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Copyright © 2015
Angus Journal

The Angus Journal Daily, formerly the Angus e-List, is a compilation of Angus industry news; information about hot topics in the beef industry; and updates about upcoming shows, sales and events. Click here to subscribe.

News Update

August 7, 2015

Reproductive Tools Create
Tomorrow’s Cattle

Quality cattle come from quality genetics. And now, more than ever, seedstock producers have the greatest selection of reproductive tools to increase genetic merit in their cow herds: embryo transfer, sexed semen and cloning.

Mark Allen, TransOva’s director of marketing and genomics, says using these technologies can help cattlemen achieve their goals of genetic improvement by finding that elite genetic outlier.

“It’s about making lots of opportunities out of an elite female mated to an elite bull. So using in vitro fertilization technology, we’re able to aspirate a number of oocytes, say 20, 22 and produce a fair number of embryos, six, seven, eight embryos from that single aspiration,” Allen says.

“Sexed semen,” he continues, “gives us the ability to sort semen, increasing the probability of having 95% or greater for heifers or 90% for bull calves, and increasing the frequency of getting that genetic outlier, those animals for the next generation that are really going to move genetic gains forward.”

Watch the full interview with Allen on this week’s The Angus Report. You can also tune in Saturdays at 1:30 p.m. CDT, Monday mornings at 7:30 a.m. CDT or Wednesdays at 5 p.m. CDT to watch the show on RFD-TV.

New ‘Ag Mag’ Helps Students

A new beef “Ag Mag,” developed by the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture and funded in part by the Beef Checkoff, is available for purchase in classroom sets of 30 and in free eReader format.

The Ag Mag, a newspaper-style reader, features information about beef production, nutrition and related careers and encourages discussions about the industry in the classroom and at home. The Ag Mag is aligned to national learning standards and is written at a fourth-grade reading level, although the interest level is very broad. The Ag Mag and other beef education resources developed by the Foundation can be found online.

“The Beef Ag Mag was designed not only for classrooms but also to be used by families and other youth groups as they learn where their food comes from,” said Julie Tesch, executive director of the Foundation.

In addition to the beef-based curriculum, the Ag Mag features four agricultural leaders who play different roles within the industry. The featured leaders include a meat scientist from Minnesota and cattle ranchers from Nebraska, Mississippi and Idaho.

For more information, please view the full AFBF release online.

Women in Agriculture Honored at 2015 Missouri State Fair

Missouri State Fair Director Mark Wolfe recognized two outstanding female agriculturalists, selected in a third-annual contest sponsored by Monsanto. Linda Hickam of Thompson, Mo., received the contest title of Missouri Woman in Agriculture, and Ashley Bauer of Warrenton received the title of Missouri Woman in Agriculture Rising Star.

These women will be honored at the fair on Thursday, Aug. 20.

Hickam, the winner of the 31-year-old and over age division, currently serves as the state veterinarian and Animal Health Division director. She has been involved with the Missouri State Fair as the state veterinarian and has exhibited cattle with her family.

Bauer, winner of the 18-30-year-old age division, is a senior at William Woods University studying business administration and equine general studies. In the past, she has shown horses at the annual 4-H and FFA horse shows and served as the 2013 Missouri State Fair Queen. Bauer frequently volunteers at the TREE House of Greater St. Louis and has chosen it as her agriculture-related beneficiary of the $1,000 donation sponsored by Monsanto.

For more information, please view the full release online.

Diseased Wheat Plagues Farmers

This year’s record-breaking rain and continued wet weather has led to serious problems in wheat fields.

Farmers have had a tough time harvesting the wheat crop in the first place, and now disease is making it hard or even impossible to sell, says Pat Westhoff, director of the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) at the University of Missouri.

The Wheat Belt has been hit by vomitoxin, a common name for the mycotoxin deoxynivalenol. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has restricted the concentration to 1 part per million for human food products. In higher concentrations, vomitoxin causes feed refusal and poor weight gain in some livestock. Much of the affected wheat has levels high enough that grain elevators won’t accept it.

Making things harder is the large global wheat crop, which has kept prices lower than producers might have hoped, Westhoff says.

“We don’t quite have a record crop in terms of production level, but there is a lot of carryover from last year’s crop still out there,” he says. “Currently USDA projects that by the end of this marketing year we’ll actually have more wheat in storage globally than we had at the start of the year.”

For more information, please view the full release online.

R-CALF USA to Host 16th Annual Convention

R-CALF USA will hold its 16th annual convention and membership meeting Aug. 14-15 in Denver, Colo., at the Holiday Inn Denver East-Stapleton located at 3333 Quebec St.

One of R-CALF USA’s earliest issues, mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL), remains a flagship issue for the group. The group continues to steadfastly support mandatory COOL. At its convention, the group intends to further strengthen its national strategy for preserving the U.S. COOL law in the wake of recent efforts by the World Trade Organization (WTO), Congress, and the nation’s two largest general farm organizations to eliminate mandatory COOL.

Registration for R-CALF USA’s convention begins at 7 a.m. and trade show booth spaces are still available. For more information call 405-252-2516 or visit the group’s website and click on “events.”

For more information, please view the Angus Journal Virtual Library calendar of upcoming events here.


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