Featured Articles

  • Apr
    06
    USDA authorizes emergency grazing


    The USDA released the following bulletin on April 4, 2017:

    USDA Authorizes Emergency Grazing in Response to President Trump’s Directive



    USDA Acting Deputy Secretary Michael L. Young issued a memorandum authorizing the emergency grazing of cattle by ranchers, who are facing the ruination of their herds due to lack of sufficient grazing land.  The authorization is pursuant to appropriate restrictions and conservation measures, which can be found in the Acting Deputy Secretary’s memorandum.


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  • Apr
    06
    Caught on tape: Badger buries big meal


    Apparently badgers make good undertakers. Scientists have the tape to prove it.

    According to a recent article in The New York Times, it took a 16-pound badger 4 days to bury a 50-pound calf carcass.

    An e-newsletter summary from SmartBrief states that researchers from the University of Utah’s Biodiversity and Conservation Ecology Lab laid out several calf carcasses to study the scavenging behavior of badgers and “were amazed to see the lone badger bury its prize over four days when they reviewed video from a camera trap.”

    Watch a video of the badger.


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  • Apr
    04
    Block & Bridle students visit D.C.


    The 97th National Block & Bridle Convention convened this weekend in Arlington, Virginia. The University of Connecticut and ASAS co-hosted the convention, which drew more than 300 students, representing Block & Bridle chapters from across the country.

    Convention sponsors included: ASAS, the ASAS Foundation, the University of Connecticut, Elanco, Monsanto, the North American Meat Institute, and the Spocott Windmill Foundation.

    Dr. Debora Hamernik, ASAS President, and Dr. Meghan Wulster-Radcliffe, ASAS CEO, delivered the opening keynote on March 31, focusing on the convention theme “Scientific Voice in Agriculture.”

    On the evening of March 31, students toured various D.C. monuments via bus, making stops at the U.S. Capitol, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and the Lincoln Memorial.


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  • Apr
    04
    Students and clubs honored at Block & Bridle banquet


    The 97th National Block & Bridle Convention held its annual banquet and awards program on the evening of April 2, following a weekend of sight seeing, farm tours, and educational sessions. Here is a breakdown of the 2016-2017 National Block & Bridle chapter and outstanding member awards!

    There are many photos of the award winners on the ASAS Facebook page. Be sure to visit and “Like” them! More news from the convention can be found in this Taking Stock article.

    1st – Ellen Rankins, Auburn University

    2nd – Emily Von Edwins, Texas A&M University


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  • Apr
    04
    Block & Bridle photos on Facebook


    Stop by the ASAS Facebook page for photos from the 97th National Block & Bridle Convention in Arlington, Va. Here are just a few from the evening tour of Washington, D.C. on March 31 and the farm tours in Maryland on April 1!

    The evening tour of monuments in Washington, D.C. included stops at the U.S. Capitol, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, and the Lincoln Memorial. Farm tour visits included Outstanding Dreams Alpaca Farm, Madhouse Oysters, the dairy farm at the University of Maryland’s Central Maryland Research & Education Center, and historic Spocott Farm.

    Photos from the educational sessions, the awards banquet, and the Capitol Hill visits can also be found on the ASAS Facebook page.

    Top photo: Block & Bridle students tour the dairy farm at the University of Maryland’s Central Maryland Research & Education Center.


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  • Mar
    30
    New in Translational Animal Science


    Help review new papers in Open Review.

    See articles in First Look.

    View the Table of Contents of the latest issue.

    TAS now accepting submissions!


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  • Mar
    30
    Nominate your colleagues


    Western Section ASAS awards nominations due 11:59 PM (CDT) on April 14.

    ADSA Northeast Branch/ASAS Northeastern Section awards nominations due 11:59 p.m. (CDT) on April 18.

     


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  • Mar
    30
    Annual 2017 abstract decisions released


    The ASAS office began notifying presenting authors of Annual 2017 abstract status (accept/reject) on March 27, 2017. (Please note abstract status notifications are sent to presenting authors.) If you are the presenting author and have not yet received an Accept/Reject notice (as of March 29, 2017), please check junk or spam mail. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the ASAS office at asas@asas.org. To facilitate rapid responses, please include your abstract ID in all correspondence.

    If your abstract was rejected, you do have the opportunity to appeal. Please submit appeals via the online Appeal Form. Please allow two full business days to receive a confirmation email. Appeals are due at 11:59 PM CST on April 4, 2017. Appeal decisions will be sent to the presenting author mid-April.

    All accepted abstracts must be presented. To reduce the number of no-show presenters the following policy is being enforced for the 2017 meeting:

    If the presenting author is a member of ASAS or CSAS, the presenting author has until the day of presentation to register for the conference. If no one shows up for the presentation or if the presentation author does not register by the day of the presentation, the abstract will be removed from the abstract book. This includes ePoster presentations.
    If the presenting author is not a member of ASAS or CSAS, he/she has three days from the time acceptance notifications are sent out to register for the meeting.
    If the presenting author does not register for the meeting or become an ASAS or CSAS member by 11:59 PM CST on April 2, 2017 the abstract will automatically be rejected.


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  • Mar
    30
    Hey, Facebookers!


    We are ramping up efforts to reach you with the latest information about the 2017 Annual Meeting, so like ASAS on Facebook and follow us for updates and vital information about the 2017 ASAS-CSAS Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, July 8-12!


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  • Mar
    30
    Renew your Jr. Animal Scientist subscription


    Did you let your child’s Jr. Animal Scientist subscription expire? You can renew anytime online or start a new subscription for the budding animal scientist in your life. Don’t let this great STEM opportunity go down the drain.

    Renew or join the Jr. Animal Scientist program!

    Family and classroom subscriptions also available.


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  • Mar
    29
    Twinning in beef cattle: way of the future?


    Penny Young, ASAS/ASAP Intern

    Despite most producers wanting to maximize their output, calving percentages have not changed dramatically over the past few decades and this trend does not seem set to change into the future. Dr Leo Cummins believes ‘twinner’ cattle could change this trend, and shift producers’ goals from a calving percentage of 90% to 130% or beyond. However, many producers are wary of pursuing twinning in their herd, and despite some benefits, for many the costs and risks seem too great.

    In the 1980s, interest in twinning in cattle grew and prompted major research projects in the USA and Australia, with significant research occurring in Hamilton in Victoria and Grafton in NSW. Despite this initial enthusiasm and some long running research, producers have not embraced twinning, with the main proponents still being amongst researchers. While researchers claim the benefits outweigh the negatives, it seems producers still fear the downsides of twinning.

    The US-MARC twinning study in Nebraska, USA found that the negative impacts of twinning include decreased neonatal survival, more retained placentas, more dystocia due to malpresentation, more days to oestrus and pregnancy postpartum, lower conception rates, and the risk of freemartin heifers. It is perhaps not surprising then that many producers have avoided selecting for twinning, especially when considering that changes in reproductive traits generally take some time to improve due to low heritability.


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  • Mar
    29
    Latest CJAS online


    The March 2017 issue (Volume 97, Number 1) of the Canadian Journal of Animal Science is now online.

    Access the March Table of Contents.

    Access Just-IN articles.

    See e-First articles.


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  • Mar
    29
    Calling all students!


    The Canadian Society of Animal Science (CSAS) is a national non-profit organization of persons engaged in extension, production, research, teaching or with a related interest in Livestock or Poultry Industries in Canada.

    CSAS – A Great Forum for Students!

     

    For more information please visit https://asas.org/csas


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  • Mar
    29
    Membership news


    In case you haven’t renewed your CSAS membership, this is a friendly reminder to do so as soon as possible. The great news is that renewing your annual membership is a simple click away.  Click here to renew now for the 2017 calendar year. 

    Don’t miss out on the opportunities for your students – only members are eligible for CSAS awards, so don’t forget to encourage your students to join – student membership fees are only $15!

    Your 2016 fees were hard at work! 

    Here’s a quick recap of some of the great initiatives your 2016 membership fees helped produce:


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  • Mar
    29
    Call for Nominations for CSAS vacant Executive Positions


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    Call for Nominations for CSAS vacant Executive Positions

    NOMINATIONS ARE DUE BY April 7, 2017.

    The CSAS is requesting nominations to fill the following positions on the 2017-18 Executive Committee:

    Please refer to www.csas.net for details on positions as well as responsibilities.


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  • Mar
    29
    Forage Agronomy position available


    Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship Position – Forage Agronomy

    The Western Beef Development Centre (WBDC) is seeking a Post-Doctoral Researcher in the discipline of Forage Agronomy for a three-year term (2017 to 2020).

    Job Description: Under the supervision of a senior PhD research scientist, this researcher will develop and conduct research in topics relevant to the Western Canadian cow/calf industry to improve forage production in grazing and preserved forage systems, improve forage quality and livestock productivity and ensuring the social, economic, and environmental sustainability of forage/livestock systems.

    The candidate will be required to develop applicable collaborative research grants based on the industry needs and latest applicable research, to develop research protocols, manage projects, conduct field experiments, collect and analyze scientific data, interpret and communicate results to a diverse audience, as well as scientific and technical writing, publishing and presentation to the public.


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  • Mar
    29
    In memory of Philip A. Thacker


    Philip A. Thacker,

    Ph.D. University of Saskatchewan

    Phil Thacker was born in Vancouver and received both his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Animal Science from the University of British Columbia. His Ph.D. (1982) was from the University of Alberta on research entitled “The effects of dietary propionate on lipid metabolism in growing swine”.

    He was a Regional Swine Specialist for Alberta Agriculture before joining the University of Saskatchewan as an Assistant Professor in 1984 in the Department of Animal and Poultry Science. Phil was a full professor by 1991. Phil’s main research areas focused on swine nutrition and reproductive management with the ultimate goal of improving industry practice.


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  • Mar
    29
    SAADC 2017 Announcement and Invitation


    Dear Researchers, Colleagues, and Stakeholders in Agriculture and Animal Production,

    Following the success of The Fifth International Conference on Sustainable Animal Agricultural for Developing Countries (SAADC 2015) in October 27-30, 2015 in Pattaya, Thailand, it is our great honor and pleasure to announce that:

    The Sixth SAADC Conference will be held in the beautiful shining city of Batu, East Java, Indonesia, on October 16 – 19, 2017 with the theme of:

    “Wisdom of Using Local Resources for Development of Sustainable Animal Production in Developing Countries”.


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  • Mar
    28
    University of Adelaide at Midwest Meeting


    Ashlee McEvoy ASAP/ASAS 2017 Communications Intern

    The University of Adelaide, Roseworthy campus was mentioned a couple of times during the American Dairy Science Association and American Society of Animal Science Midwest meeting this month in Omaha, Nebraska, United States of America.

    Two students presented oral presentations, “Piglet creching decreases protein content in colostrum” presented by Yanisse Montano, and “Influence of seminal additives on sow fertility” presented Tivon Brown.

    The first presentation by Montano involved observing the amount of colostrum that in newborn piglets intake in the first 24 hours of life before gut epithelial closure takes place. Montano first discussed how it has previously been hypothesised that the order of farrowing may have an effect on suckling, meaning that the first-born piglets were more likely to ingest more colostrum than those later born. The objective of the study was to assess if creching, the process of placing piglets into a warm box at birth to prevent suckling, before returning all piglets to the sow at the end of the farrowing process, increased the total plasma protein levels at 24 hours post farrowing in the final 3 piglets born in each litter. It was also investigated if this increase was associated with higher milk protein synthesis in the mammary gland. This study was completed at the University of Adelaide at the Roseworthy piggery facilities. A total of 28 litters were withheld from suckling for 4 hours after first piglet, and 28 litters were allowed to immediately. Blood was collected at 24 hours post farrowing in the first and then last three piglets of each litter and colostrum samples were taken from the front, middle and rear glands of all sows immediately after birth of first piglet, and again 3 hours after.
    The findings of this study showed that the total plasma protein levels at 24 hours did not differ in the piglets born first and last, but the total plasma protein levels were significantly higher in the piglets that were not creched. There was also no differences in total protein content in colostrum when sampled immediately after farrowing, however it tended to decrease in sows with creched litters than the control sows.


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  • Mar
    28
    Chromium supplementation shows potential for heat stress management in pigs


    By Penny Young, ASAS/ASAP Intern

    New research from the University of Melbourne and accepted for publication in Translational Animal Science finds that chromium supplementation may help to increase insulin sensitivity, normalize NEFA metabolism and reduce heat stress in pigs.

    Managing heat stress in animals is important from both economic and welfare perspectives, and the findings from this study make a case for the inclusion of dietary chromium in diets during periods where heat stress is anticipated.

    The team, headed by Fan Liu and sponsored in part by Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources via the Carbon Farming Futures Program, investigated several markers of heat stress in pigs and also looked into the effects of chromium supplementation on these indicators. Insulin sensitivity was a particular focus because research has suggested that increased insulin sensitivity may help to alleviate heat stress.


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