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Angus Journal

The Angus Journal Daily, formerly the Angus e-List, is a compilation of Angus industry news; information about hot topics in the beef industry; and updates about upcoming shows, sales and events. Click here to subscribe.

News Update

September 25, 2014

American Farm Bureau Releases Videos on Big-Data Risks, Rewards for Farmers

The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) released a series of short educational videos Sept. 23 to help farmers and ranchers understand the rewards and risks of data-analysis technologies sweeping the agricultural landscape.

“Modern data technology offers great benefits for America’s farmers and ranchers, but these new advantages don’t come without some risks,” AFBF President Bob Stallman said.

From collecting weather data to analyzing nutrient applications and seed varieties, agricultural technology providers collect data that help farmers increase efficiency and yield higher profits. But many questions remain unanswered regarding who owns and controls this information once it is collected. Farm Bureau is leading the way in helping farmers get answers to these questions and secure their business data.

Through a series of four new educational videos, Mary Kay Thatcher, senior director of congressional relations for AFBF, explains ownership of data, discusses key concerns for data use and provides guiding questions for farmers as they translate privacy agreements and terms-of-use contracts.

“Farmers must understand the issues being raised now, before they sign an agreement with an ag tech provider,” Thatcher said. Ownership of data is often misunderstood, but this educational tool is an important introduction for farmers and ranchers considering signing on with ag tech providers.

These videos are available at:

Don’t Miss Oct. 1 Early-bird Deadline for Angus Means National Convention & Trade Show

The clock is ticking!

We’re getting closer to the first-ever Angus Means Business National Convention & Trade Show, Nov. 4-6 in Kansas City, Mo. Less than a week remains to register for the early-bird registration fee of just $25 a person. After Oct. 1, it increases to $50.

To register and find a listing of partner hotels for lodging, visit Hotels are also filling up quick, so reserve your room today.

The registration fee covers everything from Angus University to nationally known speakers and entertainers, including country western singer John Michael Montgomery and Baxter Black. Plus, you’ll be entered for a chance to win a 2015 Yamaha Viking VI!

Applied Nutrition Modeling Producing Beef More Profitably, Helping Reduce Methane Emissions in Feedlots

Nutritional modeling systems developed in the department of animal science at Texas A&M University have helped participating Texas feedlot operators keep feed costs in check and produce beef more profitably. Now, these models have the potential to be applied to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to researchers.

Luis Tedeschi, Texas A&M AgriLife Research nutritionist and associate professor in the department of animal science, has extensively studied decision support systems, specifically nutritional modeling. While a doctoral student at Cornell University, Tedeschi worked with Danny Fox in developing the Cornell Net Carbohydrate and Protein System model for evaluating herd nutrition and nutrient excretion.

At Texas A&M, Tedeschi built upon that work in developing the Cattle Value Discovery System, or CVDS, which helps feedyards sort animals into homogenous groups so that a higher percentage reach a desired level of grade on the day the pen is marketed.

“Usually when feedlots receive animals, they group them in pens by weight,” he said. “We changed the paradigm to grouping them according to CVDS-predicted days to reach the target USDA quality grade, usually USDA low-Choice.”

Also, nutritionists have typically formulated cattle rations that often contained excess nutrients to ensure that growth rate was maximized, which often increased nutrient excretion and contributed to adverse effects on water and air quality, Tedeschi said.

The Large Ruminant Nutrition System, LRNS, is a computer model that estimates beef and dairy cattle nutrient requirements and supply under specific conditions of animal type, climatic conditions, management and physiochemical composition of available feeds. This model uses the same computational engine of the Cornell Net Carbohydrate and Protein system, Tedeschi said.

The CVDS modeling system is used by Performance Cattle Co. and Micro Beef Technologies, among others. When used in combination with the LRNS, the CVDS creates a complete ration for each animal and predicts a day to reach the target USDA grade. An RFID (radio frequency identification) ear tag system monitors which lots of animals receive a certain kind and amount of feed ration.

“It’s a very complete model for nutrition,” Tedeschi said. “In addition to improving performance and profitability while reducing environmental impact, these models help producers and consultants understand nutrient requirements and feed utilization in beef, sheep and goats.”

The modeling system can also be applied in predicting expected progeny differences (EPDs) for breeding herd replacements.

For more information on the models, visit

For more information, please view the full release here.

Outstanding Lineup of Speakers Slated for NIAA Antibiotic Symposium

Anticipation is growing with the announcement of several guest speakers for the 2014 Antibiotics Symposium hosted by the National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA). Lonnie King, dean, College of Veterinarian Medicine at The Ohio State University and this year’s keynote speaker, will be joined by Robert Tauxe, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); Steve Solomon, CDC; Larry Granger, USDA — Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS); Tom Chiller, CDC; and James Hughes, Emory University, Atlanta, Ga.

Officially themed “Antibiotic Use and Resistance: Moving Forward Through Shared Stewardship,” dates for the symposium have been set for Nov. 12-14, 2014, in Atlanta, Ga., at the Crowne Plaza Atlanta Midtown hotel. More information about the Antibiotics Symposium and NIAA can be found at NIAA’s purpose is to provide a resource for individuals, organizations and the entire animal agriculture industry to obtain information, education and solutions for challenges facing animal agriculture.

For more information, please view the full release here.

Merck Animal Health Honors John Fetrow for Innovations in Teaching and Mentoring Bovine Veterinary Students

In recognition of his innovative contributions to the education and advancement of bovine veterinary students and the dairy industry, Merck Animal Health and the American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) presented John Fetrow, with the Mentor of the Year Award at this year’s AABP Annual Conference.

The annual award honors an individual who has dedicated his or her career to educating, mentoring and advancing the careers of bovine veterinary medical students.

“Dr. Fetrow’s scientific contributions to veterinary medicine and his ongoing work as a student mentor are remarkable and deserving of recognition,” said Norman Stewart, livestock technical services manager for Merck Animal Health. “We commend his dedication and ability to inspire students across the globe, as well as the honor and integrity he demonstrates to his students every day.”

Fetrow has been a mentor to innumerable veterinary students, colleagues and food animal producers.

“Being a mentor is similar to investing in that the return or recognition often comes years or even decades after the fact,” said M. Gatz Riddell Jr., executive vice president of the AABP. “Many mentees are not even aware of the process at the time and only years later realize the impact a mentor had on their life and career. This is why John and other lifetime mentors like him are so worthy of this level of recognition.”

Most notable among Fetrow’s long list of contributions in his 36-year career is the creation and implementation of the Transition Management Facility associated with the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine (UMCVM). Initiated in the late 1990s, the project was the nation’s first private-public partnership to provide veterinary students with a two-week clinical training rotation on a commercial dairy operation.

For more information, please view the full release here.


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