Cattlemen's Notebook

December 5, 2015 02:58 AM

By Wyatt Bechtel and Greg Henderson


Coach Loves Steak And Milk

University of Michigan head football coach Jim Harbaugh shared on his radio show the “natural steroids” that are part of his diet regimen. “I truly believe the No. 1 natural steroid is sleep and the No. 2 natural steroid is milk—whole milk,” Harbaugh says. “Three would be water. Four would be steak.” While the World Health Organization may believe eating red meat is a cause for cancer, it sounds like Harbaugh isn’t buying that line. “I take a vitamin every day,” Harbaugh says. “It’s called a steak.” For more information, visit


Wolf Delisted in Oregon

Oregon livestock producers have endured several wolf attacks on livestock this year, including a recent attack in Klamath County, where two cattle were wounded and one was killed. It is the farthest western wolf attack since gray wolves were released in Idaho in 1996. In a win for cattlemen and other livestock producers, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission voted Nov. 9 to remove the gray wolf from the state’s endangered species list. The move could also allow for possible controlled hunts of wolves. It is believed 81 gray wolves are presently in Oregon. For more, visit 


Retailers “Meat Your Beef” 

Beef retailers from the New England region were able to learn and interact with beef producers and experts in a new event. The “Meat Your Beef” was hosted through the beef checkoff’s Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative in Hadley, Mass., where 14 retailers heard about beef production practices and merchandising. A farm tour at Luther-Belden Dairy Farm offered the retailers a chance to see a 12th generation dairy and learn how dairy cows and calves play a role in the beef industry. For more information, visit


Cattle Industry Convention And NCBA Trade Show

The 188th annual Cattle Industry Convention and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Trade Show will be held Jan. 27 through 29, 2016, in San Diego, Calif. NCBA’s Cattlemen’s College series will kick off its 23rd year Jan. 26 to 27, prior to the Cattle Industry Convention. Widely hailed as the premier educational event in the cattle industry, this series, sponsored by Zoetis, will feature speakers and live animal demonstrations that give cattlemen and women the tools to connect, learn and innovate. Early registration for Cattlemen’s College ends Jan. 4, 2016. A complete schedule and registration information are available online at


Slaughterhouse May Close

Farmers across Alaska are fighting to keep a state-run slaughterhouse open after lawmakers announced plans to close the facility next June due to budget concerns. The Alaska Farm Bureau says Mt. McKinley Meats and Sausage, one of the state’s three meat-processing facilities, is hurting because the facility isn’t allowed to compete in the private sector. State legislators said in November the plant could be closed by the end of the current budget cycle, but the bureau plans to present the state with alternatives. “We’re going to recommend the state continue ownership of the plant, with a possible lease option to a co-op or a small group of people who are willing to run it privately,” says Scott Mugrage, director, Alaska Farm Bureau. For more information, visit


Development Plans Stir Controversy

In one of the biggest land development plans ever proposed in Florida, a 133,000-acre tract could be transformed from a home for cows and alligators into new housing developments for half a million people. Over the next six decades, the plan being developed by the Mormon church-owned Deseret Ranch promises to convert the largest undeveloped section of metro Orlando into more than a dozen bustling neighborhoods. In the process, it would radically reshape Osceola County, a suburb that has been transitioning from cowboy culture into a major destination for Puerto Ricans moving to the mainland. Opponents say the plan to convert cattle pastures to cul-de-sacs could destroy tens of thousands of acres of important habitat near the headwaters of the St. Johns River flowing north and the Kissimmee River flowing south. For more information, visit


USDA: Fund Wildfire Fighting

Ranchers hope the next federal spending bill will establish new ways to pay for fighting wildfires. The cost of mobilizing fire trucks, helicopters, air tankers and firefighters uses more than half of the U.S. Forest Service budget, according to USDA. In a section of Medicine Bow National Forest from Cheyenne to Laramie, Wyo., federal and state forest officials are clearing built-up vegetation that could fuel a major wildfire with machinery and prescribed burns. But such projects stand to lose funding, at least temporarily, when the Forest Service has to use non-firefighting accounts to pay for firefighting needs, says USDA Undersecretary Robert Bonnie. “Congress typically pays us back, but we lose a season. We disrupt projects,” he says. For more, visit


Simulated FMD Losses

Although foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is not a human-health or food-safety threat, it could lead to huge economic losses for producers. Simulation models helps prepare all stakeholders for potential outbreaks, says Dustin Pendell, a Kansas State University agricultural economist. Pendell uses FMD spread models to examine the economic impact of an outbreak under 15 different emergency vaccination strategies in the Midwest. The models included economic linkages from different species of livestock and crop production to the final consumer, including international trade. If a FMD outbreak were to occur in the Midwest and no emergency vaccination program was implemented, losses could reach $188 billion, with an additional $11 billion in government losses to control livestock movement and depopulation, he says. For more information, visit

For more of what’s happening in your state, visit


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