Meanwhile, back at the Running H . . . She’s going the wrong way

– Darren Henry, Assistant Professor Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences – Tifton Campus, College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences, University of Georgia

Join us in Caldwell this fall and learn from the likes of Curt Pate, Ron Gill, or Dean Fish.

The last couple of weeks have really tested my ability to work with a level head. Normally, when I am not out working with young stock, I try to stay cool as a cucumber. If you ask my wife, who has worked thousands of head with me over the years, she’ll tell you my fuse seems to get cut short before it is ever lit sometimes.

Some of us are built that way, we can accept the fact that our elected officials have lost their minds somewhere between their large intestine and lower sphincter, then turn around and beat our heads on the ground because the 4-year-old female standing in the middle of the grass keeps going the wrong direction. To some of us less evolved humans, we can’t understand why she doesn’t move the way we want her to move – even with our whistling and screaming.

Lucky for us, there are educational programs out there that can have an impact on all parts of our lives. Beef Quality Assurance, or BQA for those in the know, is just one of those programs. One of BQA’s motto is “The right way is the only way.” If I may paraphrase, their main goal is to provide training and information to beef producers in the US, and the consumers of that product, of how commonsense ranching and . . .

Continue reading Meanwhile, back at the Running H . . . She’s going the wrong way

EDITOR’s NOTE: Learn more about cattle handling at the Stewardship and Stockman’s Tour in Caldwell on September 29 and 30.

National Beef Quality Audit – The Report Card on US Beef Quality

Garth Ruff, Beef Cattle Field Specialist, Ohio State University Extension (originally published in Ohio Farmer on-line)

The recent Beef Quality Audit suggests eating quality is a market expectation and is directly attributed to high quality genetics.

Every five years a group of university animal and meat scientists, Extension specialists, in conjunction with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Beef Checkoff complete the National Beef Quality Audit. The audit consists of two main parts, interviews with supply chain partners (packers, retailers, food service, and further processors) and live animal/carcass evaluation in the major packing plants across the United States. Audits are completed for both fed steers and heifers as well as cows and bulls.

Findings from the 2022 audit were recently released. I would like to share the highlights of those findings as well as some take home messages and room for improvement in live cattle production.

A variety of questions were asked on the topics of beef quality factors including; How and Where the Cattle were Raised, Lean Fat and Bone, Weight and Size, Visual Characteristics, Food Safety. Eating Satisfaction, Cattle Genetics, sustainability, impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, and strengths and weakness of the fed cattle industry.

Some conclusions from the fed steer and heifer interview portion of the audit include Continue reading

Use the proper syringe and needle when vaccinating cattle

Sandy Stuttgen, University of Wisconsin

Do you have the right tools for vaccinating cattle?

Using the right tool for the job generally promotes a better outcome; for example, butter knives are not the best tools for cutting wood. Using the right equipment when vaccinating your cattle also requires the right tools. The correct syringes and needles must be used in addition to a well-designed and functioning headgate to restrain cattle so injections may be safely administered in the neck area.

Administer accurate dosing through proper techniques

Use sterile disposable, or clean, heat sanitized multi-dose syringes that are sized to accurately deliver the correct dose. Filling a 12-cc disposable syringe once to deliver 2-cc doses to six animals will not accurately deliver the correct dose to each animal. Inaccuracy is magnified when . . .

Continue reading Use the proper syringe and needle when vaccinating cattle

EDITOR’s NOTE: Learn more about proper needle and syringe use at the Stewardship and Stockman’s Tour in Caldwell on September 29 and 30.

Stockmanship and Stewardship Tour for the Beef Industry Hosted in Caldwell, Ohio

Christine Gelley, Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator, Noble County OSU Extension

Get BQA Certified at this event on September 29-30

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) in partnership with Merck Animal Health and the checkoff funded Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program, are hosting four regional Stockmanship and Stewardship (S&S) events across the nation. These regional events are intended to bring together cattle producers from a large area for a two-day cattle handling and educational program. Events will highlight proper stockmanship techniques as well as local stewardship information.

We are pleased to announce this year one of these events is being hosted in Caldwell, Ohio on September 29 and 30, 2023! This unique Stockmanship and Stewardship event is focused on live low-stress cattle handling demonstrations, Beef Quality Assurance training, and industry updates you won’t find anywhere else.

Participants will gain an edge on learning about consumer concerns regarding beef sustainability and livestock welfare, how those concerns have impacted the industry, and the role that Beef Quality Assurance plays in the conversation. Stockmanship experts Curt Pate and Ron Gill are among the presenters to learn from. Producers who attend not only receive hands-on training in best management practices to help improve their operation, but also the chance to get BQA certified (or re-certified).

Friday’s program will feature the Continue reading

The Weaning Process, and Assuring Quality

Steve Boyles, OSU Extension Beef Specialist

Learn more weaning management at Stockmanship & Stewardship, Sept 29-30.

The weaning process can have a significant impact on the health and future productivity of the calf. Proper weaning management and assuring that quality and performance of the calf are optimized will be included in a number of presentations by quest veterinarians during the upcoming Stockmanship & Stewardship program in Caldwell, Ohio on September 29 and 30. Find more details about the Stockmanship & Stewardship program below, and in the meantime consider the following concerns regarding weaning management.

THE WEANING PROCESS:  Weaning can be one of the most stressful events in the life of a calf.  Once these stressors occur within a matter of days, you Continue reading

Would Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags benefit your farm?

Jason Hartschuh, Dairy Management and Precision Livestock Field Specialist, Ohio State University Extension

Ohio cattlemen can request free, white 840 tags.

USDA is providing a limited number of official 840 RFID tags for each state to distribute to cattle producers and accredited veterinarians in the state. Low-frequency button tags are available in either white or orange. White tags are for any cattle while the orange tags are reserved for cattle that received calf hood vaccination for brucellosis. Only veterinarians can request the orange tags. If a calf already has an 840 RFID tag it cannot receive another 840 tag, these tags must stay in the animal’s ear for life and not be removed.

A Premises Identification Number (PIN) is required to order the free RFID tags. To obtain a PIN, scan the QR code found in the fact sheet linked here to access PIN registration on the ODA website, or call them at 614-728-6220.

Premises ID numbers are required when using 840 tags to assist in animal disease traceability.  Once an 840 RFID tag is utilized producers can either Continue reading

Cattle Handling and Stockmanship Influence on Animal Performance

– Bill Halfman, Agriculture Agent, Monroe County, Wisconsin

Hands on cattle handling demonstrations will be a large part of Stockmanship & Stewardship in Caldwell in September.

We often hear and see reports on how sickness or the use of technologies such as fly control, implants, ionophores, and others influence animal performance and profitability.

Low-stress cattle handling methods have been discussed and promoted for many years, but the influence on animal performance is not often part of those discussions. Some research has been done to investigate the influence that stockmanship has on disposition and animal performance and more is being done.

Good stockmanship and low-stress handling methods include utilizing the animals’ natural tendencies to the handlers’ advantage while working or handling cattle. It includes calm and quiet action and movements by the handlers, changing and remodeling equipment and facilities if there are problem areas that impede cattle flow, and acclimating the cattle to . . .

EDITOR’s NOTE: Hands on cattle handling demonstrations will be a large part of Stockmanship & Stewardship in Caldwell in September. Learn more and register at:

Continue reading Cattle Handling and Stockmanship Influence on Animal Performance

Corrals a focus of the Ohio Stockmanship & Stewardship program, September 29-30

Steve Boyles, Ohio State University Beef Extension Specialist

Develop a system that meets your cattle working needs that’s safe and efficient.

Hands on activities including a morning session focused on corral design and use is just one of the features participants will experience during Stockmanship & Stewardship, being hosted at the OARDC Eastern Agricultural Research Station in Caldwell on September 29 and 30, 2023.

Corral planning: The goal is to develop a design that accommodates your cattle working needs while making safe and efficient use of available labor and reducing stress and bruising of animals.  An inexpensive working facility can be built in the corner of an existing barn or lot. Regardless of size or type of operation, there are six basic sections in a well-designed working facility.

  1. Holding pens
  2. Alley from pens to working area
  3. Crowding pen/tub
  4. Working alley
  5. Restraining area/squeeze chute
  6. Loading area

Holding pens: Keys to good holding-pen design are Continue reading

Handling cattle, thinking like a cow, discussed during Stockmanship & Stewardship event

Steve Boyles, Ohio State University Beef Extension Specialist

When handling cattle, we need to create movement in cattle and then use position to control the movement.  Working cattle is kind of like committee work. All you really need are the people that are going to do the work. The is just one of the concepts that will be discussed in a hands on approach during Stockmanship & Stewardship at the OARDC Eastern Agricultural Research Station in Caldwell on September 29 and 30, 2023.

Cattle think of one thing at a time: If humans could do this we would not have ulcers. They focus on detail instead of larger concepts.  Keep the cattle’s attention on where you want them to go.  Get their heads or noses in the direction you want them to go.  Pick up all the trash and anything else that might distract them. Foreign objects easily distract cattle can cause cattle stop moving and pause to investigate. A shadow or a flapping shirt on a post or some other distraction can prevent smooth cattle flow. Properly designed facilities reduce their confusion and reducing fear/crowding.

Cattle want to see you: Get their attention before you start working cattle.  It is like introducing yourself.  Their initial reaction might be fear but give them a moment to calm down after you have introduced yourself.  Think about where you want to position yourself after you have gotten their attention.

If you are having trouble working cattle, look at the work through their eyes.  Animals communicate through vision.  What is the shape of a cow’s pupil? (Answer: oval to the point of being rectangular).

Boyles et al. 2002

Because of the location of their Continue reading

Don’t rock the boat while breeding heifers

Steve Boyles, OSU Extension Beef Specialist

The topics of Reproduction and Nutrition are only two of the topics that participants will explore during the Ohio Stockmanship & Stewardship program on September 29 and 30 in Caldwell. The summary below of the research project Nutritional Management Post-AI to Enhance Pregnancy Outcomes from 2013 Range Beef Cow Symposium by S.L. Lake, R. Arias, P. Gunn, and G.A. Bridges  further examines why reproduction and proper nutrition are closely related.

Nutrition during the 21 days post breeding

Maternal recognition of pregnancy takes place around days 15-17 post-insemination and that transporting animals near this time compromises conception.  However, moving heifers within the first 5 days post-insemination does not cause this reduction. Although, research suggests that conception rates are compromised when heifers are placed on early growth pasture forages. Researchers hypothesized that feeding this high moisture pasture forage at turnout is limiting dry matter intake which in turn causes a temporary energy deficiency that results in temporary heifer weight loss during the critical stages of early embryonic development and maternal recognition of pregnancy. Therefore, it is beneficial to Continue reading