Scientists developing heat-resistant “cows of the future”

Half of the cattle on the planet live in hot and humid environments, including some 40 percent of U.S. beef cows. Now scientists from the University of Florida are developing a breed of genetically-modified “cows of the future” that will be more heat resistant along with the ability to adapt to hot weather and produce high-quality beef. Researchers are studying the more heat-tolerant Brangus, an Angus and Brahman cross. Researchers hope to determine which DNA segments from the two breeds regulate body temperature.

FMD rapid diagnostic kit licensed for use in U.S.

Recently the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T) announced the licensing of a new rapid-response foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) diagnostic kit. The diagnostic kit, developed by a large research consortium of federal agencies, academia and animal health industry scientists, takes three hours to diagnose FMD. This test can be used for cattle, swine and sheep, and is an important tool for U.S. emergency preparedness and response. For more information, visit

Prime Time Gala raises $236,508 to provide beef to food banks

The South Dakota Cattlemen’s Foundation (SDCF) recently hosted its yearly Prime Time Gala and Concert in Sioux Falls, S.D. 1,540 cattlemen, beef lovers and country music fans raised $236,508 for Feeding South Dakota. Since 2014, SDCF has raised $737,508 that is earmarked to purchase beef and dairy products for the state’s food banks. The Foundation also presented four agricultural students planning careers in beef production and promotion with $10,000 in scholarships.

Holy cow, cow, cow

The Wietlisbach cattle farm in Indiana is the home of rare purebred Simmental heifer triplets. The calves’ mother was raised for the 4-H Beef Program. Twins are not unusual in beef cattle, but the odds of triplets in beef cattle are possible in one in 700,000 births. Arriving two weeks early, the triplets weighed 40 pounds each. Single birth calves usually weigh 80 pounds. All three calves will be kept in the Wietlisbach herd to carry on desired genetics.


The Pacific Legal Foundation applauds the Trump administration’s announcement of its withdrawal of the WOTUS (Waters of the U.S.) rule. The U.S. Constitution permits the federal government to regulate only places and activities that affect interstate commerce, however, the WOTUS rule gave the federal government the right to regulate all manner of land use activities on land that could be thousands of feet from a nonnavigable stream. James Burling, with the Pacific Legal Foundation, says the WOTUS rule withdrawal is not enough. He encourages the government to adopt the Scalia opinion to protect ranchers and farmers from other EPA and Corps of Engineers rules.

Pruitt sets timeline for WOTUS replacement

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator, Scott Pruitt, recently told Congress that he plans to publish a new water rule between the fourth quarter of this year and the first three months of 2018. The new regulation will establish which waters are regulated under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The EPA’s Waters of the United States (WOTUS), is strongly opposed by farmers and ranchers because WOTUS expanded EPA’s regulatory authority by giving it power over areas that are dry most of the year.

Cattle producers rely on innovative technology

More cattle producers now depend on their phones instead of computers to process and store information, especially younger producers. Ranchers can take advantage of rapidly developing technology, using their phones to become more efficient. Phone apps that allow them to compare the cost of feedstuffs, check heat and humidity, or make decisions on maintaining a herd bull or using artificial insemination are now available. Electronic ear tags that monitor feed and water consumption in the feedlot are other examples of useful technology.

South Dakota youth nonprofit to breed cattle

The South Dakota Farm Bureau recently donated five cow-calf pairs to the McCrossan Boys Ranch, which will soon be able to feed beef to some 65 boys from cattle they’ve bred and cared for themselves. The animals will be the basis of a cattle-breeding program at the 90-acre campus, well known for raising horses and an active 4-H program. Some of the cattle born will feed the boys, while others will be sold.


On June 22, 2017, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the suspension of all fresh beef imports from Brazil due to safety concerns of products intended for the U.S. market. Discontinuation of shipments will remain in place until the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture takes corrective action that the USDA finds satisfactory. USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has inspected 100 percent of all meat products arriving in the United States from Brazil since March. FSIS has rejected 11 percent of Brazilian fresh beef products. None of the rejected products entered the U.S. market.

Beef Checkoff celebrates National Beef Jerky Day

June 12 was Beef Jerky Day, promoted by the beef checkoff. To kick off Beef Jerky Day, participating state beef councils delivered beef jerky bouquets in custom made, “Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner”, vases to 115 television stations in the top 30 U.S. markets. This promotion reminded viewers that beef jerky is a popular low-fat, high-quality protein snack. To send a beef jerky bouquet to that special someone, check out