Livestock brief

Wisconsin State Farmer

Beef, small farm pasture walk, Oct 8

UW-Extension and the NW Graziers Network invite those interested to a startup, small farm, beef pasture walk at the Bob and Jane Pederson farm on Saturday, Oct. 8 from 10-noon.

Small, startup farms are becoming more and more common as people retire from non-farm jobs and return to the land.  The Pedersons retired about five years ago, Bob from the postal service and Jane from teaching.  Both are originally from farms and both have degrees, Bob in economics and business, Jane a Masters in education.  

The Pedersons own an 18-acre grass-fed beef farm just east of Shell Lake.  They have a grazing plan from NW Graziers for about 10 acres and six animal units.  They bought the farm two years ago and last year purchased three bred Red Angus cows and two calves.  Washburn County Land and Water is providing cost-sharing for some of their activities.  Part of the grazing is under trees.  They also rent another 30 acres for hay.

The Pedersons plan be sustainable and grow most of their own food.  They plan to direct market the steers and sell cow/calf pairs.  They do not feed grain, but grow high-quality forages including clover and alfalfa.  Cows are bred with artificial insemination.   Jane raises chickens.  They recently installed a solar system and have established an energy bank with Exel Energy.  The trees provide shade, dry season grazing, firewood, timber, wildlife habitat and maple syrup.  
To reach the farm, take Cty B from Shell Lake east to the farm at W6664 on the left.  Or take Cty B west from Hwy 53 south of Spooner.  Watch for the signs.  For more information, contact UW-Extension Ag Agent Otto Wiegand at 715-635-3506, or Randy Gilbertson at NW Graziers 715-520-2112.


NCBA and PLC accepting applications for spring internships

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Public Lands Council’s government affairs office in Washington, D.C., is accepting applications for a 2017 Spring public policy intern as well as a semester law clerk. The deadline to submit an application for either position is Oct. 22.

The internships give college students the opportunity to work alongside staff on a range of issues that impact U.S. cattlemen and women. The interns will work closely with the lobbying team on Capitol Hill and assist with NCBA and PLC’s regulatory efforts, providing college students a one-of-a-kind view into the policy making process.

Producer-led and consumer-focused, NCBA is the nation's oldest and largest national organization representing America's cattle producers. PLC is the only organization in Washington, D.C., dedicated solely to representing cattle and sheep ranchers that utilize federal lands. The organizations work hand-in-hand on many issues, sharing office space in the heart of the nation's capital.

The public policy internship will give students an opportunity to learn about career options and provide practical experience. From tax and trade to environmental and food safety regulations, interns will work on a variety of issues and have the opportunity to work specifically in the area of their interest. College juniors, seniors and graduate students are encouraged to apply.

The summer law clerk will provide support to NCBA’s Environmental Counsel on issues relating to environmental legislation and regulations that impact beef producers. The position will also work closely with the Executive Director of the Public Lands Council on issues relating to Federal lands management, grazing, and the Endangered Species Act. To apply for the law clerk position, students must currently be enrolled in an ABA-accredited law school.

The full-time internship and law clerk positions will begin January 9, 2017 and end May 12, 2017. To apply for the public policy internship or law clerk position, visit

Merck Animal Health Receives USDA License for BOVILIS® CORONAVIRUS


Merck Animal Health announced the launch of BOVILIS CORONAVIRUS, the first USDA-approved modified-live intranasal vaccine to aid in reduction of enteric disease caused by Bovine Coronavirus (BCV). Most severe during winter months, BCV is often prevalent in dairy calves and cow/calf beef herds, and is frequently diagnosed as the leading pathogen in neonatal calves. This intranasal vaccine is approved for use in calves as young as 3 days of age.
            BCV is commonly transferred by animals during periods of stress, including shipping, parturition, cold weather and commingling. Scours and winter dysentery are often the two signs that will signal the presence of BCV. A 2012 study at the University of Wisconsin Diagnostic Laboratory tested 147 herds and found nearly half (49.4 percent) of the herds to be positive for BCV. In related research at Oklahoma State University, 37 percent of BCV cases are found in calves zero to 30-days old.
            “Bovine coronavirus is far more prevalent than producers realize and, thus, the need to vaccinate is vitally important,” says Scott Nordstrom, D.V.M., Merck Animal Health. “When used as part of a complete vaccination protocol, BOVILIS CORONAVIRUS delivers protection against the enteric signs of bovine coronavirus and is a critical component in improving the overall health of cattle on an operation.”
            In addition, the combination of vaccinating both dams and calves is critical to best management practices for scours protection. “Consistent vaccination of dams with GUARDIAN® and calves with BOVILIS CORONAVIRUS can greatly reduce the impact of BCV in the herd and helps ensure the maternal antibodies are passed through to the calves,” says Dr. Nordstrom.
 Product research results showed the occurrence of scours in BOVILIS CORONAVIRUS-vaccinated calves was reduced by nearly one-half and average duration of clinical signs was reduced to 3.40 days; versus an average of nearly seven (6.82) days in the control group. In addition, the severity of the symptoms was significantly less in the vaccinated calves compared to the control group.

Results of the safety trials demonstrated the vaccine is safe to use in calves as young as 1 day of age.3 BOVILIS CORONAVIRUS is available in 25-dose trays, 10-dose and 50-dose bottles. GUARDIAN is available in 10-dose and 50-dose bottles.