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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 18, 2016

Backgrounding Calves

Some ranchers hold calves over as yearlings to sell later, and some buy light calves in the spring to put on grass and grow to a larger weight. Some put weaned calves in a confinement program and feed them a growing ration until they are ready to go to a finishing facility. Ron Gill, professor and extension livestock specialist at Texas A&M University, says the term “backgrounding” covers a broad spectrum that includes preconditioning after weaning.

“Preconditioning is from weaning until 30 to 45 days (sometimes 60) postweaning. Backgrounding is putting those calves on a grower ration until they reach 750 to 900 pounds. Most producers in the South don’t do much backgrounding by that definition because we can graze year-round and call that a stocker program,” he says.

Read more in the Angus Media news article online.

$2.3 Million to Improve Rural Veterinary Services

The USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced 12 awards in 10 states totaling $2.3 million to help relieve shortages of veterinary services through education, extension, training and support for new or existing veterinary practices in designated rural shortage areas.

These fiscal year 2016 competitive grants are funded through the new Veterinary Services Grant Program (VSGP), authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

VSGP grants fund work by universities, veterinary associations, and state, local or Tribal agencies to help relieve veterinary workforce shortages in the U.S. food and agriculture sector. Funds may also be used to support the establishment or expansion of veterinary services in eligible rural areas.

For more information, view the NIFA news release online.

NDSA Members Elect Leadership

North Dakota Stockmen’s Association (NDSA) members tapped Warren Zenker of Gackle as the new president of the 87-year-old organization during the 87th NDSA Annual Convention & Trade Show, “Rooted for Tradition, Growing for the Future,” Sept. 24 in Minot.

The 23-year NDSA member, his wife Linda and their children, Jordan and Brooks, own a 400-head cow-calf operation and a 2,000-head permitted feedyard. They also farm with nephews Chris, Mike and Taylor. Zenker served two terms as a District 3 NDSA director. He also served as chairman of the NDSA Brand Board, Feeding & Marketing and Resolutions committees.

In his message to members during the closing business session, Zenker encouraged livestock producers to take an active role in the NDSA and the livestock industry.

For more information, view the NDSA news release online.

New APHIS Biosecurity Training Module

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is pleased to announce a new biosecurity training module titled, “Train to Contain” which may be accessed online. The module, which was developed by APHIS’s Veterinary Services program, provides an immersive learning experience and goes beyond the usual slide-based training in terms of keeping the learner more engaged.

This course is designed to provide you with a general understanding of the biosecurity principles and best practices you need to apply when investigating animal diseases and to prepare responders for hands-on training in biosecurity processes and procedures.

Contact Lori Miller, 301-851-3512 or,

with any questions.

Culver’s Community Grieves Death of President & CEO

Phil Keiser, Culver’s president and CEO, passed away of natural causes on Oct. 15, 2016. Having worked for Culver’s for 20 years, he was the leader of over 20,000 team members at 580 Culver’s locations in 24 states. The entire Culver’s community is devastated.

Co-founder Craig Culver will assume the role of interim CEO until a successor is named. “Culver’s would not be what it is today without Phil’s influence,” Craig said.

Craig, with a very strong and tenured senior leadership team, will continue to lead Culver’s with the same core values and strategic priorities Phil embraced. “Phil’s legacy is rooted in integrity,” said Joe Koss, chief financial officer of Culver’s. “He worked tirelessly to better himself and our company.”

For more information, view the Culver’s news release online.



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