News Update
June 22, 2011

Nebraskan, Others Travel to D.C. to Lobby on Beginning Farmer and Rancher Issues

On Tuesday, June 14, Garrett Dwyer, a Nebraska rancher, traveled to Washington, D.C., to participate in a nationwide fly-in called “Sound Investments to Ensure the Next Generation of Beginning Farmers and Ranchers” spearheaded by the Center for Rural Affairs and several other organizations. The fly-in, June 14-16, brought a dozen new farmers and ranchers from coast to coast to D.C. for meetings at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and on Capitol Hill regarding beginning farmer and rancher provisions in farm bill credit and conservation programs.

“It can be difficult to get started in the world of agriculture,” said Dwyer, a beginning rancher and former Marine infantryman from Bartlett, Neb. “This trip to D.C. gave me a great opportunity to make a difference and offer assistance to other beginning farmers and ranchers.”

“As a nation, we must choose whether or not we will foster the creation of another generation of family farmers and ranchers. Members of Congress have tough budgetary decisions to make, but the difficulty of making those decisions pales in comparison to the choices and challenges these and other young rural Americans face in trying to get a foothold in farming and ranching,” said Traci Bruckner, assistant director for rural policy at the Center for Rural Affairs. “It is crucial for Congress to make smart choices and invest in rural America’s future by continuing and strengthening support for beginning farmers and ranchers.”

According to Bruckner, skyrocketing costs of buying or renting land make entry into farming and ranching a daunting task. This is just one of the reasons why sustaining and strengthening beginning farming and ranching programs is so important.

During the trip, Dwyer and other beginning farmers and ranchers conducted more than 50 meetings with members of Congress with interests in writing farm bills and other agricultural policy. The participating farmers also met with Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan.

According to Dwyer, the meetings and discussions focused on how the next Farm Bill could build on current federal initiatives that help new farmers and ranchers who are seeking affordable credit and savings options as well as viable ways to adopt conservation measures. New farmers discussed the importance of community-based approaches to supporting beginning farmers through the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program — a competitive grants initiative that assists community groups working with beginning farmers to address local approaches to starting and succeeding in agriculture.

“These young men and women were making the case in D.C. for why these investments in the next generation of family farmers and ranchers should be continued,” explained Bruckner. “And to be quite honest, they made a stronger case than all these lobbyists who say they speak for the American farmer and rancher.”

Bruckner explained further that sponsoring organizations hope that legislation entitled “The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act” will be introduced in the coming weeks and that made the arrival of these young family farm and ranch leaders extremely important and timely.

Dwyer operates and owns a beef cow and heifer operation while he continues to partner and work on his parent’s family farm.

Additional background on Garrett Dwyer can be found here in this Harvest Public Media story on his transition from the military to farming and ranching.

Dwyer was joined by other farmers and ranchers from Colorado, California, Iowa, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania and Nebraska.

— Release by the Center for Rural Affairs

AngusSource® Calves Continue to Earn More

The AngusSource program continues to add value to Angus-sired cattle, according to recent data from Western Video Market.

Western Video Market auction prices collected throughout 2010, show age- and source-verified calves sold through AngusSource earned higher prices compared to calves not age-and source-verified.

Click here to read more.

— Release by Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB).

MU Commercial Agriculture Plans 2011 Beef Tour Aug. 27 in Andrew County

The University of Missouri (MU) Extension Commercial Agriculture Program 2011 Beef Tour is set for Aug. 27 in Andrew County. The tour features four cattle operations in the Savannah, Mo., area. The first stop, at 12:30 p.m., will be at Saunders Cattle on County Road 203.

Tim Saunders runs a farmer/feeder operation. His management theory is not to buy genetics but to purchase cattle that need to be upgraded. Saunders believes there is a baseline potential in most calves to make a Choice carcass. In 2010 his cattle graded about 86% Choice and Prime. 

He has recently completed upgrading his facility in order to minimize weather extremes and is currently constructing a new hoop building for his incoming cattle. The cattle will have shelter, shade, and protected water and feed. Smaller pens within the building also allow for more efficient sorting and sizing of calves.

The second stop on the tour will be at the farm of Johnnie and Kami Hubach. The Hubachs have been breeding straight Angus-based genetics into their cow-calf operation for 30 years.

Johnnie Hubach’s focus is to improve genetics across the board — from maternal characteristics to carcass performance. Hubach retains all his heifers from both spring- and fall-calving herds. He employs embryo transfers in spring and fall cows and uses a variety of estrus-synchronization methods to balance time, labor and expenses.

The third tour stop will be at Whispering Wind Farm. The cow-calf operation also focuses on genetics. Owner Daniel Brewer does not sell his raised calves, normally managing 115 cows and 100 stockers. A key to Brewer’s management is not overstocking his pastures. He uses rotational grazing and supplements with stockpiled grass in the winter.
Brewer rotates paddocks every two to three days. He acknowledges there is more work in moving cows and maintaining fences, but he notes that moving the cows makes it easier to manage them for vaccinations and other chores. 

Brewer grows quality hay from alfalfa, cut four times per year. He believes that grazing on alfalfa yields less waste. Although Brewer bales some pasture, he uses small squares of grass instead of round bales. 

The last stop will be at Wayne Miller Angus. Veterinarian Wayne Miller runs a cattle-only enterprise, with no row crops. He uses grass pastures for rotational grazing. Miller’s focus is on pasture management rather than making hay. He believes that not making hay allows him to increase his herd size while better utilizing pastures. Miller only buys hay when a good opportunity presents itself. He maintains two large hoop structures over concrete pits to protect the bales during storage.

Miller has both spring- and fall-calving herds, calving heifers over a 40-day period, February through March. He uses fall calving because of limited facilities to handle all calves in the spring. All calves are retained.

Miller believes that the strength of his operation is a very low death rate. He vaccinates scrupulously. Other management strategies are to reduce stress on the herd and control parasites with an aggressive deworming program. 

In addition to each owner discussing management and goals, other speakers will give talks at each stop. Several members of the MU Extension Commercial Agriculture Program will speak. Veterinarians Scott Poock and Craig Payne will demonstrate pregnancy diagnosis using ultrasound and processing and receiving cattle opportunities. Justin Sexten will offer nutrition advice and Bob Weaber will talk about using genetics to improve herds. Missouri Department of Agriculture veterinarian Linda Hickam will cover trichomoniasis. Rodney Saunders with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service will discuss grazing and water systems, and John Kleiboeker with the Missouri Beef Industry Council will talk about the MU Show-Me Beef University.

The tour will conclude with a complimentary beef dinner in Savannah.

For more information, and the addresses of the stops, contact Justin Sexten at 573-882-8154 or; or James Humphrey, MU Extension livestock specialist in Andrew County, at 816-324-3147 or

— Release by MU Cooperative Media Group.

AgriLabs, SmartVet Sign Exclusive Sales and Marketing Agreement

Adam Yankowsky, strategic business unit manager at AgriLabs, announced June 22 that the company has signed an exclusive sales and marketing agreement with SmartVet, makers of the VetCap® Delivery System and AIMC (Advanced Insecticide Management) insecticide GelCaps.

This innovative methodology to control flies and lice by a single worker without physically handling cattle was first showcased at the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor Investment Forum.

“We were enthusiastic about demonstrating our product’s proof-of-concept before a high-caliber audience of industry leaders and strategic decision makers representing international animal health companies,” said Grant Meyer, president of SmartVet. “The K.C. Animal Health Corridor accounts for a third of the $19 billion global animal health sales market, and we are proud to be associated with them.

“The Investment Forum was an extraordinarily successful opportunity for us,” he added. “Steve Schram, CEO of AgriLabs, and I inked the agreement, and I have returned to Kansas City in preparation of the launch of our remote applied delivery system. As we develop new technologies and add products to our pipeline, we will continue to rely on the Animal Health Corridor, and particularly the Investment Forum, as the primary gateways to industry-leading companies like AgriLabs, for access to the animal health marketplace.”

The AIMC GelCap contains cyfluthrin, a highly effective insecticide for the treatment of horn flies, face flies, and biting and sucking lice. It is the first insecticide designed specifically for long-distance delivery to receive regulatory approval in the United States. 

This summer the AgriLabs field sales team will be demonstrating the cutting-edge VetCap System to cattlemen at dealer locations throughout the Gulf States.

Joel Ehrenzweig, technical services manager for AgriLabs, added that, “As a veterinarian dealing with the significant challenges cattlemen face in the field and as an industry representative, I cannot emphasize too strongly the significance of the role of the Animal Health Corridor in bringing SmartVet’s VetCap technology to AgriLabs. Lost production from horn flies costs cattlemen an estimated $800 million a year. Since the VetCap Delivery System does not require running cattle through a chute, the costs of treating cattle and production loss due to handling stress are significantly reduced.”

— Release by AgriLabs.

— Compiled by Linda Robbins, assistant editor, Angus Productions Inc.

Having trouble viewing this e-list please click here.

Sign up for the Angus e-List
(enter your e-mail address below)

You have the right to unsubscribe at any time. To do so, send an e-mail to Upon receipt of your request to unsubscribe, we will immediately remove your e-mail address from the list. If you have any questions about the service or if you'd like to submit potential e-list information, e-mail For more information about the purpose of the Angus e-List, read our privacy statement at

API Web Services
3201 Frederick Ave. • St. Joseph, MO 64506 • 1-800-821-5478