Featured Articles

  • Mar
    28
    Is it worth selecting for high milk production in beef cattle?


     

    Penny Young, ASAS/ASAP Intern

    Milking ability is a trait that many producers select for in their production systems, with the belief that it is one of the most significant influences on the weaning weight of a calf. However, a study by Edwards et al. from the University of Tennessee, recently published in Translational Animal Science has found that when beef cattle are raised in an environment where feed is highly available, greater milk production in the mother does not translate to improved weaning weight. In fact, all things considered, selecting for high milk production appears to have negative outcomes for reproductive efficiency.

    The study aimed to investigate the effect of milk yield on a variety of markers, such as reproductive and calf performance, cow bodyweight, and circulating blood metabolites. The team collected data from 237 Angus-sired beef cows on three research stations in Tennessee; recording 24hr milk production on two dates post partum, as well as collecting samples of milk for analysis. The cows’ body weight and body condition score were collected weekly throughout breeding, and the calves’ bodyweights were recorded at birth, mid-weight (day 58) and at weaning.


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  • Mar
    28
    Yeast pro- and paraprobiotics can bind pathogenic bacteria: potential for prophylaxis and treatment


    Penny Young, ASAS/ASAP Intern

    As we face the challenge of managing growing antibiotic resistance in pathogens, efforts to find antibiotic alternatives are redoubled.

    An area that shows particular promise is the use of probiotics, both prophylactically and as a treatment measure. Research recently published in Translational Animal Science finds that yeast pro- and paraprobiotics are able to bind pathogenic bacteria that can cause disease in animals, such as Salmonella and Listeria species.

    Other studies have found that probiotics and paraprobiotics have many modes of action. They can bind directly to pathogens, which helps to protect the animal by reducing the binding of pathogen to host intestinal cells and also facilitates removal of the pathogen from the host. The action of the yeast probiotics can take the form of a variety of mechanisms, with some involving direct antagonism or competitive inhibition that prevents colonization of the mucosal surface of the intestine. Some pathogenic bacteria produce toxins, and in some cases the yeast can protect the host by directly binding to these toxins. The yeast probiotics also may help to stimulate the host immune system, engaging a more effective response and thus improving outcomes.


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  • Mar
    28
    Meat Standards Australia


    Ashlee McEvoy ASAS/ASAP 2017 Communications Intern 24th March 2017.

    The Australian red meat industry developed Meat Standards Australia (MSA), and opened up to the beef industry in 1998. This purpose of this program became ensuring that any beef product is to reach consumer expectations. The MSA index that is used to measure these consumer expectations are based on almost 700,000 consumer taste tests by more than 100,000 consumers from nine countries.

    For beef to be eligible for MSA grading, the cattle must be from an MSA registered property. The grading of beef can only be assessed by an MSA-accredited grader at any of the 43 MSA-licensed beef processing plants that are currently in Australia.

    The graders job is to assess traits that have been scientifically proven to affect the eating quality of a carcass. These traits include ossification, marbling, pH, subcutaneous rib fat thickness, hump height, sex and hot standard carcass weight. Factors such as hormonal growth promotant status, milk-fed vealer category, tropical breed content and saleyard status are declared by the producers and again verified by the processing plant.


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  • Mar
    28
    Queensland wild dog fences


    Ashlee McEvoy ASAS/ASAP 2017 Communications Intern 25th March 2017

    Remote Area Planning and Development Board (RAPAD) was allocated funds from the State Government’s $5 million commitment in May 2016 for the Queensland Feral Pest Initiative.

    The first round of funding towards the RAPAD fencing scheme in central west Queensland was given out in July 2016. In the second round, released this month, seven clusters made up of 31 producers are now expected to erect close to 800 kilometers of wild dog proof fencing. This second round is expected to protect almost 400,000 hectares, and projects to double the sheep numbers in that area. This second wave was only available to those who did not receive first round funds.

     


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  • Mar
    27
    In Memory: Dr. Gordon Niswender


    Dr. Gordon Niswender, Colorado State University, passed away on March 24, 2017, after a long battle with cancer. He will be greatly missed by family, friends, and colleagues. Dr. Niswender’s obituary speaks volumes of the impact that he had on agriculture and reproductive physiology.

    Dr. Niswender’s obituary is as follows, and can also be found here:

    Family and friends near and far mourn the loss of Gordon Niswender who passed peacefully on March 24th after a long and courageous battle with metastatic bladder cancer. Gordon was born in humble beginnings April 21st, 1940 in Gillette WY. He had a powerful work and education ethic, acquiring his Bachelor of Sciences Degree in Agriculture Education from the University of Wyoming, his Masters of Science Degree in Animal Science from the University of Nebraska, and his PhD in Reproductive Endocrinology from the University of Illinois.

    Gordon began his career first as a Post-Doctoral Fellow and then Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan where he was instrumental in developing innovative techniques and materials to measure hormones in the blood of humans and animals that are still being used today. His love of the West led him to move to Colorado State University in 1972 where he worked until his retirement in 2010.


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  • Mar
    27
    Still time to comment on FDA draft guidance


    You have the opportunity to comment on the FDA’s draft guidance on the “Regulation of Intentionally Altered Genomic DNA in Animals.” Please take the time to do so! Comments will be accepted through April 19, 2017 at the following link: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FDA-2008-D-0394-0279

    Learn more about the draft guidance in this Taking Stock post.


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  • Mar
    27
    Block & Bridle Convention starts this Friday!


    The 97th National Block & Bridle Convention begins this Friday, March 31, and runs through April 2, with an optional Congressional Hill Visit day on April 3. The convention will be held at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia. 

    Secure your spot today and join us for a great meeting, including a day of farm tours on April 1. Tours to include:

    Tours will include a grab and go breakfast, lunch and an evening BBQ with DJ at historic Spocott Farm on Gary’s Creek.

    In addition to the tours, we have great social events planned for the evenings, including:


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  • Mar
    27
    FASS-AFIA award nominations now open


    Nominations for the FASS-AFIA New Frontiers in Animal Nutrition Award are now being accepted. The deadline to submit nominations is May 1, 2017. Nominate your colleagues today!

    The award is designed to stimulate, acknowledge, and reward pioneering and innovative research relevant to the nutrition of animals that benefits humankind and the nutritional value of foods from animals. The award will be presented at the meeting of choice of the award winner (during the ADSA, ASAS, or PSA Annual Meeting) in the summer of 2017.

    Procedures: Nominations should be submitted on the FASS website: https://www.fass.org/about/fass-afia-award. Complete instructions and FASS-AFIA award guidelines can be accessed on the website.

    Deadline: All nominations must be SUBMITTED on the website no later than May 1, 2017, 11:59 pm CDT.


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  • Mar
    27
    Read more science policy news


    Read the latest science policy news in the March 8 Science Policy Report compiled by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America.


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  • Mar
    24
    Snack & Fact recording available


    A recording of a presentation from a recent Snack & Fact briefing on performance-enhancing technologies in animal agriculture is now available.

    ASAS representatives hosted the Snack & Fact briefing in Washington, D.C., on February 27. The briefing, entitled “Use of Performance-Enhancing Technologies in Global Livestock Production,” included presentations by Dr. Mike Azain, University of Georgia and ASAS Public Policy Committee member, and Dr. Caird Rexroad, USDA-ARS National Program for Aquaculture.

    The recording includes audio and the PowerPoint presentation given by Dr. Azain (left) on Feb. 27.

    Access the Snack & Fact recording.


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  • Mar
    23
    Block & Bridle is next week!


    The 97th National Block & Bridle Convention will be held March 31 to April 2, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia. Not yet registered for the meeting?  Secure your spot today!

    Join us for a great meeting, including a day of farm tours on April 1, 2017. Tours to include:

    Tours will include a grab and go breakfast, lunch and an evening BBQ with DJ at historic Spocott Farm on Gary’s Creek.

    In addition to the tours, we have great social events planned for the evenings, including:


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  • Mar
    23
    Please speak up!


    ASAS members: Please contact your federal legislators to voice your opinion on dramatic cuts proposed to federally funded research in the U.S.

    For more information, please read this recent ASAS statement.


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  • Mar
    23
    Nominate colleagues for WSASAS awards


    Western Section ASAS Awards Nominations are due 11:59 PM (CDT) on April 14, 2017. Please take the time to recognize the hard work of your colleagues and nominate them for WSASAS awards.

    Learn more about Western Section Awards and Award Guidelines

    Award Nomination Deadline
    April 14, 2017

    Housing Deadline:  May 20, 2017


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  • Mar
    23
    Grad students recap Southern Section events


    By Brittni Littlejohn, Sierra Lockwood, and Sam Ingram

    The American Society of Animal Science – Southern Section hosted its 2017 meeting last month in Franklin, TN. During the meeting, the Graduate Student Meet & Greet was held on February 5, followed by the Graduate Student Lunch & Learn on February 7. These events were implemented with the goal of providing a networking opportunity as well as a chance to gain insight on the successful transition to the professional world.

    The Graduate Student Meet & Greet was held during the first day of the conference to introduce participants to their fellow graduate students who they would be interacting with during the remainder of the conference. The informal setting provided participants a comfortable environment for networking and was very well received. Eight schools were represented during this event and included the following: Auburn University, Fort Valley State University, North Carolina State University, Texas A&M University, Texas A&M University – Kingsville, University of Arkansas, University of Tennessee, and Virginia Tech.

    The Graduate Student Lunch & Learn theme was “Fueling the Future.” During the event, students were randomly assigned to tables to encourage additional networking among fellow students. The first speaker was Dr. Rand Broadway from the USDA-ARS who presented on “How to make the most of your graduate career.” Dr. Broadway’s presentation included advice on how to choose a program and mentor, the importance of collaboration, and how to be proactive during a graduate program. Following Dr. Broadway’s presentation, Dr. Mike Moseley from Positively Mose, LLC and Zoetis (retired) presented on “How to make the transition from graduate student to industry professional.” During Dr. Moseley’s presentation, he discussed the following topics: taking ownership of your career, characteristics that make one employable, and how to prepare for an interview. Both presentations were well received by the graduate students in attendance and made the Lunch & Learn a great success! Nine schools were represented at the Lunch & Learn and included the following: Auburn University, North Carolina State University, Texas A&M University, Texas A&M University Commerce, Texas Tech University, University of Arkansas, University of Georgia, University of Tennessee, and Virginia Tech.


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  • Mar
    20
    2017 Annual Meeting preview: Forages and Pastures Symposium


    Plans are underway for a Forages and Pastures Symposium focusing on a whole-system approach to cover crops in livestock production. Save the date: Tuesday, July 11, 2017, 2:00-5:00 PM. Make plans to join us for this symposium at the 2017 ASAS-CSAS Annual Meeting & Trade Show!

    Cover crops present a unique opportunity in livestock production, with the potential to improve the health and productivity of the whole production system. They can improve soil health and water quality, and also provide a valuable source of food for livestock. Support for a whole-system approach to the use of cover crops has often largely been based on anecdotal evidence. This symposium, put together by the Forages and Pastures Committee, draws from research with long-term data providing insight into the broad range of benefits offered by including cover crops in livestock systems. This research is particularly important in the context of our rapidly growing global population, as production intensification becomes more significant and our production systems must be optimized, while ensuring that environmental health is managed.

    Clayton Robins, chair of the Committee, explains that cover crops can play a key role in regenerative agriculture and also in helping to improve the resilience of production systems. This will be vital moving into the future.

    The presentations making up this symposium offer economic and realistic assessments of the role of cover crops and of the benefits and practical implications of including them in a system. Many aspects of cover crops will be addressed; from their potential as economical forage sources and their impact on animal performance, to their influence on water and nutrients in the system. The speakers will present research based in both the Southern and Northern Great Plains of North America and also from Brazil, hence the challenges and benefits of including cover crops in significantly different environments will be examined. Their role in conservation and regeneration will also be discussed.


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  • Mar
    20
    Call for Northeast awards nominations


    The ADSA Northeast Branch/ASAS Northeastern Section is accepting award nominations for the 2017 awards. The nominations submission deadline for the following Northeast awards is April 18 at 11:59 pm CDT.

    View the descriptions for these awards.

    We hope that you will go online and submit nominees for these outstanding awards in Animal/Dairy Science.


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  • Mar
    20
    Thank you, Midwest sponsors!


    The 2017 Midwest Meeting, held March 13-15, in Omaha, Nebraska, would not have been possible without the generous support of our sponsors!

    Please join the ASAS Midwestern Section and the ADSA Midwest Branch in thanking our meeting sponsors for supporting awards, scientific symposia sessions, student competitions and events held during the 2017 Midwest Meeting.


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  • Mar
    17
    ASAS responds to proposed presidential budget


    For Immediate Release

    ASAS Responds to Proposed Presidential Budget and Associated Cuts to Research Budgets

    The American Society of Animal Science, in the interest of science and worldwide food security, respectfully encourages the President to reconsider massive funding cuts to USDA and NIH.

    Champaign, Ill. (March 17, 2017) — President Donald Trump’s proposed budget suggests massive funding cuts to agricultural and basic biomedical research.


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  • Mar
    17
    WSASAS proceedings deadline extended


    The deadline to submit a paper for the proceedings of the 2017 Western Section Meeting has been extended to Tuesday, March 21 at NOON, Central Time. Please note because Western Proceedings Submission has switched to Manuscript Central, we will accept either 2-column or 1-column formatting.
    Please use your JAS login when submitting a paper.

    Invited speakers submitting a proceedings paper and students submitting an abstract should stop before they reach the payment step, and email Brett Holte at bholte@sciencesocieties.org for a payment waiver.

    Proceedings Instructional Documents

    WSASAS Proceedings Instructions


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  • Mar
    17
    2017 Midwest abstracts available online


    The Abstract book and Program book from the 2017 Annual Meeting of the ASAS Midwestern Section and ADSA Midwest Branch are available online in PDF format. The Abstract book will soon be available as a Journal of Animal Science supplement.

    Download 2017 Program 

    Download 2017 Abstract Book


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