Livestock



Animal rights versus welfare to be discussed at forum

Ohio has always been known as a leader in agriculture, and that view was further enhanced when just last year the Center for Food and Animal Issues was launched by the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. The center operates as an outreach and education department engaging the public about the importance of all animals and the contributions they make in society.

Leah C. Dorman, DVM, director of food programs, Center for Food and Animal Issues at the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, will present “We’re not in Kansas anymore: Animal Rights versus Animal Welfare” on Thurs., Oct. 21 from 7:30 – 9 a.m. at the monthly Northwest Ohio Ag-Business Breakfast Forum. The program begins at 8 a.m. with informal networking prior, hosted by the Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT) at the Agricultural Incubator Foundation, north of Bowling Green, OH.

Dr. Dorman will discuss animal rights versus animal welfare, and the history behind the creation of the Livestock Care Standards Board – a board which sets standards for livestock and poultry care that take into account issues of food safety, local availability and affordability of food, and best farm management practices for animal well-being.… Continue reading

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Corn prices rising and hurting pork expansion opportunities

Hog producers were ready to expand this fall. That may have been appropriate when 2010 corn prices were expected to close at $3.50 in early July, but that is no longer an acceptable conclusion with expectations closer to $5.00, said Purdue University Extension economist Chris Hurt.

“Higher corn prices will cut margins over the coming 12 months, but hog producers can now avoid an expansion that would plunge margins deep into the red in late 2011 and 2012,” he said.

“The clear message for the industry is: Don’t expand and margins will be okay. The other important message is: The next two years will not be a repeat of the large losses of 2008 and 2009,” he added.

Fortunately, the September USDA survey indicates there are no signs of expansion yet. Producers report they have 2 percent fewer animals in the breeding herd than a year ago, he said.

The primary story is in North Carolina where breeding herd numbers were down 110,000 head over the past year.… Continue reading

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Ohio hog numbers down slightly

Ohio hog producers had 2.04 million hogs on hand September 1, 2010, down slightly from a year ago. The number of market hogs, at 1.88 million head, down 1 percent
from last year. Breeding stock, at 165,000 head, was unchanged from last quarter but up 3 percent from last year.
U.S. inventory of all hogs and pigs on September 1, 2010 was 65.0 million head. This was down 3 percent from September
1, 2009. Breeding inventory, at 5.77 million head, was down 2 percent from last year.  Market hog inventory, at 59.2 million head, was down 3 percent from last year.
Ohio pork production ranks ninth in the nation with 3,700 hog farms, the vast majority of which are family owned. With 10,860 jobs related to the pork sector in the state, which contribute more than 1.3 billion dollars annually to the economy.

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Ohio hog farmers discuss key pork issues in Washington

During the 2010 Fall Legislative Action Conference, hosted by the National Pork Producers Council, 16 Ohio hog farmers traveled to Washington D.C. where they discussed and educated Congressmen on agriculture legislation important to the pork community.

“Ohio hog farmers can take great pride in the OPPC leadership that participated in our trip to Washington,” said Dick Isler, executive vice president for the Ohio Pork Producers Council (OPPC). “This group spoke with all 18 of our congressional members and two U.S. Senators, explaining the importance of these key issues and the impact they could have on Ohio’s pork community.”

Throughout each of the visits, farmers discussed key pork issues, such as the poor impact the proposed Grain Inspection, Packers & Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) rule could have on marketing hogs across the country. In addition, Ohio hog farmers stressed the importance of passing free trade agreements with Columbia, Korea and Panama, which would not only be great opportunities for continued pork exports, but would have significant positive impact on the U.S.… Continue reading

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OCA and OBC offer winter internship opportunities

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association and the Ohio Beef Council through their goal of providing great opportunities to young people interested in developing their potential for career success announce five winter internships beginning in January and continuing through the Ohio Beef Expo in late March. They will require approximately 20 hours per week and are flexible based upon course schedules. Each successful intern will receive a $1,000 scholarship. Interested applicants should forward a cover letter and résumé to the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, Attn: Internship, 10600 U.S. Highway 42, Marysville, Ohio 43040 prior to Oct. 20, 2010. For further information call 614-873-6736.

Industry Relations Intern

The primary responsibility of this intern will include assisting with the preparation and implementation of the Ohio Beef Expo’s Trade Show. This intern will also assist with communications of the Ohio Beef Expo including advertising and event photography. This position will assist with preparation of the Ohio Cattleman magazine and the OCA Annual Meeting & Banquet including developing award winners’ press releases.

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House approves legislation to reauthorize the law requiring price reporting

The National Pork Producers Council applauded the House for approving legislation to reauthorize the law requiring meat packers to report to the U.S. Department of Agriculture the prices they pay producers for animals. The legislation, which previously was approved by the Senate, now goes to the president to be signed into law. It reauthorizes for five years the Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act, which was set to expire Sept. 30, and includes new provisions requiring weekly reporting of pork exports – by price and volume – and of wholesale pork cuts. NPPC President Sam Carney said the addition of export and wholesale cuts reporting will further help producers like me make business and production decisions. “The Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act is what provides transparency and certainty in the livestock markets and allows competition to thrive,” Carney said. “The new provision for wholesale pork reporting will make pricing data more fully reflect the marketplace today.… Continue reading

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Ohio Cattlemen’s Association sets membership record

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association closed its books for the 2010 membership year with a new membership record. Membership numbers for 2010 broke the previous record that was set in 2009. This new record was set thanks to the dedication of past members renewing their memberships as well as the 386 families that joined OCA for the first time in 2010.

“We are very excited that so many of Ohio’s beef producers have again recognized the importance of belonging to OCA,” said Dave Felumlee, OCA President. “Membership is the lifeblood of any organization and our members have done a great job ensuring that the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association is a strong and viable organization for years to come.”

The membership committee is working on securing additional member benefits and incentives for 2011. The committee is proud to announce that the TSC coupon will be continued in 2011, which will give an OCA member 10 percent off a purchase at one of Ohio’s 68 TSC stores.… Continue reading

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Pasture management in the fall

By Rory Lewandowski, Extension Educator, Athens County, Buckeye Hills EERA

The fall period, particularly the months of September and October, is an important time to manage pastures. Specifically, pastures must be managed to insure that the desirable grass and legume plants are able to build up and store carbohydrate reserves for the winter period. It is this ability to store carbohydrate reserves and thus keep a root system living over the winter months that distinguishes a perennial plant from an annual plant. It is during the short day, long night periods in the fall of the year that flower buds are formed/initiated on the crown of the plant. While the leaf tissue dies during the winter, the buds and roots of the plant remain as living tissues over the winter and continue to respire and burn energy. If root reserves are insufficient the plant may die over the winter. If the plant survives but root reserves are low, spring re-growth and vigor of the plant is reduced.… Continue reading

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CLARIFIDE now available from Pfizer Animal Genetics

CLARIFIDE, a new genomic test for comprehensive evaluation of dairy females, is now available from Pfizer Animal Genetics, a business unit of Pfizer Animal Health.

CLARIFIDE is a 3,000-marker (3K) DNA panel that was developed through collaboration between USDA-ARS and Illumina. CLARIFIDE delivers Genomic Predicted Transmitting Ability (GPTA) values for 30 production, health and type traits, and nine composite indexes. These predictions provide insights into animals’ future genetic potential early in an animal’s life.

“CLARIFIDE provides a cost-effective way for commercial dairy producers to take advantage of the many benefits of genomic testing,” says Nigel Evans, vice president of Pfizer Animal Genetics. “Genomics has been available in the dairy industry for the past few years, but has only been practical for a small number of elite animals. CLARIFIDE now puts genomic testing into the hands of commercial dairymen.”

With CLARIFIDE, commercial dairy producers can optimize selection, mating and management of Holstein, Jersey and Brown Swiss females.… Continue reading

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Latest undercover “animal abuse” video more fabrication than fact

On Aug. 31, Mercy For Animals (MFA), the same group that released the footage from the Conklin Dairy in Plain City earlier this year, released hidden video taken from Buckeye Veal

Farm in Apple Creek. The animal rights group claimed the video showed “cruel” behavior and hoped it would prompt action by the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board.

“As the appointed body to create minimal standards for Ohio’s agricultural

community, it is your responsibility to ensure that farmed animals in Ohio are not forced to suffer egregious cruelty; however, the Board has yet to implement a single standard,” said MFA in a letter sent to members of the OLCSB the day the Buckeye Veal footage was released. “MFA urges you to immediately implement standards phasing out crated veal production.”

MFA called on the OLCSB to honor an agreement reached in June by leaders of Ohio’s farm community, humane organizations and Governor Ted Strickland that would, among other

things, phase out the confinement of calves in veal crates by 2017.… Continue reading

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Consumers Are Key Focus of Proposed 2011 National Pork Board Budget

Consumer perspectives of pork and pork production are the central focus of the National Pork Board’s proposed 2011 budget that will be debated next week in Des Moines. More than 50 pork producers will gather from across the country to help guide the investment of Pork Checkoff dollars into consumer information, research, and producer education programs. The programs are designed to help pork producers provide consumers with safe, affordable, quality pork products.

The board’s planning and budgeting process began earlier this summer when producer-led committees identified action steps for achieving the board’s new five-year strategic plan. These objectives fall under one of three major goals:

• Refresh and reposition pork’s image to increase domestic and international consumer demand.

• Protect the rights and ability of U.S. farmers to produce pork in a socially-responsible and cost-competitive manner.

• Pursue strategies to enable U.S. pork producers to remain highly competitive, long term, on a global basis.… Continue reading

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Test Finds E. coli in Beef Faster, Could Better Trace Outbreaks

Infrared spectroscopy can detect E. coli faster than current testing methods and can cut days off investigations of outbreaks, according to a study at Purdue University.

Lisa Mauer, an associate professor of food science, detected E. coli in ground beef in one hour using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, much less than the 48 hours required for conventional plating technology, which requires culturing cells in a laboratory. Mauer said spectroscopy could be done in the same laboratories, just in much less time.

The spectroscopy method also differentiates between strains of E. coli 0157:H7, meaning outbreaks could be tracked more effectively and quickly. Current tests are multistep and take almost one week to get results.

“Even with all the other bacteria present in ground beef, we could still detect E. coli and recognize different strains,” said Mauer, whose findings were reported in the August issue of the Journal of Food Science.

Mauer demonstrated two methods for separating bacteria from ground beef for testing.… Continue reading

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Ohio Cattlemen's President says agreement with HSUS was the right choice

By: Dave Felumlee, President Ohio Cattlemen’s Association

To all Ohio Cattlemen’s Association members and stakeholders,

After many phone calls, e-mails and discussions, I writing this to elaborate on the reasons why I believe the correct decision was made to reach an agreement with HSUS. There were many, many factors that contributed to this decision and it was made with much thought, and even some pain of conflict with my own emotions. I feel very fortunate that the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association was at the table to express our concerns and thoughts throughout the process.

From the beginning, the commodity groups and Farm Bureau agreed that it was in everyone’s best interest to work together and be unified as one voice. This began in the issue 2 campaign, and has remained this way even today. This is Ohio agriculture’s fight! Each individual at the table had an equal vote and an equal voice.… Continue reading

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Ohio Cattlemen’s President says agreement with HSUS was the right choice

By: Dave Felumlee, President Ohio Cattlemen’s Association

To all Ohio Cattlemen’s Association members and stakeholders,

After many phone calls, e-mails and discussions, I writing this to elaborate on the reasons why I believe the correct decision was made to reach an agreement with HSUS. There were many, many factors that contributed to this decision and it was made with much thought, and even some pain of conflict with my own emotions. I feel very fortunate that the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association was at the table to express our concerns and thoughts throughout the process.

From the beginning, the commodity groups and Farm Bureau agreed that it was in everyone’s best interest to work together and be unified as one voice. This began in the issue 2 campaign, and has remained this way even today. This is Ohio agriculture’s fight! Each individual at the table had an equal vote and an equal voice.… Continue reading

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Now that the dust has settled, how does “the agreement” impact animal ag?

By Kyle Sharp

The agreement between Ohio agriculture and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has been the source of controversy, scrutiny and grumbling on both sides of the issue. Here are some perspectives from leaders in the sectors of agriculture that will be most affected.

Impact on pork
Chuck Wildman operates a 650-sow, farrow-to-finish hog operation near South Charleston. He was not thrilled when the agreement with HSUS was reached. But after considering the political strategy of how the agreement bought the OLCSB time to work and established the Board as the governing authority for livestock care standards, he said it now seems like it was the right thing to do.
When people say to him HSUS came out ahead in the agreement, Wildman has an interesting way of describing this thoughts.
“If you’re in a bar fight and one guy lays down his weapon and leaves the bar for a while, and the other guy is still standing there in the bar huffing and puffing, who won?”… Continue reading

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Now that the dust has settled, what does “the agreement” really do?

By Kyle Sharp

Many in Ohio agriculture reacted with disbelief on June 30 when Ohio’s agricultural leadership announced an agreement had been reached with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) regarding farm animal welfare measures.
After passage of Issue 2 last year created the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board (OLCSB) and the subsequent effort by HSUS to gather signatures for their own ballot initiative began, the battle lines appeared to be drawn.

“The initial response was surprise from people, because a lot of people, including many in leadership positions, were under the impression we were going to move forward and succeed as we did with Issue 2,” said Dick Isler, Ohio Pork Producers Council (OPPC) executive vice president.

But early poll numbers showed the HSUS ballot initiative passing by more than 60%.

“We realized we had to come up with another plan,” Isler said. “If the HSUS initiative passed, then in six years there could be no laying hen cages or gestation stalls, and that really would have hurt a lot of producers.”… Continue reading

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Iowa's grand champion steer a clone of 2008 grand champion

By Dale Minyo

This year’s Grand Champion Steer at the Iowa State Fair is a clone of the 2008 Grand Champion Steer. Yes it is legal, or at least no rules were broken.

The 1,320 pound steer was produced by Bovance, a joint venture between Trans Ova and the cloning firm ViaGen. The exhibitor’s dad is the president of Trans Ova Genetics, a livestock reproduction company in Iowa. Bovance bought the cloned steer for a record-setting $45,000 bid at the auction to keep the animal out of the food chain.

For more on this visit:http://www.dtnprogressivefarmer.com/dtnag/common/link.do?symbolicName=/free/news/template1&product=/ag/news/topstories&vendorReference=0353b2fa-34a2-481b-912d-1cb46058ad3a&paneContentId=70109&paneParentId=70043 or http://brownfieldagnews.com/2010/08/25/iowa-grand-champion-steer-was-clone-of-2008-champ/… Continue reading

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Iowa’s grand champion steer a clone of 2008 grand champion

By Dale Minyo

This year’s Grand Champion Steer at the Iowa State Fair is a clone of the 2008 Grand Champion Steer. Yes it is legal, or at least no rules were broken.

The 1,320 pound steer was produced by Bovance, a joint venture between Trans Ova and the cloning firm ViaGen. The exhibitor’s dad is the president of Trans Ova Genetics, a livestock reproduction company in Iowa. Bovance bought the cloned steer for a record-setting $45,000 bid at the auction to keep the animal out of the food chain.

For more on this visit:http://www.dtnprogressivefarmer.com/dtnag/common/link.do?symbolicName=/free/news/template1&product=/ag/news/topstories&vendorReference=0353b2fa-34a2-481b-912d-1cb46058ad3a&paneContentId=70109&paneParentId=70043 or http://brownfieldagnews.com/2010/08/25/iowa-grand-champion-steer-was-clone-of-2008-champ/… Continue reading

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Digester That Turns Manure into Methane Demonstrated at Farm Science Review

Farmers interested in alternative energy technologies for the farm can learn more about the small-scale biodigester developed by Ohio State University ecological engineers. The technology will be demonstrated at Farm Science Review, Sept. 21-23 at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London, Ohio.

Jay Martin, a researcher with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, has developed a modified fixed-dome digester that can make methane from manure, which can either be burned as an alternative to natural gas or propane, or converted to electricity using a generator. The 300-gallon biodigester, installed at Waterman Agriculture and Natural Resources Laboratory in Columbus, is designed specifically to cater to average-sized and smaller livestock farms – around 150 dairy cows on average.

“There are less than 200 digesters working on livestock farms in the United States, and those digesters are designed for large-scale industrial dairy operations in the range of 10,000 or 15,000 head.

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