News Update
Feb. 16, 2011

House Members Call Out Efforts to Regulate Dust

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President Bill Donald said it is encouraging to hear members of Congress voice opposition to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ongoing effort to regulate dust at an unprecedented level. He said if EPA moves forward this spring with a proposed rule to regulate coarse particulate matter (dust) at levels as low as 65-85 µg/m3, twice as stringent as the current standard, cattle producers across the country will be negatively affected.

“In addition to producing high-quality, healthy cattle, ranchers are also committed to serving as good stewards of the land and natural resources,” Donald said. “But the fact is, in our industry, dust is inevitable. If EPA moves forward with this overreaching regulation, ranchers could be fined for everyday activities like driving down the road, moving cattle or tilling a field. It is encouraging that some elected officials understand the detrimental impacts this regulation could have on production agriculture. I just hope EPA is listening.”

Specifically, Donald said Representatives Ted Poe (R-Texas) and Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) stood up for farmers and ranchers by voicing opposition to EPA’s efforts to regulate dust.

“The EPA is now going after the farms and ranches that feed the American people. They say ranching and farming causes dust — well, no kidding — so out with the dust and in with the regulations and fines,” Representative Poe said on the floor of the House of Representatives.“The EPA also doesn’t like the dirt roads used by the pick-ups and tractors that crisscross the cattle ranches and farms that are in the heartland of America. So the ‘Environment Police Agency’ is going to regulate the dust created by farming and ranching by imposing expensive fines on the breadbasket of America. The EPA’s rule would make it more expensive to feed America.”

During debate of H. Res. 72, which instructs congressional committees to investigate existing, pending, and proposed regulations that hurt job creation and economic growth, Representative Hartzler said EPA is advancing numerous rules, including one to regulate dust, that are harmful to agriculture.

“They call it air quality. Where I’m from, it’s called living in the country,” she said. “In case the bureaucrats in Washington haven’t heard, driving on a gravel road and planting seeds in the soil makes dust! We don’t need Washington to regulate dust. We need common sense.”

— Release by NCBA.

Frigid Winter is Reason to Consider Bull Reproduction Check

Purdue Extension beef specialist Ron Lemenager recommends beef producers invest in annual breeding soundness exams because extreme cold in December and January could increase the chances of bulls having frostbite that can affect reproduction.

“Frostbite increases the potential for negative effects on a bull’s ability to breed or even pass a reproductive exam,” Lemenager said. “Cattle may look fine, but in some cases, a producer may not be able to tell without an exam.”

During the exams, trained veterinarians or doctoral animal scientists specializing in reproduction evaluate physical soundness, the reproductive organs and semen quality. The exam typically takes 10-15 minutes. A semen sample is collected, evaluated for motility and stained for further evaluation of semen characteristics in the lab at a later time.

The exam will determine whether a bull has the ability to breed.

“If a bull passes the exam, it does not guarantee pregnancies,” Lemenager said. “But if the bull fails the evaluation, its means there is a very good chance cows will not get bred, and that knowledge saves the farmer time and money.”

Lemenager suggests testing bulls 60 days before the breeding season to ensure a bull is fertile, free of diseases and physically sound. Producers limit their options if they have the exam done later, he said.

“If a bull is marginal or fails the evaluation, the animal can come back in 30 days for re-evaluation,” Lemenager said. “If the bull fails again, the producer has time to find a replacement.”

Most of the exams are conducted locally, and there are no health risks. Cost for an exam usually ranges from $45 to $80.

Bulls should be tested before every breeding season. Exams are a good management practice that producers should strongly consider, Lemenager said.

“If a producer wants to get cows bred in a timely manner, this is an insurance policy that is not expensive compared to not getting cows bred or getting cows bred late,” Lemenager said.

This spring, several Purdue Extension offices have organized breeding soundness exam clinics at locations throughout the state. They include:

  • Orange County: March 12, 8:30 a.m. Contact: Mary Jo Robinson, 812-723-7101,
  • Washington County: March 16, 8 a.m. Contact: Brad Shelton, 812-883-4601,
  • Johnson and Bartholomew Counties: March 19, 8:30 a.m. Contact: David Smith, 317-736-3724,
  • Clark County: March 29, 12 p.m. Contact: David Trotter, 812-256-4591,
  • Lawrence County: April 11, 8:30 a.m. Contact: David Redman, 812-275-4623,
  • Morgan County: April 15, 8:30 a.m. Contact: Chris Parker, 765-342-1010,

For more specific location information and to schedule an appointment, call the contacts listed above.

Additional information is available by contacting Purdue Extension at 888-EXT-INFO (398-4636) or a local veterinarian.

— Release by Purdue Extension.

National FFA Week Explores Infinite Potential February 19-26

The National FFA Organization will celebrate National FFA Week Feb. 19-26, 2011. Infinite Potential is the theme this year and members are encouraged to envision, discover and achieve their potential within their communities.

“In order to feed a growing population our organization must do more,” explains Riley Pagett, national FFA president, “FFA members have Infinite Potential and have potential to do great things even beyond their FFA careers.”

The week of George Washington’s birthday was designated by the organization as National FFA Week in 1947. “George Washington made a lot of contributions to agriculture and the development of the United States,” explains Landan Schaffert, national FFA secretary. “He had a very diligent work ethic, an honest character and also was very good at recordkeeping. Those are all things that we hope for our members to accomplish in the National FFA Organization.”

During the week, national officers will travel to different parts of the country to visit FFA members, participate in special events and meet with leaders of the agriculture industry. Individual chapters initiate events throughout the week to promote FFA and agriculture in their classrooms and communities. Events include community service projects, educational lessons for elementary students and promotional programs for students, teachers and alumni.

National FFA Week is sponsored by Tractor Supply Co. and Carhartt as a special project of the National FFA Foundation. For more information about National FFA Week, visit

— Release by FFA.

NAMP Partners with AMI to Co-Sponsor Food Safety Education Programming

The North American Meat Processors Association (NAMP) is partnering with the American Meat Institute (AMI) to co-sponsor the food safety education programming at the 2011 Meat, Poultry & Seafood Industry Convention and Exposition, April 13-16, 2011, at McCormick Place, Chicago, Ill.

“Food safety is our industry’s top priority and we are pleased that NAMP will be joining us in this important effort to provide attendees with the tools they need to face today’s challenges,” said AMI President and CEO J. Patrick Boyle.

“Collaborative efforts such as this are essential to our common goal — to ensure our products are the safest in the world. We are happy to be part of this world-class Expo,” said NAMP Executive Director Phil Kimball.

Scheduled food safety session topics include residues and process control, regulatory actions, managing recalls, allergen control and Listeria monocytogenes interventions.

For more information or to register for the 2011 AMI Expo, go to

— Release by AMI.

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