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Articles from 2011 In September


Beef

LONGHORN DRIVE TO BE PART OF PARADE THROUGH DOWNTOWN WICHITA

(TOPEKA) – The Kansas Livestock Association (KLA) will help celebrate the state’s 150th birthday by driving 30 trophy Longhorn steers through downtown Wichita as part of the Kansas Sunflower Parade. Hundreds of Kansans are expected to watch the majestic Longhorns being driven down Main Street during the October 8 event. Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback will be horseback ahead of the herd.

Several KLA members, including President Elect Frank Harper of Sedgwick, will be among the outriders driving the Longhorns in the parade. KLA President Ken Grecian from Palco will follow the cattle in a trail-drive era wagon provided by Josh and Gwen Hoy with the Flying W Ranch at Cedar Point. Flying W also is providing several saddle horses for dignitaries, including Gov. Brownback, who are helping drive the cattle.

Chain Ranch of Woodward, OK, will supply the Longhorns for the KLA parade entry. These cattle have led large parades in Cheyenne, WY, and Greeley, CO. The Longhorns have been used to help promote events as far away as Detroit, MI, and have been part of at least one movie.

Longhorns symbolize the early years of a business that has contributed significantly to the Kansas economy since the Civil War. Ranchers, feeders and dairymen today are responsible for billions of dollars circulating through the state’s economy.

“KLA’s entry in the parade is meant to emphasize to citizens the commitment our industry has to animal care, environmental stewardship and sustainability,” said Grecian, a rancher and farmer from Graham County.

Starting at 11:00 a.m. October 8, the Sunflower Parade is part of the daylong Kansas 150 Festival in Wichita. Activities will conclude with a “Home on the Range” concert highlighting the history of Kansas through video, song and poetry.

KLA is a trade organization representing ranchers, feeders, diversified farmers and dairymen on legislative, regulatory and industry issues at both the state and federal levels. The association’s work is funded through voluntary dues dollars paid by members.

Beef

Wanted: 20+ Team Members For Alltech North America

[Lexington, Ky.] – Global animal health and nutrition company Alltech is strengthening its North America operations and seeking more than 20 new team members eager to take on its ambitious goals, including innovative projects in algae, life sciences and solutions for feeding a global population of 9 billion. Considered one of the world’s top ten animal health companies, Alltech continues to grow at 20% or more each year, and now employs 2,650 team members in 128 countries.

“Squeezed by raw material shortages, volatile weather, and record commodity prices, today’s farmer is facing dire threats to his business,” said Geoff Frank, Alltech’s sales manager for North America. “With 9 billion hungry mouths to feed by 2050, Alltech believes it is critical to provide greater local support to farms. A significant element in achieving this is hiring individuals who share Alltech’s mission of providing natural nutrition to animals and support to the local farmer, both of which ultimately contribute to feeding the world.”

Alltech plans to increase their field staff by 30% over the next year as the company expands its reach in local markets. Current openings on Alltech’s North America team include:

• Territory Sales Representatives

-California (two positions available)

-Wisconsin

-Idaho

-New York

-Iowa

-Vermont

-Georgia

-Arkansas

-South Dakota

-Missouri

-Pennsylvania

-Western Canada

• Territory Marketing Coordinators

-Guelph, Ontario, Canada

-Thomasville, Ga.

-Springfield, Mo.

• Brand/Species Marketing Manager - Nicholasville, Ky.

• Dairy Marketing Manager - California

• Global Support Team Member – Nicholasville, Ky.

• IT Trainer – Nicholasville, Ky.

• Graphic Designer – Nicholasville, Ky.

• Public Relations Specialist (Ag/Science) – Nicholasville, Ky.

• North America Marketing Manager – Nicholasville, Ky.

• Maintenance Technician – Winchester, Ky.

• Marketing Assistant - Nicholasville, Ky.

Interested applicants are encouraged to apply for the positions that match their skill set by submitting a resume and cover letter to careers@alltech.com. Please indicate in the email subject line the title and location of the position for which you wish to apply.

For current career opportunities at Alltech, visit www.alltech.com/en/about/careers/Pages/default.aspx .

Making Sense Of Cattle-On-Feed Numbers

At first glance, it’s kind of surprising that placements into feedyards so far this year are up 3.5%, while available supplies are expected to be down about 3%!

Jim Robb with the Livestock Marketing Information Center (LMIC) in Denver points out there are several contributing factors here. One is that the drought pulled placements forward and altered seasonal patterns. A second factor is that there are fewer cattle being placed in yards that are not surveyed with capacity less than 1,000 head. Thus, more cattle are showing up in the surveys (see a summary of the Cattle On Feed report at beefmagazine.com/market-update).

Many analysts are also predicting that some of the increase in placements are actually being inflated by an increase in cows being placed on feed (this is likely to be very minimal). As always, one has to look at the weight breakdowns to get a full picture and it certainly appears that calves are simply being placed earlier.

The traditional winter-grazing areas in the Southeast and the Southern Wheat Belt remain dry to extremely dry, which will likely continue to force animals to be placed earlier than normal. Some of these lighter calves will likely move to backgrounding programs where there is abundant feed, but others will be placed at lighter weights than normal.

Where everyone agrees is that supplies are very tight and likely to grow tighter. I think an interesting question will be whether supplies will grow so tight as to alter the trend of placing cattle later?

Certainly, gains outside of feedyards will remain extremely competitive. But higher placement weights actually compound the effects of tighter numbers as it decreases overall days on feed.

Who Expected A Downtrend In Chicken?

The weak economy was supposed to be a plus for the chicken industry. After all, it has a price-competitive advantage over pork and beef. The common theory is that consumers will trade down to chicken from beef and pork.

But, chicken hasn’t experienced the magnitude of price increases we’ve seen in pork and beef, though the impact of higher corn prices has weighed heavily on the poultry industry as well.

Placement of chicks was down 5% last week, compared to a year ago, and down 1% so far on the year. While those don’t seem like major reductions in comparison to the other protein sources, they are significant when one considers that poultry has been on a seemingly relentless upward trend.

The poultry industry has the capability to rationalize supply and maintain margins to a much higher degree than beef. As a result, Goldman Sachs this week added Sanderson Farms to its top-pick list, foreseeing as much as a 26% rise in stocks. It pointed to the expected decline of 3-4% in supply through the first half of 2012, and an expected price increase of around 15% for chicken.

Bad Politics, Or Too Many Variables?

After several years without a budget and unprecedented growth in the national deficit, one rating company recently downgraded the U.S. credit rating. Another issued an ultimatum that if the deficit was not reduced substantially, it would downgrade the U.S. as well.

Many of us knew that the European socialist model we have adopted wasn’t sustainable. Socialism works great until you run out of other peoples’ money to spend.

Greece, Spain and Portugal are prime examples that profligate spending has a price and eventually those bills come due. The financial irresponsibility of these countries has threatened to collapse the Euro and plunge the global economy into another deep recession. Though it now appears that wealthier European countries will step in and prop up these countries to avert economic default, that window will eventually close.

The dire predictions of economic ruin may not be wrong, and the situation remains very tenuous. Yet, in trying to enact measures to right the dire financial situation – such as longer work weeks, fewer vacation days or more austere social benefits – the governments of these financially beleaguered nations have been answered with violent street demonstrations.

Let’s say a college kid is given his parents’ credit card to buy schoolbooks, but ends up amassing $20,000 worth of charges. The parents are forced to mortgage their house to pay off the debt, and the kid is forced to spend the next five years working full time while attending class to pay back his parents. That’s the way things should work.

The model that governments are using, however, is merely paying off someone else’s debts by incurring more debt, even though the current debt load is already insurmountable. The U.S. government essentially mandated that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac make bad loans. These, in turn, created a housing bubble and a resulting real-estate crash that threatened to bring down our entire financial system. Once again, the government stepped in, bailed things out with more borrowed dollars, and we continue headlong down the same merry path.

The downgrading in our rating was supposed to increase interest rates, making it more difficult to pay, and causing the world to move away from the dollar and reconsider loaning us their money. None of this happened; in fact, interest rates continue to decline and the world’s money has continued to flood into the U.S. to finance our debt. That’s because, despite all our problems, the U.S. sadly still appears to be the safest bet out there.

Sure, we transferred the debt created by the meltdown to the U.S. government, which borrowed it from China and others, but it’s merely a postponement of the inevitable.

All politics, all the time

The supposed government shutdown over the budget crisis was all politics. While the Republicans were accused of being draconian, cruel and overzealous in their attempts to cut the deficit, the reality was that even the adoption of their original proposal would not have decreased the deficit; it would just have slowed the growth in debt. The truth is neither party proposed doing anything substantive; it was merely political posturing for their bases.

The U.S. merely took out a third mortgage on its house. It bought itself a little time, but still has no way of making the balloon payments that are coming due.

The U.S. cattle industry is a little like this as well. We’re looking at price levels at absolutely unprecedented levels over the next five years, which understandably creates some deserved excitement. Very good money will be made by those who are in the business, but we have no plan to address the fundamental issues that have caused this industry to decline so precipitously in numbers.

Yes, it’s true that we are at the mercy of Mother Nature. And, the subsidization of ethanol is being played out at such a high level that cattlemen's objections have virtually gone unheard. I must admit, however, that the realization by the environmental movement that ethanol subsidies are bad policy, its rejection of its long-term viability by the energy industry, and the concern over the debt have made ethanol mandates more precarious than we once thought possible.

Still, I would argue that we should continue to fight for free-market solutions and support measures that will limit the impact of the ethanol program. These include the bills that would tie subsidy levels to corn price, and the attempts to end some of the credits and tariffs, and limit increases to the mandate. But, we also must accept that ethanol is real and that the livestock industry will be smaller as a result.

Nonetheless, we should spend the bulk of our time focused on building demand and growing our industry, as those are outcomes we can affect. It’s time to take a hard look at the numbers and the facts, whether as a country or an industry, and begin to address the underlying realities that will affect us over the long term.

For whatever reason, the U.S. government seems incapable of addressing the fact that it continues to spend far more money than it has. We’ve already made withdrawals from our children’s future that nobody believes we can pay back.

Is the beef industry any different?

Meanwhile, the cattle industry continues to spend inordinate amounts of time trying to blame the markets when the markets are actually working. I’ve spent a lot of time this summer and fall at the evil corporate feedyards, and even some time at the ruthless multinational packing conglomerates, that are supposedly the problem. And, I have to tell you that, while I harbor no illusions about the fact that they are margin operators and as such try to buy their inputs as low as possible and sell their outputs as high as possible, I also can unequivocally state they are fiercely competitive, and amazingly efficient in helping us create value for our product.

Every time I go there and see the technology they employ, the economies of scale and the sophisticated business acumen they bring to maximizing the value of our product, I’m truly thankful they exist. I honestly believe the fact that there will be fewer of them is a much bigger concern.

Ironically, it’s not that hard to pinpoint the real issues, problems and opportunities. Nor is it very difficult to come up with plans to address them. The difficulty is finding the will and commitment to make it happen.

Fewer Cattle This Year, But Pasture Value Is Up

Fewer Cattle This Year, But Pasture Value Is Up

Continued low interest rates, robust price increases for row-crop land and strong cattle prices are nudging up pasture values.

The average value of pastureland rose nearly 2% through the start of this year to $1,100/acre, according to USDA. That’s double last year’s pace of 1%, and $10/acre above the 2008 nominal market peak. Interestingly, pasture values advanced despite fewer cattle competing for grass: The number of beef cows is down another 1% this year, and ranchers are also holding 5% fewer beef replacement heifers.

Photo by Lauren Chase, Montana Stockgrowers Association

Regionally, pasture prices increased 6-7% across the Corn Belt and Northern and Southern Plains. Pasture prices in the Southeast continue to contract, deflating 8.4% for the 12 months through Jan. 1, and 27% under the region’s 2008 market peak.

Corn Belt tops the list

Pasture price increases are strongest in the Corn Belt, where high grain prices have lifted the value of all tillable land. In Iowa, the country’s top corn-producing state, pasture values spiked 26%, to an average $2,650/acre. This gain exceeds the 24% rise in Iowa cropland values and suggests buyers may be bidding up pasture tracts for conversion to row-crops. Some pasture conversions occurred when land prices jumped in 2007-2008, says Iowa State University economist Mike Duffy. But, so far, Duffy isn’t aware of another pick-up in conversions.

Surveys of market conditions indicate pasture values continue to edge up in the second quarter, though at a slower pace than in the first quarter. In the West Central Plains and Mountain States, pasture values rose an average of 1% in the second quarter across Kansas, western Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Colorado and northern New Mexico.

For the 12 months through June, buyer demand appears strongest in Nebraska, where pasture tracts are trading nearly 17% above year-ago levels, compared to an average 11% across the region, according to the Federal Reserve.

The severe drought in the Southern Plains is putting pressure on the ranchland market – especially in Texas where poor pasture conditions have hastened herd liquidations. Texas ranchland prices eased 2.3% in the second quarter to an average of $1,716/acre, according to the Federal Reserve. Texas ranchland values are off about 1% from a year ago, bankers say.

 

Market participants report very little demand for both recreational and cattle ranch properties. “Things are really slow unless you have a sizeable place that appeals to high net-worth individuals who are parking money,” reports Chad Dugger, with Charles S. Middleton and Son, a ranch brokerage and appraisal firm in Lubbock, TX.

Ranchers began thinning cattle herds at the end of last year, with many herds culled to bare minimums to preserve rangeland and manage dwindling stock water supplies, says John Taylor, national farm and ranch manager for US Trust/Bank of America in Dallas.

With rangeland exhausted, ranchers are trucking in alfalfa hay from irrigated growers in New Mexico and up into Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas. Hay prices have tripled from a year ago to $300/ton.

Scrambling to survive

In parched West Texas, some large, old-line ranching families have mobilized to preserve the core of their genetic seedstock by moving their best young cows as far as 1,000 miles north to Montana, Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. Spade Ranches of Lubbock normally keeps cows in production for 10 years. This year, it sold most of its eight- and nine-year-old cows to ranchers in Arizona, California and Mississippi, cutting its herd of 6,400 mama cows to 4,000.

The ranch also usually retains its bred-heifer crop, but sold them to producers in Colorado and Wyoming. Spade is now moving 1,000 young, most-productive cows to the North.

“Our thinking is to get off of these ranches and let the country recover,” says CEO John Welch. Welch and the majority of other area ranchers moving animals out of state plan to bring their stock back to Texas in a year. But, some are striking long-term leases, using the opportunity to expand north and perhaps restock their Texas herds by bringing heifer calves back or through cattle purchases.

Under less severe past droughts, ranchers would cull their herds and secure lease pasture within 200 miles. But this year’s drought is so widespread that good grass isn’t available south of northern Kansas to northern Colorado. All told, some 5,000-7,000 cows in the Lubbock region are being moved north.

The relocation of Southern Plains cattle north due to drought and the ongoing conversion of pasture to row-crop land in the eastern Plains has firmed up pasture lease rates in the Northern Plains. Where some Nebraska pastures went unleased last year due to a surplus of lush pasture, all leases are taken up this year, reports Cort Dewing, director of field operations with the Nebraska Board of Educational Lands and Funds, which manages 951,686 acres of pasture leases.

“We’re in a healthy environment for pasture and the value of it should be good because the cost of gain in the feedlot is high,” Dewing says. Lease rates in north central Nebraska – Brown, Rock, Keya Paha and Cherry counties – are running at $35-$40/cow-calf pair/month.

Across the Sandhills, rates range from a high of $41/animal unit month (AUM) in the eastern Sandhills to a low of $16/AUM in the west, says Ron Vance, field supervisor with the state land board. The agency plans to raise 2012 lease rates from 7.5% in the eastern Sandhills to 2.5% in the west.

In neighboring Kansas, quality bluestem pasture is selling at $1,200-$1,400/acre, says Richard Griffin, with Griffin Real Estate and Auction Service in Cottonwood Falls. Prices rose last spring from a $1,000-$1,200/acre band where they had traded since 2009.

The drought has given cattlemen a sense of urgency to add to their land bases beyond the moisture-stressed Southern Plains, Griffin says. In June, a Texas rancher paid $1,400/acre for 1,991 acres of bluestem pasture on the eastern edge of Marion County. Meanwhile, net lease rates to landowners in the Flint Hills region are running $24-$26/acre for the April 15- Oct. 15 grazing season. That’s up $2-$3/acre from a year ago, Griffin says.

Mike Fritz is editor and publisher of Farmland Investor Letter. Reach him at m_fritz@charter.net or visit www.farmlandinvestorcenter.com.

Drought Supplementation: Think Outside The Box

Drought Supplementation: Think Outside The Box

Traditionally, when cowherd supplementation is discussed, we focus on meeting the protein needs of the cow, with a goal of maximizing forage intake by supplementing protein, the most limiting nutrient in the available forages. However, this year, the drought has severely limited the supply of both grazed and harvested forages in many regions.

In this scenario, both energy and protein are limiting cow performance. Therefore, supplements should be evaluated on both energy and protein contributions to the nutrition program. When evaluating potential feedstuffs as supplements, producers should consider both the cost per unit of energy (TDN, net energy maintenance or metabolizable energy) and crude protein.

The major concern regarding energy supplementation in a non-drought situation, when forage supply is adequate, is the “substitution effect.” Essentially, this is when the energy supplement (starch or grain-based) reduces grazed forage intake, which compromises overall energy balance.

Under non-drought conditions, fiber-based, as opposed to starch-based, energy sources are recommended. However, in a drought situation when forage supply is critically low, meeting the energy requirements of the cow using the most economical feedstuffs available (cost per unit of energy basis) is our first priority. The source of supplemental energy (fiber vs. starch) is of less importance at this time.

If a commercially blended supplement is used, consider the inclusion of an ionophore. The use of ionophores (Rumensin and Bovatec) has become a standard practice in growing cattle diets. Rumensin is the only product approved for use with mature beef cows and must be delivered in at least 1 lb. of feed/day. Research indicates cows fed 200 mg./day of Rumensin required 5-10% less feed to maintain the same weight and body condition as cows not receiving Rumensin.

During a drought situation, non-traditional grazing opportunities often are available. The high price of forages makes baling look attractive. However, in almost every situation, grazing presents a lower-cost alternative to haying. There are a number of different opportunities that may be available, including grazing re-growth in wheat stubble, failed corn, milo, soybeans, etc. Be aware, though, that some of these grazing options may carry risks, such as nitrates.

If pastures are rotated, another option some producers may want to consider is regrazing forage once it’s become dormant. The objective is to encourage cattle to graze underutilized areas of pastures that previously were not consumed efficiently. Consider placing mineral or supplements in these areas to encourage grazing behavior. Pastures must be evaluated frequently to assess the amount of available forage, and overgrazing should be avoided to minimize long-term negative effects on the pasture.

There is no easy way to manage through a drought. But, some of the key elements for success are carefully evaluating the short- and long-term outcomes associated with feeding decisions and not being afraid to think outside the box.

Pasture/Range Improved For First Time … Since June

U.S. range and pasture conditions “improved” last week. At least, they improved if one measures current conditions as a drop in the percentage of acres rated in poor or very poor condition for the first time since the first week of JUNE!

The CME Group says in its Sept. 28 Daily Livestock Report that the percentage of acres, nationally, in those two lowest categories fell from 44% to 42%, respectively, last week. That compares to 25% last year and an average of 32.4% during 2005-09.

Still, conditions in the Southern Plains remained very bad last week despite improving 3%. Still, 93% of Texas and Oklahoma pastures remain in poor or very poor condition, and it’s almost certainly too late for any marked improvement before spring. Though several areas in the parched regions received welcome rain over the past few weeks, the precipitation wasn’t nearly enough to end drought conditions, the CME Group says.

What’s more, these dry conditions have another impact on pasture and feeding practices in their influence on wheat planting, wheat pasture and, ultimately, the supply of hard red winter wheat next summer.

“USDA reports that 26% of total winter wheat acres had been planted as of Sept. 25. That’s an 11% gain for the week but leaves planted acres 6% behind the same date last year, and 9% below the 10-year average. Both Texas and Oklahoma gained during the week to reach 14% and 11% planted, respectively. But those numbers are far behind the normal levels of 34% and 28% for the two states,” the authors say.

“Growers in both states are still concerned about the amount of moisture available. While surface moisture has been helped with recent rains, there is little available below the first few inches putting seedlings at risk if more rain is not received soon. Many are simply opting to wait to plant.”

Depending on the specific area, cattle usually begin to move to wheat pasture in October, with the shift increasing in November. Delayed planting will limit the number of cattle that can go to wheat pastures unless conditions improve soon, the analysts say.

After The Drought, Will Cattlemen Restock?

How extensively and how aggressively cattlemen in the drought areas of the country will restock after it starts raining is the (insert your own dollar figure here) question. For the sake of discussion, let’s use $200,000 – that’s 100 bred replacement heifers at $2,000 a pop.

For those considering a replacement heifer enterprise as part of their management mix, those are numbers worth contemplating.

According to Jim Robb, director of the Livestock Marketing Information Center in Denver, it’s clear that some outfits, particularly in South Texas, won’t come back with cattle after it rains. Other land uses, particularly hunting, have already overtaken livestock production as the principal and more profitable use of the land in that region. Robb expects that trend to speed up as a result of the drought, which he calls a game-changer. “This drought is unprecedented,” he says. “This drought sets into motion a whole new set of circumstances.”

Among those new circumstances is the thought that when producers do restock after it rains, they may initially come back with stockers instead of cows, to give them more agility in their pasture-management options. “We’re going to chase stocker animals and that’s going to change the stocker price dynamic.”

And, some ranches will come back with females. “It’s a heck of an opportunity to build genetic quality, and it’s a heck of an opportunity to have fall- and spring-calving herds as part of your operation.”

It’s a tremendous opportunity for cattlemen positioned with the right genetics and management to develop a replacement-heifer enterprise to supply those who are looking to restock. (See “Ten Reasons To Consider A Bred Heifer Enterprise”.)

And the market will react to the upsurge in demand for females. “I think we could have unbred 550-lb. heifer calf prices, as soon as it starts raining, at the same price as 550-lb. steers,” Robb says, “and maybe a slight premium.”

He’s not saying it’s a copper-riveted cinch, but he thinks there’s a 50:50 chance we could see no rollback on a heifer calf vs. a steer when it starts to rain.

And then, he says, remember what else is happening with land use in much of the drought regions of Texas and Oklahoma. Oil and natural gas. “People are sitting on these leases,” he says. “So the capital requirements in that part of the country to come back overnight and pay $500 more/cow than they sold them for, they won’t have to go to the banker.”

Robb says that idea hasn’t been talked about very much, “but I think it’s part of the dynamic. It’s part of the reason I think that Oklahoma and that part of the picture will repopulate their cows much quicker than people anticipate and push the stocker market much more than people anticipate.”

Interestingly, BEEF magazine conducted an online poll recently at beefmagazine.com that asked: “If you had to liquidate cattle this year because of flooding or drought, what do you plan to do with the proceeds? Of more than 100 responses, 47% said they planned to restock with cows when conditions improve, while 9% said they planned to restock, but change production models (e.g., buy stockers rather than cows). Another 26% said they planned to keep the cash and leave the business, while 5% planned to reinvest the cash in another non-livestock ag enterprise. The final 11% didn’t know.

And, in another online poll conducted on beefmagazine.com, we asked: “If the drought were to end in six months, how long will it take Texas’ cattle industry to fully recover from the drought?” Of more than 100 responses, 47% said “five years or more, while 39% said less than five years, and 13% believe that most of the cattle lost due to drought won't come back.

For more survey results, click here.

Beef

Pfizer Animal Health Invites Veterinary Students To Apply For 2012 Scholarship Program

Partnership with American Veterinary Medical Foundation will award up to $750,000 to students across veterinary medicine disciplines

MADISON, N.J. — Sept. 29, 2011 — For the third consecutive year, Pfizer Animal Health and the American Veterinary Medical Foundation invite second- and third-year students of veterinary medicine to apply for the Pfizer Animal Health Scholarship. In an effort to help address rising school debt, up to 300 scholarships of $2,500 each will be awarded to assist students in all areas of veterinary medicine.

In addition to traditional scholarship selection criteria—academic excellence and financial need—Pfizer Animal Health’s scholarship will focus on meeting the ongoing needs of the veterinary profession: increasing diversity among practitioners in ethnic heritage, gender, socioeconomic background, professional aspirations, and improving the availability of veterinarians to serve in mixed or rural practices.

Pfizer Animal Health recognizes that veterinary students need financial assistance to help fund their education, take advantage of opportunities for practical in-field experience, and explore an array of veterinary career paths.

“This scholarship is one way that Pfizer is helping to meet the needs of the veterinary profession and ensure a successful, vibrant future,” says J. Michael McFarland, DVM, Diplomate ABVP, and Group Director of Veterinary Medical Services & Corporate Citizenship for Pfizer Animal Health.

In 2012, Pfizer Animal Health will provide up to $750,000 in student scholarships to eligible students in Colleges of Veterinary Medicine in the U.S. and the Caribbean. Scholarships will be awarded to students in all areas, including food animal medicine, equine and small animal medicine, research, academia, and government services, among others. Award eligibility is subject to the guidelines established by individual schools.

“The first two years of this program have been a huge success. We awarded scholarships to students from a myriad of socioeconomic backgrounds studying across a diverse array of species and veterinary disciplines,” Dr. McFarland says. “We intend to continue to build on this successful experience, which has allowed us to support students of veterinary medicine more effectively than ever.”

In 2011, the program awarded 300 students with a total of $750,000. The group included:

• 32 percent from diverse backgrounds

• 50 percent studying to practice food and mixed animal veterinary medicine

• 35 percent going into small animal practice

• Remaining students going in to academia, research and public practice

“Learning that I was awarded the scholarship brought me peace of mind because of all the expenses I was facing while trying to focus on my veterinary education,” says 2011 scholarship recipient Joe Esch, a fourth-year student at Ohio State and current president of the Student American Veterinary Medical Association. “The scholarship was beneficial in covering the living expenses and educational opportunities not accounted for by student loans.”

The scholarship program is a part of Pfizer Animal Health’s Commitment to Veterinarians™ platform—which offers support through training and education, research and development, investing in the future of the veterinary profession, and philanthropy. The scholarship complements a number of other Pfizer Animal Health programs supporting the veterinary profession, including millions invested in universities, industry education and training, scholarships, and allied organizations each year.

To apply for the Pfizer Animal Health Veterinary Student Scholarship Program, students can visit www.vetstudentconnect.com or www.avmf.org/pfizer from October 1 to November 30, 2011.

Pfizer Inc: Working together for a healthier world™

At Pfizer, we apply science to our global resources to improve health and well-being at every stage of life. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacturing of medicines for people and animals. Our diversified global health care portfolio includes human and animal biologic and small molecule medicines and vaccines, as well as nutritional products and many of the world’s best-known consumer products. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared disease of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as the world’s leading biopharmaceutical company, we also collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 150 years, Pfizer has worked to make a difference to all who rely on us. To learn more about our commitments to animal health, please visit us at www.pfizerAH.com.

About AVMF

The American Veterinary Medical Foundation is the charitable arm of the AVMA. For nearly 50 years, AVMF has been dedicated to embracing and advancing the well-being and medical care of animals. Charitable contributions and support to the Foundation help veterinarians help animals. Initiatives include: Humane Outreach-Animal Welfare, Education and Public Awareness, Research Support, Student Enhancement and Support of the AVMA and its Initiatives. In the last decade, AVMF has awarded grants totaling over $9,000,000. For more information, visit www.avmf.org.