

USDA released it monthly cattle on feed and semi-annual cattle inventory reports Friday afternoon. Cattle-on-feed came in at 96% of last year, with placements of 91% and marketings at 92%.

DTN Chief Livestock Analyst John Harrington told Brownfield none of those numbers will surprise the trade too much. And in terms of market impact, Harrington said the cattle-on-feed report is "kind of dead on arrival, almost."

Harrington added that he doesn’t think much more of the market impact of the cattle inventory report. USDA pegged the U.S. beef cow herd at 1% below a year ago, exactly as the trade expected. But according to Harrington, USDA’s estimate of this year’s calf crop, at less than half-a-percent smaller than last year, doesn’t make much sense.

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David Burton: Take time to beef up your calves

Springfield News-Leader

Beef cattle producers can during the summer boost the weaning weights of calves born in late winter or early spring, according to Eldon Cole, a livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

"Mid-summer is not a very desirable time to work cattle, but some practices sure pay off with extra weight this fall," said Cole.

Among the economical practices Cole recommends for nursing calves are deworming, growth-promoting implants for non-breeding animals and external parasite control.

"The benefits from these could add 40 to 50 pounds additional weight come weaning time," said Cole.

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The Northwest Sustainable ranching Bureaucrat, cowboy swap jobs to learn how each helps the land


The Oregonian

Bryan Arroyo pauses to examine a woodpile at the lonesome Skull Creek cabin in southeastern Oregon’s sun-baked high desert. The top of the woodpile is decorated with grisly, bone-white cow and elk skulls.

Stacy Davies, foreman of the million-plus-acre Roaring Springs Ranch, leaves the shade of his pickup and strolls over, scuffing puffs of dust with his cowboy boots.

"This is rattlesnake country," he cautions. "You don’t want to go stirring in a woodpile here."

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Rising costs may slow beef production

The Reflector-Chronicle

Soaring grain, oilseed and land prices helped bolster some rural Americans’ incomes over the past year, but livestock producers have not reaped such gains.

 “Feed is the largest single cost item for livestock and poultry production – accounting for 60 to 70 percent of the total cost in most years,” said Kansas State University agricultural economist James Mintert. “Although energy, labor and other inputs have increased over the last two years, feed costs have jumped 40 to 60 percent, depending on whether a producer is feeding swine, cattle or poultry.”

Mintert, who is a livestock marketing economist for K-State Research and Extension, said corn prices at Omaha, for example, averaged $5.44 a bushel for the January-June 2008 period – a $3.44 or 173 percent increase over the $1.99 per bushel average set in January-June 2006.

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Cattle Health: BVD Herd Screening Methods


The most common approach to herd screening would be to obtain serum samples from all the animals in the herd over 3 months of age. In addition, whole blood samples should be collected from calves less than 3 months of age. Basically, all animals in the herd should be tested; therefore pregnant animal must be considered as 2 animals. Virus isolation using a microtiter immunoperoxidase detection methods is the most common method used for testing such large numbers of samples.

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Yon Family Farms gets national recognition

Aiken Standard


Yon Family Farms in Ridge Spring has been recognized for its environmental stewardship.

The farm received the regional 2008 Environmental Stewardship award from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association for its commitment to being environmentally conscious while providing consumers with safe beef products. The primary product out of Yon Family Farms is registered Angus beef.

Ever since the farm began 12 years ago, the Yon family has been implementing environmentally sound practices they believe play a part in the greater scheme of things.

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The International Brangus Breeders Association Launches BrangusJournal.com


San Antonio, TX, July 27, 2008 –(PR.com)– The International Brangus Breeders Association (IBBA) announces the launch of http://www.brangusjournal.com, the companion web site for the IBBA’s flagship publication, the Brangus Journal. The site will function as an electronic archive of past issues, as well as an opportunity to expand the Brangus Journal’s communications offerings beyond print media.

“We felt a solid web presence was essential to the execution of the IBBA Communications Plan,” stated IBBA Director of Communications, Duncan A. MacRae. “It is important for us to be able to provide a high-quality, yet uncomplicated interface for our members and prospective members. The immediate goal of brangusjournal.com is to act as an electronic mirror of the journal’s editorial content; however, we also see this as a medium through which we can explore online video, web casting, and unique supplements to our printed material.”

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Want guilt-free steak? Go against the grain

Research shows that grass-fed beef is leaner and more ecofriendly


By Lindsay Moyer, Women’s Health

Environmentalists, E. coli sufferers, the Skinny Bitches — the list of beef haters grows longer every day. But let’s face it: For a lot of people, biting into a thick, juicy steak ranks up there with make-up sex and cocktails on the company’s dime as one of those priceless MasterCard moments. So what’s a carnivore with a conscience to do?

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Agencies stay on TB trail, Depopulation begins at one of three affected California dairies

Cecilia Parsons

Capital Press

Hundreds of thousands of California dairy cattle will undergo bovine tuberculosis testing between August and December as federal and state animal health officials try to determine the scope of the current outbreak.

Officials are also stressing that the outbreak does not pose a threat to human health as pasteurization of milk kills the tuberculosis bacteria. Meanwhile, the state is bracing for downgrade of its tuberculosis-free status, which will affect movement of cattle.

Testing of the three Fresno County dairy herds where less than a dozen cows were confirmed infected with the disease will be completed in two weeks, USDA veterinarian Scott Beutelschies said.

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Area ranch shows impact of grass-finished beef operation

By Loretta Sorenson

The Daily Republic

The grass-finished beef operation Larry Wagner and his wife, veterinarian Julie Williams Wagner, have established south of Pukwana was the site of a Thursday pasture walk that showcased the Wagners’ non-traditional approach to finishing cattle.

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Lean times for cattle industry

Martha Brannigan

The Keene Sentinel

On a July morning just after sunrise, Frank Wesley “Wes” Williamson 3rd, a third-generation beef cattle rancher, rides his horse through lush pasture with his cowhands, rounding up cows for pregnancy testing.

The cowboys guide the herd of Brangus — a mix of Brahman and Angus — a mile or so away to a wooden holding pen built under the shade of a giant live oak. There, each cow is sonogrammed by a team of veterinarians to check for pregnancy.

Under the stark economics of beef-cattle ranching, some cows may survive eight or 10 years, but only by producing as many offspring. “Every cow has to produce a calf every year, or she has to pay her bill by going to slaughter,” said Williamson, 52, who runs the ranch with his 78-year-old father, Frank “Sonny” W. Williamson Jr., and his son, John Williamson, 31.

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