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News Update

June 26, 2012

Angus Journal Fan Favorite Photo Contest Open

A new category has been opened in the National Junior Angus Association/Angus Journal photo contest via social media. The "Fan Favorite" category for each age division will be voted on by fans of the Angus Journal Facebook page.

The photo in each age division with the most "likes" will each earn a spot as the Angus Journal Facebook page cover photo, and will also be recognized as a Fan Favorite at the National Junior Angus Show (NJAS) in Louisville, Ky., July 16-21.

The voting deadline is July 11. To keep it fair, all photos must be voted on through the Angus Journal Facebook page (so feel free to share the photo, but direct friends to vote on the AJ page) and only the votes cast by fans of the Angus Journal page will count.

Livestock Heat Stress Emergency Issued as Drought, High Temps Persist

This summer continues to be dry and hot — to the extreme. Highs in the upper 90s and lower 100s toward the end of June and into the first part of July will push the Livestock Heat Stress Index into the emergency category. Producers should take precautions.
"The combination of hot, muggy weather conditions prompts some real concern for humans, as well as livestock and pets," said Tom Priddy, meteorologist in the University of Kentucky (UK) College of Agriculture. "The livestock heat index is a combination of air temperature and humidity. That one-two punch makes it hazardous for people and animals. Dew point temperatures above 65 degrees lead officials to declare conditions dangerous for livestock."

The Livestock Heat Stress Index helps producers know when heat stress could create a problem for their animals, Priddy added. Periods of heat stress call for livestock producers to be vigilant in making sure their animals are able to withstand the conditions.

Jeffrey Bewley, UK College of Agriculture livestock specialist, said the most important things producers can do are to provide cool, clean water and shade, with buildings as open as possible to help keep animals' internal body temperatures within normal limits. Sprinkler systems that periodically spray a cool mist on the animals also are beneficial.
To keep cattle from becoming overheated, producers should not work them during periods of heat stress.
"Certainly, you do not want to work cattle with this kind of weather — veterinarian work, reproductive checks or vaccinations," he added.

Producers should also avoid transporting livestock during a heat stress danger or emergency period. If they must move animals during this time, producers should try to do so with fewer animals per load. Planning trips so producers immediately can load animals before leaving and quickly unload upon arrival can help minimize the risk.

In Kentucky, normal temperatures for this time of year average between 77° F and 79° F, so these temperatures are far from ordinary. Coupling that with a prolonged dry period resulting in low humidity and dry vegetation creates an elevated fire danger through at least the end of June, Priddy said.

Priddy's eight- to 14-day outlook calls for above-normal temperatures and below-normal precipitation. He said some areas in western Kentucky from Bowling Green and south could reach as high as 105° F on Friday.

For current conditions and forecasts, visit the Ag Weather Center website at

Beef Month Right Around the Corner in Wisconsin

The celebration of June Dairy Month will continue into July as Wisconsin cattle producers celebrate Beef Month. Wisconsin Beef Council Director John Freitag says for beef farmers, sustainability means not only preservation of the environment but being able to continually produce beef efficiently.

"America's cattle farmers and ranchers have continuously improved the way we raise cattle," Freitag said. "Environmental sustainability of beef production has improved considerably over the last 30 years."

For more information and the full release, click here.

Michigan Confirms Bovine TB in Alpena Dairy Herd

Routine bovine tuberculosis (TB) surveillance testing conducted by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) and the USDA recently confirmed a medium-size dairy herd as bovine TB positive in Alpena County. Bovine TB is an infectious bacterial disease that affects cattle and white-tailed deer in Michigan's northeastern Lower Peninsula.

"Our surveillance testing is vital to helping us return all of Michigan to TB Free status," said James Averill, animal industry division director at MDARD. "In addition to surveillance testing, farmers are employing tools to keep deer away from their cattle, which will help Michigan have fewer TB positive herds."

A public information meeting will take place July 12, 2012, at 7 p.m. in Lecture Room 101 of the Donnelly Natural Resources Center at Alpena Community College, 665 Johnson Street, Alpena, Mich.

Northeastern Lower Michigan is designated as a Modified Accredited Zone (MAZ) and is comprised of Alcona, Alpena, Montmorency and Oscoda counties. The MAZ is a USDA designation for the purposes of controlled cattle movement, TB testing, and disease eradication. The Alpena County farm is currently quarantined, and no cattle may enter or leave the premises until testing clears the cattle and farm of bovine TB, either through premises depopulation, or a test-and-remove process.

For the full release, click here.

Supreme Court Rules on Arizona's Immigration Law

The Supreme Court struck down a significant portion of Arizona's effort to prosecute and deter illegal immigrants, but left one key part of that state's laws intact. The mixed high court ruling, along with the recent executive order by the Obama administration to stop the deportation of some younger, undocumented individuals, fully illustrates how, regardless of which path is chosen, the few options for immigration reform remain controversial and divisive.

According to Jerry Kozak of the National Milk Producers Federation, these developments show how critically necessary it is to resolve the immigration policy conundrum, especially for farmers and other employers concerned with maintaining and recruiting a workforce.

"The court upheld the law's directive that state and local police may check the immigration status of people they stop when they suspect them of lacking legal authorization to be in the United States," Kozak said. "The justices unanimously stated that federal law already requires immigration officials to respond to status checks from local authorities, and therefore federal immigration law does not preempt this section of the Arizona law."

In an opinion by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the country's highest court by an 8-0 vote upheld the Arizona law's most controversial aspect, requiring police officers to check the immigration status of people they stop for any reason.

For more information and the full release, click here.

Livestock Programs Available in the Pacific Northwest

The Risk Management Agency (RMA) Spokane Regional Office would like to remind Pacific Northwest livestock producers of the livestock risk management programs available in all counties in Idaho, Oregon and Washington. The Livestock Risk Protection (LRP) program for Fed Cattle, Feeder Cattle, Lamb and Swine and the Livestock Gross Margin (LGM) program for Swine will begin sales for the 2013 crop year July 2, 2012, and continue through June 30, 2013, or until the maximum underwriting capacity is reached.

LRP coverage protects the policyholder from downward price risk during the insurance period. LGM provides protection against the loss of gross margin (market value of livestock minus feed costs). LRP and LGM do not cover any other peril (e.g., mortality, condemnation, physical damage, disease, individual marketing decisions, local price deviations or any other cause of loss).

Cattle, swine and lamb producers are encouraged to contact a local livestock insurance agent to learn additional details. Federal crop insurance program policies are sold and delivered solely through private crop and livestock insurance companies. A list of livestock crop insurance agents is available at all USDA Service Centers throughout the U.S. or at the RMA website address:

Colorado Issues New Requirement for NM Livestock

Colorado has issued a new requirement for horses entering the state from New Mexico, where 11 premises have been quarantined due to a virus.

State veterinary officials said Friday that health certificates for horses, mules, cattle, bison, sheep, goats, swine and camelids from New Mexico now must include a statement from a veterinarian stating that no signs of vesicular stomatitis have been found in the animals and that the animals didn't come from a premise that was quarantined for the disease.

Vesicular stomatitis can cause painful sores in infected animals. It is believed to be spread through insects that migrate along river valleys.

Nebraska Cattlemen Board of Directors Hold Policy Meeting

The Nebraska Cattlemen (NC) Board of Directors met Tuesday, June 19, 2012, to review the proposed interim polices created by Nebraska Cattlemen members at the past midyear meeting June 8, 2012, in Atkinson, Neb.

Of the six member-based NC committees, three passed resolutions that were then taken into consideration at the board of directors meeting. "Once the board of directors approves the resolutions, they are then forwarded to the Nebraska Cattlemen annual meeting as interim policy where members will then be able to consider and discuss each in-depth," said Jim Ramm, Nebraska Cattlemen president.

The three committees whose policies were up for discussion at the board of directors meeting were Animal Health and Nutrition, Brand and Property Rights, and Marketing and Commerce.

The following are brief overviews of resolutions that were approved by the Board of Directors as interim policy.

For more information, including brief overviews of the resolutions that were approved by the board of directors as interim policy, click here.

The National Search for the 'Faces of Farming and Ranching'
is on!

When it comes to today's agriculture, there are many examples of great farmers and ranchers all over the country doing wonderful things to bring food to the table for those around the world. But few of those farmers and ranchers are recognizable by consumers, mainstream media and influencers. In fact, the pictures and perceptions of farmers and ranchers often do not match reality.

The U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) wants to change that.
At USFRA's Food Dialogues event in Los Angeles last Thursday, the organization announced it is looking for the "Faces of Farming and Ranching" to help put a real face on agriculture and shine a light on the heart, personalities and values that are behind today's food.

"USFRA has started a movement to bring more farmers and ranchers together to answer people's questions about how their food is grown and raised," said Bob Stallman, chairman of USFRA and president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. "Many voices are leading conversations about food — and often leaving the people who grow and raise our food out. We need to find the best people to be part of these conversations and represent the real farmers and ranchers of America."

For more information and the full release, click here.


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