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March 20, 2013

National Ag Day Puts Spotlight
On Critical Nature Of Industry

Every day of every year, American farmers and ranchers provide the food, feed and fiber that form the foundation of society. On March 19, society takes one day to say, “Thank you.”

Founded by the Agriculture Council of America (ACA) in 1973, National Ag Day celebrates the vital role that the agricultural industry plays in providing safe, abundant food, clothing and countless other products to the United States and the world.

“Every American should understand how the food we eat and the seeming endless stream of goods from agriculture are produced,” said Bill Buckner, president and CEO of the Noble Foundation. “We should value the essential role of agriculture in maintaining a strong economy. Nothing is more fundamental to our existence than food and the land it springs from.” Read more.

Sally Northcutt

Sally Northcutt

Association Perspective

What does an Angus cow weigh?

A frequent question to our office is: What does an average Angus cow weigh? Some of the interest stems from the Association’s publication of mature size expected progeny differences (EPDs) and the use of these genetic values in the weaned calf ($W) bioeconomic index. In an effort to answer the popular question, let’s examine the phenotypic database on hand in Angus Herd Improvement Records (AHIR®). Read more.

Angus Revises Approach to
Age-and-source Verification

Recent changes made to the AngusSource® and Gateway programs.

To better serve producers using registered-Angus bulls, AngusSource and Gateway will take on a new approach to providing documented age, source and genetic information on Angus-influenced cattle. The Association is transitioning the programs with the goal to provide in-house verification standards for cattle to qualify for AngusSource, while still continuing to verify the age, source and genetics with the same confidence the industry has come to trust and value. Read more.

What’s Inside …

In this March edition of the Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA, you'll find valuable articles devoted to the management, marketing, and health and nutrition of your beef enterprise. Select from the tabs at the top of the page to access this month's entire offering by category. A few select features include:

News Briefs …

The American Angus Association and its subsidiaries generate a wealth of information to keep members and affiliates informed of what's happening within the industry as well as with the programs and services they offer. Click here for easy access to the newsrooms of the American Angus Association and Certified Angus Beef LLC and the Angus e-List archive recently made available in the API Virtual Library.

Congress Considers Reviving Ban
on Horse Meat Processing

A bipartisan group of U.S. congressmen on Wednesday introduced a bill to prohibit horse slaughter for human consumption, following efforts by several companies to restart horse meat processing in the United States, according to media reports.

The bill would halt the startup of a proposed slaughtering facility by Valley Meat Co. in Roswell, N.M., that hopes to soon begin producing horse meat for export.

The bill also would block the export of U.S. horses for slaughter in Mexico and Canada. About 170,000 horses were sent to slaughter in those countries last year, the Wall Street Journal reported. Read more.

Keeping an Eye on Manure Microbes

Researchers study manure in cows, in feedlots and in fields.

Studies at the USDA are shedding some light on the microbes that dwell in cattle manure — what they are, where they thrive, where they struggle and where they can end up. This research, which is being conducted by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists at the agency’s Agroecosystems Management Research Unit in Lincoln, Neb., supports the USDA priority of ensuring food safety.

In one project, ARS microbiologist Lisa Durso used fecal samples from six beef cattle to identify a core set of bovine gastrointestinal bacterial groups common to both beef and dairy cattle. She also observed a number of bacteria in the beef cattle that had not been reported in dairy cows, and identified a diverse assortment of bacteria from the six individual animals, even though all six consumed the same diet and were the same breed, gender and age. Read more.

Your Health


Shaking Out Clues to Autoimmune Disease

Researchers consider a number of environmental factors affecting diseases such as type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel diseases and multiple sclerosis.

Researchers gained new insight into how an immune cell involved in several autoimmune disorders is regulated. Among their findings was a potential link with salt consumption.

Autoimmune diseases arise when the immune system, which normally protects the body from invading microbes, mistakenly attacks the body’s own tissues. These diseases include type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel diseases and multiple sclerosis. Researchers have found many genetic variants that affect the risk of developing autoimmune diseases. However, a number of environmental factors, including viral infections, smoking and low vitamin D levels, are known to trigger such diseases in susceptible people. Read more.


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