Don't miss the XVIII Range Beef Cow Symposium Dec. 9-11. Set for the Scotts Bluff County Fairgrounds Events Center in Mitchell, NE, the meeting is staged cooperatively every two years by beef Extension specialists from Wyoming, Nebraska, South Dakota and Colorado.

This year's program includes a total of 29 presentations dealing with beef industry issues, genetics, range and nutrition, reproduction, animal health, and management and marketing. Informal discussion sessions follow each evening.

Advance registration ends Nov. 28. To request a brochure, call 308/632-1260 or e-mail sholman1@unl.edu and provide your name and mailing address. Or, go to: http://www.pan handle.unl.edu/symposium/.


The beef industry is gaining in its war against E.coli 0157:H7 in ground beef.

  • Only 0.32% of ground beef samples tested for E. coli 0157:H7 by USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service turned up positive during the first eight months of 2003. In 2002, that figure was 0.78%, and 0.84% the year before that.

  • As of the end of August, ground beef recalls numbered just seven. There were 20 recalls in 2002, including ConAgra's record 19-million-lb. recall last July.

  • On Sept. 24, Dairy Queen International expanded the availability of irradiated ground beef to 16 of its 32 Brazier® locations in New Mexico. In addition, irradiated ground beef patties went on sale in 12 of 16 Dairy Queen®/Brazier outlets in Erie, PA, and Buffalo, NY. That's on top of 100 locations offering irradiated patties in Minnesota and North and South Dakota.

  • That same day, irradiated ground beef became available for the first time in Colorado full-service grocery stores in 100 Kings Sooper markets and 45 City Markets.

  • On Sept. 23, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) announced it's preparing educational materials regarding irradiation and beef safety for school district and foodservice personnel. The materials, which were to be available in early November, will help educate in preparation for the availability of irradiated beef through the federal school lunch program in January.

  • On Sept. 19, the Cattlemen's Beef Board (CBB) Operating Committee approved a $150,000 authorization request by the American National Cattle Women (ANCW) to conduct a two-part, beef-safety education project over the next year. About 250 ANCW members have undergone training on ground beef safety and the benefits of ground beef irradiation. The ANCW volunteers will conduct educational demonstrations in targeted urban areas emphasizing food safety, nutrition and awareness of irradiated ground beef.


The American-International Charolais Association introduces its Terminal Sire Profitability Index. Access it at: http://www.charolaisusa.com/Chars/3432/tailored.aspx. The selection tool allows producers to use economic and management descriptions of their ranching operation, along with expected progeny differences on available Charolais bulls, to assist in identifying the most profitable sires for their unique operation.


“Beefmobile” set to visit auction markets across the U.S. The Beefmobile, a rolling billboard for the beef industry and the checkoff, will begin traveling the U.S. in January to visit livestock marketing facilities. Its mission is to educate beef producers on how checkoff dollars are spent. It also will make stops at retail stores, food festivals and schools.

The proposal to fund a Beefmobile with checkoff dollars was made to the CBB by Colorado-based National Livestock Producers Association, a livestock marketing organization. NLPA will handle coordination and promotion of the project.


The Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) 8th Genetic Prediction Workshop on Molecular Approaches to Genetic Improvement is Dec. 4-6 at the Embassy Suites-KCI Airport Hotel in Kansas City, MO. For more information or to register, which is $80, go to http://www.beefimprovement.org/geneticworkshop.html.

A block of rooms has been reserved until Nov. 14. Make reservations directly to the hotel at 816/891-7788, and mention the BIF workshop to get the special rate.

The Regional Technical Committee NCR-199 on genetic evaluation in beef cattle will be meeting in conjunction with the BIF workshop. Their business meeting will be held from 7:30-9:30 p.m., Dec. 4.


Nebraska offers free Livestock Risk Protection fact sheet. A fact sheet on the Livestock Risk Protection (LRP) insurance program for cattle is available from University of Nebraska Extension. Go to http://agecon.unl.edu/mark/Papers/index.htm and select the paper “Livestock Risk Management Protection For Cattle: A New Price-Risk Management Tool.”

LRP insurance offers single-peril, price-risk protection to feeder and fed cattle producers. Cattle producers are able to protect against declining cattle prices by purchasing an insurance contract with a specified coverage price. If cattle market prices fall below the specified price, an indemnity is paid to the producer.

This monthly column is compiled by Joe Roybal, 952/851-4669 or e-mail jroybal@primediabusiness.com.