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Topics of Interest

Dealing with Drought

Resource for producers across the country who are affected by drought.

Country-of-Origin Labeling

Information about country-of-origin labeling, and what it means for cattlemen.

Angus International

A platform for global information sharing spanning the worldwide Angus industry.

Beef Cow Efficiency

Perhaps the greatest single factor affecting your profitability as a beef producer.

Body Condition Scoring

Use body condition scores (BCS) to improve herd nutrition and efficiency.


Feeding & Feedstuffs

Maximize pasture utilization and optimize feeding of harvested forages and supplements to
efficiently meet the nutritional needs
of your herd.



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July 20, 2009

Eagle Hills Ranch Seeks Marketability

Geiken"Dad loves eagles," says Todd Geiken, explaining why his family's commercial cow-calf operation is dubbed Eagle Hills Ranch. For a long time, it was called Geiken Ranch and was owned, in succession, by three generations of the Geiken clan. And, for a long time, it ran white-faced cattle among the hills south of Gothenburg, Neb. The change of name followed a fourth generation's entry into ranching and a change of focus.

"For awhile there, before my brothers and I got involved, Dad was nearly out of the cow business," Todd says. "When we decided to get back in, we went with straight Angus. We wanted maternal traits and calving ease. Angus gave us that and enough outcross opportunity to meet our goals for growth. As much as anything, though, we wanted to raise calves that were marketable." Read more.

What’s Inside …

The July Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA features several valuable articles, including specific sections devoted to management, marketing, and health and nutrition information. Select from the tabs above to access this month’s entire information-packed edition, a portion of which includes the following:

• Special Section — Survive Summertime Heat

Rebreeding Reminders — Manage first- and second-calf heifers closely to avoid open females in the fall

Shoo, Fly! — Flies could be costing you dollars in lost performance and disease

Early Weaning — When Sooner is Better

Effect of Time of Vaccination at the Feedyard

Johne's Disease: A Real Threat

Remain Viable in the Cow-Calf Business

Economist Expects Robust Improvement in Cattle Prices

AGI, Igenity to Introduce Genomic-enhanced EPDs

Angus producers will have first access to breed-specific DNA profile.

Angus Genetics Inc.® (AGI) and Merial have entered into an exclusive agreement to provide American Angus Association® members with genomic-enhanced expected progeny differences (EPDs) powered by Igenity®. This will be the first time beef producers have access to genomic-enhanced EPDs for multiple traits at once — and from an Angus-specific DNA profile.

Bill Bowman, president, AGI, says this agreement represents a significant milestone for the industry. The combination of a breed-specific DNA profile with the Angus National Cattle Evaluation (NCE) will result in higher-accuracy EPDs. This will be an especially powerful tool for evaluating young animals, as cattle will now have accuracies that were previously only possible once they had multiple progeny on the ground, Bowman says. Read more.

News Briefs …

FDA Urges Ban on Antibiotic Use in Livestock

USDA Report Suggests Record Soybean Crop, No. 2 Corn Crop

Vilsack Testifies on Ag's Role in Climate Change

Climate Bill Passes House, Awaits Senate

Study: Vegetarians Have Weaker Bones

Conservationists, Ranchers Team Up to Protect Rangelands

AgriTalk Interviews HSUS President

Demand Grows for Angus Calves

Calf prices have been up and down, but the Angus advantage keeps growing, even while supplies of Angus calves increased as a share of all cattle. That's according to nine years of data in the Pfizer Animal Health-supported analysis of Superior Livestock video auction sales.

Most of the calves sold on the video include data on breed type, which has always had an effect on sale price. Starting in this decade, data analysis began to break out and quantify those variables.

From 2000 through 2008, data on more than 3.3 million head in 27,472 lots show an upward trend line in the relative added value of calves that are primarily Angus, the top-value category each year. Read more.

Bryce Schumann

Bryce Schumann

Association Perspective

The great leap forward

Much of the discussion at the recent Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) meeting was devoted to advances in DNA-based technologies ( For instance, several presentations were given on the incorporation of DNA data into dairy genetic evaluation and the enhanced accuracy and precision this technology is providing that industry.

For me, it was eye-opening to see research results that showed accuracy levels for dairy marker-assisted expected progeny differences (EPDs) in the 0.60 range on non-parent animals. There's no doubt that DNA technology is going to rapidly shorten the generation interval in the dairy business, accelerating the rate of genetic change.

There's also no doubt that we will see the same rapid developments in the beef business, and many of the speakers at the BIF meeting underscored the fact that the Angus breed now stands at the forefront in these advancements.

Standing a leader
In March 2006, the American Angus Association began discussions on how DNA technology would affect our business, and how we needed to position our breed and organization to shape its development for the advantage of all Angus breeders.

Following establishment of Angus Genetics Inc.® (AGI) in June 2007, we have worked closely with DNA companies and the research community to make possible the inclusion of DNA markers into national cattle evaluation (NCE).

These efforts came to fruition mid-July when AGI announced a partnership with Merial. The partnership — the only one of its kind in the U.S. industry today — will provide Angus breeders with an Angus-specific panel that is available exclusively through AGI and the Association (See “AGI, Igenity
® to Introduce Genomic-enhanced EPDs”).

This is a substantial economic advantage for Angus cattle, because it means that Angus breeders and their customers are now equipped with some of the most powerful genetic-improvement tools in the business. Coupling DNA with our existing cattle evaluation program will make it easier and more efficient to move more rapidly and accurately in our genetic-improvement efforts.

The coupling of Igenity technology with Angus NCE will result in higher-accuracy EPDs, especially for younger, unproven cattle.

This is great news for the Angus business. It is a partnership that will further advance the economic interests and the market strength of Angus genetics across the country.

It is also a partnership that will benefit small-, medium- and large-scale producers equally, enabling all of our members to select for more desirable genetic attributes in a much more rapid and accurate way.

Association Adopts Policy for AM, NH

The American Angus Association has adopted a combined policy regarding both arthrogryposis multiplex (AM) and neuropathic hydrocephalus (NH). According to Association President Jay King, the combined policy does three things. King wrote to members. Read more.

$760M in Direct Loans Available to Producers

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced July 16 that $760 million from the Supplemental Appropriations Act signed by President Obama is available for approved but previously unfunded U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) direct farm ownership and operating loans throughout the country.

Producers can use Direct Farm Ownership loans to buy farmland, construct or repair buildings and other fixtures, and promote soil and water conservation. Operating Loans may be used to purchase items such as livestock, farm equipment, feed, seed, fuel, farm chemicals, insurance, and other operating expenses. Operating Loans can also be used to pay for minor improvements to buildings, costs associated with land and water development, family subsistence, and to refinance debts under certain conditions. The maximum amount for either type of loan is $300,000.

Producers interested in applying for direct loans or other FSA products should visit their local FSA county offices. For more information visit

Virtual Library at Your Fingertips

Through the years, Angus Productions Inc. (API) has built a bank of information to assist Angus producers and their customers in producing and marketing their cattle, organizing their businesses, and getting the most out of American Angus Association programs and services. But while the information may be available at your fingertips online, sometimes it's not easy to know where to point those fingers.

This Virtual Library is intended to provide the hub for access to many of these resources. At you'll find meeting coverage sites, valuable topic sites, and other links to daily news from API, Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB) and the American Angus Association; upcoming sales and events; sale summaries; AngusSource® listings for feeders and replacement heifers; show reports available online; and the Angus Journal's monthly bonus features provided exclusively online.

Other Angus resources and access to contacts at the American Angus Association and its subsidiaries and affiliates are also available.