Line Rider March 2022

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BOARD OF DIRECTORS PRESIDENT Mark Pratt..................(Blackfoot) 208-681-6597 PRESIDENT-ELECT


MARCH 2022

Membership Issue

Kim Brackett..............(Homedale) 208-308-1952 VICE PRESIDENT Jerry Wroten................... (Wilder) 541-709-6590 PAST PRESIDENT Jay Smith.......... ...........(Carmen) 208-940-1020 TREASURER Cody Hendrix................... (Rigby) 208-360-9693 FEEDER COUNCIL CHAIR Spencer Black................... (Almo) 208-647-8130 PUREBRED COUNCIL CHAIR Val Carter..................... (Pingree) 208-390-4811 COW-CALF COUNCIL CHAIR Brayden Eliason.......... (Holbrook) 208-705-2541 CATTLEWOMEN COUNCIL CHAIR Maggie Malson................ (Parma) 208-739-2265 DISTRICT 1 REPRESENTATIVES Mike McClean............. (Post Falls) 208-661-7518 Quin Wemhoff...............(Kamiah) 208-983-6448 DISTRICT 2 REPRESENTATIVES Lori Ireland.......(Mountain Home) 208-866-0112 Marg Chipman...............(Weiser) 208-550-0605 DISTRICT 3 REPRESENTATIVES Eugene Matthews............(Oakley) 208-431-3260 John Peters........................ (Filer) 208-358-3850 DISTRICT 4 REPRESENTATIVES Ryan Steele.............. (Idaho Falls) 208-390-5765 Norman Wallis.....................(May) 208-993-1342 DISTRICT 5 REPRESENTATIVES Roscoe Lake..............(Blackfoot) 208-604-3650 Arnold Callison......... (Blackfoot) 208-681-8440 ALLIED INDUSTRY REPRESENTATIVE Kelton Hatch............... (Kimberly) 208-539-0417 DIRECTORS AT LARGE Robert Oxarango.......... (Emmett) 208-431-0777 Adrian Meyer.......... (Grand View) 208-509-1892 CATTLEWOMEN BOARD REPRESENTATIVE Tay Brackett...................... (Filer) 208-866-4967


ICA archive

Michelle Johnson.......... DIR. OF MEMBERSHIP & INDUSTRY ENGAGEMENT Morgan Lutgen............. Contact Idaho Cattle Association: Mailing address: P.O. Box 15397, Boise, ID 83715 Location: 2120 Airport Way, Boise, ID 83705 Phone: 208-343-1615

DEPARTMENTS Message from the President

The Line Rider is the official publication of the Idaho Cattle Association. It is published 10 times each year, in January, February, March, April/May, June, July/August, September, October, November and December.


Message from the Membership Chair 6

Idaho Beef Council celebrates holiday ad success



Cover story: State veterinarian wants cattle industry to keep being model 22

Message from the Natural Resources Policy Director


Q&A: Idaho partnership works on recreation, land access 28

Legislative Update


New and renewed members


Message from the EVP For advertising sales, contact:


U of I: The keys to good calving management IDAHO CATTLE ASSOCIATION

38 3


With microscope on beef producers, we have positive messages to share Idaho ranchers should be ready to share their ‘why’ – and to debunk bad information about our industry


’m tired of our industry being blamed for any number of society’s problems, the latest being, if we all simply choose an alternative protein, we can save the planet. How do we respond? How can we make the connection between the photosynthetic process (which we all rely on) and the cow’s ability to upcycle plants to make nutrient-dense meat? During Simon Senik’s TED talk, “How Great Leaders Inspire Action,” he says this: “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” So, Idaho ranchers, why do we do it? Is it the smell of burnt hide and a chance to use a hot shot? Or is it petrichor, the earthy smell that comes with a rain shower, or the feel of a good horse when they lock on to a cow in the dark of night? Or maybe it’s the awe that comes back around each calving

As encouraged as I am about the discussions related to beef sustainability, I’m equally cautious about the attention that comes with those discussions. Are we ready for the microscope to be centered over our behaviors and management? 4



season. What is your why? I believe as animal agriculture works to debunk the misinformation around beef production, more attention will be drawn to and more focus will fall on ranching practices. How many times have you heard, “What we need is to educate the consumer.” Well, what happens as they become educated? Any couple raising kids will tell you that with education comes more questions. What if the consumer asks, “Why do you do it that way?” If that question affects you like fingernails on a chalkboard, brace yourself. Since the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) presented the industry’s sustainability goals last summer, it has been researching consumer trends around those goals. I attended the NCBA convention the first week of February and listened to a sustainability forum moderated by our CEO Colin Woodall. As encouraged as I am about the discussions related to beef sustainability, I’m equally cautious about the attention that comes with those discussions. Are we ready for the microscope to be centered over our behaviors and management? One way to prepare yourself for what’s coming is to complete the Beef Quality Assurance Certification, a checkoff-funded program dedicated to helping ranchers implement best management practices to produce a consistently high-quality product. The entire certification process can be done online or through a prearranged in-person class. While the ICA works to protect and promote, we also hope to keep you abreast of what lies ahead. There are positive messages being shared about our industry. With the strength of social media, our consumer is more able to ground truth the claims. Talk to your family and your employees, consider your WHY and build your case.

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At ICA, the work never stops, and your voice is always heard Our membership is our backbone, and we need to recruit beef producers to strengthen our ranks


ny organization can be valued and measured in a variety of ways. Some measure in profitability; others take measure in accolades and awards. In the case of the Idaho Cattle Association, our success and future are based in the foundational strength of our membership. In my four years with the ICA, I have seen firsthand the value this organization provides to our members and producers in the state. Through the voluntary efforts of our grassroots members and leadership, our organization has positioned itself well to represent the industry at all levels. Looking back at a time prior to my joining the ICA, I would surmise I lacked true understanding of the organization’s purpose. I grew up in Owyhee County on a small cow-calf operation, and my family has been involved with cattle since we moved to the Jordan Valley in the 1870s. I was an Owyhee Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) member and eventually on the board of directors. Due to my occupation and time with the OCA, I began to work closely with the ICA. At that point, ICA membership hovered in total numbers of producers and allied support near 1,000 – a number we are still near today. Through my own personal research, I found the ICA mission statement to be closely aligned with my beliefs for the future of the beef industry. I highly recommend everyone read the ICA mission statement and see how it correlates with their belief system. Now, there were times I may not have agreed with




every ICA decision, but I also recognized that we are part of a shrinking family in the beef industry. I also recognize there may have been times in the past when I have disagreed with many people, including the people I chose to love (my wife) and those I were forced to love (my father). But at the end of the day, despite our disagreements, we still live in the same home and will face the same issues tomorrow.


The lovely position of being in agriculture is the time-honored joke, “The people you are trying to feed think you are trying to kill them.” However, with the many issues we face as an organization and the growing population, this joke has lost its luster. We must continue our work to protect an industry that can provide nutritional value from pastoral lands in Idaho and across our nation. This comes from having organizations, such as the ICA, being willing to step up and deliver our story to the public. This may be done through avenues such as education, marketing or political efforts of accepted programs that are supported by all industry members. The ICA policy is set through and by the membership, and we hold that policy line continually with each issue we face. In this article we do not need to break out the list of issues we face (you can find resolutions set by membership on the website), but if it is agriculture/ livestock related, the ICA will be there to represent its membership. Our continued strength within the state and industry is based upon the value we can provide our members. From my time on the ICA board, I would love to say we are perfect and impervious to the world we live in. However, that simply isn’t the case. One

need for the ICA is your continued support as a member, and to advance our organization with non-members. As the ICA represents the entire industry, it is important to note that we represent 2.1 million head of cattle from over 7,500 beef operations. This does not include the vast number of businesses and industries associated with the cattle industry.


The sad reality is our membership level is just one-seventh of that total. While we have learned to do more with less, and excelled at it, there is a great opportunity before us. If we could get more of these operations off the sidelines and in our ranks, we could fund continued improvement in several areas of our organization. As a nonprofit, a main source of financial input for the organization is membership dues. I ask all members to take the time to understand the ICA mission and read our “Why” statement. We have a recognized, strong organization that works continually with our Legislature, our universities and our producers to make a better industry for tomorrow’s generation. The ICA takes its direction based upon resolutions passed by members and facilitated by a volunteer board of directors. You may not agree with every decision, but as a member you can voice your concerns and become engaged to shape the directives needed and required in our changing environment. I am confident that ICA leadership welcomes all members to take the time and work with us to improve our organization. Please encourage all interested people to reach out, for there is a membership role for any type of interested party. Our membership’s strength is the cornerstone of ICA’s continued success and value.

In this article we do not need to break out the list of issues we face … but if it is agriculture/livestock related, the ICA will be there to represent its membership. Our continued strength within the state and industry is based upon the value we can provide our members.

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Members are encouraged to engage with ICA all year long Questions can arise about policy resolutions and committees. Here are some common ones. In recent months I have visited with many members and non-members regarding ICA positions or policy. Now, this is not a new phenomenon, but the question that has arisen in some of these conversations is, “How do we make change or give direction on the topic at hand?” This is where I want to focus: How can we make change? The ICA process is outlined in our operating guidelines, but I would like to give you my best step-by-step example of how this could play out when a member or local association wants to formally propose a change to policy within the current ICA resolutions or create a new resolution. If you are like me, although I know the basics of the process, I relearned a couple of points when I was thinking about this topic and reviewing the guidelines. The first step is to engage. Engage in conversation.

Engage at any level you feel appropriate to determine whether others share your view and need for change, or have varying views. You never know when you may be saying what someone else is thinking. 8


BY CAMERON MULRONY ICA Executive Vice President

Engage in discussion. Engage in solutions. Engage at any level you feel appropriate to determine whether others share your view and need for change, or have varying views. You never know when you may be saying what someone else is thinking. There is no requirement for this to happen, but it seems that a little legwork among other cattlemen would be a healthy step in initiating change. The second item, although not a formal requirement, would be to review current ICA policy resolutions to see whether you need to amend an existing resolution or create a new resolution in the process. The current ICA resolutions can be found online under our members-only area, or give us a call and we can send them to you electronically or in hard copy for your review. Never fear! If you would like additional support, you can bring your idea to a staff or board member, or committee chair, and ask us if there are any conflicting or related policies.


Now let’s focus on the requirements in the guidelines. ICA policies will automatically sunset after a period of five years, unless acted upon by their designated committees. Basically, this states that if no action is taken on a resolution, it is removed from ICA policy following the fifth year. The date of action is listed following the resolution title in our policy book. The ICA committee chairpersons make recommendations of sunset or renewal at this time. “New” and “Proposed” amendments to the resolutions are to be submitted to the ICA 45 days prior to the annual convention. This year’s annual meeting is scheduled for Nov. 14-16, making the submission deadline Oct. 3. However, if a new resolution or significant

amendment does not arrive in time, it can be brought through an ICA standing committee to the floor with a twothirds vote for discussion and review. These resolutions, whether submitted prior to 45 days or those brought to the floor in committee, must be reviewed and released through the resolutions committee prior to the general membership meeting at the annual convention. Any issue that does not go through the resolutions committee must be supported after being brought forward in a formal motion by a two-thirds vote on the floor of the general membership meeting. So what questions might you have following that brief outline of the process used to direct change in the Idaho Cattle Association?

Q: What are the current ICA standing committees?

A: Glad you asked. ICA standing committees in which policy can be brought forward include: • Cattlewomen Council • Cow/Calf Producers Council • Feeder Council • Purebred Council • Allied Industry Committee • Cattle Health and Well Being Committee • Federal and State Lands Committee • Marketing Committee • Private Lands & Environment Committee • Resolutions Committee • Wildlife Committee

Q: Who can I ask for clarification on a resolution and the board’s interpretation?

A: You can ask any person on the

staff or leadership team, and it can be brought to the attention of the executive committee to provide clarification on resolutions.

Q: I don’t really have the skill set to draft a resolution. Who can help me with this process? A: Staff and leadership can assist any

member with the drafting of language for a resolution.

Q: What if it is a timely matter and November may not come soon enough?

A: The ICA board can set interim

policy to address timely manners, which will require approval of the membership at the annual meeting. However, there is a process to address policy needs at other times of the year. I am sure I have not answered all the questions you may have on this process, but I was reminded following a call the other day that our membership changes from time to time, and it is valuable to help new members understand the formal process – while also reminding our longtime members of our operating guidelines to ensure that membership voices are heard at the ICA level and beyond. I am hopeful that you may be compelled to engage in this process to help the ICA continue to build the success of the cattle industry in Idaho!

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Q: How do I find the chairman or committee members in each of those areas? A: Contact the ICA office. We have the list of chairpersons as well as members in your district who may serve on those committees. You can also find members of the board on these committees in your January issue of Line Rider.

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We weather tempests that threaten our industry, just as we do winter's storms Surviving the ongoing sage grouse and wolf sagas is like fighting through Idaho’s many seasons

BY KAREN WILLIAMS ICA Natural Resources Policy Director


n my neck of the woods, the weather this year has been one for the record books. Right around the turn of the new year, we got snow and wind in such massive quantities and concurrently that I was snowed out of my house for a few days. Friends all over the valley had similar problems, as the snow entirely covered vehicles and made driveways unrecognizable and completely inaccessible. The road that connects my area to town got closed several times as drifts piled 10 feet high. Getting feed to cattle in such conditions was a tall task. A neighbor had the sickening experience of discovering, too late, cows that had piled up against a fence, and then got drifted over. The frustrations of inadequate and insufficient snow removal equipment, ill-equipped to handle the massive quantity of snow, were felt by many across the valley. But in the midst of frustration, neighbor helped neighbor. Farmers and ranchers brought their loaders out to clear roads, tractors were used to make pathways for mail to be delivered, teenagers were sent to shovel out doorways and sidewalks, and many more unsolicited acts of service were rendered. Surrounded by the ugly and the worrisome, great things happened — the best in humanity shined and the water outlook improved dramatically. Just after the blizzards, two days of steady rain fell, encrusting the snow with a layer of ice. This was followed by weeks of below-freezing tempera-


tures, with intermittent fog. And then the glorious sun came out and stayed for days on end, with little-to-no wind — a feat rarely accomplished in the typically bleak days of an Idaho winter. The saying goes, “If you don’t like the weather in Idaho, just wait an hour and it will change.” I’m sure you’ve heard it. I’ve seen the names of various other multiseason states inserted. The same goes for many of the issues we face in our industry — if you don’t like what’s happening on an issue that impacts you, just wait an hour (or an election) and it will change. Such is certainly the case with sage grouse. If we were to compare the status of this issue to one of the 12 seasons of Idaho, as pictured above, CONTINUED, PAGE 12

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of bad and good, miserable and pleasant, will continue throughout the year, so will the good news and bad news on cattle industry issues. we’d probably be at the front end of Hell’s Front Porch. We’ve weathered the threat of an Endangered Species Act listing (Winter), then successfully prevented a listing (Fool’s Spring), then been faced with overreaching federal land management plans for the species that unnecessarily elevated grazing as a threat to the species (Second Winter), then amended those plans to recognize that grazing is a compatible use (Spring of Deception), then had those plans enjoined from being implemented by


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activist litigation (Third Winter), then cruised for a time as the court process halted any action on the issue (Spring and Summer), and now here we are facing the potential of past overreaching language in the Second Winter plans resurfacing. Similarly, the wolf issue has taken us through multiple seasons. As an industry, we fought against reintroduction of the species to Idaho (Winter), then found a way to work within the system to effectively delist Idaho’s population (Fool’s Spring), then fought against lawsuits (Second Winter), then actually got the species in Idaho delisted (Spring of Deception), then faced more litigation (Third Winter), then achieved full state management of Idaho’s wolf population (Spring and Summer), then continued to bear the aggregating costs of raising prey among a productive predator (Hell’s Front Porch), then worked collaboratively to pass common-sense state legislation to improve the state’s management of the species (False Fall), and now face more litigation along with a renewed proposal to relist the species and deprive us of common-sense wolf management (Early Winter). Just as the weather cycle of bad and good, miserable and pleasant, will continue throughout the year, so will the good news and bad news on cattle industry issues. As we battle through the Third Winter and Hell’s Front Porch days, just remember that the rejuvenation of Actual Spring or the calm of Actual Fall is just around the corner. In the days ahead, we are certain to face issues that threaten to disrupt or even destroy our livelihoods, but then a solution will most certainly be found, and crisis will be averted. The trick is to learn to weather the storm and maintain hope that the sun will come out tomorrow.

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Idaho’s surplus, bill priorities serve our industry well Election-year sessions are unpredictable, but lawmakers have worked to address agriculture needs


e are off to a good start – no, really we are – and at the time of this column, the 2022 Idaho Legislature is about halfway through with relatively little drama. Every year my outlook of the Legislature includes the same basic desire that legislators take care of the necessary functions of Idaho’s government, address the immediate needs of their constituents and go home. Foremost, they need to pass a balanced state budget and address surplus and deficiency budgets. This task has always been about balancing the priorities of industries, agencies, districts and partisanship. It becomes even more difficult when ideology splinters priorities in an era of critical race theory, urban sprawl, social justice and pandemics. Idaho’s budget surplus to start the session was around $1.9 billion and counting, leading the nation in economic growth. The state’s population exploded by an estimated 2% the past year alone. Idaho’s performance may be a societal boon, but it makes our leaders’ job that much more difficult as to how to arrange general fund monies and address the state’s growth. It will be critical for Idaho agricultural groups to be at the table to ensure that we continue to invest our windfall back into our infrastructure system, rural connectivity, rural education and water. Typically, my armchair analysis around lawmaking when we have a surplus is that it really creates more fighting. Everybody is trying to get their hand into the cookie jar. And typically, I am right.



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However, this year has seemed different. What gives? Well, you know the old adage, “You can’t have your cake and eat it too?” According to Gov. Brad Little, “Idaho kind of can.” There were enough resources built up that the governor’s proposed budget has spread resources across the priorities of most groups and lawmakers, all while providing tax rebates and ongoing tax cuts. In fact, within the first three weeks of session, the storied tax relief bill was the first bill to clear the legislative process of 2022, with the real dissension being on party lines. In short, the bill lowers income tax rates, lowers the corporate income tax retroactively and returns approximately 12% of 2020 Idaho personal income tax to each taxpayer. All majority caucuses and the governor are raising the banner of credit and victory on this rare piece of political unity in the Idaho legislative landscape. Lawmakers are wading through the governor’s budget, which, as I’ve said, has something for everybody. For agriculture and resources industries, we can find additional resources of: • $60 million of investment in Career and Technical Education and Workforce Development Council. • $200 million for transportation deferred maintenance split 60:40 between state and local. • $200 million made available to invest in local bridge backlogs, which slashes about a third of the local bridge improvements needed throughout the state. • $35 million investment in our supply chain infrastructure entangling rail, air and ports. CONTINUED, PAGE 16

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Will all these investments and tax cuts in the same year really bring about a smooth legislative process? Only time can tell, but for the time being it seems to be working. • $95 million that can be applied toward aging infrastructure for irrigation districts. • $20 million made available for Agricultural Best Management practices to improve Idaho’s priority watersheds. • $150 million of additional resources for state fire suppression in addition to fully reimbursing past fire costs. • Strategically investing $225 million of federal funds for broadband infrastructure across the state. • Leveraging $250 million more of federal funds for water infrastructure, which includes raising Anderson Ranch Dam and recharge in the Upper Snake. Will all these investments and tax cuts in the same year really bring about a smooth legislative process? Only time can tell, but for the time being it seems to be working. The fights over education and health care issues are yet to mate-


rialize, but all indications lead me to believe that we are in a much more civil environment at the Statehouse.


Lastly, the fact that 2022 is an election year should not escape our focus. Election years are always a little precocious, and this time around the district boundaries have changed, so the politics can as well. Last redistricting election cycle, the state Legislature composition had a 40% turnover, and this year we already know of around 25% of legislators who are retiring, running for statewide office or are matched against previous district incumbents. To say that the next slate of legislators will be 50% freshmen may be an understatement. What does this mean for the 2022 Legislature? While longtime lobbyists and politicos like to pontificate, nobody really knows. However, that does not mean I am immune from delving into the parlor games. Typically, election year sessions get concluded in a reasonable time frame, largely because candidates want to have time freed up to knock on doors with a May 17 primary fast approaching. The next thing that can happen is posturing or moderating, depending on how the politics of these newly minted districts look. This can be good or bad depending on how it plays out to one’s priorities, but often we see things called “campaign bills,” which are designed specifically to add credentials to someone’s political resume. In this vein we see lots of rhetoric and statements about heady national policy, which seem to play well at the ballot box but typically cannot be influenced by the state legislative process. This will be nothing outside the norm from the last session amid the pandemic. In the end, my hope for what’s left of this session is that it will be civil, respectful and dignified. That we can have fervent disagreement, yet mutual respect and strong professional relationships. Out here on the prairie, Christie and I have developed some close friends whom we disagree with on current issues, including vaccination, education, and organic and GMO-free food, yet we socialize with them weekly with no tension. They are some of our best friends, and we love them like family. Is it too much to ask the same of our elected officials? I think not.




Idaho Cattle Association


In the last 10 years, participants have raised over



in support of: Cattle Action Legal Fund Political Action Committee Beef Counts Fire Disaster Relief for reinforcement of the Idaho cattle industry. In 2021, we paid out over $30,000 in cash & prizes to participants.

ARE YOU READY? Contact the ICA office prior to May 1st for entry and additional information.



Federation of State Beef Councils funding helped “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” ads be ubiquitous throughout the recent holiday season.

Season’s eatings Ad campaign helped put beef at center of holiday table



Director, Federation Communications, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association With the excitement of the 2021 holiday season just a memory, some consumers are already counting down to Christmas 2022. Whether families hosted traditional festivities for large groups or more intimate gatherings last year, beef continued to be at the center of the season. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, inspired families to enjoy the moments that matter most by providing simple “how-to’s” on selecting, preparing and serving delicious and nutritious holiday beef meals to friends and family. Thanks to additional funding from the Federation of State Beef Councils, “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” television ads aired during the Hallmark Channel’s Countdown to Christmas

movies. Research from Dynata Platform showed that 87% of consumers planned to watch holiday movies, including those shown on the Hallmark Channel, at home. More than 125 TV ads ran on the Hallmark Channel, reaching an estimated 112 million adults, with an accompanying digital advertising effort that earned about 2.2 million digital impressions. “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” was

also featured during the cable TV premiere of “Christmas at Castle Hart” on Nov. 27 on Hallmark, and 17 delicious, perfect-for-the-holidays Beef Checkoff recipes were included in Hallmark. com’s recipe listicle. The website was decked out for the season with holiday recipes designed for every celebration. Social media included new Hanukkah content highlighting brisket recipes, and a roasting video series on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter had a reach of 32,000 and generated 3,000 engagements. Online engagement also kept beef front and center during the holidays, with 11 food and agriculture influencers posting content throughout December. More than 30 posts generated a reach of 933,228 and nearly 45,000 engagements. CONTINUED, PAGE 20

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Across many platforms, the holiday ad campaign helped families to sit down with beef for their holiday meals.

Beef was the focus of e-commerce efforts as well, encouraging consumers to purchase beef for holiday meals. A partnership with Sam’s Club reached more than 3 million households and brought new members to the beef category. Preliminary results from the holiday advertising campaign (not including Hallmark television ads) show it generated more than 50 million impressions, nearly 12 million views of “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” videos, 130,000 visits and 6.6 million audio ad listens. The holiday campaign is a perfect example of the importance of the Beef Checkoff’s state and national partnership that NCBA has through the Federation of State Beef Councils. At the national level, NCBA, through Beef Checkoff resources, managed broadcast television, paid media, influencer 20 LINE RIDER MARCH 2022

Online engagement

also kept beef front and center during the holidays, with 11 food and agriculture influencers posting content throughout December. More than 30 posts generated a reach of 933,228 and nearly 45,000 engagements. communications and earned media. Creative assets including radio ads and video ads were also shared with state beef councils, which extended the campaign through a variety of tactics

and digital platforms at a local level. Overall, the holiday campaign was a tremendous success, reaching families across the country and helping them make beef the center of the season.

Whether families hosted traditional festivities for large groups or more intimate gatherings, beef continued to be at the center of the holiday season.



More than 125 Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.® television ads ran on the Hallmark Channel during the holiday season reaching an

estimated 112 million adults.



The accompanying digital advertising effort earned about 2.2 million

digital impressions. Preliminary results from the holiday advertising campaign (not including Hallmark television ads) generated more than 50 million impressions, nearly 12 million views of Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.® videos, 130,000 Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.® website visits, and 6.6 million audio ad listens.


17 delicious, perfect-for-the-holidays Beef Checkoff recipes were included in’s recipe listicle.



Social media included new Christmas and Hanukkah content, including Brisket recipes, and a roasting video series on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter had

a reach of 32,000 and generated 3,000 engagements.



Beef was the focus of e-commerce efforts as well, encouraging consumers to purchase beef for holiday meals. A partnership with Sam’s Club reached more than 3 million households and brought new members to the beef category.




To carry on great work for Idaho’s cattle industry is an



As state vet, I look forward to making sure we continue to be a model for others to follow on animal health and welfare After being in Idaho for 10-plus years, it seems a little odd having to introduce yourself as the new guy, but when you’re following the path of someone who was born, raised, practiced and retired here, then it’s probably a fair request. My name is Scott Leibsle, and I’m the state veterinarian at the Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA), having filled the position vacated by Bill Barton, who retired in January 2021. Those of you who knew Bill will no doubt agree that the excellent service he provided to Idaho’s cattle industry, both as a practitioner and as state veterinarian, will be greatly missed. I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to work with and learn from Bill for nine years, and now I am blessed to have been given the chance to continue building on many of the programs that he started, but I’ll cover those in just a minute. CONTINUED, PAGE 24





To summarize my background, I took an unusual path to become Idaho’s state vet. I am originally from Wisconsin and am a third-generation veterinarian. I earned my veterinary degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2003, and was focused on equine and food animal medicine from the beginning, following the path of my grandfather and uncle. After completing an internship in Florida, I moved to Idaho for the first time to be an equine vet in the Wood River Valley. Admittedly, this decision was somewhat influenced by my affinity for skiing, camping and fishing. After two years, I was recruited back to Wisconsin to join the family practice as an equine and food animal vet. But after five years of practicing back home, I had an opportunity to move back to Idaho and join the Department of Agriculture. So in 2011, I left the tundra of Wisconsin behind and moved to Idaho for the second time. This time it stuck. Since joining ISDA, I’ve been fortunate to have spent 10-plus years meeting producers, 24 LINE RIDER MARCH 2022

working with the industry and gaining an appreciation for what makes Idaho agriculture great.


Idaho has a distinct advantage over many other large cattle states due to the strong relationship the producers, industry partners and ISDA have forged over the years. The willingness of these groups to collaborate has brought about an environment where programs can be created and implemented, and then produce a tangible benefit almost immediately. An example is Idaho’s trichomoniasis (trich) program. In 1989, after more than 300 bulls tested positive for the disease, Idaho became the first state in the country to implement a mandatory testing program. This program was created specifically at the request of the cattle industry, because Idaho producers knew that, if not managed properly, trich can swiftly work its way through an entire grazing association

and destroy conception rates. Since then, the program has evolved into a model of efficiency that many other states are attempting to duplicate. Most recently, during the 2020 trich season, more than 29,000 tests were submitted to Idaho’s Animal Health Laboratory, with only one confirmed positive (in a bull that shipped in from out of state). Very few states can claim the level of success that Idaho has had with its trich program, which stems entirely from the willingness of government and industry to join forces and solve a problem. Another success story that has greatly benefited Idaho’s cattle industry is the creation of an electronic records database that allows ISDA to maintain real-time livestock traceability, and store and search the thousands of movement, vaccination and testing records that are created each year by Idaho vets. In a world where everything is expected to move at the speed of commerce, government should be no different. In 2018, the cattle industry

successfully lobbied the Idaho Legislature to provide ISDA a one-time allocation of funds to build and implement a traceability database. In the event Idaho’s cattle industry were to be impacted by a contagious disease such as tuberculosis or foot and mouth disease, the ability to trace livestock movement histories and locate the affected animal(s) as fast as possible is of critical importance. The database has been fully operational for more than three years and has created an inexpensive, efficient and secure method for Idaho vets to submit all required documents to ISDA. What would have taken days or weeks of searching file cabinets for paper records can now be searched and reviewed instantaneously in ISDA’s secure data servers. Other states are once again looking at Idaho’s model to not only store records electronically, but also create pathways for their veteri-

narians to submit documents far more efficiently than what had previously been achieved with paper records.


One aspect of traceability that has not yet been mandated, but will soon affect the industry, is the transition to electronic identification (EID) tags. To maintain traceability with livestock records, but still move at the speed of commerce, the animals listed on those records must be identified with a tag that can be easily and accurately recorded. As many of you are aware, electronic ID has been a controversial subject that seems to be going on for forever. As it currently stands, USDA is in the process of publishing the new traceability rule for public comment. Once CONTINUED, PAGE 26


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completed, the full transition to EID in livestock will be phased in over a period of several years. Those timelines have not yet been set, but states are being encouraged to begin the transition now and avoid waiting till the last minute. As an incentive for early transition, each state has been allocated a supply of EID tags to distribute to producers, free of charge. ISDA has acquired a supply of orange (Bangs vaccination only) and white 840 RFID tags. Producers wishing to obtain a supply of white 840 tags can contact ISDA for more information. If you wish to begin using the orange 840 tags to vaccinate your heifers, contact your veterinarian and have them call ISDA. Below is a brief overview of several programs from ISDA that benefit the cattle industry in Idaho. Traceability: An electronic database, maintained by ISDA, stores all livestock movement and disease surveillance records submitted by veterinarians to provide real-time traceability for Idaho producers and their 26


animals. ISDA encourages producers to begin the transition to electronic tags now by contacting ISDA and requesting 840 RFID ear tags for cattle identification. These tags are available at no cost to the producer. Brucellosis: Yellowstone National Park is the last remaining reservoir for brucellosis in the country. ISDA conducts regular disease testing, monitors livestock movements and mitigates domestic cattle interactions with wildlife in and around the area of Yellowstone to provide greater confidence and assurance that Idaho cattle continue to be free of brucellosis. Trichomoniasis: Idaho has had a mandatory annual trich testing program in place since 1989. All bulls 24 months and older that are not dry lotted on a dairy or in approved feedlot slaughter channels must be tested and tagged annually. Virgin bulls must be tagged (not tested) as well. Nutrient Management: ISDA regulates the storage and land application of all dairy, beef and poultry nutrients (manure and waste). Routine

inspections are conducted on storage lagoons, and records are reviewed to verify the nutrients are being applied at appropriate levels to support crop growth and prevent contamination of the surrounding environment.

Range Photo Monitoring Program: The ISDA photo monitor-

ing program allows for participation, coordination and cooperation between ISDA, land management agencies and permittees in the collection and review of photo monitoring data. ISDA provides a framework for photo point monitoring data to be collected by permittees, creating a standardized and scientifically valid protocol for permittees interested in participating, which in turn gives them a seat at the planning table. If you have questions about these programs or any others under ISDA’s purview, please feel free to contact me directly. It was my pleasure serving Idaho agriculture as the deputy state veterinarian, and I look forward to continuing my involvement with the cattle industry as the state veterinarian.

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Working with agencies on recreation and land access

As an upcoming meeting on sustainability solutions for rangelands and communities approaches, agencies share policy information in this Q&A BY BRENDA RICHARDS

Idaho Rangeland Conservation Partnership Coordinator The Idaho Rangeland Conservation Partnership serves as a conduit among rangeland stakeholders to help bring groups 28


together that may not always have another avenue to communicate with each other on rangeland issues. IRCP promotes understanding, learning and cross-education, while working toward collaborative solutions and opportunities reaching across land ownership boundaries (private, state, federal) and

across viewpoints. We focus on the economic, social and ecological aspects necessary for maintaining healthy, working, sustainable rangelands and the communities that depend on them. During our annual meeting in January 2020, IRCP held a panel discussion on access and recreation. That panel included then ICA President Marty Gill, who represented the private landowner perspective. From that we have continued to participate in the many recreation conversations, in many meetings, including the recent ICA session at the annual convention in Sun Valley.



The Surface Management Responsibility map displays the agency responsible for management of the land only. It should be used as a general guide only. Surface Management Agency (SMA) data is current to December 2018.

Coeur d'Alene


Ke llogg

BLM D istrict Office Boundary BLM Fi eld Office Boundary Bureau of Land Management Private


Coeur d'Alene



Fores t Service



Bureau of Land Management Field and Dist rict Administrative Boundaries




Coeur d'Alene District






No warranty is made by the Bureau of Land Management. The accuracy, reliability, or completeness of these data for individual use or aggregate use with other data is not guaranteed.

State of Idaho Bureau of Reclamation Military/Dept of Energy Indian Reserva tion National Park Service National Wildlife Refuge Other Federal

Cottonwood Idaho



Scale 1:3,000,000 0



Challis 93

Idaho Falls District



Idaho Falls



Mountain Home


Twin Falls District



Twin Fall s




Does your agency have policy or guidance pertaining to or addressing recreation and/or recreation issues? Idaho Department of Lands (IDL): IDL’s

recreation policy is outlined in IDL Department Policy No. 23 providing guidance to staff in managing recreation on state endowment lands and recreation related activities. See “Managing Recreational

Pocatello 30



Upper Snake 15






Four Rivers Caldwell




50 Miles

Boise District


In addition, current ICA President Mark Pratt has been very helpful and encouraging of the process IRCP uses to help guide conversation around this challenging topic and in helping to look for ways that needs, gaps and opportunities can be identified. To help understand what actual policy is in place, the following questions were put to the Idaho Department of Lands, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Bureau of Land Management and the Idaho Liaison for the U.S. Forest Service Intermountain and Northern Regions. Each agency’s response to the questions is included, along with some online links where you can find additional information that guides how they address recreation and recreation issues. The map (at right) helps depict the vast amount of state and federal land in Idaho, and where private property connects with that land. IRCP will be hosting its annual meeting March 17-18 in Nampa at the Idaho Fish and Game office. During this meeting we will host another panel presentation and discussion around recreation and rangelands. The information gathered here will help open the recreation session and help to set the stage for the breakout sessions. Meeting info can be found at

United States Department of the Interior


Bonners Ferry


IRCP Mission: “To bring together ranchers, conservationists, agencies, recreationists, scientists and other rangeland stakeholders to conserve and enhance the social, ecological and economic values rangelands provide through shared learning and action.”





Use on State Endowment Lands” located on the IDL website.

Idaho Department of Fish & Game (IDFG): Working to

provide recreational access and opportunities for the public is squarely in the IDFG’s mission, especially when it comes to wildlife-dependent recreation such as hunting, fishing, trapping and wildlife viewing. CONTINUED, PAGE 30 IDAHO CATTLE ASSOCIATION


Bureau of Land Management (BLM): BLM

has a large recreation program across the 11 Western states. BLM policy is in federal regulations (43 CFR 2930, 43 CFR 8340 and 8360). BLM operates under multiple laws including FLPMA, the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act and the Dingell Act. (The Dingell Act authorizes permanent funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund.) BLM manuals and handbooks spell out policy on recreation planning, managing off-highway vehicles, resource management, etc. Nationally, BLM has a broader recreation strategy which can be found at:

United States Forest Service (USFS): USFS

has policy pertaining to recreation in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). Many topics are covered in the CFR, such as definitions regarding sanitation, operation of vehicles, camping, destruction of property, and guidance for occupancy and use of developed recreation sites.

Does your agency have enforcement capability/jurisdiction (within the above policy or guidelines) to address recreation issues? IDL: IDL does not have enforcement capabil-

ities. Regarding penalties, there are warnings and criminal trespassing. Criminal trespass is rarely used as enforcement as the courts feel it to be a sledgehammer approach to an unfavorable action. Recently, IDL introduced legislation to create a middle-ground approach to assist in enforcement. If the legislation were to pass, it would allow IDL the ability to write rules and allow enforcement to write infractions for unfavorable behavior.

IDFG: IDFG authority comes through a variety of

state laws, and although IDFG conservation officers are fully certified peace officers, their mission is geared toward the enforcement of wildlife rules, hunting and fishing seasons, and some motor vehicle restrictions pertaining to hunting, fishing and trapping. Some examples of enforcement authorities IDFG officers have is the ability to issue citations for trespass (in conjunction with the landowner), resource damages in certain circumstances, use of motorized vehicles on Fish and Game-owned lands and some lands under special agreement. However, nearly all IDFG enforcement is focused on people-involved wildlife-related activities. An IDFG conservation officer can issue a citation in certain areas for motorized vehicle use while hunting; they may not be able to issue a citation to a person riding a dirt 30



bike or ATV on a non-motorized trail if the person involved was not hunting, fishing or trapping.

BLM: BLM law enforcement officers can issue

citations for resource damage, non-payment of recreation site fees, and other violations spelled out in CFR. Depending upon the circumstances (manner and degree of the violation), officers may issue a warning rather than a citation.

USFS: FS has enforcement ability on Forest Ser-

vice System lands. Details for enforcement information:

Does your agency have agreements with other entities allowing for enforcement capability pertaining to recreation? If so, what are those agreements? IDL: IDL has a memorandum agreement

with Idaho Fish and Game to have the equivalent of two full-time senior conservation officers. The time of these two officers is spread around the state. IDL does not have agreements with local sheriff departments; however, local sheriffs can still offer to enforce CONTINUED, PAGE 32

and assist on endowment lands. IDL feels the primary function of enforcement is to educate. If legislation was passed to allow for infractions, it would put an additional tool in the enforcement tool kit to assist with unfavorable behavior. IDL also has three leases with counties to manage trail systems and parking areas.

IDFG: IDFG has public access agreements with

many private landowners, including private timber companies for close to 900,000 acres. In addition, IDFG has the ACCESS YES! program, which focuses on providing payment to landowners that allows access to their land or permission to go through their land to the surrounding public lands.

BLM: BLM has agreements with several county

sheriff offices for assistance, but most of these are focused on emergencies such as search and rescue rather than recreation issues. These agreements vary by BLM field office.

USFS: State and county law enforcement personnel have full authority to enforce state law on National Forest System lands. Only forest officers

can enforce federal laws, rules and regulations that apply specifically to the protection of the national forests.

Does your agency have any policy restricting or limiting motorized use? If so, is there enforcement capability? IDL: Yes, IDL has the following policies:

• Restrictions pertaining to width on routes – single track; 50” or less; full-size vehicle • Recreation use for motorized and non-motorized use is limited to trails designated for the specific width use. In areas where designations do not occur, recreation is limited to existing roads and trails. • Non-motorized use is allowed off trail if it does not create unwanted trails. • IDL does not have any non-motorized-specific routes. • IDL is currently in the process of inventorying various blocks of endowment land as time and funding allow. • Gated roads are generally open to vehicles 50” wide or less unless otherwise posted or conditions exist that would degrade the road surface, cause ruts or other physical damage outside of normal wear and tear. IDL’s enforcement capabilities for this question are the same as in question 2.

IDFG: IDFG manages the wildlife, so has limited

areas of authority here. However, IDFG can cite for use of a motorized vehicle on Fish and Game-owned lands and some lands under special agreement where motorized use is not allowed.

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BLM: BLM’s motorized use policy is outlined in the Travel and Transportation manual and handbook, and BLM manages motorized use through the development of travel management plans. Designating areas where motorized use is authorized is specified in those travel management plans. BLM law enforcement officers can cite users under the 43 CFR 8340 regulations.

USFS: USFS does have policies on motorized use.

Kevin Potter

3740 County Line Rd Emmett, ID 83617


Once National Forest System roads, trails and areas on NFS lands have been designated pursuant to 36CFR 212.51 on an administrative unit or a Ranger District, and these designations have then been identified on a motor vehicle map, it is prohibited to possess or operate a motor vehicle on NFS lands in that administrative unit or Ranger District other than in accordance with those designations. For specific multivehicle use:

Does your agency have specific policy pertaining to restrictions on areas or closures during certain seasons? IDL: IDL has a closure in north Idaho

pertaining to the grizzly bear recovery zone. The Land Board has the authority to close lands for safety and resource protection. In addition, IDL may temporarily close a road or area for emergencies such as wildfire, or for a certain time such as to remove timber safely in an area. Enforcement remains the difficult piece.

IDFG: IDFG works with land management agencies and private property owners to suggest closures or access restrictions to protect wildlife, especially during times of year when they are especially vulnerable to disturbance. An example of this would be closing an area to human entry providing winter ground for big game herds, or a wetland closure where waterfowl breeding and rearing is occurring. On lands owned by IDFG there may be seasonal closures to prevent damage or disturbance.

BLM: Many BLM offices have seasonal restric-

tions in certain areas (usually related to motorized

use). Most often these are focused on minimizing conflicts with wildlife. Restrictions vary by field office and are developed as part of that office’s Resource Management Plan and a subsequent Recreation Management Plan or Comprehensive Trail Management Plan. Any restrictions are determined during the public planning processes at the field office level. BLM enforces any such restrictions with a combination of signage, education, public contact and law enforcement. None of BLM’s recreation staff have law enforcement authority and cannot issue citations.

USFS: USFS closures are generally special closures

as outlined in 36 CFR 261.53 such as: When provided in an order with USFS, it is prohibited to go into or upon any area which is closed for the protection of: • Threatened, endangered, rare, unique, or vanishing species of plants, animals, birds, or fish. • Special biological communities. • Objects or areas of historical, archeological, geological, or paleontological interest.




Scientific experiments or investigations. Public health or safety. Property. The privacy of Tribal activities for traditional or cultural purposes.

BLM: BLM uses news releases, public notices in

Does your agency assist in getting information on recreation and guidance for recreational use out to the public?

outreach, all common social media outreach applications (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc.), along with the USFS recreation website: https://www.fs.usda. gov/managing-land/national-forests-grasslands/recreation.

• • • •

IDL: IDL uses our website, trail maps, signs and kiosks. IDL is currently working on a brochure and using social media and standard media.     IDFG: IDFG has an entire communications bureau utilizing various forms of media to get information out to the public. The most common are through the IDFG webpage, news releases, social media and videos IDFG creates for distribution. IDFG has informational signage at wildlife management areas and on lands under agreement.

newspapers, the BLM website and social media (Facebook and Twitter) to share information. BLM also partners with other agencies through the Recreate Responsibly Coalition, and works with the Idaho Recreation and Tourism Initiative.

USFS: USFS uses social media and education

Does your agency have specific jobs dealing with recreation and recreation management? If so, are they adequate for the increase in recreational use? IDL: IDL has a recreation program man-

ager working to assist the nine supervisory areas on recreation-related challenges. Some CONTINUED, PAGE 36


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of the management areas under IDL have a person where their secondary job is to assist with recreation challenges as needed.

IDFG: IDFG has a program coordinator who

oversees the IDFG access as well as several other regional programs that work with landowners to enroll in the access program or address concerns with recreational users. IDFG has 98 conservation officers who can assist with recreational/wildlife enforcement issues.

BLM: BLM has both permanent and seasonal

staff in the recreation program. Permanent staff are outdoor recreation planners and park rangers, and seasonal staff are also identified as park rangers. BLM also recruits volunteers as campground hosts. It is becoming difficult to attract seasonal workers due to the increased cost of housing in both urban and rural communities of Idaho. BLM is strategizing on how to effectively address the increase in recreational use moving forward.

USFS: USFS has hundreds of job descriptions and series dealing directly with recreation. Most

positions would be in recreation technician and forest technician series. Currently there are hundreds of these job openings on USAjobs. USFS has not been immune to the current challenges the country is facing in hiring and retaining employees. USFS has had both an increase in recreational use and a challenge in hiring employees. There is currently a focused effort across government to expedite hiring and increase funding to help address these issues. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is an example of that for USFS. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act: • Provides USFS resources to reduce the risk of wildland fire, restore ecosystems, and invest in natural resource related infrastructure – this includes recreation. • USFS Intermountain Region took a proactive approach in recent months to identify key staffing needs, to include increased firefighting resources, and ramping up the hiring process to allow for expedited hiring. • USFS Intermountain Region is part of a national effort to increase grants and agreements, and engineering positions. Future hiring will be focused on forestry and recreation positions. chiefs-desk-golden-opportunity-forest-service

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How does your



measure up?




Results of two major surveys can help beef producers check their practices and prevent losses BY J. BENTON GLAZE, JR., PH.D. Extension Beef Cattle Specialist, Department of Animal, Veterinary and Food Science at the University of Idaho 38


Calving season is one of the most critical times of the year for the beef operation. Management during this phase of the production cycle must be at its best. Any dead calf is an automatic loss that can have significant implications for a beef producer’s bottom line. According to the 2017 USDA National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) survey (more information below), 34.9% of responding operations lost at least one calf (younger than 3 weeks) due to calving-related problems. Good management and proper planning can lead to fewer calf losses and a successful calving season. “If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it” is a quote from Lord Kelvin

(a.k.a. William Thompson) that has been adapted by several authors and applied to businesses, educational institutions, industries, etc. Generally, you cannot determine whether your efforts are successful unless success is defined and tracked. This requires a protocol and set of guidelines that allow you to quantify progress and make adjustments to produce desired outcomes. In beef cattle, one area to monitor and make adjustments for the greatest level of success is in a herd’s calving management. Following are results of a couple of surveys related to calving management that beef producers can use as a benchmark for their herd’s practices. In 2017, NAHMS initiated a study

to examine the cattle management practices on cow-calf operations in the U.S. The study was conducted in the 24 states with the largest beef cow populations and represented approximately 87% of all U.S. beef cows and approximately 79% of all U.S. beef operations. In 2016, the Western Canadian Cow-Calf Surveillance Network (WCCCSN) initiated a study to benchmark current calving practices on western Canadian cow-calf operations. Survey responses came from operations in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, a region that produces approximately 77% of the beef animals in Canada. The survey data was limited to responses from winter/spring calving operations.


To gain some perspective of when calving management practices are

applied in the beef industry, consider the months when calves were born. In the NAHMS survey, the percent of calves born in each month was 5.7% for January, 12.3% for February, 22.4% for March, 20.9% for April, 8.9% for May and 29.7% for all other months combined. In the WCCCSN survey, the proportions of herds that started calving each month were 17.9% in January, 20% in February, 33.7% in March, and 28.4% in April or May. In Canada, heifers calved for an average of 59 days and cows calved for an average of 86 days. Ideally, calves born to cows and heifers would occur without assistance. However, in some instances, beef females need some additional help in delivering their calf. In the NAHMS survey, the percent of all beef females requiring assistance was 4.6% (9.4% heifers, 3.6% cows). Similar results were found in the WCCSN survey, with

calving assistance being provided for 4.9% (13.5% heifers, 3.2% cows) of all births. The incidence of cesarean section in the NAHMS survey was 0.2% in heifers and no cesarean sections being reported in cows. In the WCCSN survey, the incidence of C-section was 0.7% in heifers and 0.15% in cows. The most important and critical time in the life of a calf is calving time. Producers should have a plan in place to check cows and heifers as their calving time nears. A general rule of thumb is to check cows 3-4 times per day and heifers every four hours. According to the NAHMS survey, most beef operations monitored heifers (93.2%) and cows (89.0%) on a regular basis – meaning a frequency other than haphazard. Of the operations that monitored heifers on a regular basis, CONTINUED, PAGE 40


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the percent of operations that checked heifers 1, 2, 3-4, or 5 or more times in a 24-hour period was 22.5%, 33.8%, 22.9% or 20.7%, respectively. Of the operations that monitored cows on a regular basis, the percent of operations that checked cows 1, 2, 3-4, or 5 or more times in a 24-hour period was 38.0%, 31.2%, 19.2% or 11.5%, respectively. In the WCCSN survey, the times that cattle were monitored prior to calving were broken down by daylight and nighttime hours. During the daylight hours, the percent of operations checking heifers once daily, twice daily, 3-6 times per day or at least hourly was 6.3%, 11.6%, 56.8% or 25.3%, respectively. Switching to nighttime hours, the percent of operations checking heifers once daily, twice daily, 3-6 times per day or at least hourly was 32.6%, 16.3%, 32.6% or 18.5%, respectively. On the cow side, the frequency that cows were checked the most by Canadian producers during the daylight hours was 3-6 times per day (50.0% of respondents) and the frequency that cows were checked the most during nighttime hours was once daily (38.7% of respondents).


The beef female’s delivery of a calf is divided into three stages. The first stage prepares the female for delivery, the second stage is characterized by actual labor and the birth of the calf, and the third stage includes the expulsion of the fetal membranes. The second stage of delivery can take 2-4 hours, but may be as short as 30 to 60 minutes. Females can be allowed to continue in the second stage if they are making consistent progress in delivering the calf. If progress stops, assistance may be required. According to the NAHMS survey, the percent of operations that regularly monitored heifers during calving and allowed the heifers to be in active labor for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5-6 or 7 or more hours 40 LINE RIDER MARCH 2022

The most important and critical time in the life of a calf is calving time. Producers should have a plan in place to check cows and heifers as their calving time nears. A general rule of thumb is to check cows 3-4 times per day and heifers every four hours.


before assisting was 32.9%, 31.7%, 10.9%, 11.0%, 5.9% or 7.5%, respectively. Similarly, the percent of operations that allowed cows to be in active labor for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5-6 or 7 or more hours before assisting was 29.1%, 28.7%, 11.1%, 12.4%, 10.5%, or 8.3%, respectively. The times that a beef female was allowed to labor (once water bag or feet were showing) before providing assistance were presented in different increments in the WCCSN survey. Canadian operations allowing heifers to be in labor for less than 60 minutes, 60-90 minutes, 90-120 minutes or more than 120 minutes broke down as 34.5%, 39.3%, 17.9% or 8.3%, respectively. The percent of operations that allowed cows to be in labor less than 60 minutes, 60-90 minutes, 90-120 minutes or more than 120 minutes was

29.6%, 34.6%, 18.5% or 17.3%, respectively. Calving management practices and protocols vary according to a number of factors, including region, herd size, facilities and owner/personnel skills and abilities. The items discussed above are not meant to be a complete or exhaustive list of factors associated with successful calving management. However, the discussion is meant as a reminder to identify and implement strategies allowing for the greatest number of healthy calves on the ground at the end of the calving season. The discussion should also serve as a reminder to be diligent in keeping records during the calving season so an operation’s calving performance can be benchmarked, and then improvements made.


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