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Private Property Rights Under Fire, But Who Cares?

Private property rights somehow just don't have the sex appeal of taxes, food safety, the environment or animal welfare. Partly that’s because private property rights have always been seen as foundational to capitalism, free enterprise and the American ethos. As a result, most folks find it difficult to believe the right to private property could really be in jeopardy. I’m willing to wager that any opinion poll would conclude overwhelming support among Americans for private property rights.

No, the attack on private property rights has been subtle – an overt frontal attack would never be sustained. Little bite by little bite has been the strategy, coming via expansion of government regulation, oversight and control, legal battles designed to weaken private property rights, and expansion of government in ways once inconceivable.

Supporters of private property rights initially were comforted that the courts system and ultimately the U.S. Supreme Court would validate the principle of private property as it is spelled out in the constitution. But with the Kelo v. City of New London decision a few years ago, that hope evaporated – the court said essentially you own your property until the government decides someone else can use it more effectively. Of course, once the government was allowed to usurp private property rights for its own best interest, private entities quickly understood they could gain control of private property by using the government to control private property.

There have always been limitations to our rights. After all, we can't scream “fire” in a crowded theatre despite freedom of speech.

And, the right to private property has had its limits, too. For instance, I can't store toxic waste on my land without first proving that it’s stored properly and in a manner that won't harm others. Of course, if taken to the absurd, it would mean my neighbors might also be able to decide what color I can paint my house.

The courts were supposed to be the mechanism to maintain the proper balance. Ironically, the judiciary has become the weapon of choice to make changes and subvert laws and the constitution, both of which are subject to the will of the people. Thus, the courts, the institution that was supposed to protect citizens’ rights as defined by the constitution from the will of the majority, has become an instrument to take those rights from individuals at the bequest of a minority that can’t enact legislation but that asserts that its position is morally superior and thus justified.

As a result, people are turning to legislation to reinforce private property rights in an attempt to stop the erosion created by the courts. Proposition 11 in Texas is such an initiative designed to limit the government's ability to invoke their right of eminent domain and the taking of private property.

The proposition has been getting considerable play. Fundamentally, I'm opposed to these types of ballot initiatives, as they’ve largely been a sneaky way to take complex issues and phrase them in a way to encourage the electorate to make decisions based on 60-second commercials and well-crafted rhetoric. Once passed, these measures unleash a torrent of unintended consequences that become nearly impossible to rectify.

Still, when government refuses to limit itself, and the courts sanction such abuses to achieve certain aims, then it becomes the only recourse for the will of the majority to be expressed.

Regardless, the battle over private property rights is escalating and, at this point, supporters of private property rights are largely losing the battle.

Speakers Say Technology Must Help Defeat Hunger

If African farmers and the world’s hungry are to climb out of their misery and become more productive citizens, technology must pave the way, says Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates.

Speaking to the World Food Prize’s Norman Borlaug Symposium in Des Moines, IA, last week, Gates said Borlaug, universally recognized as the father of the Green Revolution, made a difference by using technology to increase food production. Borlaug died Sept. 12 at age 95.

“In the middle of the 20th century, experts predicted famine and starvation, but they turned out to be wrong – because they did not predict Norman Borlaug,” Gates said.

Gates said Borlaug “not only showed humanity how to get more food from the earth – he proved that farming has the power to lift up the lives of the poor.”

Although Borlaug is credited with saving the lives of 1 billion people from starvation, the continent of Africa largely has missed out on the effects of the Green Revolution, most experts agree.

“Africa is the only place where per-capita cereal yields have been flat over the last 25 years,” Gates noted. He said the average farmer in sub-Saharan Africa yields just over ½ ton/acre of cereal, while an Indian farmer gets twice that; a Chinese farmer, four times that; and an American farmer; five times that.

“The technology and new approaches that are transforming agriculture in other parts of the world can be applied in new ways, and help Africa flourish, too,” said Gates, whose Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is committing $120 million to programs aimed at helping eliminate hunger in Africa.

He said the food crisis has forced hunger higher on the world’s agenda. “From NGOs to the G8 to African heads of state – there's a rush of new commitment,” he said. “But there is also trouble. This global effort to help small farmers is endangered by an ideological wedge that threatens to split the movement in two.”

On one side is a technological approach that increases productivity. On the other is an environmental approach that promotes sustainability and has tried to limit the use of new technology in Africa and other impoverished regions, he said.

“Productivity or sustainability – they say you have to choose. It’s a false choice, and it’s dangerous for the field. It blocks important advances. It breeds hostility among people who need to work together. The fact is, we need both productivity and sustainability – and there is no reason we can’t have both.”

Meanwhile, Elanco President Jeff Simmons told the same group that as the world grapples with the challenge of producing enough food, we can’t lose sight of the solution – technology.

He cited examples of scientists such as Borlaug who used technology to largely eradicate famine in many parts of Asia and Latin America during the 20th century. "It is distressing to see that even though technology has a lengthy and proven track record in reducing hunger, some small but vocal minorities want to restrict access to the methods that can free millions from chronic hunger," Simmons noted.

"The world has the technology – either available or well advanced in the research pipeline – to feed on a sustainable basis a population of 10 billion people. The more pertinent question today is whether farmers and ranchers will be permitted to use this new technology. While the affluent nations can certainly afford to adopt ultra low-risk positions and pay more for food produced by the so-called 'organic' methods, the 1 billion chronically undernourished people of the low income, food-deficit nations cannot."

Earlier this year, Simmons authored "Food Economics & Consumer Choice," a paper that delves extensively into technology's role in addressing world hunger. The paper is available at
-- Forrest Laws, Farm Press

MU Research Team Establishes Family Tree For Cattle

A University of Missouri (MU) animal scientist, along with a team of international researchers, created a very accurate and widespread “family tree” for cows and other ruminants, going back as far as 29 million years. Jerry Taylor, a professor of animal science in the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resource and lead author of the study, says the genetic information could allow scientists to understand the evolution of cattle, ruminants and other animals.

Researchers say the same technique also could be used to verify ancient relatives to humans, help farmers develop healthier and more efficient cattle, and assist scientists who are studying human diseases. The research was published in this week’s edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

“We studied 678 different animals, representing 61 different species, and using the new Illumina cow ‘SNP chip,’ or ‘snip chip,’ we were able to generate some very precise genetic data for which the chip was not designed,” Taylor said. “Our SNP chips allow scientists to examine hundreds of thousands of points on an animal’s genome simultaneously. When we applied this technique to 48 recognized breeds of cattle, we were able to construct a family tree and infer the history of cattle domestication and breed formation across the globe.”

The research revealed the history of European cattle, with domesticated cattle moving sequentially through Turkey, the Balkans and Italy, then spreading through Central Europe and France, and ending in Britain. The scientists also found evidence supporting a second route of ancient cattle into Europe by way of the Iberian Peninsula.

The applications for this technology and information discovered in the research could help solve a number of problems and answer questions about evolution, including how humans are related to extinct hominids and how different plant species are related to each other, Taylor said.

Based on the findings, animal scientists can begin to study evolution of certain breeds. For example, if breeds of cattle with high amounts of intramuscular fat, which is known as marbling, are closely related to each other, then they likely share the same gene variations to create the marbling, which is a trait some beef consumers prefer. On the other hand, if those same cattle are not closely related, different genetic variants might be at work. Understanding how different genetic variations allow high levels of marbling, feed efficiency and disease resistance in cattle could have a large economic impact for farmers who raise cattle throughout the world.

“This also provides us an opportunity to identify animal models for human disease since, for example, an excess amount of intramuscular fat in humans is associated with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes,” Taylor said. “We’re all interested in reconstructing our ancestry. This is essentially the same thing, except that we’re able to zoom out by millions of years and include relatives who are long gone. The amazing thing about this technique is that it is very fast and extremely cheap. For relatively small amounts of money, we can generate the data that will allow us to recreate millions of years of evolutionary history.”
-- University of Missouri news release


Yamaha Outdoors Announces Second Annual Ag Comm Scholarship Program

National ACT Members Encouraged to Apply for Individual and Chapter Awards

CYPRESS, Calif. – October 15, 2009 – Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A., is now accepting applications for its second annual scholarship program that provides financial assistance to members of the National Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT). ACT is a national college student association with 354 members located on 17 college and university campuses across the country. ACT’s mission of fostering professional development is at the core of the Yamaha-ACT Scholarship Program.

The Yamaha-ACT Scholarship Program is broken out into two individual student scholarships and one chapter scholarship. All three scholarships are aimed at helping students attend the annual Agricultural Media Summit (AMS), a professional development and networking opportunity.

For the 2008-09 program, the University of Florida received Yamaha’s chapter award, while Whitney Siegfried and Katherine Kuykendall, both ACT members from Purdue University, earned the individual scholarships.

“The Yamaha-ACT Scholarship Program is integrating messages of safe, responsible ATV and Side-by-Side vehicle use into the farming community by working with current and future communicators in the agriculture industry,” said Steve Nessl, Yamaha’s ATV/SxS marketing manager. “Yamaha again congratulates the inaugural recipients of this scholarship program, and we’ve been happy to receive some very positive feedback from the students. We encourage all ACT members to get involved and submit individual and chapter applications.”

“This scholarship competition is one of the most practical scholarship programs I’ve seen,” said Dr. Jefferson D. Miller, ACT faculty advisor and associate professor of agricultural communications at the University of Arkansas. “It requires students to create an actual example of journalistic or public relations work – something they can add to their professional portfolio. Plus, the reward is that they get to go network at AMS with the people who will probably be hiring them in the near future.”

The AMS is the largest gathering of crop and livestock media professionals in the country and is the ACT’s primary career development networking opportunity each year. The conference is hosted by the Agricultural Editors’ Association (AAEA) and the Livestock Publications Council (LPC) – potential future employers and colleagues of the students.

Applicants are judged based on merit, need and quality of submission materials by a review committee consisting of Yamaha representatives and members of the American Agricultural Editors’ Association and the Livestock Publications Council. The 2009-2010 application process will run through the end of February and winners will be announced in early May 2010. More information and guidelines, along with the application form, can be found online at

About Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A.

Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. (YMUS), a leader in the motorsports market, makes the toughest, most capable and versatile ATV and Side-by-Side vehicles. The company’s ever-expanding product offerings also include motorcycles, outboard motors, personal watercraft, snowmobiles, boats, outdoor power equipment, race kart engines, accessories, apparel and much more. YMUS products are sold through a nationwide network of more than 4,000 dealers in the United States.

Headquartered in Cypress, Calif., since its incorporation in 1977, Yamaha also has facilities in Wisconsin and Georgia, as well as factory operations in Tennessee and Georgia. For more information on Yamaha, visit


Alltech has been named International Irish Company of the Year

[Bangkok, THAILAND] – Alltech has been named International Irish Company of the Year in Asia-Pacific at the Business & Finance Asia-Pacific Ireland Business Awards during the third annual Asia-Pacific Business Forum. The global animal health company was recognized for outstanding commercial success and sustainable growth over the last decade, as well as high levels of innovation, ethics and corporate social responsibility within the Asia-Pacific region.

The awards were organized by Business & Finance magazine in association with the Asia-Pacific Irish Business Forum and the Ireland China Association and are Asia’s only Irish-focused business awards. Former T.D. and Tánaiste Dick Spring chaired the judging panel which comprised a number of business leaders with links to Ireland and the Asia-Pacific region.

Accepting the award on Alltech’s behalf, Orla McAleer, Alltech’s Asia-Pacific marketing manager said: “We are deeply honored to be the first recipient of this prestigious award. Alltech entered the Asia-Pacific market in 1986 and since then the region has made a significant contribution to our global success. We look forward to ongoing expansion and growth in Asia-Pacific and continuing to work with our customers, colleagues and associates and to promoting science and education as well as constantly advocating safety, quality and traceability in our industry."

The annual Asia-Pacific Business Forum, coordinated by the Irish Thai Chamber of Commerce, serves as a business networking event for representatives from the 11 business groups in the region.

Headquartered in Nicholasville, Kentucky and founded by Irish scientist Dr. Pearse Lyons in 1980, Alltech has over 1,900 employees and operates in 113 countries across the globe.

Alltech has been in the Asia-Pacific market since 1986 through their first distributor in Japan and established their first Asian office in Beijing, China in 1994. The company currently has offices in 16 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, including the Asia-Pacific Bioscience Centre in Bangkok, Thailand. 20% annual growth has been predominately organic with expected regional sales of over $100 million in 2009.

Alltech’s natural solutions are scientifically proven to enhance health and performance when added to the diets of ruminants, poultry, pigs, horses, aquatic animals and companion animals. The company’s mission is to improve animal health and performance by adding nutritional value to feed naturally.

For further information on the awards visit:


New Pfizer Animal Health is Unveiled With Acquisition of Wyeth

Addition of Fort Dodge Animal Health products diversifies and enhances Pfizer’s already robust U.S. portfolio

NEW YORK, October 19, 2009 – A new Pfizer Animal Health was unveiled last week as Pfizer's acquisition of Wyeth, including its subsidiary Fort Dodge Animal Health, was completed. Pfizer Animal Health is now the world’s leader in the discovery, development, manufacture and sales of veterinary vaccines and medicines for livestock and companion animals.

The acquisition of many of Fort Dodge’s U.S. products allows Pfizer Animal Health to greatly diversify its U.S. portfolio, as well as broaden its offering in all animal health segments. Pfizer Animal Health now offers an enhanced portfolio in beef, dairy, and companion animals, as well as a redefined product line for swine, equine and poultry.

“We’re extremely proud to offer our customers even more best-in-class and innovative products,” said Clint Lewis, president of U.S Operations for Pfizer Animal Health. “The products, services and expertise we are gaining strengthen what is already a robust U.S. portfolio and will enhance our leading position in the animal health marketplace.”

Here is a summary of Pfizer Animal Health’s new U.S. product portfolio:


As the leader for beef and dairy animal health solutions, Pfizer will further enhance its position with the addition of FACTREL® (gonadorelin hydrochloride) and the proven and well-recognized pioneer line of SYNOVEX® implants. These products complement the current U.S. cattle portfolio that includes DRAXXIN® (tulathromycin), DECTOMAX®, EXCEDE® (ceftiofur crystalline free acid), EXCENEL® (ceftiofur hydrochloride), BOVI-SHIELD® GOLD, LUTALYSE® (dinoprost tromethamine), ORBESEAL® and SPECTRAMAST® (ceftiofur hydrochloride). Pfizer Animal Genetics also continues to explore opportunities to apply genomics technology to livestock health and management solutions.

For the swine market, Pfizer Animal Health will offer a comprehensive range of solutions and services to strengthen its offering with the full line of SUVAXYN® brands, including SUVAXYN PCV-2 vaccine for circovirus. This addition rounds out an already broad product line that includes RESPISURE®, FLUSURE®, DRAXXIN®, and EXCEDE®.

Already the world leader of in-ovo technology, Pfizer Poultry Health will strengthen its position in the poultry industry with the addition of a broad range of poultry vaccines including POULVAC® and MATERNAVAC® IBD-Reo, a leading broiler-breeder vaccine.


Joining an already industry-leading equine franchise that includes such established and well-respected brands as STRONGID® (pyrantel pamoate), DORMOSEDAN® (detomidine hydrochloride), and HYLARTIN® (sodium hyaluronate) are Fort Dodge’s WEST NILE INNOVATOR®, FLU VAC INNOVATOR® and QUEST® (moxidectin) and QUEST PLUS® (moxidectin/praziquantel).

Companion Animals

Top vaccine LYMEVAX® complements the current VANGUARD® canine vaccine line, and several anesthetic products help round out the small animal portfolio. They join current innovative offerings that include REVOLUTION® (selamectin), CERENIA™ (maropitant citrate), CONVENIA® (cefovecin sodium), RIMADYL® (carprofen) and SLENTROL® (dirlotapide).

Pfizer Animal Health also announced today that all current U.S. pricing, product distribution, programs and policies for Pfizer Animal Health products, including the acquired Fort Dodge products, will remain in place through 2009.

“Pfizer Animal Health is passionate about working hand-in-hand with our customers and partners to transform the care, health and well-being of animals,” Lewis said. “We continue to envision a future where animal health care providers, veterinarians and livestock producers look to Pfizer first to help them to run their practice or operation productively and profitably. With our newly expanded portfolio, value-added services and high-caliber talent, Pfizer is more focused than ever on providing relevant solutions to their animal care needs,” Lewis said.

About Pfizer Animal Health

Pfizer Animal Health, a business of Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE), is a world leader in discovering and developing innovative animal prescription medicines and vaccines, investing an estimated $300 million annually. Beyond the U.S., Pfizer Animal Health also supports veterinarians and their customers in more than 60 countries around the world. For more information on how Pfizer works to ensure a safe, sustainable global food supply with healthy livestock and poultry, or how Pfizer helps companion animals and horses to live longer, healthier lives, visit


Collaboration, Efficiency, Choice Key to Feeding People

DES MOINES, Iowa, Oct. 14, 2009 ― Allowing farmers to use proven management practices and technologies that help them produce food most efficiently ― while allowing consumer choice ― is the foundation for reducing hunger both locally and globally, according to Jeff Simmons, president of Elanco. Simmons is a featured speaker on the panel discussing Trends and Threats in Global Agricultural Yields at the 2009 World Food Prize Borlaug Dialogue symposium in Des Moines, Iowa. He emphasizes the importance of collaboration throughout the entire food system, from government authorities and grocers to consumers and farmers. This removes barriers that can stand in the way of feeding people everywhere.

“Every one of us needs to keep our eye on what is needed to create the ultimate win: an abundant, affordable supply of safe food that is produced sustainably,” says Simmons, who recently authored a white paper titled ‘Technology’s Role in the 21st Century: Food Economics and Consumer Choice.’ “Even though the task of feeding a burgeoning world population is huge, I firmly believe we can meet this challenge by embracing management practices that yield safe food efficiently, affordably and sustainably.”

Formula for the Ultimate Win: 50 ― 100 ― 70

Simmons succinctly describes the challenge and solution based on a compilation of credible third-party analysis and research, such as projections by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

“The compelling need and our best chance at meeting that need can be boiled down to three numbers: 50, 100 and 70,” says Simmons. “Today nearly 1 billion people go hungry1 every day. In 50 years, the increased world population will need 100 percent more food than we currently produce.2 While adding farmland acres and increasing cropping intensity can provide some additional food, the FAO concludes that 70 percent of the additional food needed can be produced only if we use both existing and new technological innovations in agriculture.3”

What our food system has done in the last 50 years to produce large quantities of safe, affordable food in an environmentally friendly fashion is truly impressive, according to Simmons. For example, from 1948 to 1994, U.S. farm output for livestock and grain products more than doubled, and total factor productivity (TFP)4 during the last half of the 20th century improved by nearly 150 percent.5 At the same time, conventional production techniques can reduce greenhouse gas emissions per pound of beef by 38 percent compared with all-natural production methods.6

What Consumers Want

Research with consumers in the United States and other countries indicates that this solution is just what most consumers are seeking, said Simmons.

“Surveys of consumers show they trust food providers to keep food safe, and they’re more concerned about food contamination than about technology used on farms,7 ” he says. “The most pressing universal concern about food is affordability,8 which is why consumers everywhere ― whether they can afford organic foods or struggle to maintain a diet that sustains them ― must be able to choose from an abundance of safe, nutritious food options.

“To create this abundance, we must realize that the bulk of the world’s food will be raised using conventional farming practices that leverage technological innovation to produce food efficiently,” he continues. “That, however, does not preclude the use of other food-production methods, such as organic farming, which can continue to meet the desires of those consumers who can afford to pay a premium for unique production practices they might prefer.”

Collaboration is Required

To create what he calls the ultimate win of producing enough food to feed a hungry world, Simmons emphasizes the importance of collaborating across segments of the food system and across cultures.

“We must not lose sight of what consumers want and what is required to meet their basic need for accessible, safe, affordable food,” concludes Simmons. “This week’s Borlaug Dialogue symposium is a wonderful opportunity for leaders of governments, non-governmental organizations, private companies and others who share the passion of feeding the world to speak frankly about what we must do to make sure we’re ready to deliver on the 50-100-70 challenge. By continuing this dialog to understand each other’s perspectives while dealing with food-production realities, we really can create the ultimate win of an efficient, safe food supply with affordable choices for everyone.”

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


Registrations, members on the rise reports American Gelbvieh Association

Despite the economy of the beef industry, the American Gelbvieh Association (AGA) reports growth during the last fiscal year. During 2008-2009, the association had an increase in total animal registrations and new memberships.

“While sectors of the beef industry have been affected by the down-turn in the economy, the American Gelbvieh Association is on the up-swing as evident by an increase in the number of animals registered during the past year,” said Vaughn Thorstenson, President of the American Gelbvieh Association.

During the 2008-2009 fiscal year, the American Gelbvieh Association reports total animal registrations are up six percent from the previous year. The most significant increase is in the Gelbvieh-hybrid program, which shows a 12.8 percent increase in Balancer™ animals registered with the association.

Recognized throughout the industry for progressive programs, the AGA was the first breed association to trademark and document Gelbvieh-Angus cross animals. The Balancer trademark combines the growth and yield of high performing Gelbvieh cattle with the ability to reach industry desirable Quality and Yield Grade standards when crossed with Angus or Red Angus.

“The increase in Balancer™ registrations indicates the wide acceptance of the use of hybrid bulls in rotational crossbreeding. Commercial cattlemen throughout the country are returning to crossbreeding and the use of hybrid bulls is on the rise,” commented Thorstenson. “The Balancer™ program has grown every year since its initiation almost ten years ago. The Gelbvieh-Angus cross female is quickly becoming known as the beef industry’s best brood cow, based on her size, fertility and milking ability.”

In addition, the Gelbvieh association shows an increase in new memberships for both adult and junior members. New adult memberships are up four percent from the previous year.

“The American Gelbvieh Junior Association is experiencing significant growth with a 28 percent increase in new junior members,” says Dana Stewart, Director of Member Services for the American Gelbvieh Association. The AGJA offers several opportunities for its members to increase their knowledge and skill through educational contests and shows at regional and national levels and rewards deserving members with scholarships.

As other segments of the seedstock business contract, the AGA is expanding programs and services. The association recently released a Residual Feed Intake (RFI) testing initiative and plans to develop an RFI EPD or Index for producers to use when selecting Gelbvieh genetics to add to their programs. Also, the AGA expanded staff with the addition of two regional Area Coordinators working in commercial marketing. The AGA-sponsored commercial female sale, the Maternal Edge Female Sale, has established demand for Gelbvieh-influenced females in the southeast, averaging well-above market prices. The model for this sale has been duplicated to create more regional commercial female sales across the country.

Gelbvieh breeders have been working hard to make progressive steps in keeping Gelbvieh at the top of the list for today’s beef breeds.

“Looking at genetic trends, the Gelbvieh breed is one of the few breeds that while showing an increased genetic trends for weaning and yearling growth can continue to show a decreased genetic trend for birth weight and a favorable trend for calving ease,” said Susan Willmon, Director of Breed Improvement for the American Gelbvieh Association.


McCampbell, Geier Recognized as NCBA’s 2009 Top Hand Club Champions

Denver, Colo. (Oct. 14, 2009)—Dr. Hugh McCampbell, Sweetwater, Tenn., is the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) top recruiter for fiscal year 2009. McCampbell signed up 82 new NCBA members between Oct. 1, 2008 and Sept. 30, 2009. This is his rookie year as a recruiter in the Top Hand Club. An NCBA member and a charter member of the Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association, McCampbell will receive several prizes, including a gift card to Cabela’s, for his efforts.

“I appreciate the fact that the NCBA does a lot to educate the public about beef production,” says McCampbell. “It’s unfortunate that the general American public is so far removed from agriculture. It is important for every single member of NCBA to renew his or her membership, and recruit others, to keep beef on the table and cattle in the pastures.”

Reserve champion Top Hand is Charles “Blue” Geier, California, MO. A member of NCBA and the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association, Geier is no stranger to the Top Hand Club, having recruited at least three NCBA members for many years running. He was also the 2008 reserve champion.

McCampbell, Geier and all of the other 187 Top Hand Club members from 33 states will be recognized at the 2010 Cattle Industry Convention Jan. 27-30, 2010 in San Antonio, Tex. Fifty-five Top Hands will be awarded an exclusive Top Hand belt buckle for recruiting at least 10 members each.

NCBA’s Top Hand Club was created to recognize outstanding NCBA producer-recruiters for their commitment to building a strong national organization. For more information, or a complete list of this year’s 187 Top Hands and their home towns, email [email protected]



AHA Launches Online Auction Site:

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Looking to market or purchase elite Hereford genetics? The American Hereford Association (AHA) has launched a new online auction Web site — — which will feature regular online consignment auctions.

This new marketing site will give Hereford breeders the power to reach potential customers worldwide. Designed to help producers with any herd size, this service provides a marketing option for those producers who do not host annual production sales and can be a complementary outlet for those who do host a production sale.

AHA members can consign females, bulls, steers, cow-calf pairs, donor dams, embryos, semen, picks of the herd or flush rights. Commercial female lots and groups of feeder calves can also be listed. Offerings are not just limited to Hereford genetics; consignments can also include equipment such as chutes, trailers, show tack and equipment or feed supplies.

The first online auction will be Nov. 3 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST. Other 2009 scheduled sale dates are Dec. 1 and Dec. 29.

The AHA Board and staff are very excited about this new business venture designed to provide members and possibly commercial customers a wonderful opportunity to conduct business. What AHA offers consignors is exposure: both national exposure and possibly global exposure when considering the new Pan-American Genetic Evaluation relationship with Hereford associations in Argentina, Uruguay and Canada.

Kevin Wendt, the bonded professional auctioneer and owner of The Wendt Group, has contracted his services to the AHA. Wendt will have a team of customer service people led by representative Tyler Humphrey, who will work with breeders to post their listing on the site.

An initial nonrefundable, up-front fee of $50 per pictured animal or product or $75 for a videoed animal or product will be charged to consign to an auction. Once the animal or product is sold, a 12% commission will be deducted from the sale price.

Every buyer must sign up on the site and be prequalified to be an approved buyer at the auction. The Wendt Group is responsible for collection of the proceeds for each purchase before delivery and will guarantee consignor payment within 30 days of the auction.

Consignors can post photos and video clips. See for format guidelines. Two weeks before each auction, an online catalog of consignments will be available.

To consign to the online auction or for more information, contact Joe Rickabaugh, AHA director of field management and seedstock marketing, at (816) 842-3757 or any of the regional Hereford field staff for detailed information. You can also visit for information about the service and for contact information.


The American Hereford Association, with headquarters in Kansas City, Mo., is one of the largest U.S. beef breed associations. The not-for-profit organization along with its subsidiaries — Certified Hereford Beef (CHB) LLC, Hereford Publications Inc. (HPI) and American Beef Records Association (ABRA) — provides programs and services for its members and their customers, while promoting the Hereford breed and supporting education, youth and research. For more information about the Association, visit