Livestock briefs: Sauk Prairie FFA member wins award

Wisconsin State Farmer


Cattle grazing suspended on two central Idaho allotments 

An environmental group has reached a settlement in a lawsuit against the U.S Forest Service that suspends cattle grazing in a central Idaho area with salmon spawning habitat and that includes the White Clouds Wilderness. 

The agreement between Hailey, Idaho,-based Western Watersheds Project and the Forest Service late last week removes cattle from portions of the East Fork of the Salmon River in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. 

The lawsuit filed in October contended the Forest Service broke environmental laws on two grazing allotments by issuing permits to livestock growers with a history of violating restrictions. 

The agreement eliminates livestock on the two allotments in 2017 and 2018 and prevents their return until the area meets environmental standards set for the recovery of salmon, steelhead and bull trout. 


Marx Wins Wisconsin FFA Swine Proficiency Award 

Niklaus Marx, a member of the Sauk Prairie FFA, was named the 2017 winner of the State FFA Swine Production-Entrepreneurship Proficiency Award. This award recognizes the student who best demonstrates an understanding of the swine production industry as well as marketing.

Niklaus received his award during the annual Wisconsin FFA Convention held June 12-15 in Madison. He will find out later this summer if he is selected as one of four national finalists to compete at the National FFA Convention in October. 
In addition to Niklaus, nine other finalists received cash awards made possible by state-level sponsorship from Wisconsin Pork Association and the WI FFA Foundation.

The other finalists were: Morgan Fitzsimmons, Mineral Point; Jake Steffes, Mineral Point; Brandon Weigel, Platteville; Kaleb Pilling, Mineral Point; Neil Perket, Waupaca; Austin Hovarter, Waupaca; Kursha Baier, Sauk Prairie; Callee Gilfoy, Badger; and Natalie Siedschlag, Watertown.  


Cattle industry summer business meeting underway in Denver 

More than 700 cattle industry leaders are gathering at the Cattle Industry Summer Business Meeting in Denver last week to help create direction for industry programs. 

The event includes sessions of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, Cattlemen's Beef Board, American National CattleWomen and National Cattlemen's Foundation.

Among the purposes of the yearly conference is to create a framework for checkoff and policy efforts on behalf of U.S. cattle producers for the 2018 fiscal year, which for NCBA and the Cattlemen's Beef Board begins Oct. 1. 

The keynote speaker at Thursday's Opening General Session was Eric Baumgartner, executive vice president of VML, a global marketing ad agency. Baumgartner provided insight into the advent of technologies that are changing how consumers purchase almost everything they buy, from hamburgers to vacations.  

 Also on Thursday, results from the 2016 National Beef Quality Audit were unveiled. About every five years since 1991 the NBQA has delivered a set of guideposts and measurements for cattle producers and others to help determine quality conformance of the U.S. beef supply. 


U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef Concludes General Assembly Meeting 

A group of 130 representatives across the beef value chain gathered in Denver for the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (USRSB) General Assembly Meeting July 11 – 12. This meeting allowed USRSB the opportunity to share accomplishments from the past year and the direction of efforts moving forward.  

Sessions were held to update attendees on the progress of working groups, which included the Indicator Working Group’s efforts to finalize the beef sustainability metrics. The fourth iteration of the metric report was recently distributed to USRSB membership for review.

Additionally, the Engagement, Measurement and Progress Working Group is developing Sustainability Assessment Guides -- tools for the beef supply chain to use to self-assess their sustainability efforts. Other meeting highlights focused on findings and updates in beef sustainability research and beef consumer segmentation market research.  

USRSB business updates included new board of director election results.

The 2017-2018 board of directors includes Chair Rickette Collins, McDonald’s Corporation; Chair-elect Kim Stackhouse-Lawson, JBS USA; Secretary/Treasurer Debbie Lyons-Blythe, Blythe Family Farms, LLC; Past-chair John Butler, Beef Marketing Group; Ben Weinheimer, Texas Cattle Feeders Association; Steve Wooten, Colorado Cattlemen’s Association; Todd Armstrong, Elanco Animal Health; Jessica Finck, Merck Animal Health; Meghan Mueseler, Cargill; Keith Anderkin, Arby’s; Nancy Labbe, World Wildlife Fund; and Chad Ellis, Noble Research Institute.  

Moving forward, the organization will focus on finalizing the sector-specific metrics, developing the Sustainability Assessment Guides and supporting pilot projects, field trials and research with leadership from the Engagement, Measurement and Progress Working Group.

USRSB efforts continue to work toward ensuring U.S. beef is the trusted global leader in environmentally sound, socially responsible and economically viable beef.  


Summer beef meeting set for July 31

While Wisconsin is known as “America’s Dairyland,” interest in raising beef cattle is on the rise. A recent USDA census showed that a majority of cow/calf operations have less than 50 head of cattle, but raise nearly one third of the US calf crop annually. 

A UW-Extension Beef Producer meeting is being offered to producers of all sizes and the agriculture professionals who service their operations. The meeting will take place from 6 - 9 p.m., Monday, July 31 at the Arlington Research Station’s Beef Grazing Unit, W7431 Hwy K, Arlington, WI. 

Registration fee is $5. Registration is at 5:30 p.m., the meeting starts at 6 p.m. Light refreshments will be provided. 

The evening’s agenda will include a hands-on demonstration on animal handling and body condition scoring, as well as presentations on beef nutrition and finances. Speaker topics will include Lyssa Seefeldt, Agriculture Educator, UW-Extension Marquette County, presenting on “Facing the Finances: Managing in Tough Times”, and Dan Schaefer, UW-Madison Animal Sciences Professor, presenting on “Feeding Beef Cows and Finishing Feeder Cattle.”   

This meeting qualifies as a Dane County 4-H Beef Educational meeting for area youth!   

For more information or to register, contact Jennifer Blazek, Dane County Dairy and Livestock Educator, at 608-224-3717 or, or visit the website at