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Monday, February 28,2005

Test Reports

by WLJ
Treasure Bull Test Treasure Bull Test has now completed 100 days of their test on 175 Angus bulls consigned by breeders from eight states. Considering the very cold weather the first two weeks of January, the bulls are performing extremely well. The 144 spring Angus bulls on test are gaining 3.08 lbs. per day (with an average weight per day of age of 3.18 lbs. The 371 fall bulls have an ADG of 3.20 and post WDA of 2.80. The test is being conducted at the Broken O Ranch Feedlot, Simms, MT. The top gaining bull at the 100 day mark continues to be Lot 189, a bull owned by Harrison Angus Ranch, Doug & Jason Harrison, Boyd MT on a 1,325 lb. son of HARB Big Top 2000 JH with an ADG of 4.15 lbs. per day. The second top gaining bull is Lot 204 from Ox Bow Ranch, Ken Cook, Manager, Wolf Creek, MT, on a 1,355 lb. son of Hyline Right Time 338 with an ADG of 4.10. Third is a Youth consignor, Katrina Dubs, Billings, MT, on Lot 19, a 1,425 lb. son of JR Something Special with an ADG of 4.05 Other top gaining bulls include: Dalbey Angus, John Dalbey, on Lot 177, a 1,375 lb. son of B/R New Frontier 095 with an ADG of 4; Rocky Mountain Angus, Cal Kinney, Weiser, ID, on Lot 119, a 1,300 lb. son of Rito 111 of 2536 Rito 6I6 with an ADG of 3 85; Linhart Angus, Mardi Linhart, Lewistown, MT, on Lot 192, a 1,205 lb. son of Bon View New Design 878 with an ADG of 3.85; Rich Love, Great Falls, MT, on Lot 126, a 1,390 lb. son of Hyline Right Time 338 with an ADG of 3.80; Bee Haven Angus, John Katovich, St Maries, ID, on Lot 164, a 1,230 lb. son of Paws Up Alliance 9561 with an ADG of 3.75; Roal Angus Farms, Richland, WA, on Lot 209, a 1,230 lb. son of Rathbun Freightliner L578 with an ADG of 3.75 and Roals’ on Lot 212, an 1,195 lb. son of Rathbun Freightliner L578 with an ADG of 3.70. Leading all bulls in the weight per day of age category is lot 19 from the Jackpot Division consigned by Youth consignor Katrina Dubs, Billings, MT, on a 1,425 lb. son of JR Something Special with a WDA of 3.91. Second top WDA bull comes from Granger Angus, Jim and Beth Granger, Great Falls, MT, on Lot 4, a 1375 lb son of Hyline Right Time 542 with a WDA of 3.70. South Peak Angus, David and Nola Anderson, Geyser, MT, own the third top WDA bull on Lot 219, a 1,200 lb. son of SPAR Updates Spade with a WDA of 3.67. Other top WDA bulls include: Ox Bow Ranch on Lot 204, a 1,355 lb. son of Hyline Right Time 338 with a WDA of 3.66; Harrison Angus Ranch, Boyd, MT, on Lot 189, the top gainer sired by HARB Big Top 2000 JH with a WDA of 3.66; Rich Love on his Lot 126, a 1,390 lb. son of Hyline Right Time 338 with a WDA of 3.60; South Peaks on Lot 218, a 1,260 lb. son of SPAR Oscar Black Sambo with a WDA of 3.53; Milk River Genetics, Kathy Creighton Smith, Chinook, MT, on Lot 199, an 1,185 lb. son of SAF 598 Bando 5175 with a WDA of 3.53; Dalbey Angus on Lot 177, the 1,375 lb. son of B/R New Frontier 095 with a WDA 3.49 and Corey A Ranch, Barbara Korenjak, North Plains OR, on Lot 224, a 1165 lb. son of AAR Really Windy 721. The top gaining sire group comes from Ox Bow Ranch, Ken Cook, Manager, Wolf Creek, MT, on three sons of Hyline Right Time 338 with an average weight of 1,240 lbs. and an average daily gain of 3.38. The second top gaining sire group are three sons of Leachman Boom Time consigned by 7 Bar Heart Angus, Greg and Aimee Hachigian-Gould, Ulm, MT, with the three bulls averaging 1,203 lbs. each and having an ADG of 3.25. The top weight per day of age sire group comes from Milk River Genetics on three son of SAV 598 Bando 5175 with an average weight of 1,137 lbs. and an average WDA of 3.44. A very close second is the top gaining sire group from Ox Bow with a WDA of 3.43. Leading the 31 fall bulls in average daily gain is lot 325, a 1,455 lb. of Paws Up Royce 1519 with an ADG of 4.55. The bull is consigned by J&J Livestock, Augusta, MT. Second is an another J&J bull on Lot 322, a 1,535 lb. son of Bon View New Design 1407 with an ADG of 4.30. Third is Lot 329, a 1,545 lb. son of HSAF Traveler 8180-504C with an ADG of 4.1 Topping the fall bull division in weight per day of age is lot 329 from the Nissens with a WDA of 3.18. The bull is sired by HSAF Traveler 8180-504C. The Lot 322 from J&J is second in WDA with a WDA of 3. 15. This bull is sired by Bon View New Design 1407 and weighs 1,535 lbs. The third top WDA bull is Lot 331 from Nissen & Corey A on a 1,525 lb. son of HSAF Traveler 8l80-504C with a WDA of 3.06. Treasure Bull Test bulls sell April 11, at Western Livestock Auction, Great Falls, MT. For additional information call 406/264-5694 or e-mail brtangus@3rivers.net. OPSU bull test final Beef bulls on the 53rd Annual Performance Test at Panhandle State University, Goodwell, OK, were weighed-off test Jan. 29, 2005. Bulls in this year’s test have an overall average daily gain (ADG) of 4.15 pounds and a weight-per-day-of-age (WDA) of 3.38 pounds. The top performing bull is an Angus senior-age bull consigned by Larry Weinkauf, Orlando, OK. This son of SAF New Design K500 gained 6.32 pounds-per-day and has a WDA of 3.76 pounds. Preparations are in progress for the 53rd Annual Performance Tested Bull Sale where the top 70 bulls will be offered for sale. The bulls are being fertility checked, measured for frame score, scrotal circumference and scanned for fat thickness, ribeye area and marbling. Carcass trait EPDs will be available on many of the bulls sale day. Following close behind the top gaining bull is another Angus at 5.85 pounds consigned by Al Rutledge, Stillwater, OK. This bull is sired by Bon View New Design 1407. Another Larry Weinknuf bull by the New Design 500 sire is the third top senior with an ADG of 5.51 pounds. Al Rutledge’s pen of three Angus with an ADG of 5.15 pounds leads the senior pen division. Two of these bulls are sons of Bon View New Design 1407 and one is by TC Moonshine 001. B&M Angus, Edmond, OK, is in second place with an ADG of 5.03 pounds on three Angus, two sired by ALC Royce 0143 and one by RR Rainmaker 8153. In third place with an ADG of 4.91 pounds is Larry Weinkauf’s pen of three Angus, all by the SAF New Design K500 sire. An Angus bull of Tim Meier, Hitchcock, OK, leads the junior age bulls with an ADG of 5.33 pounds. This bull is sired by GAR New Design 9391. Phil Light, Turpin, OK, has the second, third, fourth and fifth ranked juniors with ADG’s of 5.13, 5.04, 4.93 and 4.88 pounds respectively. His top bull is a son of Summitcrest Hi Flyer 3B18. A Phil Light pen of three Angus leads the junior pen division with an ADG of 4.74 pounds. Two are sons of Millers Bullseye J373 and one a son of Bon View New Design 878. Tim Meier’s pen of four Angus, all sons of GAR New Design, is in second place with an ADG of 4.72 pounds. Another Phil Light pen of four Angus is third with an ADG of 4.61 pounds. Sires represented in this pen are: Gardens Highmark A09 S1, GAR Precision 9296, Summercrest Hi Flyer 3B18 and PL Traveler T 510 682. The most efficient junior-age pen of bulls in converting feed to gain is Phil Light’s pen of three Angus at 6.13 pounds of as-fed feed per pound of gain. The leading senior-age pen of bulls is AI Rutledge’s pen of three Angus at 7.25 pounds of as-fed feed per pound of gain. The sale is Wednesday, February 23, at 1:00 pm CST, in the England Activity Building, University Farm, Goodwell, OK. For complete test results and sale catalog contact Jerry or Gwen Martin, OPSU, Goodwell, OK 73939, 580/349-1500 or 580/349-1512. WCA/WSU 80 day bull test The 12th Annual Washington Cattleman’s Association (WCA) and Washington State University (WSU) sponsored bull test has issued a progress report for the first 80 day test period of their 120 day feed test. The test is being conducted at the Washington State University Research Center at Prosser, WA. One hundred thirty-six bulls will be tested this year comprised of Angus, Red Angus, Polled and Horned Herefords, Simmentals, and for the first time, Braunvieh. These bulls represent the top genetics from 47 of the Northwest’s top seed stock producing herds. A high percentage of the bulls on test are sired by the top nationally known AI sires. These bulls range in age from Jan. 1, 2004 to Mar. 31, 2004. Final test data will be taken Mar. 4, 2005. Sale day is scheduled for Mar. 23, 2005 at the WSU Research Center in Prosser, Washington. Only 75 percent of the bulls of each breed will be allowed to sell, based on the Test Final Station Index (½ ADG and ½ Adjusted Yearling Weight Index), structure, physical and breeding soundness evaluation. A low birth EPD section for Angus will be separated after final EPD qualifications of +2.0 BEPD or less are checked. Angus (ADG-4.01, WDA-3.32) The 68 head of Angus recorded an ADG of 4.01 lbs. as a group. Thirty-four head of Angus have gained over four pounds per day. They were led by a Feb. 3 son of GAR Expectation 4915 that is gaining 4.94 lbs. per day. This bull is consigned by Black Knight Ranch of Sedro-Wooley, WA. Black Knight also has the second top gaining Angus on a Feb. 2 son of Rito 616 that is gaining 4.88 lbs. per day. The next high gaining Angus was a Feb. 23 son of B/R New Frontier 095 consigned by Rhodes Angus of Independence, OR, gaining 4.83 lbs. per day. He was followed by the heaviest bull of the entire test, consigned by Shultz & Sons of Reardan, WA. This Jan. 27 son of Connealy Timeline weighed 1,405 lbs. on Jan. 22 while recording a 4.80 lbs. per day gain and the top WDA of the Angus at 3.89 lbs. Horned & Polled Herefords (ADG-3.35 WDA-3.16) The 19 head of Polled Herefords were led by a Jan. 15 son of KT Top Secret 1030 consigned by Linton Polled Herefords of Prosser, WA, that recorded an ADG of 4.23 lbs. The second top ADG for the Polled Herefords was a Mar. 7 son of LHR Madison 517-C26 consigned by Deets Polled Herefords of Bellingham, WA, that gained 4.08 lbs. per day. The highest WDA recorded was a Mar. 13 son of Remitall Keynote 20X consigned by Nordlicht Polled Herefords of Addy, WA, that posted a WDA of 3.86 lbs. The highest ADG for the 19 head of Horned Herefords was 4.08 lbs. per day on a Feb. 22 son of H5 500 Advance 897 consigned by Bird Herefords of Halfway, OR. This bull also recorded the top WDA of the Horned Herefords with a 3.63 lb. WDA. The second highest ADG by a Horned Hereford was 4.07 lbs. on a Feb. 10 son of CL 1 Domino 5131E consigned by Ottley Herefords of Quincy, WA. Red Angus (ADG - 3.43, WDA - 3.17) The 12 Red Angus bulls were led by a Feb. 1 son of Mabes Canyon consigned by Mabee Red Angus of Sweet Home, OR. This bull leads the Red Angus test with a 4.35 lb. ADG. He also records the highest WDA of the Red Angus with 3.79 lbs. The second top ADG of the Red Angus was 4.01 lbs. per day on a Jan. 25 son of BJR Make My Day 981 consigned by X Lazy B Ranch of Dayton, WA. Simmental (ADG-3.55, WDA 3.41) The 12 Simmentals were led with an ADG of 4.28 lbs. on a Jan. 30 black, polled son of Black Irish Kansas consigned by Schriever Simmentals of Molalla, OR. The second high ADG of the Simmentals was 4.06 lbs. recorded by a Feb. 20 black polled son of PVF-BF BF26 Black Joker consigned by Powerline Simmentals of Oregon City, OR. The highest WDA of the Simmentals was 3.95 lbs. This Feb. 10 black, polled son of PVF-BF BF26 Black Joker was also consigned by Schriever Simmentals of Molalla, OR. Of the 12 Simmental bulls on test, all are polled and black. Braunvieh (ADG-2.93, WDA 3.05) The Braunvieh breed is participating in the WCA/WSU test for the first time. This breed is led by a Feb. 11 polled son of Silver Bullet 5549 consigned by Mountain Valley Ranch of Fairfield, ID. This bull posted an ADG of 3.73 lbs. and WDA of 3.31 lbs. Only the top 75 percent of these bulls in each breed will sell. Selection is based on Average Daily Gain, Adjusted Yearling Weight, semen and scrotal evaluation and structural soundness. All bulls will have ultrasound data collected and available to the public, as well as Performance EPDs and most will have Carcass EPDs available. Of special interest will be the sale of lot 43, a Feb. 10 son of Twin Valley Precision E161. Consigned and donated by Rocky Mountain Angus of Payette, ID, the proceeds from the sale of this bull will benefit the Washington State University Livestock Judging Team. The sale is scheduled for Mar. 23 at the WSU Research Center in Prosser, Washington. Prior to the sale, a social hour and forum will be conducted the evening of Mar. 22 featuring Dr. Sally Northcutt, Genetic Research Director at the American Angus Association, speaking on “Selection Tools - The Index Approach.” Bulls on test may be viewed at any time at the WSU Research Center. Test results and sale catalogs for the Mar. 23 sale are available through Jean Smith, Benton Franklin Area Extension Educator, at 5600 E West Canal Place, Kennewick, WA 99336 or 509/735-355. Test data can also be viewed on line at www.prosser.wsu.edu/faculty/linton.htm. Northeast Colorado Bull Test, 77-day mark Northeast Colorado Bull Test Association’s (NCBTA) 29th Annual Performance Bull Test is through 77 days of the 120-day testing period. As a group, the bulls posted a 4.30 pound average daily gain (ADG) and 3.29 pound weight per day of age (WDA). The bulls will be weighed off-test Mar. 1 and 2. ADG and WDA ratios are calculated for each bull and averaged to calculate a test index. All bulls are compared within their own breed, with the exception of breed groups that have less than four bulls. These bulls are ratioed against the average of the entire group of bulls on test. A bull must post a test index of 95 or greater to be eligible for NCBTA’s 29th Annual Performance Sale, Saturday, Apr. 2. This year all of the bulls were tested for the Bovine Virus Diarrhea (BVD) persistently infected (P1) status and found negative. The bulls are put on test for 120 days at the Northeast Colorado Beef Improvement Center and fed a high-fiber, low concentrate diet. NCBTA’s goal is to develop bulls in a way that will allow them to express growth through genetic potential without developing excess conditioning or reducing fertility and longevity. The three top gaining bulls were from the Angus breed. The top ADG was 5.74 pounds for test number 82, from Steve Smith Angus, Lehi, UT. This calf was sired by the Angus bull Jaynbee New Design 036. Second, with an ADG of 5.66 was an Angus calving ease bull consigned by Kimmel Angus, Stoneham, CO, calf number 43, sired by Bon View New Design 1407. Dale Angus Ranch, Akron, CO, has the third top gaining bull with a 5.41 ADG. Test number 61 is sired by the Angus bull BT Ultravox 297E. In the Simmental breed group, test number 23 posted an ADG of 5.01 pounds, sired by Drake Stress Free, consigned by George Rober, Sedgwick, CO, was the top gaining bull. The eight Simmental bulls posted a 4.37 pound ADG with a 3.55 pound WDA. In the Hereford division the six entries gains averaged 3.65 pounds ADG and 3.05 pounds WDA, with the top ADG bull consigned by Roderick Polled Herefords, Lindon, CO. This calf, test number 35, was sired by Star Geronimo 335K, posted an ADG of 4.15, WDA 3.36 and a test index of 112. Thirteen head of Red Angus bulls averaged 3.90 pounds ADG and 3.21 pounds WDA. The X 7 Ranch, Merino, CO, consigned the top ADG and indexing Red Angus bull. This calf is test number 13 and was sired by Schuler 9160 1435L. It posted an ADG of 4.99 pounds a 3.56 WDA with a test index of 120. In the Crossbred division, Gordon Creek Ranch, Anton, CO, and Steve Smith Angus, Lehi, UT, have bulls gaining 4.16 pounds. The Gordon Creek Ranch bull, test number 112, is 75 percent South Devon X and 25 percent Red Angus, sired by Cimarron Apollo 222M. The Steve Smith Angus bull is a Balancer bull sired by Jaynbee New Design 036, test number 113. The four head of Crossbred bulls posted an ADG of 4.00 with a 3.13 WDA. Ft. Bridger Limousin, Ft. Bridger, WY, has the top gaining bull, test number 123, in the Limousin division. This Cole 140J sired calf has an ADG of 4.11 with a WDA of 3.38. The four head of Limousin bulls posted an ADG of 3.77 with a WDA of 3.04. The top performing bulls will be offered for sale in the 29th Annual NCBTA Sale, Apr. 2, at noon, at the Northeast Colorado Beef Improvement Center, adjacent to the Eastern Colorado Research Center. For more information or a more detailed copy of the test results, contact David Colburn at 970/522-3200, ext. 283, or write NCBTA, 508S, 10th Aye, Ste. #1, Sterling, CO 80751, or visit the web site at www.northeastcoloradobttlltcst.org.

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Monday, February 28,2005

USDA forum: 2005 beef exports seen rising without Asia

by WLJ
USDA economists expect 2005 U.S. beef exports to rise, even without a border reopening in Asian countries, USDA Chief Economist Keith Collins said last Thursday. Collins made his remarks while speaking to a gathering at USDA's annual Agricultural Outlook Forum. However, although trade with Mexico and other countries will grow in 2005, it still would be only a quarter of the level in 2003, before nearly all U.S. beef export markets were closed after finding an imported dairy cow in Washington state with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), Collins said. In addition to the beef export increases, stronger foreign economies and resumption of more normal trade with Russia and China likely will increase pork and poultry exports, Collins said. Pork exports were a record in 2004 and are forecast to be five percent higher in 2005, he said. Demand for U.S. pork has been strong in Asia and in Mexico where economic growth is good, and the weaker U.S. dollar is contributing to the strong performance estimates. What's more, export strength for pork should carry over into 2006, even as bans are lifted on beef because beef markets will be slow to rebuild and pork prices should be lower. Lower broiler parts prices, compared with mid-2004, are helping exports currently, Collins said, and trade issues with China have been ironed out. U.S. broiler markets are expected to continue growing, especially in a variety of smaller markets like former Soviet block countries and the Caribbean. On the home front, U.S. livestock markets have been quite strong. A comparison of per-capita meat consumption and the Consumer Price Index for all meat illustrates this well, Collins said. Prior to 1998, there was a standard supply-and-demand relationship of higher prices when supplies were tight and lower prices when supplies were high, Collins said. But after 1998, the relationship changed as production and consumption rose, while live animal and retail prices also rose. Despite BSE and the loss of beef export markets, cattle prices set a record high in 2004 when the cattle cycle bottomed and beef production was down 6.5 percent, he said. For 2005, with Canadian fed and feeder cattle expected to begin crossing the border on March 7, beef production is expected to rise 4.5 percent, and cattle prices could decline about two percent from the 2004 record-high price and be in the low-$80 range, which should carry over into 2006. Collins attributed that change to strong consumer demand for meat protein, improving restaurant and hotel business, improved diversity and quality of meat products and a better world economy. Once the backlog of Canadian cattle works its way through the system this year, beef production will be limited by tight cattle supplies, Collins said. Despite high hog prices last year, hog producers have been cautious about expanding, Collins said. In 2005, hog slaughter is expected to be only slightly larger than last year, with pork production up less than one percent. Hog prices will be lower in 2005, he said. Prices are forecast in the upper $40s per hundredweight but would still be nearly $10.00 higher than average hog prices from 1998 to 2003. Hog prices are likely to remain fairly steady next year, with a little larger increase in output than in 2005. Broiler production in 2005 is expected to be about three percent higher as producers respond to prices that stay relatively high, Collins said. Production is expected to expand two to three percent into 2006.

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Monday, February 28,2005

USDA allocates $9.3M for disaster recovery

by WLJ
Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns last Wednesday announced $9.3 million in Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP) funding for locally-sponsored watershed protection projects resulting from recent floods and other natural disasters such as tornadoes, fires, drought and hurricanes. The funding is currently set aside for 12 states hit by natural disasters the past few months. "The Bush Administration remains committed to enhancing the environment," said Johanns. "These emergency funds will help restore critical watersheds while responding to the needs of rural communities." Through EWP, USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service provides technical and financial assistance to protect life and property threatened by excessive erosion and flooding caused by the sudden impairment of a watershed from a natural disaster. EWP projects provide sound erosion control measures that are economically and environmentally defensible. EWP funds address public safety and restoration efforts on private lands and are used to remove debris, restore eroded streambanks, re-seed burned areas and take related steps to mitigate threats to people and property from impaired watersheds. States receiving EWP funds are: State EWP Funds Alabama $360,000 Arizona $960,000 California $1,200,000 Illinois $65,000 Indiana $1,440,000 Mississippi $240,000 Nevada $1,500,000 Oklahoma $1,200,000 Pennsylvania $540,000 South Carolina $76,800 Tennessee $1,080,000 Texas $660,000 TOTAL $9,321,800 — WLJ

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Monday, February 21,2005

‘A40' agreed to by Japanese politicians

by WLJ
USDA cleared a second hurdle in trying to partially regain beef trade with Japan as the ruling political party in the Pacific Rim nation last Wednesday endorsed a proposal designed to verify the age of U.S. cattle eligible to produce beef for export. The move by a panel of Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) members helps move Tokyo a step closer to easing its 14-month-old import ban on American beef, which has kept U.S. beef from accessing Japan’s beef market. Prior to the LDP’s blessing, a panel of food safety and consumer health experts accepted a U.S.-proposed beef grading method that would accurately identify and separate cattle unlikely to have bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). The LDP panel accepted that same conclusion last Wednesday. However, the final decision lies with the government's Food Safety Commission (FSC). LDP’s approval of a program was considered a “very good omen” by USDA sources who said the political party has been a vehement opponent of reopening the Japanese border to U.S. beef. Under the USDA proposal, U.S. beef would be allowed to be shipped to Japan if the cattle producing that beef fit a grading category known as ‘A40' or if they have a verifiable paper trail with date of birth information. A40 cattle are animals that can be proven to be between the age of 12-17 months, well within the 20-month-or-under restriction Japan is advocating. The determination of that age window is made through evaluating the carcass of the animal, particularly vertebrae and cartilage, USDA scientists have indicated. Japan tentatively agreed late last year to resume importing U.S. beef from cattle 20 months or younger. The two sides, however, had long argued over how to authenticate the age of cattle, but the latest meat grading system proposed by U.S. officials addresses that issue. According to Chuck Lambert, deputy under secretary for regulatory and marketing programs, the A40 proposal now needs to be ratified by Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Fishery and Forestry (MAFF) and Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW). Upon that being completed, Lambert said it is up to FSC to determine changes to domestic BSE testing policy and then work on changes to import regulations. “We still have two major (regulatory) steps to maneuver in Japan,” Lambert said. “We have given them the science and what appears to be an acceptable resolution to the situation, and we have to wait on their acceptance of that now.” A timeframe for the regulatory process was not known last week. Most USDA officials indicated that it would still be early summer before the first load of U.S. beef might be on its way to Japan. Prior to BSE being found in Washington state in December 2003, U.S. beef exports to Japan totaled $1.5-1.7 billion. — WLJ

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Monday, February 21,2005

Agri-terrorism funding needed

by WLJ
Federal funding to help states prepare for and prevent terrorism aimed at food producers is less than adequate, an Iowa agriculture department official told members of Congress last week. “There's been almost insignificant funding for agriculture and we're seeing it reduced even more as we look at funds being diverted to the larger cities and away from rural states such as Iowa," said Jane Colacecchi, executive liaison to Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Patty Judge. Colacecchi told the Senate Agriculture Committee last Tuesday that Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials have not included agriculture systems as critical assets needing protection from bio-terrorism. “Up until recently they were really talking about things that you could blow up, bricks and mortar," she said. She said agriculture production should be viewed as a system that includes everything from farms, manufacturing and processing plants and transportation/distribution of products. "If you look at the corn production or cattle production systems in Iowa, no single component of that system may be identified as a critical asset, but it's a multibillion dollar industry," she said. Failure to recognize agriculture production as a critical asset has caused a lack of funding to protect it, she said. “We really need to continue to voice a strong opinion in Washington in order to get funding to the agricultural states,” she said. “It's America's food supply and the government at the federal level has really done an inadequate job of identifying that as a critical asset.” Colacecchi and Iowa State Veterinarian Dr. John Schiltz updated the committee on the state's preparedness for animal disease emergencies. Plans have been developed for veterinarians around the state to be part of a disease reporting network, Schiltz said. The Rapid Veterinarian Response Teams would coordinate a response to an incident anywhere in the state. He said more than 200 veterinarians have agreed to be part of the group. Training sessions also have been held around the state to teach mayors, county supervisors, farmers and others in how to deal with and report an animal disease emergency. The Iowa Law Enforcement Academy has incorporated information about the role of local officers in an emergency, which could include isolating hundreds of animals and closing off large tracts of land, Colacecchi said. "The state plans and what we've done with the counties up to this level really does put in place what we need to do in order to respond, but we want to continue to fine tune those responses," she said. "I'm very confident in what we have in place so far. I just think there's always room to continue to build on those plans," she said. Additional food safety experts testified that additional homeland security funding needs to be given to all states with a heavy agriculture industry, particularly those with a very heavy focus on food manufacturing and processing. Extra funds for the heavy beef producing states of Texas, Nebraska, Kansas and Colorado was called a “major priority,” by several who testified in front of the committee.

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Monday, February 21,2005

Beef Bits

by WLJ
123,000 pounds ground beef recalled Emmpak Foods Inc. of Milwaukee, WI, is voluntarily recalling approximately 123,000 pounds of ground beef that may be contaminated with hydraulic fluid, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced Feb. 14. Nine products are subject to the recall, all of which are one-pound packages. The product’s bear sell by dates of 1/31/05, 2/1/05 or 2/2/05. Each package also bears the code, “Est. 20654" inside the USDA mark of inspection. Seven of the items were distributed to retail stores in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. Two others were distributed to retail stores in Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and South Carolina. McD’s January sales up McDonald's Corp. recently reported that international system-wide sales for McDonald's restaurants increased 8.3 percent in January compared with January 2004. Comparable sales for McDonald's restaurants worldwide increased 5.2 percent. According to McDonald's CEO Jim Skinner comparable sales last month were up 4.1 percent in the U.S. and 5.4 percent from January 2004. Europe's January system-wide sales rose 11.6 percent. Australian beef exports down 7.3 percent in January Beef exports from Australia, the world’s biggest exporter, fell 7.3 percent in January to 42,600 metric tons from a year earlier. Beef demand from Japan and South Korea and exports to those destinations remained strong in January, but shipments to the U.S. declined. Exports to Japan fell 11 percent on year to 21.053 tons in January. Exports in January 2004 were abnormally high due to increased demand after Japan banned imports of U.S. beef. Exports to South Korea surged 79 percent to 6.393 tons in January this year, another market where U.S. and Canadian beef imports are banned. $1 million grant awarded for cattle genome research Genetic differences in reproduction, lactation, growth, bone structure, fat deposition, altitude and heat tolerance, and resistance to specific pathogens will be the subject of a study at the Center for Animal Biotechnology and Genomics at Texas A&M University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, thanks to a $1 million grant from the Robert J. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation, which will allow researchers to study the differences in cattle breeds and individual cows. Genetic differences in reproduction, lactation, growth, bone structure, fat deposition, altitude and heat tolerance, and resistance to specific pathogens will be studied. This in turn can lead to the development of new treatments for both human and animal diseases. 2005 BSE cases in France at five The U.S. ag attaché in Paris on Feb. 11 reported there have been five confirmed BSE cases in French cattle since the first of this year alone. Over the last 36 months 435 BSE-positive cattle have been found in France. A total of 951 BSE cases have been confirmed in French cattle since 1991. Sara Lee unloading EU beef Chicago-based Sara Lee has announced plans to spin off its $4.5 billion branded apparel unit and three other businesses in order to concentrate on its food, beverage and household product offerings. Among the other units for sale are Sara Lee's $1.1 billion packaged meat business in Europe. The company said the restructuring will not affect fiscal 2005 earnings, which are forecast at $1.46 to $1.56 a share, before any gains or charges that may occur in the next four months. It also affirmed its second- and third-quarter profit forecasts of 29 cents and 34 cents per share, respectively. Prison sentence urged Prosecutors demanded 12 years in prison Feb. 15 for the former chairman of an Osaka-based meat-packing company who allegedly swindled the government out of more than 5 billion yen by abusing a state beef buyback program to calm concerns over BSE, reports Kyodo. At the Osaka District Court, Mitsuru Asada, 66, the former chairman of Hannan Corp. and key defendant in the high-profile case, admitted the prosecutors’ allegations in the first hearing but later argued that the farm ministry was also responsible for motivating him to commit the fraud and remain silent about it. According to the indictment, Asada defrauded the government and an industry group out of 5.03 billion yen from November 2001 through May 2002 by falsely labeling beef to qualify for the buyback program, according to the indictment. CHB reports first 1M-pound week According to Certified Hereford Beef LLC (CHB), during the third week of January, licensed packers of CHB beef sold more than one million pounds of product to the program's 400 retail locations, as well as foodservice outlets. That marked the first time in the program’s history that weekly distribution reached one million pounds or more. Doug Miller, vice president ofsales for CHB, said this sales achievement further propels the 10-year-old program towards its goal of creating an annual demand of one million head of Hereford-influenced cattle. In week four of 2005, Certified Hereford Beef's packers harvested a record number of cattle, exceeding 10,000 head.

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Monday, February 21,2005

Bill limits farm payments

by WLJ
U.S. Sens. Chuck Hagel (R-NE), Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Byron Dorgan (D-ND) introduced a bill Feb. 15 that would place a $250,000 limit on federal farm payments. The senators introduced similar legislation in March 2003. Currently, a farmer can receive up to $360,000 in commodity payments a year. In addition, by using a marketing loan device known as generic certificates, the largest operations can receive unlimited payments. "This bill would bring sensible reform to our farm policy. Because of the loopholes in the Farm Bill, about 60 percent of farm payments go to 10 percent of producers––allowing the largest farm operations to grow with tax-payer dollars, while family farms get squeezed out. This step to level the playing field for small family farmers is long overdue," Hagel said. The bill would tighten payment limits in two ways: Strip the largest farms of the ability to receive unlimited payments by limiting generic certificates; Tighten limits for farmers under the three entity rule––from $360,000 to $250,000. In 2002, during the farm bill debate, Hagel, Grassley and Dorgan worked to implement real payment limits. The amendment received 66 votes in the Senate, and was adopted as part of the Senate Farm Bill, but was stripped from the Farm Bill conference report. — WLJ

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Monday, February 21,2005

Beef safety advancing, more to do

by WLJ
At a forum on beef safety at the Cattle Industry Annual Convention and Trade Show in San Antonio earlier this month, food safety experts led a discussion of recent advancements made in BSE prevention and E.coli reduction. A common theme among the speakers was that while the beef industry can be very proud of the advancements it has made in improving food safety, it must continually strive for improvement. Ongoing beef safety research is funded by America’s Beef Producers through the $1-per-head Beef Checkoff Program. It is coordinated on behalf of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and state beef councils by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, which serves as one of the Beef Board’s contractors for checkoff-funded programs. While bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) has received heavy news coverage since a single case was confirmed in the United States in December 2003, E.coli remains a concern for the beef industry and its consumers. Guy Loneragan, B.V. Sc. Ph.D., provided an up-to-date look at pre-harvest research efforts addressing intervention development and approval of management steps in reducing the incidence of E. coli. Dr. Loneragan is an assistant professor of Beef Cattle Health Management at West Texas A & M University. “The beef industry has worked hard and has had many successes in reducing E. coli, helping to maintain consumer confidence in beef,” Loneragan said. “In fact, illness rates attributed to E. coli have almost reached the 2010 goal of 1 case per 100,000 people.” But Loneragan emphasized that the industry still faces challenges in reducing the presence of E.coli. He feels the industry needs to examine pre-harvest intervention options, especially with regard to hide and feces. Several pre-harvest intervention options are being evaluated. A lacto bacillus-based product that is added to feed has significantly reduced the number of animals testing positive for E. coli on both the hide and feces. Another intervention option being researched is vaccination. Studies have shown cattle that are vaccinated are much less likely to carry the bacteria, but it is unclear how effectively the vaccine reduces E. coli on the hides. Neomycin is an antibiotic not labeled for E. coli control. However, Loneragen said that two large feedlot studies have shown that it reduces E. coli in the feces by 98 to 100 percent, and in hides by 85 to 90 percent. Recent strides in reducing E. coli O157 in beef carcasses are also among the ongoing checkoff-funded research efforts highlighted in Building Demand through Research, the research annual report published recently by the Cattlemen’s Beef Board. A complete copy of “Building Demand through Research” is available at http://www.beef.org/dsp/dsp_locationContent.cfm?locationId=892. At the same issues forum, Dr.Terry McElwain provided an overview of the BSE surveillance program. McElwain is a professor and the executive director with Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. McElwain reported that the goal of the program, which was initiated in June of 2004, is to test 268,500 animals in a 12-18 month period. The target population consists of animals showing some type of disorder that has compatible, clinical signs of BSE. Examples include central nervous cases, condemned cattle and downer cattle. The number to be tested is based on an estimated 464,000 possible animals that fit into the target population. By completing this number of tests, the industry can state with 100 percent confidence that five or fewer infected animals exist in the nation’s cattle population. Initially, seven labs are performing BSE testing. Biorad rapid ELISA assay was chosen as the test, in part because results can be produced in one day. All lab results are tracked through sample accession––an automated process that avoids any recording mistakes. Negative results are reported electronically to the NAHLN database and to USDA. McElwain explained that if the test yields a single well reactor, it is immediately rerun in duplicate. If it turns up negative, no more testing of that animal is needed. If the second test yields a reactive well, the sample is sent to the NADC for confirmatory testing. As of Jan. 30, more than 213,000 samples have been taken and analyzed, about 1,700 per day. Dr. Don Knowles, a professor at Washington State University, also discussed BSE risk, current research and infectious dose levels at the issues forum. “It is important that the industry and those involved in BSE research and related policy remain vigilant, but the news concerning BSE is currently positive. Transmission of BSE is understood and appropriate control practices are in place. Therefore, BSE and vCJD should continue their decline. A note of caution is necessary, however. We must remember that when dealing with biology, change and unpredictability is the rule,” Knowles said. — WLJ

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Monday, February 21,2005

CattleWomen install new president

by WLJ
— Remaining officers, new mission statement approved. Marlene Strickland, Sarasota, FL, was installed as the 54th president of the American National CattleWomen (ANCW) during the 2005 Cattle Industry Annual Convention, held February 2-5 in San Antonio, TX. “We are really looking forward to the discussion results that will be compiled from the input we received from members and cattle women who participated,” Strickland said. “This input will be a catalyst for meeting the needs of women in our industry.” Strickland brings years of commitment to the beef industry at the county, state and national level to the position of ANCW president. She is a past president of the Florida CattleWomen, and since 2000 has served on the executive committee of ANCW as a Region II director, president-elect and vice president. Strickland has enjoyed many years working with youth in 4-H, and especially with the National Beef Ambassador Program. Strickland and her husband Don, raise Angus cattle and have been 4-H leaders for 30 years. They have two children and four grandchildren and this past year celebrated 40 years of marriage and 20 years as owners of Land Electric, Inc. Other officers and region directors were installed at ANCW’s annual meeting. Remaining members of the 2005 executive committee are president-elect, Nancy Stirling-Neuhauser, South Dakota; vice president, Wendy Pettz, Arkansas; secretary, Kim Strickland, Florida; parliamentarian, Trudy Carey, Florida; historian, Karen Andrle, Florida; Region I director, Bonnie Bargstedt, New York; Region II director, Doris Teeter, North Carolina; Region III director, Leslee Lohrenz, Wisconsin; Region IV director, Rosemary Brizendine, Texas; Region V director, Leslie Hendry, Wyoming; Region VI director, Joan Hemsted, California; and Region VII director, Nanci Agnew, North Dakota. The new leadership will be working with the Advisory Team, an ad hoc committee created in 2004 to develop “recommendations and concrete ideas that will guide our national association” by addressing the needs of cattle women involved in the beef industry. The 2005 leadership will operate in a year of transition, as organizational strategies are being discussed and crafted for 2006. In setting priorities for ANCW, the mission statement adopted by the general membership states, “The American National CattleWomen, Inc. is a voice for women who share a passion for the U.S. beef industry. Our mission is to promote and support the beef industry as well as encourage women in beef and related agribusiness.” The leadership believes this statement articulates what ANCW does and why, and who the organization is intended to serve. Award winner The group also remembered one of its most active members with a award for her lifelong contributions and commitment to the U.S. cattle/beef industry. Frances Raulerson, New Smyrna Beach, FL, was named the Outstanding CattleWoman of the Year for 2004, during the annual awards banquet. Bayer Corporation sponsored the award, which is given to a cattle woman that has excelled at continued beef promotion on the local, state and national level, while contributing dedication, commitment and support to ANCW. This year, the Outstanding CattleWoman of the Year Award was given posthumously, as Raulerson passed away March 25, 2004, after an automobile accident. Along with her husband, Sam, survivors include three daughters—Teresa Clancy, Lisa Farher and Elaine Figueroa; nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Raulerson was an active member of the Volusia County CattleWomen, Florida CattleWomen and ANCW since 1967. She held every office and head every committee possible for her state and local CattleWomen chapters since 1967, including 13 years of service on the Florida CattleWomen Executive Board. She also found time to attend and participate in six National Beef Cook-Offs and served as ANCW’s 2003 National Beef Cook-Off Chair. She has received both ANCW’s Prime Beef Educator Award and Beef Promotion Award. Frances and Sam, her husband of almost 50 years, bought acreage and built a house in Samsula in 1960. Over the years, she and her husband gradually expanded their ranch, raising horses and cattle. She was a tireless worker for the beef industry for over 37 years on a local, state and national level, according to ANCW leaders. — WLJ

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Monday, February 21,2005

Budget shift opposed

by WLJ
Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), sharply criticized the Bush administration’s proposal to transfer $300 million out of a program for U.S. farm commodity donations. The proposal, presented in the fiscal year 2006 budget for the U.S. Department of Agricu1ture, would shift the funds from USDA’s P.L. 460 Title II foreign food assistance program to a U.S. Agency for International Development program that doesn’t rely solely on U.S. goods for donations. Goodlatte, in a statement released Feb. 14, said the funds should be kept for the USDA program because it helps American farmers since the money is used to purchase American agricultural products and thereby stimulate the U.S. economy. This proposal would pull $300 million out of taxpayers’ pockets and drop it into foreign markets.” An official with USDA’s Foreign Agriculture Service said the proposal to shift the funds to USAid that can use the money to buy foreign food closer to disaster victims, was made in response to the tsunami that hit Asia this year. But Goodlatte said: “In the rare case that American products cannot reach the hands of the recipients quickly and efficiently, I think it is acceptable, after consultation with the agriculture committee, to use the money in local markets to ensure the aid is delivered swiftly. It is absolutely foolish to set aside a large portion of the budget for such limited occurrences.”

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