May 2009

Dexter Cattle - Ideal Cattle Breed for Small Acreages

We here at the American Cattlemen have posted this article to inform you of the Dexter cattle breed. This story is brought to you by American Dexter Cattle Association.

Grass Finished Beef

Raising grass-fed beef, says Will Harris, is not a get-rich-quick proposition. But he quickly adds, "No surprise there-the cattle business is not a get-rich-quick proposition."Harris has seen the cattle business both from the conventional side and from the birth-to-table, pasture-raised end. His farm, White Oak Pastures, has been in the family for 143 years; he says that helped him when he made the decision in the mid-90s to transition into grass finishing. "I have the advantage of raising cattle on the same farm that I was raised on," he says, "and that my father and his father were raised on, so the old ways had not left us completely...we did some things, and knew some things, that relied heavily on that historical data."

Cost Challenges to Cow-Calf Producers

USDA’s Economic Research Service spelled it out last February.   In a quarterly report on farm income and costs, ERS said, “The current economic downturn has weakened beef demand, offsetting the positive effects of lower grain prices. Prices paid for feeder steers in 2009 are expected to remain almost exactly the same as in 2008.” ERS predicted cash receipts for cattle and calves in 2009 would move slightly upward to a nominal record high of $50.2 billion, but the weak demand would keep feedlots from increasing placements, and cow slaughter would continue to run above usual levels as producers cull cows to increase herd efficiency. In short, 2009 was expected—for the first time in a dozen years—to put many cow/calf operators in negative earnings territory.

Profile of a Cattleman

An old saying holds that anyone, no matter what their background, can grow up to be President. They’re usually talking about President of the United States—and perhaps last year’s election is proof—but the saying also applies to the National Cattleman’s Beef Association. Consider Gary Voogt, of Marne, Mich. “My father was a factory worker—a tool and die worker,” reflects Voogt, who became head of the NCBA at this year’s annual convention in Phoenix. “My mother was in charge of the house. She never worked; she raised five kids.” And they didn’t live on a farm. It wasn’t until after Voogt graduated from Michigan Tech with a B.S. in Civil Engineering that he got involved in production agriculture, although he’d had some  exposure to farming.

Champion Cattle Company - A Study in Efficiency and Market Savvy

“Feeding cattle is a risky business,” says Rodney Shepherd and Shelmer Blackburn, Jr., owners of North Wilkesboro, NC-based Champion Cattle Company.“There are so many uncertainties we face everyday that impact performance and profits. Depressed cattle prices, rising feed prices and everyday health issues are some of the variables that affect all cattlemen,” they note. Located in Wilkes County in the northwest foothills of North Carolina, Champion Cattle Company was the result of the brainstorming of two individuals from different backgrounds who shared the common desire to profit from producing pounds of quality beef.

Easy On Wireless Tail Lights

Remote-Controlled Wireless Tail Lights Magnetic, wireless tail lights are Terry Stiles’ solution to the frustration of trying to maintain conventional lights on his equipment and trailers. “Repairing or replacing broken tail lights on farm equipment and boat trailers used to be an ongoing headache for me and many people I know,” the Malta Montana rancher says.
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Alltech to Offer Opposing Views at Symposium – ‘The Great Debate’

We here at the American Cattlemen have posted this article to inform you of "Great Debate" This story is brought to you by Alltech. Lexington, KENTUCKY] – Alltech has announced it will hold a 2nd annual industry ‘Great Debate’, as part of its 25th International Animal Health and Nutrition Symposium, taking place in Lexington, Kentucky, May 17-20, 2009. This year’s debate will consider sustainability and the ACE principle – the need to achieve long-term profitability while continuing to be conscious of animal welfare, responsive to consumer needs and environmentally friendly - from three different points of view.