CAB writing internship

College sophomores or juniors who understand the cattle business and have a passion for effective writing could be the next interns with the world’s leading beef brand.

Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB) offers paid positions for those who will be juniors or seniors during the internships from next summer into spring 2016. Students with a strong writing background — proven with writing samples — and majoring in agricultural journalism or communications may apply for the full-time summer position or part-time school semester positions that start next fall.

Specific dates will be determined to coincide with academic semesters and all internships are available for college credit. The fall position may be offered as renewable through spring but depending on applicants, a separate spring 2016 internship may be offered. Interns generally work from home or from the CAB office in Wooster, Ohio, accountable to supervisors in Kansas and Nebraska.

Applications are due by Dec.… Continue reading

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Acorn poisoning can be a threat for cattle and sheep

The increase in this year’s fall acorn crop means that livestock producers who have oak trees in their pastures need to be on the lookout — acorns from these trees could cause kidney failure in their animals, particularly in cattle and sheep.

Acorn poisoning can be a significant issue for producers, especially in feeder calves that are more susceptible to developing kidney failure after ingesting acorns, said Stan Smith, an Ohio State University Extension program assistant in agriculture and natural resources.

In fact, producers with oak trees in their pastures may want to consider moving their herd away from the dropped acorns or consider fencing off larger areas that are covered with acorns, said Smith, who is a beef cattle expert.

“Feeder calves weighing from 400 to 700 pounds are susceptible to kidney failure when they consume acorns,” he said. “This is when they are about to be weaned from mothers and are looking for more to eat because pastures are getting thin, and it seems they’ll eat acorns out of curiosity and hunger.… Continue reading

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Cooper Farms providing turkeys for presidential pardon

Later this month, ovens, grills, deep fryers, and smokers will all be fired up to cook delicious Thanksgiving turkeys in many different ways. There are a couple of Ohio turkeys, however, that have a November destination quite different from the rest of their counterparts — a presidential pardon at the White House.

Each year the honor of raising and presenting the National Thanksgiving Turkey goes to the chairman of the National Turkey Federation. This year’s chairman is Gary Cooper, an owner and the COO of Cooper Farms, a family-owned turkey, pork and egg company in western Ohio. The Coopers have worked with a special flock of turkeys that hatched in July in anticipation of a trip to meet President Barack Obama this month.

The tradition of the presentation of the National Thanksgiving Turkey dates back to 1873 when Ulysses S. Grant was president. It wasn’t until 1989 however, that President George H.W.… Continue reading

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New membership year underway for Ohio Cattlemen’s

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) kicked off the 2015 membership year with member only opportunities and member benefits that are better than ever. Outstanding membership partner, New Holland Agriculture, has given top recruiters extra incentive to encourage their friends, neighbors and fellow cattlemen to become members. Any member that recruits 10 new OCA members will earn a ticket into the drawing for a New Holland Rustler 125 UTV. You can increase your odds with a drawing ticket for every five additional members recruited. The drawing to determine the lucky winner will be held at the Ohio Beef Expo, March 20-22, 2015.

2015 also hosts a special incentive to long-time OCA members through an exclusive drawing for an AgriLabs VetGun. Anyone that has been an OCA membership for the past 10 years will be placed into an exclusive drawing during the OCA Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet on January 24, 2015. OCA appreciates the support of the long-time members and is pleased to offer this great member benefit!… Continue reading

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Distillers grains with calcium oxide improve cattle diets

Research by Purdue University scientist Jon Schoonmaker and his colleagues has shown that small amounts of calcium oxide can neutralize the acid in distillers grains, a commonly used alternative to corn in many livestock feed mixes.

The findings are good news for beef producers hoping to provide a more nutritious, better balanced diet to their animals while keeping their feed budgets manageable.

“Incorporating calcium oxide into the feed mix represents a small increase in price for much better performance,” Schoonmaker said. “The benefits are especially important now that many producers are thinking about increasing the size of their herds to take advantage of improving market conditions.”

Distillers grains are a relatively inexpensive and plentiful byproduct of ethanol production and retain many of the nutrients of the original corn used in the ethanol process.

The grains can be fed to animals in a wet form, with a 65% moisture content, or dried, at 10%.… Continue reading

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OCA Replacement Female Sale

Several members of the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) will sell over 90 consignments in the OCA Replacement Female Sale on Friday, Nov. 28, 2014, at 7 p.m. at the Muskingum Livestock Auction Company facility in Zanesville, Ohio.

Consignments include approximately 30 mature cows, less than five years of age, and approximately 60 bred heifers. Breeds represented will include Angus, Gelbvieh x Angus, Hereford x Angus, Limousin, Maine-Anjou x Angus, Shorthorn, Simmental, Simmental x Angus, and crossbred. Service sires represented include Angus, Charolais, Gelbvieh, Limousin, Maine-Anjou, Red Angus, Shorhorn and Simmental.

“Now is an excellent time for producers to add quality replacement heifers to their herds,” says John Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator. “The economic forecast for the cow-calf segment of the beef industry is very good for the next few years. Feeder calf prices are extremely strong at this time and the future looks positive as well. This sale represents an excellent opportunity for cow-calf producers to add quality bred heifers to their herds and potentially take advantage of the positive economic outlook for the beef industry.”… Continue reading

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Debate on global Trichinella standard

The National Pork Producers Council recently sent a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack on an international standard for controlling and monitoring Trichinella spp. proposed by the U.N. Codex Committee on Food Hygiene’s (CCFH).

Recommendations for the standard will be addressed at the CCFH meeting in Peru in November, and the results will be considered by the overarching Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) in July 2015.

The CAC was established by the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO) to promote food safety and coordinate international food standards. An FAO working group in October in Rome proposed significant changes to CCFH draft guidelines in key areas that would set the entire Codex process back from progress that has been made over the past years and would negatively affect the U.S. pork industry.

NPPC urged Vilsack to support the efforts of U.S. representatives to get the process back on track.… Continue reading

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Ohio Cattlemen’s Association to host annual meeting and banquet

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) will celebrate Ohio’s cattlemen, hear from industry leaders and set new policy for 2015 at the OCA Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015, at the North Pointe Hotel and Conference Center in Lewis Center, Ohio.

The day’s events start at 9:30 a.m. with the OCA county affiliate leader meeting. A luncheon is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. featuring the first of three “Around the Water Tank” sessions. The first session will feature a presentation from National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s (NCBA) Senior Executive Director of Integrated Communications, Michele Murray on checkoff funded advertising, online/social media outreach and public relations efforts, as well as marketing to millennials. Directly following lunch, “Around the Water Tank” Session 2 will take place with Certified Angus Beef’s David O’Diam presenting on the expectations consumers have for beef.

The OCA Annual Meeting will begin at 2:30 p.m. Membership will hear reports from OCA committee chairmen and take part in the association’s policy development session.… Continue reading

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NPPC introduces strategic plan

Following more than a year of planning and development, the National Pork Board today released its new strategic plan focused on anticipating and managing the changing world facing U.S. pork producers now and in the future. The plan, to be implemented starting in January 2015, will be in place through 2020 to guide the organization.

Rooted in collaboration between industry and supply chain partners, the new National Pork Board vision is to elevate U.S. pork as the global protein of choice by continuously and cooperatively working to do what’s right for people, pigs and the planet.

“It’s a plan sharply focused on a vision for the future of America’s pork producers. It defines in clear, customer-centered language a set of objectives focused on results,” said Dale Norton, Pork Checkoff president and a pork producer from Bronson, Mich. “Our task force, which included pork producers and representatives from allied industries, defined a commitment to leverage industry and supply chain collaboration to achieve the vision.”… Continue reading

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Alpacas for fun and fiber

Once reserved for Incan royalty, the luxurious fiber from an alpaca fleece has become widely recognized for its quality and comfort.

The animals are native to South America and were first brought to the United States in 1984. They initially were very high priced and relatively rare, though now they have gained a broader appeal in this country.

“We had been looking at alpacas for a long time and prices are coming down so you can get into it more easily. If you look, you can even find rescue animals now because people can’t afford the hay or feed. There are animals out there in the $20,000-range for alpaca breeding stock, but they have also come down in price, which makes them more accessible for more people,” said John McClintock, who owns Shady Lane Farm in Morrow County with his wife, Jean. “They eat grass and make it into really good fiber.”… Continue reading

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Beef Industry Update meeting

A Beef Industry Update meeting provided by the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) will take place in Madison County. Beef producers from Madison and surrounding counties are encouraged to attend. The meeting will be held Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. at the Madison County Fairgrounds, 205 Elm Street, London.

Dinner will be prepared by the Madison County Cattlemen’s Association and door prizes will be provided. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from John Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Team, on expanding their cow herd. Sasha Rittenhouse, OCA District 8 Representative, will be in attendance to discuss OCA events and policy updates.

Contact Stephanie Sindel at 614-873-6736 or email for more information about the industry update meetings. More information can also be found at

The Beef Industry Updates are sponsored by the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association.… Continue reading

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USDA extends Dairy Margin Protection Program Deadlines

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, speaking at the National Milk Producers Federation annual meeting, announced extended deadlines for the dairy Margin Protection Program. Farmers now have until Dec. 5, 2014, to enroll in the voluntary program, established by the 2014 Farm Bill. The program provides financial assistance to participating farmers when the margin — the difference between the price of milk and feed costs — falls below the coverage level selected by the farmer.

“We want dairy producers to have enough time to make thoughtful and well-studied choices,” Vilsack said. “Markets change and the Margin Protection Program can help protect dairy producers from those changes.”

Vilsack encouraged producers to use the online Web resource at to calculate the best levels of coverage for their dairy operation.

“Historical scenarios also can be explored to see how the Margin Protection Program would function should poor market conditions occur again in the future,” Vilsack said.… Continue reading

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Students rose to the challenge for the 2014 Ohio Dairy Challenge Contest

The 2014 Ohio Dairy Challenge was held October 24-25 and was again sponsored by Cargill Animal Nutrition. Dairy Challenge provides the opportunity for students at Ohio State University to experience the process of evaluating management practices on a dairy farm and to interact with representatives in the dairy industry. The program is held in a contest format for undergraduate students whereby they are grouped into teams of three to four individuals. Veterinary and graduate students are invited to attend the farm visit and participate in a meeting later in the evening with the contest judges to discuss observations on the farm.

The farm selected for the contest this year was the Pro Milk Dairy, LLC in Mt. Sterling (Pickaway County). The dairy farm is a partnership, with the managing partners being Theo and Christiane Huegemann.

The operation began in February 2014 and consists of 1,100 Holstein cows. The parlor consists of a 60-cow-rotary Bou-Matic system and cows are milked 3 times-a-day.… Continue reading

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Corn stalks can be a good option for feed

As corn harvest progresses, don’t overlook corn stalks as a feed resource. Corn residue can meet the nutrient needs of ruminant livestock that are in early to mid-gestation.

The University of Nebraska has done quite a bit of research on the topic of grazing corn residue. A University of Nebraska study conducted over a five-year period from 2004 to 2009 measured corn grain left in the field after harvest. An average of 1.0 bushel per acre was available for livestock grazing. A 2004 Nebraska beef report on corn stalk grazing included more information about the make-up of corn residue.

Generally, stalks account for 49% of the residue dry matter, leaves 27%, husks 12% and cobs another 12% of the residue dry matter. Livestock typically consume any corn grain first. After the grain, plant leaves and husks are eaten and the last portions of residue eaten are cobs and stalks.

Strip grazing across a corn field can even out the nutritional quality because livestock will be forced to consume both the higher and lower quality components of the residue within a given grazing period before the fence is moved to provide a new strip.… Continue reading

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Dairy leaders highlight priorities for coming months

With a major reform of the federal dairy safety net now complete, the leadership of the National Milk Producers Federation pledged to step up efforts on other key issues, including the fight for meaningful immigration reform, and opening more foreign markets to U.S. dairy products.

Speaking at the organization’s two-day annual meeting, Board Chairman Randy Mooney and President and CEO Jim Mulhern also stressed the need to address environmental issues and concerns over the treatment of animals on dairy farms.

The Mooney-Mulhern joint presentation came less than two months after the Agriculture Department formally launched the new dairy safety net, a margin insurance program known the Margin Protection Program, or MPP.

“The new Margin Protection Program is going to be more flexible, more fair, and more functional than the old MILC program,” said Mooney, a dairy farmer from Rogersville, Missouri.

“I want, most of all, to remind farmers to take action and enroll their operation in the Margin Protection Program by USDA’s Thanksgiving deadline,” said Mulhern, who took over as NMPF president 10 months ago.… Continue reading

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Ag classroom materials support Ohio teachers

Across the nation, and in Ohio, eight- and nine-year-old students are facing increasing pressures to pass reading proficiency targets in order to advance to the next grade. To support third-grade teachers, the Ohio Livestock Coalition (OLC) has developed a package of free educational materials that support key Ohio academic content standards while also teaching students about agriculture.

Now in its sixth year, the For Your InFARMation program is a three-day lesson that focuses on how Ohio livestock farmers help feed our communities, state and our world, and the important role agriculture plays in the Buckeye state. The materials support academic content standards for language arts, social studies, science and math, and can be downloaded free of charge at The curriculum also includes a variety of nonfiction reading passages to support teachers with Ohio’s Third Grade Reading Guarantee.

“Agriculture is the number-one contributor to Ohio’s economy; however, many students are unaware of the role that Ohio livestock farmers play in feeding Ohio and the world,” said Leah Dorman, representative of the OLC.… Continue reading

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Pork producers taking steps to prevent a winter resurgence of PEDv

While the recent threat of Ebola in the United States has the Centers for Disease Control in a frenzy to track outbreaks of the virus and determine how easily it is spread, the pork industry continues similar efforts with the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv). Since it first appeared in Ohio during the summer of 2013, pork producers have been looking for ways to combat the virus that can devastate a farm by wiping out entire barns of newborn pigs.

Much like the common flu, PEDv thrives in cold and wet conditions. While it has trailed off over the summer, it is anticipated that producers will see resurgence with winter on the way. Efforts to combat the disease include extensive work being done to develop vaccines that will help control loss and eventually allow prevention.

Wyandot County pork producer, Kyle Brown, manages his family’s hog operation, Maken Bacon Farms, and is the third generation of his family to serve on the Ohio Pork Producers Council.… Continue reading

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Ohio egg farmers benefitting Nationwide Hospital

For the third year, 10 Columbus restaurants that usually are open for breakfast and lunch only re-opened their doors from 5 p.m. to close on Thursday, October 23, 2014, to serve breakfast for dinner starring the incredible edible egg and one worthy cause.

This year’s event set a new record as guests of all ages donned their favorite family-friendly PJs and donated more than $533.68 in monetary contributions and 1,269 pairs of pajamas to patients at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Since the program’s inception, the event has raised more than $3,200 in monetary contributions and 3,170 pairs of pajamas. In exchange for their donated pajamas, diners received a free dozen eggs from Ohio’s egg farmers.

“PJs and Eggs offers a unique opportunity for families to support a great cause while wearing their pajamas and enjoying their favorite breakfast dishes for dinner at restaurants typically closed during the evening hours,” said Jim Chakeres, executive vice president of the Ohio Poultry Association.… Continue reading

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NFU: WTO ruling on COOL shows USDA is headed in the right direction

National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson said that the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) recent ruling on Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) clearly shows U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is headed in right direction.

“This ruling demonstrates the legitimate nature of the COOL objective and finds that the current labeling rule is an improvement over the original rule, but it remains unbalanced between consumer information and production costs,” said Johnson. “This decision, as it has been issued, will likely be modified on appeal and NFU strongly urges USTR to appeal the ruling.”

Johnson moderated the panel discussion, and was also joined Danni Beer, president of U.S. Cattleman’s Association, Patrick Woodall, research director at Food & Water Watch, and Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, to discuss the details and implications of the WTO ruling.

The WTO recently released the long-awaited, 200-plus page ruling that found the regulatory goal of COOL was WTO-compliant, and that the new 2013 labels provided better, more accurate information for consumers.… Continue reading

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Select Sires internship opportunity

Select Sires Inc. has announced plans to offer two summer internships at its headquarters facility in Plain City during the summer of 2015. Positions are available within the sales and marketing and communications departments, with applications due by January 1, 2015.

“Both practical work experience within the industry and networking are extremely important in helping college students prepare for full-time employment upon graduation,” said David Thorbahn, Select Sires president and C.E.O. “That’s why Select Sires offers hands-on internship opportunities each year. These internships help introduce students to the industry side of agriculture, while they contribute to the day-to-day operation of the Select Sires federation.”

College students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in dairy science, animal science, agricultural economics, agricultural communications or related agricultural fields may apply for these internships. Applicants must be familiar with cattle pedigree information. Previous dairy judging team experience is an advantage. While important for all internships, strong writing and computer skills are a requirement for students working in corporate communications.… Continue reading

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