Have You Herd…
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Monthly BQA Tip: Calf Nutrition
The amount and quality of colostrum a calf receives within the first hours of life is the single most important management factor affecting the animal's well-being, growth, performance and profitability for the first six months of life and beyond.
Here are some tips for calf nutrition from birth to weaning:
- For colostrum, current best management practice is to feed two to preferably four quarts of colostrum within the first one to two hours of life, followed by two more feedings within the first 18 hours.
- Reserve "first-milking" colostrum for first feedings of newborns as the concentrations of vitamins, nutrients and antibodies will be highest.
- Calves should be eating starter grain three weeks before weaning. That's about how long it takes for the starter grain to develop the rumen to where the calf is able to meet its nutritional requirements from dry feed.
- Calves should be eating 2 to 2.5 quarts (or pounds) of starter grain daily before weaning.
- During adverse weather conditions, calves will require increased nutrition.
Monitoring and supplying proper nutrition is essential in determining how the calves will grow, develop and perform later. For more information on calf nutrition visit the checkoff’s National Dairy Beef Quality Assurance manual.
Grow What You Know
The movement to get more farmer and rancher voices involved in the conversation about how our food is grown and raised takes another step forward with the launch of the Farmer and Rancher Mobilization (F.A.R.M.) Team from the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA), funded in part by the beef checkoff.
USFRA research indicates that 75 percent of consumers are favorable toward farmers and ranchers but just 42 percent are favorable toward farming and ranching practices. We can help close this gap in trust by really hearing and responding to consumer concerns about today's food production.
Engage today by visiting the "Grow What You Know" section of the www.fooddialogues.com website.
NAMP Training II: From Cuts to Culinary
Veal was a featured session at the recent "Center of the Plate Training," a two-day foodservice industry education event that the checkoff participated in at Kendall College in downtown Chicago. As an extension of the North American Meat Processors (NAMP) Association’s hallmark education events, these trainings draw audiences from across North American and have educated more than 500 meat and food industry professionals. Participants in the March event included foodservice partners such as Tyson Fresh Meats, Sysco, T.G.I. Friday’s and American Harvest Eatery. Two sessions were dedicated to veal – one specific to modern veal production, how and why the veal industry was developed and how today’s veal producers ensure the health and welfare of veal calves -- and the second about veal cutting and cookery, led by renowned Chef Rick Gresh of David Burke’s Primehouse at the James Hotel in Chicago and NAMP’s Standards and Specifications Advisor and chief instructor Steve Olson. For more information, go to www.namp.com.