What's in the news right now about the environmentally sound, socially responsible and economically viable beef value chain.

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Dear GRSB Member, 

From Ruaraidh Petre
Executive Director
Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef

I am pleased to provide our membership with the second edition of the GRSB newsletter.

Reactions to our first edition were quite positive and I encourage you or your organization to contribute material to keep our newsletter relevant and interesting for our membership. This is an opportunity to ensure that we are all aware of the most recent events impacting the sustainability of the global beef industry.

Over the last two weeks we have witnessed some dramatic events. I am sure our membership viewed with great interest the extensive coverage regarding the use beta-agonists in North America. This should cause all of us to reflect on the critical concerns of consumer acceptance, animal welfare, production efficiency and the future of the use of technology in beef production.

The past few weeks have also been an important time for GRSB, as the members of our Beef Sustainability Definition Committee Technical Working Groups have been hard at work putting the finishing touches on our draft sustainability Principles and Criteria. By the end of this week, we will have a complete set of draft documents and by mid- September, we will be ready to share our draft with GRSB's membership for comments and feedback.

As with any multi-stakeholder initiative, we rely on our membership to develop and refine the principles and criteria that will guide our mission.  Your constructive feedback will be critical as we move forward. I urge each of you to review the draft documents in mid-September and share these important materials within your company or organization so that you might provide feedback that will empower our roundtable to leverage rational, science-based, multi-stakeholder developed principles and criteria to advance continuous improvements in the sustainability of the global beef value chain.

Thank you.

Member News
Merck Animal Health Strengthens Commitment to Five Steps to Responsible Beef 
dateline: 8/16/13, source: Merck News Release

At Merck Animal Health, the health and well-being of animals is our first and foremost priority. We also take very seriously our commitment to providing safe, effective products that are developed based on comprehensive research, rigorous testing and sound science. We believe in the science that supports Zilmax and are confident in its safety and performance. Reinforcing this science and data-based approach, Merck Animal Health has announced it has strengthened its commitment to its Five-Step Approach to Ensuring Responsible Beef. 

As previously announced, Merck Animal Health, in conjunction with independent experts, will conduct a scientific audit, which will monitor the process of feeding of Zilmax, and will follow identified cattle from the feed yard to the packing plant to determine potential causes of lameness and other mobility issues during feeding, transportation, offloading and staging at the processing facility. We also will do a thorough review of potential compounding factors undefined such as nutrition, transportation and receiving facilities.

In support of our customers and to ensure effective implementation of our five-step plan, Merck Animal Health has made the decision to temporarily suspend sales of Zilmax in the United States and Canada.

New JBS Cedar River Farms ®, Natural Beef Website Highlights Quality, Consistency
dateline: 7/31/13, source: JBS News

JBS USA announces the launch of CedarRiverFarms.com, an interactive website that highlights our premium Cedar River Farms® Natural Beef program. The website serves as an easy-to-use sales resource and informational tool for retail and foodservice operators, as well as a useful source of information for consumers.

"With the launch of CedarRiverFarms.com, we dispel the mystery of Natural beef," said John Punis, director of Natural beef brands at JBS USA Beef. "This new site explains our Natural approach to producing consistently superior beef, shares delicious consumer recipes and provides our customers with a valuable resource to make their business stronger."

Insight: Some U.S. Feedlots Rue Loss of 'Vitamin Z' Zilmax
dateline: 8/18/13, source: Reuters
 After nearly a decade of relying on weight-gain feed additives as a lifeline to survival, some of the 75,000 U.S. cattle feed yards that dot rural America in places such as Texas and the Great Plains, suddenly must do without the leading product Zilmax - nicknamed "Vitamin Z."
Merck & Co's announcement on Friday that it was suspending the sale of Zilmax in the United States and Canada surprised many cattle owners and feedlot operators, who say Zilmax and other beta-agonists have been a godsend for a struggling U.S. beef industry that saw overall domestic consumption fall more than 8 percent between 2002 and 2011.
 In the News

Can Beef Cows Milk Too Much?
dateline: 8/20/13, source: TheBeefSite

One of the more significant advancements in beef production has been our ability to more accurately predict the genetic merit of the sires and dams that are used to produce beef, writes Mr. Rusche of South Dakota State University. 

The use of Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs) has played a key role in the ability of the beef industry to produce more pounds of beef per cow. They are a powerful tool that allows managers to more rapidly make progress towards their goals. The flip side of that is that it can be very easy to overshoot the target.

At the 2013 Beef Improvement Federation conference, Dr. David Lalman from Oklahoma State University laid out a compelling argument that the beef industry has done just that when it comes to the genetics for maternal milk.

US Beef Cattle Production Becoming More Sustainable
dateline: 8/19/13, source: Farms.com
By Amanda Brodhagen

A new assessment reveals that the sustainability of U.S. beef production has improved significantly from 2005 to 2011.

The findings were released at a Cattle Industry Summer Conference held in Denver, Colorado earlier this month.

The assessment was check-off-funded, which looked at the social, economic and environmental impacts of producing beef in the United States.

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ Awards $1.2 Million in New Achievement Scholarships
dateline: 8/21/13, source: Liberty Vindicator

More than 100 current Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo outstanding scholars earned additional financial support through the Show's newest scholarship program, which awards students who are entering their junior and senior years of college for exceptional educational achievements.   “These students are our pride and joy, and to be able to continue supporting them throughout their collegiate journey with more funding is an incredible feat for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo,” said R.H. “Steve” Stevens Jr., Show chairman of the board.




Web-based VFD Tool Available for Use with Pulmotil in Cattle
dateline: 8/19/13, source: Bovine Veterinarian

Elanco announces the availability of FeedLINK, a web-based tool from GlobalVetLINK that makes it quicker and easier for a veterinarian to issue a Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) for use with Pulmotil, an in-feed bovine respiratory disease (BRD) treatment that requires a VFD. 

“We are excited to bring a tool to the beef industry that makes issuing and tracking VFDs faster,” said Brad Williams, DVM, MBA and Elanco beef technical consultant.

“The entire VFD process from creation to signature can be completed within FeedLINK undefined there is no need to worry about security or paperwork management. The
system does it all.”

Brazil to Slaughter Record Number of Cattle in 2013
dateline: 8/20/13, source: Reuters

The world's top beef producer Brazil will likely slaughter a record number of cattle in 2013, 11 percent more than in 2012, the country's No. 3 meatpacker Minerva Foods, said on Tuesday.

Cattle prices are some 21
percent lower than in other producing nations like the United States, encouraging beef companies, which buy those cattle, to produce and sell more meat, said Fabiano Tito, who is in charge of market research for Minerva.

We have a record supply of animals for slaughter this year and prices are being maintained by a very strong demand that is being reflected in the whole production chain," he said.



This issue:
·  To read the entire source article, please click on the link in the article headline
·  Member News
·  In the News
·  Briefly...

$14 Million Investment to Improve Canadian Beef Industry
dateline: 8/21/13,
source: CattleNetwork.com

Building upon an initial investment of $8.7 million, researchers and beef industry experts will use a $14 million investment to enhance Canada's beef industry through improved beef quality, food safety and animal health. A group of industry experts scientists and universities will collaborate to make Canada’s beef sector more competitive. 

Beef Talk: New Ventures Come with Risks
dateline: 8/21/13,
Iowa Farmer Today
by Kris Ringwall, North Dakota State University Extension beef specialist

As an industry, the sooner a heavy, lean carcass hangs on the rail, the more likely the dollars invested are going to be greater than the dollars expended in the traditional concept of beef production. Lowering front-end production costs certainly will need to be undertaken to offset the costs added by delayed marketing.

Industry At A Glance: Beef Cow Inventory Over Time
dateline: 8/22/13 source: BEEF Daily
By Nevil Speer

Ongoing liquidation of beef cows in the U.S. is an important topic for the nation’s beef industry. However, it’s also important to put that into some larger global context. In other words, how does the change in inventory in recent years compare to what’s happening in the rest of the world?
Beef Production Higher with Increased Slaughter, Heavier Cattle
source: CattleNetwork.com

Beef production totaled 2.29 billion pounds in July, up 90 million pounds compared to the previous month and 130 million pounds higher than the same month last year. The six percent increase in beef production assisted in moving total red meat production to 4.16 billion pounds, an eight percent increase from June 2013.

Argentina Seeks Beef Production Boost with Bovine IUD
dateline 8/18/13, source Phys.org
by Joesefa Suarez

An Argentinian veterinarian has designed a cheap and simple device that could revolutionize cattle husbandry on the pampas by preventing pregnant cows from reaching the slaughterhouse. Enrique Turin, a professor at the National University of Northwestern Buenos Aires, designed and is producing what he says is the world’s first bovine intra-uterine device.

Livestock Stakeholders Map Out CAP 2014-2020 Priorities
dateline: 8/7/13, source: Agra.eu

With the basic framework now agreed in Europe, Scotland must now decide how to use the available tools to best support its important livestock sector. In a joint statement sent to Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Richard Lochhead, the Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers (SAMW), the Scottish Federation of Meat Traders Association (SFMTA), the Scottish Beef Association and NFU Scotland, outlined five priorities to underpin production in Scotland.

Beef Industry Urged to be Vigilant About Animal Welfare
dateline: 8/8/13, source: BeefProducer
by P.J. Griekspoor

Self-regulation too often means no regulation at all and the beef industry should steer clear of those who would move in that direction, says Chris Reinhardt a professor in the Kansas State University Animal Sciences and Industry department.

Chris Reinhardt, professor in Kansas State University's Animal Sciences and Industry department says Kansas feedlots have scored well in animal welfare assessments. Reinhardt, who participates in the Beef Cattle Institute at K-State, says beef is the meat of the affluent world and its customers demand it be produced in a healthy, wholesome manner.

Woolworths Links with Hilton on Processing

dateline 8/21/13, source  GlobalMeatNews.com
Woolworths Meat Company will be a 50:50 joint venture between the  Hilton Food Group and the Australian firm Woolworths, it was announced  yesterday. Read copy-written article at GlobalMeatNews.com
 Myths Surrounding Beef Production
dateline 8/26/13, source: AgInfo.net
Jude Capper, Sustainability Consultant and Adjunct Professor of Animal  Sciences at WSU, is well known for her research and outreach work focusing on  modeling the environmental impact of livestock production systems, specifically  beef and dairy. Capper has often reached out through social media to debunk  popular myths relating to beef and livestock production. One of those so called  myths that has garnered a lot of attention lately is that “grass fed beef is better than corn fed beef”. Listen to the audio program or read the transcript at Washington Ag Today. 
Picture Perfect Summer Grazing Scenes From Readers
ateline: 8/22/13 source: Beef Daily

There’s nothing more beautiful than watching cow-calf pairs grazing peacefully in the rolling hills of lush, green pastures in the summer months. BEEF Daily joined up with RZR Masks to host a Summer Grazing Photo Contest to highlight those picture-perfect moments. All photos were submitted by BEEF Daily readers.

 Enjoy them all HERE. 

News We Can Use

If you have news to share with the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef membership, please send it to polly.welden@grsbeef.org

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