10 ‘Good News’ Beef Industry Headlines from 2009
Kindra Gordon and Codi Vallery-Mills
The Cattle Business Weekly
What better way to close 2009 than on a positive note – reflecting on some of the news headlines throughout the year that were good news for the U.S. beef industry. The commonality with many of these success stories centers on beef producers being proactive and working together to ensure a better and brighter future for all livestock producers.
Inside the Labels
Glance through the meat counter at the local supermarket and you’ll notice a lot of different claims on the labels. Even the word "natural" can mean many different things, and how does it differ from meat designated "organic"? Ever wonder if your cattle might already fit one of those claims, or what would be required to market them in that way?
Speaking out for the beef industry
Tri State Livestock News
Over the past couple of years, and certainly over the past few months, there has been an increase in the number of media reports with inaccurate, misleading and, in some cases, untruthful information regarding agriculture and the beef industry. Topics have ranged from greenhouse gas emissions to food safety to human health.
Bull and burgers: mincing their words
Business Day (AU)
Hats off to the year’s most spectacular marketing success, or con job, depending which way you care to look at it: the rise and rise of the Angus beef brand via the lowly means of fast food hamburger mince.
McDonald’s and now Hungry Jack’s have pushed beyond the marketing aphorism, “sell the sizzle, not the steak”, by flogging a vague and arguably uninformed concept of the sizzle.
State’s bovine TB effort looks positive
Custer County Chief
The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) announced June 1, 2009, that a cow from a Rock County beef herd had tested positive for bovine tuberculosis. A second cow from that herd later also tested positive for the disease.
Since that time, NDA has been conducting an epidemiological investigation, which involves locating any cattle that may have been pastured next to the initial affected herd during the past two years, as well as tracing cattle movement into and out of that herd.
McLaughlin Farm – home of Highland cattle
John and Cathie McLaughlin, of McLaughlin Farm, are mainstays of the Westside Farmers’ Market and the Okemos Market. This past summer, I was lucky enough to take home one of their steaks for my grilling husband to throw onto the fire. The grass fed Highland Beef was saturated with flavor with a captivating almost gamey depth.
Cattle Tales Connect with Customers
Cattlemen tell stories in a lot of ways — across a fence gate, over coffee at the feed store, through the pickup window or atop a good horse in the back of the ropin’ pen. Now, producers focused on quality can also tell their stories on the Internet.
Cattle victims of drunk shooting
The Cattle Business Weekly
Shane Smith, 34, of Orlando, KS and Shelby Morris, 22 have been arrested on 13 complaints of animal cruelty for shooting cattle and striking a bull with their pickup in November.
Gateway program helps capture premiums
Age and source verification is becoming increasingly important, at least according to Don Graham, a cattle buyer based in northeast Oklahoma.
He should know. Graham travels throughout 10 states including the Plains, Arkansas, New Mexico and parts of Colorado for Crossroads Cattle Co., a buying firm based in Austin, Texas.
What’s a Milk EPD Worth?
Mike Baker, Beef Cattle Extension Specialist, Cornell University
Use of Expected Progeny Differences (EPD’s) is a useful tool in increasing the genetic merit of the cow/calf operation. A sire’s milk EPD is the measure of the expected increase in calf weaning weight that can be expected out of his daughters due to an increase in milk production. A study was conducted in Oklahoma to determine the actual increase in milk production and weaning weight observed when using sires with high and low milk EPD’s.
BeefTalk: A New Year’s Resolution – Apply What We Know
Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist, NDSU Extension Service
As Technology Improves, the Answers We Seek Will Become More Clear and Concise. As Technology Improves, the Answers We Seek Will Become More Clear and Concise.
Almost all of our newer technologies came about because of advances in laboratories that study, but do not feed, the beef cow.
Have you ever been around someone who knows everything? However, in this case, I mean those people who actually do know a good share of stuff.
Weak Calf Syndrome
by Bill Epperson, DVM, Extension veterinarian, SDSU Veterinary Medicine Department and Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory
Severe winter conditions are commonplace in many geographical areas where beef is produced. However, cold temperatures, wind, and abnormally high snowfall can combine to produce environmental conditions that make adequate care of the beef herd impossible.
Joseph Gallo Farms gets environmental award
The beef cattle the Gallos raise eat a variety of feeds, including fresh produce that comes from the Monterey area.
"There’s a lot of the produce that people don’t want to eat, but it’s still healthy," Gallo said. "Instead of dumping it, we feed it to our beef cattle."
Composite Seedstock Can Simplify Crossbreeding
Many beef herds are too small to implement standard crossbreeding systems. Using composite cattle might be an advantage to smaller-scale producers who have single-sire herds because it can simplify for them the use of breed combinations for their production environments.
Focus On Feed Costs
Published data sets and research reports continue to demonstrate the huge role that costs – especially feed costs — play in determining cowherd profitability. Production measures like weaning percent and weights do, of course, directly impact the bottom line. But multi-year analyses from across the country consistently show that variation in feed expense is the predominant economic differential between high- and low-profit producers.
Dr. Clyde Lane University of Tennessee, Beef Extension Specialist, discusses this important topic.
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SDSU alum named ag dean
The Brookings Register
Dr. Barry Dunn, an agricultural academic administrator with South Dakota ties, has been named dean of the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences at South Dakota State University. The announcement was made this morning to the college’s faculty and to university personnel.
New Year Means New Regulation for Texas Cattle
Thinking about selling, leasing, bartering or even giving away a breeding bull? On Jan. 1, Texas bulls that undergo a change of ownership (except to slaughter) must be either certified as a virgin bull or be tested first for cattle trichomoniasis, a protozoal disease that can cause cows to abort very early in pregnancy. Infected bulls carry the microscopic “bug” that causes trichomoniasis without any signs and can transmit the single-celled protozoa to cows during breeding.
A decidedly better world
Tri State Livestock News
As agriculturalists look to the future and begin to make management decisions for 2010, Al Ambrose offered some vital advice for producers to consider at the South Dakota Soybean Association’s AgOutlook 2010 in Sioux Falls, SD on Dec. 10, 2009.
Animal welfare: When emotion and science collide
When it comes to animal welfare, is it too late for diplomacy or have the battle lines finally been drawn?
The question isn’t far-fetched, considering some of the latest developments in the long-brewing controversy.
On the one hand, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is plowing ahead with its national campaign to reform livestock housing.
On the other, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) continues to argue for what it considers a more rational, scientific approach.