Investing In Angus Breeding Technology

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

In a new video clip from Certified Angus Beef LLC and the American Angus Association, Braden Schaal, owner and manager of Schaal Cattle Company talks about GeneMax, the selection and breeding technology that has improved beef quality in his commercial Angus herd.

After beginning a timed breeding program with 100 heifers five years ago, Schaal plans to AI more than 1,000 head this year, all in pursuit of rapid genetic improvement.

“GeneMax tells me the weaknesses of my cattle, and AI tells me how I can complement or improve those weaknesses of my cattle,” says Shaal in the video. “If there’s a heifer that has a lower percentage of milk I can go capture that by pairing her up with a sire that will complement the milk. Or if there is something that has a little less tenderness, I can complement that with the sire.”

Ag Group, Angus, Breeding, Reproduction, Technology, Video

Animal Ag Bites

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment


  • The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and the Public Lands Council’s government affairs office in Washington, D.C., is accepting applications for a 2017 Summer public policy intern as well as a semester law clerk. The deadline to submit an application for either position is March 1, 2017.
  • Elizabeth Kempel and Jill Uhe have joined the Dairy Business Milk Marketing Cooperative as member services representatives. They will help the co-op expand services to members, including recruitment and member engagement, and will also support farmers within the new Dairy Strong Sustainability Alliance.
  • The American Sheep Industry Association’s Let’s Grow Committee announced the dates for the fifth-round of grant funding. Funding is available for projects that support, promote and ensure the U.S. sheep industry’s future through the development of innovative and sustainable initiatives that increase the productivity, profitability and growth of the American sheep industry. Applications are now available and are due April 20 with the award announced on May 15.
  • Animal Bites

    #NFMS17 Showcases Deere’s New 5R Tractors

    Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

    Chris Lammie is pretty excited about his job with John Deere small tractors– especially the brand new 5R Series being shown at the National Farm Machinery Show. The 5R series features incredible maneuverability with a 12.1 foot turning radius, a comfortable cab, brand new loader, improved visibility and a fully electronic clutch.

    It also comes with a fantastic lighting package, combined with the panoramic cab roof and interactive display now on the righthand post that mean the user can see everywhere at a glance.

    “And it’s incredibly comfortable” Lammie told Chuck Zimmerman at NFMS. “All day I’ve been watching people climb up in it. They sit down in the seat and you see them smile, and whoever they’re with they say ‘Oh yeah, this is good.'”

    The 5R was also designed to go with the John Deere 540R Loader. The loader’s automatic mast latch, single-point hydraulic connection, remote implement latch and slide-slung self-leveling links provide an integrated loader experience for the 5R Tractor operator. Removal or installation of the loader can be accomplished with a single trip out of the cab, thanks to a latch system that automatically connects the loader once contact is made between the loader boom and mounting frames, simplifying the connection process.

    Listen to Chuck’s full interview with Lammie here to learn about availability and other features of the 5R series:Interview with Chris Lammie, John Deere

    2017 National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

    Coverage of the National Farm Machinery Show is sponsored by
    Coverage of the National Farm Machinery Show is sponsored by FMC
    Agribusiness, Audio, Equipment, John Deere

    2016 U.S. Pork Exports Show Impressive Progress

    Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

    U.S. pork exports have shown impressive progress at year-end 2016 following a challenging 2015. 5.1 billion pounds of pork and pork variety meats valued at $5.94 billion dollars were exported in 2016, up 8 percent and 7 percent respectively from 2015, according to the USDA.

    “We saw a strong 2016 for U.S. pork exports, but we still face challenges with increased global competition and a stronger U.S. dollar,” said Becca Nepple, vice president of international marketing for the Pork Checkoff. “The Checkoff is committed to bolstering its partnership with international customers through additional funding of in-country promotions of U.S. pork with the U.S. Meat Export Federation.”

    On average, U.S. pork and pork variety meat exports accounted for 25.8 percent of total pork production in 2016. Export value returned an average $50.20 per head back to producers.

    With more pork available in the U.S., the National Pork Board recently approved an increase of 12.7 percent in funding for 2017 export market activities.

    During 2016, more than 100 countries around the world imported U.S. pork. The top five markets by volume were Mexico, China/Hong Kong, Japan, Canada and Central and South America. The top five markets by value were Japan, Mexico, China and Hong Kong, Canada and Korea.

    Ag Group, Export, Export, Pork, Pork Checkoff

    Cattlemen’s Webinar Series on Beef Cattle Selection Tools

    Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

    Time to register for the next Cattlemen’s Webinar Series on ‘Understanding Advancements in Beef Cattle Selection Tools.’ The webinar will take place Tuesday, March 14 at 7 p.m. Central and is brought to you by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA).

    Get the latest update cattle selection tools and how to use them including: New EPD calculation software, updated across breed EPD comparison tools, EPDs for new traits and improved incorporation of genomic information into selection tools. These are more will be covered by industry and academic leaders during the webinar. Don’t worry, there will be plenty of time to answer participant questions at the end of the presentation.

    Presenters include:
    – Matt Spangler, PhD, University of Nebraska
    – Dan Moser, PhD, American Angus Association
    – Wade Shafer, PhD, American Simmental Association
    – Larry Keenan, Red Angus Association of America

    Ag Group, Beef, Breeding, Education, NCBA, Reproduction, Webinar

    Costco Expansion Builds Momentum for U.S. Beef in Korea

    Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

    U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) reports that U.S. beef has built momentum in South Korea, and received a further boost since Costco recently began converting its imported chilled beef selection from Australian beef to 100% U.S. product. The move follows a multi-year effort by the USMEF to persuade store managers that sales of U.S. beef would match or exceed Australian beef sales due to revived consumer confidence in the safety of U.S. beef.

    In total, Costco’s move represents an opportunity for about 15,000 metric tons (mt) of incremental new beef business in 2017, said Jihae Yang, USMEF director in Korea. Yang noted that the theme of U.S. beef promotions in Korea has gradually moved from food safety to consumer enjoyment and product quality.

    “While USMEF still reassures Korean consumers that U.S. beef is a safe product, we are now able to focus more on the outstanding flavor of U.S. beef,” Yang said. “Tasting demonstrations at Costco and other popular stores have been very successful in getting consumers to taste U.S. beef and increase awareness of our product.”

    “Korean consumers love the high quality of U.S. beef and really enjoy the flavor of our product,” added Dan Halstrom, USMEF senior vice president for marketing. “In Korea, Costco is the gold standard when it comes to imaging food products, especially beef. USMEF, along with our partners in the U.S. beef industry, have been working hard to recapture market share in Korea. We’ve been able to do that, but mostly on the frozen side. The marquee items at Costco are the chilled beef cuts and we finally have that chilled section of the meat case back.”

    Ag Group, Beef, Export, Food, Meat, USMEF

    Beef, Pork Groups Congratulate Pruitt as EPA Admin

    Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

    Groups representing the beef and pork industries released statements in response to the U.S. Senate’s confirmation of Scott Pruitt as EPA Administrator.

    Craig Uden, president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), said, “For far too long, the EPA has been a runaway bureaucracy largely out of touch with how its policies directly affect folks like cattle ranchers, who use – and responsibly care for – the environment while providing the safest and most abundant food supply in the world. Scott Pruitt will restore some common sense to environmental policy and we look forward to working with him on restoring regulatory sanity to Washington, such as by killing the onerous ‘waters of the United States’ rule.”

    National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) President John Weber, said, “NPPC congratulates Scott Pruitt on his confirmation as EPA administrator. He’s a champion for American agriculture who relies on science and supports the rule of law in advancing common sense regulations that will protect our environment without overburdening farmers.
    “As Oklahoma attorney general, he struck a balance between protecting the environment and protecting the livelihoods of farmers and business owners. Everyone, particularly farmers, wants to have clean air and water and to preserve and protect our natural resources. But you don’t achieve those goals by piling regulations on the very people who are the stewards of the land, air and water. Scott Pruitt understands that, and that will serve him well as EPA administrator.”

    Ag Group, Beef, environment, EPA, Government, NCBA, NPPC, Policy, Pork

    The Pearse Lyons Accelerator Selects Final 10

    Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

    A total of 183 startups from 38 countries applied to be a part of The Pearse Lyons Accelerator, a late-stage, agri-tech accelerator run by Alltech and Dogpatch Labs. The accelerator will commence with 10 startups that have been chosen to take part in a mentorship program for agri-business innovators with a proven technology that is ready for market.

    The accelerator is a 15-week, mentorship-driven program aimed at collaborative learning and seeking new business and/or partnership opportunities. The program will culminate with the startups presenting on the main stage at ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference in Lexington, Kentucky, USA, May 21–24, 2017.

    Startup participants will receive access to Dr. Pearse Lyons. In addition, participants will receive free space for three months in Ireland’s leading startup hub, Dogpatch Labs, located in the heart of the Dublin Docklands, a €15,000 cash fund and mentoring covering a range of areas, from product development to strategy and international expansion. Additional benefits include software perks worth more than €300,000 from companies such as Google, Facebook, Softlayer and Amazon.

    “We had a great selection week in Dublin, and I’m really impressed with the startups’ ideas, their engagement and the talent,” said Aidan Connolly, chief innovation officer at Alltech. “We were especially looking for emerging technologies in agri-tech, such as drones, sensors, the internet of things and artificial intelligence, and I’m excited to see those are all represented within the 10 companies that were chosen.”

    Agribusiness, Alltech

    The Farm Whisperer ~ Be Intentional With Your Future

    Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

    The legacy of the family farm or ranch is sacred. However, the preservation of that legacy is something few families like to talk about. During the Young Beef Leaders (YBL) session at the 2017 Cattle Industry Convention & NCBA Trade Show, Caterpillar, Inc. sponsored a speaker to get the converstation started.

    Dave Specht, author of The Farm Whisperer, has a true passion for preserving families and perpetuating farms. This topic hits home for me and as I watched young people in the audience I witnessed heads nodding, insightful questions and raw emotion.

    “Be intentional about your future. Young people, ask the tough questions early so you don’t spend your first 10-15 career building years in an operation where you don’t have a future. Senior generation, design your legacy and ask professionals to implement the technical side of the plan. Take control of your future by asking the hard questions, by having courage and moving forward.”

    The Farm Whisperer has an app and don’t forget you can follow Dave on Twitter @fmlybusinessman as well. Listen to my latest AnimalAgCast to learn more about planning for your future on the farm here: Animal AgCast - Dave Specht, The Farm Whisperer

    View and download photos from the event here: 2017 Cattle Industry Convention & NCBA Trade Show Photo Album

    Agribusiness, Animal AgCast, Audio, Beef, Education, Farming

    Novus Hosts Next Gen Swine Nutritionist Council

    Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

    Last week, Novus International hosted the inaugural meeting of the Next Generation Swine Nutritionist Council. The council was formed this year upon recognizing that up-and-coming nutritionists in the swine industry need resources for non-company career development, professional skill training, think tanks and networking.

    Novus’s Dr. Yulin Ma came up with the idea and said, “After spending time talking to my peers over the past couple of years, I noticed there is a gap the industry isn’t filling. I brought the idea to my team and we thought it was something we could lay the groundwork for and get started for this group, which I am very proud to be a part of.”

    Attendees heard from Dr. Gary Allee, professor emeritus, University of Missouri, who discussed the changes, innovations and discoveries he has seen during his career and time working in the industry. Dr. Laura Greiner, director of research, Carthage Innovative Swine Solutions (CISS), shared some of the new technologies her group is evaluating and where the team at CISS are working to help develop the industry for the next 10 to 25 years.

    The group is already making plans to host the next meeting and have offered up some impactful topics they would like to see included in the next agenda.

    Agribusiness, enzymes, Feed, Novus International, Nutrition, Swine