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Topics of Interest

API Virtual Library

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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

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Beef Cow Efficiency

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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
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September 21, 2009

Farm Safety Week

Scars of Strength
Kristi Ruth

One mistake changes an Iowa farmgirl’s life forever.

The day Kristi Ruth almost died started like most other days during the bitter cold of February 2007.

2009 AAEA Story of the Year The 15-year-old woke up around 6 o'clock Sunday morning to the sounds of her father, Joe, calling across the family's small one-story Chariton, Iowa, farmhouse. She stretched and looked at the plaster ceiling while her breath steamed upward in the cold air.

The night before, the family had gone to a community social event and dance and had returned home late; she was tired, and her bed was warm. "Kristi, get up," she heard her father say for the third time.

With a sigh, she resigned her attempts for a few extra minutes of sleep and reluctantly peeled herself from the soft comforts of her loft bed. Read more.

Farm Safety Week:
Take Precautions on Rural Roads

Farm Safety WeekHarvest season is here, and busier rural roads and grim outcomes are likely if precautions are not taken.

Due to concerns about collisions and near collisions between farm equipment and motor vehicles, the 2009 National Farm Safety and Health Week, Sept. 20-26, launches a yearlong focus on the theme "Rural Roadway Safety: Alert, Aware and Alive."

"Harvest is one of the busiest times of year for traffic on rural roads, and consequently we see the number of crashes between motor vehicles and farm equipment peak during this time," said Murray Madsen, associate director for the Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health. Read more.

Farmer Champions Improved Roadway Safety

While driving down U.S. 24 in his tractor, Daryl Hodel, took one final look over his shoulder. Beyond the large wagon he was towing, he saw his wife, Deb, driving behind him in a pickup. Two semis loomed behind in the distance.

With his turn fast approaching, Hodel flipped on his left turn signal to warn the oncoming semis not to pass. Yet the trucks weren't slowing down.

Back in the pickup, his wife realized the trucks had no intention of slowing. She immediately called her husband and warned him not to make the turn. Hodel heeded the warning. Shortly after hanging up his cell phone, the semis barreled past and overtook them both.

"The trucks just blew right by," Hodel remarks. "If I had made the turn, I wouldn't be here today."

Situations like this are a common occurrence for farmers who often put their lives on the line when transporting their slow-moving farm equipment along rural roadways. This is especially true during fall, which is a peak time for harvest activity. Read more.

Livestock Handling Guidelines

Farm workers, ranchers, family members and visitors are injured every year by livestock. Many of these injuries occur when handling livestock. Consider these guidelines to maintain safety and avoid costly injury to either yourself or to your animals. Read more.

Kids on the Farm

Wednesday, Sept. 23, is Children and Youth Safety Day. Farm Safety 4 Just Kids encourages chapters to conduct Buckle Up or Eat Glass programs and seatbelt safety checks in their communities throughout the week. Farm Safety 4 Just Kids has public service announcements, a rural roadway safety flyer, a coloring page, and a rural roadway fact sheet available. For more information send an e-mail to or visit


What’s Inside …

The September 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: Weaning Strategies

Livestock Disaster Sign-up Begins

Evaluating WDGS as Feed

Establishing a Vaccination and Health Management Schedule

N.D. Reports First Case of Anthrax

Add Value to Your Cull Cows

AngusSource® and Gateway: Weighing the Costs and Benefits

American Angus Association Launches New Ad Campaign

The Next Level of Genetic Selection

A partnership between the American Angus Association®'s Angus Genetics Inc. (AGI) and Igenity® results in genomic-enhanced EPDs.

Beginning this month, the American Angus Association and Merial are offering Angus seedstock producers an Angus-specific DNA profile that incorporates current DNA technology with traditional expected progeny differences (EPDs). The resulting genomic-enhanced EPDs will improve accuracies on younger animals and allow cattlemen to improve their genetic selection decisions earlier in the production cycle. Read more.

AGI President Bill Bowman answered several questions regarding the development and practical use of the Igenity® Angus profile and its incorporation into genomic-enhanced EPDs. Read more.

How Will Cap-and-Trade Affect Beef Producers?

Never mind that scientists can't agree whether global warming is a legitimate worry, or whether the burning of fossil fuels is to blame. A sufficient number of U.S. politicians are convinced that a problem exists and government must fix it.

They succeeded in advancing climate change legislation in the House of Representatives, and the Senate is debating similar legislation to curb greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by U.S. industry. The goal is to impose a declining ceiling on emissions (particularly carbon dioxide) during the next 40 years.

This is a controversial issue, to say the least, because of the potential effect on manufacturers, including electric power companies. Proponents and opponents agree that the cost of producing energy will increase. Increased prices for agricultural inputs will follow. However, proponents claim agriculture actually should realize long-term benefit from climate change legislation. Skeptics say the beef industry and other livestock sectors are likely to come to more harm than good. Read more.

News Briefs …

FSIS Hopes to Clarify 'Natural' Meat Claims

U.S. Beef Opportunities in the EU

Ag Economist Expects More Rough Times Ahead

JBS Agrees to Purchase Stake in Pilgrim's Pride

MU Report: Corn Could Stay Below $4 through 2014

TIME Article Sparks Heated Reaction

Scientists Develop Method to Detect Live E. coli in Beef

USDA to Purchase More Pork

Logan Ipsen

Logan Ipsen

Association Perspective

The power of words

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then how much is the image of your cattle at their time of sale, whether it be through a salering, over a video, or a buyer out in your pastures?

What are the words being used to describe your cattle?

One definition of marketing is portraying your product and making the consumer/buyer say the words you want to hear without saying them yourself. We describe the cattle to our auction barn and video sale reps, hoping to drive demand through sale books, searches and phone calls. We all know what we want to say about our cattle, but is it always the truth? Is the product you are producing driving consumer demand for beef, which ultimately builds your reputation for top-quality beef? Essentially, are your cattle worth their weight in words? Read more.

Losing the War of Words

Our lives are in a constant state of rush. Brevity rules. Therefore, our choice of words matters. Like hand grenades exploding in a person's mind, the right emotionally charged words instill passion and motivation, fear and uncertainty. Words will drive a grocery shopper from one aisle to the next or a diner from one menu panel to another.

In this explosive crusade of launching just the right word in just the right place at just the right time, farmers are losing.

Notice I said "farmers." I didn't say "producers." Notice I did not say the war of words is being lost by the agriculture "industry." Read more.

Master of Beef Advocacy Program Hits Milestone

mba logoThe MBA — Masters of Beef Advocacy Program — launched this past fall by the beef checkoff, recently hit a major milestone: 1,000 registered course participants, including nearly 350 graduates. The MBA program continues to teach (or refresh) farmers and ranchers; university and Extension representatives; 4-H and FFA students; and industry affiliates across the country how to become effective spokespersons for the industry.

The program consists of six, one-hour core courses: beef safety, beef nutrition, animal care, environmental stewardship, modern beef production and the beef checkoff.

"This really shows that producers are actively taking a role in promoting their industry by telling the story about beef," says Daren Williams, executive director of National Beef Cattlemen's Association (NBCA) communications and MBA program manager. "In less than six months since we opened the doors on the MBA classroom, we have enrolled more students than we expected in the entire first year." Read more.

Taking the Pulse of Rural Health Care

Reforming the U.S. health care system is high on the national policy agenda. Debate regarding U.S. health policy has focused on expanding health insurance coverage, improving the quality of health care and reducing costs.

Within this broader context, rural households confront special health care challenges due to their lower socioeconomic status, higher average age, and greater geographic dispersal than the U.S. population as a whole. Approximately 15% of rural residents (compared with 12% of urban residents) are age 65 or older, which leads to a greater incidence of chronic disease and disability. Lower population densities in rural areas mean that residents must typically travel longer distances for health services, especially for specialty care. Read more.


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