The August, 2002, issue of BEEF magazine was of special interest to me. I knew Connie Craig Hatfield (“Serving With Pride,” page 30) when we were college students. And the Madden brothers (“BEEF Industry Chat,” page 34) and their sister were in 4-H while I was an Extension agent in Niobrara County, WY.

Finding familiar names and faces in national publications is a reminder of how small our agricultural community really is and how crucial it is that all of us in the livestock industry work together to secure and expand the market for our product.
Roberta Moellenberg
Idalia, CO

BEEF As A Teaching Tool

I would like to request permission to copy the Alliance Yellow Pages from the August edition of BEEF. This will be given to about 100 cattle producers attending a producer program we are conducting this fall called “Beef 20/20.” The aim of the program is to teach beef quality management concepts to cow-calf producers. The meeting is Sept. 19.
Dan Hale
Texas A&M University

BEEF In The Classroom

Last year, I was able to obtain copies of the “2001 Alliance Yellow Pages” listing of the top beef industry marketing alliances for use in the “Advanced Feedlot Management” class I teach at Michigan State University. This year, I'd like to obtain 30 reprints of the “2002 Alliance Yellow Pages” (August BEEF). I have found this to be a very useful document for our class discussions.
Dave Hawkins
Michigan State University

A “Mythed” Mistake

I'm an agronomist and journalist from Argentina, and I've detected a little mistake in the article “10 Trade Myths” (September, page 38).

In number five, you mention that Argentina suspended exports of fresh and frozen beef to the U.S. on March 13, 2000, but the actual year is 2001. On that date, our national authorities — the Servicio de Sanidad y Calidad Agroalimentaria — recognized the foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreak. But between August 2000 and January 2001 exports were again suspended due to a “suspected case” of FMD in the province of Entre Ríos.

We expect that after a year without a new outbreak of FMD (the latest was around January 2002 in the province of Córdoba), we can again export fresh and frozen beef to your market. But there are doubts as to if this is possible.

Argentinean sanitary animal authorities (like your Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) have suggested we continue with FMD vaccination for years to come. This is because FMD is not a country problem, but a regional problem that includes Brazil, Uruguay, Bolivia, Paraguay, etc. Therefore, the better sanitary status we could access is “FMD free with vaccination.”
Ing. Agr. Javier
Preciado Patiño
Buenos Aires, Argentina

August Was Great

The August issue of BEEF magazine was the most educational issue of any magazine of late. Great data and articles on folks in the fray. Even a great cover. I removed eight pages for my data bank. Good job our your part.
Darol Dickinson
Barnesville, OH

Performance At What Cost?

Regarding Wayne Vanderwert's commentary in the September issue (“How Much Performance,” page 34), it's interesting that he seems to use the term performance as a synonym for growth. The fact that such a limited concept of performance can be used without comment or apology speaks volumes about the mindset of people in the business.

In substance, Vanderwert is right on target, but it probably won't make him many friends among (black) Angus breeders. Their dirty little secret is that fertility and mothering ability have been and are being sacrificed in the quest for “performance.”

How much have maternal attributes been compromised? Without mandatory whole-herd reporting, the breed association can't answer the question. And no doubt the big “numbers game” breeders are glad enough to leave it that way for fear of what the answer might be.

Of course, I'm sure there are Angus breeders whose concept of performance does include fertility and mothering ability and who give these attributes due consideration in making their selection decisions. It's a shame such breeders currently have no way to document the value they provide, even though it's known to be more significant financially to commercial cow-calf operators than the (antagonistic) growth attributes of milk production, weaning weight and yearling weight.
Martin Turner
Elmer, MO

Another Top Issue

I have to commend you for your October issue of BEEF and the articles you present each week in your BEEF Cow-Calf Weekly electronic newsletter. You have superbly done what I think any trade publication worth its salt must do: bring your readers the latest in practices and technology, make us think about the bigger and longer-range picture of the business we're engaged in, challenge us with thoughtful commentary about that big picture without pandering to the latest one-issue fad, and much, much more. You deserve and have our appreciation for a continuing good job.
Wythe Willey
Cedar Rapids, IA

Editor's Note: Anyone wishing to receive our BEEF Cow-Calf Weekly electronic newsletter every Friday afternoon can sign up at www.beef-mag.com by clicking the sign-up box on the opening page. We won't ask you for your life history or your operation's details — just your name, company and job title. The newsletter is free.