Tag Archives: livestock

The American Sheep Industry Association filed comments last month concerning the Food and Drug Administration’s request for input on Incorporating Alternative Approaches in Clinical Investigations for New Animal Drugs.


ASI is certainly in favor of looking at new approaches to the drug approval process. Pharmaceutical companies have continued to abandon the development of new drugs for sheep as the American sheep population has declined dramatically in the past 60 years. While important drugs for sheep continue to be developed in countries such as Australia and New Zealand, companies don’t see value in navigating a lengthy approval process for these drugs to be sold in the United States.


This is why ASI is in favor of allowing FDA to consider data from foreign countries as part of the approval process.


“Increasingly stringent regulatory requirements for animal drug development discourage U.S. animal health companies from pursuing the manufacturing of products readily available in major sheep producing countries,” wrote Dr. Jim Logan and Dr. Cindy Wolf on behalf of ASI in comments filed with the FDA. “Because of the size of their sheep industries, countries such as New Zealand and Australia often have several choices of products available to producers to address common sheep health issues. Whereas, the U.S. may have only one or even none.


“This puts our animals at risk of disease, lowers the quality of life for the animal and threatens the viability of sheep operations. In addition, it is a trade disadvantage as it allows our competitors to raise their animals less expensively. Given these circumstances, we believe a process by which data from foreign countries could be incorporated into the approval process for minor use species is warranted. We have given consideration to what such a process might look like. It will not be easy to create but we do believe it can be accomplished.


“For example, in Canada, they recently completed a joint regulatory review of an animal health product out of New Zealand in order to obtain approval for the Canadian market. The sheep industry in Canada has approached ASI about the possibility of approaching our respective governments to request development of a joint regulatory framework for the approval of a deworming product that is available in Australia but is not available in either the U.S. or Canada. We believe such a regulatory agreement could be a valuable tool to address the growing need for minor species pharmaceuticals while reducing the cost and work burden of what are very similar requirements between our countries.”


ASI is also in favor of using real world evidence in the approval process.


When writing a weekly column, it’s tempting to toss red meat to the readers rather than dig into more complicated issues. For once, the latest scientific news is providing an opportunity to do both at the same time.


The scientific journal Annals of Internal Medicine recently published a major series of studies about red meat consumption. The authors found that current scientific evidence is too weak to justify telling people to eat less red meat.


The response was immediate and furious from groups devoted to eliminating animal agriculture. For years they have leaned on anti-meat recommendations to cloak their true agenda in the language of human health. The groups’ real goals are pushing radical animal rights and remaking the world economy under the guise of climate change prevention.


The studies’ data found only minuscule support for lowering red meat consumption. Eating three fewer servings per week might reduce a person’s chance of a heart attack by 0.1 percent to 0.6 percent and chances of cancer by 0.7 percent. The studies found no effect whatsoever on breast, colorectal, esophageal, gastric, pancreatic or prostate cancer, overall deaths or deaths resulting from heart disease. Even these minor statistical blips might be attributable to other traits like income level, education level or exercise frequency.


The authors found the evidence was too weak to recommend that individuals radically change their diets. They noted that people’s tastes and preferences should matter in health recommendations. Americans enjoy meat and meat dishes. They are an integral part of our culture and have been for generations. This is and should be relevant to dietary recommendations.


If the movement to eliminate meat was really about these tiny health concerns, the massive effort required to change American culture would simply not be worth it. But the movement to end meat consumption was never just about health concerns. Much of the rage has instead focused on radical animal rights beliefs or the alleged environmental harm caused by cattle production.


The “Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine” (PCRM) is actually an Orwellian-named radical vegan advocacy group. PCRM spends over $15 million a year on efforts to end animal agriculture. It has invested nearly 35 years and countless millions of dollars in pushing this agenda. PCRM was so afraid of letting Americans see the results of these scientific studies, it filed a petition with the Federal Trade Commission seeking a gag order to keep the journal from even publishing them.


Americans should be trusted to make their own choices about how they want to live, what news to read, and what food to eat. If living an enjoyable life actually adds a tenths-of-a-percent risk of disease, we should be allowed to make that choice. And when the proof of even these tiny risks is this weak, public health authorities have no business sticking their noses in our food.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – At a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing today, U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) questioned Dr. Jayson Luck, Agriculture Economics Professor at Purdue University, Jennifer Houston, president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, and Shane Eaton, a member of the United States Cattlemen’s Association, about the impact of last month’s fire at a Tyson beef plant in Holcomb, Kansas, on the cattle markets. The senator asked specifically about the negative impact on suppliers due to low cattle prices and high packer margins following the fire.

China has recently been buying a lot of meat. The Wall Street Journal says their recent purchases are pushing up the prices of beef, pork, and poultry around the globe.

Meat buyers are increasing their activity after African Swine Fever hit the country hard and reduced the size of the world’s largest pig herd by more than a third. Domestic pork prices have jumped in China and meat imports are rising in response and placing a strain on global meat supplies. For example, Brazil poultry shipments to China have jumped 31 percent compared to last year.

Retail prices for chicken breasts, thighs, and legs have increased roughly 16 percent. European meat buyers are paying five percent more for pork because more of their domestically produced supplies are heading to China. American shoppers haven’t felt the impact yet, but that may change.

Futures prices recently rose after Chinese officials say the country could exempt some U.S. pork and other agricultural goods from punitive tariff increases. Many American meat companies have watched as European and South American competitors have raced each other to supply China’s pork needs.

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. — 4S Goat Expo to Offer Seminar Show and Sale October 5th and 6th at the Lincoln County Fairgrounds, 5015 W Rodeo Road, North Platte Nebraska. The seminar will start promptly at 10:00 AM on October 5th.

Speakers and topics include:

  • Economical Feeding Programs for the Doe – Steve Hart E (Kika) de la Garza Institute for Goat Research, Langston University OK
  • Creating a New Goat Business –William Keech, Director of Livestock Development, Alliance for the Future of Agriculture
  • Producers View of Goat Production – Ryley Johnson, Windmill Boer Goats, Hyannis NE
  • Management Suggestions from Experienced Producers ( Producers Panel)
  • Kid Nutrition That Makes a Difference – Steve Hart E (Kika) de la Garza Institute for Goat Research, Langston University OK
  • Youth Goat Judging Contest (Awards will be given to top youth in Junior and Senior Divisions)
  • Parasite Resistance What is Happening in the Great Plains – Nebraska Extension Educator, North Platte Nebraska
  • Goat Show Judge is Cody Doubet for McCook Nebraska. Cody has Cody had an outstanding judging career; being high individual at Denver, San Antonio, and Houston as well as multiple top 5 and top 10 additional finishes.

Goats will check in Friday, October 4th from 3:00 to 9:00 PM and Saturday, October 5th before 8:00 AM with the seminar starting at 10:00 AM. The show will start Sunday at 8:00 AM with a sale goat only show followed by a show goat only show. The sale will start at 1:00 PM. The program will be held at the Lincoln County Fairgrounds located at 5015 W Rodeo Road, North Platte Nebraska. This is the second year that there is a Showmanship contest for youth. Thirty-one lots of goats including 4 bucks and 27 does have been consigned. New this year is a pen of three to five goat does selling without showing.

For more information contact Randy Saner at 308-532-2683 or by webpage at http://www.4sgoatexpo.com/ or by Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/s4goatexpo/

LINCOLN – Governor Pete Ricketts and Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) Director Steve Wellman issued statements following news that radical anti-agriculture groups had called for a moratorium on livestock production in Nebraska.

“Let’s be clear: The out-of-state environmental lobbying groups rallying opposition against our family farmers in Nebraska are anti-agriculture,” said Governor Ricketts.  “Left unchecked, they would destroy our way of life.  This attempt to stop livestock development in Nebraska is a part of the ‘meat is murder’ movement led by radical groups who want to end livestock production around the globe.  I urge Nebraskans in our local communities to rise up and protect family farms and stand with our livestock producers across our state.”

“Agriculture is the backbone of Nebraska’s economy, and it is extremely disheartening to learn that there are groups of citizens in our own state that are working to essentially eliminate the livestock industry,” said NDA Director Wellman.  “As the director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, I strongly support all aspects of Nebraska agriculture and the farmers and ranchers that work tirelessly contributing to Nebraska’s economic well-being through livestock production.  CAFO’s are well thought out and planned operations across Nebraska with plans that work to address environmental impacts, nutrient management and animal health to efficiently deliver a high quality, safe food supply.”

The following statement can be attributed to Craig Head as spokesman for the Nebraska Farm Bureau.

LINCOLN, NEB. – “Livestock farming is part of the heritage and fabric of Nebraska and a critical part of Nebraska agriculture. Enacting a statewide moratorium to stop new livestock farms would be the equivalent of halting the growth of rural Nebraska. Livestock farms support our rural communities, strengthen our state’s economy, and keep Nebraska strong.”

“The notion that a moratorium is needed ignores the realities of what farmers must do to build and operate a new livestock farm. Nebraska farmers go through an extensive process and must adhere to numerous local, state, and federal regulations, governing everything from where barns can be located, to how they operate for the protection of natural resources and the environment. A moratorium on Nebraska livestock farms, as has been proposed by some environmental and activist groups, would be nothing short of a disservice to Nebraska farmers, our rural communities, and our state.”

Outcomes from the inaugural American Lamb Summit were clear: all segments of the industry need to further improve lamb quality to keep and attract new customers and become more efficient to recapture market share from imported lamb. Yet, it was just as clear that production technologies and product research put industry success within grasp.
“I have never been so enthusiastic about our industry’s opportunities, but we just can’t allow ourselves to be complacent or accept status quo,” said Dale Thorne, American Lamb Board chairman, a sheep producer and feeder from Michigan. Thorne stressed, “the end-game is profitability for all aspects of our industry.”
The Summit, sponsored by the American Lamb Board (ALB) and Premier 1 Supplies, brought together 200 sheep producers, feeders and packers from all over the country to Colorado State University (CSU) in Ft. Collins, CO, August 27-28, 2019.
The conference included in-depth, challenging discussions ranging from consumer expectations, business management tools, realistic production practices to improve productivity and American Lamb quality and consistency, to assessing lamb carcasses. Sessions were carefully planned so that attendees would gain tools for immediate implementation.
“We can’t keep saying ‘I’ll think about;’ we have to realize that change is required for industry profitability,” Thorne emphasized.
The Lamb Checkoff Facebook page features summary videos from the sessions and additional resources. The Lamb Resource Center is the hub for all Lamb Summit information, as it becomes available.
Consumers redefine quality

“Consumers are ours to win or lose,” said Michael Uetz, managing principal of Midan Marketing. His extensive research with meat consumers shows that the definition of quality now goes beyond product characteristics, especially for Millennials and Generation Z’s. “It now includes how the animal was raised, what it was fed, or not fed, impact on sustainability and influence on human health,” Uetz said.
“Your power is in your story. You have a great one to tell about American Lamb,” he advised.
Lamb production tools
Increasing flock productivity, using genetic selection, and collecting then using production and financial data were stressed as critical steps for on-farm improvements. “The best way to improve productivity is to increase the number of lambs per ewe,” said Reid Redden, PhD, sheep and goat specialist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. “Pregnancy testing your ewes should be part of a producer’s routine. Not only can open ewes be culled, but ewes can be segmented for the number of lambs they are carrying for better allocation of feed,” he said.
While genetic selection is now common in beef, pork and both Australian and New Zealand sheep, the American Lamb industry’s slow adoption is hindering flock improvement and giving competition a definite advantage, said Rusty Burgett, Program Director, National Sheep Improvement Program. The cattle industry offers an example with how it uses EPDs (expected progeny differences) to select for traits. “We can do the same with our tools, but we must get more sheep enrolled into the program,” said Tom Boyer, Utah sheep producer.
Carcass and meat quality
Understanding what leads to quality American Lamb on the plate means looking beyond the live animal to carcass quality, stressed Lamb Summit speakers involved in processing and foodservice.
Individual animal traceability is ultimately what is required to give consumers the transparency they are demanding, said Henry Zerby, PhD, Wendy’s Quality Supply Chain Co-op, Inc. A lamb producer himself, Zerby was straight-forward to the Summit participants: “Being able to track animals individually to know if they were ever given antibiotics, how they were raised, through the packer is on the horizon. We need to realize and prepare for that.” US lamb processors are implementing systems at various levels and offer programs for sheep producers.
Lamb flavor has been an industry topic for decades. Dale Woerner, PhD, Texas Tech University meat scientist, has been conducting research funded by ALB. He explained that flavor is a very complex topic, influenced by characteristics such as texture, aroma, cooking and handling of the product, and even emotional experience. “Lamb has more than one flavor profile, affected by feeding and other practices,” he explained. Summit participants tasted four different lamb samples, which illustrated Woerner’s points about various preferences and profiles.
“By sorting carcasses or cuts into flavor profile groups, we can direct that product to the best market,” he said. The American Lamb Board is currently in the final phase of lamb flavor research with Texas Tech University and Colorado State University identifying consumer preference of American Lamb and identifying those flavor profiles in the processing plant.
What’s next
The Summit was designed to instill relevant, meaningful knowledge that can be implemented immediately to address both current and future needs. It also sought to inspire collaboration, networking and information sharing across all segments and geographic regions of the American Lamb industry.
“If we work together to implement progressive production changes throughout our supply chain, we can regain market share from imported product and supply our country with more great-tasting American Lamb,” concluded ALB Chairman Thorne. ALB hopes that attendees left the Summit with multiple ideas to do just that.