Beef Magazine is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Coccidosis in the Fall

A variety of clinical neurological syndromes exists in stocker and feeder cattle. Causes may be infectious, nutritional/metabolic, or toxins. A less common syndrome is referred to as "nervous" coccidiosis, named so because of the observation that many of the calves that experience this neurological syndrome concurrently exhibit clinical enteric coccidiosis.(1) This entity was first reported in 1921.(2)

Nervous coccidiosis can occur at any time of the year but appears most often in the fall and early winter, coinciding with the time of the year when many calves move to feedlots. This syndrome reportedly can occur in up to 30% of the calves affected with enteric coccidiosis. As many as 10,000 cattle die annually in the U.S. from this problem. The pathogenic mechanisms for nervous coccidiosis, however, are not clearly resolved.(1) Coccidial organisms or microscopic lesions consistent with coccidial infection cannot always be found in affected calves.(3) Researchers have not been able to experimentally reproduce this syndrome. The absence of significant brain lesions eliminates infectious and some nutritional factors and toxic agents as primary causes.(1)

Clinical signs of nervous coccidiosis may vary in severity and frequency and may range from minor muscular incoordination, twitching, and loss of balance to intermittent or continuous seizures. During seizures, affected calves collapse into lateral recumbency and exhibit a variety of signs, including opisthotonos, tetany, medio-ventral strabismus, nystagmus, paddling movements, exaggerated snapping of the eyelids, salivation, star gazing, nervousness, occasional bellowing, and rapid and irregular respiration. Affected calves may get up and experience periods of apparent normalcy between seizures. Seizures often recur when the calves are stressed or handled.

To read the entire article, link here.

Direct and Indirect Effects of Protein Supplementation Strategies

Data suggest that dormant winter native range is deficient in protein for spring-calving cows. Previous data at many Land Grant Universities and the University of Nebraska suggest that protein supplementation of spring- calving beef cows grazing dormant Sandhills range during late gestation does not improve cow reproductive performance (2006 Nebraska Beef Report, pp. 7-9), namely pregnancy rate, despite the fact that nutrient requirements are greater than nutrient content of the grazed forage. In a more recent study (2009 Nebraska Beef Report, pp. 5), spring-calving cows (3 to 5 years of age) were either supplemented a pound of a 28% crude protein cube daily or not supplemented protein while grazing dormant native range and their performance was evaluated. After winter grazing, supplemented and non-supplemented cows were managed together. Cow body weight and cow body condition pre-calving was greater for cows that were supplemented. Those difference were not seen prior to the start of the breeding season nor at weaning. Pregnancy rate was not different between the supplemented and non-supplemented groups and were above 92%. Calf birth weight was not different between the two groups. However, calves from supplemented dams were heavier at an interim weigh date in the spring (before the start of the breeding season for the cows) and at weaning despite the fact that there was no difference in milk production of dams that were either supplemented or not supplemented prior to calving. This might suggest that calves from dams that were supplemented precalving may be more thrifty and their immune system status was better able to word off sickness; therefore better gains. However, there was no indication of any differences in calf sickness between calves from dam supplementation or non-supplemented groups. It might also suggest that calves from dams that were supplemented are more efficient at using feeds. Another suggestion might be, although milk production was not different, it might suggest that there are milk quality differences or possibly the quality of the colostrum differed in supplemented compared to non-supplemented dams. As interesting, statically more cows that were supplemented (83%) while grazing dormant native range precalving calved the first 21 days of the calving season compared to non-supplemented (62%). Cows that calve early in the calving season wean calves that are heavier and should generate more dollars at weaning.

In the same study reported above, a similar group of spring-calving cows were supplemented the same protein cube while grazing corn stalk residue and there was a group of cows grazing corn stalk resides that was not supplemented. After corn stalk grazing, cows were managed together. Pre-calving weight and body condition were statistically different between the two groups in favor of the supplemented group of cows. In the corn stalk grazing part of the study, the difference between the supplemented and non-supplemented groups was not the same magnitude as that observed in the cows grazing dormant native range. Precalving body condition score for cows grazing corn stalks and supplemented was 5.3 and that for non-supplemented cows was 5.2, although these numbers are statically different, they are likely not different biologically, meaning it would be difficult to say that any performance difference between the two groups is a result of differences in body condition; nor would you expect any differences in performance due to differences in body condition of the two groups. There was no difference in calf birth or weaning weight. Calving date, percentage of the cows calving the first 21 days of the calving season or milk production was not different. Pregnancy rate was high for both groups (97% for supplemented and 95% for non-supplemented cows).

To read the entire article, link here.

Farm States May Copy Ohio Vote On Livestock Rules

Ohio voters will decide next week whether to create a board overseeing livestock care in a move that could give farmers in rural America a blueprint for battling animal rights groups intent on outlawing cramped cages for chickens and hogs, writes John Seewer for the Associated Press.

Agriculture industry leaders pushed the issue onto the state ballot, hoping to thwart an attempt by animal rights activists who were threatening to force farmers to change how they house livestock.

Voters in California, Florida and Arizona already have approved measures that require more space for confined farm animals. Lawmakers in Colorado, Maine, Michigan and Oregon have adopted similar rules.

Supporters of the changes say animals raised for food deserve humane treatment. Opponents argue the regulations will force farmers to make costly changes that could put them out of business and drive up the price of eggs, chicken, pork and beef.

That's why Ohio's agriculture leaders decided to take a shot at creating a livestock board that would include farmers and animal care experts.

To read the entire article, link here.

Beef

AngusSource® Calves Earn Premiums

American Angus Association® verification program continues to add value to Angus-sired calves.

Cattlemen faced economic hardships throughout 2009, but those enrolled in AngusSource® weathered the storm — earning significantly higher prices for documented Angus-sired calves.

According to data from Superior Livestock Auction, AngusSource calves sold June through September 2009 earned an average $2.65 more per hundredweight (cwt.) than non-verified calves, and an additional $1.08 more per cwt. than other age- and source-verified calves sold through Superior Livestock Auction’s video sales.

“That’s a considerable advantage for Angus-sired cattle and proof that AngusSource helps producers add value to their calves,” Sara Snider, AngusSource director, says.

Now entering its fifth year as a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Process Verified Program (PVP), AngusSource documents age, source and a minimum of 50% Angus genetics. Since 2005, the number of head enrolled in the American Angus Association program has steadily increased.

In FY 2009, 122,760 head were enrolled in the program, increasing enrollments by 8.5% and bringing total enrollments to more than 390,000 head since AngusSource was initiated as a PVP in 2005. The average lot size also increased, from 146 head to 161 head.

In addition, producers marketed 18.7% more cattle through online AngusSource cattle listings, which are e-mailed to more than 600 potential buyers each week.

“Once cattle are enrolled in AngusSource, producers are able to document additional health and management information prior to marketing through the online listing. Our goal is to assist our customers with marketing their calves, and we’re proud of our reputation for integrity,” Snider says. “Each year we continue to make the system better and offer additional services to our customers.”

In August, AngusSource began offering services to more producers through Gateway — a second-tier source- and age-verification program with no genetic requirements. Producers who enroll cattle in Gateway have access to the online listing site and other marketing support offered through AngusSource.

AngusSource also continues to operate its feedyard umbrella, assisting farmer feeders and commercial yards in targeting finished, age-verified calves for the Japan export market. Participating feedyards reported earning as much as $35 per head in FY 2009.

AngusSource and Gateway are among the many American Angus Association programs designed to help commercial producers market Angus-sired calves. The American Angus Association is the nation’s largest beef organization, serving more than 30,000 members across the United States and Canada. It provides programs and services to farmers, ranchers and others who rely on the power of Angus to produce quality genetics for the beef industry and quality beef for consumers.

For more information about Angus cattle and the American Angus Association’s programs and services, visit www.angus.org

Beef

INTERVET/SCHERING-PLOUGH ANIMAL HEALTH ESTABLISHES THE DELL ALLEN SCHOLARSHIP AT KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY

Scholarship created for meat science graduate students in honor of industry leader and former professor

Roseland NJ, Oct. 28, 2009 - A researcher, teacher and businessman, Dell Allen, Ph.D., has devoted his career to the U.S. meat industry, pioneering advancements in food safety, meat quality and industry viability. To honor Allen for his industry contributions and to support the next generation of meat scientists, Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health has created a scholarship at Kansas State University in his name.

The establishment of the Dell Allen Scholarship was announced last night at the Meat Industry Hall of Fame banquet in Chicago where Allen was one of the inaugural inductees to the hall of fame.

"Allen has played a significant role in shaping today’s U.S. meat industry," says David Yates, Ph.D., associate director of production technologies, Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health. "Whether in the classroom, lab or boardroom, he has spent his career working to make our industry, and the people in it, even stronger."

Allen became a faculty member at Kansas State University (K-State) after completing his doctorate and taught at the university for 22 years in the department of Animal Sciences and Industry. In 1988, he left K-State to work for Excel Corp. as director of quality and training. During his tenure at Excel, which became Cargill Meat Solutions, Allen was an influential speaker at international food safety conferences and collaborated with government agencies, agriculture industry groups and consumer advocates. He held various leadership roles before retiring in 2004 as vice president of technical services and food safety.

"We are grateful to Allen for his years of service to K-State and his lasting influence on our program and students," says Ken Odde, professor and department head, Animal Sciences and Industry at K-State. "The Dell Allen Scholarship is a prime way to support the future of the industry while honoring one of today’s leaders."

The Dell Allen Scholarship will be provided to a K-State meat science graduate student. Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health will fund the scholarship for a minimum of three years.

For more information, contact Jim Miles with Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health via email [email protected]

Beef

New Web site helps producers prevent the No. 1 cause of calf deaths

Roseland, NJ, (October 27, 2009) — Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health announces the launch of its new Guardian® vaccine Web site, www.guardianvaccine.com, which provides the latest information to help producers and veterinarians prevent and manage neonatal diarrhea, commonly known as scours, in their cattle herds.

“Neonatal diarrhea is the No. 1 killer of beef and dairy calves less than 60 days old, costing producers an estimated $100 million in annual losses each year,” says Kevin Hill, Technical Services veterinarian for Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health1. “The economic impact is even greater when one considers the effect this disease complex has on infected calves that survive, causing increased treatment costs, increased labor and care for sick calves, decreased performance, and the potential for a lifetime of production losses.”

Beef and dairy producers, as well as veterinarians, can direct their Web browsers to www.guardianvaccine.com for comprehensive information on the cause of calf scours, how best to manage the problem, and the economic benefits of vaccinating cows and heifers with Guardian prior to calving. Visitors to the Web site can utilize the online calculator to determine the cost savings that can be achieved by vaccinating with Guardian each year. The interactive tool, which includes beef and dairy adaptations, allows users to apply specific herd information to determine the return on investment Guardian vaccine can provide.

Visitors to the Web site also can submit questions to animal-health specialists about calf-scours management. In addition, they can watch video clips from recent RFD-TV LIVE episodes and learn about preventing and managing neonatal diarrhea.

“Managing the scours disease complex requires an understanding of how it spreads and how to encourage immune development in the animals,” says Dr. Hill. “The Web site provides producers and veterinarians with important information they can use to make critical calf-health decisions.”

Most complete scours protection

According to veterinary experts, successful calf-scours prevention relies on two key strategies: minimizing calf exposure to disease-causing pathogens; and, maximizing the calf’s immune response by improving the dam’s antibody production in colostrum.

A comprehensive scours vaccine like Guardian administered to the cow or heifer 12 weeks prior to calving followed by a booster 3 weeks to 6 weeks later, enables these females to transfer scours protection to their calves via their antibody-rich colostrum. After the first year of vaccination, cows need only a single shot of Guardian as an annual booster. Vaccinating cows and heifers with Guardian can result in peace of mind, reduced labor during calving season, and a healthier calf crop.

Guardian offers the broadest coverage available in a scours vaccine, protecting against more relevant causes of neonatal diarrhea than any other vaccine. It is labeled as an aid in the prevention of neonatal calf diarrhea caused by enterotoxigenic E. coli pilus type K99, bovine Group A Serotype G6 rotaviruses, enterotoxemia caused by Clostridium perfringens types C and D, and as an aid in the control of neonatal calf diarrhea caused by two different types of bovine coronaviruses.

In August 2009, Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health announced it had received U.S. Department of Agriculture approval of an important label extension for the Guardian scours-prevention vaccine. The new label approval affirms Guardian provides E. coli protection to the newborn calf following vaccination of pregnant heifers or cows up to six months prior to calving.

“E. coli is one of the most lethal bacterial agents causing calf scours,” says Dr. Hill. “The new Guardian six-month E. coli label claim means producers can vaccinate with a high level of confidence knowing that vaccination of pregnant cattle with Guardian as early as six months prior to calving will provide E. coli protection to the newborn calf, reducing the need for inconvenient vaccination and handling during late-term pregnancy.”

Safe immune response

Guardian utilizes a unique manufacturing process that produces a more precise and targeted immune response with low reactivity. Protection against E. coli scours requires a vaccine that contains a specific antigenic component of E. coli bacteria. However, older vaccines that contain whole-cell E. coli bacteria can be highly reactive in the animal and more likely to cause injection-site lumps and bumps, abortion, or even death. Vaccines like Guardian that contain sub-unit K99 pilus antigen provide a high degree of safety.

“The new Guardian production process harvests only the K99 pili and eliminates most of the unwanted cell wall material, thus providing a clean, more concentrated level of the vital K99 antigen,” Dr. Hill explains. “The result is a strong and extremely targeted E. coli immune response. In addition, Guardian contains a unique water-in-oil adjuvant that allows for excellent duration of immunity.”

Producers are encouraged to work with their veterinarians to design a calf-scours management program appropriate for their herds.

Guardian is available through veterinarians or animal-health suppliers. For more information about Guardian, or to learn more about Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health’s full line of innovative, high-quality cattle health products, visit www.guardianvaccine.com or www.intervetusa.com.

About Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health

Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health is a leader in research and dedicated to the development, production and marketing of innovative, high-quality animal-health products for all major farm and companion animal species. For more information about Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health visit: www.intervet.com and www.intervetusa.com.

Schering-Plough is an innovation-driven, science-centered global health care company. Through its own biopharmaceutical research and collaborations with partners, Schering-Plough creates therapies that help save and improve lives around the world. The company applies its research-and-development platform to human prescription and consumer products as well as to animal health products. Schering-Plough’s vision is to “Earn Trust, Every Day” with the doctors, patients, customers and other stakeholders served by its colleagues around the world. The company is based in Kenilworth, New Jersey, USA, and its website is www.schering-plough.com.”

Guardian is property of Intervet International B.V. or affiliated companies or licensors and is protected by copyrights, trademark and other intellectual property laws.

Beef

How Can We Feed the World?

Presentation showcasing how technology can help feed the world earns most votes in international competition

GREENFIELD, Ind., Oct. 27, 2009

A presentation titled "How Can We Feed the World?" has received the most votes in Slideshare.net's Best Presentation Contest 2009 Sponsored by Adobe Acrobat 9. The international, online competition invited entrants to submit presentations in five specific categories. Since being posted on the Slideshare.net site at

http://www.slideshare.net/JAB1/how-can-we-feed-the-world-1968916

in September along with nearly 3,000 other entrants, the presentation has been viewed by more than 5,000 people, receiving more thumbs up votes than any other presentation in the contest.

The presentation was submitted by Joe Bannon, a 32-year employee of Elanco. In creating the presentation, Bannon focused on the United Nations projection that the world will need a 100 percent increase in food production by 2050 in order to feed 9 billion people. According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, 70 percent of the increased production must be achieved through efficiency-enhancing agricultural technologies.

While the issue of world hunger is complex, the four-minute presentation focused on solutions that can help the world achieve an ultimate win through collaboration, choice and technology. The message conveys that just as technology is used to increase the quality of life in everything from healthcare to communication, it can also be used to help us produce an abundant, affordable and sustainable supply of food to meet the world's growing demand.

"While research supports that consumers trust farmers more than any other group within the food chain, all of us within the supply channel have a responsibility to share the facts about food production," Bannon said in remarks about why he chose to enter into the competition.

"In a world where nearly 1 billion people consistently do not get enough to eat, we cannot lose sight of the value that technology plays in providing a safe, abundant and affordable supply of food for individuals around the globe," Elanco President Jeff Simmons said. It is rewarding to see Elanco employees embracing this message and sharing it in today's online conversation," he added.

Slideshare.net's World's Best Presentation Contest 2009 Sponsored by Adobe Acrobat 9 is an annual competition that encourages businesses and individuals around the world to share their ideas while leveraging the power of digital presentations and social networking.

About Elanco

Elanco is a global innovation-driven company that develops and markets products to improve animal health and food-animal production in more than 75 countries. Elanco employs more than 2,300 people worldwide, with offices in more than 40 countries, and is a division of Eli Lilly and Company, a leading global pharmaceutical corporation. Additional information about Elanco is available at www.elanco.com.

Beef

SignalDemand and Informa Economics Form Strategic Global Alliance

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- SignalDemand and Informa Economics today announced they have formed a strategic global alliance. Through this alliance, SignalDemand and Informa Economics will bring to market products, services, and business solutions that support better decision making within the global food industry.

"Both SignalDemand and Informa Economics are considered best-in-class in their areas. Through this partnership, we will provide leading edge web-based software solutions infused with deep industry expertise," said Mike Neal, CEO and founder of SignalDemand. "Together we will deliver significant positive impact to our customers' bottom lines."

"Informa Economics has a long history of providing in-depth economic analysis, decision support products, services and consulting to the global food industry," said Dr. Bruce Scherr, Chairman of the Board and CEO, Informa Economics. "Teaming with SignalDemand in support of their software business solutions to agriculture and food companies in North America and abroad is an exciting extension to Informa's current business activities."

"The service provided by this alliance will have a significant positive impact on the profitability of the clients we work with. We are very excited about what this will do for the companies we serve," said Tom Scott, President and Chief Operating Officer of Informa Economics.

SignalDemand and Informa Economics Strategic Alliance

Both SignalDemand and Informa Economics have revolutionized how organizations within the global food and agriculture industry make decisions around price, supply, and product mix. Informa Economics's deep industry expertise has been developed through more than thirty years of commodity market and business consulting experience. SignalDemand's enterprise-strength software solutions and patented mathematical models, combined with Informa Economics' deep industry expertise, will offer the global food industry a new level of foresight and precision for making business decisions.

About SignalDemand

SignalDemand provides manufacturers and retailers with on-demand software and services to achieve maximum profit margins in the face of volatile markets and increasingly complex pricing decisions. Using patented, comprehensive mathematical models to process thousands of variables, SignalDemand delivers real-time price and margin recommendations on a continual basis. By recommending best price, capacity utilization, and product mix in moments, SignalDemand enables better day-to-day decision-making.

SignalDemand's recognition includes being named a Rising Star in Deloitte's Technology Fast 50 for Silicon Valley. The company was also chosen as a "Cool Vendor" in the Gartner's "Cool Vendors in Manufacturing" Report and was the only on-demand pricing company recognized by JMP Securities' "Hot 100" list of private companies. Companies such as Teys Brothers, Loblaw, AB Foods, Cargill, Lopez Foods, Farmland Foods, Hormel, National Frozen Foods, Seaboard Foods and Ventura Foods rely on SignalDemand for immediate and ongoing improvement of financial performance. For more information, please visit www.signaldemand.com.

About Informa Economics

Informa Economics, Inc., a division of Informa plc, is a world leader in comprehensive agriculture, food industry, agribusiness and commodity research, information, analysis and consulting. With a core team of research analysts and consulting specialists, Informa Economics serves many of the world's leading agribusinesses. Headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, the company has offices in Washington, D.C.; Grand Rapids, Michigan; St. Paul, Minnesota; and Winnipeg, Canada. It is the company's economic expertise and client base that combine to provide unique insights and strategic and long-term planning for agribusinesses around the world. For more information, visit http://www.informaecon.com.

Beef

Managing Anti-infective Expectations for Healthier Animals

The healing process involves more than just anti-infective use

WELLBORN, Texas (Oct. 22, 2009) Producers strive to provide a safe and high-quality food supply and, when necessary, appropriate use of anti-infectives is a vital part of assuring animal health and well-being. When dealing with costly diseases like bovine respiratory disease (BRD), it is important that producers understand the healing process and the science behind the medications they’re using as part of that process.

According to Gordon Brumbaugh, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, DACVCP, Pfizer Animal Health veterinarian and anti-infectives specialist, there are four stages to healing:

1. killing or slowing the infecting agent

2. cleaning up infected tissue

3. repairing or replacing damaged tissue

4. returning tissue to its healthy, natural function.

“The first of those four steps is the only one that the anti-infective can influence,” Brumbaugh said. “The anti-infective works along with the animal’s own defense system in this step to start the process of healing. While it is very important, it is not the only step in healing. The rest of healing has to do with natural processes in the animal.”

Signs say each animal is different

There can be differences among animals in their ability and time it takes to heal. And, clinical signs can improve even though true healing is not complete. That is why several days to weeks of effective treatment are important. The anti-infective used to treat BRD can help allow the animal’s biological processes of healing to proceed if it remains in the lungs long enough.

The severity of clinical signs of BRD is partly due to the infection and partly due to the animal’s own response to the infection. Clinical signs used to identify an animal with BRD should resolve during recovery. “It is possible to measure clinically the ability of a medication to help the animal recover – that’s called efficacy,” explained Brumbaugh. “However, in sick animals, the complexities of healing prohibit measuring how ‘fast’ the anti-infective contributes to the first step of healing.”

Speed of response is a misnomer

According to Brumbaugh, “speed of response” is probably more indicative of how early in the disease process the animal is treated and the severity of the condition, not how fast the medication does its part after administration.

“When we think about ourselves, if we are sick and take medicine, we don’t immediately jump out of bed and go fix ourselves a big steak dinner and get back to work like nothing is wrong with us,” he explained. “The effectiveness of an anti-infective should be considered in the context of the net effect of all of the factors of healing working together. The medication and the animal must each do their respective parts.”

Extended therapy provides effective option

When developing protocols for control or treatment of BRD, relying on a proven, effective anti-infective that can maintain sufficient therapeutic concentrations at the site of infection is a key factor in ensuring proper initiation of healing. Producers should consider extended-therapy anti-infectives when addressing important diseases like BRD. Most anti-infectives for BRD offer three days of effective therapy, but extended-therapy anti-infectives work with the animal’s immune system for 7 to 14 days.

“An extended-therapy anti-infective remains at that site long enough to allow the animal to catch up in the healing process and make sufficient progress with the rest of the steps,” Brumbaugh said. “Depending on the tissue and the severity of the injury to that tissue, adequate healing may take several days to weeks.”

Because the lungs are one of the more delicate tissues in the body, damage to them takes a long time to heal. Complete healing with recovery of function takes longer for lungs than for many other organs. Properly prolonged treatment is important to help reduce re-colonization by bacteria of the already compromised lung.

When using extended-therapy anti-infectives, producers should still monitor the animals to determine if they’re getting better, staying the same or getting worse. Brumbaugh recommended that producers discuss with their veterinarians an action plan to address each of the possible outcomes. Not only can veterinarians assist in developing a plan of action, they can work with producers as they manage BRD to understand and capture the full benefit offered by extended-therapy anti-infectives.

“BRD is a complex mix of viral and bacterial agents that need to be addressed with appropriate management practices, including the use of anti-infectives,” Brumbaugh added. “Producers need to understand the role anti-infectives play in the healing process and make decisions that will optimize the animal’s ability to recover.”

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE), the world’s largest research-based pharmaceutical company, is a world leader in discovering and developing innovative animal vaccines and prescription medicines. Pfizer Animal Health is dedicated to improving the safety, quality and productivity of the world’s food supply by enhancing the health of livestock and poultry; and in helping companion animals live longer and healthier lives. For additional information on Pfizer’s portfolio of animal products, visit www.PfizerAH.com.

Loading Up Calves, Dishing About Ohio's Issue 2

feedyard.jpg It's a busy day at our operation today. Later this afternoon, we will be loading up our sale cattle to market in town. For the better part of the last two weeks, we have been sifting through the calves to select our replacement heifers and the bulls we will market later this year through private treaty sales. We have a strong group of uniform calves this year, so it was really difficult to make additions to the cull list, but we eventually came to an agreement on which calves to keep and which to sell. You know, when things get busy at the operation, it can be difficult to focus on the larger issues at hand such as the upcoming election in Ohio where Issue 2 will be voted on. Issue 2 will establish the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board, an effort that would show voters how much food producers care about their animals while helping to eliminate a destructive and aggressive assault from the Humane Society of the United States to Ohio communities in the future. So, I want to know why agriculture is all of a sudden divided on Issue 2?

feeding-time.jpgIn recent articles I have ran across online, I have found a strong support from the agriculture community to vote "yes" for Issue 2 in Ohio and establish similar programs in other states to help avoid the havoc HSUS causes when THEY put something on the ballot for voters to decide upon. Interestingly, I have also read articles in agriculture publications that are totally against this idea because they fear the power of members on this board. However, I have a hard time with that argument. How does a "no" vote translate to our voters? What does that tell them about farmers and their priorities for best animal care? How much ammunition does a "no" vote give the HSUS when they decide to take action? HSUS wants a "no" vote on Issue 2, and I'm curious to know your opinion on this, as well. Differing opinions are more than welcome here, and I would love to hear both sides to the argument. So, what's your beef with Issue 2? If you support it, why are you in favor of Issue 2? This is an important conversation.

If you haven't read up on Issue 2, you can refer back to my blog entry about it on September 28, 2009. It explains what the board would do, and provides links to an informational website. Well, I'm headed out to the ranch now, but I will be checking and approving comments all day as they come in. I'm looking forward to a dynamic conversation. Thanks for your participation!

BEEF Daily Quick Fact: Beef producers are very committed to the health and well-being of their animals. Providing a healthy environment with ample food, water and veterinary care creates an ideal environment for cattle to grow. Proper animal care is also simply good business. Animals exposed to stress produce lower quality meat, so proper cattle care also means more valuable animals. (Source: Beef From Pasture to Plate)