AFBF applauds Regulatory Accountability Act

The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) strongly supports the bipartisan Regulatory Accountability Act, which would require federal agencies to issue the most “cost-effective” rules necessary to accomplish their goals. The Regulatory Accountability Act would require federal agencies to conduct a cost-benefit analysis before issuing a new rule, and then issue what is determined to be the most “cost-effective” rule. To learn more about this proposed legislation, visit https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/5.

MSU Extension offers Advanced Genetic Technology in Beef Cattle lectureship May 8-9

Montana State University Extension and South Dakota State University Extension are joining the King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management to offer the Application of Advanced Genetic Technology in Beef Cattle lecture on May 8-9 in Bozeman, Montana. The program will strengthen the basic understanding of genetic principles among attendees. Attendees will also receive additional genetic information that will enable them to apply advanced genetic technologies in seedstock and commercial cattle operations. For more information visit http://krirm.tamuk.edu/lectureships/genetictechnology/, or call the KRIRM office at (361) 593-5401.

2017 agriculture census to arrive in December

Every five years, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) conducts the Census of Agriculture. The 2017 ag census will be mailed in mid-December, 2017 and will be a complete count of all U.S. farms, ranches and operators. It is important to collect the number of farms in rural areas and counties, to help determine finances and other resources for programs that support these communities. New farmers or those who did not receive a Census of Agriculture in 2012 may sign up for the 2017 Census of Agriculture at www.agcensus.usda.gov.

New app assists consumers with meat purchases

The variety of beef cuts and their respective cooking methods can be confusing for many consumers. The North American Meat Institute has a new app called MyMeatUp, which was designed to assist millennial consumers with their meat purchases. Available for both Android and Apple devices, this free app provides a complete guide to beef, pork, lamb and veal cuts. The app explains various cooking methods, such as broiling, grilling, roasting, pan frying, stir frying, slow cooker and more.

Iowa Beef Center Fact Sheet provides guidance for grazing contracts

Iowa State University specialists Patrick Gunn and Joe Sellers have created a new fact sheet, “Pasture and Grazing Arrangements for Beef Cattle,” for those who use pasture and grazing rentals in their operations. This new resource provides an overview of four common types of arrangements along with suggestions on how to structure agreements for the benefit of both parties. The two-page fact sheet is available as a free pdf download at https://store.extension.iastate.edu/product/15110 through the ISU Extension and Outreach store website.

USDA announces $2.4 million to relieve veterinarian shortages

The USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced $2.4 million in available funding to relieve veterinarian and support service shortages. Funding has been made available through NIFA’s Veterinary Services Grant Program, which was authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. The grant supports development, implementation and sustainability of veterinary services to relieve veterinary shortages in rural areas of the U.S. The deadline for applications is May 19, 2017. For more information, visit https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/veterinary-services-grant-program-vsgp.

China lifts ban on U.S. beef

After President Trump’s recent summit with the Chinese President, several news outlets report that the two leaders reached an agreement to lift the trade barriers against U.S. beef. U.S. industry officials estimate the market, which includes China, Hong Kong, and Vietnam, could total $7 billion. Although China is the second largest importer of beef, U.S. beef has been denied access to China since 2003 after a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) was discovered in Washington State.

NMSU student develops device to improve cattle grazing

New Mexico State University Department of Animal and Range Sciences junior, Josiah Brooks, is creating a feed intake device for cattle. Brooks is conducting a research trial to develop a marker system to determine feed intake in grazing cattle that will allow researchers to investigate how grazing management and supplementation programs can improve cattle health and performance. Brooks hopes to test the device on cattle this summer.

Caring for cattle that survived wildfires

Ranchers and veterinarians are teaming up to render aid to cattle that survived recent wildfires in Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Colorado. Immediate concerns include orphaned calves that need milk replacer and clean water. There can be long-term consequences for calves, heifers, cows and bulls from surface burns, eye and ear damage and respiratory damage from smoke inhalation. Hooves and feet may develop severe laminitis from burns. Veterinarians are ready to help ranchers and cattle affected by wildfires.

Ways to track severe weather

Although many rural families track severe weather with phone apps, vital safety information may be unavailable if a cell tower is damaged. For reliable severe weather information, consider the following: A NOAA weather radio that is programmed according to your county’s Federal Information Processing Standards code. These radios also have indoor sirens. Check local TV stations, or log onto the NWS website at www.weather.gov if power is on. Listen to a battery-powered radio station, which often simulcasts with local TV stations during power outages.