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Pork industry focuses on feed ingredients to combat African swine fever threat

With the expansion of the current outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) in China, the National Pork Board, along with the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), the American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV), the Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), are working even more closely together to help keep the United States free of ASF and all other foreign animal diseases (FADs). This includes focusing on the importation of feed ingredients, a key area of potential high risk of disease transport.

“Keeping trade-limiting foreign animal diseases, such as ASF, out of the United States is critical to pork producers,” said Steve Rommereim, National Pork Board president and a producer from Alcester, South Dakota. “We all need to improve the overall level of FAD preparedness. We hope for the best, but we must prepare for the worst.”

Thanks to Checkoff-funded research conducted after the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV), swine industry experts now have some peer-reviewed science to rely on when looking at ways to mitigate the current risk posed by ASF in China and other countries.

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BEST Character awards highlight attributes of exhibitors

By Lea Kimley and Matt Reese

Work ethic, a positive attitude, patience, and focus — those involved with showing livestock have long understood there are many positive character traits young people can develop through working with animals.

In 2018 the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association BEST (Beef Exhibitor Show Total) Program took the opportunity to formally recognize some of these character traits and the young people who display them throughout the show season. The 2018 BEST Character Trait awards highlighted attitude, focus and patience. Throughout the winter and spring show series, any OCA member or BEST participant or their parents could nominate other cattlemen, breeders or exhibitors for any of the Character Trait Awards.

“This past year was our first year doing this and we worked with some of the leadership programs with Weaver Leather Livestock. They are a sponsoring partner for the BEST program and we worked with them to recognize the character traits.

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College student competition aims to bring innovative ideas to dairy industry

By Chip Tuson

One revolutionary idea can transform an entire industry overnight. At least, that’s what The Ohio State University SmartAg4.0 student competition posits to event participants. In much of the way Uber has changed how we commute and AirBnb has changed how we find accommodations, participants in SmartAg4.0 could have the next big idea to transform agriculture.

“Agriculture is undergoing a significant transformation that rivals historical developments including mechanization, the ‘Green Revolution,’ or biotechnology,” said Scott Shearer, Professor and Chair at Ohio State’s Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering. “Most agricultural professionals now realize that connecting the farm to the internet (e.g., big data and data analytics) will drive sustainability and productivity of the ‘food systems’ of the future. SmartAg4.0 is designed to help students gain experience with turning ideas into new products or services that will reshape global agriculture.”

SmartAg4.0 started in 2016 with the idea of offering a “hack-a-thon” style event to students in the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at Ohio State.

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Cattlemen’s Gala, Celebration and Fundraiser, raises $35,000

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation (OCF) held the second annual Cattlemen’s Gala Celebration and Fundraiser Saturday, Aug. 25 at Leeds Farm in Ostrander, Ohio. The event supported the OCF youth scholarship fund benefiting the next generation of beef industry leaders.

Attendees gathered in their boots and hats for dinner, drinks and dancing in the barn at Leeds Farm where guests enjoyed live music from the John D. Hale Band, a nationally known Red Dirt music group from Missouri.

Silent and live auctions were held to support youth scholarships. Thanks to several generous donors, buyers and sponsors, in total, the event raised $35,000.

“The young people in our industry are impressive, and the opportunity for them to further their education and careers is well deserved. The Cattlemen’s Gala is an exciting way to show our support,” said Joe Foster, OCF president from Gallipolis.

Mark your calendars for the 2019 Cattlemen’s Gala Celebration and Fundraiser that will take place Aug.

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Raising dairy calves: Reading personality of the calves can be important

By Maurice L. Eastridge, Professor and Extension Dairy Specialist, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University

We know that personality of children in the same family can vary immensely, caused by genetics, birth order, changing parenting styles, and other factors. Have you ever related these differences to dairy calves? Previous research has revealed that food animals that are generally calmer or less reactive, versus more excitable, have improved growth rates, meat quality, and milk production; improved immune function, and decreased physiological responses to stressful events. Dairy cows that are more excitable in the milking parlor produce less milk, milk out slower, and have reduced lifetime production efficiency.

Given this prior knowledge, researchers at the Animal Welfare Program at the University of British Columbia conducted a study with 56 dairy calves to identify personality traits that may be associated with feeding behavior and performance. Calves were housed in seven groups with eight calves in each group with access to automatic milk feeders and free choice water, hay, and calf starter.

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NCBA responds to WOTUS video reaction

About a year ago, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association released a video on the 2015 WOTUS rule that featured an interview with then-EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. Radical environmental groups cried foul, and House Representatives Elijah Cummings, Peter DeFazio, Betty McCollum, and Frank Pallone asked the Government Accountability Office to investigate whether Pruitt’s appearance violated federal anti-lobbying and propaganda laws. The GAO concluded definitively that the video “did not violate the publicity or propaganda, grassroots lobbying, or Interior anti-lobbying provisions.”

“Radical environmental activists and their allies in Congress first requested this sham investigation to distract from the real issue: Their misguided support for the gravely flawed 2015 WOTUS rule,” said Colin Woodall, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs for the NCBA. “It is a shame to think about the wasted taxpayer dollars that were devoted to this report in a vain attempt by Representatives Cummings, DeFazio, McCollum, and Pallone to grab a few headlines.

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Cattle market overriding themes

By Josh Maples, Assistant Professor & Extension Economist, Department of Agricultural Economics, Mississippi State University

Large supplies, record exports, and trade concerns are just a few of the topics that have dominated the headlines in 2018. We are now fully transitioning into a primary calf selling time of the year for cow-calf producers and into an active buying time for stocker producers. I’m going to try to sum up a few of the more prominent factors affecting cattle markets and discuss how they could impact cattle prices this fall and beyond.

Larger beef production continues to put downward pressure on prices. Beef production rose by 6.4% in 2016 and 3.8% in 2017. Current forecasts suggest about a 4% increase in 2018, and 1.5% in 2019. Put it all together and that would be about a 16% increase in beef production in just four years. This would be the fastest four-year growth since 1973-1977.

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2018 Ohio State Fair Commercial Cattle Show results

The 2018 Ohio State Fair Commercial Cattle Show participants exhibited 25 pens of three for a total of 75 head of commercial steers and heifers on July 29, 2018 during the fair. Judging the event were Joseph Higgins, Wisconsin and Jacob Mikel, Iowa. The show was managed by United Producers, Inc., and the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, Ohio State Fair and United Producers, Inc. served as sponsors.

In the junior division live evaluation, Austin Wiseman of Malta, Ohio, exhibited the Champion Lot of 3 Steers and Champion Lot of 3 Heifers which earned the titles of Grand Champion Overall Lot of 3 and Reserve Champion Overall Lot of 3, respectively. Wiseman’s lot of 3 steers had an average weight of 1,319 pounds and his lot of 3 heifers had an average weight of 1,208 pounds. Allison and Ryan Bowsher, Laurelville, Ohio, exhibited the Reserve Champion Lot of 3 Heifers averaging 1,219 pounds.

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Highest award in Smithfield nuisance litigation raises responses

By Peggy Hall, director of agricultural law, Ohio State University Agricultural and Resource Law Program

The third and largest jury award in a series of nuisance lawsuits in North Carolina yielded a $473.5 million award for plaintiffs claiming harm from hog farms owned by Smithfield. The verdict will reduce to $94 million due to a state law that caps punitive damages.

Agricultural interests are claiming that the lawsuits circumvent state right to farm laws and are seeking state legislative responses. Opponents are also hoping to reverse a gag order issued by the court to impose communication restrictions on potential witnesses, parties and lawyers in the cases. The federal judge in the case, Hon. Earl Britt from the Eastern District of North Carolina, is stepping down due to health issues. Hon. David Faber of the Southern District of West Virginia will replace Judge Britt and will soon hear a fourth trial that targets a 7,100 head hog farm in Sampson County, North Carolina.

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It’s official: no reporting of air emissions from animal waste

By Peggy Hall, director of agricultural law, Ohio State University Agricultural and Resource Law Program

The U.S. EPA has posted a final rule this month clarifying that air emissions from animal waste at farms are exempt from federal regulations that require the reporting of air releases from hazardous wastes. The rule implements an order by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and revisions in the Fair Agricultural Reporting Method Act enacted by Congress earlier this year. We reported on the court case and legislation earlier this year.

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Assemble a calf crop resilient to diseases

By Justin Kieffer, DVM, Clinical Veterinarian, Assistant Professor, Office of the Attending Veterinarian and Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University

Now that calving is completed and the grass is growing (hopefully), it is time to start preparing for the weaning and eventual sale or feedlot finishing of your

calf crop and development of your replacement females. Once the cow calf pairs have been kicked out to pasture in the spring, there is a tendency to put off or ignore the steps needed not only to set the feedlot calf up for success, but also to lay the groundwork for proper health for your new heifers.

Management techniques such as castration and dehorning should take place as soon as possible. Waiting too long to remove the testicles, either by banding or cutting, increases the risk of bleeding and infection, and knocks the calf off feed for an extended period of time.

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Court asked to lift gag order in North Carolina nuisance suits

The National Pork Producers Council and the North Carolina Pork Council filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of lifting a judge’s gag order on communications related to nuisance lawsuits filed against more than two dozen North Carolina hog farms.

Judge Earl Britt, of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, in late June imposed the gag order on the parties, lawyers and potential witnesses in lawsuits brought against Murphy-Brown, the hog production subsidiary of Smithfield Foods. The judge said a “significant increase in trial publicity” and the “volume and scope of prejudicial publicity” about the first two cases — one decided in early May and the other two days after the gag order was implemented — could taint future cases.

NPPC and NCPC filed an amicus curiae brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Va., asking that it grant Murphy-Brown’s petition to vacate the District Court’s prior restraint on speech, noting that “All but the most carefully crafted, narrow gag orders are unconstitutional.”

NPPC and NCPC argued that there is no compelling need for the gag order, the District Court did not consider alternatives to the order — including the jury selection process or jury instructions — the order is overbroad and vague, and it won’t be effective.

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Beef Industry Update Meeting to be held in Butler County

A Beef Industry Update meeting hosted by the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) will take place in Butler County. Beef producers from Butler and surrounding counties are encouraged to attend. The meeting will be held Thursday, August 16 at 7:00 p.m. at Collinsville Community Center, 5113 Huston Road Collinsville, OH 45004.

At the meeting, OCA staff will discuss OCA events and policy updates. A complimentary dinner will be sponsored by OCA Allied Industry Council (AIC) members Kent Nutrition Group and Multimin USA and door prizes will be provided. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from Kent Nutrition Group and Multimin USA representatives on keeping their cow herd profitable.

The 2018 Beef Industry Update producer education partners are the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and National Corn Growers Association.

Contact the OCA office at 614-873-6736 or email cattle@ohiocattle.org to RSVP. For more information about the beef industry update meetings, visit www.ohiocattle.org.

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Ohio Cattlemen’s Association launches redesigned website

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA), a non-profit membership organization that represents the business interests and way of life important to Ohio’s cattle families, recently launched a revamped website. The newly redesigned site is mobile friendly and offers easy access to information about upcoming events and programs while offering more online registration capabilities. The site can be found at the same address, www.ohiocattle.org.

While visiting the site, members will benefit from the increased use of visual aids that assist in navigation and can stay informed from a highlighted “Latest News” section on the home page. The latest issue of the Ohio Cattleman magazine is also available for viewing within the same browser under the “Magazine” tab.

Join or renew an OCA membership online by clicking “Become a Member” and then selecting the type of membership that best applies: Producer, Associate, Ohio Young Cattleman or Allied Industry Council.

In addition, users have the ability to share web pages to their own social media channels to further disseminate information regarding Ohio’s cattle industry.

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National roundtable on lawsuit abuse targeting North Carolina farms

American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall  joined a special national agriculture roundtable highlighting a recent wave of nuisance lawsuits targeting North Carolina hog farms. The event, which was held in Raleigh, North Carolina, brought together legislators and agriculture leaders to discuss the growing threat to farmers and exposed how out-of-state trial lawyers are using nuisance lawsuits to circumvent state right-to-farm laws.

The discussion centered on the economic impact of nuisance lawsuits on America’s farmers and rural communities.

“This is pitting neighbor against neighbor and community against community,” Duvall said. “The regulations need to be on the trial lawyers. We need to let our farmers and ranchers do what they do best, and that is feeding the world. They will not be a nuisance. They deserve a fair shot. They deserve to grow and succeed,” he said.

North Carolina Farm Bureau President Larry Wooten also addressed the panel. “What concerns me are the scars that could be left in rural North Carolina and in our rural communities due to these types of lawsuits,” he said.

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U.S. poultry gains new market access in Morocco

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced that the government of Morocco has agreed to allow commercial imports of U.S. poultry meat and products into Morocco for the first time.

“The Trump Administration continues to prioritize the opening of new markets for U.S. agricultural products. This new access to the Moroccan market is an important step in ensuring that American farmers and ranchers can continue to expand their exports,” said Ambassador Lighthizer. “I welcome Morocco’s agreement to allow imports of U.S. poultry meat and products and the economic opportunities that will be afforded to U.S. producers.”

The United States is the world’s second largest poultry exporter, with global sales of poultry meat and products of $4.3 billion last year. In May 2018, U.S. exports of agricultural products exceeded $12 billion (latest data available).

“Opening new markets for American poultry and other agricultural products is a top priority.

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Hog farm nuisance suits continue in North Carolina

Another verdict against a North Carolina hog farm came the same day outraged farmers — and a representative of the National Pork Producers Council — gathered for a discussion of the suits’ threat to the state’s pork industry.

North Carolina congressional lawmakers Sen. Thom Tillis and Rep. David Rouzer joined U.S. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway, R-Texas, USDA Farm and Foreign Agricultural Service Under Secretary Bill Northey, North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler and agriculture officials from several other states for the National Agriculture Leaders Roundtable in Raleigh today to hear from hog farmers about nuisance lawsuits brought against 26 pork operations over noise and odors. Three of the cases have been decided over the past three months.

NPPC Past President Dr. Howard Hill, a pork producer from Iowa who previously worked for a pork operation in North Carolina, testified at the meeting, noting that the judge in all three cases believes people who have moved to North Carolina’s rural communities can sue farmers for millions of dollars “for doing nothing more than simply farming.

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2018 Ohio State Fair Junior Market Barrow Sale

 

The Buckeye Barrow Boosters also supported each exhibitor in the sale. They include: Jim Yeazel and Family, Ohio Hamp/York Crossbred Sale, Ohio State Fair Youth Gilt Sale, Ohio Pork Schopp, Ward Family Genetics, Mark Bodey and Family, Korb Farms, Kremer Yorkshires, Kimley Show Pigs, Ohio’s Country Journal/Ohio Ag Net, Moyer’s Genetic Edge, Rick Fogle, North Central Pig Sale, Isla Grande Farms, Bates Show Pigs, Mark Butterfield Family, Waits Family, Scott Evans Family, Scott Mihalik Family, Michael Carson Family, Thompson Show Feed, Bryan Vaughan Family, Andy Warner Family, Abt Family, Sponcil Family, Sharrett Family Farms, Tim Barney family, Scholl Family, Todd Price Family, Rusty Coe Family, Josh Overmeyer Family, Wendt Livestock, Nate Warner Livestock, Keplinger Farms, Bob Foster Family, Fender Club Pigs, Fearon Family, Dore Family, Stewart Family, Genter Show Stock, Jason Adams Family, and Ron Riley Family.

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