Temple Grandin to speak at Cattle Stewardship Conference

Bovine behavior specialist, Temple Grandin will be the keynote speaker at a cattle stewardship conference on June 8 in Spirit Lake, Iowa. Grandin will present a practical approach to improving animal welfare. The conference will include beef cattle specialists from Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota, who will present sessions that include techniques in managing pain, facilities designed for cattle comfort, low-stress weaning, managing heat stress in cattle and more. For more information, call 712-737-4230 or email doranb@iastate.edu.

Perdue unveils plan to reorganize USDA

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, recently released a plan to reorganize the USDA. The plan creates an undersecretary for trade and foreign agriculture affairs, which recognizes the importance of international trade to American agriculture. Perdue also announced that a newly named Farm Production and Conservation mission area would have a customer focus. The reorganization seeks to place agencies in a more logical order. For instance, Farm Service Agency will operate under the new undersecretary for trade. To read the report, visit: https://www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/report-proposed-2017-reorg-usda-under-secretary-trade-foreign-agricultural-affairs.pdf

Master Cattleman class to start July 20 in Alexandria

A series of Master Cattleman programs will be held on the Louisiana State University-Alexandria campus, starting July 20 and ending September 21. Ten, three-hour sessions will cover general management practices for beef herds in Louisiana, including Beef Quality Assurance Certification, pasture management, nutrition, breeding, herd health carcass quality and more. For more information, call Vince Deshotel at 337-948-0561 or email vdeshotel@agcenter.lsu.edu.

Domino’s supports modern ag

Domino’s Pizza, based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has supported American ranchers in spite of extreme pressure from animal rights activists. The Domino’s philosophy is simple. The company will never tell a rancher how to raise his or her animals because they are the experts and have the most vested interest in raising their livestock. Domino’s has partnered with the dairy checkoff in past years and supports the folks who produce the meat and cheese that make pizzas so delicious and popular.

Beef Cattle Institute hosts continuing education for rural veterinary practitioners

The Beef Cattle Institute at Kansas State University will host several continuing education events that will focus on improving the long-term viability of rural veterinary practices. The first meeting, Rural Veterinary Practitioner Conference: Preparing for Disease Challenges, will be held June 3-4 in Manhattan, providing nine hours of continuing education. The program will address prepping for disease challenges including securing the beef supply and diagnostic disease trends. For registration information, visit beefcattleinstitute.org/rural-veterinary-practitioner-conference/about/.

Market in “Good State” according to Virginia beef leader

Jason Carter, executive director of the Virginia Cattlemen’s Association and Virginia Beef Industry Council, says things look more positive for the state’s beef farmers since prices have rebounded considerably. Virginia is a feeder cattle state and demand has increased and is projected to remain strong for some time. Because beef is the nation’s most expensive protein, increased demand is a sign of improved consumer confidence.

University of Florida project to improve Brahman cattle

Scientists at the University of Florida plan to develop Brahman cattle that can better tolerate heat, produce more tender meat and have improved fertility. Researchers would like Brahman cattle owners from Florida to participate in the project, but first researchers will collect pedigree data and records from producers. This data will identify animals with superior marbling, tenderness and fertility. The goal is to improve the purebred Brahman population in Florida. Florida ranchers who want to participate in this study may call 352-392-2367.

Researchers say $25M grant has increased safety of U.S. beef.

Five years ago the USDA’s Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture awarded a $25 million grant to the University of Nebraska and 14 other universities and two research organizations to study the Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC). This project has given scientists a better understanding of the ecology and frequency of the potentially deadly E. coli pathogen in cattle and beef products. Two-thirds of the original $25 million grant has been used for research and one-third has been used for education and outreach.

Learn latest techniques for grazing cattle

Four beef management workshops will be held for southern Iowa beef producers this spring. Session dates of May 30 and 31 and June 1 will allow attendees to learn from experts who will speak about beef cattle nutrition and grazing, animal updates for beef veterinarians, and health topics. For more information, contact Joe Sellers at 641-203-1270 or sellers@iastate.edu. Visit http://www.iowabeefcenter.org/events/SpringBeefWorkshops2017.pdf to read the program brochure.

Cargill sells two yards

Cargill has sold two feedlots in Kansas and Colorado to Green Plains Inc. for $36.7 million. The sale is still pending a definitive agreement and regulatory review. Cattle will continue to be marketed to Cargill. The former Cargill Leoti, Kansas, and Yuma, Colorado, feedlots were feeding some 155,000 cattle at the time of the sale. With the purchase of Cargill’s feedlots, Green Plains Cattle Company will become the fourth largest cattle feeder in the U.S. with a total capacity of more than 255,000 head.