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AMERICAN COWMAN UPDATE
January 28, 2009 FACILITIES NUTRITION HEALTH PASTURE & RANGE GENETICS Search American Cowman >
  Management advice for today's cattle operations SUBSCRIBE // UNSUBSCRIBE // PREFERENCES
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Are you making this year different?
Whether it passed quickly for you or drudged along, January is coming to a close. Only 11 months left for 2009. We often start the new year optimistic to make lots of changes, but by the end of the first 30 days, much of those ideas have been forgotten as we resume our routines. Start again fresh for February and revisit what you need to be focusing on to make improvements to your business and personal relationships. Included below is an article about business plans - it's a good place to start. Rural Life Poetry is also back with two reflective pieces that were recently submitted. Enjoy!

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Silent Reflection By Robert Malmstrom, Brady, TX
The night sky is black
like that of death.
Smoke just rolls out
with my frozen breath.
The air is eerie
yet is also crisp.
To read the complete poem, click on the headline above.


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The Fence By Robert Malmstrom, Brady, TX
Standing in the corner
out by the barn.
Stands a simple fence
as old as the farm.
The wire is rusted
the metal all twisted. To read the complete poem, click on the headline above.


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Our Perspective
B is for Buckling Up By Kindra Gordon
This week B is the featured letter on the A to Z list of the characteristics that seem to help perpetuate success. I’m going with a straightforward, no-nonsense piece of advice: B is for Buckling Up.

While there is the literal application of buckling up, I’d like to suggest you think of it as a metaphor in life as well. Life can throw some pretty fast curves at all of us – and those too are best handled by being buckled up...by staying grounded.To read the complete article, click on the headline above.


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Industry Outlook
Become an activist for agriculture Source: American Farm Bureau
Farmers and ranchers at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 90th annual meeting were encouraged to speak out and become activists for agriculture.

“We can’t think of the word ‘activists’ as a dirty word anymore,” said Will Gilmer, a third-generation dairyman from Lamar County, AL. “We have to be proactive, aware and informed about our industry and what others are saying about us. It’s going to take all of us to be active.”
To read the complete article, click on the headline above.


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Strategies for Small Producers
Business plan can add value, identify hidden potential for beef operations By Kindra Gordon
What’s the first thing that should enter the minds of your prospects and customers when they read or hear your name? Perhaps you want them to think of quality, service, convenience, helpfulness or expertise.

To help direct the position you want your business to fill in the minds of customers, consider developing a detailed business plan, suggests Monica Braun, a rural development specialist with the Nebraska-based Center for Rural Affairs. Braun says walking through each step of the business planning process – whether you already have an existing business or are dreaming of starting one – can have real value in identifying business’ potential.To read the complete article, click on the headline above.


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This Week's Tip
Beef management calendar available
Washington State University (WSU) Extension has published the 2009 Beef Management Calendar. The calendar has been developed to assist livestock managers in formulating an overall management plan for beef operations. It provides timely management recommendations month to month for both spring- and fall-calving herds in the areas of nutrition, animal health, reproduction, marketing, pasture and range management, and business or farm management. To read the complete article, click on the headline above.

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Industry Events
Kansas to host Women in Ag conference Feb. 12-14
The 2009 Women Managing the Farm Conference has been scheduled Feb. 12-14 at the Grand Prairie Hotel and Convention Center in Hutchinson, KS. To read the complete article, click on the headline above.

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Youth Spotlight
Ag essay contest offers $1,000 prize
The 2009 Ag Essay Contest sponsored by the Agriculture Council of America is calling for entries and has a deadline of Feb. 9. To read the complete article, click on the headline above.

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Health
Winter weather stress on calves can linger for weeks Source: South Dakota State University
Severe winter weather places stress on livestock herds that can dampen their immune response and lead to potential losses. South Dakota Cooperative Extension Veterinarian Russ Daly says the prolonged stress of weather events like the recent sub-zero temperatures and blizzards across the Midwest can cause problems that show up even after the weather improves.

There are some immediate dangers to the health of animals from severe cold, like chilling and frostbite, Daly said, but also problems that may not be apparent until seven to 14 days following the event.To read the complete article, click on the headline above.


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Range & Pasture
Why feed all that hay? By Chan Glidewell, Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation
How about this for a New Year's resolution? Feed less hay next winter. There is nothing you can do about your forage situation for the remainder of this winter, aside from selling cattle or buying more hay.

However, if you start planning now, you can put yourself in a position to drastically reduce the amount of hay that you will need to feed next year.

Why do people rely so much on feeding hay in the winter? I believe the answer is that they are overstocked. To read the complete article, click on the headline above.


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Meetings vs. Pasture Walks and Super Soakers By Troy Bishopp
Meetings, conference calls, listening sessions, trainings and even more meetings… There never seems to be a shortage of gatherings about something. At some point I get numb with so many activities and places to go.
It is a tough challenge indeed, deciding what to do when family, farm and fossil fuel obligations take precedent. Throughout my history of checkered get-togethers, one assembly of seasoned experts (farmers) has always tickled my fancy. That fancy is a simple pasture walk or sojourn among the waving blades of grass with passionate graziers. To read the complete article, click on the headline above.


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Table Of Contents
> Our Perspective
> Industry Outlook
> Strategies for Small Producers
> This Week's Tip
> Industry Events
> Youth Spotlight
> Health
> Range & Pasture






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