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by WLJ
2008 August 1
Two beef producers from Nebraska and Iowa took part in a U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) U.S. Beef Checkoff-sponsored promotion, made possible through the financial support of the Nebraska Beef Council and the Iowa Beef Industry Council, that helped boost weekend sales of U.S. beef tenfold at a key store in Japan’s largest retail grocery chain. U.S. beef producers Bill Rhea of Arlington, NE, the Nebraska Beef Council’s treasurer, and Scott Niess of Osage, IA, and a member of the Iowa Beef Industry Council’s board of directors, witnessed and participated in a large-scale USMEF U.S. beef promotion for Japanese consumers at
by DTN
2008 August 1
USDA will not allow landowners to take acres out of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) early unless the landowner agrees to pay the normal early-out penalties for breaking a contract, Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer said last Tuesday. Schafer said the decision not to allow early out "strikes the best possible balance between supporting programs that protect our natural resources and meeting the nation’s need for grain production." The decision effectively means farmers wanting to void a CRP contract for 2009 crops would have to pay the USDA penalties to do so. In choosing to stand pat on CRP, Schafer said USDA completed
by WLJ
2008 August 1
  USDA has tried hard to make this country-of-origin labeling (COOL) rule as minimally invasive as possible. While the rule has the same basic intent of identifying country of origin on covered commodities, it has essentially had all its teeth removed from the 2002 legislation. They also had just a couple months to get this interim rule written after passage of the Farm Bill, which was holding up the entire process. Producers, on the surface, have very little to be concerned about. Your good word is your bond that the cattle are what you say they are. Liability for accurate origin information
by WLJ
2008 August 1
More than 2,300 farmers and ranchers will receive checks in the mail soon for capturing and storing carbon dioxide in their soil through the National Farmers Union Carbon Credit Program. National Farmers Union (NFU) President Tom Buis said total earnings from no-till and seeded grassland offsets generated $5,876,825 in income for 2006 and 2007 practices. To date, $8 million has been earned by producers since the voluntary program began in late 2006. "As conservation leaders, we know agriculture can play an important part in offsetting greenhouse gases in our environment today," Buis said. "Now, through innovative soil stewardship activities and the carbon
by WLJ
2008 August 1
Genotyping results of the Brucella abortus bacteria found to have been infecting a cow near Pray, MT, has pointed to elk as the most likely source of the disease. The cow, found in the Paradise Valley area north of Yellowstone National Park in June, was out of the area where it was considered likely for bison to have transmitted the disease, but well within the area where brucellosis-carrying elk frequent. Montana’s most recent finding came just one year after a positive test for brucellosis was discovered in a cattle herd near Bridger, MT, which resulted in the depopulation of two herds
by WLJ
2008 August 1
Consumers with chef envy take heart Few consumers can afford private cooking lessons from a renowned chef—until now. The Certified Angus Beef (CAB) brand has made beef preparation simple with new cooking videos available at www.certifiedangusbeef.com. Scott Popovic, CAB LLC corporate chef, shares his secrets to success in several online demonstrations detailing everything from braising to sautéing to grilling to carving a bone-in ribeye. The company’s home economist, Sarah Donohoe, is also featured in several segments. "Consumers are making an investment every time they head to the grocery store," says Popovic. "Shoppers have confidence in the superior quality of the Certified
by WLJ
2008 July 25
Environmental Stewardship Award regional winners named Regional winners of the 2008 Environmental Stewardship Award Program were recently announced at the Cattle Industry Summer Conference held July 15-19 in Denver, CO. The July 17 reception and dinner for the award winners highlighted their achievements in making their cattle operations models of environmental soundness. Good stewardship is essential in promoting both the health of the land and the industry’s public perception, and this year’s regional winners have all exemplified how good land use practices can help the beef industry as a whole, explained Dave Petty, award selection committee chairman. "These families have successfully conducted stewardship
by WLJ
2008 July 25
A federal judge last Thursday ruled that the opening of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres will be restricted, however, some grazing and haying of ground will be permitted this year under USDA’s critical feed use plan. The judge issued a narrow permanent injunction to allow those producers with approved CRP contracts to continue operations through the program’s original Nov. 10 deadline. Farmers and ranchers who sent applications but have not received approvals will have their applications processed. If approved, those producers may hay until Sept. 30 or graze until Oct. 15. Farmers and ranchers who have not yet sent applications may do
by WLJ
2008 July 25
Proactive It seems that the animal activists have been a little rough on animal agriculture lately. Some of it may be justified, and some is not. By now we all know about the videos of downed cattle that the Humane Society of United States (HSUS) has produced and presented to the public before they presented it to the industry. Their tactics are shoot first and ask questions later. They claim they are trying to change "factory farming," but justify animal treatment with their emotions and self compassion. If they were the only group on this trail of vengeance, I wouldn’t be concerned.
2008 July 25
Cow size—Effects of cow size on pasture management The effect of cow size and expected production from pasture management directly impacts expected outcomes that translate into income. This relationship was discussed in recent BeefTalk articles. A drought, at least in western North Dakota, initiated the discussion. The Dickinson Research Extension Center (DREC) established two different groups of cattle based on body weight, calculating inputs and potential outcomes. The two groups (herds) of cattle were weighed. The first herd had 52 cows that averaged 1,216 pounds (856 to 1,395 pounds) and the second herd was 50 cows that averaged 1,571 pounds (1,350 to 1,935
by WLJ
2008 July 25
Beef protests remain in Korea South Korean police recently detained 16 demonstrators for illegally occupying streets during a rally against U.S. beef imports, according to officials’ reports. The detainees were among 1,600 protesters who took to the streets during the two-day protest. "Sixteen people have been put in police custody for questioning over the charges of illegally occupying the streets," a Seoul police spokesman said. Starting in early May, tens of thousands demonstrated against the proposed resumption of U.S. beef imports which sparked fears of "mad-cow" disease, known scientifically as bovine spongiform encephalopathy. The mass protests have largely ended since the
by WLJ
2008 July 25
As summer heats up, so do water toxicity issues Early summer rains provided for an excess of water in most of eastern Oklahoma this year, but as things start to heat up and dry up, we may be facing new livestock problems. Blue-green algae in dirty and drying ponds and flood overflow areas can cause fatal toxicity in all domestic animals that drink from these ponds. The culprit is not really an algae and may not even be blue-green. The problem is caused by a group of organism know as cyanobacteria, or bacteria with photosynthesis capability. The colors range from blue to
by WLJ
2008 July 25
MSGA supports motion to explore brucellosis options At last week’s Montana Board of Livestock (BOL) meeting, BOL member Jan French made a motion directing the Department of Livestock (DOL) staff to "pursue all opportunities to prevent the loss of [Montana’s brucellosis] Class Free status, or regain Class Free status, including, but not limited to, herd plans, hot zones, high risk management areas, split-state status, tri-state meetings, and possible federal [rule] changes." The motion passed. Errol Rice, executive vice president of the Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA), offered his support of the motion. "We are encouraged by the BOL’s decision allowing State Veterinarian Dr. Marty
2008 July 25
Dear WLJ Editor, This letter is in response to the ‘Guest Opinion’ appearing in the July 7, 2008, issue of the Western Livestock Journal stating "Split-state status still wrong for Montana cattle industry" by Steve Roth, president, Montana Stockgrowers Association. As a cattle producer in a state that was granted split-state status in its fight to eradicate bovine tuberculosis (TB) in its deer herd, I wholeheartedly agree with the position of the Montana Stockgrowers Association. Michigan has endured a tremendous economic cost and an endless managerial hardship associated with this disease for over 10 years and it is my opinion that having
by WLJ
2008 July 25
Fort Dodge Animal Health Legacy Scholarships awarded The National Cattlemen’s Foundation and Fort Dodge Animal Health recognize the importance of and demand for bovine veterinarians and production agriculture professionals. At the 2008 Cattle Industry Summer Conference, they recognized five individuals for their commitment to the industry. Three doctorate of veterinary medicine (DVM) and two animal science undergraduate students each received a scholarship of $5,000 as part of the first Fort Dodge Animal Health Legacy Scholarship program. DVM scholarships were awarded to Jessica Evoniuk, South Heart, ND; Maggie Hoenig, Donnellson, IA; and Caleb Lund, Lusk, WY. Evoniuk and Hoenig attend Iowa State University,
by WLJ
2008 July 25
Arthur Kunde Arthur "Bob" Kunde, who founded Kunde Estate & Winery in the heart of Kenwood, CA, where his family grew grapes for more than a century, died July 18. He was 80. Kunde, a stocky man with a perpetual smile, founded the winery that bears the family name with his late brother, Fred, in 1990. The brothers made the transition from grape growers to vintners because they believed in the quality of their grapes. Although retired, Bob Kunde was still very much involved in the business, said his daughter, Marcia Mickelson, the company’s marketing communications manager. "He cherished in his success of
by WLJ
2008 July 25
Houston Livestock Show awards over $1M in scholarships The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo awarded 70 Texas FFA members with four-year, $15,000 scholarships totaling $1,050,000 during the Texas FFA State Convention in Lubbock. A scholarship evaluation committee, chosen by Texas FFA officials and consisting of agricultural science teachers representing the 10 FFA areas in Texas, evaluates applicants on the criteria of academic ability, FFA involvement and achievement, financial need, and leadership. In 2008, the show’s scholarships increased to $15,000, a significant increase from the $12,000 scholarships previously awarded. FFA scholarships are just one facet of the show’s educational program. For the 2008-09 school year,
by WLJ
2008 July 25
Grant funds study of faster healing of joint injuries A Colorado State University (CSU) veterinarian has been awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop a gene therapy approach to help heal cartilage and prevent osteoarthritis in horses, potentially leading to scientific methods that also may help humans. The grant, which is $678,000 over five years, will investigate the success of treating joint injuries with a protein injected into injured joints within a virus-like agent called a viral vector. Cartilage injuries in equine athletes are often career-ending because cartilage heals on only a limited basis. Healing is limited because a
by WLJ
2008 July 25
Feedlots can protect against heat stress losses Heat stress can cause loss of feedlot cattle worth millions of dollars, said Tami Brown-Brandl, agricultural engineer at USDA’s Meat Animal Research Center near Clay Center, NE. Thousands of cattle can die during a single regional heat event, Brandl said. Even if a producer only sees that kind of loss every five years or so, it can be devastating to that operation. The most important time to watch for heat stress is a period of two nights or more in a row with low temperatures at or above 70 degrees, Brandl said. When nights don’t cool,
by WLJ
2008 July 25
W.D. Farr Scholarships awarded at Cattle Industry Summer Conference The academic careers of two outstanding graduate students were recognized on July 17 with scholarships awarded in honor of one of the cattle industry’s greatest pioneers. The National Cattlemen’s Foundation (NCF) honored the late W.D. Farr of Greeley, CO, through two annual $12,000 graduate scholarships bearing his name. Mitchell B. Bowling is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Animal Sciences at Colorado State University where he also received his master’s degree. He received his bachelor of science degree in animal science from Texas A&M University. Originally from Texas, Bowling is utilizing his


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