Brangus Producers Generate $33,000 to Establish Foundation

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS–The International Brangus Breeders Association (IBBA) hosted a kickoff gala Friday, October 3, to commemorate the establishment of the International Brangus Breeders Foundation (IBBF) and to bring education and awareness to the Foundation. Generous donors collectively gave $33,000 to establish funds for the IBBF.

“The Foundation will help the association make the advancements necessary to push the Brangus breed to the forefront of the beef cattle industry,” said Traci Middleton, President of the IBBA Board of Directors. “Funding from members and cooperators will allow for more research and education to substantiate the beneficial qualities of Brangus cattle.”

The IBBF will fund research initiatives to advance the livestock industry as a whole while benefitting Brangus breeders today and in the future, as well as educate the beef cattle industry about Brangus attributes and production practices. The Foundation will also provide youth opportunities to become leaders for the future of the Brangus breed and the agriculture industry.

Ray Westall, owner of Brinks Brangus @ Westall Ranches, LLC, presented the IBBA with a $10,000 check to start off the fundraising. Bill and Gayle Davis, owners of Chimney Rock Cattle Co., matched Westall’s donation. Other donors included David and Nada Wood, Double W Ranch; Michael and Judy Kammerer, Red Bird Meadows Ranch; Russ and Pam Williamson, Skyhawk Brangus; Mike and Robin Vorel, Vorel Farms; and Joseph and Nancy Lingg, Lingg Brangus.

The IBBA, headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, strives to provide the commercial cattle industry, domestically and internationally, with the best genetics possible. Initially founded in 1949 as the American Brangus Breeders, the purpose of the IBBA is to enable members to serve the commercial cattle industry. For more information, visit GoBrangus.com.

Generous donors contributed to the funds to establish the IBBF, totaling $33,000.

Generous donors contributed to the funds to establish the IBBF, totaling $33,000.

Ray Westall presented the IBBA with a check to initiate the funds for the Foundation. (L to R) Brandon Belt, Traci Middleton, Ray Westall and Dr. Tommy Perkins

Ray Westall presented the IBBA with a check to initiate the funds for the Foundation. (L to R) Brandon Belt, Traci Middleton, Ray Westall and Dr. Tommy Perkins

Inaugural Brangus Fall Conference Emphasizes Progress

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS–The International Brangus Breeders Association (IBBA) hosted its inaugural Brangus Fall Conference in San Antonio, Texas, October 2-4. Attracting more than 100 members, committee representatives, and the entire International Junior Brangus Breeders Association (IJBBA) Board of Directors, attendees enjoyed an informative conference.

The event kicked off last Thursday afternoon with committee meetings at the Drury Inn and Suites, and a barbecue at the IBBA headquarters concluded the evening with Forrest Roberts, CEO of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), headlining the event. Roberts spoke about the outstanding opportunities that lie ahead for the beef cattle industry and emphasized critical topics in need of producers’ attention like submitting comments to prevent the EPA’s definition expansion of the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS).

“The opportunities that exist for producers in the beef cattle industry are greater than the challenges,” Roberts said.

Following the final committee meetings, Friday’s schedule included a field day at Doguet’s Diamond D Ranch in Poteet, Texas. A steak dinner was provided by Doguet’s, and transportation was sponsored by Charles and Charlotte Crochet from Lafayette, La. Producers were attentive during the informative live cattle demonstrations that followed about udder scoring, docility scoring, and feet and leg structure and were able to evaluate pens of cattle. Producers at the field day then directed questions to a panel of experts involved in various sectors of the cattle industry. Jason Bates, IBBA’s Director of Field Services and Commercial Marketing, moderated the panel consisting of Bill Austin, a commercial and purebred producer from Menard, Texas; Buck Thomason, a purebred producer from Cranfills Gap, Texas; Dr. Joe Paschall, Texas AgriLife Extension Agent in Corpus Christi, Texas; Jay Gray, Jr., General Manager of Graham Land and Cattle Co., Gonzales, Texas; and Lee Alford, a commercial and purebred producer from Caldwell, Texas.

Friday evening concluded with the International Brangus Breeders Foundation (IBBF) Kickoff Gala. The gala commemorated the establishment of the IBBF which will fund research initiatives to advance the livestock industry as a whole while benefitting Brangus breeders today and in the future, as well as educate the beef cattle industry about Brangus attributes and production practices. The Foundation will also provide youth opportunities to become leaders for the future of the Brangus breed and the agriculture industry. Generous donors collectively gave $33,000 to establish funds for the Foundation. Ray Westall, owner of Brinks Brangus @ Westall Ranches, LLC, presented the IBBA with a check to start off the fundraising. Bill and Gayle Davis, owners of Chimney Rock Cattle Co., matched Westall’s donation. Other donors included David and Nada Wood, Double W Ranch; Michael and Judy Kammerer, Red Bird Meadows Ranch; Russ and Pam Williamson, Skyhawk Brangus; Mike and Robin Vorel, Vorel Farms; and Joseph and Nancy Lingg, Lingg Brangus.

A Board of Directors meeting Saturday morning wrapped up the inaugural Brangus Fall Conference. Video highlights and coverage will be available at GoBrangus.com. The IBBA, headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, strives to provide the commercial cattle industry, domestically and internationally, with the best genetics possible. It was founded as the American Brangus Breeders in 1949 and has since evolved into the IBBA. The purpose of the IBBA is to enable members to serve the commercial cattle industry. For more information, visit GoBrangus.com.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Perkins to Speak at California Beef Improvement Seminar

Tommy Perkins_72

IBBA Executive Vice President
Dr. Tommy Perkins

SAN ANTONIO, TX [Nov. 8, 2013]- International Brangus Breeders Association (IBBA) Executive Vice President Dr. Tommy Perkins will be a guest speaker at the Third Annual Beef Improvement and Low Stress Cattle Handling Seminar scheduled for January 11, 2014. Hosted by University of California, Davis in conjunction with the FARM CLUB, several relevant cattle industry topics will be addressed at the seminar. Perkins will present at 11:30 a.m. on the topic of docility- 60 years of selection in beef cattle. Click here for a complete schedule of events.

“I look forward to this opportunity to share research-based knowledge of selection for docility in the beef industry with attendees at UC Davis,” Perkins said. “It will be an honor to speak alongside the world renown animal behaviorist Temple Grandin and the other great animal specialists.”

Perkins is most well known among industry professionals for his extensive research and experience using ultrasound technology. While teaching at several universities, including Texas Tech University, Texas State University and Missouri State University, Perkins accomplished an outstanding career measuring body composition in beef cattle using ultrasound technology and has been a certified ultrasound technician for more than 20 years. He has traveled to Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico and Venezuela to train beef producers, college professor and veterinarians how to use ultrasound technology to improve carcass merit in beef cattle.

A native of the Texas Panhandle region, Perkins received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas, and he received a doctoral degree in Animal Science with a specialization in animal breeding from Texas Tech University.

Other presenters and topics on the program include Dr. Temple Grandin on cattle behavior and improving handling facilities as well as setting up and implementing auditing programs for cattle and other food animals; Dr. Catalina Cabrera on reproductive strategies for beef cattle; Dr. Anita Varga on correcting dystocias in beef cattle; Dr. Frank Mitloehner on sustainable technologies to feed more people; and others. For more information about the seminar, visit the UC Davis website.

###

BIF to Host Genetic Prediction Workshop

MANHATTAN, Kan. [Oct. 28, 2013] – The Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) will host a Genetic Prediction Workshop in Kansas City, Mo., on December 12-13, 2013, at the Holiday Inn KCI Airport and KCI Expo Center, 11728 NW Ambassador Drive.

The conference is designed to give academic, allied industry, breed association staff and cattle producers a forum to learn about and discuss the latest developments in beef cattle genetic evaluation strategies. The implementation of genomics technologies in national cattle evaluation systems will be the focus of discussion.  Speakers will highlight the experiences and current status of technology deployment at several major US breed associations, experiences developing genomic predictions of genetic merit and alternate strategies for computation of genomically enabled EPDs. The conference will also feature discussion of planned modifications to the system used to compute the Across Breed EPD adjustment factors at the US Meat Animal Research Center.

A USDA multi-state project (NCERA-225) focused on implementation and strategies for national beef cattle genetic evaluation will meet prior to the Genetic Prediction Workshop. This meeting will feature station reports and research updates from a number of committee members.

Registration for the BIF Genetic Prediction Workshop is $100 and includes a buffet breakfast, lunch, dinner and breaks during the conference. For NCERA committee members, an additional registration of $25 is required and includes a breakfast and break for this portion of agenda. Attendees must preregister for the events by December 1, 2013. Online registration and full agenda is available at http://www.ksubeef.org in the ‘Upcoming Beef Events’ section.

LODGING: A room block is available through November 8, 2013 at the Holiday Inn KCI Airport. Room rates are $94 plus applicable tax and are available the nights of December 11 and 12.  Conference attendees should call the hotel reservations department directly at 1-800-957-4654 and identify themselves with the NCERA-225 & BIF Genetic Prediction Workshop block.  Reservations made after 11/8/2013 are accepted based on room type and group rate availability.

For more information about the BIF Genetic Prediction Workshop or the NCERA-225 meeting please contact Dr. Bob Weaber at 785-532-1460 or bweaber@k-state.edu or Lois Schreiner at 785-532-1267 or lschrein@ksu.edu.

Georgia Cattleman Attends YCC Conference and Industry Tour

Andrew Conley, general manager at Blackwater Cattle Company in Lake Park, Ga.

Andrew Conley, general manager of Blackwater Cattle Company, was one of  more than 50 young cattlemen and women selected to participate in the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) 33rd Young Cattlemen’s Conference (YCC). Conley was sponsored by the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association. The YCC program is a comprehensive, nationwide tour of beef industry sectors, created to enhance leadership skills in your beef industry professionals.

“YCC is a prestigious and competitive program designed to foster the future leadership of our industry,” said Forrest Roberts, NCBA chief executive officer. “The participants selected to attend YCC were chosen because of their exceptional contributions to the beef industry and their potential to be a strong voice in our future development. I look forward to seeing Andrew take an increased leadership role within NCBA and the beef industry.”

Conley grew up on a cow-calf operation in Blairsville, Ga., and was active in showing and judging livestock through 4-H. He attended Abraham Baldwin Agriculture College and Georgia Southern University.

Conley served the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association in 2011 as an Executive Committee Member and is currently the president of his local cattlemen’s association. Andrew also currently serves as General Manager at Blackwater Cattle Company in Lake Park, Ga., where he oversees 1,200 head of commercial and registered Brangus cattle.

His intensive management practices have helped his operation excel in many areas to include health and reproduction, as Conley practices cutting edge husbandry techniques. Blackwater has also held the distinction of hosting four high averaging bull sales within the Brangus breed. Conley said YCC was an opportunity to learn more about the issues facing the beef industry in order to be a better advocate back home. Conley’s hobbies include fishing and livestock auctioneering.

“This was a tremendous opportunity to meet other producers and learn valuable tools to take back home to our operations,” he said. “It’s great to learn how we as producers can have an impact on policy issues as well.”

The eight day tour began at NCBA headquarters in Denver, Colo., where participants were given an organizational overview of NCBA and the Beef Checkoff Program. While in Denver, the group also heard from representatives of Cattle Fax and the U.S. Meat Export Federation. They toured a Safeway retail store and learned about Rancher’s Reserve brand beef marketing efforts. The group spent a day in Greeley, Colo., visiting JBS Five Rivers feed yards and processing facilities.

“It is really important for participants to see each sector of the beef industry – from farm to fork,” said Conley. “Traveling from a cow/calf ranch to a feedlot and processing plant really drives home the point that our industry is composed of many sectors, sectors that are all striving to produce a healthy end product.”

In Chicago, the group met with the senior management of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange at the Chicago Board of Trade. They had the chance to watch the activity on the trading floor and witness futures trading firsthand. Participants also visited Otto & Sons Industries, a family owned company providing quality products and custom solutions for the food industry since 1909. This tour offered a view of how boxed beef is turned into custom order portions for both major restaurant chains and some of the nation’s top steakhouses.

The group then traveled to Washington, D.C., where participants were greeted at a reception hosted by John Deere. The following morning, the group received an issues briefing from NCBA’s government affairs staff about policy issues currently facing the cattle industry.

Later in the day, these future leaders were given the opportunity to visit one-on-one with members of their state’s congressional delegation, expressing their viewpoints regarding the beef industry and their cattle operations. During their congressional visits, participants focused on issues including the 2012 Farm Bill, federal lands ranching and overreaching regulations proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The group then traveled to Aldie, Va., for a tour and barbeque at Whitestone Farms, one of the nation’s elite purebred Angus operations.

For more information on the YCC program or to nominate someone for next year’s tour, contact your state cattlemen’s association or Marvin Kokes at 303-850-3339 or mkokes@beef.org.

Visit the IBBA website at www.GoBrangus.com to learn more about commercial marketing programs and to find a Brangus breeder near you.

Agriculturists, Will You Stand Up?

Did you know one in seven Americans work in agriculture-related jobs?
However, everyone is affected by agriculture.

Farmers Fight is a student-led initiative to reconnect American society to the world of agriculture. Beginning with university students, Farmers Fight encourages consumers to ask where their food comes from and give students, faculty, public officials, farmers and ranchers an opportunity to become “agvocates” for the agriculture community.