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Beef

Top Limousin Producers are Recognized

Denver, Colo., (Oct 11, 2010) The North American Limousin Foundation (NALF) has compiled the statistics for its recently completed fiscal year and released its list of top 20 active breeders. Together, they registered more than 7,000 Limousin and Lim-Flex® calves.

"These top 20 Limousin breeders represent a strong contingent of performance minded breeders across the country," said Bob Hough, Ph.D., Executive Vice President for NALF. "I commend the loyalty and commitment of these and all of our members for their dedication to make Limousin the perfect cross for British based cowherds. Combined, they are the lifeblood and reason for our increased breed success."

Research conducted by NALF and Colorado State University (CSU) indicates trustworthy pedigrees, performance data and genetic predictions add about $400 to the value of Limousin and Lim-Flex bulls sold at auction.

The list of top 20 active Limousin breeders follows.

1st...................Running Creek Ranch, Elizabeth, Colo.

2nd................. May Farms, Lamar, Colo.

3rd.................. Magness Land & Cattle, Platteville, Colo.

4th.................. Bruner Limousin, Winfred, S.D.

5th.................. Coleman Limousin Ranch, Charlo, Mont.

6th.................. Symens Brothers Limousin, Amherst, S.D.

7th.................. Pinegar Limousin, Springfield, Mo.

8th.................. Spring Creeks Cattle Co., Wauzeka, Wisc.

9th.................. Ratliffs Cherry Creek Farms, Westphalia, Kan.

10th................ P Bar S Ranch, Sand Springs, Okla.

11th................ Bar JZ Ranches, Holabird, S.D.

12th.................Elmwood Limousins, Iliff, Colo.

13th................ Lonely Valley Limousin, Creston, Neb.

14th................ Schott Limousin Ranch, McLaughlin, S.D.

15th................ Leonard Wulf & Sons, Morris, Minn.

16th................ Express Limousin Ranch, Yukon, Okla.

17th................ Linhart Limousin, Leon, Iowa

18th................ Reynolds Ranch, Sanford, Colo.

19th................ O'Brien Farms, Pineville, Mo.

20th................ Peterson's L7 Bar Limousin, Pukwana, S.D.

For those wanting to locate a local Limousin breeder, the NALF Web site (www.nalf.org) offers a searchable list of participating members. A printed directory of Limousin World magazine advertisers - the "Blue Book" - is available by calling the NALF office at (303) 220-1693.

The North American Limousin Foundation (www.nalf.org), headquartered in Centennial, Colo., provides programs and services - including genetic evaluation of 5,000 active sires - to more than 3,000 members and their commercial customers. The Limousin breed and its Lim-Flex® hybrid lead the beef industry in muscle-growth efficiency and ideally complement British breeds.

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Beef

Kubota and Vermeer Announce Strategic Marketing Alliance

Alliance with Kubota Involves Vermeer Forage Equipment for the Agricultural Market

TORRANCE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Kubota Tractor Corporation and Vermeer Corporation announce a strategic marketing alliance for the sale of performance-matched, allied-approved, Vermeer forage equipment. The combination Kubota and Vermeer Dealers now have the opportunity to sell Vermeer forage equipment, such as balers, rakes and related forage equipment financed by Kubota Credit Corporation.

“The marketing alliance between Kubota and Vermeer allows those Kubota Dealers who are also Vermeer Dealers to offer a full line of Vermeer forage equipment and Kubota tractors to their agricultural customers with easy financing and strong aftermarket support available from one dealer location,” explains Greg Embury, vice president sales and marketing, Kubota Tractor Corporation.

“We believe the combination of our high quality Vermeer forage solutions equipment along with Kubota’s well-respected tractor lineup, offers customers an excellent choice for purchasing high-performance, long-lasting, productive ag equipment. The alliance between Vermeer and Kubota offers an easy way to purchase a tractor and baler, rake or other related forage equipment and have the service and financing end of ownership at one convenient dealership location,” adds Mark Core, Vice President, Forage Solutions, Vermeer Corporation.

Kubota Tractor Corporation is the U.S. marketer of Kubota-branded tractors up to 118 PTO hp, performance-matched implements, compact and utility-class construction equipment, consumer lawn and garden equipment, commercial turf products and utility vehicles. For Kubota product literature or dealer locations, contact Kubota Tractor Corporation at 3401 Del Amo Blvd., Torrance, CA 90503, (888) 4-KUBOTA [(888) 458-2682], Ext. 900, or visit www.kubota.com.

Vermeer Corporation manufactures a complete line of hay tools including round balers, mowers, mower/conditioners, rakes, tedders, bale processors and silage wrappers plus biomass harvesting equipment used for renewable energy and reclamation; and a wide assortment of industrial products for tree, construction, environmental and underground utility service work. For more information on Vermeer equipment, log on to www.vermeer.com.

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=6463527&lang=en

Beef

Angus Business Grows in 2010

Farmers and ranchers who rely on quality Angus genetics continued to see economic growth this year despite lingering challenges in the U.S. beef cattle industry.

According to year-end figures released by the American Angus Association®, Angus registrations, bull sale averages, AngusSource® enrollments and Certified Angus Beef® sales were among several sectors experiencing increases in fiscal year 2010, which ended Sept. 30.

“Year-end numbers continue to demonstrate strong demand for quality Angus genetics and solidify our long-held position as a leader in the beef cattle industry,” Bryce Schumann, American Angus Association CEO, said. “These results underscore our members’ commitment to providing genetic solutions to the beef cattle industry, and another consecutive year of record-breaking sales for Certified Angus Beef® further substantiates Angus demand.”

Registrations increased more than 5% during FY 2010, with 297,087 animals registered. Embryo transfers accounted for 11.5% of registrations, and more than 53% of registered calves were a result of A.I. More than 91,000 registrations were stored electronically in 2010 to account for 30.7% of total registrations.

Bull sale averages increased nearly 5% above last year, and overall sales edged higher.

Breeders continued to utilize Angus Herd Improvement Records (AHIR®) and Beef Improvement Records (BIR) in FY 2010. A total of 802,459 weight records were submitted, bringing the beef industry’s most extensive database to more than 19 million records.

Quality Angus genetics continues to drive consumer demand. Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB) achieved its fourth consecutive sales record in 2010 with more than 775 million pounds, a 17% increase — or 114 million lb. — over last year. All CAB sectors, including food service, retail, international and value-added areas, experienced increases.

Approximately 14.9 million head were identified, and those certified for the Association-owned brand rose more than 24% to 3.5 million head. Acceptance rates climbed from 19.8% in 2009 to 23% in 2010, and nearly 64% of U.S. finished cattle were identified as black-hided.

AngusSource® — a program documenting age, source and Angus genetics — helped fuel the value of those Angus-sired calves in FY 2010. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Process Verified Program (PVP) enrolled 140,315 head, growing the number of head enrolled by 14.3% and bringing the total to more than 530,000 since the program was initiated as a PVP in 2005.

In addition, Gateway, a second-tier verification program documenting source and group age, enrolled 19,258 head. Collectively, producers marketed more than 47,000 head of AngusSource and Gateway cattle through the online cattle listings available at www.angus.org/angussource.

The American Angus Association is the nation’s largest beef organization, serving approximately 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

Young Agriculture Leadership Conference draws 150 participants

Over 150 participants from all segments of Montana’s agriculture community gathered in Red Lodge, Mont. for two inspiring and information-filled days at the 7th Annual Young Agriculture Leadership Conference (YALC). The conference targets young agriculturalists ages 18-40 and is organized by seven of Montana’s most influential agriculture groups.

“It was great to see so many young ag leaders gathered in Red Lodge,” said Todd Smith, chair of the YALC planning committee. “We had a great conference and participants had the opportunity to listen to some great speakers and presenters.”

The conference kicked off with a social hour, dinner and “Montana Idol” karaoke competition on Friday evening, Oct. 1. On Saturday morning, the conference began with a breakfast presentation, “Fence Posts Talking to Each Other,” by Dr. Ron Hanson. Hanson discussed the importance of communication and a team effort for families working together on a farm and ranch. He told the group, “Just because you are talking, doesn’t mean you are communicating.” He also emphasized the need to truly listen to one another.

After breakfast, conference attendees participated in morning workshops where they had the choice between a Cattle Industry Situation and Outlook presentation by Chad Spearman at Cattle-Fax; “Taking Back Agriculture by Telling Your Story” by Jennifer Stolp, Issues Management Associate Director for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association; a presentation from John Blanchfield at the Center for Ag and Rural Banking; “ProfitZ: The Revolution in Crop Management” by Chuck Gatzemeir, CG Ag Consulting, and Jeff Nesbitt, Precision Partners; and a presentation by Trent Loos on advocating for agriculture on the internet.

State Senator Taylor Brown was the keynote speaker for Saturday’s lunch. Brown spoke to the group about leadership. “Leadership is not always fun,” he told the young ag leaders. “Leadership takes courage… Leadership is just looking around and seeing what needs to be done, then doing it.” Brown encouraged the group to stay informed, join an ag organization and get involved.

The afternoon continued with repeats of some of the morning’s workshops with an added presentation from Dr. Ron Hanson, “You Can Buy the Family Farm but Remember I Still Own It.” Two discussion groups were held to close out the afternoon, one featuring John Youngberg of the Montana Farm Bureau Federation, Dave Galt of the Montana Petroleum Association, and Jim Steinbeisser representing the Montana Stockgrowers Association; the second featuring Bob Hanson, Montana Farm Bureau Federation president, Watty Taylor, Montana Stockgrowers Association 1st vice president, and John Malia from Senator Max Baucus’ office.

Saturday evening was a fun-filled night with a delicious steak dinner and a hilarious hypnosis show with hypnotist Dr. Al Snyder. Then the group loaded shuttles to travel to the Bear Creek Saloon for live music by the Crop Dusters.

The conference closed Sunday morning, Oct. 3, with a keynote address from Trent Loos, a sixth-generation farmer and advocate for agriculture through his radio and television programs, column, and speaking engagements. Loos told stories about people all across the country who do not understand where their food comes from. He encouraged each person in the audience to become an advocate for agriculture and to bridge the gap between producers and consumers.

Beef

YOUNG STOCKMEN’S ACADEMY TOURS AGRIBUSINESS, RETAIL BEEF INDUSTRY

(TOPEKA) – The 2010 KLA Young Stockmen’s Academy (YSA) gathered for its third educational tour of the year October 5-7. The group of young KLA members from across the state spent three days in Kansas City learning more about the agribusiness and retail beef industries. Resflor Gold from Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health (ISPAH) is the exclusive sponsor of this program.

ISPAH Senior Marketing Manager Jeff Baxter and Senior Territory Manager Ron Hinrichsen gave the class an inside look at the company and the animal health industry. Baxter told the group it takes about 10 to 12 years to bring a food animal pharmaceutical to the marketplace. ISPAH ranks second in the world in annual sales for animal health products.

To gain a better understanding of the link between the processing plant and the consumer’s plate, the group toured SYSCO Food Service and the Kansas City Steak Company. Both companies distribute high-end beef cuts to restaurants across the U.S. The Kansas City Steak Company also has a mail-order business and sells beef products online and through QVC, a home shopping channel. SYSCO distributes beef cuts through 86 facilities, grossing more from boxed beef sales than any other item sold.

YSA members also saw firsthand how beef is marketed over the counter and in the meatcase. Stops were made at Costco, Whole Foods Market and Fiorella’s Jack Stack BBQ. Costco is one of the largest buyers of beef in the U.S., with it making up more than 18% of the store’s fresh meat sales on a value basis. According to Costco Regional Marketing Manager Steve Tarantino, tenderloin is the top-selling cut at the Overland Park location.

In addition, the class heard from staff at Bartlett and Company about risk management in the cattle and grain industries. Stops also were made at the Kansas City Board of Trade and the Federal Reserve Bank.

The 2010 class includes Alex Acheson, Woodbine; Jason Brown, Dwight; Trista Brown, Satanta; Glen Collinge, Hamilton; Kelly DeDonder, Reading; Rebecca Farha, Yates Center; Brandon Harder, Haven; Drew Hedges, Burden; Dirck Hoagland, Leavenworth; Kory Josefiak, Rozel; Brady Larson, Sharon Springs; Ryan Locke, El Dorado; Trevor Lundberg, Frankfort; Trey Miser, Wichita; Brandon Oleen, Falun; Wrenn Pacheco, Manhattan; Austin Rathbun, Lorraine; D. J. Rezac, Rossville; Tera Rooney, Satanta; and Rylan Woolfolk, Protection.

The fourth YSA session will be held at the KLA Convention, December 2-3. Members will have the opportunity to attend educational sessions and help form policy that will guide the association in 2011 during council and committee meetings.

KLA is a trade organization representing the business interests of members at both the state and federal levels. Voluntary dues dollars paid by producers are used for programs that benefit KLA members in the areas of legislative representation, regulatory assistance, legal troubleshooting, communications and the advancement of youth.

A Look At The Cattle Market

Since this column is being written before the release of USDA’s October supply and demand report, I will write about a market that I have not addressed in some time.

In August, cattle futures hit a major price projection and did so on all contracts through April 2011. Technically, with the psychological resistance of $100, cattle futures have seemed unable to press through to the topside.

There were two major cattle traders said to be short this market session. Since mid-September, one was said to have rolled his shorts via spreading to the April contract.

The other remained short in the October up-front contract. This didn’t seem plausible to the average Joe, but sometimes, these guys carry a lot of power, and making deliveries is second nature to them.

To read the entire article, link here.

Beef Prices Slipping In Volatile Market

Beef prices are slipping again after excessively low over the summer, with market volatility a continuing concern, livestock chairman Alistair Mackintosh told NFU council recently.

However, he predicted better times after Christmas as corn prices rise and it becomes uneconomic to finish black and white bull calves, meaning there will be a tightening of supply and firmer New Year prices.

He also reported a distinctly mixed verdict at markets on of movement recording and EID in sheep, with some describing as ‘good enough with a tolerance’ and others reporting it works less than 50 per cent of the time.

To read the entire article, link here.

Managing Cull Cows This Fall

One management area that has received a lot of attention over the last three or four years has been cull-cow management and marketing. Some of the common statements made include: 1) The sale of cull cows from the herd represent a significant portion of annual beef herd returns, estimated to be as high as 15-20% of herd receipts; 2) Producers should consider alternative management and marketing options, as seasonal low prices occur in the fall, namely late October, November and December; 3) Properly managed cull cows can achieve efficient gains and therefore have the potential to be profitable feeding enterprises.

All these statements appear to be true: Cull cows can be a source of improved revenue for the operation, but as with everything, general statements don't always fit every situation. Understanding how cull cows are categorized and marketed is an important part of effectively marketing and managing the cows that you own. While the earlier points can all be true, it is equally correct to say that: 1) Not all cows are efficient gainers; 2) Not all cull cows have the same potential for increased returns. Before determining your exact plan, consider the weight gain and marketing potential of the group of cows.

To read the entire article, link here.

Top 5 Lessons Ranches Teach Kids

img_0009.jpg Many of my friends are getting married and having babies, and it seems that whenever we get together, we always talk about the many life lessons farm and ranch kids learn that their urban peers might not be exposed to. These conversations often make me reflect on the things I learned as a kid growing up on a cattle operation. I've listed my top five below. Add yours in the comments section below.

Amanda's top five lessons learned on the ranch:

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1. A little dirt, manure, calf snot, hay flecks or corn dust never hurt anybody.

2. Chores mean more than helping to wash the dishes or make the bed. Chores for a farm kid mean feeding calves, opening gates, fixing fence, chopping thistles, moving and working cows, picking up square bales, and the list goes on and on and on.

3. The needs of the cattle come before yours. That means the calves eat supper before you do. The calves get warm bedding in a blizzard before you get to go inside to a warm house. The barn is kept as clean as the house. A sick calf means taking the extra time to treat them before heading to the movies. Weaning day means skipping sleepovers the night before.

4. Ranches teach kids the circle of life. That means new babies are born in the spring, bulls are sold to customers, fat steers are harvested for food, and sometimes there is unexpected death loss. As Trent Loos always says, “Everything lives; everything dies. Death with a purpose gives meaning to life.”

5. Finally, ranch kids are taught to be strong, independent, self-reliant and responsible. They aren’t afraid to get dirty and work hard to get the job done. Most importantly, they are taught the importance of family. Because 97% of farms and ranches are family-owned and operated, there are many producers who work alongside multiple generations of family members. As my dad always says, “A family that works cows together, stays together.”

What are some of your favorite memories from the farm? What lessons did you learn growing up in agriculture? What experiences do you want to make sure your kids have? Add your lessons and experiences in the comments section below. Thanks in advance for sharing your stories!

Workshop Helps Farmers Plan For Next Generation

If statistics are any indication, farming is not a field that is attracting the young. According to the USDA 2005-2007 Agricultural Resource Management Survey, the average age for farmers is 57 years old. It's expected that over the next decade half of them will retire. Who will replace them?

"On average, 30% of family farms successfully pass to the second generation, and only 10% pass to a third generation," says Lee Meyer, University of Kentucky ag economist.

The Farm Transitions Workshop, sponsored by UK Cooperative Extension Service, is designed to help farm families make those generational transfers more successful.

To read the entire article, link here. For more information on this topic, check out Alaina Mousel's previous articles on generation planning, Help is on the way and Changing of the guards.