Castration; Earlier is Better

– Justin Sexten, Ph.D.  Director, Supply Development Certified Angus Beef (reprinted with permission)

Everybody knows bull calves sell at least $5/cwt back of steers at weaning, and the discount grows for any still intact as yearlings. That’s because virtually all of them are bound for the feedyard, where steers are the rule. The only question revolves around when the bulls become steers.

Castration at weaning means one more stress at a stressful time and mandates a Continue reading

Rendered Ingredients Significantly Influence Sustainability, Quality and Safety of Pet Food

– Meeker and J. Meisinger, J. Anim. Sci. 2015.93:835–847, condensed by Steve Boyles, OSU Extension Beef Specialist

The United States currently produces, slaughters, and processes approximately 112 million pigs, 32 million cattle, and 8.5 billion chickens annually. The current volume of raw material rendered in the United States and Canada is nearly 25 million tons.  Meat consumption worldwide is expected to increase to about 100 pounds per capita by 2030. This large increase is mostly due to the increase in meat consumption by people in developing countries.

A DESCRIPTION OF RENDERING:  Rendering is one of the Continue reading

Regulating Livestock Welfare Remains an Issue Around the Country

Ellen Essman, Law Fellow, OSU Agricultural & Resource Law Program

While livestock producers in Ohio have been subject to standards for the care of livestock since 2011, animal welfare remains a topic of debate around the country. Most recently, attention turned to the care of livestock raised under the National Organic Program and animals raised in confinement in Massachusetts.   In this post, we examine the proposed federal organic standards and a livestock care ballot initiative passed in Continue reading

Transportation Issues Affecting Cattle Wellbeing and Considerations for the Future

– Schwartzkopf-Genswein, J. Ahola, L. Edwards-Callaway, D. Hale, and J. Paterson, The Professional Animal Scientist 32 (2016):707–716 and condensed here by Steve Boyles, OSU Beef Extension Specialist

Transporting cattle safely, humanely, and in an expeditious manner is the goal of the seller, transporter, and buyer of cattle. Almost all beef and dairy animals are transported at least once in their lives and often as many as 6 times.

Loading Density: Over- or under-loading has the potential to decrease welfare. Bruise scores documented for cattle transported at high and low densities were Continue reading

BEEF 509 Program Returns in February

The dates have been set for the 2017 BEEF 509 program. The BEEF 509 program is held to raise the awareness level about the beef that is produced and the reasons why it sometimes misses its mark with consumers’ palates and producers’ pocketbooks. The program will take place on two consecutive Saturdays, February 25 and March 4, 2017.beef509

The part of the program held on February 25 will include Continue reading

Deciding Who to Cull

– Michelle Arnold, DVM, Ruminant Extension Veterinarian, UKVD

Which cows in your herd are making you money and who is losing you money? Every year, the cow-calf producer needs to critically evaluate each animal in the herd and decide if she is paying her upkeep. Open cows (those that are not pregnant) at the end of breeding season obviously are the top of the cull list. With variable costs running $400-$500 per year per head and an additional $100-$300 in fixed costs, keeping open cows is a financial black hole. Beyond pregnancy status, what other variables are Continue reading

Producer Input Sought for 2016 National Beef Quality Audit

Beef producers all across the country, from every segment of the industry, are being encouraged to participate in a survey that will help establish a benchmark and course for the beef industry for 2017 and beyond. The Producer Survey of the checkoff-funded 2016 National Beef Quality Audit (NBQA) will collect producer information and opinions, which will be added to the audit’s traditional production research to form an in-depth look at where the industry stands and what Continue reading

BQA Certification is Free, Compliments of Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc.

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) is pleased to announce that Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. is partnering with the Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program, and will be sponsoring the cost of BQA certification for American cattlemen and cattlewomen this fall.

The cost of BQA certification is normally $20-$50; however, certification till November 13 is free.  Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. will defray the cost of the certification. Visit to get started.  If you have questions you can contact Steve Boyles, OSU Beef Extension Specialist or The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association.

Another Example of the Disconnect

John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator

By now you surely have some awareness of the unfortunate incident that happened at the Cincinnati Zoo this past weekend. A three-year-old boy fell into a gorilla enclosure at the zoo which eventually led to an endangered-species gorilla being shot and killed by rescuers.  Thankfully, the child is alive today. As expected, there has been a large amount of news coverage about this event and a huge reaction of wide-ranging opinions on social media.

So why am I discussing this event in a newsletter that you read for timely information on beef production and industry-related issues? It is the most Continue reading

What is a veterinarian-client-patient-relationship?

Last month in this publication Justin Kieffer shared the details of The Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) and the Beef Producer. In that article Dr. Kieffer shared the need for a valid Veterinary-Client-Patient-Relationship in order to comply with the requirements of FDA’s VFD Program which become effective January 1, 2017. Some have asked exactly what’s required in maintaining a valid Veterinary-Client-Patient-Relationship? Here’s the answer as explained by Continue reading