Cow Country News - June 2023

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2 • Cow Country • June John Deere 6 Series Tractors 105-250 Engine HP POWER UP Talk to your John Deere dealer to learn more about the 6R Tractors or visit us online.



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• Strong History of Selling a Variety of Assets from Land to Equipment

• Expertise with Assisting on 1031 Exchanges!

4 • Cow Country • June
Andy Bishop: President’s Thoughts
Ryan Quarles: Celebrate Dairy Month
Dave Maples: Thoughts from Dave
Dr. Michelle Arnold: Finding the Cause for Abortions and Stillbirths in Cattle Why is it still so Difficult?
Chris Teutsch: Managing Cool-Season Pastures for Enhanced Fall Growth
Anderson: “You Don’t
What You Don’t Know”
Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association Awards Youth Scholarship
2022 National Beef Quality Audit Shows Efficiency Improvements
March Pork Exports Largest in Nearly Two Years; Beef Exports Show Signs of Rebound 23 Fight the Animal Rights Groups Infiltrating Our Industry 25 Commissioner Quarles, Kentucky Cattle Producers Celebrate May as Beef Month 26 Scientists Use Gene-Editing Technology to Produce First Calf Resistant to Major Viral Disease 27 New State Veterinarian Named 42 NCBA Files Comments on USDA Traceability Rule 46 Please Don’t Mail Us Live Ticks 12 County News 22 NCBA Legislative Update 28 Economic & Policy Update 30 Membership 32 Kentucky Beef Council 34 Kentucky Beef Network 39 Kentucky Angus News 44 Calendar of Events 45 Advertisers Index 45 Classifieds KCA history 1980 - 1989
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I spent most of the last week in Denver at a networking and leadership development training. Part of the homework we had before attending was completing a strengths assessment to determine where our skills fit within the framework of the team. The session leader gave us excellent research on how individuals who play to their strengths are much happier personally and professionally. Among the small group, we displayed almost every communication and decision-making style via one person or another. This particular session of the workshop focused on how we need to continue to cultivate our strengths but work off one another to develop our weaknesses. It was very reflective and made us think about how we could work together as a team to achieve a common goal. All the talk of strengths during the session made me think of something I heard during my podcast listening on the plane; if you only have a hammer, then everything looks like a nail.

It is easy only to want to do what you are good at personally and professionally. If I only did my favorite jobs on the farm, you would about only see me building fences and working cattle. However, barns need to be repaired, ads need to be placed, and paperwork needs to be done. If all I did was build fences or work cattle, the farm our grazing management would be world-class, and every bit of data collection and herd health protocol would be completed at the optimal time. A business can’t run like that, though. Much like on the farm, in the gym, if I only did the workouts I liked, I wouldn’t begin to hit all muscle groups or even touch a cardio machine. If I only did the training splits I “liked,” I would have massive imbalances and would probably struggle walking the hills of the farm. This would defeat the whole purpose of having a fitness routine to improve my long-term health.

It is easy to get caught up with those same ideas regarding genetic selection in both seedstock and commercial cow-calf production. If you are a commercial producer that only ever sells pounds of calves, it is easy to get caught up and think pounds are the only thing that matters. I see it every bull-buying season. For most of you reading this, pounds are one of the biggest variables in the profit equation. However, if you focus only on that, before too long, you have cows lacking fertility, longevity, and mature size that doesn’t fit your forage resources. I think pounds are essential, but there are more EPDs than just weaning weight on a registration paper for good reason. Even in my genetic selection, I constantly preach using economic indexes in decision-making. I think the number one thing commercial cow-calf producers need to focus on is the profitability and efficiency of their cow herd. However, I do believe carcass quality is essential to continue to maintain and increase beef demand from an industry perspective. Quality (and animal welfare) is everything to consumers. Even on my trip this week, I was one to turn my nose up at

what I thought might be a cheap and inferior steak based on price point and cut size (based upon reviews from those that ordered, I wasn’t entirely wrong, but they said it got the job done). If all I continued to select for was commercial cow-calf profitability, my cows could run this risk of producing a few of those inferior steaks.

We can’t let the hammer be the only tool in our toolbox. Every problem can’t look like a nail. While I spent a few days learning about developing a few skills, I may not have been as proficient as some of my colleagues in some areas, but it didn’t mean I ignored the places I may have had more of a knack for. The same idea needs to apply to your cow herd (and personal life). The genetic base we use is unrivaled with it comes to maternal efficiency (this is well documented). However, we utilize all the available tools to ensure that those aren’t the only things our cattle can do. We have spent nearly two decades of carcass scanning and breeding to ensure the bulls we send out to work in commercial herds across the southeast, regardless of the marketing point. I have fed out enough of our genetics to know that our herd has no issues with end quality merit. However, there is not an animal in the breed I wouldn’t change at least one thing about. Like the group I spent time learning about, everyone has something to offer to help us achieve a common objective as a team. We must utilize our genetics similarly to continue producing a superior product, whether we sell calves, genetics, or steaks. We just can’t think the traits we care about the most are all that matter. We must bring more than just the hammer out of our tool belt, or we will not be nearly as profitable as we could be.

June • Cow Country • 5
an additional monthly newsletter




Andy Bishop

6135 High Grove Road

Cox’s Creek, KY 40013

(502) 350-7609


Jeff Pettit

5745 US Highway 41 S

Seebree, KY 42455 (270) 836-2963


Randy Warner 2717 Ratliff Road

Sharpsburg, KY 40374 (859) 771-5280


Ken Adams

90 E Horseshoe Ave.

Upton, KY 42784 (270) 734-1443


Cary King 250 Bright Leaf Drive

Harrodsburg, KY 40330 (859) 613-3734


Daniel Hayden 6333 Herbert Road Whitesville, KY 42378 (270) 570-2815


Joe Lowe PO Box 205 Smith’s Grove, KY 42171 (270) 202-4399


Allan Bryant


Jeff Pettit

Chief Operating Officer

Carey Brown

Staff Accountant

Kelly Tucker

Director of Kentucky Beef Network

Becky Thompson

KBN Industry Coordinator

Dan Miller


Membership Coordinator

Nikki Whitaker

Beef Solutions Operations Manager

Kenny Allen

KBC Director of Education

Bradon Burks

Membership and Communications Coordinator

Rachel Cain

Graphic Designer Todd Brown

Video Production Specialist

Danny Coy

National Advertising Sales, LAN

Debby Nichols (859) 321-8770


COW COUNTRY is published monthly by THE KENTUCKY CATTLEMEN’S ASSOCIATION. The publisher reserves the right to refuse any material which he feels is unsuitable for the publication. Although the highest journalistic ethics will be maintained, the KENTUCKY CATTLEMEN’S ASSOCIATION limits its responsibilities for any errors, inaccuracies, or misprints in advertising or editorial copy. Advertisers and advertising agencies assume liability for all content of advertisements made against the publisher.


Wayne Zoleman...........................270-315-7812

Mark Heimgartner........................270-875-2585

Jeremy Armstrong......................270-668-2056

Kenton Howard..................................................

Sara Roberson............................270-668-2428


Phyllis Gentry*............................502-331-1146

Thomas Bolton...................................................

Fred Thomas......................................................

Bradley Willcox............................270-862-4142

Robbie Hatfield............................270-230-6716

Chris Imbruligo...........................270-993-0543

Maggie Vaughn...........................270-590-8017

Mike Jones..................................270-670-7588

Corbin Cowles.............................270-991-2534

Glen Byrd.....................................270-991-1186

Isaac Thompson.........................270-789-8712

Kenneth Green............................270-589-7175

Andy Joe Moore..........................270-590-0841

Brian Manion...............................270-868-0253

Joe Mike Moore..........................270-670-7493

Amy Cecil....................................270-427-7207


Allan Bryant*...............................502-548-1379

Allen Phillips................................502-220-0948

Wanda Hawkins...........................502-321-5602

Phillip Douglas............................502-552-0688

Larry Bryant................................502-845-4615

Amanda Hall................................859-333-5001

Nicole Goecke.............................606-782-2263

Ben Tinsley.........................................................

Kevin Perkins..............................502-269-7189

Kyle Bush....................................859-588-4531

Michelle Simon...........................859-572-2600


Amy White*.................................859-227-2552

Brad Reynolds.............................859-200-1632

Derek Abney................................859-248-0200

Phillip Stamm.............................606-796-9175

Danielle Harmon.........................606-748-8059

Bruce Witt...................................859-585-8889

Jodi Purvis..................................606-336-3540

Mike Ravencraft..........................606-584-0310

Brandon Sears...................................................

Danny Callahan...........................859-388-0910

Jason Crowe...............................859-582-0761


Adam Chunglo*..........................859-613-2985

Brent Woodrum...........................859-397-1078

Tommy Spalding.........................270-402-9157

Dean Craft...................................606-634-0191

Brent Ware..................................606-305-8612

Rick Brewer.................................606-682-2352

Brent Williams.............................502-817-1511

Gary Ford....................................270-402-2194

Aaron Burke................................859-265-1172

Ryan Miller..................................502-827-5027

Phillip Reese................................606-787-1629

Jared Foley..................................270-585-1331

* Denotes member of Executive committee

6 • Cow Country • June
176 PASADENA DRIVE • SUITE 4 • LEXINGTON, KY 40503 • PHONE: (859) 278-0899 FAX: (859) 260-2060 • WWW.KYCATTLE.ORG • INFO@KYCATTLE.ORG
Jere Caldwell† - Boyle 2003 Mark Williams - Crittenden
Smith T. Powell† - Lincoln 2004 Paul Napier - Lincoln
Larry Lovell† - Union 2005 Eddie Young - Washington
John Masters† - Fleming 2006 Greg Ritter† - Barren
Seldon Hail† - Laurel 2007 Don Pemberton - Christian
Bob Vickery† - Wayne 2008 Billy Glenn Turpin - Madison 1988 Glenn Mackie - Bourbon 2009 Scotty Parsons - Christian 1989 Dale Lovell† - Muhlenberg 2010 Corinne Kephart - Shelby 1990 Steve Henshaw† - Union 2011 Greg Robey - Mercer 1991 Jerry Fraim - Grayson 2012 Mike Bach - Bath 1992 Glen Massengale† - Wayne 2013 Don Reynolds - Hart 1993 Dell King - Christian 2014 Steve Downs - Marion 1994 Kenneth Lowe - Warren 2015 Gary Woodall - Logan 1995 Dr. J.L.Cole - Monroe 2016 David Lemaster - Clark 1996 Harvey Mitchell - Mercer 2017 Chuck Crutcher - Hardin 1997 Jim Naive† - Spencer 2018 Bobby Foree - Henry 1998 Shelby Hughes - Logan 2019 Tim White - Fayette 1999 Hoppy Lovell - Barren 2020 Steve Dunning - Christian 2000 Charles Miller - Jessamine 2021 Chris Cooper - Madison 2001 Larry Clay - Perry 2022 Cary King - Mercer 2002 Jack Kimbrough† - Shelby †(Deceased)
Dave Maples Executive Vice President
Cook.................................270-275-1274 Ashley Holloway.................................................
*ex officio Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Dr. Ryan Quarles, seated, displays a proclamation commemorating May as Kentucky Beef Month. Joining Commissioner Quarles at the event were representatives of the Kentucky Beef Council, Kentucky Cattlemen's Association, and the beef industry. Read more on page 25

Presidents Thoughts

A popular saying around home is “that was a million-dollar rain”. The recent rains after Derby were truly a blessing and a reminder of the resilience of Mother Nature. My pastures had not filled out quite like normal, yet the grass is still going to seed to ensure new life still had a possibility. This time of year makes me think of one of my mentors, the late Russell Hackley. Russell would always tell me that you needed to move cattle faster across your pastures in the spring to keep the seed heads at bay and that every good farmer had his fields clipped before Memorial Day to encourage new growth. I still remember those words every spring and try to get my fields clipped off. I sure miss his wisdom and his willingness to give his opinion whether I asked for it or not (a lot like myself). The most successful businesspeople I know have surrounded themselves by a strong team of mentors and I have tried to do that myself. I encourage young farmers to seek wisdom from those that have played the game and learn from the mistakes they made, but what also worked. The best operators have taken a lot of ideas from others and made it their own.

I recently spent two weeks back-to-back in Washington D.C. No matter how many times I visit I am still in awe of the layout and the beauty of our nation’s Capital. If the actions of those on the hill were as beautiful as the city, we would have no complaints. I am also reminded when visiting of the absolute necessity for producers to have a presence on the hill to educate our politicians about what we do daily and how their actions impact us. An example of those actions is the Opportunities in Fairness for Farming Act (OFF Act) that is sponsored by vegan Cory Booker (D) New Jersey, Elizabeth Warren (D) Massachusetts, Mike Lee (R) Utah, and our very own Rand Paul (R) Kentucky. When looking at the title this bill sounds like a great one, meant to protect our interests. Upon reading it one can easily see that it is nothing more than an end to all Checkoff Programs. Not only is this bill bad for Agriculture but it is blatantly false testimony. The bill claims to be Checkoff reform and lists 5 main changes, but what it doesn’t discuss is that 4 of the 5 things it wants to change, Checkoffs are already doing under USDA oversight. I preface the 5th by saying that UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES are

contractors allowed to use checkoff dollars for lobbying and that is highly regulated. The 5th change would be that no contractor can have a lobbying arm. There are currently 9 contractors to the Federal Checkoff and 8 of those 9 have lobbying arms which include notables such as Farm Bureau, North American Meat Institute, Meat Importers Council of America, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, and United States Cattlemen’s Association. I want to remind you that they cannot in any shape or form lobby with checkoff dollars, but the legislation makes it seem that they do. We spoke with Senator Paul’s staffer on back-to-back weeks as well as Senator Lee’s staff and got conflicting information on why they support this bill and what it means. While it is frustrating it proves the point that we as producers can’t spend countless hours worrying about what is happening in DC. What we can do is empower our cattle associations to be there on our behalf such as KCA and NCBA who are watching out for us daily. I am always pleased to see the relationships that Nikki Whitaker and Dave Maples have made with our congressmen and their willingness to sit and hear what we have to say. Other hot topics are Waters of the US, Black Vultures, Farm Bill funding, and more funding for a vaccine bank in case of a Foot and Mouth outbreak. Several of you have reached out with issues and we are working on those items. I applaud your willingness to contact your congressmen directly as well. I want to recognize two members in particular, Joe Mike Moore and Robert Siddens from Barren County. Both have two different issues but have made countless phone calls to help with the cause and I thank you for that. KCA and NCBA are both working hard to stay at the forefront of those issues because they took the initiative as producers to stand up and ask for help.

Allison Charolais

Allison Charolais


Allison Charolais

Charolais Breeder Since 1962

Charolais Breeder Since 1962

Since • Bulls Available


Ø Bull calves out of HCR Answer

Bulls Available

Bulls Available

Ø Bull calves out of HCR Answer 2042 and HCR SPIRIT 4007.

Ø Bull calves out of HCR Answer 2042 and HCR SPIRIT 4007.

Ø Bred for calving ease and growth.


Ø Bred for calving ease and growth.

Ø Bred for calving ease and growth.

Ø Bulls for both purebred and commercial breeders. Ø Yearlings and two-year-olds available.

Ø Bulls for both purebred and commercial


Ø Yearlings and two-year-olds available.


Ø Bulls for both purebred and commercial breeders.

Ø Bred heifers to calve in fall available.

Ø Bred heifers to calve in fall available.

Ø Yearlings and two-year-olds available.

John Allison, Owner 545 Eminence Road New Castle, KY 40050 502-220-3170

John Allison, Owner 545 Eminence Road New Castle, KY 40050 502-220-3170

John Allison 545 Eminence Road

John Allison, Owner

David Carter, Farm Manager 502-706-0075

David Carter,

Ø Bred heifers to calve in fall available.

I encourage you to make your voice heard when you have an issue with something in Frankfort or DC. Reach out to your KCA and NCBA staff to have them research the issue and help resolve it. In the words of Ronald Reagan “Governments first duty is to protect the people not run their lives”. Those words ring true to me. I will say that we are blessed in Kentucky to have Congressmen that are willing to listen to our concerns and look for solutions. On June 8th we will be hosting a zoom call for our members with Colin Woodall at

John Allison, Owner 545 Eminence Road New Castle, KY 40050 502-220-3170

New Castle, KY 40050

(502) 220-3170

David Carter, Farm Manager 502-706-0075

NCBA to hear about the work they are doing in DC. It will be an opportunity for you to also send questions that you would like answers to. I encourage each of you to be on the lookout for information about that call.

After the political talk I feel like I need to finish with something positive. I recently spent the day with my youngest son Boone. We still worked most of the day, but it was just “Dad and Boonie” day. You would have thought I took the kid to an amusement park. I think I enjoyed the day as much as he did and it served as a strong reminder that we are busy people, but never too busy to spend time with those that mean the most. Cherish those times and don’t take them for granted because one day they will be the memories you both talk about. Stay safe as hay season rolls around and as always call if you need me.

June • Cow Country • 7

Celebrate Dairy Month

June is the perfect time to celebrate Dairy Month. Some of my fondest memories of summer include ice cream, milkshakes, and a cold glass of milk.

But dairy products are delicious any time of the year – milk, after all, is Kentucky’s official beverage.

Dairy Month was established 86 years ago by grocer organizations. In 1939, the month of June became the celebration’s official spot on the calendar.

While we make June a special time to celebrate dairy and dairy farmers, Kentucky’s dairy farmers are a resilient bunch and their hard work and dedication should be noticed all year long.

Kentucky’s milk cow numbers, released at the beginning of 2023, show an increase of about 1,000 head of cattle more than last year. It was the first annual increase since 1986. That’s promising news for an industry that faces challenges every day.

Economic figures released at the end of April are also encouraging. Cash receipts for dairy producers last year were $243 million, up an incredible 40 percent. The average amount of milk produced by each milk cow was 20,578 pounds annually, up 4 percent.

That strength and resiliency that have created success for our state’s dairy producers, shows up in our youth, too. I am thrilled to continue to see an increase in the number of 4-H and FFA dairy show exhibitors over the years in various shows across the state. It’s proof the future of this industry is in good hands. While the industry may see some struggles, we can all take pride in the fact that the annual economic figures, cattle inventory, and the increase in youth activity are shining some bright spots for our agricultural producers in the dairy industry. Another feather in Kentucky’s dairy cap that many of you may not know is that our commonwealth stands at the forefront of many of today’s dairy cattle innovations. Western Kentucky University’s Department of Agriculture and Food Science, in partnership with Holstein Association USA, created the SmartHolstein Lab. This research facility puts new tools and programs to the test, and prepares them for real-world applications on the dairy farm.

When I became your agriculture commissioner nearly eight years ago, I wanted to make it my mission to recognize the hard work of our agriculture community. I have a very personal love and appreciation for our farmers because I come from a family of them. My family moved to Kentucky in the 1780s and has been farming here for more than 200 years.

The hard work ethic of our dairy farmers is never far from my thoughts, my actions, or my words. I hope I’ve served them well these past eight years, and I raise a glass of milk in a toast to them for a job well done!

8 • Cow Country • June

Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association Awards Youth Scholarship

LEXINGTON, KY – The Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association Youth Scholarship, funded by the KCA Foundation, began in 1991 and has provided $165,000 in scholarship funds to students across Kentucky. Student’s applying for the application must attend a Kentucky College or University and must major in Agriculture or an Agriculturallyrelated subject. The recipients are chosen based on academic performance, community activities, and beef industry essay statements. Five $1,500 scholarships are awarded each year to one student per each KCA Region with the possibility of two additional at large scholarships.

The 2023 recipients are:

Ashlei Madison Frogue from Elkton is a graduate from Todd County Central High School. Madison will be attending Southcentral Kentucky Community & Technical College majoring in Agribusiness.

Mia Jones from Roundhill is a graduate from Edmonson County High School. Mia will be attending Elizabethtown Community and Technical College majoring in Agricultural Education.

Josie Bronk from Union is a graduate from Boone County High School. Josie will be attending Murray State University majoring in Animal Science.

Olivia Puckett from Winchester is a graduate from Clark County High School. Olivia will be attending the University of Kentucky majoring in Agribusiness and Marketing.

Bryanna Smith from Russell Springs is a graduate from Russell County High School. Bryanna will be attending the University of Kentucky majoring in Agricultural Economics & Agricultural Education.

Emily Tabor from Garfield is a graduate from Breckinridge County High School. Emily will be attending Murray State University majoring in Animal Science.

The Kentucky Cattlemen’s Foundation would like to thank all the participants who applied for the Foundation Scholarship this year and would like to congratulate the 2023 Foundation Scholarship winners.


optimum trait genetics

The new catch phrase in the cattle industry is “genetic improvement”. Just follow the numbers, it’s that easy. Years of indoctrination about the importance of epd’s have diminished our ability to judge the actual animals. How many of us have picked up a catalog with preconceived value just by looking at the numbers? We cull them before we ever see them.

With 65 years of record keeping, we are a staunch proponent of data collection and look forward to all the new advancements on the horizon. They are valuable tools to help shape each cattlemen’s breeding program. What the numbers can’t tell you, however, is just as important.

We need females that can have a calf and be excellent mothers. Trying to kill the calf or you is not acceptable. She needs to have adequate milk to raise her calf, all the while keeping enough flesh to breed back. She was made to utilize grass and she should be counted on to perform with as little supplementation as possible. Most importantly, she needs to do this year after year. We base our genetic improvement on proven females that we can count on. We don’t rely on an expected outcome.

It seems that with all the advancements available today, breeders have lost the patience needed to develop a predictable, proven product. In order to turn the gene pool over quicker, heifers are being flushed based on their numbers. They are cashing in on a set of epd’s that fit what is hot in the marketplace without knowing if she can have the calf, raise the calf, or even breed back. Plus, not even knowing if she will pass on an undesirable trait that will show up a few years down the road. The actual performance of the cattle is becoming secondary.

At Stone Gate we want you to have confidence in our cattle. We take those extra tried and true steps to make sure that you will purchase efficient, proven, predictable genetics. We challenge our cattle to produce at a high level in an environment of grass and hay. To be developed in a false environment would only distort the data.

June • Cow Country • 9
1669 Mill Creek Rd. • Flemingsburg, KY 41041 Caleb Cannon: 606-748-0044 • Chris Cannon: 606-748-0407 •

Thoughts From Dave

Change seems to be in the air for Kentucky Agriculture. Several key leadership positions are in the process of transitioning or have already been announced in the last couple of weeks. It is out of the norm that so many key leadership positions are turning over all at the same time. Dr. Steve Velasco has been hired as the State Veterinarian. This is one of, if not the most important, regulatory positions for Kentucky’s Livestock Industry. The State Vet has a lot of responsibilities and powers when it comes to animal health issues.

Another big one is the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture Food and the Environment has been in the process of hiring a new Animal Science Department Chair since the departure of Dr. Richard Coffey last year. Again, another very important leadership

filling the vacancy of Dr. Tony Brannon and Eastern Kentucky University is in in the process of making critical leadership decisions.

The big one however is the Commissioner of Agriculture. Johnathan Shell and Richard Heath had a very competitive Republican primary where Johnathan Shell was the winning candidate and will now face Sierra Enlow later this fall. With changes I hope come excitement and new ideas that can move Kentucky Agriculture forward.

On a different note, I got the opportunity to do some traveling this past month. Bradon Burks and I attended the National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA) meeting in Kansas City, Missouri. This was a wonderful opportunity because I got to talk directly with

covid to do a project with NIAA and CDC and I really think we have an opportunity to do some nice work with both of these groups going forward. On a little different note, we have had some productive conversations with the folks at the Meat Animal Research Center with the focus on mid-tier food processors. Our annual fly in visit to Washington D.C. was back to the way it was pre covid. KCA President Andy Bishop, Nikki Whitaker and myself got the opportunity to talk with members of the Kentucky Delegation and staff members. It is good to talk with the Congressmen or Senators but is better to talk with the staff. Nikki has developed a really nice relationship with the Ag staffers and I really appreciate the effort that she puts into those relationships. This is a never-ending process because they turn over rather quickly. The last topic that I wanted to cover and this is a hard one was a call that I received while driving back home from Kansas City. The call was from my friend at the Texas Cattle Feeders. He asked if I knew of McClain Farms in Benton, Kentucky, and I told him

10 • Cow Country • June
LIVESTOCK MARKETING GROUP Upcoming Sales BG Lexington Profit Thru Performance Feeder Sale Monday, June 5 @ 1:00 PM BG Lexington Monthly Cow Sale Wednesday, June 28 @ 6:30 PM BG Lexington Stockyards Beef BBQ Festival Saturday, June 10 @ 12 PM 8 PM Let us help with your livestock marketing decisions!
June • Cow Country • 11 KCA HALL OF FAME AWARD The Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association Hall of Fame is designed to honor a member of the organization that has given time, service, and talent to the betterment of the Cattlemen’s Association at the county and/or state levels. 2024 applications must be postmarked by June 30th, 2023. Call us at (859) 278-0899 with questions. Application available at DO YOU KNOW AN OUTSTANDING CATTLEMAN?


Submitted by Megan McCoun

The Henry County Cattlemen’s Association has had record-breaking attendance at the first two meetings of the year. Typically, the Henry County Cattlemen’s first meeting of the year would be in February, but flooding at the extension office postponed the initial meeting. This did not keep the membership from showing out in March, with over 114 in attendance! It was standing room only for some members that night. The March meeting had a jam-packed agenda, with updates from Extension, FSA, Conservation District, FFA, and the local vet. Additionally, retiring CAIP Administrator, Laraine Staples, was presented with a token of appreciation for her 22 years of service with the Cattlemen. The guest speakers that night included Ag Commissioner Candidate, Representative Richard Heath, and a field rep from Y-Tex Cooperation. The meeting was sponsored by Y-Tex and Parker’s Farm Supply. Despite having a long list of speakers, the newly instated Cattlemen’s President, John Allison, kept the meeting running efficiently using his mother’s dinner bell to keep everyone’s time.

The April meeting had a similarly impressive turnout at 110 in attendance. The guest speaker for the meeting was Dr. Kenny Burdine, Livestock Marketing Specialist with the University of Kentucky. Dr. Burdine spoke to the membership about cattle markets and livestock risk protection. While the parents were listening to the presentation, our “future Cattlemen” were kept busy in the next room with beef coloring books and cow ears provided by KCA. The sponsors for the meeting were Clore Agri-Company and Shelby Insurance.

The Henry County Cattlemen will be busy this summer, cooking for several community events and hosting field days in the county. The big meetings, excellent steak sandwiches, and educational programming would not be possible without the dedication and hard work of the board


Submitted by Nathan Howard

The McLean County Cattlemen's Association presented two $500 scholarships to graduating seniors of McLean County High School. L to R making presentation Jill Howard, recipients Caleb Reynolds and Cadence Keister.

12 • Cow Country • June
members: Clint Woods, Luther Parker, JD Yount, Chris McBurney, Craig Retzlaf, John Allison, Phillip Douglas, Catherine Atchison, and Alicia Woods.



On April 26th the LCCA officers and directors, spouse, and the ag development board had their spring trip to nearby Casey County. We met up with Kelsey Woodrum, Casey County Ag Agent for the day. From her office, we met up with Donald Tarter. Donald showed the group the many types of gates and equipment that is manufactured in Dunnvile as well as the log yard. After a nice driving tour Donald showed the group the Tube Mill. This was very interesting to see how the tubes for the gates are produced.

After that, the group got to see some cows and calves in the field at Tarter Farms. Then we viewed a working facility and more cattle that Donald owns. We heard about the hay operation at Tarter Farms and how corn fits into their feeding operation. Donald did an outstanding job showing us the ag manufacturing trade, livestock, and talking about his operation and marketing strategy.

Our lunch break was exceptional. We had the joy of eating at the Bread of Life Cafe. If you have never been there it’s worth the drive no matter where you live in the Commonwealth.

After lunch our group met up with Brad Neats at his farm. Brad did a wonderful job giving us the history of the farm and how he approaches the relationship between forages and cattle. We drove into the fields and looked at momma cows and calves and then stopped to view some of his bulls and heifers that he sells. We learned of the management types he puts into his herd. Lastly Brad showed us the working facilities on his farm. The view from this area of the farm was fantastic!

I would like to thank Donald Tarter and Brad Neats for such a wonderful job in giving us their time and for showing us around. The tours were top notch as was their cattle! A great big thank you to Kelsey Woodrum for all her help in planning a wonderful day out with fellow cattleman.



On Saturday, April 15th, Norhtern Kentucky

Cattle Association members from Boone and Kenton counties held their 20th annual bull testing program. This program is held at the Kenton County Fair grounds and this year more than 40 bulls were checked for breeding soundness. Dr. Matt Parker with Owen County Animal Clinic evaluated the bulls. Acccording to Keith Rittenger, "For twenty years this program has been a service offered to the NKY Cattle Association members as a way of ensuring their bulls are ready for breeding." According to Jerry Brown with Boone County Extension, "Each year this program consistently finds that 10% of the bulls tested are not sound enough to breed. By finding this out prior to breeding the cattle operator has an opportunity to make changes in the herd."

Congratulations and thank you to the NKY Cattle Association for a great program to support the cattle industry in Kentucky.

June • Cow Country • 13


Submitted by

The Shelby County Cattlemen’s Association hosted their quarterly meeting on April 18th at the Shelby County Extension Office. Steaks, hamburgers, baked beans, and fried potatoes were served while Rachel Cain from the Kentucky Cattleman’s Association spoke telling members of the services offered from the Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association.


Submitted by

Brooke Lucas, a senior at North Hardin High School, won the heifer contest sponsored by the Hardin County Cattlemen’s Association. Hardin county member Brad Chambliss donated this heifer. Congratulations to Brooke and many thanks to Brad Chambliss.

Toxin Infested Fescue? WE CAN HELP!

A three-year research study was conducted using Fescue 7 at Morehead State University. Researchers measured cow body condition scores, calf weights, hair shedding, body temperature, and cow behavior. Cows provided the Fescue 7 mineral had significantly better body condition scores, quicker hair shedding, lower body temperature and grazed more frequently during the heat of the day. We believe that our research shows that Fescue 7 mineral can be an effective tool in combating heat stress associated with fescue toxicosis.”

Gro-Tec • Austin Stevens • Willy Campbell 1-800-535-3354 • (606) 748-9987 •

Fly control has never been easier.

“Some years ago, we lost almost an entire calf crop due to the fescue. Needless to say I was looking for answers. One thing I did was attend the Alliance for Grassland Renewal workshop and learned a lot of things, which we have instituted as common practices on our farm and farms we rent. However, I didn’t want to get rid of the Kentucky 31 because I’m a seedstock producer and I felt that if I did away with the Kentucky 31 I could possibly be selling cattle to people that couldn’t handle the hot grass. So I opted to just do a better job of managing the grass that covers most cattle country in my area. The second thing I did was look up a mineral salesman I had talked to a year prior by the name of George Speigelhalder. That conversation changed the landscape of our operation forever. He introduced me to Gro-Tec mineral and a product called Fescue 7. Without going into great detail this stuff is a gamechanger. Not only did it help tremendously with the fescue but it also cut down our pinkeye and foot rot problems. Sent our breed back rates on the high 90% range.”

Toxin Infested Fescue? WE CAN

A three-year research study was conducted using Fescue 7 at Morehead State University. Researchers measured cow body condition scores, calf weights, hair shedding, body temperature, and cow behavior. Cows provided the Fescue 7 mineral had significantly better body condition scores, quicker hair shedding, lower body temperature and grazed more frequently during the heat of the day. We believe that our research shows that Fescue 7 mineral can be an effective tool in combating heat stress associated with fescue toxicosis.”

14 • Cow Country • June
Jason Schroeder, Schroeder’s Black Herefords Jefferson City, MO
Gro-Tec • Austin Stevens • Willy Campbell 1-800-535-3354 • (606) 748-9987 • available in Fescue 7, Stocker 7, and any other cattle mineral!

2022 National Beef Quality Audit Shows Efficiency Improvements

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (May 16, 2023) – Since 1991, the Beef Checkofffunded National Beef Quality Audit (NBQA) has delivered a set of guideposts and measurements for cattle producers and other stakeholders to help determine quality conformance of the U.S. beef supply. Results from the 2022 NBQA indicate that the beef cattle industry is producing a high-quality product that consumers want more efficiently and the industry’s primary focus across the supply chain remains food safety.

“The NBQA is an important tool for the industry to identify where improvements are being made and where there are opportunities to capture more value,” said Josh White, senior executive director of producer education and sustainability at NCBA. “The good news is, overall, the beef industry is providing a quality product to consumers that they enjoy.”

Early NBQAs focused on the physical attributes of beef such as marbling, external fat, carcass weight and carcass blemishes. These cattle industry concerns have evolved to include food safety, sustainability, animal well-being and the growing disconnect between producers and consumers. As a result, over the past 30 years, NBQA researchers have made significant changes to the research, leading to an increasingly meaningful set of results.

Based on individual interviews with stakeholders from across the cattle industry as well as in-plant research, key findings for fed cattle from the 2022 NBQA include:

• Market segments no longer consider food safety as a purchasing criterion, but an expectation.

• When comparing 2016 and 2022 NBQAs, the largest improvement was overall increased efficiency across the beef supply chain.

• Market sectors indicated that their companies strive to increase their sustainability, and work with the entire beef supply chain to do so.

• The entire industry felt the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, nonetheless, beef proved to be a choice of consumers, and the industry persevered to provide products.

• Due to pandemic pressures, more cattle over 30 months of age were harvested.

• The beef industry’s image improved within fed cattle market sectors.

• Foreign materials continue to present a problem, but the industry is making strides to decrease incidence.

• There was an increase in usage of electronic identification (EID).

• There was an increase in the frequency of Prime and Choice quality grades, while Select decreased drastically.

• While the industry is improving the quality of beef being produced, that quality is being accompanied by an increase in carcass weight and fat thickness, as well as large increases in percentages of Yield Grade 4 and 5 carcasses.

The NBQA, conducted approximately every five years, provides an understanding of what quality means to the various industry sectors, and the value of those quality attributes. This research helps the industry make modifications necessary to increase the value of its products. The efforts of the findings from the 2022 NBQA serve to improve quality, minimize economic loss, and aid in advancements in producer education for the U.S. beef industry. For more information about the 2022 National Beef Quality Audit, visit

March Pork Exports Largest in Nearly Two Years; Beef Exports Show Signs of Rebound

March exports of U.S. pork were the largest since May 2021, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). While below last year’s high volume, March beef exports were the largest since October.

Mexico is the pacesetter, but pork exports strengthen in several regions

March pork exports totaled 260,195 metric tons (mt), up 17% year-over-year and the ninth largest volume on record. Export value was also ninth largest at $724 million, up 18% from a year ago. These results capped a strong first quarter for U.S. pork as exports reached 716,691 mt, up 14% from a year ago, valued at $1.96 billion (up 15%).

For Mexico, March pork exports were the second largest on record, while shipments to the Dominican Republic and Malaysia were record-large. Exports also increased to South Korea, Japan, China/Hong Kong, the Philippines, Australia and Taiwan.

“It’s great to see U.S. pork exports continue to expand in many of our Western Hemisphere markets, but there is also notable momentum in the Asia Pacific,” said USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom. “With consumer activity in the region rebounding toward pre-COVID levels and U.S. pork very competitively priced compared to European product, 2023 holds excellent potential for broad-based growth.”

Beef exports improving after slow start to the year

Beef exports totaled 120,495 mt in March, down 5% from a year ago. Export value fell 17% to $892.6 million, but both volume and value were the highest in five months. Through the first quarter, beef exports were down 8% year-over-year to 326,494 mt, valued at $2.35 billion (down 22%).

March beef exports to Mexico were well above last year, while export growth to the Caribbean was highlighted by a record month for the Dominican Republic. Exports also increased yearover-year to the Philippines, while beef variety meat demand strengthened in South Africa and Peru. March exports to South Korea were below last year but were the largest in 10 months, while exports to China/Hong Kong were the largest since October.

“U.S. beef exports faced considerable headwinds late last year and at the beginning of 2023, but the March results show some encouraging trends,” Halstrom said. “Most Asian markets showed renewed momentum in March, while exports continued to trend higher to Mexico, the Caribbean and South Africa.”

March lamb export volume lower, but value increases

March exports of U.S. lamb muscle cuts totaled 218 mt, down 5% from a year ago, but export value still climbed 11% higher to $1.4 million. First quarter exports increased 35% to 664 mt, valued at $3.7 million (up 23%). First quarter lamb exports to Mexico were the largest since 2017, while exports also increased to the Netherlands Antilles, the Bahamas, Guatemala and Taiwan.

A detailed summary of the first quarter export results for U.S. beef, pork and lamb, including market-specific highlights, is available from the USMEF website.

June • Cow Country • 15

FEBRUARY 1, 1981

KBCA Office Moves to Lexington

JANUARY 28, 1982

Livestock Farmers beef up their advertising

After being the meat and potatoes of American eating for years, beef is beginning to feel the bite of a recession that's changed tastes. For five years consumption figures for poultry and pork have crept up as beef consumption slid down. Now the beef industry has decided to fight back. Next month the national organization, the Beef Council of the National Livestock and Meat Board, will begin its largest nationwide advertising campaign ever to promote a product that it really never had to promote before.

JULY 8, 1981

Kentucky Beef Cattle Association Names Executive Secretary

The Kentucky Beef Cattle Association's board of directors voted unanimously to hire a new executive secretary. The organization had been without a permanent executive secretary for several months since the resignation of Jack Crowner and the relocation of the office from Louisville to Lexington. Garland Bastin will assume his new responsibilities about Sept 1 according to John Masters of Mayslick president of KBCA


Great Kentucky Cookout featured at State Fair


Changed the name of its official state publication. The Freeman Publishing Co of Nashville assumed printing responsibilities for the news magazine from the Livestock Breeders Journal. The name of the magazine, which publishes six issues a year, will be changed from The Kentucky Cattleman to Kentucky Beef Producer.

The new address was at 366 Waller Avenue, Suite 100 in Lexington 1981

Fairgoers will have the chance to a feast of family style food prepared outdoors at the Great Kentucky Cookout at the Kentucky State Fair. The cookout, sponsored by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and several farming organizations, will be located in the grassy area in front of Broadbent Arena, near the entrance to the midway. "Delicious family-style food is a tradition in Kentucky," said Agriculture Commissioner Alben W. Barkley II. "And what better place than the Kentucky State Fair to showcase Kentucky food products."


JANUARY 13, 1983

USDA feeder calf grading system to be considered by KBCA

If a new grading system is approved next month at the Kentucky Beef Cattle Association meeting in Louisville, local beef producers will find their cattle being grouped according to frame size and thickness when sold. Dr. John Johns, extension beef cattle specialist with the University of Kentucky, says the proposal, if adopted by KBCA on Feb. 15, will bring Kentucky's feeder cattle grading system in compliance with those of most other states in the U.S

MARCH, 1984

First computerized mailing list for KBCA


KCA office moved to Suite 110 at the same address

MARCH 4, 1985

Kentucky’s cattle herds fall to lowest levels in years

The number of cattle and cattle farms in Kentucky has declined drastically during the past decade. The Jan 1 inventory of all cows and calves is the lowest since 1967 and the number of milk cows on Kentucky farms is the lowest since 1869, according to the Crop and Livestock Reporting Service. Severe droughts and winters also contributed to the decline of cattle numbers. Total cow and calf numbers peaked in the state in 1975 at 3.75 million head, which caused an oversupply and depressed prices so that they covered only about half the cost of production. By Jan 1 of this year the number of all cattle had dropped 31 percent to 2.58 million head. The last time the figure fell below 2.6 million was in 1967 when the count was 2.54 million.

APRIL 1985

Kentucky Board of Agriculture Approved Application to conduct a $.15 cent checkoff increase. Referendum set to July 12, 1985

MAY 1985

Second meeting of Kentucky Young Cattlemen's Club, aimed at youth under 25 years of age. Advisors were Nelson Curry and Dr. Curtis Absher

JULY 23, 1985

State beef cattlemen OK increase in promotion fee


In what turned out to be an issue that attracted very little voter interest Kentucky, cattlemen have approved a 150 percent increase in the assessment they pay for promotion of beef products. The July 12 referendum calling for an increase from 10 cents to 25 cents in the checkoff fee per head of cattle sold passed with 1,255 votes to 708 votes, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture reported. However the turnout represented less than 3 percent of the eligible voters. The new checkoff fee goes into effect on Sept 1. Based on last market figures the 25 cent assessment should generate roughly $350,000, a $210,000 increase, Bastin said. Everyone licensed to operate a livestock market, as well as operators of meat packing or slaughter establishments, are required to deduct the assessment from purchase prices.


Garland Bastin Retires

Ben Earle Hired as new Executive Secretary of KBCA (served through Sept 14, 1987)

President signs into law a new long-term farm policy

President Ronald Reagan last week signed into law a new long term farm policy. Major provisions of the bill follow. A beef promotion board is established to administer a beef promotion program. The program will be funded by a $1 per head checkoff at the point of sale, including imported beef. A credit of up to 50 cents per head is provided for assessments paid to state beef councils. Provisions are also made for refunds to producers to importers. The programs will begin as soon as practicable, and a referendum of beef producers must be held within 22 months of the beginning of the program.

June • Cow Country • 17
1983 1985 1984
Redesign of the KBCA logo to incorporate The Better Beef Producers First time KBCA participated in the Kentucky State Fair Cookout for the duration of the fair.

JANUARY 12, 1988

KBCA Hires New Executive Vice President, Bobby Freeman

MARCH 28, 1986

House Bill 748, increase the beef checkoff from 25 cents to 50 cents as long as the federal $1 beef checkoff remains in effect.

MARCH 30, 1986

House Bill 504, which requires that half the checkoff fee paid by cattle farmers be used in Kentucky to advertise and promote Kentucky’s beef products.

MAY 27, 1986

Disease threat hinders sale of Kentucky cattle

Brucellosis infects hundreds of cattle herds in Kentucky each year and downgrades the state's cattle to a Grade B status that hinders trade, officials said. Kentucky ranks 13th nationally in the number of cattle and calves. However, it also has the 7th highest percentage of herds infected with brucellosis, which is a bacterial infection that causes cows to abort.

The reputation is especially disturbing to cattlemen because nearly all the states that surround Kentucky are virtually free of the highly contagious disease, and their cattle are classified as Class A. "If you're the only state in a region, you're going to have trouble competing with your neighbors," said Bob Brewer, a Mercer County farmer who is secretary-treasurer of the Kentucky Beef Cattle Association.


beef checkoff

Beef and pork research and promotion programs authorized by the farm law will start this fall. Beef checkoff will begin October 1. The pork checkoff starts November 1. The beef checkoff will be $1 per head and the pork checkoff, 50 cents per animal.


Beef check-off going smoothly

MARCH 5, 1987

First meeting to organize the Kentucky Cattlewomen’s Association held Attendees met during the Kentucky Beef Expo to resurrect the defunct Kentucky Cowbelles as the Kentucky Cattlewomen’s Association


Kentucky Cattlewomen’s Officers Elected

During the KBCA Annual Convention the Cattlewomen’s elected their officers, approved bylaws and developed a major promotion/ education project

JUNE 4, 1988

First Kentucky Beef Cook-off Hosted by the Kentucky Cattlewomen’s Association

The event was held in Jessamine County and the winner was Adelia Redmon of Frankfort with a Roast Beef Tenderloin dish, who then went on to compete in the National Cook-Off.

JUNE 1988

Kentucky beef producers vote to keep checkoff promotion

More than 87 percent of Kentucky's cattle producers in the recent beef cattle checkoff referendum voted in favor of continuing the $1 checkoff for beef promotion, education and research. That means that $1 from each head of cattle sold in Kentucky will be used to promote beef to the consumer, for educational programs in nutrition and research on new product development. Nelson Gay, coordinator of the Kentucky referendum and associate chairman of the animal sciences department at University of Kentucky, said he was pleased but not surprised at the positive voter turnout in Kentucky. The state's 87.2 percentage approving the checkoff significantly exceeded the national average of 78.9 percent. The most visible part of the checkoff funds program, which is administered by the Nat'l Beef Board, has been the "Beef, Real Food "for Real People," national advertising campaign that featured actor James Garner and Cybill Shepherd

The first month of the $1 a head check-off for all beef cattle has gone smoothly, according to Curtis Absher, University of Kentucky Extension beef specialist. The check-off, a provision of the 1985 Beef Promotion and Research Art, requires that $1 be withheld from the sale price of all beef cattle, regardless of the size or type of operation from which the cattle were sent to market, and set aside to fund beef promotion, research, and consumer information. "Half the money this new program generates will remain here in Kentucky to support promotional and informational efforts by the Kentucky Beef Cattle Association. The other half of the money will go to the National Cattlemen's Association to fund TV commercials and advertising campaigns at the national level to inform consumers of the benefits of beef in their diet," Absher said. Carta Nichols, also a UK Extension beef cattle specialist, said the program is a valuable one. "The beef industry needs this program. It takes money to get a message to the public these days, and the beef industry definitely has a message it needs to get to the public. There has been a lot said lately about beef in the American diet, and while most of it may be well meaning, not all of it is accurate," Nichols said. The program is administered by cattlemen, and the law creating it limits administrative costs to no more than five percent of the money collected. "It's a -good program, and a needed program. Who's going to promote beef if beef producers don't?" Nichols said.

NOVEMBER 13, 1988

Organization looks out for concerns of beef industry

The beef cattle industry in Kentucky is one of the oldest continuous agricultural enterprises in the state. In fact, the purebred segment of the industry is traced to Bluegrass statesman Henry Clay, who imported the first high-quality breeding stock from England in the early 1800s. Maintaining that level of excellence has been a goal of Kentucky beef producers ever since, and it is a goal today of the Kentucky Beef Cattle Association as it strives to serve the state's more than 60,000 beef producers.

That's one of the reasons the association has launched the first membership drive in its history, reaching out into every beef-producing county, which covers almost all 120. Another very important reason is that, more than ever, Kentucky's beef producers need their own voice in Frankfort. Every year fewer and fewer legislators elected to the General Assembly have an agricultural background. This is also true in Washington with the Congress. Consequently, the percentage of legislators who understand the beef cattle industry and agriculture overall is declining, while the percentage of urban-oriented legislators is rising

18 • Cow Country • June 1986 1987 1988


Many members think the Association should have its own building so member Dell King initiated a “Building Fund” with a $1000 donation at the KBCA Annual Convention.

MARCH 1989

Brucellosis Eradication was a top priorty for the KBCA in the 1980’s in Kentucky. KY was moved back to an A federal ranking in 1989 after a decade of working on the issue.

Other areas KBCA focused on were:

• Performance Tested Bull Sales

• Feeder Cattle Sales

• Heifer Sales Booming in late 1980’s led by county associations

• Checkoff Referendums

Growth of the Association and Annual Dues:

1981 - $2

Feb. 1982 – Promotion Division Report given by Larry Graham recommended immediate steps be taken to encourage the organization or county units; that the Bylaws be changed whereby these newly formed units could have a voice in the affairs of the Association.

1984 – more counties joining

1982 – 1,067 members

January 1, 1983 – Membership dues increase to $5

December 1985 – approximately 1,600 members

1988 – 2,339 members, from 45 organized county associations, 6 Livestock Improvement groups and 8 Feeder Calf Associations

1989 – 3,250 members



June • Cow Country • 19
more in our July issue, as we explore KCA history into the 1990s!
KBCA moves to its new location at 733 Red Mile Road in Lexington, KY

Finding the Cause for Abortions and Stillbirths in Cattle Why is it still so Difficult?

Determining the cause of abortions and stillbirths in cattle remains a significant challenge for veterinary diagnostic laboratories, despite vast improvements in the diagnostic tests used to detect infectious organisms. Most studies find that only 20-50% of abortion cases submitted are “solved”, meaning the first initiating event resulting in the death of the fetus was found and answered “why” the calf died. Diagnosis of the cause of an abortion is exceptionally challenging because characteristic visible clues in the fetus are rare, sample tissues are often rotting and unsuitable for examination, and the most important tissue for analysis, the placenta, is seldom submitted. Instead, veterinary diagnostic laboratories can often recognize the final mechanism resulting in death of a fetus or calf, such as anoxia (lack of oxygen) or trauma, that answers “how” it died. Veterinarians understand the limitations of abortion diagnostics and are best suited to help the producer determine if and when an investigation is warranted and to submit the appropriate samples. Abortion outbreaks can cause serious economic losses, so it is of value to identify potential causes and how to reduce or eliminate them. For some producers, a single pregnancy loss may trigger an investigation while for others, multiple losses need to occur before calling a veterinarian. A loss of 2% for abortions is often quoted as “acceptable” but this figure usually does not include unobserved early losses. Most often, a cluster of cases within a short time span is the most important tipping point to begin an investigation. No matter the situation, the chances of a successful diagnosis increase with the right input from the producer, veterinarian, and the diagnostic laboratory.

“Reproductive failure” is a term used when a cow fails to get pregnant, loses a calf during pregnancy, or the calf dies within 48 hours after calving. Unfortunately, there is a lot of variation in the vocabulary used by scientists, veterinarians, and producers for the events that make up “reproductive failure”. For clarity in this article, “embryonic death” is defined as death of the embryo up to 45 days but, with pregnancy detection now possible much earlier, this may be classified into early and late embryonic death. These early losses often go unnoticed and result in open females or an extended calving season. “Abortion” is defined as expulsion of a fetus between day 42 and day 260 of gestation, a timeframe defined as when the developing fetus could not survive outside the uterus (the limit of fetal independent viability). Females that abort from day 42–120 generally return to estrus either without a fetus being expelled because it was resorbed, or the expelled fetus was too small to observe. Abortions within the 120–260-day timeframe are also referred to as “observable abortions” because they are more

likely to be noticed by the producer. “Stillbirth” or “premature delivery” is expulsion of a nearterm to full-term fetus that is considered “viable”, so it is developed enough to survive outside the uterus. A “stillbirth” is generally defined as death of a full-term fetus before or during calving while a “perinatal mortality” is death immediately before, during or within 48 hours after calving. Although these distinctions may seem unimportant, they are diagnostically essential. Abortion investigations include gathering a thorough case history, and collecting samples from the dam, fetus and placenta for examination and testing. Stillbirth investigations include these elements but must also address non-infectious management issues such as how long the cow was in labor before assistance was given or potential trauma that occurred during or after birth. The causes for abortion in cattle can essentially be divided into non-infectious and infectious. Examples of non-infectious causes may be physical (trauma), nutritional deficiencies, genetic abnormalities that result in fetal death, and toxic agents such as nitrates. Infectious causes include bacterial, viral, protozoal and fungal agents such as the BVD virus, IBR virus, the protozoan Neospora caninum and the bacterium Leptospira borgpetersenii serovar Hardjo type hardjo-bovis, among many others. These agents either directly damage the fetus itself or, more commonly, damage the placenta resulting in suffocation of the fetus from lack of oxygen or starve it from lack of nutrients crossing to the fetus from the dam. Infectious organisms may arrive at their destination in the fetus and placenta through the bloodstream from the dam, known as the “hematogenous route”, or may ascend through the dam’s vagina and cervix to reach the placenta. If the infectious organisms colonize the placenta (called “placentitis”) and penetrate the amniotic fluid, the infected fluid is then swallowed by the fetus or inhaled into the lungs, resulting in fetal bronchopneumonia, gastroenteritis, and, in the case of fungi, a fungal dermatitis may develop. In addition, hematogenous spread may take the infectious organisms through the umbilical vessels and into the fetal liver then out to other organs by the vascular system, resulting in widespread organ infections such as hepatitis (liver infection), interstitial pneumonia (infection within the lung tissue) and nephritis (infection of the kidneys) in the fetus. If the fetus is not yet viable, abortion occurs. If viable (>260 days gestation) yet weak due to lack of oxygen and nutrients or is suffering from infection, the outcome may be a premature, stillborn or weak calf that dies shortly after birth. Successful diagnosis of abortion involves evaluation of the case history, submission of usable samples and accurate interpretation of laboratory results. Gathering relevant

information to assess the extent of the problem and to provide possible diagnostic clues is exceptionally important. The ages of the dams affected, the gestational age of abortions, the estimated abortion rate, any illness or disease problem in the dams, current diet, any recent changes including movement to a different location, new herd additions or feed changes, vaccination status, and any history of previous disease in the herd may help guide testing and aid in the diagnosis. The entire fetus with the placenta and a serum sample from the dam are the best specimens to submit to a veterinary diagnostic laboratory for analysis at the time of the abortion. A complete necropsy examination on the fetus and placenta will then be performed to determine any visible abnormalities present and possibly establish the time of death (before, during or after birth) for full-term calves found dead. Tissues from the placenta and fetal organs are then submitted for histopathology, an examination at the cellular level under the microscope. Fresh placenta and organ tissues as well as fetal stomach contents and fetal heart blood are tested for bacterial, viral, protozoal and/or fungal agents by various methods. The blood sample from the dam may help determine exposure to a pathogen (infectious organism) by measuring her antibody levels but usually cannot differentiate between antibodies produced due to previous vaccination or a natural exposure. To improve interpretation, a second blood sample from the dam may be drawn 3-6 weeks later (the convalescent sample) to help identify a rising number of antibodies to a particular organism. In the same way, measuring antibody levels in fetal fluids can be indicative of an active immune response, if the fetus was old enough to produce antibodies.

By far, the most important reason for failure to diagnose an infectious cause of an abortion is the lack of placenta submitted for analysis. It is the most significant tissue involved in abortion and without it, the odds of success go down dramatically. As mentioned previously, infection in the placenta (“placentitis”), disrupts oxygen transport, nutritional support, and the hormone and growth factors needed by the fetus. A normal placenta is thin and transparent in the areas between the dark, red-brown cotyledons (see Figure 1). Placentitis may cause cotyledons to appear discolored, rotten, with areas of hemorrhage and the tissue in-between may be opaque, reddened, and thickened (see Figure 2). Although the placenta may be found in the pasture dirty, covered in mud and manure, frozen, and half-eaten, the superficial contamination can be rinsed away in the lab and the placenta spread out to look for any abnormal areas. Unfortunately, if the fetus and placenta were retained in the uterus for an extended

20 • Cow Country • June

time after death, the tissues may be macerated (soft), mummified (dried), or autolytic (rotten), making them difficult to impossible to use for testing. Ideally, every sample would be tested for every possible infectious agent, but financial considerations dictate selective ordering of appropriate tests, based on the case history and sample quality.

Beyond the diagnostic problems presented by poor sample quality and lack of placenta, what is often overlooked is that a diagnosis that can’t be found, even from good samples. There are numerous causes of perinatal mortality that are not related to a certain organism, or the organism is long gone due to the lag time between infection and death. Most final abortion/stillborn necropsy reports from a vet diagnostic lab include language regarding signs of “fetal stress” or “fetal anoxia” in the submitted animal, meaning the fetus was not getting enough oxygen and began struggling, breathing harder and faster, resulting in aspiration of any fluid type present in the nose or mouth being inhaled down into the lungs. “Meconium staining” is another sign of fetal stress due to meconium (the first feces) being expelled early, most often during a delayed birth, mixing with the uterine fluids and staining the calf yellow. These signs of fetal stress may be due to prolonged stage 1 or stage 2 of labor, a very large calf, a malpresentation, premature placental separation, and many other possibilities. Fetal anoxia may also be due to maternal hypoxia, meaning the dam’s blood is low in oxygen from a disease such as an active case of anaplasmosis or from a toxin such as nitrate so there is not enough oxygen from the dam to support fetal life. Remember that working with your veterinarian, submitting a fresh fetus

and placenta to a veterinary diagnostic laboratory, and providing as much information as possible to the lab is your best chance to determine an underlying cause of why a calf died.

Preventive Practices to Decrease the Risk of Reproductive Failure:

1. Always provide good nutrition-Providing forage, supplemental feed, trace mineral and clean water to meet nutritional needs and of sufficient quality and quantity to always maintain good body condition scores.

2. Vaccinate for diseases known to cause abortion, including BVD and IBR viruses, Leptospirosis and Vibriosis.

3. Prior to breeding season, test for venereal disease in bulls and have a breeding soundness exam performed. Veterinarians will check scrotal circumference and the reproductive tract for any signs of abnormalities, and the semen for motility and defects. Bulls should be monitored for excessive weight loss and illness. Heat detection, breeding attempts, and semen quality will be reduced in bulls that are under-conditioned or sick. Lameness and pinkeye can be important causes of poor pregnancy rates on pasture as bulls are less likely to seek out cows in heat. Frequent observation of bulls during the breeding season is important to detect any inability to mount or successfully breed that might be caused by injuries to the bull’s legs, back or penis. This is particularly vital in single bull breeding pastures. Injured bulls, if detected, can be replaced before too much time is lost from the breeding season.

4. Avoid contamination of cattle feed and water

sources with feces or urine from other cattle, wild animals, dogs, cats, and waterfowl. This includes surface runoff into water sources such as ponds.

5. New Purchases:

a. Buy from someone you trust-Ask for health records and a complete herd history of any disease problems. Ask questions regarding preventive health measures such as what and when vaccines and dewormers were given and how they were administered.

b. Quarantine all new additions away from home herds for a minimum of 30 days. Blood test for Johne’s, BVD PI, Neospora, and possibly Anaplasmosis; consult your veterinarian for appropriate recommendations. Vaccinate and deworm while in quarantine. Best to not mix new cattle in cow-calf herd until calving season is over. If new additions are pregnant when purchased, strongly recommend testing their calves for BVD-PI shortly after birth.

6. Frequent monitoring of the calving process is the first step in early identification of calving difficulty. Checking the cows that are close to calving at least twice daily and heifers three times per day at minimum is recommended. It is best to separate the heifers from the mature cows and keep heifers in an area where there are working facilities close by to allow restraint and assistance. Pregnant females close to calving will show enlargement of the vulva, the pelvic ligaments at the hips will “sink in”, there is enlargement of the udder, and the teats will become engorged with colostrum.

June • Cow Country • 21
Figure 1: Normal Bovine Placenta (Accessed from the Drost Project on 5/16/2023 at Figure 2: Placentitis. Cotyledons are tan with hemorrhages and the intercotyledonary portions of the placenta are opaque and thickened. (Photo obtained from wsc_showcase2.php?id=451)


WASHINGTON (April 26, 2023) – Today, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) once again announced opposition to the Processing Revival and Intrastate Meat Exemption (PRIME) Act introduced by Reps. Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Chellie Pingree (D-ME). The legislation would allow beef processed in a non-U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspected facility to be distributed interstate, posing a threat to food safety and consumer trust in beef.

“NCBA is in favor of reducing regulatory burdens, but not at the expense of food safety,” said NCBA President Todd Wilkinson, a South Dakota cattle producer. “While the PRIME Act is well intentioned, allowing uninspected beef to enter the retail market is dangerous to consumers.”

NCBA is supportive of federal and state meat inspection efforts and has previously supported legislation like the DIRECT Act that would allow state-inspected beef to be sold interstate in limited quantities, direct-to-consumer, and through e-commerce. Unlike the PRIME Act, these measures would create the necessary paper trail to trace and contain any potential food safety concerns.


WASHINGTON (May 18, 2023) – Today, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) announced support for H.R. 3419/S. 1666, the Foreign Animal Disease Prevention, Surveillance, and Rapid Response Act of 2023. This bipartisan and bicameral legislation would continue making critical investments in foreign animal disease response programs currently overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The bill was introduced in the Senate by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), John Cornyn (R-TX), and Joni Ernst (R-IA) and in the House by Reps. Ronny Jackson (R-TX), Angie Craig (D-MN), Jim Costa (D-CA), Don Bacon (R-NE), and Don Davis (D-NC).

“The threat of a foreign animal disease outbreak in the United States represents an existential threat to every cattle producer. It would also threaten this nation’s food and national security. We must act now to ensure we are prepared to combat a potential crisis before it happens,” said NCBA President Todd Wilkinson, a South Dakota cattle producer. “As a cattle producer, it is reassuring to see bipartisan support for legislation like the Foreign Animal Disease Prevention, Surveillance, and Rapid Response Act, which will help our industry prepare for, and ultimately prevent a national crisis.”

The Foreign Animal Disease Prevention, Surveillance, and Rapid Response Act would provide additional funding for three important animal health programs established through the 2018 Farm Bill including the National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank (NAVVCB), the National Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Program (NADPRP), and the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN).

“Together, the vaccine bank, NADPRP, and laboratory network form a ‘three-legged stool’ that represents our strategy for protecting the cattle and beef industry from a foreign animal disease outbreak,” said Tom Portillo, D.V.M, chairman of NCBA’s Cattle Health and Well Being Committee. “To protect the cattle industry, Congress must provide adequate funding for each of these three important programs.”

In addition to NCBA, this legislation is supported by our state affiliates across the country.


WASHINGTON (May 10, 2023) – Today, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) reiterated support for the Direct Interstate Retail Exemption for Certain Transactions (DIRECT) Act, introduced by Sens. Roger Marshall (R-KS) and Peter Welch (D-VT), to expand marketing opportunities for smaller meat processors.

“American consumers are buying beef in new ways, whether it is directly from local farms and ranches or online through e-commerce,” said NCBA President-Elect Mark Eisele, a Wyoming cattle producer. “The DIRECT Act allows smaller processors to sell beef in different and innovative ways, supporting cattle producers while also ensuring the safety of our product. NCBA is proud to support the DIRECT Act, and we thank Sens. Marshall and Welch for their efforts to strengthen the cattle and beef industry.”

The DIRECT Act would allow state-inspected meat processors to sell beef across state lines, in limited quantities and through e-commerce, direct to consumers. Many of these marketing methods increased in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic and consumers have recognized the convenience of buying local beef online. Most importantly, the DIRECT Act protects food safety by ensuring a paper trail exists for tracing and containing potential food safety issues.

22 • Cow Country • June LEGISLATIVE
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Fight the Animal Rights Groups Infiltrating Our Industry

Over the past few weeks, I have seen news articles and social media posts lying about our industry, attacking our association, and endangering the programs that generations of farmers and ranchers worked hard to establish—and I am fed up. This week, a group of animal rights activists and those who do their bidding sent a letter to Congress in support of the deceptively named “Opportunities for Fairness in Farming” or OFF Act. Well let’s call it what it really is: the Obliterating Family Farms Act. The bill is nothing but an attack on cattle producers who have worked hard to build a program that promotes our wholesome American beef while also strengthening our family farms and ranches. The unholy alliance that supported this letter is stunning: Animals Are Sentient Beings, Inc., a group that says because of animals’ feelings we should no longer eat meat; Attorneys for Animals, a law firm that sues to treat animals as individuals; Four Paws, a group trying to end livestock hauling in Europe; Mercy for Animals, whose mission is ending “the exploitation of animals for food." Also included are groups that claim to support producers but have turned their

backs on our industry by hiring animal rights activists like former Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) staffers Joe Maxwell and Angela Huffman. R-CALF has even joined this dubious group, hoping again to use an alliance with animal rights activists to tear down the Checkoff. How can anyone who raises livestock or eats meat put their name on the same letter as groups that dream about seeing our farms and ranches shut down for good? At the same time, we have seen animal rights activists infiltrating conservative organizations like FreedomWorks. The new Chief Operating Officer of FreedomWorks is Marty Irby and before he took up his latest post, he worked for the disgraced leader of the Human Society of the United States, the animal rights activist group Animal Wellness Action, and the Center for a Humane Economy. Irby is no friend of animal agriculture, and he has turned FreedomWorks into a lobbying machine for the OFF Act and for ending our way of life.

Proponents of the OFF Act say it’s about reform, oversight and saving family farms and ranches, but make no mistake, that’s completely false. One part of the OFF Act being about reform and oversight that

really irritates me is that we’ve already been down this road. In 2021, cattle producers overwhelmingly denied a referendum to end the Checkoff, and the legality and implementation of this vital program has been upheld by multiple courts. The agenda behind passing the OFF Act is about undermining the producers who direct the Beef Checkoff program, stopping critical research, education and promotion, and anti-meat animal rights activists using government regulation to kill our industry with a thousand cuts.

I want all cattle producers to know about this latest attempt at extremists trying to hijack our industry and livelihoods. Don’t align yourself with groups that say they have your future in mind but back politicians and activists who think our way of life is morally wrong.

We need to reject the activist groups pushing for the OFF Act and I hope you give your member of Congress an earful about why they should say no to activists and say NO to the OFF Act.

Todd Wilkinson is a cattle producer from South Dakota and the president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

June • Cow Country • 23

Managing Cool-Season Pastures for Enhanced Fall Growth

Although it seems early to be thinking about stockpiling cool-season grasses for winter grazing, how we manage pastures this summer, can have a profound impact on fall growth. Grazing close and frequently this summer will decrease the pasture’s ability to grow as temperatures moderate and late summer rains come. The objective of this article is to provide some tips that will help to keep cool-season pastures healthy this summer, positioning them for rapid fall growth.

Fertilize and lime according to soil test. If you have not already done it, take a soil sample and apply any needed phosphorous, potassium, and lime. Avoid summer applications of nitrogen to cool-season pastures. They are generally not economical since cool-season grass growth is limited by high temperature during the summer months. In addition, they can inadvertently weaken cool-season grass stands by promoting the growth of warmseason species in cool-season pastures. Do NOT graze cool-season pastures too closely. Grazing pastures closely during the summer months can weaken cool-season grass stands and promote the growth of warm-season grasses such as bermudagrass or crabgrass in these stands. There is nothing wrong with warm-season grasses, but we want to minimize them in pastures that will be stockpiled for winter grazing. Maintaining 4 to 6 inches of residual forage in cool-season pastures can also moderate the temperature of not only the soil, but also the crown of the plant. In addition, leaving adequate residual can help to conserve soil moisture.

Rest cool-season pastures during the summer month. Resting pastures during the summer months allows them to acclimate to the hot and dry conditions often found in Kentucky. It allows plants to replenish and maintain stored carbohydrates (energy reserves) that can be mobilized in late summer and fall to full rapid growth during the stockpiling period.

Graze warm-season grasses during the summer months. During the summer months, warm-season grasses will produce about twice as much dry matter per unit of water used when compared to cool-season grasses. The beauty of warm-season grasses is that they allow you to get off of cool-season pastures when they are most susceptible to overgrazing.

There are a number of perennial warm-season grasses that can used, but in western Kentucky

the most productive, persistent, and tolerant to close and frequent grazing is bermudagrass. Johsongrass is another warm-season perennial grass that can provide high quality summer grazing. I am going on record to make clear that I am NOT encouraging anyone to plant johnsongrass, but sometimes it is just there. Because johnsongrass is extremely palatable, it can be grazed out of pastures if not rotationally stocked.

Warm-season annual grasses like pearl millet, sorghum-sudangrass, sudangrass, and crabgrass can provide high quality summer grazing. As mentioned last month, the economics of using annuals in grazing systems is questionable at best. They make the most sense when using them as part of a pasture renovation sequence in which they serve as a


transition crop between two perennial coolseason sods.

Feed hay in sacrifice area. During the summer months, it is tempting to just open the gates up and let the cattle free range. However, a better plan is to confine animals to the weakest paddock that you have and feed hay. You will likely damage this paddock, but it will allow you to maintain strong and vigorous sod in the others. This sacrifice area can then be renovated in late fall.

When it comes to stockpiling cool-season grasses for winter grazing, what you do during the summer months really does matter! So as we roll into the hottest and driest part of the grazing season, make sure and give your coolseason pastures a little tend loving care. It will pay big dividends this fall!

This month’s featured publication is Managing Risk in Grazing Operations by Chris Teutch and Kenny Burdine. It can be found at or by visiting your local extension office.


This month’s featured video is Repairing Drought Stressed Pastures. This video can be viewed at or going to the KYForages YouTube Channel


Install cutoff switches to isolate fence sections. Cutoff switches can be used to isolate fence sections trouble shooting and maitenance. They should be installed at gates or crossings. They can also be used to isolate lower strands of fence that cross flooded creeks or become weeded in late spring. Choose high quality swithces constructed of UV stabilized plastic.


• Clip pastures for weeds and seedheads as needed.

• Rotate to new pastures when grazed down to 4-5 inches.

• Do NOT mow hayfields closer than 3-4 inches.

• Use temporary electric fencing to increase paddock numbers allowing for longer rest periods during the summer months.

• Start grazing summer annual grasses when they have reached a height of at least 18 inches and stop at 8-10 inches.

• Consider managing naturally occurring warm-season grasses such as crabgrass, bermudagrass, and Johnsongrass for summer grazing.

• Scout pastures for summer annual weeds that have germinated and control with the appropriate herbicide when they are still small.

24 • Cow Country • June

Commissioner Quarles, Kentucky Cattle Producers Celebrate May as Beef Month


FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 1, 2023) – Kentucky cattle producers and industry representatives joined Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Dr. Ryan Quarles Monday as he signed a proclamation commemorating the month of May as Kentucky Beef Month.

“With 895,000 head of beef cattle in the commonwealth, Kentucky remains the state with the largest beef inventory east of the Mississippi River,” Commissioner Quarles said. “2022 was a tough year for farmers across our state with high production costs and weather issues that created tornadoes, floods, and droughts, but our beef producers rallied through the issues. I ask that Kentuckians join me in recognizing their effort, hard work, and perseverance as we celebrate May as Kentucky Beef Month.”

The United States is the world's largest producer of beef, primarily high-quality, grainfed beef. Kentucky boasts the eighth largest in the nation. According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Kentucky is home to 38,000 beef cattle producers of the 73,500 total farms in the state.

The January 2023 numbers for beef cows are down 4 percent from 2022, due mainly to a combination to widespread drought last year, high production costs, and high cull cow prices. The impacts of combined

issues resulted in large decreases in beef cow numbers nationally and on a state level. Despite these issues, the value of this sector means the state’s cattle industry is still a major contributor to the state’s overall economy. According to information from UK’s annual ag economic outlook, the state’s cattle industry represents 13 percent of an estimated $8 billion in ag cash receipts for 2022.

In 2022, Kentucky produced approximately 727 million pounds of beef valued at $1.01 billion. Beef cattle sales accounted for approximately $1.10 billion in cash receipts to Kentucky producers in 2022 – the first time cash receipts have exceeded $1 billion since 2014 – and gross income of $1.11

The top five Kentucky counties for number of beef cattle in 2022 included:

BARREN – 34,000

PULASKI – 29,500

MADISON – 25,000


WARREN – 21,500 (tie)

BOURBON – 21,500 (tie)

billion. Cattle cash receipts ranks fifth among Kentucky commodities and account for 13 percent of total cash receipts.

“Kentucky is home to more than 38,000 beef farm families who depend on consumers for our livelihood,” said Andy Bishop, Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association president. “As we celebrate Beef Month I encourage you to not only enjoy beef, but get to know a farmer who is working hard to feed your family and theirs.”

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture has worked to recognize the importance of beef producers, and through the Department’s Office of Agricultural Policy, 38 Kentucky meat processors have been awarded $9,520,471 from the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund (KADF). Included was $4,753,825 from the Meat Processing Investment Program, $2,766,646 in Kentucky Agricultural Finance Corp. loans, and $2 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. The KADF has also invested more than $20 million in the Kentucky Beef Network since its inception.

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture also helps producers find new markets for their cattle, conducts beef cattle shows, tracks market prices, and protects Kentucky’s herds from disease. To find out more about the department’s services, go to

June • Cow Country • 25

Scientists Use Gene-Editing Technology to Produce First Calf Resistant to Major Viral Disease

CLAY CENTER, Neb., May 9, 2023—

Scientists have collaborated to produce the first gene-edited calf with resistance to bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV), a virus that costs the U.S. cattle sector billions of dollars annually.

The recent study published in PNAS Nexus results from a collaboration between the USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the University of Nebraska–Lincoln (UNL), the University of Kentucky, and industry partners, Acceligen and Recombinetics, Inc.

BVDV is one of the most significant viruses affecting the health and well-being of cattle worldwide, and researchers have been studying it since the 1940s when it was first recognized. This virus does not affect humans but is highly contagious among cattle and can cause severe respiratory and intestinal diseases.

BVDV can be disastrous to pregnant cows because it can infect developing calves, causing spontaneous abortions and low birth rates. Some infected calves survive to birth and remain infected for life, shedding massive amounts of virus to other cattle. Despite more than 50 years of vaccine availability,

controlling BVDV disease remains a problem since vaccines are not always effective in stopping transmission.

However, over the past 20 years, the scientific community discovered the main cellular receptor (CD46) and the area where the virus binds to that receptor, causing infection in cows. Scientists modified the virus binding site in this recent study to block infection.

Aspen Workman, lead author and researcher at ARS' U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (USMARC) in Clay Center, Nebraska, said, "Our objective was to use gene-editing technology to slightly alter CD46 so it wouldn't bind the virus yet would retain all its normal bovine functions."

The scientists first tested this idea in cell culture. After seeing promising outcomes in the laboratory, Acceligen edited cattle skin cells to develop embryos carrying the altered gene. These embryos were transplanted into surrogate cows to test whether this approach might also reduce virus infection in live animals.

It worked, and the first CD46 gene-edited calf, named Ginger, was born healthy on July

19, 2021. The calf was observed for several months and then later challenged with the virus to determine if she could become infected. She was housed for a week with a BVDV-infected dairy calf that was born shedding virus. Ginger's cells displayed significantly reduced susceptibility to BVDV, which resulted in no observable adverse health effects.

The scientists will continue to closely observe Ginger's health and ability to produce and raise her own calves.

This proof-of-concept study demonstrates the possibility of reducing the burden of BVDV-associated diseases in cattle by gene editing. The edited calf also represents another potential opportunity to lessen the need for antibiotics in agriculture since BVDV infection also puts calves at risk for secondary bacterial diseases. This promising trait is still in the research phase and no associated beef is entering the U.S. food supply at this time.

The Agricultural Research Service is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific in-house research agency. Daily, ARS focuses on solutions to agricultural problems affecting America. Each dollar invested in U.S. agricultural research results in $20 of economic impact.

26 • Cow Country • June

New State Veterinarian Named

FRANKFORT, KY (May 9, 2022) – The Kentucky State Board of Agriculture (SBOA) unanimously selected Dr. Steve Velasco III to serve as the new State Veterinarian at the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA).

“The role of Kentucky State Veterinarian is a critical one for the health of our agricultural animals across the state and the public at large,” said Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles, who serves as SBOA chairman. “Dr. Velasco’s vast experience sets him up to fulfill this task with great professionalism and skills. The Board has done a wonderful job in searching for the best candidate for this important position. We are excited for him to join our team and look forward to his contributions for the betterment of our agricultural sector.”

The State Veterinarian is an agent of the State Board of Agriculture and leads the KDA’s Office of State Veterinarian in its statutory and regulatory activities to prevent, control, and eradicate communicable diseases in the agricultural animal health sector.

Specific duties of the State Veterinarian include:

• Serve as the Executive Director of the Office of State Veterinarian;

• Oversee all functions of the Office of State Veterinarian;

• Ensure statutes and regulations are enforced;

• Participate on the Commissioner of Agriculture’s executive team;

• Advise the Commissioner on issues involving animal health and other issues as requested;

• Testify to legislative committees as requested;

• Serve as a liaison to livestock and poultry organizations and leaders; and

• Represent Kentucky with the United States Animal Health Association, the National Institute for Animal Agriculture, Southern Animal Health Association, and other animal health organizations.

A search committee established by the board recommended Dr. Velasco, of Corpus Christi, Texas, to the State Board of Agriculture. Dr. Velasco replaces Dr. Katie Flynn, who announced her resignation from the department in February.

“I’m excited to join the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, taking on the role as state veterinarian,” Dr. Velasco said. “My career has been focused on being an advocate for animal health and public awareness. I look forward to continuing that path as I join the dedicated and professional team at KDA and work with the wonderful animal industry throughout Kentucky.”

Dr. Velasco has served as a region director at the Texas Animal Health Commission, since

2020. In this role, he managed and directed regulatory programs, along with full time field and office staff. The role also required him to perform field work, as necessary; manage regional emergency disaster requirements; and perform outreach and educational programs for producers and the public, among other duties.

Dr. Velasco, born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, grew up participating in 4-H horsemanship and competing in high school rodeo. Upon graduation, Dr. Velasco attended The University of Texas at San Antonio where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry followed by a Master of Business Administration from The University of Texas at Austin. He later attended Texas A&M University where he received a Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Science and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine with an emphasis in large animals.

Dr. Velasco spent the first six years of his career as a racetrack veterinarian in Louisiana and Arkansas. In 2000, Dr. Velasco returned to South Texas where he spent the next 20 years at a large animal ambulatory practice, while also working in the equine sports medicine and stocker cattle industries, supporting 4-H and FFA programs, and providing veterinary services for wildlife.

Dr. Velasco has veterinary licenses in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Kentucky. He is expected to join KDA in mid-June.

June • Cow Country • 27

2023 Farm Bill Overview and Update

The 2023 Farm Bill debate continues to evolve in our nation’s capital amidst a lot of political challenges. The farm bill is a massive comprehensive piece of legislation covering everything from farm programs, conservation, rural development, forestry, trade promotion, nutrition, and even ag research and education. Generally, the farm bill comes before Congress every 5 years, with the current (2018) farm bill set to expire on September 30, 2023. Every farm bill is challenging, but this one will be a doozy to get to the finish line on time.

Initially, when the first farm bill originated as part of the New Deal programs of the 1930s, the focus was on programs to jump-start the depressed farm economy. Over time, additional topics, interest groups, and impacted participants have joined the farm bill debate. In reality, the farm bill has turned into a “food” bill as the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has projected that nutrition expenditures are projected to exceed 80% of the farm bill budget over the next ten years, with farm commodities, crop insurance, and conservation programs in aggregate comprising less than 15% of the farm bill pie (Figure 1)

1/ 2008, 2014, 2018, Farm Bills Based on CBO Estimates on Date of Enactment, 2023 Based on CBO Score February 2023

The challenging issue for this farm bill will be funding. This will be the first trillion-dollar farm bill with the budget set by an established CBO baseline of available dollars which cannot be increased without the approval of Congress. Nutrition supporters argue that the nation is still reeling from the effects of Covid, a potential emerging recession, and escalating grocery prices that are significantly impacting lowincome consumers. Opponents argue that in the midst of a tight labor supply, stronger work requirements for able-bodied adults are needed for low-income citizens to be eligible for food assistance within the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, i.e., food stamps). Farm group leaders contend that net farm income in the coming years will likely decline in response to continued inflated input costs amidst anticipated lower commodity prices. Others participating in the farm bill debate are looking at reducing spending within this piece of legislation given concerns over the pending debt ceiling issue and the overall growing national debt facing the U.S. government and taxpayers. The number one goal of most of the farm sector amidst the farm bill debate is protecting crop insurance. Other items that various farm organizations support are increasing the farm safety net amid inflated input prices, along with increased support for specialty crops, trade promotion programs, conservation programs, research, and rural development (yes, broadband again). Updating base acres or determining payments on planted acres has been discussed, along with the usual debate over means testing (based on income levels) for various farm programs benefits. These asks will require new dollars, which without additional funds becoming authorized by this divided Congress (a challenge) will require taking dollars from nutrition programs (another challenge) or other programs (again, a major challenge). Another big hurdle in passing a major piece of legislation like a farm bill is that almost ½ of the 118th Congress has NEVER been part of a farm bill debate.

The primary farm bill safety net component for crop farmers (primarily corn, wheat and soybeans for Kentucky) in the current farm bill are the Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) and the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs. These programs were established in the 2014 Farm Bill with eligible farmers having the option of selecting one of these two safety net programs. ARC-CO triggers payments on 85% of historical base acres if the county revenue for a given crop year falls below 86% of the benchmark revenue for the county-based program. [1] PLC triggers payments on 85% of historical base acres if the marketing year average price falls below an established price floor labeled as a reference price. The statutory reference price was established in the 2014 farm

bill (see Table below for Kentucky program crops). The 2018 Farm Bill introduced an escalator clause that allows a higher “effective” reference price up to a maximum of 115% of the statutory reference price. For 2023 corn, soybean, and wheat crops, the statutory reference price will remain the effective price floor. Relatively high commodity prices have resulted in no payments under these two programs in recent years and are projected to not come into play for 2023 grain crops. Some farm organizations are calling for a stronger safety net under these programs (either by increasing the statutory reference prices or the escalator percentage) as part of the 2023 Farm Bill debate, arguing that the price/ revenue protection provided by these programs was established almost ten years ago when input prices were significantly lower and when farmers didn’t face the geopolitical issues causing much uncertainty and volatility in ag markets as they do today.

The ag policy focus by President Biden/Secretary Vilsack has somewhat shifted away from traditional farm bill safety net programs to new programs supporting sustainability, climate change, and additional non-traditional sources of farm revenues (e.g., local foods, valueadded, expanded meat processing, climate-smart ag practices, biobased economy products) which the administration argues will provide increased opportunities for small to medium-sized farmers. Given that most of the traditional farm bill dollars go to large-scale producers of program crops (primarily corn, soybeans, and wheat) Secretary Vilsack has been on tour this year claiming that U.S. ag policy needs to diversify income support. He wants to change the mindset of “you have to get big or get out.” He constantly points out that while U.S. agriculture established a record high net farm income in 2022, the majority of farms lost money and depend primarily on off-farm income to support their farming operation.

Currently, there is a lot of focus amidst the farm bill debate about emerging climate-smart agriculture programs as part of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) passed in December which contained nearly $20 billion to assist with carbon sequestration/conservation programs. USDA is rolling out funding opportunities for these funds, but some members of Congress and farm organizations support targeting these funds to support other farm bill initiatives.

Importance of Government Payments to Farm Income

Government payments to support agriculture has varied over the years in response to the farm economy and the strength of the farm lobby. Federal government direct payments for U.S. farm programs were fairly stable from 2007-2017 (averaging $11.4 billion dollars or 13.5% of U.S. net farm income), after establishing a record high level of nearly $25 billion in 2005. Government payments for farm programs increased considerably during the 2018-2021 period primarily in response to supplemental/ad hoc funds that were authorized outside the farm bill that provided the ag economy dollars to offset the adverse impacts of trade conflicts, Covid, and various natural disasters. As a result, government payments to the ag sector swelled to a record $45.6 billion in 2020 accounting for 45% of net U.S. farm income before falling in 2021-2022 (and projected for 2023) as ag prices/markets recovered. Specifically, the trade war with China prompted the Trump administration to issue Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments to U.S. farmers during 2018-2020, totaling $23.1 billion. Pandemic

28 • Cow Country • June ECONOMIC & POLICY UPDATE
Commodity Statutory Reference Price ($/bu) Maximum Effective Reference Price ($/bu) Corn $3.70 $4.26 Soybeans $8.40 $9.66 Wheat $5.50 $6.33

support for U.S. farmers was provided by the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) totaling over $31 billion in 2020 and 2021, along with more than $14 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to support payroll for small businesses (including agriculture) with forgivable loans during the COVID-19 pandemic. Collectively non-farm bill programs accounted for over 70% of government support for agriculture from 2018-2022, prompting some ag lobbyists to support incorporating a more permanent disaster program within the 2023 Farm Bill.

Excluding the Tobacco “buyout” years (2005-2014), Kentucky’s farm economy has generally been less dependent on government payments compared to the United States as a whole (see Figure 3). This observation rests upon the relative importance of livestock in our state which (outside of conservation dollars) typically does not receive direct government support. Over the past two farm bills, Kentucky ranks 35th in terms of dependence on direct government farm payments (measured as the level of government farm payments as a percentage of net farm income) and 25th in terms of total government farm payments. Government payments exceeded 40% of Kentucky net farm income in 2020 and were over 30% of net farm income for our Kentucky Farm Business Analysis farms (primarily large grain farms in western Kentucky) during the 2018-2021 period. Similar to the U.S. data, the majority of government dollars received by Kentucky farmers since the adoption of the 2018 Farm Bill has been outside the traditional farm bill safety net programs. Figure 4 shows the distribution of payments that


Kentucky farmers have received from 2018-2021 (2022 data will become available in August 2023). One-quarter of the government payments during this time frame originated from the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP -- $511 million), 19% from Market Facilitation Program payments (MFP -- $386 million), and 13% from Paycheck Protection Program payments ($267 million) versus only 4% from the farm bill income/price support programs (PLC/ARC).

Stronger commodity prices and reduced supplemental/ad hoc assistance will likely result in Kentucky government payments being less than 10% of net farm income in 2022, comprised primarily of around $60 million for conservation and over $50 million for the first round of Emergency Relief Program (ERP) payments which provided assistance for natural disasters in 2020 and 2021.

Looking ahead it will be a real challenge for Congress to continue to support U.S./Kentucky agriculture with continued significant funding for a wide variety of supplemental/ad hoc funds which increases the need for a farm bill that strengthens/expands existing markets, creates new markets, provides effective risk management programs and tools to counter weather risks and volatile markets and provides economic support for rural communities. While the ag community will continue to examine farm bill programs to support ag prices and incomes, one out of every eight Kentucky households receives nutrition assistance which elevates food insecurity and food access as important issues for Kentuckians as part of this farm bill/ag policy debate.

Topics will vary greatly but regularly include marketing, management, policy, natural resources, and rural development issues. If you would like to recieve this newsletter by email, please contact Kenny Burdine at

You can also view current and past issues online at

Co-editors: Kenny Burdine, Alison Davis, and Greg Halich

June • Cow Country • 29
Agricultural Economics Department publishes the Economic and Policy Update towards the end of each month. Each issue features articles written by extension personnel within the department and other experts across the country. Figure 1: Distribution of Farm Bill Funding Figure 2: Federal Government Direct Farm Program Payments Figure 3: Direct Government Payments as a % of Net Farm Income United States vs Kentucky Figure 4: Various Government Farm Payments for Kentucky (2018-2021)

“Being a KCA member gives you access to over 11,000 producers across Kentucky with which to network and learn new ways to run an operation. Being part of this organization is like having an extended family who always has your back in times of need.”

If you need anything for membership, please contact Rachel Cain at (859) 278-0899 or

30 • Cow Country • June DIVISION 1 (151+ MEMBERS) 2023 2022 Diff Barren 478 488 -10 Shelby 373 322 51 Bath 345 318 27 Adair 325 343 -18 Christian 318 320 -2 Marion 294 309 -15 Madison 294 275 19 Breckinridge 264 281 -17 Hart 244 203 41 Grayson 232 250 -18 Lincoln 227 265 -38 Washington 219 220 -1 Logan 205 210 -5 Jessamine 202 184 18 Edmonson 191 202 -11 Mercer 190 179 11 Bracken 184 194 -10 Clark 183 217 -34 Henry 179 160 19 Northern Kentucky 167 161 6 Casey 166 187 -21 Harrison 158 155 3 Warren 157 192 -35 Larue 156 166 -10 Hardin 156 157 -1 Green 151 154 -3 DIVISION 2 (76-150 MEMBERS) 2023 2022 Diff Franklin 163 132 31 Meade 159 141 18 Laurel 150 134 16 Pulaski 146 119 27 Metcalfe 144 148 -4 Monroe 126 132 -6 Fleming 122 123 -1 Scott 119 108 11 Caldwell/Lyon 119 101 18 Daviess 118 119 -1 Jackson 116 91 25 Allen 112 135 -23 Anderson 108 107 1 Garrard 107 101 6 Trimble 103 101 2 Northeast Area 103 114 -11 Trigg 99 91 8 Mountain 97 89 8 Bourbon 95 93 2 Boyle 94 98 -4 Pendleton 90 88 2 Owen 85 96 -11 Fayette 83 81 2 Purchase Area 82 85 -3 Webster 80 77 3 Louisville Area 75 77 -2 Clinton-Cumberland 62 80 -18 Twin Lakes 58 83 -25 DIVISION 3 (UP TO 75 MEMBERS) 2022 2021 Diff Muhlenberg 78 75 3 Lewis 74 67 7 Robertson 72 73 -1 Grant 72 58 14 Rockcastle 72 70 2 Campbell 70 62 8 Nelson 69 55 14 Mason 67 66 1 Russell 64 73 -9 Woodford 63 63 0 Out of State 62 71 -9 Taylor 59 64 -5 Todd 58 46 12 Oldham 56 58 -2 Calloway 55 75 -20 Montgomery 54 47 7 Estill 51 45 6 Ohio 50 46 4 Whitley 48 43 5 Carroll 44 35 9 Nicholas 42 41 1 Wayne 40 44 -4 Simpson 40 37 3 McCreary 38 29 9 Hancock 36 41 -5 Highlands 35 45 -10 Butler 34 31 3 Union 33 39 -6 Knox 30 25 5 Bullitt 28 28 0 Clay 28 31 -3 Crittenden 24 25 -1 Hopkins 22 24 -2 McLean 21 23 -2 Menifee 20 19 1 Livingston 17 20 -3 Henderson 9 13 -4 Gallatin 8 7 1 Eastern Foothills 7 5 2 Magoffin 5 6 -1 Powell 5 6 -1 Pike 5 4 1 Harlan 1 1 0 Bell 0 2 -2
2023 2022 Difference Totals as of: May 11, 2023 10,839 10,920 -81
-Andy Bishop


* MEMBERSHIP YEAR 10/1/22– 9/30/23

*Payments of KCA membership dues are tax deductible for most members as an ordinary and necessary business expense. However, charitable contributions of gifts to KCA are not tax deductible for Federal Income Tax purposes. Due to new IRS regulations, $2.24 of your dues would not be deductible. Approximately $12 of your dues will go towards the monthly publication Cow Country.


KCA MEMBERSHIP ($30/YR) NEW RENEWAL Membership dues are $30 unless otherwise listed below


To add your spouse, please add $15 to your KCA Membership










Dues are $30 except for the counties listed below.




Boyle ..............................$35



Franklin ..........................$25

Highlands .......................$20

(Boyd, Floyd, Johnson, Lawrence, & Martin)

Hopkins ..........................$35


Lincoln ...........................$25

Louisville Area ................$20

(Jefferson, & Spencer)

Magoffin .........................$20

Menifee ..........................$25


(Breathitt, Knott, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Morgan, Owsley, Perry & Wolfe)

Oldham ..........................$35


Twin Lakes ......................$20

Warren ...........................$40

Wayne ............................$25

Whitley ...........................$25



# HEAD DUES $150 101-250 $300 251-500 $450 501-750 $650 751-1000 $650 1,001-1,250 $1,150 1,251-1,500 $1,400 1,501-1,750 $1,650 1,751-2,000 $1,900
2,000 $1,900 + .38/HD # HEAD DUES Complete and return to: Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association 176 Pasadena Drive • Suite 4 • Lexington, KY 40503 Join online at or call (859) 278-0899 June • Cow Country • 31
The NCBA is now a State Marketing Partner with the KCA. You can pay your dues to both organizations with one check, at the same time.


Welcome, summer! Grilling is in full swing. Whether it is hosting graduation parties, celebrating fathers, or enjoying a backyard cookout with friends, beef is king of the grill.

Although KBC promotes beef all year long, summer grilling is a highlight of the year and an opportunity to remind consumers that beef not only tastes delicious, but it also fits into a healthy diet and their budgets. One of the many ways KBC promotes beef is in the retail and foodservice channels.

This summer KBC has teamed up with several other state beef councils as well as National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff program, to promote beef with Sam’s Club. The Sam’s Club Summer Grilling campaign kicked off May 1 and will run through June 30. Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. e-commerce ads will run nationwide in the 45 states that have Sam’s Club locations plus, KBC will have increased ads placed encouraging Kentucky shoppers to purchase beef. Ads are directly linked to a Sam’s Club beef page where shoppers can directly place beef in their basket for purchase. There are nine Sam’s Club locations in KY. Ads will appear on, the Sam’s Club app and top performing consumer lifestyle websites sites.

In addition to promoting beef digitally, KBC plans to promote beef in-person through a series of trainings with Bluegrass Hospitality Group, which owns the 19 Drake’s, 4 Malone’s, 3 Harry’s, 2 Prime Banquet facilities, and 1 OBC Kitchen (Old Bourbon County) in 7 different states and sells over 400,000 pounds of beef a year. This series will introduce their waitstaff, chefs, and management to beef from pasture to plate by breaking down a beef carcass, visiting the stockyards and a further processing facility, tasting their way through the power of umami, and preparing their own beef dishes.

Of course, KBC is not the only group promoting beef this summer! We would like to thank the beef farmers, local county cattlemen’s associations, Cooperative Extension agents, stockyards, feed stores, and other beef community partners who are celebrating summer with beef!


The 2023 winning Derby Burger, The G.O.A.T, which was a nod to the Greatest of All Time and included goat cheese on it, was a recent beef retail and foodservice promotion success. As a sponsor of the Derby Burger Challenge, KBC was able showcase the Derby Burger on all the major television stations in Louisville during the cook-off contest as well as during the opening day of Kroger FestA-Ville on the waterfront in Louisville. Additionally, KBC sampled over 1600 samples at the Kentucky Derby Festival events plus another 500 samples at Kroger Middletown’s Derby celebration. Also, for two weeks prior to the Derby, Kroger showcased the burger and all the ingredients in one location so shoppers

could make it at home. During the week of the Derby, the promotion resulted in 9,558 pounds of beef being sold. The Kroger Fest-A-Ville Chow Wagon also sold the Derby Burger during its twoweek celebration. Plus, the infamous 80/20 at Kaelin’s featured the Derby Burger on their menu. It was the Derby Burger for the win in selling more beef.

32 • Cow Country • June
Alison Smith Retail and Foodservice Brian Capps of Louisville, winner of the Derby Burger Challenge


Whether firing up the grill after spending the day in a hay field or preparing a feast for all the dads in your life, beef is here to assist in making a savory memory for Dad on Father’s Day!

To celebrate the day, join Dad alongside the grill or surprise him with a tasty meal. Either way, choose from a variety of mouth-watering recipes at Beef. It's What's For Dinner., the authority on all things beef, or try this recipe!


The Kentucky Beef Council and the Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association are happy to team up for their Youth Leadership Program, July 31st to August 5th, 2023. This educational program will explore all aspects of the beef industry. Accepted attendees will get first-hand experience in areas of beef marketing, beef production, and beef advocacy. Stops on the trip include Certified Angus Beef, ST Genetics, EBY Trailer, and more. Attendees will also be able to network with leaders about various careers, internships, and educational opportunities that they can use in their future careers. This program is open to incoming high school sophomores through second year in undergraduate study, participants must also be a Kentucky resident and/or enrolled in a Kentucky school. Attendees will be selected through an application and potential interview process. Hotel and travel will be covered by the Kentucky Beef Council. Attendees will be responsible for some meals. The application deadline is June 12th, 2023, and the formal travel agenda will be released to those selected. For questions, please contact Bradon Burks at bburks@, Applications can be found at


June • Cow Country • 33
A simple chile glaze is used as a spicy finishing touch for savory butter on grilled corn and steaks.

University of Kentucky Extension and Kentucky Beef Network Wrap Up Free BQCA Enrollment in April

Becky Thompson Director, Kentucky Beef Network

The Kentucky Beef Network and University of Kentucky Extension recently concluded free BQCA enrollments in April by certifying 353 people from 74 counties across Kentucky through the online training platform or by visiting their local county extension office to participate in an in-person training.

The Kentucky BQCA program takes national BQA practices one step further to provide a holistic program for Kentucky producers, by adding cattle handling and animal care component to the training models. Educational modules provide the best management practices for handling cattle and providing for their well-being, in addition to training on the core principles of BQA.

If you missed the free enrollment period in April, producers can look forward to free BQCA enrollments September 1-30, 2023, along with a chute side training in September in Western Kentucky. Please read

Cow Country News and your email for more information later this summer.

“We are very excited for this partnership for our Kentucky cattlemen to continue to tell their story to consumers through sound management practices,” says Kevin Laurent University of Kentucky Co-BQCA Coordinator.

April 2023

The Kentucky Beef Network and University of Kentucky Beef Extension Team offered a free BQCA chute side training at Blue Grass Stockyards Lexington. “We are pleased to have 27 participants from 14 Kentucky counties participate in this hands-on training. It is exciting to see 73% of our participants are receiving their BQCA number for the 1st time,” says Becky Thompson, Kentucky Beef Network Co-BQCA Coordinator.

Co BQCA Coordinators Becky Thompson

and Kevin Laurent welcomed the group by providing a historical BQCA overview and the positive role BQCA management plays on your farm.

The attendees were then split into three groups to rotate through sessions covering the following:

• Body Condition Scoring and Bull Selection- Dr. Darrh Bullock & Dr. Jeff Lehmkuhler

• Chute Side BQCA Training & TechniquesKevin Laurent

• Antibiotic/Implant Update- Dr. Michelle Arnold

• X10D: A New Tool for the Beef IndustryDr. Les Anderson

At the conclusion of the rotations the group then completed their BQCA test to receive their certification.

34 • Cow Country • June Ben Lloyd Whitesville, KY (270) 993-1074 Charles Embry Cave City, KY (270) 646-5939 Jacob Settles Springfield, KY (859) 805-0724 Ron Shrout Winchester, KY (606) 205-6143 Jeff Stephens Ewing, KY (606) 782-7640 KENTUCKY BEEF NETWORK FACILITATORS

Eden Shale Update

The growing cycle of the grass this year has been different than normal. I’m not sure if it even went dormant for more than a couple of weeks. The warmer than normal weather in February caused it to turn green but the cold nights kept it in check. March had much warmer than normal temps and the grass kept growing, although slowly. By the first of April I was optimistic that we could turn out cows a couple of weeks early. Unfortunately

pastures. These pastures see animals at some point during the winter and therefore are grazed down pretty tight. They need a shot of fertilizer to get them to catch up with the other pastures once grass starts growing. In all, we spread 218 lbs of urea/acre on a total of approximately 150 acres.

Just to keep things interesting, the state highway department has decided to widen and improve Highway

36 • Cow Country • June


State and National Beef Promotion and Research Programs Information is required by 7 CRF 1260.201. Failure to report can result in a fine. Information is held confidential per 7 CRF 1260.203.



$1.OO per Head Federal Checkoff STATE OF ORIGIN*



*If the cattle purchased came from another state within the last 30 days, indicate from which state the cattle were purchased.

Send Report and Remittance to: Kentucky Beef Council

176 Pasadena Drive

Lexington, KY 40503

For additional information: call 859-278-0899 or email

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Both the seller and the buyer are responsible for making sure that the $1 per head assessment is collected and remitted to the Kentucky Beef Council. Federal and State
$1.OO per Head State Checkoff
Total Checkoff Payment for
According to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, an agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a valid OMB control number. The valid OMB control number for this information collection is 05810093. The time required to complete this information collection is estimated to average 1 hour per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information.



6077 Helena Road

Mayslick, KY 41055

Charlie Boyd II: (606) 584-5194 • Blake Boyd: (606) 375-3718 •


927 Old Liberty Pike • Hustonville, KY 40437

(859) 238-0771 •

James S. & LuAnn Coffey, Donald & Donna Coffey

Annual Production Sale- 2nd Saturday in April


531 Rick Rd. Park City, KY 42160

Eddie Burks • (270) 991-6398


Joe D. or Karen Burton

480 Hominy Hill Rd. Nancy, KY 42544

Joe: (606) 305-3081

Located 15 miles West of Somerset • Bulls & females sold private treaty. Inquiries Welcome. Sell only what we would buy. Data driven since 1981.


661 Hopewell Road

Liberty, KY 42539

Matt Coffey: (270) 799-6288

Dewey Coffey: (606) 706-2699

Genetics for Maximum Profitability since 1984


2315 Davis Bend Road

Canmer, KY 42722

Tim: (270) 528-6605 • Leslie: (270) 528-6435


448 Corder Farm Road

Monticello, KY 42633

Ronnie Corder

(606) 348-6588


Eddie Hamilton 2142 Stilesville Road Science Hill, KY 42553

(606) 271-1286

Bulls and Females for Sale


Tom McGinnis

1024 Hinkle Lane • Shelbyville, KY

(502) 633-1634, home • (502) 633-5100, work

(502) 655-0164, cell

President: Henry B. Smith

Vice President: Anne Patton Schubert

Secretary/Treasurer: Shayna Gibson


Return to: Shayna Gibson 1535 Fallen Timber Road New Castle, KY 40050


Jimmy Gilles 5160 Lee Rudy Road

Owensboro, KY 42301 (270) 929-5370


Angus Bulls & Females Slaughters, KY

Keith: (270) 635-0723 Reese: (270) 635-1137


Kris and Sara Lynn 2184 Bardstown Rd Springfield KY 40069 573-721-6663


Bob, Kathy, Rob, and Janna Clark (859) 748-5558 1446 Kennedy Bridge Rd. Harrodsburg, KY 40330 Bob: (859)339-2610 • Rob: (859)612-1594


250 Bright Leaf Dr. • Harrodsburg, KY 40330 Cary & Kim King •

Cary Cell: (859) 613-3734 • Colby Myers - Purebred Manager


370 Ferrill Hill, Buffalo, KY 42716

Kenley Conner (502) 905-7825

Registered Angus Cattle

4040 Taylorsville Rd

Taylorsville, KY 40071

Gordon Schubert 502-477-2637 • 502-548-8440

Anne Patton Schubert 502-477-2663 • 502-548-2359


Gil, Mary, Corbin, Caroline, and Catherine Cowles 500 Rockfield Richpond Road

Rockfield, KY 42274

(270) 843-9021 • Fax (270) 843-9005

Located 7 miles west of Bowling Green, 1/2 mile off Hwy 68/80


5202 East Hwy 80, Russell Springs, KY 42642

Charles “Bud” & Pam Smith: (270) 866-3898

Henry & Melissa Smith: (270) 866-2311


Eric & Sherry St. Clair

13433 Falls of Rough Road • Falls of Rough, KY 40119

Home: (270) 257-2965 • Cell: (270) 617-1079

Performance Tested Bull & Female Sale April 2020


Jacob Tamme, Owner-Operator (859) 583-7134 & Find us on Facebook!


Nathaniel & Darla Denham

Nathaniel(Bub), Sarah, Ashley Denham (606) 423-2457 • (606) 875-0780


Shawn, Melissa, Devin & Dylan Gibson (270) 337-3072 or (270) 692-5304

Dennis & Emily 270/337-2128 or 270/402-4338


Tim and Amy White 3664 Military Pike • Lexington, KY 40513

Home: (859)223-0326

Tim: (859) 509-5401 • Amy (859)227-2552


Return to: Shayna Gibson 1535 Fallen Timber Road New Castle, KY 40050 • Annual Dues $35

38 • Cow Country • June
• Annual Dues $35 ANGUS THE BUSINESS


Greetings from the Kentucky Junior Angus Association and Board of Directors. Across the commonwealth, farmers are spending days in the tractor seat planting their crops and mowing hay to feed the herd this winter.

As the last school bell has rung for the year, I’d like to encourage all KJAA Juniors to get involved with their beef cattle operations this summer. From participating in the hay field, feeding the stock, and assisting in all aspects of the farm.

An exciting summer is upon us with many shows that junior members can exhibit their show stock in. In a few short days, Kentucky

Junior’s will meet in Louisville, Kentucky at the Ky Fair & Expo Center for the Kentucky Angus Association Preview Show, and I’d like to personally invite you to join us ringside on June 7-9, 2023. In July, KJAA

Junior’s will attend the National Junior Angus Show in Grand Island, Nebraska.

We, as the Kentucky Junior Angus Association officers and Board of Directors, are here to serve you. If you have any questions, ideas or concerns, please feel free to reach out to us.

June • Cow Country • 39
• • @kyangusassoc • @kyangusassoc • @kyangusassociation
Kentucky Junior Angus Association President
On behalf of the Kentucky Angus Association, we would like to thank Anne DeMott for 17 years of service as Secretary/Treasurer!
Alex Tolbert,, (706) 338-8733

Kentucky Hereford Association

Kentucky Hereford State Show Winchester, KY

May 26 - Showmanship, Bred and Owned Show, Dinner and Auction for KJHA

May 27 - Owned Show

Contact: Austin Cole 270-282-1728

WELLS FARM Polled Herefords 439 Flatwoods Frozen Camp Rd, Corbin KY 40701

NJB Limited

Toby & Debby Dulworth 2492 S. Kirkman Road LaCenter, KY 42056 (270) 224-2993

Herefords that thrive on forages.

6077 Helena Road

Mayslick, KY 41055

Charlie Boyd II


Annual Bull Sale second Saturday in March Hereford and Angus Bulls


Hereford Farms

Brad, Carla, Clay & Clint Chambliss

1101 Driftwood Lane Elizabethtown, KY 42701

Home (270) 982-3905

Cell (270) 668-7126 fax 270-735-9922

WCN Polled Herefords

Since 1961

Bill Norris

2220 Celina Road

Burkesville, KY 42717

Phone (270) 433-7256

Cell (270) 433-1525

“Every calf needs a white face”

Bobby & Brenda Wells (606) 523-0569 or (606) 344-0417

Kevin, Angela, Kenlea & Kyler Murray (606) 528-1691 or (606) 682-8413


President: L.W. Beckley

Secretary/ Treasurer: Suzanne Matheny 606-584-0577

Dale Stith

5239 Old Sardis Pike Mays Lick, KY 41055 (918) 760-1550

Home of Select Sires’ Boyd Fort Knox 17yxz54040

MPH Farms

Registered Polled Herefords PAUL L. HANCOCK 8559 KY 56 Owensboro, KY 42301 270-771-4194

Jackson Farms

Registered Polled Herefords PO Box 215 Cross Plains, TN 37049 615-478-4483

“Farming the Same Land Since 1834”


Registered Polled Herefords

Bulls & Females for sale

Tim & Peggy Wolf 12939 Peach Grove Road

Alexandria, KY 41001

Home: 859-635-0899

Cell: 859-991-3484

Peyton’s Well Polled Herefords

The Lowell Atwood Family 133 Edgewood Drive • Stanford, KY (606) 365-2520 home/fax

(606) 669-1455 cell

Victor- influenced cattle bred for performance on grass.

“Black cows need a good Hereford Bull”







Eric & Ronnie Thomas 2396 Union City Rd. Richmond, KY 40475

(859) 623-5734

Eric’s Cell (859) 314-8256

“Cattle for sale at all times”

Polled Hereford and Gelbvieh Cattle 3459 KY Hwy. 1284 E. Cythiana, KY 41031 (859) 234-6956

Ben, Jane, Shelby and Lincoln

Windy Hills Farm

Jackie D. Perkins II 367 Mt. Pisgah Rd. Bremen, KY 42325 (270) 543-3586

Breeding to produce good cows since 1981


Codee Guffey • 1815 Grassy Springs Road

Versailles, Kentucky 40383 (502) 598-6355

TK4 Herefords

Tony & Kathy Staples 992 Knotts Road Brandenburg, KY 40108 (270) 422-4220


Registered Polled Herefords

HANSELL PILE, JR. 12045 St. John Rd. Cecilia, KY 42724



12 miles West of Elizabethtown



L. Wayne Beckley • 1420 Fitchburg Rd. Ravenna, KY 40472 • 606-723-3021

Cell: 859-779-0962

L.W. Beckley D.V.M 284 Pyrse Lane • Irvine, KY 40336

Cell: 859-779-1419 • Clinic: 606-726-0000


“Breeding Polled Herefords for over 58 Years”

Breeding cattle for sale at all times.

1999 Walnut Hill Rd. Lexington, KY 40515

(859) 271-9086

cell (859)533-3790

Danny Miller



Tucker Stock Farms

“Registered Angus and Polled Herefords”

“Registered Angus and Polled Herefords”

John A. Tucker II 1790 Hidden Valley Lane Hudson, KY 40145 (270) 257-8548

John Tucker II 1790 Hidden Valley Lane

Hudson, KY 40145

Office (270) 257-8167


18-month-old Angus & Polled Hereford Bulls

“Bulls always for Sale”


Matt, Melinda, Harlee, & Wyatt Watson 6196 Mount Sterling Rd Flemingsburg, Kentucky

Matt - 606-748-1600

Melinda - 859-625-8660


June • Cow Country • 41
4850 Caldwell Ridge Rd. Knifley, KY 42753 270-465-6984 Fertility Milking Ability Calving Ease Disposition Multi-Trait Selection LINEBRED VICTOR DOMINO CATTLE

NCBA Files Comments on USDA Traceability Rule


WASHINGTON (April 19, 2023) – Today, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) filed comments on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) proposed rule “Use of Electronic Identification Eartags as Official Identification in Cattle and Bison” to emphasize the importance of electronic animal identification to protect the cattle industry from the threat of a foreign animal disease. USDA’s proposed rule would apply to cattle 18-months or older only when moving interstate.

“An outbreak of a foreign animal disease in the United States, like foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), would be catastrophic to the cattle industry and our way of life,” said NCBA President Todd Wilkinson, a South Dakota cattle producer. “Traceability is about risk protection and ensuring we have the tools to quickly identify and respond to an outbreak while strengthening consumer trust in our high-quality beef. Our comments emphasize the importance of protecting the U.S. cattle herd from the threat of a foreign animal disease while also protecting producers’ private data, limiting the cost of tagging devices, and operating at the speed of commerce.”

Without a national traceability system in place, the impact of a foreign animal disease outbreak would be magnified. For example, an FMD outbreak in the United States would lead to an immediate stop of all livestock movement for at least 72 hours. Most major export markets would close to U.S. beef and the estimated economic impact could be as high as $228 billion.

A traceability system supports cattle producers quickly returning to normal operations after a disease outbreak. Traceability data would allow producers in low-risk areas to resume transporting cattle, while helping animal health officials stop the spread of disease in high-risk areas. A traceability program also helps expedite the return to an FMD-free designation, which is beneficial for trading relationships and consumer trust in beef.


As a grassroots organization, NCBA’s perspective on traceability has been developed by cattle producers who serve on the NCBA Traceability Working Group and by grassroots members who voted on traceability policy at the 2023 Cattle Industry Convention. NCBA believes that any traceability system:

ESCH 5612 - NoTill Drill


• Is industry driven.

• To serve the needs and interests of beef cattle producers.

• In coordination with current and future federal, state, and tribal government animal disease traceability programs.

• Is capable of being managed and overseen by private entities that address animal disease traceability needs of the beef cattle industry in coordination with government, state, and tribal disease tracing mechanisms.

• Maintains producer data privacy.

• Is equitable to all industry sectors.

• Is compatible with common industry practices.

• Operates at the speed of commerce.

• Is credible in domestic and international markets.

• Uses electronic identification devices and electronic data transfer.


Simmental calves are champions of the scale.

They reliably outperform straightbred calves in the feedyard — with better growth, better structure and fewer health problems.

They add pounds without sacrificing marbling, and they come with the IGS Feeder Profit Calculator,™ which factors genetics, health and management into true value. Want



Crestwood, Ky

(502) 905-5851


12113 Green Valley Dr. Louisville, KY 40243

Fred & Phyllis: 502-599-4560 Chi & Angie: 502-287-2116


8308 Orangeburg Road Maysville, KY 41056

Chan: 606-584-7581

Keith: 606-584-5626


3906 Pottertown Road Murray, KY 42071 • 270-293-4440


1939 Huntertown Road Versailles, KY 40383



1156 Buzzard Roost Road Shelbyville, KY 40065 502-593-5136 •

Chris Allen 859-351-4486

Dr. Henry Allen 859-229-0755

low-risk, high-potential
FARM NAME YOUR NAME ADRESS CITY, STATE ZIP WORK PHONE HOME PHONE Call or visit one of these Simmental breeders for cattle that work! Membership Fee is $25.00
calves with earning capability?
Laura Jackson 1254 Cynthiana Road Paris,
BILL KAISER • Shelbyville, KY • 502.639.4337
AND LAURA JACKSON 859.533.3718 or 859.707.7200
44 • Cow Country • June CALENDAR OF EVENTS SALERS THE BALANCED BREED DIAMOND J SALERS Donald Johnson • 11660 N. Hwy 1247 • Eubank, KY 42564 606-379-1558 WILLIS FARMS Danny Willis • 964 Johnson Rd • Frankfort, KY 40601 • 502-803-5011 DEL-SU FARM Howard & Sue Edwards • 420 Rose Rd • Somerset, KY 42501 606-679-1675 • Jeriah Privett • 606-416-1154 DATE EVENT LOCATION AD JUNE 7-9 Kentucky Preview Junior Angus Show JUNE 8 NCBA Zoom Call with Colin Woodall, NCBA (watch email for more info) JUNE 10 Beef BBQ Festival Lexington, KY 10 JUNE 30 KCA Hall of Fame Applications Due 11 JULY 14-15 45th Kentucky National Show & Sale Bowling Green, KY 26 JULY 22 Southeast Kentucky Sheep Producer’s First Annual Breeding Sheep Sale London, KY 4 JULY 31-AUG 5 Youth Leadership Program 33 AUG 17-27 Kentucky State Fair Louisville, KY SEPT 7 CPC Fall Field Day Fountain Run, KY SEPT 16 The Foundation Sale IX Bowling Green, KY OCT 12 JMar Genetics Quality Over Quantity Charolias Bull Heifer Sale DVAuctions OCT 14 The Future is Now Fall Production Sale Bowling Green, KY




N ew Castle, Kentucky (502) 296-1044


Call 270-202-7186 for more info or check out for current availability.


19-20 month old Polled Hereford bulls. Good selection. Low birthweight, medium frame. Free Delivery Available. JMS Polled Herefords, Knifley, KY Danny 270-566-2694 Trent 270-566-2000


September 16, 2023

United Producers Facility, Bowling Green, KY


For info call: A C H Holdings, LLC

Stephen Haynes 270-799-8685


Many blaze faced. Excellent EPD’s. Semen Tested. Delivery Available. Maximize your profit with proven performance. All bulls qualify for new CAIP cost-share. Adam Wheatley 502349-2665


Over 60 years of Line 1 Hereford Genetics. Groups of open and bred heifers available for sale at all times.

Chambliss Hereford Farms. 270-668-7126


Red Hill Farms, Lafayette, TN, 615-666-3098 Bart, Sarah and Ty Jones Gordon and Susan Jones, 270-991-2663

Visit us online - Contact us for cattle and semen availability. Annual Production Sales: More Than a Bull Sale – 3rd Saturday in March Maternal Monday – 3rd Monday in May Bulls & Females of Fall Sale – Last Saturday in October

McHale individual hay wrapper $14,995 Artex s b 500 - in stock

New Holland 900 options for heads


Meyer 510 - single screw mixer

JD 6400-cab-4wd- $34,000

Cloverdale 500 T - in stock

1402/03 Horning Rotary Headers

Lancaster hammermills- ready to go

4218-22 Esch hay tedders- in stock

WLS 50- $20,000 wet lime spreader


Spreader Manure spreaders- 8 in-stock John

Deere 7200- cab -16 speed John Deere 3975

- base unit- call Artex SB 600 Spreader -in stock John Deere 566- twine $12,000 Stoltzfus

10 ton Litter spreader $$$$ New Holland 790 choppers-$8500 Gehl 8335 feeder wagon

$7500 Artex SB 200- vertical beater- for rental

Farmco feeder wagons-5 in stock-call John

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Several White-Faced • BSE Tested BUSH SIMMENTALS


June • Cow Country • 45
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Please Don’t Mail Us Live Ticks

If you are active on social media, you might find some people posting about a project to collect ticks and send them to the University of Kentucky called the UK Tick Surveillance Program. Unfortunately, as with many things on Facebook, while there is a nugget of truth to these posts; they also get a lot of information wrong. The UK Tick Surveillance Program is real and will accept tick submissions in 2023. However, there are a lot of caveats that need to be considered before you slap a stamp on the back of that dog tick.


This project is not a free medical


Despite what some posts on Facebook say, this is not a free alternative to paying for a tick to be tested for pathogens. The Tick Surveillance Program is designed as a citizen science volunteer opportunity, where Kentuckians can help with public health monitoring in the state. It is not designed as a testing service where a volunteer will be contacted with a possible “diagnosis.” If a submitted tick tests positive for one of the three pathogens being monitored for, the submitter will be notified but this could be multiple weeks after the tick was sent in. If you are concerned with a possible tickborne infection, you need to seek medical help from a physician.

There is a form you have to fill out Ticks that are submitted must be accompanied by a form, found at LINK 1 above. Any tick submitted without this form is discarded.

Submitted ticks should also conform to required specifications

Beyond the form, there are other rules which can be found LINK 2 above. To summarize these rules:

• Only ticks submitted from Kentucky residents are accepted; any ticks submitted from out-of-state are discarded.

• Ticks should be dead when submitted.

• Ticks should be shipped inside of a hardened container, which is then placed in a padded envelope. You cannot ship free floating alcohol through the U.S. Postal service.

How to prepare a tick for shipment

There is a step-by-step guide at the above link but in the interest of completeness, here is how to prepare a tick for shipment.

You will need the following supplies:

• 91% isopropyl alcohol (can be found at nearly any pharmacy)

• One hard plastic container, for example pill bottles with identifying info removed, small plastic travel jars, etc.

• Tweezers

• One plain cotton ball

• Two Ziploc bags

• A padded envelope

Step 1 Take your hard plastic container and pour alcohol into the container. You only need to pour in enough liquid to submerge the tick into.

Step 2 Use the tweezers to pick the tick up and submerge it in the alcohol inside of the container. Leave the tick submerged in alcohol for 24 hours.

Step 3 After 24 hours, pour the excess alcohol out of the container into a waste receptacle. There should be no liquid alcohol left. Next, take a cotton ball, or a cut off section of cotton ball, and stuff it into the container.

Step 4 Seal the tick and cotton ball by closing the container lid. Take the closed container and insert it into a sealable Ziploc bag. Then, seal the Ziploc shut.

Step 5 The Ziploc bag that has the container with the tick and cotton ball in it will then itself be inserted into a second sealable Ziploc bag which is also sealed shut. This double bagging helps preserve the sample. The sample is now ready for shipping.

Step 6 Insert the double bagged sample into a padded envelope. Ship the padded envelope and contents to this address:

Tick Surveillance Program

C/O Subba Palli

Department of Entomology

S-225 Ag Science Center N Lexington, KY, 40546-0091

If you have found a tick and you merely want to have it identified, you can also ask your local Extension agent for help in contacting the UK Department of Entomology.

46 • Cow Country • June
Figure 1: This is currently the most common Facebook post about the Kentucky Tick Surveillance Project. While it is great to see so many people are interested in public health entomology, this post unfortunately contains several errors that will result in the submitted tick being discarded. Figure 2: Another type of Facebook post about the project. Again, the submission advice is incomplete and there are promises of medical services, which also are not a part of this project.

“You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know”

Centuries ago, the Greek philosopher Socrates coined the phrase “You don’t know what you don’t know”. I randomly heard this last week, and it struck me how apropos this is to cowcalf producers and the beef industry. So, what “don’t you know”?

According to the USDA NAHMS survey in 2017, less than 20% of cow-calf producers in the US obtain a breeding soundness exam (BSE) on their bulls. A breeding soundness exam is performed by your herd veterinarian and is designed to identify INFERTILE bulls; those bulls that do not have the ability to breed cows. A BSE is inexpensive insurance that your bull can breed cows. It eliminates bulls that have physical issues that would prevent them from breeding cows, and it eliminates bulls that no longer can produce viable sperm. A producer occasionally, but not always, can tell if a bull pulls up lame and if they have an injury to the reproductive tract. But it is impossible to determine if the bull no longer produces viable sperm without performing a BSE. So “you don’t know what you don’t know” unless you have a BSE done annually on your herd sires.

This same USDA survey indicates less than 20% of cow-calf producers have pregnancy diagnosed in their herd. Pregnancy diagnosis is another simple, inexpensive tool that can be used to help increase production efficiency and profitability. Pregnancy can be

determined via rectal palpation (including ultrasound) by your herd veterinarian. Rectal palpation can not only indicate if a cow is pregnant but can also indicate the stage of pregnancy to help plan calving. Pregnancy can also be determined using blood sampling, but blood sampling only provides pregnant or non-pregnant information. Researchers in Ag Economics at UK (Erol and Dillion) have developed a model that demonstrates pregnancy diagnosis increases revenue by 69% in typical beef cow-calf operations. This model assumes that open cows without a calf at side are culled. If cow-calf operators don’t get pregnancy diagnosed, when do they realize their cow will not produce a calf? Again, without pregnancy diagnosis, “you don’t know what you don’t know”.

The last example is record keeping. Beef cattle producers are exceptional note takers (we seem to write a bunch of information down) but we are terrible record keepers. What’s the difference? A record keeper takes their notes, creates a report, and uses the data to make management decisions. Creating reports from hand-written records stinks, can be a time-consuming task, and is likely what prevents most cattle producers from using records. A great option for a producer is to use an electronic method for record keeping but survey data indicates that only 3% of beef producers use electronics to manage their


records. So, we are an industry of note takers, we are an industry of “you don’t know what you don’t know”.

If we are not keeping records, how are we making sound management decisions? Instead of “knowing”, we guess, or, in most cases, we try to remember. The UK IRM Farm program helped connect producers with information including information about their own operations. We taught cattle producers how to keep and use records to run their small business (cattle). Within two years, revenue was increased by 34% on the 147 farms that participated. The key…...keep records and make management decisions based upon the data. Our goal with this program was to reduce “what you don’t know”, record the results, and use the data to improve management. The average size of these farms was 40 cows and managing with data helped increase the percentage of cows that weaned a calf, the pounds of calf weaned per cow exposed, and gross revenue. On these farms, producers stopped guessing and started managing and it made a difference.

Running cattle as your side business is not generally a high-profit small business venture. Most cattle producers are in it because they love it. I argue that producers can love it and make money at the same time. How? “You know when you know!"

Spring-Calving Cow Herd

• Cows should be on good pasture with clover and preferably low endophyte levels in fescue for the spring breeding season. Keep pastures vegetative by clipping or making hay. They should have abundant shade and water. Our goal is to have cows become pregnant before July when temperatures and heat stress can ruin the “spring” breeding season.

• Observe the cows and bulls as the breeding season continues. Watch bulls for injury or lameness and change bulls if a high percentage of cows are returning to heat. Record cow breeding dates to determine next year’s calving dates and keep records of cows and bulls in each breeding group.

• Keep a good pasture mineral mix, which contains adequate levels of phosphorus, vitamin A, selenium and copper, available at all times.

• Consider a special area for creep grazing calves, or practice “forward grazing” this summer, allowing calves to graze fresh pasture ahead of the cows. This can be accomplished by raising an electric wire or building a creep gate.

Fall-Calving Herd

• Pregnancy test cows if not done previously.

• Cull cows at weaning time

- Smooth-mouthed cows

- Cows weaning light weight and/or poor-quality calves

- Open cows

- “Problem cows” with bad feet, teats, udders, etc.

• Select replacement heifers on the basis of:

- temperament

- conformation

- weaning weight

- dam and sire records

- Select more than needed to allow for culling after a short breeding season


• Finish harvesting excess pasture as hay soon! It should be cut before it becomes too mature. Be sure and replenish your reserves. Try to put up more than you think you will need in case of a late summer drought.

• Pasture should supply adequate energy, protein and vitamins at this time. However, be prepared for drought situations. Don’t overgraze pastures so that recovery time will be faster. Overgrazed pastures will recover very slowly during July/August.

• Keep pastures small for rotational grazing so that nutritive quality can be maintained. They should be small enough so cattle do not graze longer than a week. As the season progresses, you need several paddocks to give each properly stocked pasture about 4 weeks’ rest.

• Maintain a clean water supply and check it routinely. Water is extremely important in hot weather.

• Control flies. Consider changing insecticides and/ or methods of control this year, because insecticide resistant flies may have developed if you have used the same chemical year after year. Consider pour-on and sprays that allow you to put cattle in the corral or through the chute with little stress on them. It will make subsequent trips through the “chute” less stressful.

• Prevent/Control pinkeye

- consider vaccinating,

- control flies,

- clip tall, mature grass,

- treat problems quickly.

• Clip grazed-over pastures for weed control and so that seed heads do not irritate eyes. Pastures should be kept in a vegetative state for best quality.

June • Cow Country • 47

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