The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded $19.5 million to support research, education and Extension activities associated with climate solutions in agriculture aimed at the impacts of climate variability and change on dairy and beef cattle. USDA remains focused on carrying out its mission, despite a time of significant budget uncertainty. The announcement is one part of the Department’s efforts to strengthen the rural economy.
The University of Wisconsin (UW) in Madison, Wisconsin, received $9.9 million over five years to study the environmental impact of various dairy production systems and develop best management practices for producers to implement at the farm level. The University of Wisconsin is partnering in the project with the University of Arkansas, Cornell University, the University of Michigan, North Carolina A&T University, Pennsylvania State University and the University of Washington, along with four USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) laboratories, the U.S. Department of Energy and the industry-sponsored Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. Oklahoma State University (OSU) in Stillwater, Oklahoma, received $9.6 million over five years to better understand vulnerability and resilience of Southern Great Plains beef in an environment of increased climate variability, dynamic land-use and fluctuating markets.
Posted: November 14, 2012 at 2:04 pm
By Jamie Johansen
In just two and a half weeks Lexington, Kentucky will once again open it’s doors to dairy farmers and beef producers from across the world. These agriculturalists are coming together for Alltech’s Global 500. The Alltech community offers an opportunity to find answers to your questions.
What are the modern challenges of animal production?
Where to invest?
How to target performance and profitability?
What is the future of farming?
Can sustainability be achieved?
I am excited to attend this years event and during the National Association of Farm Broadcasting’s Trade Talk I had a chance to talk with David Butler, Web Marketing Manager for Alltech. He offered insite to the upcoming event and shared what hot topics will be discussed.
“Global 500 is unique because we have progressive dairy farmers and beef producers from all over the world that come to Lexington, KY to spend three days. They get to hear some great speakers, some real industry experts, but more than that we have discussion dinners where they can share ideas and share some challenges. An opportunity for US dairy farmers to find out how their colleagues in Europe are dealing with some of the environmental regulations there that we may see here eventually.”
“Cow comfort, of course is always a big thing. Mycotoxins are a big issue this year because of the drought in the US. We will be talking about ways to manage that. And things like mineral execration and other sorts of challenges that make it really tough for farmers, especially with large herds.”
Alltech is also holding a Farms In Focus photo contest to be judged during Global 500. Snap a photo of what dairy farming means to you and submit at Alltech.com/farmsinfocus. Share via Facebook and Twitter, get all your friends to vote during the event for a chance to win $300.
Posted: October 11, 2012 at 8:42 am
By Cindy Zimmerman
The Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) always has a presence at the World Dairy Expo to help dairy producers understand how they are a part of the Beef Checkoff.
“All dairy cattle are certainly beef cattle also,” said CBB board member Gary Sharp of South Dakota, who was at the dairy expo at the beef checkoff booth, along with representatives from the Wisconsin Beef Council. “We’re all in this game together.”
The booth featured recipes and other information and served chili and beef summer sausage. Sharp says they not only reach dairy producers at the expo but others as well. “Everything from school children to elderly people who are not producers,” he said. “Beef and milk makes a body go and keeps it going.”
Posted: October 11, 2012 at 7:17 am
By Cindy Zimmerman
Dairy producers are beef producers too and they should always keep that in mind with their production practices.
“At this point, most dairy producers do not think of themselves as beef producers,” says Dr. Linda Tikofsky, Professional Services Veterinarian with Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc (BIVI). “Dairymen know they ship cull cows for beef, but I don’t think they recognize the impact some of their dairy practices have on beef quality in the long run.”
Many common practices, while effective for milk quality and production, can cause a reduction in beef quality once a cull cow arrives at a packinghouse. The long-term effects of some of these practices cause the dairy cull cows to be flagged for further examination at the packinghouse, leading to fines and loss in value for dairy producers.
“If we’re marketing them later, after we’ve treated them a number of times or after they’ve lost a significant amount of body condition, the cows are much more likely to be flagged for additional review and receive more scrutiny,” says Dr. Tikofsky.
Watch this video with Dr. Tikofsky where she outlines steps to help preserve beef quality throughout a dairy cow’s life:
For additional information on handling guidelines and vaccine administration protocols, visit www.BQA.org. For additional details about Prevention Works, contact your local veterinarian or Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. representative, or visit www.BIVIPreventionWorks.com.
Beef producers serving state beef council boards throughout the country have chosen to supplement national and international research, education and promotion programs funded by the Beef Checkoff Program by about $6.6 million in fiscal year 2013, which began Oct. 1. The supplemental funds, invested through the Federation of State Beef Councils, are to be added to $40.3 million invested through the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) and approved by the Beef Promotion Operating Committee, which met in Denver Sept. 19 – 20. The Committee’s decisions were submitted to the full CBB and the USDA for approval.
Some of the funds from states with high cattle numbers and low populations are invested through the Federation to extend national and international Beef Checkoff Program efforts in a coordinated way. Decisions about specific programs to fund are made by individual state beef councils.
National programs are being supplemented through the Federation by $4.9 million, while international programs are receiving $1.7 in state checkoff funds.
On Sept. 27, General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret), Chairman of Eisenhower Fellowships, announced that the organization will send eight U.S. citizens abroad in 2013 as Eisenhower USA Fellows. Among the eight selected Fellows is Polly Ruhland, Chief Executive Officer of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board.
The fellowship provides Ruhland with the resources and programmatic support to create and execute an intensive four- to five-week program studying differentiation of U. S. beef in Japan and Taiwan. Working closely with beef checkoff contractor U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), Ruhland will meet and work with key industry contacts to evaluate techniques and messages that would help U.S. producers better distinguish U.S. beef in both markets.
Posted: September 20, 2012 at 2:50 pm
By Jamie Johansen
Ruminating on the future of beef and dairy farming will be the topic of discussion at Alltech’s 5th Annual Global 500. The event will feature industry experts who will address the changing future of the dairy and beef industries. Last year’s event was a success with 700 attendees and they are expecting over 1000 this December 4-6 in Lexington, Ky.
“Global 500 has gone from a powerful event to an astounding event,” said Dr. Pearse Lyons, president and founder of Alltech. “In a few short years we’ve managed to get some of the industry’s most successful producers to attend and get involved in discussions that are paving the way to a future of opportunity and profitability.”
Producers and industry leaders will have the opportunity to network, discuss and discover new opportunities and challenges for 2013. The program will feature presentations on branding, social media in agriculture and finding new opportunities in challenging times. In addition to an array of presentations, attendees will be invited to take part in discussion dinners, breakout sessions and a number of farm tours.
Dairy producers will explore topics including breakthroughs in nutrition, strategies to manage feed costs, and emerging markets.
Beef producers will delve into issues such as the future marketplace, consumer demands, meat quality, greenhouse gasses and feed yard management.
Registration for Global 500 is $325, but for all those early birds out there register by November 9 for only $200. This will include all sessions, organized functions, luncheons and dinners. Register today and use the invitation code G124.
While dairy producers obviously produce large amounts of milk and milk products, they are also cattlemen, and look to the Beef Checkoff to help market their meat products. One such producer is third-generation Oklahoma family dairy farmer Brett Morris, who also has a cow-calf and stocker operation. He also happens to chair the Beef Board’s Retail Committee.
Brett says the work of the Retail Committee is very important, as the members partner with National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) staff to look at what works and what doesn’t for retailers. “In certain areas, there was a $39 return for every $1 invested in the Beef Checkoff,” he explains. But he says the payoff doesn’t happen by accident. All beef producers, whether they are dairymen or some other type of producer, need to get involved. “The general public is very uneducated about what we do on the farm, and I think any dairy farmer or beef producer, either one, needs to get involved.” He encourages other producers to get involved in educating the public by partnering with retailers to highlight beef in their stores.
The New York Beef Industry Council (NYBIC) once again invited more than 50 industry influencers to an educational veal/dairy tour of New York State. The dynamics of this year’s tour was different than the tour of 2010 as this year’s attendees were a mix of chef educators and their students. Six different culinary schools, along with food service, retail, dietitians and media, were present for a farm-to-fork look at the veal and dairy industries.
The tour discussed how the dairy industry impacts the veal industry, the aspects of group housing and feeding, veal nutrition, Veal Quality Assurance, Veal Issues Management, and Packer Processing, including inspection and grading. Center-of-the-Plate expert Steve Olson and Executive Chef Dave Zino conducted a 90-minute veal cutting and cooking clinic. After the lectures, attendees were sent to the “hands-on kitchen”, tied on aprons and cooked up a veal storm creating eight culinary dishes to be served for lunch.
Tours such as the one hosted by the NYBIC are a way for farmers and ag groups to showcase the transparency of the industry on a local level. It gives industry influencers (such as bloggers, media, foodservice reps, chefs and dietitians) a chance to freely ask questions and express their concerns over myths and misconceptions that are often portrayed about agriculture, which enables them to then communicate the FACTS with the consuming public.
Posted: February 13, 2012 at 9:00 am
By Cindy Zimmerman
The Cattlemen’s Beef Board Dairy Producer Forum at the recent Cattle Industry Convention in Nashville featured Dr. Michael Apley, Veterinarian at Kansas State University who focused on concerns about antibiotic resistance and residues in culled dairy cows and veal calves and what can be done to get rid of them.
“One of the unique things about dairy cattle is a lot of treatment in a sick dairy cow happens immediately before her being culled from the herd,” he said, noting that having veterinarians involved can be very helpful to dairy producers, especially in terms of making sure all procedures comply with current laws.
Since the end use of a dairy cow is beef, Dr. Apley says it is important for producers to keep consumer confidence in mind. “In my opinion, it’s going to be a heavy influence of packers and retailers determining the value proposition of beef that comes from a dairy origin,” he said.
Apley recommends that dairy producers first make sure their own house is in order and second, have zero tolerance for any producers who might give the industry a black eye by not doing it right.
From left to right, they are: President J.D. Alexander from Pilger, Nebraska; President-Elect Scott George from Cody, Wyoming; and Vice President Bob McCan of Victoria, Texas.
President-elect Scott George is primarily a dairyman in a family partnership that also includes a small cow-calf operation and breeding business. “Cattle are our whole business,” he says, adding that he has never been more optimistic about both the beef and dairy industries. “Demand is good, both domestically and internationally, so we’ve got some great opportunities, great prices and that should remain for several years.”
Scott says issues NCBA will be focused on in 2012 are the estate tax, transportation issues and a new farm bill.
Posted: January 5, 2012 at 8:36 am
By Cindy Zimmerman
The beef checkoff has launched a super cool, clever and creative way to educate people about what cows eat. It’s called “Cow Chow” (you have to love that!) and it’s an online game and video series designed to answer common questions about cattle diets.
The 10-question game and corresponding videos encourage consumers to explore what cattle eat from birth to the feedyard. The first-of-their-kind “Cow Chow” videos were filmed almost exclusively by cattle in Kansas, South Dakota, Texas and Florida wearing specially-rigged GoPro cameras to share this important animal care story from the cows’ eye view.
Curious consumers can now see exactly what cattle really eat every day as they compete in an interactive quiz game. Upon completion of the game, users can post results and badge to their Facebook page, and challenge their friends to beat their best score. The Cow Chow game and videos emphasize the attention cattle farmers and ranchers pay to their animals, their land and their communities.
“We know people are interested in what cattle eat,” says Roger Butler, a dairy producer from Lake Okeechobee, Fla. “Cow Chow shows how proper cattle diets help farmers and ranchers raise high-quality, great-tasting and nutritious beef they can feel good about feeding their families.”
The “Cow Chow: Exploring What Cattle Eat” game and videos are hosted on the checkoff’s ExploreBeef.org website where consumers can also learn more about beef safety, environmental stewardship, animal care and beef nutrition. The videos are also available on the Explore Beef YouTube channel.
Every year the Cattlemen’s Beef Board serves some samples at World Dairy Expo. On opening day Angela Horkan, Wisconsin Beef Council (left) and Melissa Slagle, CBB, were serving meat balls made with veal. Mmm, mmm, good.
Angela says they like to come to Expo since 80% of their Checkoff funds come from the dairy industry. So the booth gives them a chance to talk with dairy producers about what the Beef Checkoff is doing. Melissa says she went on a farm tour the day before and talked with dairy and veal producers about their operations and what the Beef Checkoff is doing for them. She’s also encouraging producers to take a beef production practices survey at CattleSurvey.com. It’s the first year they’ve asked for producer input to learn about what they’re doing in their operations to ensure quality for the end product.
Posted: May 31, 2011 at 8:39 am
By Cindy Zimmerman
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) is turning to social media to get its message out about the Environmental Protection Agency’s potential regulation of coarse particulate matter, more commonly called dust. A new animated video, themed Over Regulation All Across the Nation, was launched today on NCBA’s You Tube channel.
NCBA notes that U.S. Representative Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) introduced, with bipartisan support, the Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act of 2011 (H.R. 1633) that would block dust regulation by EPA in rural areas where state dust laws are in effect and the organization is strongly urging members to contact their Congressional representatives and ask them to stand firm for family farmers and ranchers by supporting this legislation.
Posted: February 11, 2011 at 1:00 pm
By John Davis
Beef operations are a big part of any dairy farm, so it’s only fitting that a dairy man has risen to one of the top leadership positions at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). During the recent Cattle Industry Convention in Denver, Scott George, a family dairy farmer from Cody, Wyoming, was elected as the new vice president for NCBA, switching over from leadership with the Federation of State Beef Councils where he just finished a year as chairman.
In this edition of the Milking Parlor, we talk with George and get his thoughts on the new structure for the Federation, as well as the NCBA’s new Beef Industry Long Range Plan that includes the vision statement of “An industry united around a common goal of being the world’s most trusted and preferred source of beef and beef products.” In addition, George gives us his thoughts on how the beef industry needs to work with all of the other agriculture industries out there to make sure consumers have confidence in their food supply.
This year’s Alltech Global 500 includes a full program for beef producers. As we’ve said many times before, if you’re in the dairy business, you’re in the beef business. So, I spoke with one of the beef farmers here, Charles Miller. He’s a Kentucky cattleman so he didn’t have as far to go as many who are here from 29 different countries.
Charles says he’s an Alltech customer and he’s glad to see the company placing a greater emphasis on beef lately and here at this conference. He sees the interaction with international farmers as a great opportunity. He says that one of the most interesting things he has seen and learned so far is the importance and perspective on social media. He said, “As we go forward as an industry, if we fail to utilize that tool to our best advantage we’re going to be left behind.”