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Articles from 2010 In March


New Mexico Livestock Board Investigates HSUS

Portales Livestock Auction (PLA) is owned and operated by Randy Bouldin of Portales, NM. PLA' s market niche is primarily dairy cattle, the majority of which are cull cows sold for harvest. Approximately 700 head of cattle are sold each week through the PLA sale ring. Caviness Packing Company of Hereford, TX has historically been a major buyer at PLA. The PLA enterprise has been in operation for approximately 25 years providing a marketing service for a large area of Texas and New Mexico producers.

The Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) describes itself as the nation's largest and most effective animal protection organization. An animal rights organization headquartered in Washington, D.C., the HSUS is not to be confused with local community humane society shelters. Reliant on donations, HSUS is a successful fundraiser with assets in excess of $200 million, of which approximately $160 million are in the form of cash and securities (Dec. 31, 2005 financial condition).


On June 20, 2008 a meeting was held, per request by Animal Protection of New Mexico, at the offices of the New Mexico Livestock Board regarding alleged abuses and treatment of downer cows at the PLA. To read the entire article, link here.

U.S. Beef Imaging Campaign in Korea Getting Results

The U.S. beef industry imaging campaign launched late last year is finding a receptive audience among consumers and retailers in South Korea, helping to improve perceptions of beef products while leading to increased sales.

Developed with the beef checkoff and USDA Market Access Program (MAP) funds, the multimedia advertising campaign with a “women-to-women” theme was launched in December 2009 by USMEF when it was felt that consumers in Korea were ready to begin seeing positive messages about U.S. beef.

“For more than a year, the atmosphere in Korea was not conducive to high-profile promotions of U.S. beef,” said Jihae Yang, USMEF-Korea director. “When the media signaled us that they were ready to begin running U.S. advertisements again, we were prepared.”

To read the entire article, link here.

4th Annual Meat-In Day Encourages Students to Support Ag

In keeping with tradition, Penn State students in the College of Agricultural Sciences once again joined forces to show their support for animal agriculture. This year marked the fourth anniversary of Meat-In Day, an event originally started by Penn State alumni and former National Beef Ambassador, Chris Molinaro.

On March 18, approximately 175 students from the College of Agriculture Sciences wore two different t-shirts to show their support around campus. Members of four major college student organizations came to help with the event that was established as a proactive response to the Great American Meatout Day, which celebrated its 25th anniversary.

More than 1,700 pieces of beef jerky were handed out at the student union building as well as in the dining commons area. The jerky was accompanied by educational flyers about the health benefits of beef.

To read the entire article, link here.

BEEF Daily Baby Calf Photo Contest

Spring is here, and, for many, that means new beginnings. The pastures are greening up, the snow is melting and baby calves are everywhere. In honor of this wonderful time of year, I'm announcing the 2010 BEEF Daily Baby Calf Photo Contest. I'm looking for your favorite photos from calving time. It could be a rancher carrying a calf through the mud to the dry barn, it could be a baby calf with his mother, or it could be your kids feeding a bottle calf. Send your favorite photo and be entered to win fun prizes!

The contest is open until Wednesday, April 21, 2010, where I will choose 10 finalists to be voted on by you in the remaining days of April. Two winners will be selected. Grand Champion photographer will receive a copy of Great Ranches of the West by Jim Keen, and Reserve Champion photographer will win a notecard set appropriately named to fit the theme of this contest, "Mother and Child," by David Stoecklin.

It's easy to participate. Simply send in a photo with your name and mailing address to [email protected] Let's celebrate calving season together! I can't wait to see your photographs! Best of luck to all entrants.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A purchase does not improve your chances of winning. Contest open to legal residents of 50 United States and the District of Columbia, who are 18 or older. To enter, send in a cattle photo with description, along with mailing address to: [email protected] All entries must be received by Wednesday, April 21, 2010. Void outside of the 50 United States and District of Columbia and where prohibited by law. For the Full Rules, link here.

BEEF Daily Quick Fact: 13 of the 29 lean beef cuts have, on average, only one more gram of saturated fat than a skinless chicken breast per 3-ounce serving. Yet, beef's leanest cuts have eight times more vitamin B12, six times more zinc and three times more iron than a skinless chicken breast. (Source: Utah Beef Council)

Beef Daily Baby Calf Photography Contest

Beef

R&D LifeSciences Opens Doors To Service Feeding Industry

March 2010, Menomonie, WI – R&D LifeSciences, LLC, has officially started business in Menomonie, WI, with a vast array of products specifically designed to benefit the livestock feeding industry. According to David Zehendner, President/CEO of R&D LifeSciences (R&DL), the company is strategically focused on producing innovative, quality products utilizing the company’s advanced biotech research to solve producer’s problems and offer them alternatives to increase their bottom line.

R&DL will offer a wide variety of feed-enhancement products including Zymace, an Aspergillus oryzae fungi digestive enhancer, Lactomace proprietary dried Bacillus subtilis, Aspergillus oryzae and Trichoderma viridae fermentation products, Protemacea unique line of custom egg globulin protein products, Flomace anti-caking agent for animal feed, Phytomace essential oil (oregano) and Bactomace direct fed microbial (Bacillus subtilis PS 105, Bacillus licheniformis PS 103 and Enterococcus faecium PS 404).

“Zymace is very similar to Amaferm (BioZyme) in appearance and performance,” Zehendner states. “We have developed a very palatable and cost-competitive Aspergillus oryzae (AO) product for the industry. The fact is that both Zymace and Amaferm utilize basically the same Aspergillus oryzae strain (AO strain 458). Zymace is manufactured using a multi-step fermentation process. The net result is that the products perform similarly. We feel we provide a competitive edge in manufacturing (made entirely in the U.S.), pricing and delivery compared to our competitors.”

Another product that R&DL management is extremely excited about is new Lactomace – a proprietary combination of dried Bacillus subtilis, Aspergillus oryzae and Trichoderma viridae fermentation products specifically designed and formulated to increase digestibility of feed by dairy cows, beef cattle and other ruminants as well as aid in digestion and feed utilization.

Application of certain active enzymes and fermentation products (e.g. Trichoderma viride, Aspergillus oryzae, Bacillus subtilis) to ruminant feed has been shown to increase carbohydrate availability and fiber digestibility, which contribute to increased rate of weight gain and feed utilization efficiency. “This is a unique combination of products for the dairy industry that we think will resolve many of digestion and feed utilization issues nutritionists are trying to address,” Zehendner notes.

Zehendner adds, “Our R&D team has also developed the first liquid formulation (patent pending) spray dried whole egg globulin protein product. This technology allows R&DL to develop farm-specific, all-natural products that can be administered via the watering system in dairies, poultry facilities, swine barns and feedlots. “This technology will change how livestock are administered egg globulin proteins. No one else currently has this technology,” Zehendner states.

R&D LifeSciences will offer their entire product line exclusively via feed product distributors, dealers and feed mills and are currently recruiting new dealers and distribution centers. “We want our entire product line sold through and serviced via feed dealers and feed mills,” concludes Zehendner. “With second-generation products already being developed, we feel this is the best distribution route for our product line to assure they are utilized correctly and are mixed/delivered as they were intended.”

R&D LifeSciences will offer product sales via their current strategic distribution partners International Nutrition, Inc. (www.ini-agworld.com or 402-331-0123) and Nutra Blend LLC (www.nutrablend.net or 800-657-5657). R&D LifeSciences is also currently seeking qualified product distributors, dealers and feed mills to offer their complete line of feed and health products – Zymace, Lactomace, Protemace, Flomace, Phytomace and Bactomaceto livestock producers.

For more information on R&D LifeSciences, visit www.RDLifeSciences.com or call 877-874-0125 or 715-231-2150.

Student Leaders Meet at Youth Beef Industry Council

My sincerest apologies for the delayed delivery of yesterday's newsletter; due to technical difficulties, BEEF Daily was mailed out late afternoon. Now back to our regularly scheduled program!

daren-speaking-to-group.jpg Over the weekend, I spoke at the 2010 Youth Beef Industry Council in Minneapolis, MN. I worked with 120 young beef industry leaders on how to use social media to share the agriculture story, and I gave away beautiful Western art prints to volunteers sponsored by BEEF magazine. It was great to speak with kids my age about the issues we face in the agriculture industry today, and I was honored to be included on the weekend agenda alongside several talented, dynamic industry professionals.

One of those professionals was Daren Williams, program head of the Masters of Beef Advocacy (MBA) group that has more than 1,000 graduates in the alumni association. Williams offered up some words of advice for young people to get out and share the agriculture story with consumers. Read on to learn more about what he had to say.

“Nothing is more effective than sharing your personal story,” Williams told the group of young people. “Studies show that consumers still trust farmers and ranchers, and it’s your job to share what you do on a daily basis to care for animals and the environment on your operation. The HSUS has 11 million members, and they trained 2,100 activists last year alone. I’m concerned about the future of agriculture, but I’m also optimistic.

"Each of you has an influential power to affect the world. Whether it’s at the grocery store or at a church potluck, there are opportunities to share your story with others.

"Producers need to work on sharing positive messages with consumers through letters to the editor, email signatures and social networks. A message can be as simple as, ‘Caring for the land is our livelihood and our legacy to future generations.’ Who doesn’t want to leave the land better than it was received? I think that is the goal of all farmers and ranchers."

He quoted psychologist William James saying, “Your passion for a subject will save you,” and there is no doubt that today’s beef industry leaders have passion for production agriculture. Williams closed his presentation by giving the students a solid message to share with consumers, “We care and we’re capable.” That simple saying certainly rings true for today’s farmers and ranchers. For more information on the MBA program and how to get involved, contact Williams at [email protected] It was definitely a great weekend working with the future leaders of the beef industry; I look forward to having them as friends and colleagues down the road!

BEEF Daily Quick Fact: Studies show that 72% of adult females and 37% of adult males are not getting the minimum number of servings from the meat group according to USDA guidelines for a healthy diet. (Source: Utah Beef Council)

Proactive Animal Welfare

"Nobody cares more for the well-being of cattle than the 700,000 beef producers who spend their lives raising them.” says Dan Thomson, associate professor and director of the Beef Cattle Institute at Kansas State University (KSU). “Beef cattle well-being is the foundation to any beef cattle operation.”

Improvement can be made, though. That’s the primary aim of the second annual International Symposium on Beef Cattle Welfare KSU will host May 19-21.

“This symposium will provide everyone involved in the beef cattle industry – from producers, to veterinarians, to feedyard managers, to transport specialists, to beef processors – the opportunity to constructively discuss the well-being issues facing our industry,” Thomson says.

For instance, are there practical ways to decrease the pain associated with castration and dehorning? What’s the most humane way to move non-ambulatory cattle? How do producers benchmark and audit management practices to verify animal welfare to the public?

These are only a few issues featured at the symposium (see the agenda at isbcw.beefcattleinstitute.org/). Along the way, experts who are part of the North American Food Animal Well-being Commission (NAFAWC) will share insight into what the public – domestically and internationally – wants in terms of animal welfare, how the industry is addressing those concerns, and how individual producers can effectively answer questions and concerns.

The NAFAWC was established in August 2009, in part to direct research efforts, field studies and assessment tools for the North American beef industry in relation to beef cattle well-being in order to provide science-based recommendations for cattle-management practices. It includes a who’s who of domestic and international animal welfare experts, including: Thomson; internationally acclaimed animal behavior expert, Temple Grandin from Colorado State University; Janice Swanson, Michigan State University; Ron Gill, Texas A&M University; Joseph Stookey, University of Saskatchewan; and Dee Griffin, University of Nebraska.

“Animal well-being issues extend beyond the ag community,” Thomson explains. “People across the country are looking for more information on animal care and handling, and we’re eager to share our story with them. This symposium is an example of how the beef industry and its researchers continue to find new advances in animal well-being for the cattle they raise for beef. The beef industry has nothing to hide from the American public.”

You can attend the symposium from wherever you live. The symposium will be broadcast live via the Internet to individuals as well as groups. For instance, some businesses and universities might make the broadcast available in a group setting to area clients and stakeholders. The first symposium last year attracted 700 participants from 31 states and four countries.

To register for the symposium, either to attend onsite or from a remote location, go to www.isbcw.beefcattleinstitute.org/.

“Animal well-being is the foundation for the performance, health and profitability of cattle raised for beef, and as an industry, we take great pride in our responsibility to properly care for animals,” Thomson says. “We’re constantly looking for new and innovative ways to build upon existing science to ensure healthy animals and safe, quality products to feed the world’s population.”

Modern Agriculture Is The Solution

Despite oft-repeated claims by sources ranging from the United Nations (UN) to music star Paul McCartney, it’s simply not true that consuming less meat and dairy products will help stop climate change, says a University of California (UC) authority on farming and greenhouse gases (GHGs).

First off, consider the fact that Mom Nature, not man, determines global warming and cooling (see “Fighting the Global Warming Scam” elsewhere in this issue). Next, even if you believed there was a direct cause and effect relationship between GHGs produced by man and global warming, the measures used are flawed.

Frank Mitloehner, UC-Davis associate professor and air quality specialist, says McCartney and the chair of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ignored science in December when they launched a European campaign called "Less Meat = Less Heat." The launch came on the eve of the major international climate summit in Copenhagen.

McCartney and others, such as the promoters of Meatless Mondays seem to be well-intentioned but not well-schooled in the complex relationships among human activities, animal digestion, food production and atmospheric chemistry, Mitloehner says.

“Producing less meat and milk will only mean more hunger in poor countries,” Mitloehner said. He traces much of the public confusion over meat and milk’s role in climate change to two sentences in a 2006 UN report titled, "Livestock's Long Shadow.” Printed only in the report's executive summary and nowhere in the body of the report, the sentences read: “The livestock sector is a major player, responsible for 18% of GHG emissions measured in CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalents). This is a higher share than transport.”

These statements are not accurate, yet their wide distribution through news media has put us on the wrong path toward solutions, Mitloehner says. “We certainly can reduce our GHG production, but not by consuming less meat and milk. In developing countries, we should adopt more efficient, Western-style farming practices, to make more food with less GHG production,” he explains.

“The developed world's efforts should focus not on reducing meat and milk consumption,” Mitloehner says, “but rather on increasing efficient meat production in developing countries, where growing populations need more nutritious food.”

Mitloehner objects to the UN's statement that livestock account for more GHGs than transportation, when there is no generally accepted global breakdown of gas production by industrial sector.

He notes that “Livestock's Long Shadow” produced its numbers for the livestock sector by adding up emissions from farm to table, including the gases produced by growing animal feed, animals' digestive emissions, and processing meat and milk into foods. But its transportation analysis did not similarly add up emissions from well to wheel; instead, it considered only emissions from fossil fuels burned while driving.

“This lopsided analysis is a classical apples-and-oranges analogy that truly confused the issue," Mitloehner says.

Most of Mitloehner's analysis is presented in a recent study titled, “Clearing the Air: Livestock’s Contributions to Climate Change,” published in October in the peer-reviewed journal Advances in Agronomy. Co-authors of the paper are UC Davis researchers Maurice Piteskey and Kimberly Stackhouse.

See more at airquality.ucdavis.edu/pages.