BEEF magazine is the first-ever, official publication of the Beef Improvement Federation (BIF). The designation was awarded by BIF's board of directors during the group's 35th annual meeting in Lexington, KY, in late May.

BIF was formed more than 30 years ago in order to standardize programs and methodology and create a greater awareness, acceptance and usage of beef cattle performance concepts.

The arrangement is designed to gain more industry exposure for BIF programs and events. We feel BIF's focus and work in improving the U.S. beef industry via performance evaluation is essential to the long-term prosperity of U.S. beef producers and the U.S. beef industry. Through the pages of BEEF and our weekly electronic newsletter BEEF Cow-Calf Weekly, we'll be working with BIF to spread the word of this group's important work.

The membership of BIF includes a wide range of industry groups that includes state beef cattle improvement associations, national breed registry associations and other national and international organizations directly involved with beef improvement. It's an organization and a membership with whom we're proud and honored to be allied.

To find out more about BIF, visit its Web site at www.beefimprovement.org. And be sure to check out the proceedings of BIF's 35th annual meeting at http://www.beefimprovement.org/proceedings.html.

BEEF senior editor Clint Peck still allows us to address him by his first name. But, come this fall, a class of Montana State University students in Bozeman will be calling him “professor.”

Based out of nearby Billings, Clint will serve as adjunct instructor of a junior-senior level course called “Global Beef Production And Issues.” The two-credit, 14-week class will focus on beef production systems around the world, including Canada, Mexico, Australia/New Zealand, South America and the European Union.

Clint will lead his charges on a study of international trade laws and emerging trade agreements, while also delving into the effects subsidies, phytosanitary restrictions and exchange rates/currencies have on international beef trade.

Lucky for us, Clint is good at multi-tasking, so we'll still have him on a fulltime basis with BEEF. A great arrangement for everyone involved.

Congratulations are also in order for Troy Marshall, a contributing editor to our weekly electronic newsletter BEEF Cow-Calf Weekly. In late May, Troy was named the 2003 recipient of the BIF's Ambassador Award. This prestigious honor is annually given to a media member for their efforts in helping cattle producers understand cattle performance testing and genetic prediction tools.

If you aren't familiar with Troy's insightful, commonsense, industry analysis, get subscribed to BEEF Cow-Calf Weekly by going to www.beef-mag.com. It's a free newsletter delivered each Friday afternoon by e-mail and dedicated exclusively to news and viewpoints of interest to cow-calf producers.

And, finally, it's my pleasure to introduce Shannon Hartenstein, who is serving this summer as an intern with BEEF magazine. A native of Abilene, KS, Shannon will graduate this summer with a degree in agricultural communications and journalism from Kansas State University. Having completed her undergraduate degree in just three years, Shannon will assume an assistantship this fall at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln en route to earning her master's degree in rural development/issues.