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Copyright © 2015
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

December 12, 2016

Accountability on the Rise
for Cattle Care, Drug Use

Antibiotic use hits cattle feeders as a cost, but a less direct system of accounting may affect treatment decisions going forward.

Robin Falkner, Zoetis technical services veterinarian, explored that at the Feeding Quality Forum this summer in Grand Island, Neb., and Amarillo, Texas.

He called attention to Walmart’s 2015 notice that it will require sustainable transparency from its meat suppliers, with public reporting on animal welfare and antibiotic use.

“Nobody knows exactly what this will look like yet,” Falkner said. Reporting would likely not involve “publishing it in a newspaper, but you’d put it out there for everybody to see. And I think that makes us all a little uncomfortable.”

In most beef system audits, he said, “we look at the process, the facility, and we generally pass. But this would evaluate outcomes,” he said. “They seem to be saying they’ll count the number you had to treat. It’s not something that should scare us, but it’s definitely something that could be used against us if we don’t get our head right.”

For more information, view the Angus Media news article online.

Finishing’s Effect on Climate

It is a “green” discussion that continues to raise its head periodically. What is better for the environment: Grass-finished or grain-finished beef cattle?

Emotions on the subject sometimes run high, and facts can be the first fatality as the level of discourse becomes more heated, whether the debate be among those within the cattle industry or with outside groups, said Clint Rusk, head of the Oklahoma State University (OSU) department of animal science.

“It can be a hot topic in Oklahoma for any number of reasons, not the least of which is that the state ranks third nationally in the number of beef cows,” he said. “The truth is there are tradeoffs in different aspects of sustainability when comparing the two finishing production systems.”

Grain-finished beef has a lower carbon footprint than grass-finished beef because of cattle’s more efficient utilization of feed in the finishing phase, fewer days on feed and greater amount of beef produced per animal.

However, grass-finished beef contributes to sustainable beef production by utilizing forage resources to produce food from plants that are largely inedible by humans.

For more information, view the Angus Media news article online.

Tips for Talking to Your Banker

What are your business plans for 2017? How will you present them to your lender?

Those were questions asked of cattle producers attending an Angus University Workshop conducted during the 2016 Angus Convention hosted Nov. 5-7 in Indianapolis, Ind. Louis McIntire, credit officer with Farm Credit Mid-America, offered information about preparing to talk with a banker.

McIntire said that despite the trend toward lower farm and ranch income, credit is available. However, when considering applications for operating loans, most lenders are focusing on the applicant’s management capabilities and the quality of their financial data. Lenders will consider liquidity, fixed costs, quality of collateral and the ability of cash flow to service debt obligations. If an operation is financially stressed, a lender will want to know what corrective measures are under way.

Read more in the Angus Media news article online.

K-State Animal Sciences & Industry Distinguished Alumnus

Larry Berger, this year’s Kansas State University (K-State) Department of Animal Sciences and Industry (ASI) Distinguished Alumnus, has had a notable career as a researcher, professor and department head. Berger was recognized for his accomplishments and presented the 2016 Distinguished Alumnus Award Wednesday, Dec. 7, in Weber Hall on the K-State campus.

Through the years, Berger has received numerous awards for teaching and research. His research emphasis was on the use of protein and energy nutrition and animal management techniques to improve the production efficiency of beef cattle.

He was author or co-author of more than 330 research publications and was nationally recognized for research excellence with the American Society of Animal Science Ruminant Nutrition Award. He served on the NRC subcommittee to produce the 1996 Nutrient Requirements of Beef Cattle and he made five trips to consult feedlots in China and gave invited presentations in seven countries.

For more information, view the K-State news release online.

Ralco Mourns the Loss of Founder Bob Galbraith

With deep sadness Ralco announces the passing of its founder Bob Galbraith. Bob was surrounded by his family when he passed away from cancer. He was 88.

Bob was a pioneer of the agriculture industry and built Ralco on the vision of improving the health and performance of livestock as naturally as possible long before recent consumer trends began driving the industry in that direction

Bob was a courageous entrepreneur who mortgaged his furniture to finance the dream of starting his own company. During the early years, Bob delivered product with a pickup and gooseneck trailer. Many times, his family including children made the trip with him.

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