Last year’s Beef Cattle Health Conference set an attendance record with more than 300 cattle producers and students participating in lectures and demonstrations.
The Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Cooperative Extension, and Farm Credit are hosting the Virginia Tech Beef Cattle Health Conference on Jan. 28 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Designed to give beef cattle producers an opportunity to learn strategies to improve the health of their herds, the conference will take place in the auditorium at Virginia Tech’s Litton-Reaves Hall, located at 175 West Campus Drive.
The conference will open with presentations from three faculty members in the veterinary college’s Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences.
John Currin, clinical associate professor of production management medicine, will speak about the Veterinary Feed Directive, a new Food and Drug Administration approval process for the use of antibiotics in animal feed. Sierra Guynn, clinical assistant professor, will give presentations on pinkeye and fly control.
Following a morning break, the conference will feature special guest Andrew Griffith, assistant professor of agricultural and resource economics at the University of Tennessee, who will discuss the economic outlook for the beef cattle industry. Morgan Paulette, an agriculture and natural resources Extension agent for Pulaski County, will then give an update on the New River Valley’s Virginia Quality Assured program.
Sheep producers are finding new ways to put dollars in their pockets with some help from Virginia Tech’s Southwest Virginia Agricultural Research and Extension Center.
Mandy and Chris Fletcher, of Abingdon, Virginia, have purchased rams from the ram test sale for the past four years and have improved their flock’s genetics by selecting for growth and parasite resistance. As their flock’s genetics have improved, the Fletchers have seen a decrease in health care costs and flock mortality.
The center, located in Glade Spring, is home to the Southwest Virginia Forage-Based Ram Test. The ram test, now in its fifth year, is the only program in the U.S. that evaluates rams through a forage-based performance test designed specifically to quantify growth and parasite resistance. The test provides a mechanism for ram lambs to be evaluated and compared to rams from other flocks in a standardized environment. At the conclusion of the test, the ram lambs that are offered for sale come with a vast body of production data.
“Internal parasites are among the leading health concerns for sheep,” said Scott Greiner, Virginia Cooperative Extension sheep specialist and professor of animal and poultry sciences. “They can pose dramatic economic losses for many producers, especially those in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions of the U.S. where forage-based production is an ideal management system for livestock.”
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(From left to right top) Dwight E. Houff, Robert W. Manly. (From left to right bottom) Richard G. Saacke, Max James Tappero.
Four distinguished industry leaders will be inducted into the Virginia Livestock Hall of Fame at 10 a.m., Sept. 24, at the Alphin-Stuart Livestock Teaching Arena on Virginia Tech’s campus. The public is invited to attend this free event.
The ceremony features the unveiling of the honorees’ portraits, which will hang in the arena gallery alongside those of 55 other prominent industry leaders who have been recognized for their contributions to the Virginia livestock industry.
“The Livestock Hall of Fame allows Virginia’s beef, sheep, dairy, pork, and horse industries to recognize those who have made outstanding contributions to the commonwealth’s livestock industry,” said Ike Eller, a retired Virginia Cooperative Extension animal scientist who chairs the hall of fame committee.
(From L to R top) Olive Kendrick Britt, Richard H.L. Chichester III, Allen Foster Harper (From L to R bottom) Gary L. Minish, and David Notter
Five individuals will be inducted into the Virginia Livestock Hall of Fame for 2015 at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24, at the College of Agriculture and Life Science’s Alphin-Stuart Livestock Arena on Virginia Tech’s campus. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.
The ceremony will include an unveiling of the portraits of the 2015 honorees, which will be permanently displayed in the arena. The new Hall of Fame members, who hail from academia and industry, have demonstrated outstanding and uncommon contributions to the livestock industry.
BLACKSBURG, Va., June 1, 2015 – Virginia Cooperative Extension is reminding people with backyard chickens and small commercial flocks to remain vigilant to protect their animals from the avian flu.
To date the current outbreak includes two strains of the virus known as H5N2 and H5N8, neither of which has spread to Virginia. Its closest proximity to the commonwealth has been in wild birds in Kentucky and a backyard flock in Indiana. It is not thought to be a threat to human health.
However, agricultural authorities are requesting that backyard, hobbyist, and small, local poultry producers take precautions to prevent the flu from spreading to Virginia.
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