Animal identification has received increased attention lately in the United States. Recent animal disease outbreaks around the world have underscored the importance of animal identification and the need to track an animalsí location history and herd mate contacts. These incidents have led to a heightened awareness of the risks posed to our domestic livestock populations by the accidental or malicious introduction of a foreign disease or the emergence of a domestic disease of concern. Some animal diseases may also present a threat to the public health furthering the urgency to maintain animal health control. A significant animal disease outbreak could affect both our social and economic stability. The potential disruption that a large-scale disease occurrence could cause would go way beyond the suffering and loss to animal life. Leaders in the agriculture industry and government have recognized the need to have a universal animal identification system in place to help avoid the undesirable consequences our country could experience as a result of certain animal disease outbreaks. A reliable system of animal identification would greatly aid animal health officials by providing the information necessary to control and halt the spread of a disease and minimize the impact of such an event. Maintenance of public confidence in and continued marketability of food animal products are added benefits of an effective animal identification system for the industry. Through a collaborative effort, the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) has been developed. The USDA, APHIS (United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) introduced a voluntary system in 2004. The system is being implemented under a phased-in approach at the state level by each stateís animal health authority. As the infrastructure for the system is being assembled these state officials have the prerogative to customize the system to serve their unique needs while maintaining compatibility with the national system standards. Information compiled in the animal identification system will be used for animal disease control, surveillance, and eradication efforts. The focus of the NAIS is the health of the US livestock population and the goal is to support traceback of an animalsí history within 48 hours of disease confirmation. The NAIS is comprised of three major components: Premises registration, animal identification, and animal tracking. Premises registration is the foundation of the NAIS and as such is the first component to be introduced with animal identification and tracking to follow. The South Dakota Animal Industry Board is moving forward with the NAIS in South Dakota. The premises registration process has begun and is an important first step that you can take to protect your investment in the livestock business. Anyone who owns or is responsible for livestock are encouraged to register. Whether large or small, farm or ranch, production site, feed yard, livestock market, or processing plant, if you are involved in the livestock industry and are responsible for the handling, care, and movement of animals you are asked to register your premises. Non-producer participants who are associated with animals or the animal industry are encouraged to register as you are an important link in the livestock production chain and may be a source of vital information in the event of a disease traceback. The minimal information that you submit during the premises registration process will be kept confidential and be used only by state and national animal health officials to support disease control and animal health surveillance efforts. You will have access to your personal information by establishing your own user name and password. Your participation will support the capability to provide a timely response and minimize the impact in the event of an animal disease outbreak. ...More
IT'S THE PITTS -- HELP IS ON THE WAY
Computers and the Internet have turned many businesses upside down and in many cases, eliminated them entirely. In this technological movement for improvement farmers seem to be ahead of ranchers.
IS "ALL NATURAL" OR "ORGANIC" A PRODUCTION OPTION?
Beef, in general is a quality, healthy product that has enjoyed a place in the world's diet for thousands of years. The world is a changing place, however, and as most of us are well aware, consumer's attitudes toward food, in general are changing.
HUNTIN' DAYLIGHT -- SO LONG, HERD EXPANSION
Even though it seems barely out of its infancy, national herd expansion may be coming to an end.
OPTIMIZE RESOURCES FOR BACKGROUNDING PROGRAM
Some ranchers hold their calves over as yearlings, to sell later when they are bigger, and some people buy light calves in the spring to put on grass and grow them to a larger weight. Some put weaned calves into a confinement programa drylot situation where they are fed a growing rationuntil these calves are ready to go to a finishing facility. The term backgrounding covers a broad spectrum that could also include preconditioning after weaning.
CASTRATION LESS STRESSFUL AT A YOUNG AGE
There are several ways to castrate calves and bulls. Regardless of the method, it's generally less stressful for the animal at a young age. Daniel Thomson, Kansas State University (Professor of Production Medicine and Epidemiology) says that castration, dehorning, branding are necessary but painful for the animal.
BRUSH PILES PROVIDE HABITATS FOR VARIOUS WILDLIFE
Wildlife enthusiasts often ask how to attract more animals to their property, and the answer is more complicated than most people realize.
WEANING CALVES BEFORE AUCTION REDUCES STRESS
Spring-born calves will soon be arriving at auction markets, but producers should consider a weaning plan that will help keep calves healthier and happier, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service beef cattle specialist in Overton.
CALVING SIMULATOR OFFERS TRAINING OPPORTUNITY
The University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and College of Veterinary Medicine are offering a unique training opportunity for cattlemen who want more information on how to assist cows and heifers having difficulty calving.
MAKE FERTILITY TOP PRIORITY IN REPLACEMENT FEMALES
It's no secret that replacement heifers are some of the most valuable animals in your herd; however, value goes hand in hand with vulnerability. With recent record-high costs to develop replacement females, it may be time to consider a refresh on your replacement heifer program.
BREEDING FOR QUALITY BEEF BEST ASSURANCE FOR TOP PRICES
Cow herd owners leery of the futures market or insurance for risk management can look to quality beef for protection.
SOUND NUTRITION REDUCES DEPENDENCE ON ANTIBIOTICS
In Part 1 of this series we began a discussion of the transition process taking calves from the cow/calf sector on to the next stage of production. The initial destination may be one of several including a grazing stage, preconditioning operation, feedyard or some variation of these. In any case, the transition stage with the handling, transportation, lack of feed and water, comingling with other animals and the associated exposure to pathogens to which the calf has no immunity, all work together to create an extremely challenging situation. This commonly results in sickness in the calf, from which it may or may not fully recover. Worst-case it can result in the complete loss of the animal. All of these scenarios result in significant economic loss to the owner at whatever stage it occurs.
IT'S THE PITTS -- IN DE FENCE
I've got the scars to prove that I've spent a good chunk of my life fixing and installing fence. Those fences could be sorted one of two ways: they were either defensive or offensive fences.
THE WORLD ACCORDING TO HOOTER MCCORMICK -- PURSED AND PINCHED
Aunt Pinky's Irish disposition was easily ruffled, but she was harder to scare than a slab of granite. That's why Hooter was extra shaken when his aunt grabbed his arm with one hand, scratched for the door handle with the other, and commanded him to stop, all at the same time.
INFORMATION IS KING WHEN MARKETING CALVES
Calving season discussion is often a heated debate among beef producers. Should I calve in the spring or the fall? Do I need to pull my bull? Is it better to be committed to selling calves at a certain time of year or should I have calves available year round? These are common questions beef producers often ask themselves, their neighbors, and the experts when trying to make management decisions. There are two key points that need to be considered when making calving season (or lack thereof decisions: management and marketing.
BLACK INK -- RETROSPECTIVE
A lot can change in 10 years. A quick glance at my family Christmas card provides proof. From a picture of an old Kansas farmhouse to today's Nebraska-based scene, where nearly half a dozen smiling faces fill the frame, transformation is obvious.
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