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April 2009 Archive for Livestock Today

RSS By: Sara Brown, Beef Today

The Livestock Today blog is your place to learn the latest production news for the livestock industry.

May is Iowa Beef Month

Apr 30, 2009
By Sara Brown
Make a Sandwich, Win a Prize!

Vincent Giordano Corp. is offering a $4,000 prize to the creator of a signature sandwich using its branded Premium or Steakhouse roast beef, corned beef or pastrami.

To enter, upload a three-minute video of your sandwich making experience to between May 1 and June 15. The winning video will be based on originality, presentation appeal, work station setting, participants’ appearance, presentation skills and entertainment value.

Philadelphia-based Vincent Giordano supplies a line of roast beef, corned beef and pastrami products to retailers and foodservice operators nationwide.
Time to get out the grills in Iowa—May is beef month! Yes, many of you will argue that across the nation, every month should be beef month. But in Iowa, May is the month cattle producers look forward to, says Brian Waddingham, Director of Industry Relations for the Iowa Beef Industry Council. It’s the start of the growing season, pastures are green and summer time brings people out to enjoy beef.
It’s not just Iowa, though. Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Vermont all celebrate beef month in May.
County cattlemen associations use checkoff-funded resources for local advertisements to encourage consumers to stock up on beef items. With the current state of the economy, this is a critical time to keep beef consumption high.
Iowa has been celebrating in May for more than 40 years. This year, in Dubuque County, Iowa, Waddingham says cattle producers are promoting a prime rib pizza, while cattlemen in Kossuth County are supporting a variety of local beef-serving restaurants throughout the month.
How does your local cattlemen organization respond to summer fairs and festivals? A “Beef House” at a local, county or state fair can be a vital place to encourage consumers about the healthy benefits of incorporating beef into their diet. E-mail me details of your local beef activities!
Let’s eat! How do you like your beef? On the steak bone or on a bun? There are so many recipes using beef, one could hardly choose just one. But if you are needing some inspiration, the Beef It’s What’s For Dinner website has compiled a list of blogs about beef, including recipes and nutritional and preparation information. Click here to find your new favorite dish.
My favorite? A 1”-thick ribeye with a dash of salt and pepper, cooked medium, fresh from the grill. Now it’s summer!

April Showers Bring…Mud

Apr 03, 2009

By Sara Brown

Yes, it’s getting green in farm country, thanks to spring rains and early temperature spikes. But cattlemen should pay close attention to the cattle herd during this time.

Spring rains bring obvious problems with muddy lots and pastures, quick-rising creeks and ponds and balancing hay supplies with new-season pasture growth.

Research from a Kansas State University study says mud can greatly impact your cattle performance. In the study, mud reduced daily gains of animals by 25% to 37% and increased the amount of feed required per pound of gain by 20% to 33%. Animals in muddy conditions also showed an increase need for energy to maintain their maintenance requirement.

Muddy conditions will also set your calf crop up for potential disaster. Cows lying in mud end up with teats contaminated with a combination of dirt and manure. As the calf nurses, it takes in a mouthful of bacteria and/or viruses that could cause diarrhea. Ensuring the mama cow and calf have a dry area to rest will go a long way to maintaining herd health.

This spring, keep your eye focused on the green grass, but don’t let the weather knock your herd back. Ensure your facilities and land areas are providing an environment for success. If you have muddy pastures, providing bedding around traffic areas or more frequently cleaning facilities can go a long way.

What are some of your tips for calving season? Post them here, or e-mail me at

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