Hereford eNews
Hereford Highlights | Industry Insight | Market Update Volume 3, Issue 14
Welcome{IF ISEMPTY [Name] THEN "" ELSE ", " END IF} {IF ISEMPTY [Name] THEN "" ELSE [Name] END IF}{IF NOT ISEMPTY [Name] THEN ", " ELSE " " END IF} to Hereford eNews, your source of the most current news affecting Hereford breeders. We aim to focus on news worthy events pertaining to the Hereford seedstock industry. Sponsored by the American Hereford Association (AHA). Information sent to subscribers comes from material available on Hereford.org or authored by AHA, Hereford World and Certified Hereford Beef (CHB) LLC staff.
Hereford Highlights

Texas Hereford Association Organizes Relief Fund

March winds kicked up one of the most devastating wildfires in recent Texas memory as thousands of acres were scorched, devastating several stocker and cow-calf operations in the Texas Panhandle. Hereford breeders Bill and Chad Breeding and the Gething family, among other producers, took on the brunt of the fire. They sustained severe losses to their cow herds, faced the destruction of miles of perimeter fence, and continue to suffer losses as cows and calves burned by the fire fail to recover.

Jack Chastain, general manager of the Texas Hereford Association (THA), has organized a relief fund through the THA Foundation to assist those Hereford breeders who were affected with whatever needs they might have. On April 15, W4 Ranch, Morgan, Texas, will be hosting a special Texas Hereford sale. The Michael Perez family, owners of C&M Herefords, Nara Visa, N.M., has donated one of their top Hereford heifers bred to an Angus bull that will calve in May to be auctioned at the sale. The Perez family has requested that 100% of the proceeds go to the THA Foundation for the relief fund.

For questions regarding the relief fund or participating in the special Texas Hereford sale, or if you would like to contribute directly to the relief fund, contact Jack Chastain at the THA headquarters at (817) 831-3161.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has opened Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land for grazing for 60 days, providing feed resource relief. Another way to assist your fellow cattlemen is to call your state senator or congressman and ask for an extension to the time allowed for grazing relief on CRP land in and around the burned areas of the Texas Panhandle.


CHB LLC Board Looks at Retail Challenges

The Certified Hereford Beef LLC (CHB LLC) board of directors met in Sonoma, Calif., last week. CHB LLC board member John Stadler, Cape Coral, Fla., commented on the extreme pressure that the beef market is experiencing at retail. Stadler says that this year has been one of the most challenging of years to market a premium branded beef product due to the high price of beef compared to competing proteins.

CHB LLC has brought on new retail and food service businesses but has its work cut out for it while price disparities remain high. Several retailers around the country have eliminated USDA Choice and certain high-end brands. They’ve downgraded their retail case offering to a lower-priced USDA Select product or replaced it with lower-quality programs to make beef more competitive with pork and poultry. CHB LLC is evaluating strategies to address this economic issue.


Member Committee Works to Reduce Printing and Mailing Costs

Jack Holden, American Hereford Association (AHA) president, appointed a committee to look at ways the AHA might reduce its printing and mailing costs. Serving on the committee were Lavette Teeter (North Carolina), chairman; Fiona Lockhart (Texas); and Terrill Spencer (Nebraska). The committee worked with staff members to accomplish its objectives of reducing printing and mailing costs by focusing on modifications that can be implemented quickly with minimal confusion and without causing major changes to the way AHA handles its routine reporting.

Starting in April, the AHA will be making several modifications to the way it handles reporting and mailing of work that is processed on a daily basis. In an effort to eliminate some of the real and perceived waste in printing and mailing generated by the AHA, breeders can expect to receive fewer mailings. Work-Order Detail/Packing Slips generated during the month that are not accompanied by additional reports, certificates, etc., will be held until the end of the month and mailed with the breeder's monthly statement of account.

The AHA will also minimize use of the large legal-sized envelopes used to mail reports generated on legal-sized paper. For fairly small groups of work that only require a few pages of reports on legal-sized paper, the reports will be mailed in a smaller envelope by simply folding the reports to fit the envelope. Groups of work that require a substantial number of reports on legal-sized paper will continue to be mailed in the larger envelopes.

If you have given your credit card details to the AHA to securely store for use when you submit work via electronic means (Online Registry or HerdMASTER), expect to receive an updated authorization form via traditional mail in the next few weeks. This authorization form will give you a chance to update your credit card information on file with the AHA and also give the AHA authorization to charge your credit card for any registry work processed under your account. This will reduce the chances that work is held for lack of funds and reduce delays in receiving your reports. Additionally, this will reduce the number of mailings the AHA sends out.

Additional changes include modifications to the monthly statements sent to breeders that will more clearly designate charges that are generated by the AHA or Hereford Publications Inc. for advertising services in Hereford World. We will also be reducing how frequently fee schedules are sent out to breeders with their processed work.

Enhanced Internet account users can also expect to start accessing detailed activity of their account charges via the download files area of their AHA Internet account. Look for more details on this in future issues of Hereford eNews.


Do You Have Someone in Mind for the AHA Board?

The AHA nominating committee’s responsibility is to identify six candidates to run for the three Board of Directors positions that are selected during the AHA Annual Membership Meeting in October. To make a recommendation, contact one of the following committee members:

Guy Colyer (chairman), Bruneau, Idaho, (208) 845-2313
Dusty Rhodes, Henrietta, Texas, (940) 934-6301
Bill Ashe, Selmer, Tenn., (731) 632-0723
Ray Ramsey, Greenfield, Ind., (317) 862-7608
Glenn Oleen, Falun, Kan. (785) 668-2368


AHA Board Meets This Week

The AHA Board of Directors will meet in Kansas City, Mo., on April 7-8. Look for a report on the topics of discussion in the May/June issue of Hereford World and upcoming e-News.


Vermeer and Gallagher Team Up:
Offer Hereford Producers Exclusive Package

An incentive program designed to help AHA members track cattle performance, using a free Gallagher Weigh System, is now available for a limited time from Vermeer Manufacturing.

The special Hereford Performance Package offered by Vermeer consists of a free new Gallagher SmartScale 500 with Heavy-Duty Manual Squeeze Chute Loadbars — approximately $2,500 in value — with the purchase of any new Vermeer M-Series Baler. This offer is available until April 30, 2006.

Vermeer markets three different sized M-Series Baler models that qualify producers for the special incentive. The 605M (72"D x 61"W), 604M (72"D x 47"W) and 504M (62"D x 47"W) produce round hay packages ranging anywhere from 1,300-2,400 lb., depending on bale size and moisture content.

For more information visit the Vermeer Web site or contact your local dealer.


Mark Your Calendars for May Online Hereford 101

The next online Hereford 101 will be Thursday, May 18 at 7 p.m. CST. Dan Moser, Kansas State University, will join Jack Ward as they discuss the age of dam adjustments, parameters and correlations. Make plans to log on to LiveAuctions.tv for this informative webcast in May.

Industry Insight

Managing Stress
Tom Field
CSU Department of Animal Science

Does life seem busier and more hectic? Does your “to do” list seem to grow by leaps and bounds? If the answer is “yes,” you are not alone, but your lifestyle may be undermining your ability to perform at peak levels. Stress is the result of our emotional and physiological response to external stimuli and comes in both positive and negative forms. Positive stress, such as hosting a field day or preparing cattle for a sale, heightens our ability to attain excellence. However, worrisome situations such as prolonged drought, tax season, managing calving under difficult conditions or operating unsafe equipment can accumulate and, left unresolved, may cause losses in productivity, declining health and burn out.

While we work in an industry that prides itself on demonstrating near heroic levels of work ethic and keeping our shoulder to the wheel under adverse conditions, stress management is no less important than in other high-performance businesses. Bruce Cryer, Rollin McCraty and Doc Childre advocate a stress control system in their 2003 Harvard Business Review article called the “freeze frame technique.”

This technique consists of five stages: recognize and disengage from stressful stimuli, breathe deeply, recall a positive feeling, seek an alternative to the stress and take notice of the change in perspective brought on by the first four steps. We will never be able to remove the multiple sources of stress from the cattle business, but we can develop habits that help us to cope with stress in a more productive and healthy manner. Once leaders have their own stress in check, they can turn their attention to helping other team members with an end result of stronger and more productive teams.

For more information on managing stress, visit the HeartMath Web site.


Update on BSE, Animal ID, Trade Issues

About 400 cattle producers gathered in Washington, D.C., last week for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Spring Legislative Conference. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns updated participants on several issues critical to the beef industry.

Johanns provided an update on the case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) that was confirmed March 13 in an Alabama stock cow. Further examination of the cow has confirmed that it was at least 10 years old. The age of the animal, along with the fact that this is only the second confirmed BSE case among more than 650,000 tested animals, has helped reassure the public of the extremely low prevalence of BSE in the U.S.

However, Johanns acknowledged that the BSE case has caused concern with some key trading partners such as South Korea, which had planned to reopen its market to U.S. beef in coming weeks.

“I would be less than candid if I did not share that this is somewhat of a setback with regard to South Korea,” Johanns said. “But not a day goes by that we are not in consultation with the South Korean government.”

With regard to Japan, which reopened its market to U.S. beef in December 2005 but closed it again in January, Johanns said a meeting earlier this week with Japanese officials left him somewhat encouraged. However, he shared with Japan’s ambassador to the U.S. that “we are growing impatient for resumption of beef trade.”

Johanns added that the difficulty incurred when tracing the animal’s origin and history has underscored the need for a national animal identification system.

“It is critical that the U.S., like other nations, have this in their trade arsenal,” he said. “Australia is aggressively marketing traceability to gain an advantage. Competitors are out there saying, ‘We’ve got ID. They don’t.’”

In response to a question from Utah cattleman Tim Munns, Johanns said it is still the USDA’s goal to have full participation in a national identification system by 2009. He emphasized that today the system remains voluntary, and he shares the NCBA’s desire to achieve participation voluntarily, rather than by government mandate.

For more information on trade issues and market conditions discussed at the conference, visit the NCBA Web site.


USMEF Chairman Discusses Opportunities and Challenges

Animal diseases, market access and animal identification are some of the challenges facing U.S. beef exports, but there are also many opportunities, U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) Chairman John Bellinger has told producers. Bellinger addressed attendees of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association 129th Annual Convention in San Antonio on March 28.

“Opportunities in variety meat are notable since nearly half of our variety meat is exported, and this potentially could produce a tremendous amount of additional money per head of cattle,” Bellinger said.

Bellinger noted that when Egypt, a strong market for beef livers, reopened to U.S. beef last March, USMEF persuaded JW’s Steakhouse at the Cairo Marriot to feature U.S. beef liver cutlets on its menu. Four Cairo hotels and six high-class restaurants are now serving U.S. high-quality steaks, beef liver cutlets and processed beef items as regular menu choices. Even though the market was open for just nine months last year, U.S. beef variety meat exports to Egypt surpassed 2003 figures.

Bellinger also discussed animal identification in the U.S. with the cattlemen, and he reported that the group appeared to be “split down the middle” over the issue. When asked what international customers think of the current U.S. animal identification program, he told cattlemen, “They don’t think much of it, since we really do not have one as compared to Australia, New Zealand and Canada.”

BSE was also on the agenda, but Bellinger expressed much more concern over foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). “We need to do everything we possibly can to keep FMD out of the country,” he said. “BSE is nothing compared to what FMD can do to our international markets.”


Cargill-Beef Packers Inc. Combination Completed

Cargill Meat Solutions, a leading processor of beef, pork and turkey, announced on April 3 that it had completed the acquisition of Beef Packers Inc., Fresno Meat Co., RPM Beef Inc. and King-O-Meat Inc. These four will be combined under one name, Beef Packers Inc.

Market Update
Downloads:

Cattle Outlook
Glenn Grimes and Ron Plain
University of Missouri-Columbia

Grimes and Plain offer market updates for the week past each Friday afternoon. To view this information, visit the University of Missouri AgEBB Web site.

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