News Update
April 21, 2011

‘Sure Champ Angus Hour’ Will Air Monday

Before summer show season kicks off, cattle enthusiasts will have an opportunity to unlock the secrets of winning in the showring. The American Angus Association in partnership with BioZyme Inc. — makers of Sure Champ — will air The Sure Champ Angus Hour Monday, April 25, on RFD-TV.

The live program will feature three panelists discussing nutrition, daily care and showring preparation for heifer and steer show projects. Panelists include:

  • Paige Wallace, junior Angus member, Mount Vernon, Mo.; 
  • Jon Davis, show and sale cattle manager, Champion Hill Angus, Bidwell, Ohio; and
  • Radale Tiner, area sales manager, VitaFerm® Sure Champ.

The live show will allow viewers to call in with their questions pertaining to nutrition, pre-show preparation, and presenting your animal in the showring.

Viewers can also email their questions prior to the show to or submit them to Sure Champ’s Facebook page at

Tune in at 7 p.m. CDT, April 25 to RFD-TV, available on DirecTV channel 345, Dish Network channel 231 and more than 625 cable operators. For more information and to view segments following the show, visit

— Release by American Angus Association; visit for full release.

Commercial Red Meat Production Reaches Record High in March

Commercial red meat production for the United States totaled 4.35 billion pounds (lb.) in March, up 2% from the 4.28 billion lb. produced in March 2010.

Beef production, at 2.27 billion lb., was 2% above the previous year. Cattle slaughter totaled 2.96 million head, up 2% from March 2010. The average live weight was up 3 lb. from the previous year, at 1,276 lb.

Veal production totaled 12.1 million lb., 1% below March a year ago. Calf slaughter totaled 72,900 head, down 9% from March 2010.

The average live weight was up 24 lb. from last year, at 283 lb.

Pork production totaled 2.05 billion lb., up 1% from the previous year. Hog slaughter totaled 9.87 million head, down 2% from March 2010. The average live weight was up 6 lb. from the previous year, at 287 lb.

Lamb and mutton production, at 14.1 million lb., was down 20% from March 2010. Sheep slaughter totaled 193,900 head, 26% below last year. The average live weight was 146 lb., up 11 lb. from March a year ago.

January to March 2011 commercial red meat production was 12.2 billion lb., up 2% from 2010. Accumulated beef production was up 3% from last year, veal was down 3%, pork was up 2% from last year, and lamb and mutton production was down 16%.

March 2010 contained 23 weekdays (including no holidays) and four Saturdays.

March 2011 contained 23 weekdays (including no holidays) and four Saturdays.

— Release by USDA-NASS.

Food Safety Site Launched

The annual watermelon harvest that begins in late April will be the start of Texas fruit and vegetable yields from the tropical southern regions to the fertile, northwest plains.

While fresh produce pours into the market bins, experts are stirring some new safety information into the mix via a new website touting “Safe from our farm to your table” and aimed at those who produce the nation’s food supply.

“Using good practices to produce food from planting to harvest — and in handling and processing —  is more and more important,” said Juan Anciso, Texas AgriLife Extension Service horticulturist. “There was not a lot of information available to the producers per se. We were spurred on by that, but we didn’t want it to be a producers-only site.”

Anciso and colleague Joe Masabni launched the site, as a “one-stop shop” where farmers or anyone interested in learning about food safety in production and supply can find answers.

Anciso said assuring safe food supplies is increasingly important for farmers as state and federal governments eye legislation to regulate safety issues.

“This effort puts Texas producers ahead of the game as far as awareness of how to handle food crops,” Anciso said.

The site includes links to educational resources and information on facility sanitation, food allergens, foodborne pathogens, harvester resources, hygiene procedures, kitchen issues, meat and poultry safety, microbiology concerns and produce safety, he said.

“We also wanted to have a training aspect where a person can earn certification, if needed,” Anciso said. “So we are factoring that in.”

The first such course, Food Safety: Texas GAPs and GHPs, provides online instruction in Good Agricultural Practices and Good Handling Practices.

“We asked AgriLife Extension agents in the counties what a person normally wants to know when they make contact,” Ancisco said. “So we took that and developed the curriculum to meet those needs.”

Agricultural practices pertains to growing the crop; handling refers to unprocessed vegetables, he said. A third component known as GMP, or Good Manufacturing Practices, will be developed for food processors.

A demonstration of the site will be available in the exhibits area of the Texas Food Safety Conference, May 11-12, at the Hilton Austin, 500 East 4th St., Austin, TX. More information is available at

Site development was made possible by a grant from Texas Department of Agriculture.

— Release by Texas AgriLife Extension.

GIPSA Settles Cases Resulting in $5,200 in Civil Penalties

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) enforcement rules provide a mechanism to quickly resolve violations of the Packers and Stockyards (P&S) Act. GIPSA may offer an alleged violator the option of waiving their right to a hearing and entering into a stipulation agreement to quickly resolve alleged violations.

GIPSA recently settled two cases resulting in $5,200 in civil penalties.

  • Double H Slaughtering, dba The Beef Shop, Centralia, Wash., waived its right to a hearing, entered into a stipulation agreement, and paid a penalty of $1,500 after GIPSA found that they had failed to pay when due.
  • Keith Jensen, dba Keith Jensen Livestock, Langford, S.D., waived his right to a hearing, entered into a stipulation agreement, and paid a penalty of $3,800 after GIPSA found that he had failed to pay when due.

The P&S Act is a fair trade practice and payment protection law that promotes fair and competitive marketing environments for the livestock, meat, and poultry industries.

— Release by USDA GIPSA.

— Compiled by Shauna Rose Hermel, editor, Angus Productions Inc.

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