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News Update

April 18, 2012

Specific Rental Agreements Important in
Pasture Rent Situations

Managing an Angus herd — yeah, there's an app for that. The American Angus Association recently launched a smartphone application, Angus Mobile, for iPhone, iPad and Android devices. As recordkeeping becomes increasingly online based, this app allows users to update herd data no matter where they are on their farm or ranch.

"A producer needs to know a lot more information about their calf when it hits the ground compared to ten years ago," says Lou Ann Adams, the Association's information systems director. "That's why we created the app, to help producers make the right decisions for their herd, and to keep their information organized and easily accessible."

Since its debut, the Angus Mobile app has had more than 500 downloads. The easy-to-navigate format gives users a way to quickly search for cow herd data, news updates and more. Currently, the iPhone version contains the most up-to-date features, and the Android will soon have all similar functions.

The Angus Mobile MyHerd option is particularly useful for producers, because it grants access into AAA Login, which is the Association's online recordkeeping system. Through MyHerd, users can record calves as they are born and submit information, through their phone, while still standing in the pasture.

"This type of new technology is changing the way we as Angus breeders manage our herds," says Bryce Schumann, CEO of the Association. "It is remarkable to think about how things have changed in just a few short years."

The Angus Mobile app is not only for producers; several other functions appeal to anyone interested in Angus cattle. Download the app, and gain access to the latest news, sale reports, show results and much more. More features will continue to be added, but now users can:

Download the iPhone app
Visit the iTunes store or App Store when using an iPhone, iPod or iPad. A quick search for Angus will result in the application link. Click on install, and the icon will appear on the device's screen or desktop.

The Angus Mobile app is compatible with the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (third generation and fourth generation), and iPad. It requires iOS 5.0 or later, which can also be downloaded through iTunes and installed by connecting the iPhone to a computer.

Download the Android app
Visit the Android marketplace on the device's home screen. Search for Angus and the application should appear. The Angus Mobile Android app was developed before the iPhone app, so a few functions may vary. However, an update is planned for later this spring.

For more information about Angus cattle and the American Angus Association's programs and services, visit

The Beef Checkoff Helped Boston Fuel-Up for the Finish!

During the three days leading up to the 150th Boston Marathon, the beef checkoff made sure that the runners were well equipped with fuel for the finish. Runners and their families came to the Sport & Fitness Expo to pick up their numbers and registration packets, with an estimated 85,000 health conscious athletes attending the expo over the three days. And, this venue provided the perfect opportunity to speak with the world's most elite runners about lean beef as a great source of protein.

The beef checkoff, through the Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative (NEBPI), served 4,000 samples of lean beef snack sticks to the runners to showcase how beef can be a portable source of protein for athletes. Many attendees commented that the beef snack sticks were better than protein bars, which were also being sampled at the expo. One expo attendee said, "Even with all of these protein bars and running gels, beef will always be the original source of protein."

National Beef Ambassador team members Kim Rounds, Arika Snyder and Rossie Blinson were also on hand to serve samples and interact with the booth visitors. The Ambassadors were able to have many discussions with attendees about how cattle are raised as well as ways to incorporate lean beef into an athlete's diet. The Ambassadors were also able to keep the social media world updated on the Boston Marathon by tweeting and posting to Facebook.

Local Boston retailer Johnnie's Foodmaster partnered with the beef checkoff on a 4-week beef promotion leading up to 'Marathon Monday' through in-store point-of-sale materials including lean beef recipe booklets, iron man signs, and meat department posters. This "Power up on Protein" retail beef promotion also included a sweepstakes component open to all Johnnie's Foodmaster shoppers and Boston Marathon Expo attendees. The grand prize for the sweepstakes included a $200 steakhouse gift card prize pack, a "I Heart Lean Beef" engraved iPod nano, and the Healthy Beef Cookbook.

Approximately 16 Team Beef runners participated in the Boston Marathon this year. The Team Beef runners came from all over the United States including Texas, Florida, Missouri, Wisconsin, Michigan and New York. All of the runners have a passion for promoting beef and serve as great industry spokespersons.

Mark Niblo, Team Beef runner from Missouri, says that he always enjoys wearing his Team Beef jersey at the Boston Marathon. He said, "All 26.2 miles, people are yelling Go ZIP!" This was Mark's fourth consecutive year running in the Boston Marathon.

For more information about the beef checkoff at the 2012 Boston Marathon contact Kristin Wilkins at To see pictures from the event, visit the Team Beef is Running the Boston Marathon Facebook page.

For more information about your beef checkoff investment, visit

Publication Addresses Aftermath of Farm Truck Collisions

What should farmers do if one of their trucks is involved in a vehicle collision, and what might they expect if the case goes to court? A new Purdue Extension publication answers those questions, and more.

The Aftermath of a Farm Truck Crash: Lawsuits, Settlements, and Court Proceedings addresses those moments immediately after the crash, being served a court summons and going to trial. The 35-page publication, PPP-95, is a companion resource to the 2011 Purdue Extension publication PPP-91, Farm Truck Accidents: Considering Your Liability Management Options.

Printed copies of either publication are $5 apiece or free for Web download, and available from Purdue's The Education Store. Printed copies also are available at county offices of Purdue Extension.

The Aftermath of a Farm Truck Crash picks up where the earlier publication left off, said Fred Whitford, coordinator of Purdue Pesticide Programs and the publication's lead author.

"Farm truck accidents are fairly common, but having those events wind up in court is uncommon because most cases are settled out of court by insurance companies and attorneys for both sides," Whitford said. "It's understandable when you consider that the average judgment in a case involving a death is around $5 million. In those kinds of cases, you can lose your farm."

Drawing on true truck crash stories told by farmers themselves and accompanied by accident scene photos, the new publication outlines the proper procedures for reporting accidents to police and insurance companies, and working with attorneys.

"If you end up in court there's going to be things that you would have been expected to do ahead of time," Whitford said. "Having good records of what took place just before and at the time of the accident is always key. If you, a family member or employee has a truck accident, it's important that you or they jot down notes about the incident right then, unless injuries prevent it, because you're going to be deposed at some time in the future. Waiting six months or longer to write down your thoughts of the accident could mean losing important facts."

Farmers likely will be asked by attorneys to produce truck maintenance records and could be called on to justify the annual inspections they conduct on their trucks, Whitford said.
It's also important that farmers know the people who work for them. They don't want to find out in court that the person driving for them has been convicted of alcohol, drug or traffic offenses. Such revelations can turn a case against them, Whitford said.

Other court-related sections in the publication cover testifying under oath, corporation liability, assigning and comparative fault, judgments and appealing verdicts. The appendix features the instructions a judge will give a jury in a typical personal injury case, including the percentage of fault assigned to the plaintiff and defendant.

"There are many things a farmer can do to increase the odds a jury will find in their favor, but it takes preparation before a crash occurs," Whitford said.

Three attorneys who have worked on agricultural accident cases served as co-authors. They are Brian Drummy of Bloomington, Jim Schrier of Lafayette and David Gunter of Florida.

Specific Rental Agreements Important in
Pasture Rent Situations

Renting pasture for grazing livestock is a fairly common practice in Indiana, but one a Purdue Extension forage specialist says landowners and producers need to carefully discuss.

When it comes to making rental agreements, there are several considerations for both parties beyond cost. "Just like with any rental agreement, individuals are encouraged to understand that there are responsibilities that the landowner has and that the renter has. And some of these are negotiable," Keith Johnson said. "It's important to have a conversation about what those negotiable points are and then move toward a more firm price."

In typical rental agreements, landowners are responsible for insurance and paying for fence repairs, real estate taxes and interest on investments, such as the mortgage. Livestock owners are responsible for performing livestock production activities; maintaining livestock; providing salt, minerals and fly control; checking water supplies; and veterinary expenses.

Negotiable items would include determining land-related activities, providing labor for fence repairs, maintaining pastures, controlling weeds and brush, liming and fertilizing, reseeding, renovating and determining stocking rate.

"We want to make sure we have an appropriate stock density so we're not overgrazing the pasture," Johnson said. "If we do, we find that we're going to degrade the quality of the forage and, thus the expectation of rent would decline, as well, which is not in the interest of either party.

"Low-yielding and poor-quality forage means fewer livestock can graze, and the expectation of gain is going to be less. And, of course, the landowner is left with a property that is not as valuable if it's not taken care of."

When it comes time to negotiate rent, there are four basic formulas, based on animal units, acres, projected yields or livestock gain.

Formulas for each are available in Purdue Extension's Forage Field Guide, available for $7 in the Education Store at

Purdue Extension also offers a series of pasture lease publications. All four are available for free download and can be located by visiting the Education Store home page at and searching for "Pasture Lease."

The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) provides a survey of all counties in the country with 20,000 or more acres of cropland plus pasture. The survey includes cash rents by county. To access that data, visit


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