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Angus Journal

The Angus Journal Daily, formerly the Angus e-List, is a compilation of Angus industry news; information about hot topics in the beef industry; and updates about upcoming shows, sales and events. Click here to subscribe.

News Update

October 4, 2013

Day One of Global 500 Points to an Exciting Future for Dairy and Beef

The Irish weather wasn’t enough to keep more than 760 attendees away from Alltech’s Global 500, which opened Oct. 2 in Dublin, Ireland. People came from 50 different countries, spanning six continents, to learn about the future of beef and dairy production, specifically how to remain profitable while increasing efficiency and sustainability. Attendees represented an estimated five million cattle and had the opportunity to meet peers from around the world engaging in dialogue about the mind-boggling array of farming systems globally.

Day one’s presentations kicked off with Alltech president and founder, Pearse Lyons, introducing Alltech’s strategy for the future of dairy and beef production — an efficient, profitable and sustainable future.

His message overall was positive, stressing that growth is something that can be achieved if we act now. “Dairy and beef producers can look forward to an incredibly bright future, but it is one that will be wholly determined by the implementation of new technologies and new ideas, all geared to ramp up on-farm efficiency levels,” Pearse Lyons said.

Mark Lyons, vice president of Alltech, spoke about the opportunities and challenges faced by beef and dairy producers in China. There are more than 300 million Chinese people moving to urban areas; 70% of people in China will live in cities by 2030. As a result, meat and milk consumption could increase another 50%.

“Safe and traceable food is more important than ever and Chinese social media has been playing a vital role in the shifting consumer landscape. In order to keep up with the increased demand for higher quality dairy products, Chinese dairy companies will need to increase their production efficiency,” said Mark Lyons.

In terms of beef, Bill Cordingley from Rabobank explained that the industry is a much more mature industry than dairy. It’s now moving from being product-driven to market-driven — the consumer has to have a good experience with a product to guarantee that they will come back.

“So how do you create that premium position? Increasingly it’s about competitiveness and it’s about grain,” Cordingley said. “Consumer issues and demands aside, cost is a major issue. The industry is based on what it costs to grow an animal.”

For the future he echoed Mark Lyons’ sentiments in stressing the importance of China as a new market. He discussed how the Chinese consumer is more sensitive about what they are eating and that they want safe produce. According to Cordingley, other areas to watch were Japan joining the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), the European Union-United States Free Trade Agreement, the evolution of Russia joining the WTO and the Brazil Trade Agreement with the EU.

2013 Cow Country Congress Set Oct. 24 in Crockett, Texas

This year’s Cow Country Congress Oct. 24 in Crockett will have several presentation topics not covered in previous years, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service personnel. Two program highlights will be a presentation on estate planning when transferring an operation to the next generation and a demonstration on working cow dogs.

The Cow Country Congress is an annual multi-county event supported by the AgriLife Extension beef and forage committees in Walker, Madison, Houston, Trinity, Leon, Freestone, Polk and Anderson counties, said Armon Hewitt, AgriLife Extension agent for Trinity County. Set at the Porth Ag Arena in Crockett, Texas, registration is $20 per person and includes a steak lunch.

Attendees must RSVP to the AgriLife Extension office in one of the eight participating counties by Oct. 15, Hewitt said.

Sign in will be from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. the day of the event. The program will adjourn about 2:30 p.m.

“Beef producers from outside the traditional eight counties of the Cow Country Congress are invited to attend this educational program,” Hewitt said. “Participants will have the opportunity to visit with a variety of commercial exhibitors throughout the course of the day between presentations and demonstrations.”

Charles Long, Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientist and resident director at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Overton, will give a video and slideshow presentation on the finer points of using cow dogs to work cattle.

For more information, please view the Angus Journal’s Virtual Library calendar of upcoming events here.

Pearls of Production: Women in
Agriculture Workshop To Be Nov. 8-9

The number of women owning farms tripled from 1978 to 2007. “More women are breeding cows and processing pigs, as well as owning the farm,” said Marcia Shannon, University of Missouri (MU) Extension swine specialist.

A new program, “Pearls of Production: Women in Agriculture,” will be hosted Nov. 8-9 at MU. “This is for women producing livestock,” Shannon said. “It’s an underserved audience.” Recent USDA numbers show that of the 3.3 million farms in the United States, women own 1 million.

“It’s a workshop for boots and jeans,” Shannon said. “The second day we call ‘Hands-on, Down-and-Dirty Production.’ ” Women will palpate reproductive tracts of cows. They also will do necropsy on pigs or trim hooves on goats.

The working topics are beef, swine, sheep and goats, and forage and pasture management. Big issues and hot topics in animal agriculture are covered the first day. Those range from food and health to genomics to advocacy for agriculture.

The program goes from general to specifics, Shannon said.

The opening session will be “Connection Between Food and Human Health,” by Gretchen Hill of Michigan State University. Next is “Genomics in Today’s World,” by Sally Northcutt, American Angus Association, Saint Joseph, Mo.

Before lunch comes “Consumer Demand for Meat Products,” by Collette Kaster, Farmland Foods.

The first day ends with technologies that make life easier, marketing, leasing and banking, and animal health.

This isn’t the first time extension has helped women in agriculture. The “Pearls” program is a descendent of “feminine farrowing schools.” Those were farm wives teaching farm wives how to save more piglets.

Recently, calving clinics have attracted 100 women at a time.

The instructors, all women, range from farm owners to academics to ag industry leaders.

“We aim to encourage and train farm women to speak up for agriculture,” Shannon said. “Women can do that, as they recognize misinformation being spread about meat production.”

For more information, please view the Angus Journal’s Virtual Library calendar of upcoming events here.

AgriLife Extension’s Multi-County Ranching
in the 21st Century Workshop Set for Oct. 29

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will conduct the multi-county Ranching in the 21st Century Workshop from 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 29 at the Sutton County Civic Center in Sonora, Texas.

The workshop will cover several wildlife and ranching topics of regional interest, said Pascual Hernandez, AgriLife Extension agent in Sutton County, but will also explore wise use of antibiotics and other livestock health aids.

The program is being conducted by the AgriLife Extension offices in Sutton, Schleicher and Crockett counties.

Individual preregistration is $20 by Oct. 21 and $25 thereafter. The fee includes lunch, refreshments and program materials.

Two Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education units in the general category will be available for current private applicator license holders.

“A substantial part of the program will be devoted to the proper use of livestock pharmaceuticals because animal health is always a priority for the ranch manager,” Hernandez said. “There is, however, some concern among producers about the growing debate over antibiotic use in animal agriculture. Aside from any health risk ramifications, their concern surrounds a current movement to regulate more over-the-counter products to a prescription-only status.

“This push stems from the belief that antibiotic misuse in livestock leads to microbial resistance in humans. Our goal in presenting this workshop is to present a balanced educational approach to the issue and how its outcome may affect producers in the future.”

For more information, please view the Angus Journal’s Virtual Library calendar of upcoming events here.


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