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News Update

November 22, 2011

New Members Join MO State Beef Checkoff Board

The Missouri Beef Industry Council (MBIC) Board of Directors and staff welcomed three new board members and elected a new officer team at their October board meeting in Columbia, Mo.

Justin Brown of Rolla, Mo., now represents region three. He takes the spot of Jim Freeman, who is the most recent chairman of the MBIC Board of Directors. Justin is a third-generation cattle farmer. He and his dad, who is also a veterinarian, manage their farm, and Justin’s two young boys are gaining interest in farming as well. Justin works as a lender at Town and Country Bank in Rolla.

Kenny Lenz of Bunceton, is serving a one-year term as the Missouri Dairy Association (MDA) representative and takes the place of longtime MBIC board member and Cattlemen’s Beef Board member Kevin Frankenbach. Kenny has been involved with the MDA in a variety of ways for more than 30 years. He began dairy farming with his brother in 1968. Today, the Lenz family has a herd of 100 commercial Angus cattle and 150 dairy cattle.

Jason McCann of Miller, represents the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association (MCA) in the association’s past-president role. Jason has served on the MCA board since 2005. He and his wife, Mary Lou, and their children farm with Jason’s parents and sister’s family. The McCanns moved from Arizona in 2000, noting that Missouri’s many resources allowed them to raise more cattle per acre than in Arizona. Jason also works in the medical field evaluating, fitting and adjusting artificial limbs and braces.

The new officer team is made up by Chairman John Ridder, Marthasville; Vice Chairman Sally Angell, Centralia; Treasurer Larry Runyan, Stewartsville; and Secretary Glen Cope, Aurora.

Representatives on the MBIC board now are as follows:

It is the responsibility of the MBIC Board of Directors, along with MBIC staff, to utilize the $1-per-head Beef Checkoff Program, of which 50¢ of every dollar stays in Missouri, to conduct and implement programs in each state that are consistent with the Beef Promotion and Research Act. The councils may invest their 50¢-per-head funds in beef research, promotion and education.

To learn more about the MBIC Board of Directors and the Beef Checkoff Program, visit

Light Bidding at First Fall Show-Me-Select Heifer Sale

Bidding was sluggish at the first of four fall sales of Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifers where 245 bred heifers averaged $1,433 per head, Nov. 18.

“I expected higher prices,” said Eldon Cole, regional livestock specialist with University of Missouri (MU) Extension, Mount Vernon, Mo. “In a sale like this, the buyers are happy and sellers not so happy, but extension works with both, so each sale is a good one.”

This was the 25th sale in the southwest region, Cole told the crowd at Joplin Regional Stockyards. Cooperating cattle producers hold both fall and spring sales for pregnancy-guaranteed heifers bred to proven calving-ease sires.

Before the sale, auctioneer Jackie Moore said, “Heifers will be a lot more expensive next year.” The U.S. cattle herd has undergone downsizing as drought continues to reduce pastures in southwestern states.

“I expected prices to be at least $200 higher,” said David Patterson, MU Extension beef reproduction specialist. Patterson helped producers create the first Joplin sale in 1997, along with the other pilot sale in Palmyra, Mo. The program is now statewide.

Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifers is a yearlong educational program to improve calving ease, reduce death loss and improve genetics of beef herds in the state. The sales are a part of the program, which aims to improve home-farm cow herds first. Heifer sales are a value-added income source. Observers speculated that drought in southwest Missouri last summer left producers with low reserves of hay and worries about feeding cows they already own. Many producers with hay had sold earlier to ranchers in Oklahoma and Texas.

Mark Harmon, manager at Joplin Regional Stockyards, said, “Good rains late in the season improved fall pastures. Those who put on nitrogen fertilizer when it started to rain have good fall growth.”

Consignor data and information on upcoming sales is on the MU AgEBB website at

Avoid Nitrate Toxicity During First Winter Storm

Almost as predictable as the coming of the winter season, the horror story will spread of the death of several cows from a herd that was fed “the good hay” for the first time after a snow storm. Ranchers that have purchased or harvested and stored potentially high-nitrate forages such as forage sorghums, millets, sudangrass hybrids, and/or johnsongrass need to be aware (not fearful) of the increased possibility of nitrate toxicity. This is especially dangerous if the cows are fed this hay for the first time after a strong winter storm. Cattle can adapt (to a limited amount) to nitrate intake over time. However, cattlemen often will feed the higher-quality forage sorghum-type hays during a stressful, cold, wet winter storm. Cows may be especially hungry, because they have not grazed in the pasture during the storm. They may be stressed and slightly weakened by the cold, wet conditions. This combination of events make them even more vulnerable to nitrate toxicity.

The rancher is correct in trying to make available a higher-quality forage during severe winter weather in an effort to lessen weight loss and body condition due to the effect of the wind chill. But if the forage he provides to the cows is potentially toxic, his best intentions can backfire.

The best approach would be to know, ahead of time, the concentration of nitrate in the hay. Contact your local County OSU Extension office about hay-sampling details. The OSU Soil, Water, and Forage Analytical Lab can test the hay for nitrate content. If the producer is confident that the hay is very low in nitrate content, then use of the hay should be safe. If the nitrate content is unknown, then precautions should be taken. Feeding small amounts of the hay along with other grass hays during the fall and early winter days can help to “adapt” the cattle to the potential of nitrate. This is not a fool-proof concept. If the hay is quite high in nitrate, it can still be quite dangerous. Diluting the high nitrate feed with other feeds can reduce the likelihood of problems. Observing cattle repeatedly for 8 to 12 hours after first feeding of the hay would be advised. If nitrate symptoms such as labored breathing, lack of coordination and going down are observed, remove the cattle from the hay and call your veterinarian immediately.

Land Transition Workbook for
Farmers, Landowners, Forest Owners Released

Planning the Future of Your Farm: A Workbook Supporting Farm Transfer Decisions (Virginia Cooperative Extension Publication 446-610) is now on the VCE website at Robert Andrew Branan, Attorney from North Carolina and frequent cooperator with educational programs in Virginia, edited and wrote the publication. At 114 pages, this workbook in PDF format is a great resource for farmers, landowners and forest owners with detailed discussions and worksheets that will assist in planning the business transition.

Planning the Future of Your Farm workbook is laid out in four sections, each with narratives supported by worksheets. The workbook is primarily for use by farm families (i.e. families that actively farm or that simply own farm or forest land). Families can use it themselves or under the guidance of a trusted outside party. The workbook is also designed to support curricula in workshops for farmers and landowners on farm transfer.

The first section, Developing Your Vision for the Future, discusses ‘soft issues’ — those that are the most difficult to discuss in daily discourse or over long distances, and can be ignored absent a forum for their discussion. The articles in this section are meant to offer some perspective on the process you are undertaking, stressing the nature of risk management and what you are accomplishing by protecting your wealth and the relationships within your family.

Section two, Evaluating Your Farm Resources, includes a primer on property ownership, one of the first steps in the evaluation of your resources. How you own property ultimately determines what decision-making ability you have over the resource. The series of worksheets offers space and suggestions for you to rate the features of your farm, community and family resources and skills. Use the worksheets to identify features that need improvement to support your business model for farm resources. The extensive “Farm Net Worth” worksheet is for current operations to determine their financial health for expansion and transfer, and realistic orientation on current asset liabilities.

Section three, Farm Transfer Tools, discusses different types of business entities for agriculture, forestry and horticulture ventures, and some of the tools and agreements you will encounter in the estate planning process. The worksheets are designed to help you organize the information you will need to construct these agreements.

The final section, Preparing to Meet with Professional Advisors, contains worksheets similar to those a professional advisor (financial planner or attorney) will have you complete as part of their service to you. These will let you start the process earlier, and will save you time and money. It will also show your advisors that you are on your toes about this planning process.

The workbook closes with the definitions of common legal terms relating to land ownership, business entities and estate planning.

It’s Not to Late to Contribute to the
Angus Foundation’s Vision of Value

The Angus Foundation would like to thank all of the generous Angus breeders, friends and allied industry partners for contributing to the Vision of Value: Campaign for Angus, an $11 million campaign to benefit education, youth and research for the Angus breed and agricultural industry. Donors to the campaign over the past five years are truly “Champions.”

The Angus Foundation’s Annual Fund, which is themed “Champions of the Vision,” provides an easy way to contribute to the Vision of Value campaign before it concludes on Dec. 31, 2011. You can donate by returning your pledge cards to the Angus Foundation at 3201 Frederick Ave., Saint Joseph, MO 64506. You can also go to and click “Donate Online” to make your contribution. Feel free to call Angus Foundation President Milford Jenkins at 816-383-5100 to discuss the wide array of charitable giving strategies available to donors interested in making a major gift commitment to the campaign.

The Angus Foundation announced at its 2011 Supporter Recognition Event in Louisville, Ky., that more than $7.5 million in outright cash gifts, pledges and planned giving commitments has been raised to-date toward the ambitious $11 million campaign. Help the Angus Foundation get closer to its $11 million goal by making your contributions before Dec. 31. Donors to the campaign will have their names included on a campaign appreciation plaque that will be displayed at the AAA headquarters in St. Joseph, Mo.


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