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Monday, February 14,2005

Merial, Boehringer Ingelheim ink co-marketing deal

by WLJ
Merial and Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. announced a co-marketing agreement for the MERIAL SUREHEALTH calf-preconditioning program that the companies hope will create a more robust offering of eligible products. The SUREHEALTH program features management practices that add value to feeder calves throughout the production chain. “Our goal is to offer the best combination of health protocols and products inside a comprehensive calf-preconditioning program,” says Jim Van Proosdy, Merial senior director of large animal sales. “By combining the product lines of two reputable animal health companies with a set of proven preconditioning protocols developed by the beef industry, we believe that we’re offering the best calf-preconditioning program in this country.” As part of the agreement, the number of qualified products will grow to include brands from both Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica and Merial. These include, Bar-Vac 7/somnus, Bar-Vac 8, Pulmo-guard Pasteurella and Pulmo-guard MpB (Mycoplasma bovis) vaccines; Caliber, Elite, Express, RELIANT and RESPISHIELD brand vaccines; IVOMEC (ivermectin) and EPRINEX (eprinomectin) brand endectocides; and CORID (amprolium), an optional prevention/treatment for coccidiosis. “We are very excited about the SUREHEALTH co-marketing agreement,” says Derek Groff, cattle segment director, Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica. “By working together with Merial, veterinarians and producers will both benefit, as these new product options will provide greater flexibility with proven performance-based products. Together we are better able to assist cattle producers in achieving and surpassing their productivity goals.” In total, Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica will market 10 vaccines and Merial will market another 16 cattle products inside the SUREHEALTH program. The 26 products can be mixed and matched as long as they meet the minimum requirements for SUREHEALTH certification. Each company will sell its own brands used inside the program, but both companies’ sales forces will implement the program. “We’re proud to support such an important industry initiative and to see it make economic sense for our customers and their customers,” says Van Ricketts, DVM, manager, Merial Veterinary Professional Services. “In the last four years, calves certified through the SUREHEALTH program have added value to many participants in the beef industry, from the cow/calf producer to the veterinarian, to the livestock marketing center owner to the feedlot.” The SUREHEALTH calf-preconditioning program was introduced in 2001, and says it is the only nationwide veterinarian-certified preconditioning program to offer a 21-day limited warranty on cattle that adhere to program specifications. For further information on the SUREHEALTH program and a full listing of eligible products and protocols, see www.SUREHEALTH.com. — WLJ

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Monday, February 14,2005

Quasi-federal ID program proposed

by WLJ
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) is proposing a national animal identification system that would enhance animal health surveillance and give the agriculture industry oversight for the system.“The proposal gives cattlemen one more tool to control their own destinies,” said Allen Bright, cattle producer from Ellsworth, NE, and chairman of NCBA’s Animal ID Commission. “It would provide a reasonable timeline for creating a private system and go a long way toward resolving concerns about confidentiality.” NCBA approved the plan during the Cattle Industry Annual Convention in San Antonio, TX. It must still be approved in the coming weeks by members voting by mail ballots. Key to the proposal would be a multi-species ID service and data base––including cattle, swine and sheep––that would allow USDA and state veterinarian disease surveillance access. Oversight would be provided by livestock industry representatives. The plan would provide a number of avenues for producer participation, directly or through a service provider or data trustee. It would be designed to protect the privacy of producers and be flexible to accommodate differences in production methods. Additionally, NCBA will seek financial incentives, including a tax credit, for participating industry segments, and eventual coordination with international ID systems to prevent disruption of trade. “NCBA members have long recognized the need for an effective animal ID system and have expressed the desire to be intimately involved in the creation and management of such a system,” said Bright. “Cattlemen have been involved in efforts to create a national system for years, and we’re getting closer to implementation of a producer-led system.”

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Monday, February 14,2005

Product News

by WLJ
BioIngenutiy unveiled Dr. A. Bruce Johnson, Ph.D., known throughout the world as an animal production nutritionist and technical marketing director, has launched BioIngenuity LLC, an animal nutrition and health products management and consulting business. BioIngenuity LLC is designed to assist companies in the areas of research management, product development and strategic planning to bring new livestock production products to market. BioIngenuity LLC can be reached by calling 952/474-4187, www.bioingenuity.com or bjohnson@bioingenuity.com. New roto-spreader trailer mount Today’s new nutrient management regulations require precise application of all waste disposal. The Roto-Spread 362-12 offers complete control with variable hydraulic flow controls. Features include a high-density polyethylene on floor, sidewalls and end gate to prevent rust out. The two 30" diameter high-speed vertical beaters with spinners, flighting and chisel point kickers assure precise application. For more information call 620/225-1142 or visit www.rotomix.com. West Nile virus treatment Colorado Serum Company is proud to introduce a new product for the treatment of West Nile Virus (WNV) in horses called West Nile Virus Antibody, Equine Origin. Unlike any other West Nile Virus antibody treatments, Colorado Serum's new product is concentrated, purified, and ready to use straight from the bottle, offering veterinarians an easy and safe tool in treating horses infected with WNV. Construction of new trailer plant M.H. Eby Inc., which manufactures aluminum semi-trailers for livestock, has begun construction on a new plant in central Iowa. Completion of the facility is scheduled for mid-2005 and will include 33,000 square feet of integrated manufacturing space, along with office space and room for retail sales of parts and equipment. The plant is projected to create 40 new jobs. In addition to its semi-trailers it produces aluminum truck bodies, trailers and agri-transportation equipment for livestock, horse and farm commodities, and retail parts and accessories. Software aids estrus synchronization The Iowa Beef Center (IBC) at Iowa State University (ISU) has released an updated software program to assist producers in making choices in estrus synchronization of their beef herds. The Synch04 edition of the Estrus Synchronization Planner has several new features and is now available to producers. Like past versions of the software, the Synch04 edition assists producers with planning and implementing complicated synchronization programs. This edition also features 22 estrus synchronization systems in three categories, including fixed-timed AI, estrus detect with clean-up AI, and estrus detect AI. A daily activity calendar is generated once producers select their system and breeding dates, and a budgeted cost analysis is performed for the different synchronization systems. The software is available for $35 by contacting the Iowa Beef Center at 515/294-BEEF, or by downloading an order form at www.iowabeefcenter.org. Producers can also learn more about the software at an upcoming webcast, scheduled for Jan. 27. New president at Coast To Coast labs Coast To Coast Laboratories, a company that supplies antimicrobial suppressants to the farming community, is pleased to announce the following promotions. Burt Sookram has been named to the position of president; Tom Stevens has been named to the position of vice president Sales and Marketing East Coast; and Mark Soblom has been named vice president Sales and Marketing West Coast. Muti-use, versatile t-post driver The Man Saver T-Post Driver was developed by Dan Rohrer of Rohrer Manufacturing in response to fence builders who complained about the backbreaking work of driving posts. Rohrer developed the wonder tool in less than a month. The first Man-Saver has been successfully expanded to include a new line of customized, interchangeable sleeves that enable the air-powered post driver to drive almost any wooden or metal shaped posts on the market up to 3-1/2 inches in diameter. Rohrer Manufacturing can manufacture customized sleeves utilizing sample posts provided by customers, ensuring a driver solution for posts of all shapes and sizes. From rocky soil to hardpan, the Man-Saver works in the most difficult soil conditions and driving posts becomes a safe and easy one-person job, for use in agriculture, farming, vineyard and highway. For further information contact Dan Rohrer 541/548-7746 or 800/438-7599, access code 03. Farmstead planning guides available Building on a country acreage or expanding a farm? A new CD-ROM from MWPS, Farmstead Planning Handbook, provides a step-by-step full-color guide through the entire process, from concept to construction. The CD runs on both PC and Macintosh computers. Farmstead Planning Handbook CD-ROM explains and shows how to locate, plan, and build or expand an agricultural site, from a small acreage to a large operation. It also considers relevant related issues such as odor and dust control. More than 100 drawings, photographs, and diagrams plus tables, bulleted lists, and an expansion plan example clarify and enhance the descriptions. Farmstead Planning Handbook CD-ROM and the free 2005 MWPS catalog and other low-cost and free MWPS materials may be ordered online at www.mwpshq.org, by e-mail at mwps@iastate.edu or 800/562-3618 or 515/294-4337. New Web site has parasite information Merial introduces a cutting-edge resource in parasite control education with the launch of IVOMEC.com at www.IVOMEC.us.merial.com. Designed for people involved in the cattle, sheep and swine industries. IVOMEC.com is an easy-access site that accumulates a wealth of resources for those involved in livestock production. IVOMEC brands provide solid parasite protection and treatment for livestock. Merial is committed to continuing to offer endectocide products to the cattle, sheep and swine industries that help achieve better results. For more information see www.IVOMEC.us.merial.com.

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Monday, February 14,2005

Obits

by WLJ
Willard R. Sparks Willard R. Sparks, a leading professional agricultural economist, successful businessman and commodities trader, died Jan. 30 of throat cancer at his home in Memphis, TN. He was 68. Sparks was widely known for starting the agricultural consulting firm Sparks Cos. Inc., now known as Informa Economics, whose customers included multinationals such as Cargill, General Mills, Quaker and Ralston Purina. His company's daily commodity briefings, market analyses and research studies were among the industry's most widely read. He sold the company to Informa Economics in December 2003. Thomas M. Shuff, an independent broker at the Chicago Board of Trade who worked with Sparks for 27 years, said Sparks was one of the first to use mathematical models and computers to predict commodity prices. "He was a true pioneer and innovator in the field of agricultural commodity analysis," Shuff said. "He was one of the first people to see the need for risk management in ag business and in agriculture." Sparks also played the dominant role in coordinating the first large sale of soybeans and some of the largest U.S. grain sales to the Soviet Union in the 1970s, Shuff said. Sparks was an early shareholder of Refco, Inc., one of the world's largest futures-commission merchants, said Phillip Bennett, president and CEO of Refco Group Limited, LLC, in New York. "He was regarded as a leader in the ag economics advisory world and had a unique relationship with food companies in North America," Bennett said. Sparks was an important partner and share holder of the futures-derivatives business developed by the Refco Group over the last 30 years, Bennett said, and was a significant contributor to Refco's global franchise. Sparks held memberships at the Chicago Board of Trade, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the Kansas City Board of Trade and the New York Cotton Exchange, where he served on the board of managers for several years.. He actively supported the arts and education. He served on the boards of the Memphis Arts Council, Tennessee Arts Commission, International Brangus Breeders Association and the Tiger Club at the University of Memphis. He once served as chairman of the Board of Visitors at the University of Memphis. Upon his resignation from that position, the university renamed its Bureau of Business and Economic Research in his honor.. Prior to starting Sparks Cos., he had been the president and the director of research and trading at Cool Industry, a major grain and cotton exporter. Sparks was born in Dibble, OK, and spent much of his boyhood working on his family's grain and livestock farm. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in agricultural economics from Oklahoma State University and his Ph.D. in agricultural economics from Michigan State University. Dr. Keith E. Gregory Cattle reproduction pioneer Dr. Keith E. Gregory passed away on Sunday, Feb. 6, at the age of 80. Keith had a tremendous influence on beef cattle breeding during the last half of the 20th century including breed and heterosis evaluation, crossbreeding and composite populations, selection for twinning, and multidisciplinary approaches. Keith was honored for his lifetime contributions to animal breeding and genetics by being named to the USDA/ARS Hall of Fame in September 2004. The following is part of the news release about the induction: "After a 43-year career with ARS, Gregory is being recognized for his contributions to beef cattle genetics and breeding. His research has helped shape the selection procedures and breeding systems used to capitalize on the benefits of crossbreeding in the U.S. beef cattle industry. “Gregory was the first director of ARS' Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center, Nebraska. Through his leadership and vision, a multidisciplinary research program was established that is now internationally recognized. As a collaborator, Gregory continues to offer guidance on a research project that is investigating the selection of specific cattle for breeding purposes based on those animals' increased likelihood of giving birth to multiple calves." Condolences can be sent to his wife at their home: Mrs. Wanda Gregory, 1834 Home Street Hastings, NE 68901.

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Monday, February 14,2005

Partners invest in beef promos

by WLJ
According to the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB), the group in charge of administering the nationwide beef checkoff program, foodservice restaurant chains have kicked in $68 for every checkoff dollar invested in recent foodservice/checkoff partnerships. That data was unveiled during the annual cattle industry convention, held Feb. 1-5 in San Antonio, TX. CBB cited just over 20 promotions with national foodservice chains over the past three years that have helped extend the consumer message about beef and resulted in more beef items on restaurant menus. CBB statistics said that between 2002 and 2004, foodservice partners invested approximately $95.7 million in promotions of beef, compared to $1.4 million in checkoff dollars to those programs. “That means that for every checkoff dollar invested in these beef promotions, restaurant chains chipped in $68,” said CBB member Laurie Bryant. “I don’t think there’s anyone who would argue that that’s a pretty impressive leveraging of producers’ investments.” Some of the partnerships pursued via the checkoff in 2004 included joining forces with Pizza Ranch, Quizno’s, RAM International, Domino’s, Taco Bell, Aramark, Arby’s, Ground Round, B.F. Saul, Stuart Andersons, Buckhead Brewery, Quaker Steak & Lube, and Dunkin Donuts. Other new retail checkoff partners during the year included Wal-Mart’’s “Thrillin’ & Grillin’” promotion, Kraft, This Old House magazine, A-1 Steak Sauce, Beringer Wineries, and Borden. — WLJ

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Monday, February 14,2005

Select Sires names new general manager

by WLJ
Cache Valley/Select Sires has announced the promotion of Randy Hill to general manager. In this role, Hill will oversee the organization's eight-state sales area and will manage more than 30 employees. As general manager, Hill's goals are to offer outstanding service and support to Cache Valley employees and customers, and continue to deliver and increase sales of the industry's best genetics. He will continue to be based at the Cache Valley/Select Sires headquarters in Logan, UT. Employed at Cache Valley/Select Sires for 28 years, Hill was instrumental in establishing beef and dairy estrus-synchronization programs that helped Cache Valley/Select Sires to achieve phenomenal growth. His leadership in these breeding projects improved estrus-synchronization systems, benefitting not only Cache Valley but also the entire Select Sires federation. Ultimately, Hill's performance helped to develop the Select Portfolio of Reproductive Solutions. Through his previously held positions of technician, direct herd salesman and beef marketing coordinator, he also gained valuable experience with direct sales, customer service, and supervision of sales staff, technicians and distributors. Hill succeeds retired Ferron Perkes, who served as Cache Valley's general manager for 26 years. During Perkes' tenure, Cache Valley/Select Sires witnessed a five-fold increase in semen sales. Hill is a graduate of Colorado State University. He and his wife, Cindi, have three children and reside in Smithfield, UT. Cache Valley/Select Sires of Logan is one of 10 farmer owned and controlled cooperatives that are affiliated with Select Sires Inc., headquartered in Plain City, OH. Select Sires Inc. is North America's largest A.I. organization. As the industry leader, it provides highly fertile semen as well as excellence in service and programs to achieve its basic objective of supplying dairy and beef producers with North America's best genetics at a reasonable price. — WLJ

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Monday, February 14,2005

Sheep herd growth great news

by WLJ
USDA Under Secretary Jim Butler recently unveiled great news to participants at the American Sheep Industry (ASI)/National Lamb Feeders Association Annual Convention when he announced that the number of replacement lambs under one year of age had increased 10 percent over the last year. Butler provided this information from the newly published Sheep and Goats Report released by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). As of Jan. 1, replacement lambs under one year increased from 702,000 in 2004 to 771,000 in 2005. “Reports of growth in sheep numbers is great news for the entire industry and hits a priority goal of ASI to strengthen our industry,” stated Peter Orwick, ASI executive director. “It is gratifying to see such positive results in the lamb and wool business helped in part by the nine different incentive programs that ASI has provided over the last four years, including the retained breeding ewe-lamb program.” Confirmation of better times for the wool sector also was evident in the NASS report. Over the last 12 months, wool prices have improved. The average price paid for wool sold in 2004 was $0.80 per pound, up from $0.73 per pound last year. The value of U.S. wool sold in 2004 increased six percent. "We are proud that our wool marketing programs implemented in 2001 have helped drive competitive pricing for U.S. wool,” added Orwick. ““We have helped build a customer base in the U.S., as well as internationally, with our wool being exported to a dozen countries around the world.” — WLJ

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Monday, February 14,2005

Sheep Notes

by WLJ
LRP program advances Representatives of the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) and its partners met on Jan. 13 with the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) in the next step of the process to present and review the proposed Livestock Risk Protection (LRP) pilot project for lamb. After extensive discussion, the FCIC Board requested that the sheep industry supply additional information prior to meeting with them again in several weeks. "The industry should be encouraged that the FCIC is seriously considering the LRP-lamb proposal and is working with us through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Services staff on answering questions and clarifying issues," commented Margaret Soulen-Hinson, ASI executive board member. Sheep stamp snafu New Zealanders are feeling sheepish over a new postage stamp that shows two lambs with their mother. The mother, however, has a pair of powerful, curled horns which, in reality, are found only on a ram. The designer of the 45-cent stamp has admitted taking artistic license but said he wanted to make the stamp "more dynamic.” The blunder has not been well received in a land where sheep are considered something of an icon. An estimated 40 million sheep roam the country, vastly outnumbering the human population of just 4 million.

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Monday, February 14,2005

The role of alfalfa in horse feeding redefined

by WLJ
Alfalfa is a high quality, highly digestible feed for horses, but so many myths surround its use that many of the nation's horse owners either underutilize or misuse it. A concise, scientifically based, user-friendly publication by the National Alfalfa Alliance clarifies to owners of horses how to match the characteristics of alfalfa hay to the age, class and activity level of their equines. "Alfalfa: The High-quality Hay for Horses" was written by University of Idaho Extension forage specialist Glenn Shewmaker, University of Wisconsin forage agronomist Dan Undersander, and University of Kentucky equine nutritionist Laurie Lawrence and Extension forage specialist Garry Lacefield. "There's a lot of information out there about feeding alfalfa hay to horses but it's almost entirely anecdotal," said Shewmaker. "We use science, rather than myth, to guide the use of alfalfa products for varying needs of horses." Lacefield calls the publication an attempt to bring the "best scientific information on feeding alfalfa to horses into one aesthetically pleasing publication that is applicable from Florida to New York to California." It includes easy-to-use tables of example diets for recreational horses, lactating mares, weanlings, yearlings and horses that perform moderate or intense work. "People generally believe that all hay is the same," says Lawrence. "They don't realize that different horses have different requirements for different kinds of hay." In Wisconsin, Undersander notes that appropriate use of alfalfa will "save costs for owners as well as provide good nutrition and horse health." The publication describes the horse's digestive system and the specific nutritional needs of mature horses used for recreational activities, broodmares, growing horses and performance horses. It explains how growth stages of alfalfa affect forage quality, discusses how alfalfa hay is classified, defines terms used to describe alfalfa characteristics and quality, and reviews several types of forage products. In addition, it addresses preservatives and blister beetles as well as buying, transporting and storing alfalfa hay. According to Shewmaker, the publication's target audience includes equestrians, small ranch owners, hay producers and hay marketers. Even owners of large horse operations should find it useful in finetuning their feed economics. Single copies of the 12-page publication can be downloaded from the NAA's Web site at www.alfalfa.org, and multiple copies can be purchased in lots of 25 for $50, plus shipping and handling. — WLJ

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Monday, February 14,2005

Trade policies passed by ASI/NLFA members

by WLJ
There was great enthusiasm for the future of the U.S. sheep industry at the 2005 American Sheep Industry Association/National Lamb Feeders Association (NLFA) Annual Convention Jan. 26-29 in Reno, NV. Registrations topped those seen in recent years, with attendance surpassing 360. “The industry definitely demonstrated a unified front with participation from five national sheep associations including ASI, NLFA, the American Lamb Board, the National Sheep Industry Improvement Center and the Western Range Association,” said ASI Executive Director Peter Orwick. “Additionally, all major players in the domestic wool industry had a strong presence again at this year’’s events, and everyone was pleased to hear U.S. production of lamb and wool would be increasing in 2005.” Dr. Jim Butler, USDA deputy under secretary, and Dr. Ron DeHaven, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service administrator, addressed attendees on topics ranging from the increase in sheep numbers and ewe-lamb payments to an update on animal health issues and trade policies. Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) representative, Ron Cole, conveyed that AMS began reporting wool on a clean basis by region rather than individual sales on a grease basis. This type of reporting provides the producer more complete information on wool values, encourages more companies to share information and is a more internationally accepted type of reporting. Major policy additions or amendments addressed by the board included: <52> opposition to the U.S. reopening the Canadian border to sheep trade until the trade barriers concerning bluetongue and anaplasmosis are eliminated; <52> industry support of an effort to amend the Minor Use and Minor Species Animal Health Act of 2004 to include language that would provide federal tax incentives for the development and labeling of pharmaceuticals for sheep; <52> ASI assistance to USDA/APHIS in requiring all states to attain consistent state status for scrapie eradication; and <52> approval of an across-the-board membership dues increase for fiscal year 2006-2007. The board of directors also welcomed back into membership sheep producers from Iowa and Delaware. Executive board named New officers and executive board members were seated during the annual convention. The slate of new officers includes Paul Frischknecht, president, Manti, UT; Burdell Johnson, vice president, Tuttle, ND; and Glen Fisher, secretary/treasurer, Sonora, TX. Newly elected members to the executive board were Brant Miller, Bowdoinham, ME, representing ASI’s Region I; Bill Sparrow, Jr., Durham, NC, representing Region II; Jim Bristol, West Branch, MI, representing Region III; and DA Harral, Fort Stockton, TX, representing Region V. In addition to the new members, two regions re-confirmed appointments for existing members. Lyndon Irwin, Ph.D., was re-elected to serve as ASI’s Region IV representative and Richard Hamilton as the Region VIII representative. Members continuing their service on the board include Mark Marley, Roswell, NM, Region VI, and Margaret Soulen-Hinson, Weiser, ID, Region VII. Dues increase passed The ASI board of directors passed a membership dues increase that will take effect in fiscal year 2006-2007. The board agreed that in order for the national trade association to be sufficiently funded to carry on membership, legislative and communications services, planning and preparation needed to be conducted. Approval of the dues rate fully a year and a half in advance of the effective date provides sufficient lead-time for state members to plan for increased fund-raising. The dues structure to be implemented in fiscal year 2006-2007 provides for a 22-percent overall increase to ASI. The dues will increase by the following amounts: stock sheep from $0.03 per sheep to $0.035; member dues from $6-8 per member; and minimum state dues from $300 to $400. — WLJ

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