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.

Beef

Know What You’re Getting

Help ensure safety, product performance by demanding FDA-approved products

DULUTH, GA — March 10, 2010 — When your horse’s health — and your dollar — are on the line, using products that carry the stamp of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval is a surefire way to ensure it has been tested for safety and effectiveness.

“Taking chances with products that aren’t FDA-approved means you may have to go back to the drawing board for a real solution. Or worse, you could even be putting your horse’s health at risk,” says Hoyt Cheramie, DVM, MS, manager, Veterinary Services, Merial. “Some horse owners may even believe that they are receiving FDA-approved products when, in fact, they may be paying for an illegally compounded product.”

This includes products claiming to treat or prevent equine stomach ulcers, Dr. Cheramie says. Because there are FDA-approved products, compounding pharmacies that offer stomach ulcer treatment or prevention may be producing an illegal product.1

In a recent open letter to veterinarians regarding another equine medication, the FDA noted the presence of FDA-approved products greatly reduces the need for compounding, which may be reserved for specific patients requiring a strength or dosage form not available.2

In prescribing an FDA-approved product, “you are providing your clients and their horses with a drug that has demonstrated safety and effectiveness in horses and whose manufacturing process met the FDA’s standards for quality, purity, and potency,” the FDA letter stated.2

This letter was an excellent reminder of the exacting standards the FDA and manufacturers take to ensure a product’s safety and effectiveness, Dr. Cheramie says. Owners may not be aware of the standards in place to help protect them, and their horses.

Compounded omeprazoles may lack the consistency and effectiveness of FDA-approved products,3,4 and, therefore, owners using compounded omeprazole may not be addressing their horse’s health concern, Dr. Cheramie says.

In a study, administration of compounded omeprazole suspension was ineffective in healing stomach ulcers in horses.3 However, the FDA-approved product, GASTROGARD® (omeprazole), was effective in the same study.

Compounded omeprazole products may not even contain the labeled value of active ingredient. In a comparison of 10 compounded omeprazole products, the value of omeprazole ranged from 6 percent to 76 percent of their labeled values.4

“Stomach ulcers can develop in a range of situations — from competition,5 to changes in routine6 — but the heart of the problem is acid production, and there are only two FDA-approved products proven to consistently and effectively suppress acid production at the acid pump for either prevention or treatment of stomach ulcers,” Dr. Cheramie says.

ULCERGARD® (omeprazole) is the only FDA-approved product to prevent stomach ulcers*, and GASTROGARD is the only FDA-approved product to heal stomach ulcers. The unique, patented formulation of the products helps ensure the omeprazole is stabilized to work effectively. While the products are dosed differently to either provide prevention or healing, both offer convenient once-daily administration that is well accepted by horses.5,7

“Choosing products that are FDA-approved helps ensure that you’re not only providing the best medicine for your horses, but that you’re also making the most of every equine healthcare dollar,” Dr. Cheramie says. “Don’t take chances with horses’ health. Look for FDA-approved products that are proven safe and effective.”

Merial is a world-leading, innovation-driven animal health company, providing a comprehensive range of products to enhance the health, well-being and performance of a wide range of animals. Merial employs approximately 5,700 people and operates in more than 150 countries worldwide. Its 2008 sales were over $2.6 billion. Merial is the Animal Health subsidiary of sanofi-aventis. For more information, please see www.merial.com.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION: The safety of GASTROGARD in pregnant or lactating mares has not been determined.

ULCERGARD can be used in horses that weigh at least 600 pounds. Safety in pregnant mares has not been determined.

Beef

PINKEYE CONTROL ON YOUR BEEF OPERATION REQUIRES A THREE-PRONGED APPROACH

Plan your pinkeye prevention program now

Roseland, N.J., Feb. 25, 2010 - As pinkeye season approaches, it’s time for beef producers to take preventive steps to control this contagious, costly disease. Pinkeye losses can exceed $100 per incidence in beef cattle. Norm Stewart, D.V.M., M.S., Manager of Technical Services for Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health, offers best management practices for preventing pinkeye.

“Taking a stand against pinkeye requires a three-pronged approach that includes vaccination, fly control and environmental management,” Stewart says, “Like a three-legged stool, leaving out any of these key elements can bring down your entire control program.”

Protect the eyes

Stewart says the first leg of control is vaccination. “Pinkeye is caused when bacterial organisms such as Moraxella bovis infect the surface of the eye,” explains Stewart.

Pinkeye vaccines stimulate the production of antibodies in tears that bathe the eye, limit infection and reduce the severity of lesions. To allow adequate development of immunity, he advises vaccinating animals three to six weeks prior to the onset of pinkeye season.

There are many different strains of Moraxella bovis, in addition to evolving bacteria, which can cause pinkeye,” explains Stewart. “Work with your veterinarian or animal health provider to identify a broad-spectrum vaccine effective against a wide variety of common infectious strains and isolates.”

Stop the flies

The second key to preventing pinkeye is fly control, Stewart says, because pinkeye can spread rapidly from flies that transport bacteria from the eyes of one animal to another. Face flies can travel significant distances between herds and can expose animals to different strains of Moraxella bovis.

“This is why vaccination with a broad-spectrum pinkeye vaccine and fly control are such critical legs of the pinkeye prevention stool,” Stewart explains.

Effective fly control requires customization to your production system. Stewart suggests the following best management practices to reduce the impact flies have on the spread of pinkeye:

• Treat animals of all ages and their premises with an effective, long-lasting and easy to administer insecticide

• For calves and cows, apply two ear tags per animal, in addition to a low-volume, long-lasting pour-on for rapid knockdown of the existing fly population. Reapply the pour-on as needed

• For premise control, use an insecticide such as a microencapsulated product that delivers superior, long-lasting control on a wide variety of surfaces in and around livestock facilities

• Use additional fly-control measures as necessary, such as back-rubbers, oilers and other devices that can be used on pasture

• When ear tags lose their effectiveness, remove them and apply a final dose of a low-volume pour-on

• If you believe a product is not working, contact the manufacturer and your animal health provider to discuss the situation and get help

• Reapply insecticides throughout the fly season, and always follow label directions.

Manage the environment

The environment is the third area of focus in preventing pinkeye, Stewart says. Management practices such as pasture mowing, dust control and man-made or natural shades are important to minimize eye irritants, such as pollen, seed heads, dust and ultraviolet light.

These environmental factors cause irritation and physical damage, allowing infectious pinkeye organisms to attach to the surface of the eye. These irritants can also cause the eye to tear. Tearing, watery eyes can attract flies, which feed on the watery secretions from the eye and surrounding tissue. Since face flies travel from animal to animal, they can rapidly spread Moraxella bovis throughout the herd, dramatically increasing the incidence of pinkeye in a short amount of time.

“Ultimately, controlling pinkeye requires a planned attack. And like a three-legged stool, pinkeye control requires three important elements to work well – vaccination, fly control and environmental management,” says Stewart.

For more information about the best way to prevent pinkeye and control flies in your region, contact Dr. Stewart at [email protected] or (815) 341-2280. Or contact your veterinarian or animal health company representative.

Beef

‘Extreme Makeover’ Visits Limousin Family

The livestock business has its share of celebrities. Nolan Ryan. Terry Bradshaw. Mel Gibson. Carl Weathers. They are familiar with stardom. But from Feb. 1 through Feb. 7, a Limousin family from the center of Oklahoma experienced the celebrity life. Their story will air Sunday, March 14, on ABC-TV’s hit show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”

“For us to be picked to receive all this, and for us to be able to get the word out about organ donation to a billion people, is just amazing,” Brian Skaggs said. “I had never been an organ donor until Jhett got sick. Now all of this has happened.”

On Monday morning, Feb. 1, Brian Skaggs, 39; his wife Audra, 38; and their children, Merit, 5, and Jhett, 3, received the famous “knock on the door” from show host Ty Pennington at their Lexington, Okla., home.

By Tuesday morning, they were jetting off to Walt Disney World in Florida while a sea of volunteers and construction workers and every kind of construction truck transformed their property. A brand-new, 2,700-square-foot house and new barn are the results of the efforts. The 24-hour-a-day process had only 106 hours from beginning to the final reveal to the family and public, which was Sunday, Feb. 7.

To complicate matters, Mother Nature did not cooperate, as workers and volunteers had to cope with cold, wet weather and nearly unfathomable amounts of mud. When it was all done, surveyors estimated nearly 17 acres of land will have to be re-leveled before new grass can be established in what was once pasture for the Skaggs cow herd.

“It’s been so overwhelming. We are warm in our beds, and we can drink water from the faucet,” Audra said. “We can’t thank enough all of those who made it possible. Our family is blessed.”

A familiar face in the cattle industry, Brian currently serves on the North American Limousin Foundation (NALF) Board of Directors. He also holds a seat on the Oklahoma Limousin Breeders Association (OLBA) Board of Directors, which he served as the 2005–2006 president.

Brian manages registered and commercial cattle with an emphasis on Limousin and Lim Flex® genetics. His future goals include building a program for their two children. They already have cattle registered in their names and, according to Brian, show a big interest in becoming active in the cattle business. Audra is a teacher in the Lexington school system and active in their church.

“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” helps families in need and brings communities together through volunteerism and awareness a family’s specific needs. Two examples from the Skaggs episode include donations of more than 33,000 pounds of food and more than 800 units of blood.

“Because of a wonderful outpouring from communities in the area, the food drive was an amazing success. The goal of 23,000 pounds of food seemed huge. To date, we have received more than 33,000 pounds of food, and we’re still counting,” said Kristin Collins, president of the United Way of Norman. “Food pantries and organizations that distribute food to the needy have their shelves filled from this drive. It has been a blessing shared with the whole community.”

Jan Hale, communications manager for the American Red Cross, said the organization set a blood-drive goal of 800 units in three weeks.

“As always, Oklahomans responded generously,” she said. “A total of 836 units of blood was donated in a three-week period. Congratulations to the community. Thanks to all who participated – to blood-drive coordinators and especially to Ideal Homes.”

Jhett was diagnosed at the age of 10 months with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy with left ventricular noncompaction and metabolic myopathy. He had a successful heart transplant on Dec. 5, 2008, and he continues to improve into an active, typical 3-year-old. His big sister, Merit, has been by his side through his ordeal and helps make him into a tough little brother.

Through their challenges with the surgeries, medications, and travel to and from hospitals in Oklahoma City and Houston, the Skaggs family has worked to keep its life in check. With the financial stress of it all, the “Extreme Makeover” team saw a need to help the family while increasing awareness about organ donation.

In a strange twist of fate and as a testament to just how small the world is, the homebuilder was Ideal Homes of Norman, Okla., owned by former Limousin breeders Gene and Vernon McKown. McKown Limousin was a major force in the Limousin breed in the 1970s and ’80s. The McKowns also have a successful Quarter Horse business, and Gene is active in the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) and National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA).

“We all watched the show, but we never thought they would come to Norman and pick us,” said Vernon McKown, president of sales for Ideal Homes. “Giving back to the community is a core part of what our company is about so watching the whole community come together as volunteers, blood and organ donors, and by giving food has been my favorite part of the whole project.”

Beef

NALF Hires Commercial Marketing Director

Mike Horvath has joined the North American Limousin Foundation (NALF) staff as the director of commercial marketing. In that position, he will work with commercial cow-calf producers, auction markets and feedyards to promote the use of Limousin and Lim Flex® genetics and to increase the value of Limousin-influenced cattle.

“I’m eager to go to work for NALF,” Horvath said. “The organization has a clear vision, and its programs are leading the way in meeting commercial cow-calf producers’ needs. I look forward to interacting with the members and others in the beef industry to heighten the Limousin breed’s recognition.”

Horvath grew up on a ranch near Hesperus, Colo., and worked as a research technician at the Colorado State University (CSU) San Juan Basin Research Center. He attended Seward County Community College in Kansas on a livestock-judging scholarship then transferred to New Mexico State University (NMSU), where he coached the livestock-judging team. He received his bachelor’s degree in animal science and master’s degree in range nutrition and rumen microbiology from NMSU. Most recently, he was a sales representative for ADM Alliance Nutrition based in Lubbock, Texas.

“We are excited to have Mike join our team,” said Bob Hough, Ph.D., executive vice president for NALF. “He is an enthusiastic, forward-thinking, young professional. His creativity, intelligence and work ethic are sure to be of valuable service to our members and their customers in the commercial cow-calf sector.”

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 4,000 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.

Senator Johanns Has It Right On Japan

Mike Johanns (R-NE), the good senator from Nebraska, has it right. He’s done a wonderful job of using the Toyota crisis as a link to Japan’s unfair trade practices regarding U.S. beef.

Johanns has made the point on numerous occasions that Japan’s intransigence on a full reopening of its market to U.S. beef is similar to the U.S. enacting a ban on the sale of Toyota cars and Japanese auto parts in the U.S. until Japan could prove there were no defects or ensure there would not be any problems. Johanns has also pointed out that the Toyota car defects have already cost numerous lives, while there’s been absolutely no risk to Japanese consumers from BSE.

The only problem I can see with Johanns’ approach is that he is being reasonable. He’s not advocating treating Japan’s auto industry as Japan has our cattle industry; he’s simply pointing out the fallacy of Japan’s position. He illustrates that if the U.S. were to treat Japan as it has treated the U.S., Japanese autos would be banned from the U.S. market for a decade with financially devastating effects; it would also be unethical.

I’m a little more radical than Johanns. My question is “when is enough, enough?” I actually see value in doing just what Johann isn’t advocating; that is, to ban Japanese parts and cars until they bring their requirements in line with recognized science and with accepted trade protocols.

My mom always told us boys when we were fighting that two wrongs don’t make a right. I understand that logic. However, if one side consistently defies the rules, then the other side either has to insist they be followed or pick up their marbles and look for another game.

I understand that with our out-of-control deficit spending, we no longer have the ability to play hardball with the Asian countries on whom we rely to buy our debt. We certainly can no longer say that China and Japan need us more than we need them. Plus, Japan has a significant auto-making presence here in the U.S. I also understand that in the big picture of things beef trade is a rather minor issue. However, unless we raise the stakes, it’s already been proven that we will just have to live with restricted access.

The trouble is that the U.S. has already signaled that there are no consequences for breaking the rules. Meanwhile, Japan has made it clear that internal political pressures have more sway on their policies than the need to be a moral and ethical trading partner.

I guess when one considers the harm created by the loss of market access as a result of BSE, and you combine that with the subsidies given to ethanol that radically changed our cost structure, we should be celebrating that we have liquidated the cowherd in only what will be 13 of the last 15 years. Despite it all, we’re now in a position where most of the pundits are predicting a fairly profitable next 3-5 years. Unfortunately, the political will to support the beef industry will wane even more as profitability returns, and few will consider the billions of equity lost and the downsizing of the industry to get there.

Learning From The Health-Care Debate

From a distance, you would think the latest CNN poll showing that people by 3 to 1 oppose the Obama health care plan would have legislators frantically searching for an exit plan relative to health care. And, even more so when you consider the results of recent elections that unseated Democrats in traditionally strong districts.

But that isn’t the case; D.C. legislators seem more committed than ever to passing a plan, and are seemingly willing to sacrifice political power for the cause. That in and of itself is a monumental event in a town like D.C. where political power has been the end-all for quite some time. It really boils down to foresight; these folks know that the largest expansion of government in most of our lifetimes will forever shift power in their favor, even if it means some short-term discomfort. They also know that if enacted, it will be virtually impossible to repeal.

I think they also understand that their opposition is involved in making a living, working at real jobs and wrestling with real concerns; they’re just not geared for a sustained effort. The activist groups aligned against our industry are operating under a very similar game plan. They understand that over time, the extreme can seem sublime.

I’ve been amazed the last several weeks of the power of word usage. Those supporting health-care reform have used words like moderate, pragmatic, modest and middle of the road to describe the proposed health-care reform. I have read it so often that even I, as someone who has grave concerns about the government taking over 1/6th of our economy, almost find myself thinking that this is some sort of compromise proposal that actually will change very little in our lives.

Whether it be animal welfare, nutritional challenges, environment or climate change, if repeated often enough, the most radical of ideas can become almost mainstream.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) offers a striking example. As its own entity, PETA could never mount much of a threat to animal ag. After all, most Americans realize their bubble is considerably off of center. Yet, they somehow make the Humane Society of the United States look like a mainstream organization by comparison (bribing witnesses just isn’t that big of a deal anymore) by widening the extreme edges of the issue.

The question perhaps is rhetorical, but how does a group of citizens compete with a well-funded, single-issue enterprise with significantly greater resources? The answer may go a long ways to defining our industry in the future.

Watch for Hypothermia, Frostbite In Livestock

Hypothermia and frostbite can be harmful to livestock, but particularly harmful to newborns, says NDSU Extension Veterinarian Charlie Stoltenow.

Newborns often are hypoglycemic, which means they have low energy reserves and electrolyte imbalances. Animals with pre-existing conditions (pneumonia, old age) have impaired body reserves and may succumb more readily to very cold and windy conditions.

Hypothermia is a profound drop in body temp. Animals less than 48 hours old or animals with a pre-existing condition or disease are at the greatest risk for developing hypothermia.

Frostbite is the destruction of tissue in a localized area due to extreme cold. It’s uncommon in healthy, well-fed and sheltered animals, but animals less than 48 hours old or with a pre-existing condition are at the greatest risk for developing frostbite.

Areas most at risk of damage are ears, tail, teats, scrotum and distal parts of the limbs, especially hooves. Hind limbs are more likely to be affected since cattle’s normal posture is to draw its front legs under the chest while the hind legs protrude from under the body.

Treating hypothermia and frostbite is often unrewarding, so prevention is of primary importance. Do this by keeping animals, especially newborns, warm and dry. Windbreaks will counteract the effects of the wind chill.

Bedding also is essential, as it insulates the animal from the snow and ice underneath its body, preventing hypothermia and frostbite, and lowers the animal’s nutritional requirements. Bedding allows the animal to “snuggle” into it and lowers the body surface area exposed to the wind.

The final essential aspect of prevention is to increase the amount of energy supplied in the animal’s diet.
Here’s some advice for treating hypothermia:

  • Warm hypothermic calves slowly. The heat source should be 105-108°F. Warmer temps may cause skin burns or shock. Sources of heat include a warm-water bath, electric blanket, heat lamps or hot-water bottles, plus a warming box.
  • Supplying an energy source to these calves is essential. In newborns, colostrum should be supplied within the first 6-12 hours of life. Provide milk or electrolytes with an energy source such as glucose. An esophageal feeding tube works well to supply these energy sources. Without fluids, the animal becomes acidotic as it warms. An acidotic calf is predisposed to contracting scours or pneumonia.
  • Warm frostbitten areas quickly. Frostbite is the actual destruction of tissue; to prevent permanent damage, circulation must be restored as soon as possible. The heat source should be about 105-108°F. Don’t rub affected areas; they’re already damaged and fragile. As the area warms, it will be painful. Don’t let the animal rub these areas, as that will worsen the situation. In severe cases, analgesics (painkillers) may be indicated. Consult your veterinarian.
Frostbitten teats can be difficult to detect. The first sign may be a thin calf. The teat end is affected and can slough. If this happens, the sphincter muscle of the teat may be lost. This increases the risk of mastitis.

Frostbite also can cause an affected teat to dry up since the cow won’t let the calf nurse. A frostbitten teat may go unnoticed until next year. At that time, the calf is thin, and when the cow is examined, the teat is healed over with scar tissue. This teat will need to be opened.

Frostbite on bulls’ scrotums and testicles often go unnoticed, as well, but can cause transitory or permanent infertility. All herd bulls should have breeding soundness exams 45-60 days after the last severe cold spell. Ask your veterinarian to help with these exams.
-- Charlie Stoltenow, NDSU Extension veterinarian

Tips and Tricks For Sharing the Agriculture Story Online

23835_349810790799_124793905799_4210571_7434727_n.jpg This past weekend, I spoke at the 2010 Leading the BEST Conference in Columbus, OH, where I had the opportunity to work with beef industry youth. The first part of the conference, I took part in a career panel with agricultural professionals Chris Henney, Heather Hetterick, Lindsey Regula, Dan Wells and David White. Following the panel, I worked with the students on the topics of agriculture advocacy through social media as well as tips for successful job interviews and scholarship applications. Last week, a reader suggested I share some of the guidelines I provide in my speeches for successfully sharing the agriculture story using online social networks. Today, I thought I would do just that with a top 10 list of lessons I have learned from my work on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and blogs. Hopefully, one or all of the tips will be useful to you as you converse with consumers online. Let's get started!

1. When blogging, be transparent. In 2009, BEEF Daily reached more than 328,000 readers, which is a daunting number when thinking about how much of my life I share through this forum. You've read about my graduation from college, my job hunt, my transition home to the family's cattle operation and my discoveries as I learn more about beef production and our consumers. Whether you love me or hate me, it's not important; what I've learned is that by being transparent and open to new ideas, I have been able to develop a friendship-based forum through the BEEF Daily Blog.

2. I have also learned to follow up on my blog. Although I receive a huge number of emails and comments throughout the week, I do attempt to reply to as many reader messages as time allows. I try to be accountable in getting the blog out early each day, and I also aim to be accessible to readers, so they can easily reach me with feedback. The same goes to anyone starting a blog. Have consistent materials that readers can count on, and be willing to interact with the folks who stop by your blog spot.

3. On Twitter, learn to write like a telegrapher. 140 characters doesn't give a blogger like me a lot of space to express myself, but Twitter is great for sharing quick tid bits with followers, such the BEEF Daily Quick Facts found regularly at the bottom of my blog.

4. To make tweets more concise, use www.tinyurl.com to shorten your hyperlinks (web addresses). This helps clear up some space to explain the link you are sharing.

5. On my BlackBerry, I like to use the free, downloadable program, OpenBeak, so I can easily tweet messages when I'm outside doing chores or when I'm on the road traveling. I also like to use TweetDeck on my computer, so I can easily reference direct messages, replies and special interest columns like #iheartbeef. Don't let all of Twitter's words (tweet, tweetup, twibbon, etc.) overwhelm you. Stick to the basics until you get comfortable with the program.

6. So what is # and what does it mean? It's called a "hashtag," and they are used to create groups for people to specifically follow. Use hashtags sparingly and respectfully; focus more on your message than what group your message might fit in. I run with Team ZIP, a group that wears beef jerseys to races across the country, so I like to combine my beef messages with my running messages. A good example of that would be: "Just finished #running 6 miles. I feel strong because I fuel my run with #beef." Then, maybe I would add a link to a website with healthy beef recipes. Make sense?

7. Every day on Facebook, I post my blog on the BEEF Magazine Fan Page and my personal profile. By sharing through these outlets, I'm able reach folks outside of agriculture who should be reading my educational blog spots.

8. To help spread the word, when you see an article you like on Facebook, be sure to share it on your profile, as well. Click "like" or leave a comment; these tactics will help to build the popularity of the article and will help spread the positive word about agriculture.

9. On YouTube, create short clips that illustrate your message. I always tell people that they need to choose the outlet that they are most comfortable with, and for me, it isn't YouTube. My experience with this network consists of one video from my Carrie "HSUS" Underwood walkout, which has received more than 14,000 views. I much prefer the written word to seeing and hearing myself on a video. However, I also tell producers they need to push themselves to reach new heights, and perhaps my next goal should be to post a new video once a month.

10. Finally, always stay positive. Never let the naysayers catch you in a negative light. Stick to what you know best, your personal story. Agriculture has a rich and powerful history of great people working hard each and every day to put food on the dinner table. We are great at what we do, and we need to share that message with consumers. Show them that we care for the animals and are stewards of the land. Show them we care. Try a social media network today and do just that. Are you on board?

BEEF Daily Quick Fact: Don't believe in the power of social media? Check out this video that describes just how many people are interacting online. It's pretty incredible!

Caught In The Act, HSUS Takes Advantage of Mary Kay Label

 Mary Kay cosmetics is a brand women across the country have learned to trust, and rightly so. With a mission statement of "enriching women's lives," this company boasts a wide range of beauty products from fragrances, to makeup, to skin care, to sunscreen. More than just a brand, countless farm and ranch women have added supplemental income to their livestock operations by working as Mary Kay consultants, selling the products to women in their communities.

So, it was no wonder when the company was listed as a corporate sponsor of the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) in an upcoming “Spotlight Humane” gala in Dallas, TX, that farm and ranch women were upset. The agriculture community was shocked to hear this trusted beauty company was teaming up with HSUS, an organization with a $200 million annual budget and a main mission to abolish animal agriculture and eliminate meat and dairy products from the American diet.

However, Mary Kay cleared the air late yesterday afternoon to announce that they were NOT a sponsor of this organization, which is good news for all around!

Here is what the company had to say on their Facebook Fan Page yesterday: Some fans of Mary Kay® products and independent beauty consultants have expressed concerns over a recent sponsorship of a Dallas-area event. Thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention. We have heard you and want to clarify any confusion. First and foremost, Mary Kay is not a sponsor of this event. Mary Kay’s owner’s wife was approached to make a personal contribution towards a local event here in Dallas sponsored by the Dallas chapter of the Humane Society. This event specifically supports efforts to stop puppy mills and the organization’s stop puppy mills campaign. Out of caring and compassion for addressing puppy mills, our owner’s wife agreed to make a personal contribution. Mary Kay has contacted the Humane Society to clarify that we are not sponsors of this event and the company logo is being removed from the website. As a company, we sincerely apologize for any confusion or causing any offense to members of the Mary Kay community.

It appears the slick engine, HSUS, monopolized on an opportunity to use the Mary Kay brand to appeal to a different group of people, and I'm glad the rumor this lobbying giant started isn't true. However, it's still important that the owner's wife, every Mary Kay consultant and every customer they have is educated and informed about the true intent of HSUS. After all, they still got money, right? Looking on the bright side, Mary Kay is still a brand women can trust, and I encourage you to share your positive agriculture story in the comments section of the MK Facebook Fan Page today. Also, be sure to thank the company for clearing up confusion about HSUS and encourage them to continue to support America's food producers.

With all of the excitement of this week, I haven't been able to tackle my intended topics of the week like cost saving tips for producers and social media tricks for sharing the agriculture story online. Stick with me, friends, as I will be posting on these topics soon. Have a great day! Go out there and share our awesome story with someone new!

Antibiotics In Cow-Calf Operations: Which, When, & Why?

There are a lot of different opinions regarding which antibiotics are best for treating common infections – for example, pneumonia and footrot. How can a cow-calf producer make the best decision about which product to use and when?

First, a brief clarification of terms: An antibiotic is a naturally-occurring drug that has the capacity to inhibit and/or kill bacteria. Antimicrobials possess the same capabilities, but this term includes not only naturally occurring drugs as well as synthetic drugs. I’ll use the latter term in the discussion below.

The most appropriate antimicrobial drug to use for any given situation is a very complex matter that will vary according to the animal, its value and intended use, the infection, and the stage of infection. Most importantly, even though a short list of causative bacteria can be defined for many common infections, the truth is, infections do appear to respond differently to different treatments on different premises. This likely reflects differences among premises in management and environment, as well as differences in the relative role that certain bacteria may play on different ranches. Simply put, what works well on Ranch A may not on Ranch B.

To read the entire article, link here.