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USDA halts import of fresh Brazilian beef

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue last week announced the suspension of all imports of fresh beef from Brazil because of recurring concerns about the safety of the products intended for the American market. The suspension of shipments will remain in place until the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture takes corrective action which the USDA finds satisfactory.

Since March, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has been inspecting 100% of all meat products arriving in the United States from Brazil.  FSIS has refused entry to 11% of Brazilian fresh beef products. That figure is substantially higher than the rejection rate of one percent of shipments from the rest of the world.  Since implementation of the increased inspection, FSIS has refused entry to 106 lots (approximately 1.9 million pounds) of Brazilian beef products due to public health concerns, sanitary conditions, and animal health issues. It is important to note that none of the rejected lots made it into the U.S.

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Ohio Sheep and Wool Program highlights

The 2017 Ohio Sheep and Wool Program Board primarily functions for the purpose of promotion, education, research, marketing and producer services funding for the Ohio sheep industry. The 2017 OSWP Board chair is Gary Wilson, of Hancock County and vice-chair is Don Hawk, of Knox County.

In 2009, the OSWP Board initiated a process called Request for Proposals, or RFPs. This RFP process has helped the OSWP Board focus its funding requests on promotion, education, and research and marketing programs on a written request basis. For the 2016-17 fiscal year, funding support requests for the OSWP Board totaled $33,500.00, but due to limited check-off program dollars and quality program requests, only $27,250.00 of those requests were funded by the OSWP Board.

The following programs have been or will be successfully funded and are being planned and implemented during the current fiscal year, which operates Nov. 1, 2016 to Oct. 31, 2017:

2016 Buckeye Shepherd’s Symposium – Dec.

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Fifty years of setting the standard: The Ohio State Fair Sale of Champions

Fifty years ago, it started with a dream to support the Ohio State Fair’s youth livestock exhibitors. Today, 422 champions have been honored and more than $6.4 million in sales have been generated by the Ohio State Fair Sale of Champions.

“We’re just trying to get them money to go to college and help them buy some farms,” said Gov. Jim Rhodes to Ed Johnson in a 1982 interview.

Rhodes was the mastermind behind the event that would help build the legacy of Ohio livestock exhibition on a national and international stage — the Ohio State Fair Sale of Champions. Rhodes recognized the hard work, long hours and vast leadership potential of the top livestock exhibitors at the Ohio State Fair and he wanted everyone else to do the same. He also wanted to establish a way to help those young exhibitors benefit from their incredible achievements financially. With these goals in mind, Rhodes teamed up with the Ohio Expositions Commission and well-known auctioneer Merlin Woodruff, who had been selling livestock at the Ohio State Fair since 1952.

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States tackle water quality individually and collectively

Of all of the components of agriculture that is overseen by the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA), the topic of water quality and nutrient management has been a key focus for many years.

ODA’s Director David Daniels, along with Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Director Jamie Clover Adams and Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Ted McKinney held a roundtable Monday, prior to the Midwest Association of the State Departments of Agriculture’s Annual Meeting being held in Cleveland this week.

All three state ag department leaders talked about what their state is doing to address the issue of water quality and nutrient management and also shared how their 3 states are working together to find solutions that work in creating a healthier Lake Erie Watershed.

Director Daniels reeled off the many initiatives being delivered in Ohio to address the situation, including the Fertilizer Applicator Certification Training Program, Ag Stewardship Verification, the Ohio Applicator Forecast Tool and millions of dollars of investments to help agriculture and other industries become a big part of finding a solution to the water quality problem.

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Sheep Day July 15 at OARDC

The 2017 Ohio Sheep Day is scheduled for Saturday, July 15 at OARDC Sheep Research Unit, location of a major portion of sheep research being conducted at The Ohio State University.  The OARDC Sheep Research Unit is located in beautiful Wayne County at 5743 Fredericksburg Rd., Wooster, OH 44691.

Ohio Sheep Day will offer visitors the opportunity to visit a successful sheep farming operation dedicated to sheep production in a profitable way. Sheep farmers and anyone interested in sheep management and production is invited to attend. A lamb luncheon is included as part of registration and no pre-registration is required.

The OARDC Sheep Research Unit hosts a commercial sheep operation concentrating its efforts on sheep research involving many aspects of sheep production and management.  The farm is located in northeastern Ohio where the terrain is gently rolling, making it an ideal location for grain crops as well as ruminant livestock production.

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Grazing tour July 14 in Wayne and Holmes counties

Sheep owners and others interested in sheep and forage management are invited to participate in a sheep grazing/forage management tour scheduled for Friday July 14 in Wayne/Holmes County. Topics to be discussed at the farms will include information for the beginning sheep farmer, sheep and management, cool season pasture species, hay production, fencing, rotational grazing management, breeding management and marketing. Each stop will have something different to offer in how the operation works for the farm and family. The sharing of ideas is how we all learn.

Resource people for the day will be Bob Hendershot of Green Pasture Services and Gary Wilson Past President American Forage and Grassland Council, retired OSU Extension. They will provide information about pasture grasses, grazing management, sheep production and are willing to answer all your questions.

Pre-registration is required and is limited to the first 40 people. Thanks to financial sponsorship from the Ohio Forage and Grassland Council and the Ohio Sheep and Wool Program the cost is only $40 per person ($30 for current Ohio Forage and Grassland Council members), which includes bus cost, lunch and refreshments.

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Past Ohio State Fair Sale of Champions exhibitors invited to celebrate 50 years

The Ohio State Fair is looking for past Sale of Champions exhibitors to attend this year’s 50th Anniversary of the Sale of Champions as honored guests of General Manager Virgil Strickler. Two tickets to the fair will be provided.

If you know of anyone on the list below, let them know the Ohio State Fair would love their company at the 2017 Ohio State Fair Sale of Champions Livestock Auction — 50th Anniversary on Sunday, Aug. 6 at 2 p.m.

Click here to sign up.

Year    Exhibitor
2016    Brooke Egbert
2016    Caden Jones
2016    Kylee Johnson
2016    Paige Pence
2016    Ashton Frey
2016    Lea Kimley
2016    Kady Davis
2016    Remmington Price
2016    Zac Ortman
2016    Taylor Carr
2016    Trevor Greiwe
2016    Madelyn Topp
2016    Alex Richardson
2016    Olivia Finke
2016    Keaton Topp
2016    Aubrey Topp
2015    Tyler Clark
2015    Oliver McGuire
2015    Bailee Amstutz
2015    Logan Harvel
2015    Troy Elwer
2015    Ashton Dominique
2015    Masson Sanders
2015    Katelyn Vollrath
2015    Caleb Murawski
2015    Mel Lindner
2015    Jillian Salmon
2015    Seth Abel
2015    Dorothy Rees
2015    Autumn Mohler
2015    Taylor Thatcher
2015    Mallory Spring
2015    Paige Pence
2015    Kinley Topp
2015    Kyle Ackley
2015    Grace Hageman
2015    Madelyn Topp
2015    Kennan Wolf
2015    Lane Greiwe
2014    Gerrett Davison
2014    Brooke Egbert
2014    Logan Harvel
2014    Colin Gump
2014    Hannah Frobose
2014    Nicholas Adams
2014    Madison Simon
2014    Ethan Weir
2014    Hanna Shafer
2014    Cami Reveal
2014    Braxton Perry
2014    Corey Jodrey
2014    Keenan Wolf
2014    Kristopher Ackley
2014    Lane Greiwe
2014    Madelyn Baker
2013    Brooke Egbert
2013    Madison Clark
2013    Colin Gump
2013    Delanie Wiseman
2013    Sidni Harris
2013    Adam McCoy
2013    Hayden Johnson
2013    Cole Krawczyk
2013    Kaci Carter
2013    Michaela Ambos
2013    Jacob Baker
2013    Lane Grewie
2013    Keaton Topp
2013    Marshall Overholt
2013    Trevor Greiwe
2013    Kinley Topp
2012    Danielle Heintz
2012    Mackenzie Fruchey
2012    Emily Overs
2012    Madison Banbury
2012    Lea Kimley
2012    Mason Creager
2012    Reggie Regula
2012    Chrysta Beck
2012    Paydon Gingerich
2012    Jordon Fledderjohann
2012    Jacob Baker
2012    Anna Miley
2012    Lane Grewie
2012    Jacob Morgan
2012    Becky Cooley
2012    Braxton Perry
2011    Danielle Heintz
2011    Megan Miller
2011    Mackenzie Fruchey
2011    Madison Banbury
2011    Levi Stauffer
2011    Troy Elwer
2011    Emily Myers
2011    Reggie Regula
2011    Zach Johnson
2011    Jordon Fledderjohann
2011    Keaton Topp
2011    Anna Miley
2011    Tanner Topp
2011    Michelle Funk
2011    Allison Mangun
2011    Erica Showalter
2010    Danielle Heintz
2010    Andy Sloan
2010    Rachael Overs
2010    Madison Banbury
2010    Haley Clinker
2010    Alec Brenek
2010    Tyler Gray
2010    Garrett Shafer
2009    Branden DeFrank
2009    Grant McIntosh
2009    Taylor Banbury
2009    Audrey Neal
2009    Raven Crawford
2009    Alex Vaughan
2009    Kara McCarthy
2009    Sarah Johnson
2008    Kyleigh DeFrank
2008    Kayla Campbell
2008    Audrey Neal
2008    Madison Banbury
2008    Tyla Voight
2008    Levi Kimley
2008    Scott Seim
2008    Garrett Shafer
2007    Zach Grauer
2007    Jacque Knipe
2007    Amber Shoemaker
2007    Madison Banbury
2007    Alex Vaughan
2007    Kurt Seeley
2007    Lindsey Voge
2007    Kara McCarthy
2007    Chelsey Cook Green
2006    Kayla Campbell
2006    Jamie Banbury
2006    Andrew Johnson
2006    Grant Gehret
2006        Nicholas Barney
2006    Kara McCarthy
2006    Lindsey Voge
2005    Cole McConville
2005    Katy Stacey
2005    Kara Sloan
2005    Jamie Banbury
2005    Shane Poulson
2005    Dale Mayer
2005    Brooke Teynor
2005    Lindsey Voge
2004    Brad Dinnen
2004    Abbie Harner
2004    Jamie Banbury
2004    Jamie Banbury
2004    Matt Evans
2004    Kelly Baxley
2004    Karli Baumgardner
2004    Mallorie Hott
2003    Trent Printz
2003    Blake Campbell
2003    Curtis Bickel
2003    Bailey Creagor
2003    Molly Gehret
2003    Lindsey Voge
2003    Patrick Nolan
2002    Stephanie Riley
2002    Seth Kohnen
2002    Andrew Johnson
2002    Mark Gray
2002    A.J.

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U.S., China finalize details to send U.S. beef to China

As part of the U.S.-China 100-Day Action plan announced on May 11, 2017 by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin, the Trump Administration has taken important steps toward commercial shipment of U.S. beef and beef products to China for the first time since 2003.

These shipments are results of the U.S.-China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue co-chaired by Secretary Ross and Secretary Mnuchin for the United States and Vice Premier Wang Yang for China. Accordingly, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has reached agreement with Chinese officials on final details of a protocol to allow the U.S. to begin the beef exports to China. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the posting of technical documents related to the beginning of shipments.

“Today is a great day for the United States and in particular for our cattle producers, who will be regaining access to an enormous market with an ever-expanding middle class,” Perdue said.

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Secure pork supply will minimize business disruptions

The National Pork Board this week announced the creation of a Secure Pork Supply plan to help the U.S. pork industry respond to major threats, including a foreign animal disease (FAD). It provides procedures that producers, processors and federal and state agencies can implement should an FAD strike, according to the veterinarian and director of swine health programs for the Pork Checkoff, Patrick Webb.

The result of ongoing collaboration among NPPC, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Pork Board, the American Association of Swine Veterinarians and academia, the plan will provide business continuity to producers who enroll in the program before an FAD event. Click here to read an overview of the plan.

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Managing manure so everyone wins

Manure is (and always has been) part of livestock production, but in recent years it has been increasingly viewed as an asset instead of a liability. Experts emphasize, however, that to get the full benefits and minimize the drawbacks of manure application for the benefit of all parties involved, planning and preparation are extremely important.

“It has to be a sustainable operation for the applicator, the livestock producers and the crop producers,” said Eric Dresbach, president of W.D. Farms, LLC, during a presentation at the Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference in Ada this spring. “Everybody has to win and nobody can win big.”

W.D. Farms handles manure management, including agitation and pumping, transportation and application, consulting and brokering, manure crises management, and trucking in a 200-mile radius around the Pickaway County operation. The goal for every job is to make sure everyone wins and Dresbach offered some tips on how to make that happen.

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Ramseyers using nature as a blueprint for beef grazing

For thousands of years livestock roamed the plains and forests and contributed to an ecosystem that produced some of the richest soils in the world. More livestock producers are taking note of this system with a long history of proven success and working to implement it on their farms.

Jeff and Michelle Ramseyer raise around 250 cattle in an organic rotational grazing system with neighboring grain farmer, Dean McIlvaine. The Ramseyers provide the livestock and the labor while enhancing the fertility and controlling weeds on McIvaine’s farm ground for their Lone Pine Pastures operation in Wayne County, Michelle said.

“Dean actually owns the properties we have cattle on. We are a grass-fed operation. We started back in 2014 when we got the cattle. Dean is an organic crop farmer and all of the cattle are raised on organic grass. We do not feed anything other than hay and grass. Dean needed more fertility because his crops weren’t growing well.

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Pork Checkoff publishes new PRRS Initiative Research book

The National Pork Board’s new porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) virus research booklet is now available. The guide, PRRS Initiative Research, is the most comprehensive source of Checkoff-funded research available on the subject, spanning 20 years of results.

“Each year, the effect of PRRS is felt on pig farms across the country, and it has a $664 million annual impact on the U.S. pork industry,” said David Pyburn, DVM, senior vice president of science and technology, National Pork Board. “The Pork Checkoff has consistently invested in swine science and PRRS research, and the result is a guide that will provide value to understanding PRRS in an effort to address its impact.”

The updated and expanded 2017 edition contains Checkoff-funded PRRS research from 1997 to 2016, which can help producers, swine veterinarians and researchers learn more about how to control the costly virus. The guide has six sections including:

  • Immunology, virology and pathogenesis
  • Vaccine development
  • Epidemiology, risk factors and control strategies
  • Diagnostic testing
  • Surveillance and elimination strategies
  • Genetic resistance

The PRRS Initiative Research (1997-2016) is available online.

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Key pork trade issues addressed with Vietnam

Following a meeting between President Trump and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, the two countries last week announced plans to enhance political, diplomatic, economic and trade relations.

Among the topics addressed directly with Vietnam’s prime minister were two key trade access issues for U.S. pork: the use of veterinary drugs and offal exports. Regarding veterinary drugs, Vietnam will not be issuing a circular, previously announced, implementing a zero-tolerance policy on residues for multiple veterinary drug, many of which are used in U.S. pork production. It agreed to follow U.S. food safety standards and maximum residue limits (MRLs) set by the U.N.’s Codex Alimentarius Commission.

Vietnam will continue to allow U.S. imports of beef and pork that meet Codex MRLs. The policy aligns with U.S. food safety concerns. In addition, Vietnam said it is committed to working with the United States to address issues currently preventing the importation of white offal.

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Marketing considerations during the breeding season

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) is announcing an event of potential interest for both the buyers and sellers of beef breeding cattle.  On Friday evening, Nov. 24, the OCA will be hosting their fifth annual Replacement Female Sale.  The sale will be held at the Muskingum Livestock facility in Zanesville and will begin at 6:00 p.m.

The 2017 Ohio Cattlemen’s Association Replacement Female Sale will provide an opportunity for both buyers and sellers to meet the need for quality replacements in the state.  Consignments may include cow-calf pairs, bred cows and bred heifers.  Females must be under the age of five as of January 1, 2018 and may be of registered or commercial background.  Bred females must be bred to a bull with known EPD’s and calves at side of cows must be sired by a bull with known EPD’s.  Pregnancy status must be verified by an accredited veterinarian through traditional palpation, ultrasound or by blood testing through a professional laboratory. 

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USDA seeks to revise schedule GLA specification for Angus certified programs

In response to a request from beef industry stakeholders, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is revising the live animal specification used for all Angus certified programs (Schedule GLA) to provide more objective phenotypic criteria for identifying eligible cattle. The specification is also being revised to reflect ownership by the American Angus Association, not AMS.

Currently, for phenotypic requirements, cattle must be predominantly (51%) black, along with other exclusionary criteria. The proposed changes will require that cattle — evaluated phenotypically — have a main body that is solid black with no color behind the shoulder, above the flanks, or breaking the midline behind the shoulder (excluding the tail). In this pdf, additions are in yellow highlight and deletions are represented as strikethrough text (minor formatting updates are not identified). No changes are proposed for cattle qualifying by genotype.

The existing Schedule GLA has served the industry well, but as cattle genetics change over time, opportunities for updates should be considered that better reflect the current populations and marketplace.

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Trade leaders contacted by beef producers in North America about benefits of NAFTA

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association joined its cattle-industry partners in Canada and Mexico in sending a joint letter to the presidents of those two nations and to President Trump, urging the three leaders to not “jeopardize the success we have all enjoyed as partners of the North American Free Trade Agreement.”

The letter to President Trump, President Justin Trudeau of Canada, and President Enrique Pena Nieto of Mexico was signed by NCBA President Craig Uden, Dan Darling, president of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, and Oswaldo Chazaro Montalvo, president of the Confederación Nacional de Organizaciones Ganaderas.

“Recent statements about the possible dissolution of NAFTA or potential renegotiation of NAFTA are deeply concerning to us because of the unnecessary risk it places on our producers,” the letter states. “While there may be general agreement among the countries to improve some parts of the NAFTA trade framework, we urge you to recognize that the terms of the agreement affecting cattle producers are strongly supported as they currently exist and should not be altered.”

 The groups also urged Presidents Trump, Trudeau, and Nieto to “reject efforts to use NAFTA as a platform to resurrect failed policies, especially the misguided mandatory country-of-origin labeling policy that was the law of the United States for over seven years.”

“MCOOL failed to deliver its proponents’ promise to increase consumer demand or consumer confidence,” the groups said.

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DFA to halt marketing milk for independent producers

Dairy Farmers of America’s Dairy Marketing Service sent a letter to dairies in the Mideast this week announcing they will put a halt to marketing milk from independent producers. Their focus will instead turn solely to cooperative members.

The move comes as a result of a saturated milk market and burdensome costs assessed only to co-op members, resulting in the cut of independent farms, according to DFA. Organic producers are exempt from the action.

“The letters were sent to all DMS Mideast Dairy independent producers who serve the conventional market. Organic producers were not included in this action. This letter advised them of our intent to terminate the milk marketing arrangement with DMS Mideast producers effective at the end of November,” said Heather McCann, communications manager for Dairy Farmers of America. “They will have until Nov. 30 to procure another market or if they choose not to or are unable to, DFA will offer membership to those DMS producers.”

Tensions are high within the dairy industry due to pressure on farms from multiple levels. 

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Agreement with China opens door for beef export expansion

The White House announced last week that an agreement has been reached that will restore U.S. beef access to China.

The Trump administration said that following one more round of technical consultations between the United States and China, China is to allow imports of U.S. beef on conditions consistent with international food safety and animal health standards and consistent with the 1999 Agricultural Cooperation Agreement, beginning as soon as possible but no later than July 16, 2017.

“After being locked out of the world’s largest market for 13 years, we strongly welcome the announcement that an agreement has been made to restore U.S. beef exports to China. It’s impossible to overstate how beneficial this will be for America’s cattle producers, and the Trump Administration deserves a lot of credit for getting this achieved,” said Craig Uden, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association president. “We look forward to providing nearly 1.4 billion new customers in China with the same safe and delicious U.S.

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Ohio Cattlemen’s Association BEST Program concludes 18th year

The 2016-2017 Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) BEST (Beef Exhibitor Show Total) Program wrapped up on May 6 with its annual awards banquet held at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus.

“The banquet is a time to celebrate the many achievements of our BEST participants, both in and out of the show ring,” said Stephanie Sindel, OCA Director of Youth Programs. “Each participant is recognized for their hard work by family, friends and BEST supporters alike.”

Several representatives from program sponsors, Bob Evans Farms, Burroughs Frazier Farms, Evans Cattle Company, Farm Credit Mid-America, M.H. Eby, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation and Weaver Livestock, were on hand to help present awards totaling more than $50,000 in belt buckles, luggage, show materials and other awards.

This year’s BEST program featured 15 sanctioned shows that weaved across the state with over 440 youth participants showing 649 head of market animals and heifers.

 

Banquet sponsors

State breed associations sponsoring belt buckle cases for the winners in each of the respective breeds: Buckeye Hereford Association, Ohio Angus Association, Ohio Mid-Eastern Maine-Anjou Association, Ohio Shorthorn Breeders Association and Ohio Simmental Association.

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Managing spring grass growth and selective grazing

For most beef cattle farmers who are managing their pastures in a rotational grazing system two of the biggest spring challenges are the flush of rapid growth that will occur and selective grazing. While there are no easy management answers, if we review some basic plant growth biology and grazing principles, they may suggest some management strategies. Warning: this article may disrupt some conventional thinking.

We know that as spring progresses, grass growth will speed up. Our cool season pasture grasses produce about 60% of their total dry matter production by early July. If your farm has a stocking rate that is matched to summer pasture production there is no way your cattle will be able to consume enough pasture forage to keep up with the flush of grass growth that will occur in late April through May. Coupled with this explosion in grass growth is a physiological response to the shorter nights and longer days that triggers seed head production generally starting at some point in early May.

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