Featured Articles

  • Mar
    06
    Block and Bridle 2017 meeting updates


    The 97th National Block & Bridle Convention is fast approaching. The meeting will be held March 31 to April 2, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia. Book your sleeping room today. Discounted housing rates have been extended to March 13, 2017!

    Not yet registered for the meeting?  Secure your spot today as meeting space and sleeping rooms are filling up quickly!

    Join us for a great meeting with a day of tours on April 1, 2017, where you will see a variety of farms, including ones unique to the eastern shore. 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. Register for the meeting today to secure your tour seat!


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  • Mar
    02
    Abstract submission for 2017 Annual Meeting reopened


    With the abstract deadline for EAAP and ISAG both being March 1, ASAS has received numerous requests to adjust the abstract deadline for the ASAS-CSAS Annual Meeting & Trade Show. General abstracts and competition abstracts can now be submitted until noon (11:59 AM, PST) on Friday, March 3.

    Members are encouraged to submit original research, teaching, and extension papers. Abstracts should consist of original, completed work that has not been accepted for publication in a journal. Authors need to be aware of patent considerations before submitting abstracts for publication.

    Criteria for acceptance or rejection will include those outlined on the Call for Papers page, as well as originality, clarity, and merit. Consolidation of results into one combined paper is urged whenever possible.

    There is a required $30 technology fee per abstract due upon submission. This fee helps mitigate the cost of e-Posters and the Virtual Meeting.


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  • Mar
    02
    Midwest pre-registration ending


    Pre-registration for the Annual Meeting of the Midwest Branch of ADSA and the Midwestern Section of ASAS ends tomorrow, March 3. Register today to avoid on-site registration lines.

    Registration information can be found on the 2017 Midwest Meeting website under the registration tab. A printable registration form is also available.

    Please sign up for these special events:

    Already registered? Add an event to your existing registration.


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  • Mar
    02
    Midwest program finalized


    The final Program book and Abstract book of the 2017 ASAS/ADSA Midwest Meeting are now available online in pdf format. The Abstract book will be available as a Journal of Animal Science supplement after the meeting.

    Download 2017 Program 

    Download 2017 Abstract Book

     


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  • Mar
    02
    Midwest app launched


    The 2017 Midwest Meeting app is finally here! Download it to your iPhone/iPad or Android. Create your schedule, see the list of speakers, and much more.

    View the App Online

    Download the App to your phone


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  • Mar
    02
    Upcoming Western Section deadlines


    The 2017 Western Section Meeting will be held June 20-23, at the Fargo Dome in Fargo, North Dakota. Some important deadlines are approaching!

    Please nominate your colleagues for a WSASAS award. There are numerous Western Section members who deserve to be recognized for their contributions to the science of animal agriculture. Some have contributed for many years, whereas others are just beginning their careers. Please nominate your deserving colleagues. The award nominations are to be submitted electronically on the Western Section Meeting web page. Nomination deadline is 11:59 PM (CDT) on April 14, 2017.

    Proceedings Paper Deadline: March 16, 2017

    Awards Nomination Deadline: April 14, 2017


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  • Mar
    02
    Join ARPAS during Midwest Meeting


    You can join ARPAS while attending the upcoming Midwest ADSA/ASAS meeting in Omaha. To join, visit the ARPAS booth (near registration), fill out an application, and sign up to take one of eleven species-specific exams available. If you are a graduate student, the ARPAS Foundation will reimburse your exam fee ($25) by paying your dues until completion of your graduate work.

    Exams will be given in the convention center connected hotel, Hilton Omaha – Murray room on Tuesday, March 14, at 7:30 am and again at 5:00 pm. The exams generally take approximately 1 hour. Sample exam questions are available on the ARPAS website (www.ARPAS.org).

    Stop by the ARPAS booth to sign up for a time to take an exam.


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  • Feb
    27
    Get more science policy news


    Read the latest science policy news in the February 22 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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  • Feb
    27
    ASAS hosts Snack & Fact in D.C.


    ASAS representatives were in Washington, D.C., today to host a Snack & Fact briefing on the “Use of Performance-Enhancing Technologies in Global Livestock Production.”

    Guest speakers included Dr. Mike Azain, University of Georgia and ASAS Public Policy Committee member, and Dr. Caird Rexroad, USDA-ARS National Program for Aquaculture. Dr. Azain gave a brief overview of performance-enhancing technologies and their impact on animal agriculture. Dr. Rexroad discussed the opportunities for performance-enhancing technologies in aquaculture. Dr. Penny Riggs, Texas A&M University and ASAS Public Policy Committee Chair, introduced the speakers and goals of the briefing.

    Following the briefing, members of the group met with representatives from the North American Meat Institute and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

    Special thanks to Julie McClure, Science Policy Manager for the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, for assisting our speakers with preparations for the briefing.


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  • Feb
    27
    Proposed zinc oxide ban in the EU


    By Casey L. Bradley, Public Policy Committee Member

    In December 2016, the European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Veterinary Use (CVMP) proposed a ban of pharmacological levels of zinc oxide in swine rations. The CVMP has concluded that the treatment benefits of zinc oxide (ZnO) for the prevention of diarrhea in pigs do not outweigh the environmental risk associated with its use. However, effective measures to manage and reduce the accumulation of zinc in the environment could not be identified.

    Furthermore, the CVMP acknowledged a risk exists for co-selection for antimicrobial resistance associated with the use of zinc oxide, but currently the risk was not quantifiable. Based on its scientific conclusions, the committee recommended withdrawal of marketing authorizations for zinc oxide products.

    A number of professional associations related to pig production have already said they will fight a future ban on the use of medicinal ZnO in animal feed, as it would remove a key tool for controlling post-weaning diarrhea.


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  • Feb
    27
    FDA proposes to regulate all animals with “intentionally altered” DNA as drugs


    By Dr. Alison Van Eenennaam

    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 comment. Comments will be accepted through April 19, 2017 at the following link: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FDA-2008-D-0394-0279

    Recently, at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting in Boston, the Agricultural, Food and Renewable Resources section hosted a seminar on “The Potential of Gene Editing to Revolutionize Agriculture.” During the session speakers from both academia and industry discussed how this breeding method could be used to introduce useful genetic variants into plant and animal breeding programs.

    On the animal side, Dr. Alison Van Eenennaam from UC Davis discussed how several groups have used this technique to produce edited livestock, such as the porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV)-resistant pigs at the University of Missouri, and recently cows that are less susceptible to bovine tuberculosis by a group in China. She also discussed animal welfare traits such as the polled Holstein bulls, where the Celtic polled allele from beef breeds was substituted for the horned allele at the POLLED locus by the Minnesota-based company, Recombinetics.


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  • Feb
    27
    Submit nominations for 2017 ASAS National Awards


    ASAS is pleased to announce that the 2017 ASAS National Awards are now open for nominations. Nominations are due March 9, 2017 at 11:59 PM!

    The ASAS Awards Program is set up to honor the most significant contributions of our members to Animal Science, Animal Agriculture and to ASAS. The National Awards are one of our favorite programs in the office because the awards honor our history, celebrate our membership and help us to glimpse the future. Here are a few things about the ASAS National Awards Program that you might not know:

    *A new award has been added for 2017: The Wettemann Graduate Scholar in Physiology Award. Each nomination would need to submit a scientific abstract, CV of the nominee, letter of nomination from mentor and if selected will need to do a 30-minute presentation highlighting their work at the Annual Meeting in Baltimore.

    Please nominate your colleagues for the 2017 ASAS National Awards.
 If you would like to re-nominate a colleague from a previous nomination, please email Melissa at Melissab@asas.org.


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  • Feb
    27
    Block & Bridle farm tours announced


    The 97th National Block & Bridle Convention is fast approaching. The meeting will be held March 31 to April 2 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia.

    Join us for a great meeting with a day of tours on April 1, where you will see a variety of farms, including ones unique to the eastern shore. Tours include:

    Tours will include a grab and go breakfast, lunch and an evening BBQ with DJ at historic Spocott Farm on Gary’s Creek. Register for the meeting today to secure your tour seat!

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


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  • Feb
    23
    Join the Coffee Club


    Join the ASAS Foundation Coffee Club and enjoy coffee at the Midwest 2017 Meeting! Not only will you get coffee—you will also be supporting ASAS member programs and student services.
    Supporting animal science students and colleagues has its “perks!” Here’s how it works:

    Anyone can join! Members of the ASAS Foundation Coffee Club will receive one of our travel mugs. Use the travel mug at MW 2017 and get coffee refills in the “Recharge and Relaxation” Lounge, located across from Registration. You must be a coffee club member, with a mug, for coffee from this area.

    Membership in the coffee club is open to all meeting attendees. Coffee will be available to all club members whenever the registration area is open.

    To join, go to ASAS eCommerce. With a $25.00 donation, you will earn unlimited coffee during MW 2017.  Or you can pick the $50.00 club option for MW 2017 and Annual 2017.


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  • Feb
    23
    Animal science in Brazil


    Kim Schoonmaker, ASAS Scientific Communications Associate, has been touring several farms in Brazil with her husband, Jon Schoonmaker, Purdue University Department of Animal Science, and Jon’s dad, Gary.

    First stop on our 14-day visit: Rio de Janeiro for a few days of sight seeing of the beautiful beaches, as well as the famous Christ the Redeemer statue and “Sugar Loaf Mountain.” Magnificent views from both of these iconic places!

    February 17 – Jon Schoonmaker demonstrates muscle biopsy technique to colleagues at a state government research farm in Colina, São Paulo State, Brazil. Later we tour the animal facilities and feeding area.

    February 18- Toured state research facility in Sertaozinho, São Paulo State, Brazil. A major focus of this farm is the use of breeding and genetic selection to improve feed efficiency of Nelore and Senepol cattle.


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  • Feb
    23
    New technology shows potential in fight against antibiotic resistance


    Penny Young, ASAP/ASAS Intern 2017

    Research from the University of Melbourne has found a polymer that shows promise as a future member of the arsenal against antibiotic resistant bacteria. The team, led by PhD candidate Shu Lam, has found a novel way of targeting bacteria: structurally nanoengineered antimicrobial peptide polymers, otherwise known as SNAPPs. These SNAPPs are especially exciting because they have some advantages over current strategies.

    Firstly, the SNAPPs have multiple pathways of action, meaning they should perform better than many types of antibiotics, which often only have one mechanism. It is also hoped this might help to avoid or delay resistance developing in the bacteria. The SNAPP can break or disrupt the cell wall itself, but it is also able to trigger self-destructive pathways in the bacterial cells.

    The SNAPP investigated also appears to be very safe, with tests performed on red blood cells finding that toxicity is only reached with a dose over 100 times the effective dosage rate. It seems that the large size of the SNAPP means that it does not target healthy host cells, which makes it a more attractive treatment option for conventional antibiotics which often do have an effect on host cells.


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  • Feb
    23
    Scanning of heifers key to success


    Penny Young, ASAP/ASAS Intern

    An article recently published on Farm Online highlighted the benefits offered by performing and recording more ultrasound scans on heifers. Catriona Millen from Southern Beef Technologies Services was interviewed to provide insight.

    While producers often perform ultrasound testing for EBV traits on some of their bulls, Ms Millen stresses that there are benefits to extending this testing to heifers. Scanning heifers is potentially more beneficial for a few reasons. Firstly, because the heifers mature earlier than bulls, scanning them at the same age is likely to give a greater indication of their traits because the variation in rib and rump fat depth and marbling is often more obvious. This allows more accurate EBVs to be calculated. Research by S. Walkom et al. concluded that scanning cattle earlier and when they are leaner results in a decreased correlation between scan intramuscular fat and carcass intramuscular fat, which decreases the efficacy of the scanning in terms of its application in selection for genetic improvements. However, the reduction in strength of prediction is not as great in heifers compared to bulls. Thus scanning heifers may help to mitigate the disadvantage of measuring earlier due to their earlier maturity.

    Scanning heifers is also beneficial because generally a larger proportion of heifers are retained in the herd relative to bulls and these heifers are less likely to be culled for carcass traits. This means that scanning the heifers probably gives a better indication of the differences in rib and rump fat depths and marbling in a herd.


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  • Feb
    23
    New rabbit control roll out


    The first week of March marks the release of the K5 strain of RHDV1, a virus used to control feral rabbit populations. The strain is being introduced in the hope that it will better control the rabbit populations in cooler and wet climates where the current strain has been less successful.

    Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus, commonly referred to as calicivirus, was first introduced in 1996 as a new control measure due to the increasing resistance to myxomatosis, which had been introduced in the 1950s. While it did have quite a dramatic effect on the rabbit population initially, it was found that it was not very successful in wet, cool climates. Further issues were identified in 2009 when it was found that there was a naturally occurring calicivirus, RCV-A1, which confers resistance to RHDV in feral rabbits.

    The Korean (K5) strain of RHDV shows promise for rabbit control because it seems to be able to overcome the effects of the protective RCV-A1 calicivirus. However, it is being implemented mostly to help ‘boost’ the effects of the currently circulating strains, and it is not expected to result in the dramatic 90% reduction in rabbit population seen with the original introduction of RHDV1. It is to be considered more in its ability to reduce the growth of the population rather than a culling measure, or as a solution to the problem.

    The RHDV2 virus found in Australian wild populations of rabbits in May 2015 is also hoped to help control the rabbit populations. It looks promising; Europe has noted a decrease in rabbit numbers, currently attributed to the virus, and hopefully a similar result will be seen in Australia. It is also hoped RHDV2 will be more effective because it can cause death to young kittens and mature, vaccinated rabbits. However, because the virus has a strong competitive advantage and appears to be replacing circulating strains in Europe, it could cause issues if it is not highly virulent, as it may result in the biocontrol measures being less effective.


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  • Feb
    23
    Protein boosts gains and fertility


    February 2017, Ashlee McEvoy, ASAP/ASAS 2017 Communications Intern

    Industry specialist, Jeff House, principal of Jeff House Livestock and former NSW Department of Primary Industries cattle officer has told The Land in an interview that if livestock producers do not incorporate a protein supplement during the summer months when pasture qualities and growth are low, the producers are running risks of productivity and lowered fertility in their animals.

    House states that majority of pastures in the summer and dry stubble and hayed, and can have a protein count of as low as 4 per cent. This imbalance in nutrition can cause a direct impact on rumen function, which can effect the ruminants body weight, and therefore fertility.

    Traditionally farmers, when feeding requirements get low, open the gates on several paddocks and allow stock to spread across the property in search of their own food. House believes that confining stock to smaller areas makes livestock easier to feed and easy to monitor during the tougher summer heat. Not only will this have a positive effect on the livestock, but it will also allow pastures to recover quicker and at a higher quality.


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  • Feb
    23
    Australian beef in Indonesia


    February 2017, Ashlee McEvoy, ASAP/ASAS 2017 Communications Intern

    In April 2016, Indonesian cattle importers were struggling with Australia’s record-high live export prices. Over an 18-month period, prices rose from $2.50 per kilogram to $3.90 per kilogram, and importers still had to pay over $4 per kilogram for delivery.

    At the time, the wet market in Jakarta was around IDR115,000 ($11.40 AUD) per kilogram, but this price was not high enough for importers to make financial returns from the high Australian prices. The wet market meat prices were considered expensive when over IDR100,000 ($10.09 AUD) per kilogram, and due to this the Indonesian Government aimed to lower prices to around IDR85,000 ($8.57 AUD) per kilogram. If the prices were to rise at this stage, there was risk of customers stopping buying the product all together to find a cheaper protein source.

    William Bulo from Juang Jaya Abdi Alam feedlot in Lampung was interviewed by ABC Rural and stated he paid more for Australian cattle than he could sell them for.


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