CattleFax Appoints New Officers

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 6.34.53 PMCattleFax, a member-owned organization serving producers in all segmments of the beef cattle business, also held their annual business meeting in San Diego last week during the Cattle Industry Convention where they elected officers for 2016. Jeff Sparrowk, a cow/calf and stocker operator from Clements, Calif., was elected President. He has been actively involved in the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), and has served as a past Chairman. He is also a past President of California Cattlemen’s Marketing Committee.

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 6.34.41 PMPresident Elect is Todd Allen of Newton, Kan. Re-elected as Executive Vice President was Randy Blach of Centennial, Colo. Jerry Adams of Broken Bow, Neb., was elected to replace Jerry Kuenning of Imperial, Neb., representing the North Plains. Dale Smith of Amarillo, Texas, was re-elected to a four-year term representing the Southwest region

Other Directors currently serving terms for CattleFax are Tom Jensen of Omaha, Neb., as Treasurer; Jamie Willrett of Malta Ill.; Don Quincey of Chiefland, Fla.; Pono Von Holt of Kamuela, Hawaii; and Mark Frasier of Fort Morgan, Colo.

Photos from the Convention: 2016 Cattle Industry Convention Photo Album

Coverage of the Cattle Industry Convention is sponsored by Coverage of the Cattle Industry Convention is sponsored by New Holland
Agribusiness, Beef, Cattle, Markets, NCBA

Adding Beef Facts to Producer Tool Belt

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

cic-16-131-editedCattle nutritionist for Zoetis, Dr. Gary Sides, spoke to producers during the Cattle Industry Convention’s Cattlemen’s College on modern agriculture in a culture of Facebook. There he discussed government, environmental and cultural issues that affect beef consumption and the cattle industry and I sat down with him to learn more.

It is old news that our industry is constantly under attack and many times producers don’t know how to respond to those attacks. Are you aware that new scientific summaries show salt consumption has no effect on blood pressure? Did you know saturated fats in beef may reduce your risk of heart disease? Can you defend and promote beef consumption and technologies we currently use to efficiently, safely and humanely produce beef? These were just a few issues he addressed, providing key facts producers were able to take home and add to their tool belt.

One of those hot button issues was fat in beef. “When you look at the fat in beef, it is mainly comprised of fatty acids that are actually heart healthy. They raise the good cholesterol, lower the bad cholesterol and in a simplified nutshell are good for you. The culprit in obesity, diabetes are diets based on high carb intake.”

Food is emotional for consumers. Sadly, science doesn’t seem to carry much weight. “When I give my message about why beef is good nutritionally and why our production techniques are good for the environment, the animal and the consumer I tell them I buy my food from Walmart. I feed my children and my grandchildren conventional foods. If I thought there were any chance that the technology we used to produce cattle would affect my family I wouldn’t buy food at those places.”

Dr. Sides also spoke to cattle nutritionists about the launch of a new implant from Zoetis called Synovex One. Listen to my complete interview to learn more about how it can be used and it’s advantages to other similar compounds. Interview with Dr. Gary Sides, Zoetis

Photos from the Convention: 2016 Cattle Industry Convention Photo Album

Coverage of the Cattle Industry Convention is sponsored by Coverage of the Cattle Industry Convention is sponsored by New Holland
Agribusiness, Animal Health, Audio, Beef, Cattle, NCBA, Zoetis

Federation of State Beef Councils Elects New Leadership

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 6.11.48 PM

Steve Hanson (left) and Jerry Effertz will lead the Federation of State Beef Councils in 2016.

Many elections and leadership changes were made in San Diego at the 2016 Cattle Industry Convention. A couple of those elections were made by the Federation of State Beef Councils. Steve Hanson, a cow/calf operator from Elsie, Neb., was elected chairman of the Federation and Jerry Effertz, a cow/calf operator from Velva, N.D. was elected vice chairman. The Federation of State Beef Councils is the national home of state beef councils and a division of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA).

Hanson and his wife, Susan, operate a family farm and ranch in southwest Nebraska with their son, Nick, the fifth generation on the farm, feeding out calves they raise with grain grown on their operation. Hanson has been very active in both state and national industry organizations, serving on the checkoff’s Freedom to Operate Committee, Global Growth Committee and Evaluation Committee. He has served as the chairman of the Nebraska Beef Council, and on numerous local church and school boards. Hanson had previously served as the Federation’s vice chairman.

Effertz and his wife, Norma, operate Black Butte Acres Limousin Ranch, raising seedstock Limousin cattle and backgrounding feeder calves. To educate people about the cattle business and stewardship of the land, they also operate Black Butte Adventures, which includes hiking and biking trails as well as farm tours. Effertz, the third generation of his family to own and operate their farm and ranch, also served in leadership positions in state and national beef industry organizations, including the North Dakota Beef Commission, U.S. Meat Export Federation, and several beef checkoff committees.

As chairman of the Federation, Hanson will serve as vice chair of the Beef Promotion Operating Committee (BPOC), which funds beef checkoff projects at the national level. Effertz will also serve on that committee. This will be the fifth year each has served on the BPOC. Approval of BPOC-approved projects and budgets is required by the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In addition to Hanson and Effertz, other Federation members of the BPOC for 2016 are Austin Brown III (Texas), Brent Buckley (Hawaii), Clay Burtrum (Oklahoma), Dawn Caldwell (Nebraska), Gary Deering (South Dakota), Barb Downey (Kansas), Scott McGregor (Iowa) and Kristin Larson (Montana). The CBB also appoints 10 members to the BPOC.

Photos from the Convention: 2016 Cattle Industry Convention Photo Album

Coverage of the Cattle Industry Convention is sponsored by Coverage of the Cattle Industry Convention is sponsored by New Holland
Ag Group, Beef, Beef Checkoff, NCBA

Alltech Continues Supporting Ag Journalism

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

alltech logo The IFAJ-Alltech Young Leaders in Agricultural Journalism Award has been able to reach young journalists across the globe, and this international impact will be extended in 2016, thanks to changes in the federation’s constitution and renewed support from key sponsor Alltech.

The International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) accepted eight new guilds for membership at its annual congress in New Zealand, opening the young leaders’ competition to journalists in 40 countries, and Alltech announced today that it will be supporting the program again for its 11th year of sponsorship for the program.

“It is truly an honor to once again support 10 young journalists from around the world as they visit farms to fine-tune reporting skills, polish photography techniques and further develop their personal leadership in agribusiness,” said Ann Hess, On-Farm Communications Manager for Alltech. “As livestock and crop production continues to grow through innovation and technology, we need strong communicators to tell the story to an ever-increasing consumer-driven industry.”

The award, a travel scholarship that recognizes the leadership potential of 10 young members each year from guilds belonging to IFAJ, supports their participation at the annual IFAJ Congress. This year’s program will run in conjunction with the 2016 annual IFAJ Congress in Bonn, Germany 13-17 July. Award winners will also take part in a boot camp with professional journalists, and will have the opportunity to visit farms where they discuss how to apply their skills.

“We have seen first-hand the benefits of this program,” says Owen Roberts, Vice President of IFAJ. “With Alltech’s support and participation, we have been able to offer a program that has benefitted members and guilds. Many of the winners of the IFAJ-Alltech Young Leaders in Agricultural Journalism Award have gone on to leadership roles in their guilds.”

The IFAJ-Alltech Young Leaders Award has contributed to the professional and personal development of nearly 100 budding journalists from around the world, and involving new guilds will likewise help them to pursue leadership and succession within their own organizations.

Ag Group, Alltech, award, Communications, International, Youth

USDA Finalizes New Food Safety Measures in Poultry

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

USDA_logoThe U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) have finalized the new federal standards to reduce Salmonella and Campylobacter in ground chicken and turkey products, as well as in raw chicken breasts, legs, and wings. This implementation is estimated to lead to an average of 50,000 prevented illnesses annually.

“Over the past seven years, USDA has put in place tighter and more strategic food safety measures than ever before for meat and poultry products. We have made strides in modernizing every aspect of food safety inspection, from company record keeping, to labeling requirements, to the way we perform testing in our labs,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “These new standards, in combination with greater transparency about poultry companies’ food safety performance and better testing procedures, will help prevent tens of thousands of foodborne illnesses every year, reaching our Healthy People 2020 goals.”

national turkey federationA more in-depth view of the new standards can be found here.

The National Turkey Federation released the following statement regarding the new federal standards.

“Turkey companies are continually modernizing protections that inhibit bacteria during meat preparation, portioning and packaging. They have a well-documented record of successful innovation in food safety. We are using each proven advancement in science to counter the formation of pathogens. We are engaged in an ambitious, ongoing effort to lower the count of these microbes to the lowest point possible for raw meat and poultry products,” said Lisa Wallenda Picard, Vice President for Science and Regulatory Affairs of the National Turkey Federation.

Ag Group, Chicken, Food, food safety, Poultry, Salmonella, Turkey

Hawaiian Beef – It’s What’s For Dinner

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 12.19.42 PMWhen you think beef cattle production, do you think Hawaii? I will assume you don’t. I hadn’t given the topic much thought until I meet Dale Sandlin, managing director, Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council (HCC), during the 2016 Cattle Industry Convention and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Trade Show. HCC represents 145 members and the majority of those operations run less than 100 head of cattle. But two of the top 25 ranches in the nation call Hawaii home.

“We have producers who deal with very different climates. Some areas get as much as 30 inches of rainfall on one portion of their property and 3 inches in a lower portion. It is a very diverse eco-system that producers have to manage.”

The climate is only one difference Hawaiian ranchers encounter. How do the cattle make it to finishing ground located on the mainland United States? Dale said there are two ways cattle are shipped from Hawaii. The most conventional way is over the ocean. A stocktender travels with the animals and they are shipped in cowtainers equipped with on-demand feed and water. They ship 3-5 weight cattle because there is a lack of pasture in Hawaii. It takes about a week and a half for cattle to travel from the islands to the mainland. A maximum of 30 cowtainers are shipped at a time with about 60-80 head per cowtainer.

Air is the other way cattle are shipped. A modified 747 is used allowing cattle to be loaded into pods. A stocktender accompanies them, but the trip only takes five hours. When they land in Los Angeles, the cattle are transported by semi to their finishing location.

“There are many challenges we have to face, but we understand the transportation component is a fixed cost that we can’t get out of. It is factored in to our bottom line. We have to get that much more for our cattle.”

Other challenges ranchers in Hawaii face is the lack of an auction market. Everything is sold through private treaty or they have to go to the packing plant. Terrain is another limiting factor. Transporting cattle on very crowded, narrow and winding roads is always an obstacle.

“While the world is very volatile and things on the mainland are much simpler, I have to give my producers so much credit. They have been doing this for over a hundred years. They understand the challenges, they know what works and what doesn’t. We are constantly looking for ways to improve.”

Dale and I discuss many other details to raising cattle in the tropics of Hawaii. Listen to those in my complete interview here: Interview with Dale Sandlin, Hawaii Cattlemen's Council

Photos from the Convention: 2016 Cattle Industry Convention Photo Album

Coverage of the Cattle Industry Convention is sponsored by Coverage of the Cattle Industry Convention is sponsored by New Holland
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BIVI Talks Cattle Health Concerns

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

cic-16-242-edited Dr. John Davidson, Professional Services Vet for Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. (BIVI), played a central role in this year’s Cattle Industry Convention by giving several presentations on cattle health trends at the Convention’s Learning Lounge.

A major discussion point this week was Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD), which has begun to raise concerns among veterinary professionals, as the disease is becoming associated with rising morbidity and mortality rates each year.

“We’re spending more and more money to treat this sickness, which translates into more dollars spent on antibiotics aimed at treating sick cattle, and BIVI holds a belief that there is a better way,” said Davidson, “And that way is to target those leading threats prior to the cattle getting sick; really our mantra is “prevention works.” We’ve got information that really focuses on vaccinating those calves prior to the challenge, and matching the vaccine using the best available evidence-based medicine approach.”

Another topic of discussion this week, that is garnering plenty of attention in the field of veterinary medicine, is the upcoming legislation surrounding Veterinary Feed Directives (VFD) for large-scale antibiotic treatment.

“The interesting thing is that the VFD and the legislation that authorized that is really not new, the Animal Drug Availability Act of 1996 is really the foundation of the VFD, and other industries like the swine industry have been dealing successfully with VFDs for quite some time,” said Davidson. “At the end of the day, we have to do a better job managing the tools we have to treat BRD in our cattle, and that means being better stewards of not only the animal resources, but also of our treatment availability, which means identifying the opportunity to prevent the disease and relying less on treatment.”

Listen to Jamie’s full interview with Dr. Davidson here:
Interview with Dr. John Davidson, BIVI

Photos from the Convention: 2016 Cattle Industry Convention Photo Album

Coverage of the Cattle Industry Convention is sponsored by Coverage of the Cattle Industry Convention is sponsored by New Holland
Ag Group, Animal Health, Antibiotics, Audio, Boehringer Ingelheim, Cattle, Vaccine, Veterinary

National Dairy Board Scholarships Available

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

dmi Applications are being accepted for several college scholarships awarded by America’s dairy farmers and dairy importers through the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board (NDB), which helps fund Dairy Management Inc., the management branch of the national dairy checkoff program.

Eleven scholarships will be awarded, each worth $2,500, as well as a $3,500 James H. Loper Jr. Memorial Scholarship awarded to the outstanding scholarship recipient.

Eligible students must be enrolled in their sophomore through senior year of college, majoring in one of the following fields: communications/public relations, journalism, marketing, business, economics, nutrition, food science, and agriculture education.

Scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement, an interest in a career in a dairy-related discipline, and a student’s demonstrated leadership skills, initiative and integrity. Candidates must complete an application form, submit an official transcript of all college courses, and write a short statement describing their career aspirations, dairy-related activities and work experiences.

Entry forms can be downloaded here, and should be submitted to the National Dairy Board c/o Nate Janssen, Dairy Management Inc., 10255 W. Higgins Road, Suite 900, Rosemont, IL 60018-5615. They must be postmarked no later than April 22.

Ag Group, Dairy, Dairy Board, Dairy Checkoff, Dairy Management Inc., University

U.S. Beef and Beef Products to Colombia

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

USDA_logoEarlier in January, the U.S. government and Government of Colombia reached an agreement to reduce certification requirements for U.S. beef and beef products for human consumption entering Colombia. The will increase exports of U.S. beef and beef products, which have grown since the May 2012 entry into force of the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement (CTPA).

“Colombia is already a rapidly growing market for American beef and this agreement will only further expand opportunities for American producers and exporters.” said U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman. “Just a few years ago there was little if any American beef in Colombia but through the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement, and agreement’s like this, we are seeing increased demand for high-quality American beef. This action also underscores the constructive working relationship that USTR and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials have with our Colombian counterparts, a relationship that has been enhanced through the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement.”

“Since 2003, USDA and USTR have worked diligently to reopen and expand markets once closed to U.S. beef. This is another win in a long line of successes that led to a near record $6.7 billion in U.S. beef and beef product exports in 2015,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “These exports are vital to our ranchers, the rural communities that depend on them, and the many Americans working in jobs throughout the value and transportation chains to produce and deliver high quality American beef products to our customers overseas.”

The agreement the two countries reached reflects the United States’ negligible risk classification for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). Through an exchange of letters, the United States and Colombia have agreed to changes in certification statements that will allow beef and beef products from all federally inspected U.S. establishments to be eligible for export to Colombia, rather than only those beef and beef products from establishments that participated in the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Export Verification (EV) programs under the previous certification requirements. U.S. exports of beef and beef products to Colombia topped $14.4 million in 2014, up over 260 percent from the $4 million posted in pre-CTPA 2011.

Ag Group, Beef, Trade

Results from Elanco Dairy Producer Survey

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

elancoElanco Animal Health conducted a survey over the course of the last two months to gauge awareness, knowledge and understanding of immune suppression during calving periods and identify topics of concern in dairy healthcare.

The survey results showed U.S. dairy producers are acutely aware of the consequences of immune suppression, and 59 percent of survey respondents rate mastitis as the top complication of compromised immunity. To a lesser extent, U.S. producers identify immune suppression itself as the cause of this costly disease. The U.S. results were presented by Elanco at the 2016 National Mastitis Council annual meeting in Glendale, Ariz. on Jan. 31.

“As we reframe how we manage the vulnerable time around calving and make immune suppression a priority, we know that more than 80 percent of U.S. producers are looking to their veterinarians for help in protecting their cows’ immune systems,” said Paul Rapnicki, DVM, MBA, Dairy Technical Consultant, Elanco Animal Health. “Focusing on immune suppression as the cause rather than managing the consequences will decrease costly diseases post-calving, while setting cows up for a productive lactation.”

Survey findings further reveal that achieving a successful lactation cycle is the top reason 96 percent of U.S. dairy producers agree that the period of 60 days prior to and 30 days after calving – known as The Vital 90™ Days – is “very important” for the health of their cows.

While setting cows up for a healthy lactation is a top goal, additional survey findings indicate that U.S dairy producers rate optimizing nutrition (40%), preventing mastitis (32%), and enhancing reproduction (28%) as their leading dairy healthcare priorities.

Agribusiness, Animal Health, Dairy, Elanco, Mastitis