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Articles from 2011 In May


Lawsuit Seeks To Curb Antibiotics In Livestock Feed

Consumer concern over antibiotic resistance among humans traced in part to the use of antibiotics in animal feed moved several health and consumer organizations to sue the U.S. government.


The lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan asked the court to declare that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had violated federal law by failing to withdraw approval of using penicillin and tetracyclines in animal feed when animal health is not at stake.


According to the lawsuit, livestock producers have been adding low doses of antibiotics to the feed of healthy animals since the 1950s.


To read the entire article, link here.

Beef

Getting more than a good deal

Commingled cattle can bring home increased risk of bovine respiratory disease (BRD)

At a sale barn, everyone is looking for a good deal. There’s opportunity for profit, but commingling cattle from different backgrounds isn’t always a bargain. The bacteria cattle can be exposed to put them at risk for developing bovine respiratory disease (BRD).1

Charlie Durbin, DVM, St. Peter, Ill., notes that the stress of the typical sale barn situation, combined with potential exposure to other sick cattle, can easily lead to BRD — leaving producers with increased time spent caring for sick cattle, reduced average daily gains or even increased death loss.1

To help protect producer’s profits, Dr. Durbin suggests good management and a solid treatment plan that starts as soon as cattle step off the truck. One of his key recommendations is using an antimicrobial that can be administered to incoming cattle and will continue working for at least a week without retreating. This helps reduce management time pulling and re-treating sick cattle, and helps reduce handling stress on the animal.

“You need several days of antimicrobial working for you so you don’t have to go back and run them through the chute again and stress them out that much more,” Dr. Durbin notes.

With nearly three decades experience battling BRD, Dr. Durbin says a long-lasting antimicrobial helps keep cattle healthy, and it leaves time for producers to invest in other aspects of the operation.

Dr. Durbin recommends EXCEDE® (ceftiofur crystalline free acid) Sterile Suspension for treatment and control of BRD, especially in risky sale barn situations. EXCEDE provides one week (seven days) of therapy in just one dose — helping to reduce both stress on cattle and time spent managing sick cattle.

Not properly managing the effects of BRD can reduce an animal’s performance throughout its entire life.1 When producers know what situations — like commingling cattle — can result in BRD, they have a head start in managing the disease and protecting against lost performance and profits.

“When they come in with droopy ears, watering eyes, snot hanging out of their nose, are gaunt — one shot of EXCEDE will do the trick,” Dr. Durbin says.

Important Safety Information: As with all drugs, the use of EXCEDE is contraindicated in animals with known allergy to ceftiofur or to the ß-lactam group (penicillins and cephalosporins) of antimicrobials. Though safe in cattle when properly administered, inadvertent intra-arterial injection is possible and fatal. EXCEDE has a pre-slaughter withdrawal time of 13 days in cattle. Do not use in calves to be processed for veal.

Beef

Red Brand’s year-long ‘Home Grown’ initiative raises more than $100,000 for local FFA chapters across the U.S.

INDIANAPOLIS (Tuesday, May 31, 2011/National FFA Foundation) – After successfully raising more than $100,000 in the first year of a new grass-roots campaign that provided funds to local FFA chapters throughout the country, the nation’s leading fence manufacturer has announced its decision to make this campaign an annual event.

Early last year, Peoria, Ill.-based Keystone Steel and Wire Co., maker of Red Brand fence, launched its “Home Grown” initiative, a program to benefit FFA through its Red Brand agricultural fencing sales division. For every roll of Red Brand agricultural fencing purchased by a participating retailer, $1 is donated to a designated local FFA chapter or chapters of their choice.

In the first year, more than $100,000 was donated by Red Brand and distributed by dealers to 704 FFA chapters. On average, local FFA chapters received $400. An FFA chapter in Platte, S.D., was awarded more than $4,000.

“Red Brand’s financial support of FFA is critically important to growing and developing stronger FFA experiences for students at the local level of our organization,” said National FFA Foundation executive director Rob Cooper. “More than 500 Red Brand retailers are participating in this initiative. The initial year of Home Grown was certainly a success and we thank Red Brand for their continued commitment of FFA in 2011.”

The 2011 Home Grown program is currently under way. By stocking Red Brand agricultural fence products and supporting FFA with a $750 donation, gold-level Red Brand retailers are eligible to offer rebates of up to $200 per household on product purchases; gold-level retailers also receive an array of no-cost marketing tools they can utilize to spread the word about how the Home Grown initiative benefits FFA. Blue-level retailers participating in the program receive a host of no-cost marketing materials to promote Home Grown.

"Red Brand is continuing the tradition of excellence that our partnership with FFA has built over the past 64 years," said Doug Wright, vice president of sales and marketing at Keystone Steel & Wire. “Home Grown presents an opportunity to be involved at the local level and connect the community with FFA in a meaningful and lasting way.”

The National FFA Foundation builds partnerships with industry, education, government, other foundations and individuals to secure financial resources that fund FFA activities, recognize member achievements, develop student leaders and support the future of agriculture education. Nearly 82 percent of all funds received by the foundation support FFA and agricultural education opportunities.

Formerly known as Future Farmers of America, the National FFA Organization provides agricultural education to more than 523,000 student members in grades seven through 12 who belong to one of 7,487 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The organization operates under a federal charter granted by the 81st U.S. Congress and it is an integral part of public instruction in agriculture. For more, visit http://www.ffa.org.

Questioning Healthier Eating Proposals

House Republicans are pushing back against Obama administration efforts to promote healthier eating in a spending bill that pays for food and farm spending.


According to people familiar with the legislation would direct the USDA to rewrite new, healthier menu guidelines for school lunches, which Republicans say are too costly.


To read the entire article, link here.

Cattle Losses In Wyoming Were Down In 2010

Last year brought tough losses for Wyoming Cattle Producers. An estimated 41,000 head of cattle were lost in 2010. This year's Wyoming Cattle Industry Convention and Trade Show will be held in Laramie. A number of topics will be discussed and presented on various issues that are facing the cattle industry.


The convention is hosted by the Wyoming Stock Growers Association. This year's theme for the convention is “Opportunity for Growth.” It will include presentations and discussions on issues facing the cattle industry.


To read the entire article, link here.

Farm Groups Urge Trade Deal Passage

If Congress needs to take up trade adjustment assistance for American workers to pass the free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama, members should do it, farm leaders say.


At a news conference with House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-OK, to promote passage of the agreements, leaders of the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the National Pork Producers Council, the American Soybean Association, the National Association of Wheat Growers and the National Corn Growers Association all said the trade agreements are so valuable to agriculture they should be passed in their own right. They also stressed that U.S. producers are losing market share to other countries that already have passed free trade agreements.


But when pressed by reporters, the leaders indicated they are likely to go along with trade adjustment and some indicated it would be a good idea.


To read the entire article, link here.

National Cattledog Finals, Reader Stories, Prize Winners Named

first-one.jpg I was incredibly humbled to have the opportunity to host the 2011 RFD-TV U.S. Border Collie Handler's Association's National Cattledog Finals in Redding, IA. I gained a wealth of information from being a part of this event. Observing the instincts of the dogs competing, witnessing the close relationship between dog and handler, and having a platform to discuss low-stress animal handling techniques with consumers will be featured segments in an hour-long show that will air Sept. 5, 6 and 10 on RFD-TV.

cohosts.jpg This was my first time being a part of something like this, both hosting a television show and attending a cattledog finals - a fun and exciting experience. If, like me, you haven't witnessed an event like this before, here is an awesome description found on the National Cattledog Finals website about the competition:

"Three yearling calves stand grazing upon a green, grassy hillside several hundred yards in the distance. A pair of horseback riders quietly stand sentinel around them. A black-and-white dog is flying as true as an arrow in a wide arc to a point just opposite the group of cattle. Like a missile that has found its mark, the dog embeds itself at a point behind the cattle, guided by the instinct bred into him by generations of genetics. The horsemen stand silent and motionless as soft whistles instruct the dog forward in control of the cattle that are now under his charge, moving forward down the green hill directed by the presence and power of their new master. The test of wills between dog and cattle is occasionally punctuated by an attempted escape by the cattle, but a quick nip, or a fast flank, re-establishes the dominance of the canine guide. Directed by a constant melody of whistles offered by an expert livestock handler, the intense border collie expertly stalks and guides the black calves over the green hills through multiple gates set on a course nearly half a mile in length.”

With a better image in mind, here are my highlights from the weekend:

nursery-champ.jpg- Working with my co-host Dan Gill, auctioneer, cattleman and border collie handler, was a blast. He showed me the ropes and shared his many experiences in training cattledogs.

- Meeting the dogs and their handlers, who don’t just compete in the sport but are also valued members of real working cattle operations.

- Learning more about cattle handling and gaining a better understanding of techniques I can take back to my own operation.

- Visiting with cattlemen about cattle genetics, corn and bean planting updates and ways to educate other ranchers about cattledogs.

-Paying tribute to Jim Chant, a cattle handler and finals committee member who passed away just months before the event.

- Finally, crowning our victorious winners — Nursery Dog Champion, Jerry Davis and his dog, Juanita; and Open Dog Champion, Jimmy Walker and his dog, Mitch. Congratulations!

worthfour1.jpg Last week, readers shared their best stories about a ranch's most beloved employee -- the cattledog. These readers were entered to win a copy of “Worth Four Good Men,” a limited-edition print by South Dakota artist Mick B. Harrison. Retailing for $100 each, the image depicts a working dog helping move cattle on the bluffs of South Dakota’s Missouri River. Learn more about Harrison here. Congratulations to our five winners: Leroy Daniels, Jeff Parker, Randy Rouse, Stephanie Keegan and Connie McKay. Link here to read their stories and learn how the use of cattledogs on their operations has eliminated the need for additional hired men. Thanks again to all who participated! Stay tuned for another contest coming up tomorrow!

On-Pasture Finishing Viable For Smaller Feeders

Researchers in Oklahoma and Illinois recently released cost-saving details of their experiments with feed-finishing calves in a pasture setting.

The experiments ran from the late 1990s until 2006, when corn was considerably cheaper. Then the savings could be $20 to $60/head over confined feeding in a dry lot.

The higher feed costs imply possibly twice that much savings.

All these experiments were conducted with the idea they serve smaller feeders who direct market to consumers.

To read the entire article, link here.

NCBA Takes Beef with EPA To Social Media

It's no secret that the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) has been on a quest to curtail the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) slew of regulations that many refer to as burdensome, costly and scientifically unfounded.

In order to elevate the importance of protecting farmers and ranchers from unnecessary regulation, NCBA is turning to social media with a video, themed “Over Regulation All Across the Nation.” This was launched on NCBA’s YouTube channel and features EPA’s potential regulation of coarse particulate matter, more commonly called dust.


NCBA Chief Environmental Counsel Tamara Thies says the EPA’s “regulatory rampage” is getting a lot of attention but not enough.

“We need people to recognize what EPA is doing and work to stop this agency that is out of control,” says Thies. “Farmers and ranchers could go out of business if EPA continues regulating them out of options. This is a food security issue. Depopulating rural America is not good for anyone – including our struggling economy and consumers around the world who depend on U.S. farmers and ranchers for safe, nutritious and affordable food.”

This issue has encouraged members of Congress to introduce legislation to prevent EPA from moving forward with regulating dust in rural America. U.S. Representative Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) introduced, with bipartisan support, the Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act of 2011 (H.R. 1633) that would block dust regulation by EPA in rural areas where state dust laws are in effect. Thies encourages individuals to contact their respective members of Congress and ask them to stand firm for family farmers and ranchers by supporting this legislation.

To read the entire article, link here.

Beef Performance, Health Training For Veterinarians, Producers

Upcoming trainings hosted by the Beef Cattle Institute (BCI) at Kansas State University (KSU) will focus on beef cattle performance and health. Producers and veterinarians can learn about advanced Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) training, the new National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) welfare assessment tools, animal husbandry best management practices and downed animal care and humane euthanasia training.

The meetings are scheduled for June 8 in Scott City, June 14 in Colby, June 30 in Erie, July 6 in Holton, July 7 in Beloit, and July 12 in Pratt. The meetings are underwritten by the Kansas Beef Council and are free of charge to attendees.

"Working together, veterinarians and producers can improve consumers confidence in beef products," says Dan Thomson, DVM, Jones professor of production medicine and epidemiology and BCI director at KSU.

To read the entire article, link here.