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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

March 13, 2017

When Disaster Strikes, Band Together

Racing across the prairie, recent wildfires left a painful mark on hundreds of thousands of acres of grassland in four states.

High-level winds and dry conditions on Monday, March 6, fueled the flames that quickly spread across Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Colorado — scorching pastures and offering little time for cattle ranchers to attempt to rescue their stock.

Six people lost their lives, and reports say many of those were rushing to protect their livestock from the intense and unforgiving flames.

Texas reports the highest death toll at four people, and early estimates show Kansas with the highest acreage affected. More than 650,000 acres burned in the southwest and central regions of the state. Evacuations were ordered in small towns and communities across the Plains, and emergency responders worked alongside farmers and ranchers to try and combat the fire’s forward momentum.

Determining the total impact on the cattle herd will take months of reporting; however, Gardiner Angus Ranch near Ashland, Kan., estimates they lost 500 head to the flames, as reported in an article by the Wichita Eagle. In an interview with the publication, Garth Gardiner called the fire the worst natural disaster to hit their family’s fifth-generation ranch.

Here’s how to contribute to a disaster relief fund in each of the affected states.

Value of Vaccinations

To producers who are thinking about cutting costs, Doug Ensley emphasized that administering vaccines is not the place to cut corners.

“Not vaccinating cattle is not a good idea for cattle health — especially as antibiotic use for treatment of sick cattle is becoming more limiting,” the veterinarian for Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc. told attendees Feb. 2 at an NCBA Learning Lounge educational session during the 2017 Cattle Industry Convention & NCBA Trade Show in Nashville, Tenn.

He noted that disease prevention — through management protocols like vaccination — is a direct contributor to herd performance of both cow and calf, and thus, ultimately impacts profitability.

Regarding replacement heifers, Ensley emphasized that a vaccination program early on can set those animals up for long-term reproductive success. From earlier breeding to a shorter calving season, he noted that vaccinating heifers can help ensure they perform and stay in the herd a long time.

For more information, view the Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA article online.

As Kansas Wildfires Burn, Experts Urge Caution, Awareness

Officials say it’s a record they never wanted to see: So far, nearly 660,000 acres burned in Kansas wildfires last week. More than three-quarters of that number occurred in two counties, Clark and Comanche. At this point, one person has died, and thousands of animals perished or had to be euthanized.

What causes such fires? Frequently it is random chance; the forces of nature. Sometimes it’s not the wrong thing that starts a fire, but doing the right thing in the wrong way.

With the staggering scope of this week’s fire outbreak comes concern. People want to know what precautions they can take to avoid another disaster in the future.

One such way, when driving onto property such as pasture land or a hunting lease, is to be mindful of hot exhaust fumes or low-hanging mufflers, both of which can start a fire.

For more information, please view the full K-State news release online.

Wyoming Stock Growers Land Trust
& the NRCS Finalize Negotiations

After nearly 15 months of negotiations, the Wyoming Stock Growers Land Trust (WSGLT) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) have agreed upon a conservation easement deed template for use under the NRCS’s Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP).

The negotiations, which began in January 2016, caused the WSGLT to eventually suspend the organization’s purchased easement program with the NRCS, a partnership which has provided nearly $19,000,000 in conservation easement funding, and assisted in closing 37 conservation easements on agricultural lands in Wyoming over the last 16 years.

WSGLT Executive Director Bo Alley spoke about the achievement, “To finalize these negotiations represents a huge milestone and allows a path forward with one of our most important conservation funding partners in Wyoming. We reached an agreement that recognizes Wyoming state law and provides our farmers and ranchers with the flexibility they need to manage their operations, while also meeting the purposes and needs of the ACEP program.”

For more information, view the news release online.

K-State Communications and Ag Education

Associate professor Jason Ellis will serve as interim head of the Department of Communications and Agricultural Education at K-State.

John Floros, dean and director of the College of Agriculture announced on Thursday, March 9, that Ellis’ appointment in this role will begin March 12, and he will serve until a national search has been completed and a permanent department head has been named.

Ellis takes over the role following the departure of Kris Boone, who served as the department head since 2005 and will soon begin working as the new director of The Ohio State University’s Agricultural Technical Institute.

For more information, view the K-State news release online.



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