Hereford eNews
Hereford Highlights | Market Update | Industry Insight Volume 3, Issue 21
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 or authored by AHA, Hereford World and Certified Hereford Beef (CHB) LLC staff.
Hereford Highlights

Summer Analysis Cutoff – May 31

Remember that May 31 is the deadline to have data submitted for the summer analysis. Questions, contact Jack Ward at or (816) 842-3757.

June 1 Junior Deadlines

The following is a list of National Junior Hereford Association (NJHA) items with June 1 deadlines:

  • Junior National Hereford Expo (JNHE) entries
  • JNHE ownership
  • National director candidate nominations
  • Hereford Herdsman Scholarship applications
  • National Junior Merit Award applications
  • Pro-Performance Breeder Award applications
  • Walter and Joe Lewis Memorial Award applications
  • Advisor of the Year Award nominations
  • PRIDE of the Nation Award nominations
  • Photo Contest entries

Ashorn Aboard as Youth Activities Intern

The American Hereford Association (AHA) would like to welcome Laura Jane Ashorn, Brenham, Texas, as the 2006 youth activities summer intern. Ashorn will assist the AHA Director of Youth Activities Chris Stephens with various summer activities including state field days, national junior shows and news releases pertinent to events for junior members.

Ashorn will graduate from Texas A&M in May 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in animal science. She plans to further her education by attending graduate school, with a concentration in agricultural communications.

Throughout her collegiate career, Ashorn has held many leadership roles, including College of Ag Student Council vice president and Aggie representative. She also worked as an undergraduate assistant in the Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Deans Office.

Ashorn’s family owns and operates Ashorn Simmentals near Brenham.

“Gig’em Herefords”
Cassie Bacon, NJHA reporter

The National Junior Hereford Association (NJHA) board of directors is more excited than ever to offer this year’s PRIDE (Program for Reaching Individuals Determined to Excel) Convention at College Station, Texas, on the Texas A&M campus. Juniors of every age are invited to attend this jam-packed educational, leadership, and fun event Aug. 3-6.

The event titled “Gig’em Herefords” will include a trip to DeShazer Cattle Co., a full view of the Texas A&M campus, nationally known leadership motivators and a look at what is happening in the beef industry.

You also won’t want to miss your own national board members as they present workshops on how to be good leaders and how to participate in promoting the Hereford breed and beef as a nutritional product.

PRIDE Convention is an event that if you come once, you will want to come back next year. The schedule and registration form are posted on the NJHA Web site. An early registration fee of $175 is due by July 1. After this date, the fee increases to $200.

For more information contact Chris Stephens, AHA director of youth activities, at (816) 842-3757 or, or contact any of your NJHA board members.

Market Update

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.

Industry Insight

Understanding the Natural Beef Market
Greg Lardy
North Dakota State University Animal and Range Sciences Department

It seems natural labeling trends are invading almost every segment of the food industry. Last week, I even saw a commercial for “Natural 7-Up”. Natural and organic meats are the fastest growing segments in the retail grocery market today.

While organic standards need to meet strict U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines, the definitions between natural food products are vague. USDA defines natural as “minimally processed.” In the beef industry there are basically three different marketing strategies used by those producing natural beef. These include “Never-Ever” programs, “Withdrawal Time” programs and “Testing” programs.

Never-Ever programs have supply chain arrangements that allow them to procure cattle that have never had growth promoting implants or antibiotics. In most cases this is carried out through a series of affidavits producers sign at various points along the beef production cycle. Companies like Laura's Lean Beef and Coleman are good examples of processors using these marketing programs.

Withdrawal Time programs guarantee the cattle have not had growth promoting implants or antibiotics for a certain period of time immediately prior to slaughter. While the length of time varies, it is typically 100-120 days. National Beef's Naturewell program is an example of a Withdrawal Time program.

Testing program marketers are companies like Maverick Ranch. Maverick Ranch purchases product from a number of sources, tests it for antibiotic residues and markets the product as “natural” if it passes the tests.

Most consumers are pushing these companies toward the Never-Ever programs. The growth that has occurred recently is likely not a bubble or a blip that will go away. We are on the verge of the retirement of the baby boomer generation. This generation typically is concerned about health issues and has plenty of disposable income to spend on food, especially food they believe to be healthy. What makes the trend even less likely to slow down soon is the fact that both Swift and Tyson entered the natural beef market this year.

If you or your bull customers want to take advantage of this growing industry segment, study the companies involved and look for ways to work into the supply chain. Premiums can be lucrative in months when seasonal supply is low. Because of lower supply in the fall and early winter market for natural fed cattle, a fall calving herd may be uniquely positioned to fit into this market segment.

Congress Freezes Spending on Animal ID

According to Pete Hisey,, about $33 million meant to fund the next steps in a national animal identification system was frozen during negotiations over a $93.6 billion agricultural bill on Tuesday.

An earlier attempt to kill the program outright was defeated, but the House approved a measure to withhold funding for animal ID until USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) publishes a proposed rule, setting out parameters for the plan.

NCBA Supports H.R. 4341

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) is asking America’s cattle producers to urge members of Congress to support H.R. 4341.

Introduced by Reps. Ralph Hall (R-Texas), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), this legislation would confirm that Congress never intended to regulate animal manure under the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA/Superfund regulations). The bill is designed to prevent the possibility of manure being considered a hazardous substance under CERCLA and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).

For more information, visit the NCBA Web site.

ORIgen and Genex to Sell Bovigen Beef Tests

Bovigen’s GeneSTAR® and SireTRACE® DNA products will now be available through both ORIgen and Genex Cooperative Inc., as a result of recent marketing agreements.

The GeneSTAR® Tenderness and Quality Grade tests are most often used by breeders and producers who want to make significant genetic improvements in their herds. The tests determine which animals have the genes responsible for improved quality grade and tenderness.

GeneSTAR® Black is a coat color test that identifies if black-coated animals have two copies of the black coat color gene and are homozygous, or if they also carry a copy of the red color gene and are heterozygous.

SireTRACE™ is a cattle DNA fingerprinting and parentage test that identifies the offspring of a particular sire. Because SireTRACE™ confirms parentage, beef producers who use multiple sires in a single pasture, or who turn out a herd bull immediately after artificial insemination, will be able to identify the sire of any calf born, enabling them to identify the sire with superior genetics.

For more information visit the Bovigen Web site or call 877-BEEF-DNA.

A Fight against False Accusations
Cassie Bacon, 2005 National Beef Ambassador

The National Beef Ambassadors, who are sponsored through the American National CattleWomen and U.S. beef checkoff dollars, are working on a project to help foster a more positive image of beef. In response to a new book out for preteens called “Chew on This,” co-authored by Eric Schlosser and Charles Wilson, beef ambassadors are sticking up for the truth about the beef industry.

“Chew on This” includes negative false statements about the beef industry from production to plate. A blog has been established to post information to help clear up some of these accusations and to help educate youth and American consumers about how nutritional and safe American beef is.

You can help! Visit the Chewing The Cud Web site to make comments about the blogs posted. If you know anyone who might be reading the book, please pass this information along to them.

U.S. Cattle on Feed Up 9%

Cattle and calves on feed for slaughter market in the U.S. for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 11.6 million on May 1, 2006. The inventory was 9% above May 1, 2005, and 11% above May 1, 2004. This is the highest May 1 inventory since the series began in 1996.

Livestock Congress Papers Available Online

Think-tank participants of the 2006 International Livestock Congress have issued papers on bovine spongiform encephalopathy, foot-and-mouth disease and avian influenza. These papers can be downloaded in PDF format from the ISEF Web site.

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