Spencer, LaGrange County Farmers Win INFB Young Farmer Awards

first_img Facebook Twitter By Eric Pfeiffer – Sep 3, 2018 Spencer, LaGrange County Farmers Win INFB Young Farmer Awards SHARE SHARE Facebook Twittercenter_img Home Indiana Agriculture News Spencer, LaGrange County Farmers Win INFB Young Farmer Awards Jonathan Spaetti and Derika Lynam-Spaetti of Spencer County and Neal and Lydia Wolheter of LaGrange County are the winners of two of Indiana Farm Bureau’s top awards for young farmers in 2018, the Excellence in Agriculture Award and the Achievement Award.Two distinguished panels of judges evaluated this year’s participants. Excellence in Agriculture candidates were judged on their involvement in agriculture, leadership ability, and involvement and participation in Farm Bureau and other organizations, while the Achievement Award candidates were judged on their leadership abilities and on what they have achieved with their farms.Jonathan Spaetti and Derika Lynam-Spaetti, Spencer County, won the INFB Young Farmer Excellence in Agriculture Award, which recognizes young farmers who do not derive the majority of their income from an owned production-agricultural operation. The Spaettis will receive a John Deere Gator (courtesy of Farm Credit Services), a $3,000 cash prize (courtesy of Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance) and an all-expenses-paid trip to compete at the American Farm Bureau annual convention.Neal and Lydia Wolheter, LaGrange County, won the INFB Young Farmer Achievement Award, which recognizes young farmers who earn the majority of their income from their farms. The Wolheters will receive a $6,000 cash prize (courtesy of Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance), 250 hours of free use of one M-Series tractor (courtesy of Kubota Tractor Corporation) and an all-expenses paid trip to compete at the AFBF annual convention. The winners also will be awarded the David L. Leising Memorial Award.These state awards are conducted as a part of the AFBF Young Farmers and Ranchers Award competition. The Spaettis and the Wolheters will represent Indiana in AFBF’s Young Farmer & Rancher Achievement and Excellence in Agriculture competitions at the AFBF Annual Convention in January in New Orleans. They will compete against young farmers and ranchers from across the country.Jonathan Spaetti and Derika Lynam-Spaetti- INFB Young Farmer Excellence in Agriculture Award WinnersJonathan Spaetti and Derika Lynam-SpaettiJonathan and Derika Spaetti were born into farming. Having grown up on family farms, they developed their passion for agriculture at a young age.Jonathan, a fourth generation farmer, holds an associate degree in manufacturing industrial technology, works alongside his dad and uncle on the farm and owns his own farming operation. Derika, who holds a master’s degree in teacher leadership, is a high school math teacher. The couple raises food-grade white corn and soybeans.The Spaettis are active members of several agriculture organizations, including INFB, where they’ve served as members of many committees, including the State Young Farmer Committee, and on their county Farm Bureau board.“With all the lack of education, I think Farm Bureau and other ag organizations are very vital and important to helping educate our consumers to understand the importance of farms,” explained Derika.As county Farm Bureau board members, the Spaettis help plan Spencer County Farm Bureau’s annual Springtime on the Farm event, where they educate residents of the county, including youth, about agriculture.“I get a chance to work more on the adult side, to help educate adults on problems agriculture is facing and help bridge that consumer disconnect,” said Derika when speaking about the event.The Spaettis have also participated in several INFB public policy-related opportunities.“With Farm Bureau we’ve had the opportunity to visit the Statehouse and our capital, Washington D.C., to learn how our legislative process works and also how our elected officials impact us as farmers,” said Jonathan.Derika also serves on the Indiana Soybean Alliance board of directors. Neal and Lydia Wolheter- INFB Young Farmer Achievement Award WinnersNeal and Lydia WolheterHaving grown up on family farms, the Wolheters’ agricultural roots run deep. Lydia and Neal both hold bachelor’s degrees – Neal’s in ag systems management and Lydia’s in science selling and sales management.Neal manages the family farm operation full time, where he farms corn, soybeans, wheat and rye grass. Lydia manages the farm’s accounting and production records and works part-time as an independent closer for local title companies. Neal and Lydia have three children, Reese, Breanna and Parker, who they say are as involved on the farm as much as possible.“The most rewarding part of farming is harvest time when you get to reap the benefits of a year’s hard work,” explained Neal. “During harvest, you work together as a team more.”The Wolheters devote many hours to the county and state Farm Bureau, serving on several committees, actively participating in the Young Farmer program and attending local, state and national events.“Relationship building is key in every industry, but especially in agriculture because it is such a small, close-knit community,” said Lydia. “Farm Bureau gives you an opportunity to meet farmers from across the county and across the world.”The Wolheters said that educating people on what agriculture is and how it affects them is one of the biggest barriers they see for the industry, but they remain positive about the future of farming.“The future looks bright for farming. There are a lot of opportunities in farming, whether you’re directly in production agriculture or something that feeds into farming,” said Lydia.Winners and finalists will be formally recognized at the INFB state convention in December.Source: Indiana Farm Bureau Previous articleCommentary: Indiana Farmers in the Political SpotlightNext articleFarm Labor Bill Movement Possible this Week Eric Pfeifferlast_img read more

Either taking it easy or feeling too tired: old Cory’s shearwaters display reduced activity levels while at sea

first_imgIt has long been known that birds change their behaviour, reproductive performance and survival as they mature, including in the first few years after recruitment into the breeding population. However, and contrasting with the description of patterns of actuarial and reproductive senescence in later years, there are surprisingly few studies documenting changes in behaviour in old individuals. Such studies are important, as birds provide particularly interesting models for studying the biology of senescence. It has been suggested that, unlike mammals, birds may remain physically fit until an advanced age, yet this has limited empirical support. In this paper, we used activity (immersion) loggers to show that old (>26 years) Cory’s Shearwaters Calonectris diomedea are less active when foraging at sea, spend more time resting on the water and have a smaller number of take-offs and landings during darkness, when compared to experienced mid-aged individuals (13–20 years old). Old individuals also tended to have reduced immune response against an experimental challenge using phytohaemagglutinin. These results are in line with observed reductions in activity levels with age in a wide range of non-avian taxa, and may suggest that old seabirds are physically less fit than younger individuals. Alternatively, old birds might simply be more experienced and their reduction in activity might reflect a strategic regulation of investment in different activities. Our study illustrates the potential for gaining insights into avian aging patterns and processes by looking into the behaviour of model organisms. We therefore encourage more research focusing on behavioural parameters that may reflect variations in physical condition or strategic choices, during both the breeding and non-breeding seasons.last_img read more

Tech + Golf at #DellTechChamp in Boston

first_imgSee you out on the course! Not only does #DellTechChamp entertain, but it also has a substantial impact on the community, economy and charities where our team members live and work. Since the tournament began, more than $27 million has been raised for New England area charities, and we’re proud this year to continue supporting the Boys and Girls Clubs of Dorchester and Boston. At the 17th Fairway, the Dell Technologies Fan Experience is a 4,300-sq. ft. tent devoted to showcasing how golf has become more technologically advanced. In the Experience is one of our biggest customers Topgolf, with its Swing Suite, where spectators can hit golf balls that track each shot’s accuracy and distance while awarding points for hitting targets in the outfield. This newest extension of Topgolf, powered by Dell EMC VxRail hyperconverged infrastructure, simulates the luxurious atmospheres of their hospitality and entertainment venues across the country. The best of golf meets the best of technology once again this Labor Day weekend at the Dell Technologies Championship event in Boston! For the second year in a row, Dell Technologies is proud to be the title sponsor of our second event on the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup Playoffs, one of the most exciting in the game of golf.  To keep up with all the exciting, heart pounding action during #DellTechChamp, follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. We also invite spectators into the Fan Experience to test out the best in virtual reality golf. Dell Precision technology powers a virtual reality drone simulator, allowing the user to get a bird’s eye view of the course. And of course, our Alienware systems are the ultimate machines to test out your golf gaming prowess! An annual event since 2003, this year’s #DellTechChamp (Aug. 30 to Sept. 3) promises to be an event like no other, with the game’s top 100 players taking the course. And once again, Dell Technologies and the PGA are bringing an event like no other, merging one of the world’s oldest sports with the latest in technology, allowing fans interact in a way that truly demonstrates how the game is changing.last_img read more

Davis returns, leads Pelicans past Blazers, 119-113

first_imgMeralco ‘never the same’ after Almazan injury in PBA Finals DeMarcus Cousins had 24 points and 19 rebounds, and Jrue Holiday scored 25 points for New Orleans, which hit the halfway point of the regular season one game above .500 and in the Western Conference playoff picture, but still in need of more consistency and less sloppiness.While the Pelicans shot 54.9 percent (45 of 82), they nearly threw the game away with 18 turnovers, which Portland converted into 28 points.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkDamian Lillard and C.J. McCollum each scored 23 points for Portland, which attempted 42 3-pointers and missed 30 of them.Al-Farouq Aminu had 19 points and 11 rebounds, and Jusuf Nurkic added 19 points for the Blazers. Shabazz Napier scored 17 points in his seventh start of the season, and his 3-pointer gave the Blazers their biggest lead at 75-67 in the third quarter. Soon after, however, Rajon Rondo’s 3 ignited an 11-2 New Orleans run that also included Cousins’ cutting dunk as he was fouled, and the Pelicans preserved a single-digit lead the rest of the way. Redemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie Thompson Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Anthony Davis’ restored mobility was evident when he used a behind-the-back dribble to cross up defender Ed Davis, who stumbled backward into Aminu. The Pelicans star then drove down the lane and finished a short floater as he was fouled by Zach Collins.Later, Davis went well above the rim to throw down a sly alley-oop lob from Cousins, who suddenly tossed the ball up with his right hand after initiating a dribble drive from the top of the key.New Orleans led by as many as 16 points in the second quarter when Cousins’ 3 capped a 16-4 run that made it 45-29.But Lillard, who had just four points midway through the second quarter, pulled the Blazers back by scoring nine quick points during a 13-4 run, hitting two 3s and a driving layup as he was fouled.McCollum and Aminu added 3s to further close the gap, and Lillard’s steal of Holiday’s pass and breakaway dunk tied it at 61 heading into halftime.ADVERTISEMENT OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson LATEST STORIES Brian Heruela arrival bolsters Phoenix backcourt, defense OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson MOST READ Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award View comments Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Scottie Thompson also worthy of Finals MVP, thinks Cone Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Heat guard Dion Waiters decides to have ankle surgery New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis, right, blocks a shot by Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Friday, Jan. 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)NEW ORLEANS — Anthony Davis scored 36 points in his return from a right ankle sprain, and the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Portland Trail Blazers 119-113 on Friday night.Davis did not appear at all bothered by the injury that kept him out of Wednesday night’s narrow loss in Memphis, scoring on everything from explosive dribble drives to soaring dunks.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

Guyoil raises kerosene prices

first_imgSome three months after reducing the prices for fuel across the country, consumers who purchase kerosene oil began paying extra on the price for the crude oil product, as the Guyana Oil Company (Guyoil) announced an increase on the commodity.The company announced on Thursday that beginning Friday, consumers across the country would be required to pay an extra $5 for kerosene at service stations.The oil company said the adjustment will see the price being moved from $90 per litre to $95 per litre at service stations in Georgetown, from $91 to $96 per litre in Berbice and $92 per litre to $97 per litre in Essequibo.The company said despite its efforts to keep the price for the “important commodity as affordable as possible”, the adjustment had become necessary due to an increase in acquisition cost at source.It said however, that despite the minor adjustment, the price for kerosene is by far much lower than the competition across the Caribbean Region.In February, the company had announced that the prices of several categories of fuel, including kerosene, were reduced.The announcement was made official by Finance Minister Winston Jordan in the National Assembly.last_img read more

Lawmakers rally for Nelles

first_imgSince that move last summer, the future of Nelles has remained in limbo. “Our prisons are overcrowded to the point where we have a crisis on our hands,” said Calderon, who has scheduled his news conference for 10 a.m. at Whittier City Hall. “The problem must be solved, but not at the expense of Whittier and its residents, who deserve safety and quality of life,” he added. Councilman Greg Nordbak said he appreciates the help from both legislators. WHITTIER – At a news conference today, Whittier-area state Sen. Ron Calderon will tout a new bill and demand that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger place the former Fred C. Nelles Youth Correctional Facility back on the market. Calderon’s bill is one of two – a second is by Assemblyman Tony Mendoza – that contain language that would put the Legislature on record as intending to enact a law to facilitate the sale of the 73-acre property. Nelles, which was closed in 2005 after 113 years as a juvenile prison, had been scheduled to be sold by the state July 14. Los Angeles developer Richard Meruelo, a Whittier resident, was set to buy the property for $107 million. But then the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation halted the sale. Officials said the state might need the property for use as a prison to ease overcrowding. “It’s a great start and we appreciate their efforts and support,” Nordbak said. The bills, which are nearly identical, will need to be amended if they are going to become law. Calderon’s bill, SB 575, states that his proposal “would declare the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to facilitate the sale of the former Fred C. Nelles Youth Correctional Facility.” “It’s still in the spot bill form,” Calderon said. “We’re waiting to gather information from the lobbyists for the city and all of the interested parties.” Mendoza’s bill, AB 1292, would “declare that it is the intent of the Legislature that this property not be reactivated as a correctional facility.” “It would further declare the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to develop a plan for multipurpose use of the property,” the bill reads. Both proposals are a good start, Whittier City Manager Steve Helvey said. “These are two well-intentioned efforts to stay on top of this,” Helvey said. [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3022 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

No Consensus on Scientific Consensus

first_imgHow much do you trust scientific experts?  Most of the scientific experts expect us to trust them.  They are appalled when lay people express doubts about matters the consensus of experts take for granted.  Yet others tell us we should doubt.  There seems to be no consensus about whether to trust the scientific consensus.    Science Daily reproduced a study from the University of Michigan that concluded, “Women More Likely Than Men to Accept Scientific Consensus on Global Warming.”  That begs the question of which gender should accept the scientific consensus.  It was partially answered in a quote, “women underestimate their scientific knowledge” – i.e., the women who accept the consensus must be the more scientifically reasonable ones.   PhysOrg reproduced a study by Yale University law professor Dan Kahan and friends who tried to figure out “Why ‘scientific consensus’ fails to persuade.”  The hidden subtext is that the consensus should persuade, because it’s scientific, but that people, who are unscientific (i.e., dumb) tend to only agree with the consensus when it matches their own biases.  People are “threatened” by scientific findings that contradict their beliefs, the article intimated, so they must be shmoozed into the accepting the findings by means of non-threatening ways of framing the information.  One colleague explained, “To make sure people form unbiased perceptions of what scientists are discovering, it is necessary to use communication strategies that reduce the likelihood that citizens of diverse values will find scientific findings threatening to their cultural commitments,” which presumably include religious beliefs.    One of the skeptics about consensus (more or less) is Anthony Gottlieb.  Writing for Intelligent Life magazine, he reviewed two books: Science: A Four Thousand Year History by Patricia Fara (2009) and Wrong: Why Experts Keep Failing Us—And How to Know When Not to Trust Them by David Freedman.  On the one hand, Gottlieb provided plenty of entertaining examples of the scientific consensus being flat wrong, and recognized that most of today’s consensus beliefs are likely to be flat wrong in 100 years.  But on the other hand, he pigeonholed crackpots into strange bedfellows: “the deniers of evolution, or the devotees of homeopathic medicine, or people who believe that childhood vaccinations cause autism” whom he lumped together as “demonstrably mistaken as anyone can be….”  Is it because the scientific consensus feels that way that he said this, or has he performed his own controlled experiments?  However he decided to lump these groups together, it could be called a form of the association fallacy.    Scientists and science journalists who buck the consensus are sometimes called mavericks.  They are legitimate scientists or journalists, but they sometimes have to exercise personal and moral courage to hold their ground against the majority.  A recent example was told in Columbia Journalism Review.  Pallava Bagla was an Indian journalist who broke the news that the IPCC had provided false information about the rate of glacial melt in India in their famous report.  At the time, this was a career-limiting move for Bagla, who faced trepidation and the threat of ostracism for revealing the error at a very politically inopportune time (right before the Copenhagen Summit) – and he did initially get ridiculed by the head of the IPCC.  Later, that same head apologized, and Bagla ended up getting a journalism award for his daring.    The idea of consensus loomed large in Robert Crowther’s recent entry on Evolution News and Views, “Academic Elites Don’t Appreciate Uppity Scientists Who Buck the Consensus.”  Discussing the risk that independent thinkers take when challenging orthodoxy, Crowther said, “The average scientist can find lots of fruitful areas of research that won’t get her in hot water with the pointy-headed elites who’s [sic] all-seeing academic eyes keep a watch out for anything that is out of line with the current orthodoxy.”  At least that’s how some of Gottlieb’s “deniers of evolution” feel about it.We’ve harped on consensus many times, so no long reruns here, but science is supposed to be about truth based on evidence, not majority rule.  There are times when a consensus, with its presumed authority of the collective, can actually hold back scientific progress (e.g., 04/30/2009).  This is especially true for areas of science that are inference-based and non-repeatable.  Recall novelist Michael Crichton’s blistering attack in 2003 to a Caltech audience on the notion of consensus (12/27/2003); the whole address is available in PDF form from Stephen Schneider’s Stanford website.    The philosophy of science of the pro-consensus reporters is appallingly shallow.  They picture scientists as ruling elites, the Knowers of the Culture, and lay people as ignorant scum.  There’s plenty of scum to go around.  It’s not only lay people who have cultural biases.  Those biases are nearly impregnable in certain “scientific” circles and situations.  Science becomes corrupt when it demands allegiance on the basis of sheer numbers or authority.  Remember that one of the great physicists of the 20th century, Richard Feynman, joked that “Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.”    For a good introduction to philosophy of science that reveals the difficulty of establishing infallible trust in the scientific community, we recommend again Dr. Jeffrey Kasser’s lecture series (see 04/18/2009 Resource of the Week) and Dr. Stephen Goldman’s lecture series, Science Wars (12/19/2009 Resource).  Even if you have no reason to doubt the consensus, at least be knowledgeable of the philosophical issues involved.  Without a doubt, many scientists are honest and above reproach, particularly in the less politically-charged areas of research.  Many scientists are sincerely looking for the truth.  So are many in the public.  You could be, too.  Orient yourself to truth, not consensus.    Related reading:   See also the 11/25/2008 entry for examples of how wacky some scientific ideas can become, the 11/15/2010 entry on the inertia of specious theories, the 03/17/2006 on ways scientific journals can perpetuate false ideas, and the 04/02/2010 commentary for a list of 30 factors that can distort consensus science into groupthink.  Other commentaries on philosophy of science can be found at 05/13/2010, 04/30/2009, 10/29/2008, 06/28/2008 on “Yellow Science”, 08/13/2007, 03/19/2007.  More can be found using the search phrase, “philosophy of science”.  Lest you think it doesn’t matter, keep in mind this maxim from Greg Bahnsen: “Everyone does philosophy, but not everyone does it well.”  Know what you believe – and why you believe it.(Visited 38 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Active citizenship the focus of this week’s Play Your Part episode

first_imgThe 67 Blankets initiative captured the attention of thousands of South Africans as well as corporates and hundreds of people in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Germany, Cyprus, London, the US and IndiaThe fourth episode of Brand South Africa’s Play Your Part television series, which airs on SABC 2 on Sunday 6 July at 9pm, will feature a some inspiring South Africans who Play their Part in the areas of active citizenship and education.Featuring in this episode are Carolyn Steyn, Yusuf Abramjee, Shaka Sisulu, Jerome du Plooy, Bob Nameng and Sabine Bittle and Wonderboom.A patron of the arts who once could be seen on our television screens in Melrose Place, Carolyn Steyn is now playing her part for South Africa and encouraging others to do the same with her “67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day” initiative.It all began when Mandela’s former personal assistant, Zelda la Grange, issued a challenge to Steyn last year. “In December, she presented me with a challenge to knit 67 blankets by 18 July for Mandela Day. These blankets would then be distributed to those in need,” Steyn says.The man behind Lead SA and Crime Line, Yusuf Abramjee started his career in journalism as a freelancer for Talk Radio 702 ahead of the country’s first democratic elections in 1994. Crime became his beat and soon after, in 1996, he was appointed the crime editor for 702 and its Cape counterpart, 567.After he was appointed Primedia Broadcasting’s group head of news and talk programming in 2005, Abramjee and a group of others founded the Crime Line campaign, which was officially launched in June 2007 with him at the helm. Abramjee is also a founding member of Lead SA, a Primedia Broadcasting and Independent Newspapers initiative aimed at highlighting the achievements of the nation and celebrating the efforts of ordinary South Africans.The man behind Lead SA and Crime Line, Yusuf Abramjee started his career in journalism as a freelancer for Talk Radio 702 ahead of the country’s first democratic elections in 1994         Soweto Kliptown Youth (SKY) provides hope and services to some of the most neglected children in South Africa. SKY’s exemplary leaders and programs are the glue that connects people in need to support and opportunities. Name the need a child has and SKY will be there to meet it.Bob Nameng, SKY’s founder, was a neglected street child who was given a second chance. He says, “I won’t let any child suffer what I had to. They are our Kings ans Queens.”Basketball player Jerome “Slim” Du Plooy’s journey from the streets of Kliptown to appearing on television around the world is one that can and should inspire and motivate young South Africans to pursue their dreams regardless of where they are and the circumstances in which they live.He has represented South Africa on the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders programme, where he rubbed shoulder with some of the biggest names in basketball, such as Dwight Howard, Kyrie Irving and Carmelo Anthony.Sabine Bittle and WONDERboom are behind the Peace Starts Concert, which will take place on South Africa’s Peace Day – 21 September. Peace Starts is an independent organization that promotes the International Day of Peace (21 September) in South Africa. It is endorsed by Peace One Day, a UK-based organization that persuaded the United Nations to officially declare 21 September, an annual Peace Day.Peace Starts stemmed from a World Peace Day concert held at a live music venue in Johannesburg, on 21 September, 2008. Conceptualised by Sabine Bittle and shared with Peace Starts founder Cito, lead singer of WONDERboom, the World Peace Concert served to raise awareness of the International Day of Peace, while encouraging the audience to cross-culture-dress as a symbol of cultural tolerance.last_img read more

Crossbreeding: It works for feral pigs

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Crossbreeding, bringing together parents that are distantly related but capable of producing viable offspring, has increased hybrid vigor within domestically raised livestock.Extensive research has shown positive improvement for several production traits, particularly survival traits that are lowly heritable. Interestingly, sometimes if one looks at what others are intentionally or not intentionally doing, one can learn a lot. The same is true about crossbreeding.The concept of domesticated livestock mating with their wild relatives is not new and generally not encouraged. The reason comes back to the increased hybrid vigor of the offspring and their tendency to out-compete the parents.In native environments, hybrid offspring can be very detrimental, particularly when reproductive capacity increases. For example, feral pigs are a very real, current and major problem. They are aggressive, productive and reproduce copiously.The domestic pig (Sus Scrofa) is capable of producing viable offspring when mated to several subspecies. The vigor of the offspring borders on aggressive and environmentally destructive, so laws have been enacted to control feral and/or hybrid pigs.In fact, several species of wildlife are protected from hybridization with closely related subspecies because the hybrids will, at times, outperform both parents and actually lower the population of the original parents. This hybrid vigor is real and not something to be taken lightly.In the canine world, dogs, coyotes and wolves can produce a hybrid that may have a selective advantage over the original parents. Florida is fearful of the potential hybridization of pythons. Although one may not think of snakes as domesticated, they are, some more so than others.Two snakes — the African rock python (Python sebae) and the Burmese python (Python molurus bivittatus) — keep making the news, primarily because of the fear they may crossbreed. When confined to their normal habitat, one in Sub-Saharan Africa and the other in southern and Southeast Asia, they do not cross. They fit their environment.Like beef producers who traveled the mountain passes and waterways, who also co-mingled different breeds and subspecies of cattle, those who appreciate raising snakes worry the same may occur. Imagine a snake the size of a Burmese python with the aggressive nature of the African rock python. Not a good thing.Fortunately, the actual crossing of these and most subspecies that result in viable, reproductively sound offspring is very rare. But the point is made: hybrid vigor is real. Much effort was made in crossing American bison with domestic cattle. Although not all the offspring are viable, enough viability existed to create the Beefalo breed, or cattle with bison and cattle DNA.I could continue, but the concept of hybrid vigor is accepted as real. And if not, then go try to herd some feral pigs. So, the discussion of hybrid vigor certainly has a place for beef producers. The beef industry can tone down the extremes of hybrid vigor and keep the good points: increased calf vigor that improves livability, increased reproductive potential and associated decreased costs.The premise of a good beef crossbreeding program was to keep the production unit, the cow, smaller and refine costs to make the cow practical but productive. The advantage came with a terminal sire, or one that would maintain all the pluses achieved with heterosis (the crossing of unrelated breeds), plus add unique traits associated with the selected breed of terminal sire. This was good. And the beef cattle breeding systems were expanded to handle more breeds.Programs maximized production through terminal sires or more sophisticated rotational breeding programs and allowed for the inclusion of new breeds on the maternal side. Crossbreeding works.Seedstock producers have improved their genetics through selection for increased production attained through selection for growth and other traits. The lowly heritable traits, however, still maintain the advantages attained though heterosis.So why the point? In the genetic world, remember that measureable and non-measurable advantages are evident as diverse genetics are crossed. That is simply fact, but the concept of developing crossbreeding systems has taken second seat to selection, potentially shrinking the tool chest.As new, cost-efficient beef systems are explored, a large tool chest is needed. Those early black baldy concepts were real as producers look to manage the right cows, cows that are reproductively superior, biologically efficient and wean calves that exceed the cows’ ability to grow.Now is a good time to think about terminal beef cattle systems.May you find all your ear tags.last_img read more

OCWGA members pushing for USMCA and ethanol

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association members participated in a recent press conference earlier in St. Louis to urge the Trump Administration and members of Congress to finish the job on trade and ethanol issues important to corn farmers.Patty Mann (Jackson Center), John Linder (Edison), Kelly Harsh (Delaware), Gail Lierer (Okeana), and Josh Yoder (Plain City) were on hand to let the Administration and Congress know that immediate action is needed.The past year has presented a perfect storm of challenges for America’s corn farmers in Ohio and across the nation. While there have been positive developments, such as the trade agreement with Japan and the long-awaited approval of year-round E15, there are still outstanding issues that, if adequately addressed, would provide some much-needed certainty to corn farmers.The Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association joined with other state leaders and NCGA leadership and called on the President to follow through on his commitment to farmers and the RFS, conclude China trade negotiations with a positive outcome for agriculture, and for Congressional leaders to reach an agreement with the Administration and pass USMCA.OCWGA continues to ask farmers to reach out to elected leaders to let them know the importance of these issues and why they matter to your family, your farm, and for your way of life.One additional step farmers can take it to join the Insider Action Team to stay involved in issues.last_img read more