News Update
Feb. 4, 2011

NCBA Recognizes Grant for Beef Advocacy Efforts

The American Angus Association’s Eric Grant, director of public relations and communications, was among three communications professionals honored by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) for advocating on behalf of the U.S. beef industry in 2010.

NCBA awarded Grant and Jamie King, Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) communications director and former National Junior Angus Association (NJAA) Board member, with the Excellence in Communications and Public Relations award.

Ron Hays of the Radio Oklahoma Network was awarded NCBA’s Excellence in Agricultural Journalism award.

“Day in and day out, communicators like Jamie, Eric and Ron go to work to tell the story of the U.S. beef industry. Whether they are keeping producers informed about market shifts or policy changes, or educating consumers about the realities of modern beef production, our industry relies on timely and accurate delivery of information,” NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Colin Woodall said. “While there are many folks deserving of recognition for their hard work, these three communicators have gone above and beyond in their efforts of telling the true story about the U.S. beef industry.”

Woodall said Grant is a prime example of how NCBA can accomplish its mission only by working as a team with state and breed affiliates. During the initial announcement of USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) proposed rule on livestock marketing to the end of the comment period, Grant was instrumental in educating producers about this regulation. In addition to organizing a conference call with NCBA leadership and all breed affiliates to ensure everyone was on the same page, he also distributed timely material, including widely viewed YouTube videos informing producers about varying viewpoints of the proposed rule.

In addition, Grant has developed the national television series, “I Am Angus,” which airs on RFD-TV and brings agriculture’s story to hundreds of thousands of viewers. 

“NCBA is committed to ensuring the sustainability of the U.S. beef industry, and communicators like Jamie, Eric and Ron play a critical role in helping us accomplish that goal,” Woodall said. “They have dedicated their careers to ensuring all stakeholders in our industry have timely and accurate information. We commend them for their work in 2010 and look forward to working with them in the future to continue telling the story of U.S. cattlemen and women.”

— Release by American Angus Association.

Midwest Blizzards

For more information on the recent winter storms, AngusSource Carcass Challenge results, and how cattlemen can save money on feed costs, click here to see the Angus Report.

Disaster Assistance for Livestock Producers Affected by Ice, Cold and Heavy Snowfall

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Jonathan Coppess today issued a reminder to livestock producers throughout the Plains states and the Midwest that FSA programs may be available to assist them. Many are dealing with harsh winter weather, which is causing serious harm to livestock and forage due to heavy snow, ice and extremely cold temperatures.

“This is turning out to be a tough winter for many ranchers and farmers in the nation’s heartland, and learning about our FSA programs is an important step for producers to take,” said Coppess. “We need producers to document the number and kind of livestock that have died as a direct result of these winter storms and timely notify their local FSA office of these losses. There may be situations where producers are transporting feed to their livestock. Producers should document these additional costs.”

FSA administers several programs that help producers recover from livestock deaths that are beyond normal mortality rates, losses of purchased and/or harvested forage, and with the additional costs of providing or transporting feed. Among the key programs are the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) and the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP). For livestock death losses to be eligible under LIP, producers must file a notice of loss with their local FSA office within 30 calendar days from when the loss is apparent to the producer.  

Fact sheets for these two programs can be found at; click on Newsroom, then Fact Sheets.

Coppess also encouraged producers to use Hay Net on the FSA website (, an online service that allows producers with hay and those who need hay to post ads so they can make connections. Hay Net is a popular site for farmers and ranchers who have an emergency need, such as the one caused by the current wintry conditions. Individual ads can be posted free of charge by producers who complete a simple online registration form the first time they use the site.

“We encourage all who have suffered a disaster due to the recent cold weather and blizzards to read the fact sheets and visit with their local FSA county office staff so they get a quick start in the recovery process,” added Coppess.

— Release by FSA.

National Online Training Program for Beef and Dairy Animal Care Launches

A national online training program, Animal Care Training, for beef and dairy production is now available to help educate livestock producers and handlers learn best livestock management practices.

The program, available in both English and Spanish, was designed to benefit beef and dairy producers, animal transporters, livestock auction market employees and bovine veterinarians. The program is the result of collaborations between the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) and Livestock Marketing Association (LMA) with the Beef Cattle Institute at Kansas State University (K-State).

Web-based audiovisual training modules on topics such as animal husbandry, animal welfare, environmental stewardship and food safety practices for the beef and dairy industries are available.

“Producers and veterinarians continue to provide outstanding care for their beef and dairy cattle,” said Dan Thomson, director of the Beef Cattle Institute at K-State. “As new practices evolve or technologies emerge to improve animal welfare or food safety, we need a mechanism to rapidly share the information and training in remote locations. The goal of the program is to utilize modern technology to reach out to rural areas and provide up-to-date continuing education for all people involved with raising beef and dairy cattle to improve animal welfare, food safety and environmental stewardship.”

Read more.

— Release by K-State Research and Extension.

Story of American Agriculture Coming to D.C.

On March 15, 2011, the Agriculture Council of America (ACA) will host three major events in the nation’s capital: Coffee with the Secretary, the Mix-and-Mingle Luncheon and the National Celebration of Agriculture Dinner. This year’s theme is “American Agriculture: Abundant. Affordable. AMAZING.”

The events honor National Agriculture Day and mark a nationwide effort to tell the true story of American agriculture and remind citizens that agriculture is a part of all of us. A number of producers, agricultural associations, corporations, students and government organizations involved in agriculture are expected to participate.

A morning coffee event will take place at the USDA Whitten Building Patio from 8 a.m.-8:45 a.m. There is no cost to attend, but seating is limited. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack is the invited guest of honor.

The annual Mix-and-Mingle Luncheon will take place at the HC-5 Room in the Capitol, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. There is no cost to attend, but advance reservations are required. Approximately 50 student delegates from FFA, 4-H, the Consortium, Student NAMA and AFA will be in attendance, along with Outstanding Farmer of the Year honorees.

The National Celebration of Agriculture Dinner will follow at the USDA Whitten Building Patio at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $100 and can be purchased at

This is the 38th anniversary of National Ag Day (March 15, 2011), which is celebrated in classrooms and communities across the country.

National Ag Day is organized by the Agriculture Council of America. ACA is a nonprofit organization composed of leaders in the agricultural, food and fiber community, dedicating its efforts to increasing the public's awareness of agriculture’s role in modern society.

The National Ag Day program encourages every American to:

  • Understand how food and fiber products are produced.
  • Appreciate the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant and affordable products.
  • Value the essential role of agriculture in maintaining a strong economy.
  • Acknowledge and consider career opportunities in the agriculture, food and fiber industry.

Learn more at

— Release by ACA.

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

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