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AMERICAN COWMAN UPDATE
January 14, 2009 FACILITIES NUTRITION HEALTH PASTURE & RANGE GENETICS Search American Cowman >
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Happy New Year By Kindra Gordon
Well we are mid-way through the first month of our new year. How are your resolutions coming? My resolve to enjoy life more and turn the computer off before midnight has already proven to be a lost cause, as the piles of work continue to stack up and chaos from my four kids continues to clamor around me.

But, I will continue to strive to find a better balance as the months of 2009 unfold. January just happens to be a very hectic month for a lot of us in the beef industry – there are stock shows, cattle industry conferences and calving – not to mention dealing with the winter weather – on top of our already lengthy “to do” lists. Perhaps things will slow down come about July.

That said, I did want to thank BEEF editor Joe Roybal for a nice piece he recently wrote that gives us all a gentle reminder about perspective. Joe shared how this adage gave him reason for pause: “To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.”
He went on to write...To read the complete article, click on the headline above.


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A is for Attitude By Kindra Gordon
It’s a brand New Year, a clean slate, a time to reflect on goals, and reinvigorate our thinking – right? And with that, I’ve decided to compile an A to Z list of the characteristics that seem to help perpetuate success. It’s a list that I hope will guide you whether you are out there ranching, are a recent college graduate embarking on a new career, or have the toughest job on earth and are trying to do it all – a family, a ranch and an additional career.

Through my writing endeavors I’ve been fortunate to travel to many events and listen to many sage individuals both from within the ag industry – and many from other industries. It’s been a great opportunity to glean some golden nuggets. So, let’s begin with the letter A, and I’ll leave you guessing what B might be until the next American Cowman newsletter on January 28.

It should come as no surprise that A is for Attitude. The importance of a positive attitude first sparked my attention when I was a high school FFA student...To read the complete article, click on the headline above.


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In The News
Feeder supplies appear tight for 2009 Source: Certified Angus Beef
Cattle feeders’ No. 1 concern during the year was feed inputs. Not any more, says Mike Sands, Informa Economics.

The market analyst predicts corn will not stay as low as $3 per bushel (bu.) for long, but the new trading levels for corn may be of little consequence compared to the declining feeder calf supply.

“I’d argue that the biggest challenges cattle feeders will face over the next few years are going to be sourcing feeder cattle and economically utilizing excess feedlot capacity,” he tells producers. To read the complete article, click on the headline above.


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Cowman Commentary
An Open Letter to our new USDA Secretary Source: Center for Rural Affairs
Dear Secretary of Agriculture,

Congratulations on your selection to lead the Department of Agriculture. We offer our support and assistance. The President-elect has already provided a compelling mission to guide your efforts in his platform, “Real Leadership for Rural America.”

“Rural communities in America are at a critical point in history. For the past decade, rural America has not been well served by federal policies, and if Republicans and Democrats in Washington continue those misguided policies, rural families will see their economic fortunes fall further behind those of other Americans. But we have the power to set a different course. Innovative rural Americans have proven they can compete in the 21st century. But local initiative must be matched by federal policies that empower rural Americans and family farmers.”

Please consider these recommendations as you launch your efforts to achieve that mission.

Support grassroots entrepreneurship – The best development results from rural people creating their own jobs through small business, value-added agriculture, and other owner-operated ventures. To read the complete article, click on the headline above.


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Marketing Insight
Economist Predicts: Year of struggles ahead for livestock producers Source: American Farm Bureau Federation
The health of the livestock industry is linked to the health of the broader economy, and producers of beef, hogs and chicken will have to wait for the global recession to end before they can expect any significant price improvement.

That’s according to Chris Hurt, a Purdue University professor and Extension economist, who made comments in early January at the annual American Farm Bureau Federation conference. Hurt said livestock producers were hit with the “double whammy” of a recession and high feed costs in 2008. In 2009, lower feed costs will benefit livestock producers, but the recession will continue to hurt demand. “We’re going to see another year of struggle for the livestock industry,” Hurt told attendees. To read the complete article, click on the headline above.


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This Week's Tip
Supplements important especially before calving Source: University of Nebraska
As winter forage quality declines and cow nutrient demands increase, wise operators begin to feed protein supplements to assure healthy calves plus cows that will rebreed rapidly. But protein supplements can be expensive, so we usually try to feed only as much as the cow needs to stay healthy, points out University of Nebraska Extension forage specialist Bruce Anderson.

But, Anderson says that new research suggests that this strategy of minimizing input costs may overlook the impact supplements have on the future performance of the calf. To read the complete article, click on the headline above.


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Industry Events
Nebraska Marketplace event is Feb. 25
Learn how entrepreneurship and innovation can improve your skills, enhance your bottom line, and build a thriving rural community at the 3rd Annual MarketPlace conference, coming to the Sandhills Convention Center in North Platte, Nebraska, on Feb. 25, 2009. To read the complete article, click on the headline above.

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To Market to Market: Adding Value to Your Farm Conference, Feb. 5-7 Source: University of Kentucky
The American Grassfed Association will host its sixth annual conference, titled “To Market to Market, Adding Value to Your Farm,” Feb. 5-7 in Lexington, KY. The keynote speaker will be the noted author and sustainable agriculture advocate Wendell Berry.

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It’s a New Day in the Sun! Join your fellow cattle producers in Phoenix, AZ for the 2009 Cattle Industry Annual Convention & NCBA Trade Show. January 28th -31st. If you’re in the cattle business you don’t want to miss the largest, most important meeting of the year. For more information or to register visit www.beefusa.org or call 303-694-0305.

New Products
Colostrum replacer introduced
AgriLabs introduces Colostrx® 130 Colostrum Replacer, a complete replacement option for maternal colostrum. Colostrx 130 Colostrum Replacer contains a full 130 grams of globulin protein protection in every dose, the most of any other available colostrum replacer. To read the complete article, click on the headline above.

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Youth Spotlight
Young Farmers & Ranchers Recognized Source: American Farm Bureau
Members of the American Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers (YF&R) Committee elected Mathew Meals as the committee’s chairperson for 2009. Meals, who is from Newville, PA, owns and operates a 136-acre crop farm. A first-generation farmer, he grows timothy, brome and alfalfa hay for the local dairy and horse industry.

Additionally, winners of the Young Farmer and Rancher Achievement Award, Discussion Meet and Excellence in Agriculture competitions were announced in early January at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 90th annual meeting in San Antonio. Donald and Alicia Blankenship of Tennessee won the Achievement Award. They are the winners of a 2009 Dodge Ram 3500 pickup truck. To read the complete article, click on the headline above.


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Range & Pasture
Q&A: Livestock foraging behavior By Kindra Gordon
Most old-time cowboys, who spent the better part of their life watching cows graze, could tell you that animal behavior truly dictates how animals act and what they eat. But as the beef industry has gotten caught up in speed and technology, today’s cowboys don’t have a lot of time to watch cows graze.

Thankfully, research at Utah State University over the last 25 years has done much of that observing for us. Under the leadership of Fred Provenza, a professor in USU’s College of Natural Resources’ Department of Wildland Resources, he and his colleagues have conducted some of the world’s leading research on how animals learn and the factors that affect diet and habitat selection. To read the complete article, click on the headline above.


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Table Of Contents
> In The News
> Cowman Commentary
> Marketing Insight
> This Week's Tip
> Industry Events
> New Products
> Youth Spotlight
> Range & Pasture






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