Nearly 70% of beef producers support the $1-per-head, beef-checkoff program. So says the latest independent research released this week in Phoenix.

Andy Tucker, Florida producer and chairman of the Cattlemen's Beef Board (CBB), says producer approval of the checkoff has risen six points since the semi-annual survey was last conducted in July 2003, and nine points above the year-ago survey.

“Producers seem to understand the value of their beef-checkoff program,” Tucker told conventioneers. He said the checkoff's value “has never been more apparent than in the wake of the discovery of a single case of BSE in the U.S.” He said beef checkoff dollars were used to provide accurate, scientific information to consumers, media and producers as the issue broke.

“And, checkoff-funded consumer polls conducted after the discovery indicated that confidence in the safety of U.S. beef did not falter. It remained at 89% in early research and actually rose to 90% in the most recent mid-January poll,” Tucker said.

The research was conducted for the CBB by Aspen Media and Market Research, Boulder, CO, with the survey of 1,225 producers being completed between Dec. 21, 2003, and Jan. 10, 2004.

All the forage info you need is online at Just introduced by BEEF sister publication Hay&Forage Grower magazine, the site offers forage buffs anything and everything they're looking for in regard to the topic.

You can scroll through more than 25 major categories that range from alfalfa to weed management. Or you can select a specific topic area by entering a subject into the “Title Search” box on the opening page. Also included on the site are links to North America's top forage research institutions, as well as timely hay market information.

If it's cow-calf production and management information you're after, go to, the BEEF magazine research site.

Check out for animal identification (ID) training. If you're interested in a comprehensive, hands-on experience in electronic animal ID and traceback, check out the KSU BEEF ID Academy program. It's a two-day seminar being held four times this spring and summer. Find out more about the curriculum, sponsors and registration at

A cooperative venture between Kansas State University (KSU) and BEEF magazine, the KSU BEEF ID Academy will be conducted at the KSU ID Beef Facility in Manhattan, KS. The workshops will address the issues surrounding automatic ID and conversion of the captured data into usable information. The seminars are set for June 2-3, June 14-15, July 19-20 and Aug. 2-3.

Market premiums garnered by Certified Angus Beef® (CAB)-accepted cattle totaled more than $50 million in 2003. CAB says the figure doesn't include the premiums for Yield Grades, USDA Choice over Select, Prime over Choice, nor the cash live bonuses often paid for expected CAB acceptance.

Two years ago, packers estimated some 40% of their CAB-accepted cattle were purchased through grids. That share moved past 50% last year, though it trailed off in the face of huge cash bids. Packers say grid premium totals for 2003 would have been higher if not for the uniquely current cash market in the last quarter, says a CAB release.

Full funding for the Ames, IA, Animal Health Complex is in the fiscal 2005 budget. USDA Secretary Ann Veneman says $178 million has been earmarked to complete renovation of USDA's National Centers for Animal Health. When completed, she says, the center will be the most modern, best-equipped animal disease research facility in the world. The Ames facility includes the National Animal Disease Center, the National Veterinary Services Laboratory and the Center for Veterinary Biologics.

Cowdog training from start to finish is the subject of a Sept. 27-28 Macksville, KS, seminar. Taught by veteran trainers Joe and Laura Stimatze, participants will be instructed on the Stimatzes' gentle training methods of starting pups at seven weeks of age without force and use of restraints. The seminar will cover all stages of cowdog training and will benefit the beginner as well as experienced dog handlers. For more info, visit www.cow, call 620/348-5815 or e-mail

Missed the cattle industry convention in Phoenix? Catch up on all the doings at Produced by Angus Productions, Inc., the Web site includes reports on the educational programs, general sessions, award winners and committee meetings, as well as audio downloads and trade-show coverage.