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Tag Archives: Joel Penhorwood

Dairy a growing competitor for beef genetics

By Joel Penhorwood

The Ohio Beef Expo is a time when beef breeders come together to talk the latest in genetics and issues hitting the cattle industry.

Bruce Smith of COBA/Select Sires pointed out an increasing change in where beef breeding materials are heading, showing a slight shift in Ohio’s cattle production mindset.

“We have a huge new competitor in our beef market for the semen quantity, and that’s the dairy cows,” said Smith. “A significant number of dairy cows are being bred to beef semen and they’re using sexed semen to make their female replacements and the rest are getting bred to beef.”

Hard dairy prices as of late have caused the dairy producers to be more precise in their herd continuation, including setting the lower milking cows to a new career path. Smith said this has proven to be financially appealing for some farmers.

“They’re getting a premium at some level on those beef cross calves compared to a purebred Holstein cow,” he said.

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How farmers and their cyclops sheep led to a cancer treatment breakthrough

Lessons of life are sometimes found in the strangest of places. That was the case for a group of Idaho ranchers in the 1950s that found a mysterious case of cyclops lambs among their sheep. That’s right — one-eyed mutant lambs were being born.

An interesting video on the subject from the folks over at TED-Ed (the same group responsible for TED Talks) goes into further detail. It’s available below and I encourage you to take a moment to watch it.

Long story short — the effort by the farmers to report their deformed lambs to scientists at the USDA led to a long line of discoveries that eventually resulted in the identification of a relationship between a plant compound — cyclopamine — and proteins instrumental in the biological development process. With the mystery of the cyclops sheep having been solved, scientists took the lessons learned and applied them to humans.

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The written and unwritten rules of “Five Dollar Baseball”

Playing sports with family seems to be an undervalued commodity in the marketplace of life these days. Athletics themselves — their competitiveness, sweat equity, failure, success — create a bond among contenders found few other places.

Today, we look at a fun backyard game my family and I recently found ourselves playing while celebrating Easter — part baseball, part football, and all fun. Not sure if it has an official name, but we know it simply as “Five Dollar.”

Growing up as farm kids, we’ve found an open pasture or open farm field seem to be the best places to play such a game. You might remember a similar game played amongst your own family in years gone by.

Note: Five Dollar Baseball is not an illegal action Pete Rose was accused of in the  80s.

Equipment needed:

  • 3+ people
  • Baseball
  • Baseball bat
  • Baseball gloves
  • Courage
  • Skill (optional)
  • Brass knuckles (just kidding)

IMG_9158Official rules:

The game consists of one batter and a varying number of catchers in field.

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The evils of IKEA furniture

I must be getting old, friends. I was recently watching an episode of Jeopardy! and I was enjoying it a bit too much. My masterful trivia skills were on full display until Final Jeopardy, the last query in the show.

The subject was international business and I felt I had a good enough grasp on the subject to do well. I yelled to the imaginary Alex Trebek in the room how much money I was wagering and then took a gander at the “answer.”

It was the following: “This European company uses about 1% of the world’s lumber each year; it aims to make that 100% sustainable by 2020.”

Immediately flustered at the benign situation I was confronted with, I ran out of time before coming up with a viable solution. And my imaginary money, like my trivia ego, was gone. The correct question?

“What is IKEA?”

Right you are, Alex.

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