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Livestock Briefs - USDA provides funds for vet shortage

Wisconsin State Farmer


USDA announces $2.4 million in funds to relieve veterinarian shortages

The USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced this week that it will be spending $2.4 million to help relieve the shortage of veterinarians in the U.S. The funding is provided through NIFA’s Veterinary Services Grant Program and will go toward the development and implementation of veterinary education programs.

“Veterinarians play significant roles in assuring animal health and wellbeing, food safety and security, public health, and producer profitability, especially in rural areas of the country where most livestock production occurs,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “VSGP supports education and extension activities that will help veterinarians, veterinary students, veterinary technicians, and veterinary technician students gain specialized skills and provide practices with additional resources.”


Cattle producers can expect more volatility, supply fluctuations

Volatility in the cattle market recently is a result of large supplies of beef and speculative investment in agricultural commodities, according to experts at the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association convention in San Antonio.

The overall message was cattle producers should brace for continued swings in prices as beef cycles through the supply chain.

With Texas expected to add 550,000 cows, 2017 production forecasts are on the increase as for all meats. Consumer beef demand continues to be strong for beef in the food service, restaurant and quick service sectors.

Overall, weather forecasts are favorable for good grain production and should keep corn prices around $4 a bushel. That sets the stage for moderate cattle prices going forward for the rest of 2017.


Elanco Animal Health seminar highlighted dairy sustainability

From discussing care of fresh cows to embracing sustainability best practices, Elanco Animal Health recently presented a seminar highlighting the role of innovation in the dairy industry. The pre-conference seminar took place in conjunction with the Central Plains Dairy Expo in Sioux Falls, SD on March 28.

Elanco experts shared highlights about the full costs of transition disease in the dairy industry, and the impact of sustainability and innovation along the I-29 Dairy Corridor in Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota.

“The dairy industry is a highly competitive business and the bar for success is constantly rising. To be successful in this environment requires continued improvement driven by sound decision making and innovation,” said Michael Overton, DVM, MPVM, Advisor - Dairy Analytics, Elanco Knowledge Solutions.

“While sustainability has become a complex issue, at its core, it really is about being a farm operator in 20 years from now and passing a successful farm to the next generation,” said Roger Cady, PhD, Global Sustainability Lead, Scientific Affairs and Policy for Elanco. “What it is not about is regulation and retail mandates. When something is sustainable, all benefit: people, animals and the planet.”


University of Missouri reinstates livestock judging team

The University of Missouri announced on April 5 that it will reinstate its livestock judging program. The Missouri Cattlemen’s Association (MCA) was quick to applaud the announcement.

“MCA has been a vocal and relentless proponent of bringing the livestock judging program back to the University,” said MCA Executive Vice President Mike Deering. “We were losing a lot of great young leaders to other universities outside of Missouri since the program was eliminated. There is no doubt that judging provides students with leadership skills that certainly jump-start their career path.”

The program will be reinstated starting in the fall semester of 2017.

The team will be coached by Britton Francis a native of Paris, Mo. Francis will enter the graduate program in animal science pursuing a Master’s degree beginning in August. He will teach and conduct research under the supervision of Dr. Bryon Wiegand in the area of meat science.


The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) applauded an April 11 announcement that the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) is delaying the effective date of its interim final rule an additional six months to Oct. 19, 2017.

Two proposed rules and one interim final rule came out on Dec. 20, 2016, one month before the end of the Obama Administration. The interim final rule regarding the scope of the Packers and Stockyards Act and the proposed rule regarding undue preference and unjust treatment have a direct negative impact on the cattle industry.