News Update
Sept. 1, 2010

Don’t miss out the 2010 National Angus Conference & Tour

If you have missed the registration deadline, that’s ok. Walk-in registrations are still accepted for this year’s event, ‘Meet in Montana,’ Sept. 15-17 in Bozeman, Mont. The event, which features a one-day conference and two days of tours in Big Sky Country, still has some availability.

Also, the South Montana Angus Association will host a golf tournament, Sept. 14 prior to the conference & tour. For more information and to register, contact Patti Davis at or call her at 406-570-1541.

Texas Beef Council: New Addition To An Old Tradition

For more than 56 years cattle producers from around the world have traveled to College Station to attend the Texas A&M University Beef Cattle Short Course. As one of the premier educational beef programs in the country, this year a special track designed specifically for Texas youth was added to the comprehensive course.

Hosted each year by Texas AgriLife Extension, attendees learn from industry experts in subjects such as ranch management, nutrition, reproduction, genetics, carcass evaluation, record keeping, cattle handling, landowner issues and much more.

“While youth have always been welcome at short course, we wanted to go a step further and tailor some sessions that were more relevant and useful for youth,” said Jason Cleere, AgriLife Extension beef cattle specialist and conference coordinator. “Partnering with the Texas Beef Council (TBC) allowed us to give this group a hands-on look into the beef industry and the critical issues we are facing today.”

The unique two-day youth course was led by industry experts covering topics such as beef quality, live cattle evaluation, quality and yield grading and carcass fabrication. Students also went through a training to learn how to become a beef advocate and utilize online social media tools to tell the beef production story.

In addition to the youth-focused sessions, the group was also able to attend the popular live demonstrations offered at the short course. Students had the choice to observe chuteside calf working, cattle behavior, penning, cattle selection or ranch brush clearing.

“The youth here in Texas play a vital role in the cattle industry’s future,” said Jason Bagley, TBC beef quality manager. “The beef checkoff’s leadership has recognized the value in innovative youth programs aimed at training up-and-coming beef producers who will one day be supplying the world with a safe and wholesome product. The checkoff wants to ensure our future beef producers are armed with the beef quality knowledge to make sound management decisions.”

— Release by TBC.

Livestock Markets Showing Strength Despite Economy

A pair of ag economists say in light of the gloom hanging over the general economy, the performance of livestock and meat markets is remarkable. Mississippi State University ag economics professor John Michael Riley and American Farm Bureau Federation Livestock Economist John Anderson said while the supply side of the market remains supportive, demand also has offered some bright spots.

The pair suggested fundamental supply factors deserve the lion’s share of the credit for this summer’s livestock price strength. Sources have indicated a 2.2% cumulative decline in total red meat production for the January through July period, compared to a year ago. Frozen red meat stocks, as of July 31, were down 20% from the prior year.

It is unlikely, however, that cattle and hog markets would be where they are now without some pull from the demand side, according to Riley and Anderson. They say U.S. red meat exports have been encouraging and forecasts are for this trend to continue. In its August World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) substantially raised projections for 2010 exports of beef, pork and poultry. The agency is now predicting a 13% increase in beef exports over last year and a 9% jump in pork exports.

“While domestic demand will clearly have the greatest influence on the direction of the market moving forward, foreign demand has provided a helpful boost to the market this summer and has helped to put livestock markets into a much better than expected position headed into fall,” the economists said.

— Release provided by the Kansas Livestock Association.

AMI Announces Resources in Conjunction with National Food Safety Education Month

In conjunction with September’s National Food Safety Education Month, the American Meat Institute (AMI) has announced a number of resources available to help bridge the knowledge gap among consumers when it comes to properly handling, cooking and storing meat and poultry products.

AMI released a 60-second radio piece delivered to radio networks and stations nationwide in most of the top 100 markets. The segment highlights the meat industry’s food safety progress, while reminding consumers they are partners and the final hurdle in food safety is in the kitchen.

To listen to the radio spot, click here:

Consumers can also visit to test their meat and poultry safety IQ by taking a quiz and answering 15 questions on topics such as safe handling of meat and poultry products, proper cooking temperatures and storage procedures.

The radio announcement and quiz are two tools in AMI’s vast food safety education toolbox. For additional information, visit:

  • to download a free brochure, “Safe Handling of Meat and Poultry Products;”
  • AMI’s YouTube Channel, the Meat News Network at for videos about AMI consumer survey data on basic food safety practices; B-roll video of safe handling of fresh meat and poultry products; and dozens of other consumer-focused educational videos; and
  • for AMI Fact Sheets detailing the progress the meat and poultry industry had made in terms of food safety.

— Release by AMI.

— Compiled by Mathew Elliott, assistant editor, Angus Productions Inc.

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