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NLPA News Brief
November 18, 2015
Livestock and Ag Credit News

Collaboration Key to Moving Forward in Antibiotic Stewardship

Drovers CattleNetwork, 11/13/15—Human and animal health experts came together in Atlanta, GA this past week to discuss issues related to antibiotic resistance and to work toward increased antibiotic stewardship in both human medicine and animal health. Throughout the dialogue, attention was focused on specific areas which can be measured in order to verify the progress made in reducing antimicrobial resistance.

Convened by the National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA) and supported by several industry stakeholders, commodity groups, and public health entities, the national symposium brought together a broad cross–section of professionals to share relevant science and develop consensus on those key areas in which the most progress may be made.

"Antibiotics have been critical in human and veterinary medicine since the 1940's and antibiotic resistance has been a challenge almost as long," said Dr. Robert Tauxe, Deputy Director of the Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "Thus, with the ever changing antibiotic landscape, research, education and constantly improving stewardship is imperative."

"Stewardship is a cycle, it is not something we do and then forget," said Dr. Mike Apley, Professor of Production Medicine and Clinical Pharmacology at Kansas State University. "Stewardship is a commitment to a cycle."

NIAA plans to continue this discussion with future events and the production of the symposium's proceedings which will be available soon at Also a White Paper on the event will be available by the end of 2015.

GIPSA NEWS: 11/12/15

Livestock and Ag Credit News

Task Force Wants Antibiotic Resistance at Top of Public Health Agenda

By Darrin Pack, Drovers CattleNetwork, 11/11/15—A national task force report on the growing problem of antibiotic resistance in animal agriculture highlights the need to make finding solutions a top public health priority, said Willie Reed, dean of the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Reed serves on the 14–member Task Force on Antibiotic Resistance in Production Agriculture composed of agricultural educators, industry leaders and animal health specialists. In its report released Oct. 29, the task force recommended that a centralized research organization be created to coordinate public and private efforts to curb antibiotic resistance, which the group says "threatens human, animal and environmental health."

To accomplish those goals, the task force plans to create university–based collaborative pilot projects focusing on combatting antibiotic resistance, work with Congress and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to increase access to veterinary care in rural communities and form a national consortium of researchers to conduct in–depth studies and implement possible solutions.

Overfat Cattle Undermine Sustainability Efforts

By Bryan Weech, BEEF Magazine, 11/12/15—Sustainability has become a major concern, not only in society in general but in the beef industry, where both global efforts (Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef) and national organizations (Brazilian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, and the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef) have brought attention to the need to work on continuous improvement of the environmental, financial and social sustainability of beef production.

However, there's an aspect to food production and consumption that must be tackled if the beef industry, and society as a whole, is to continue its sustainability commitment and efforts. With as much as 40% of all food produced going to waste, it is understandable that many organizations and government initiatives have turned their attention to this key issue.

In an age in which production agriculture has done a commendable job of producing enough food for all, it is a moral shame that there are still those without access to basic nutrition. This is more of an issue of distribution or access than of production. It has been said that eliminating food waste would alone provide enough food to feed the hungry and have plenty to spare.

The National Beef Quality Audit has for a long time identified "excess fat" from over fattened carcasses as a major issue. The challenge is for the industry to stop looking at trim loss, cutting loss, fabrication and shrink loss as only an economic issue. It is, above all else, a food waste and sustainability issue.

Barn Condition, Design, Management Key to Successful Antibiotic-Free Pork Production

Farmscape Online, 11/13/15—A veterinarian with Davidson Swine Health Services says the design and condition of production facilities and management will play a key role in the potential for success under antibiotic free pork production programs. Dr. Shawn Davidson, with Davidson Swine Health Services, says, despite alternatives such as improved disease diagnosis, wider use of vaccination and new feed additives to improve digestibility, antibiotic free production is challenging.

Paying attention to the little things is so critical. Sanitation, proper pig flows, air quality, temperature management, moisture, humidity, noxious gas management in the barns, all of those little things that we all think that we're doing right, I see producers make little mistakes every day that can make a world of difference.

A Big Disease Problem in Cattle This Fall Season: Anaplasmosis

Drovers CattleNetwork, 11/10/15—This year, confirmed cases of anaplasmosis throughout Kansas and beyond are at some of the highest numbers veterinarians have ever seen. With the high incidence of cases, it is important for cattle producers to be aware of what causes the disease and how it can rapidly spread through herds. Anaplasmosis is a vector–borne disease that causes the destruction of red blood cells in cattle and other ruminants. The most common cause is a parasite called Anaplasma marginale. The organism enters the bloodstream and gets inside of red blood cells. The spleen then recognizes these red blood cells as a threat and attempts to purge them, which leads to the animal becoming anemic.

Grass–Fed Beef Producer Finds Niche with Customers

Iowa Farmer Today, 11/12/15—On a gray, relatively warm day in early November, Matthew Hardecke drove out in his pickup to check on his cattle. He eased the pickup over the rolling terrain. The calves played and explored the fresh pasture while the cows grazed, occasionally lifting their heads to watch Hardecke. It had been very dry in Crawford County, but a recent rain had helped the situation somewhat, and Hardecke had an extra–large supply of hay ready for the winter months.

He and his wife, Jessica, have a grass–fed beef business, Clover Valley Beef, as part of his family's overall beef operation, the Hardecke Cattle Company. He says grass–fed beef has interest from consumers. "We sell what the consumer wants," Hardecke says. "…It's really based on consumer demand." In addition to the 100 percent grass–fed beef, Hardecke raises what he calls "pasture–supplemented" beef that is 95 percent grass fed and then supplemented with feed. "We tell our customers that all our beef is quality," he says.

Hardecke says many customers initially start buying the fully grass–fed beef but then switch over to the cattle that are fed some corn, often because "they want a bigger steak."

Navajo Nation Opens San Juan River for Livestock

Washington Times, 11/11/15—Livestock will again be able to use the San Juan River now that Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye says the river is safe again. Watering activity was suspended in the wake of the Gold King Mine spill in southern Colorado in August. Livestock will again be able to use the San Juan River now that Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye says the river is safe again. Watering activity was suspended in the wake of the Gold King Mine spill in southern Colorado in August.

Extension to Scrapie Comment Period

ASI Weekly, 11/13/15—The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service extended the comment period for the proposed rule to amend the regulations of the National Scrapie Eradication Program through Dec. 9. The comment period for the draft revised scrapie program standards is also extended through Dec. 9.

APHIS welcomes all comments on the proposed rule. The proposed rule is available at!docketDetail;D=APHIS–2007–0127. Comments can also be submitted and reviewed through this link.

Global Livestock News

Kenya's First Extensive Livestock Expo Impresses

By Agatha Ngotho, The Star, Kenya, 11/10/15—Kenya's first extensive livestock expo was held last week at the University of Nairobi's college of agriculture and veterinary sciences. Kenya Commercial Bank Foundation chairman Catherine Kola said the expo was aimed at upscaling livestock farming in Kenya. "We intend to profile various investment opportunities in the livestock sector during the expo, and showcase its potential to the stakeholders," Kola said.

Themed 'herding for markets', the expo sought to bring together extensive livestock producers and policy makers, financiers, buyers and other livestock value chain actors. The expo brought together 1,000 delegates, close to 100 exhibitors and 10,000 livestock producers from various parts of the country.

Tanzania: Livestock Producers Must Invest in Quality Breeds

All Africa, 11/10/15—Resolutions made by the Tanzania Livestock Research Institute (TLRI) with the aim to improve production of livestock for both meat and milk during a meeting in Dodoma are very timely.

They come at a time when many of our farmers struggle to benefit from the livestock sector. It is an embarrassing situation considering that Tanzania is among the top five countries in Africa in terms of livestock population. Furthermore, studies have shown that the country has even more potential to become a global player in the production of livestock and related products such as meat, milk and hides for sale in the international market.

Global Livestock News

Ricketts Calls USDA Meeting with Animal Rights Groups at Livestock Research Facility a 'Wasted' Effort

By Joe Duggan, Omaha World–Herald, 11/13/15—Gov. Pete Ricketts wrote the nation's agriculture secretary this week to express concern over a meeting with animal rights organizations that have called for wholesale changes at a federal livestock research facility near Clay Center, Nebraska.

A spokesman for the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Wednesday's tour and listening session at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center was held to start a discussion with groups that reacted strongly to allegations of livestock abuse leveled at the facility earlier this year. In a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the governor predicted that the meeting would fail to sway animal rights groups.

"I respectfully submit that an open–door effort will be wasted on groups whose main goal is the complete destruction of food animal agriculture," Ricketts said in his letter. "The feedback you will receive from these groups will be continued unwarranted criticism of the fine men and women at MARC and their research."

USDA Expands Investment in Water Conservation and Improvement in Nation's Largest Aquifer

USDA News Release, 11/09/15—Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced USDA will invest $8 million in the Ogallala Aquifer Initiative (OAI) in Fiscal Year 2016 to help farmers and ranchers conserve billions of gallons of water annually while strengthening agricultural operations. The eight-state Ogallala Aquifer has suffered in recent years from increased periods of drought and declining water resources.

"USDA's Ogallala Aquifer Initiative helps landowners build resilience in their farms and ranches and better manage water use in this thirsty region," said Vilsack. "Since 2011, USDA has invested $74 million in helping more than 1,600 agricultural producers conserve water on 341,000 acres through this initiative."

The Ogallala Aquifer is the largest aquifer in the U.S. and includes nearly all of Nebraska and large sections of Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming. It is the primary water source for the High Plains region. Covering nearly 174,000 square miles, it supports the production of nearly one-fifth of the wheat, corn, cotton and cattle produced in the U.S. and supplies 30 percent of all water used for irrigation in the U.S.

Water levels in the region are dropping at an unsustainable rate, making targeted conservation even more important. From 2011 to 2013, the aquifer's overall water level dropped by 36.0 million acre-feet, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

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