The greatest cause for death in the first two weeks of a lambs' life is STARVATION!
Mastitis, an infection or inflammation of the mammary gland in the ewe, is a major cause of this undesirable result. There are a variety of causes of mastitis, e.g. staph, strep, mycoplasma, ovine progressive pneumonia or trauma.
Most lambs from mothers with mastitis weaken and die from starvation or become "milk thieves" in a passionate effort to survive. The little robbers then become the world's best transmitter of mastitis organisms to any of the ewes from whom they rob milk. The ewe may survive the effects of mastitis but will likely be culled prior to the next breeding season due to a bad bag.
How many lambs starve to death due to lack of milk production from either acute bacterial mastitis or hard bag? Whether it is the loss of the ewe or the lamb(s) or costly treatments, it translates into a loss in profits. Is your flock affected by this malady? To what extent? Producers are being asked to participate in a survey being conducted by Optimal Ag and Optimal Livestock Services to determine the magnitude of the economic loss to the sheep industry attributed to mastitis. The data collected will support requests for funding to conduct further research on diminishing the negative impact of mastitis on the sheep industry and develop educational materials to disseminate important information relevant to producers.
To participate in this survey, go to https://optimalag.justsurvey.me/536823607265. The link is also posted to the American Sheep Industry Association home page at www.sheepusa.org.
Source: ASI Weekly
The 2002 Farm Bill included a provision mandating that retailers provide country-of-origin information (in the form of a label or placard) at the point of purchase for specific fresh food items. Whole muscle and ground cuts of beef, pork, and lamb; seafood; peanuts; and fruits and vegetables sold through retailers were all included in the mandatory COOL provision.
The 2002 COOL Act was scheduled to become mandatory in September of 2004. However, due to industry concerns about a mandatory COOL program, in January 2004, legislation was signed postponing implementation of a mandatory COOL program for all food products except wild and farm-raised fish and shellfish. There continues to be a debate regarding whether or not a mandatory COOL should be implemented.
A discussion of several of the issues surrounding the COOL debate can be found in the fourth quarter 2004 issue of Choices Magazine (online at http://www.choicesmagazine.org/2004-4/index.htm).
It finally became a mandatory measure and was implemented March 16, 2009, by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service. In the case of imported products, the food label indicates where it started, was grown/raised and processed. For example, a meat label for pork might read, “From hogs born in Canada, raised and slaughtered in the United States.”
The law establishes four general meat product categories: (1) Product of the United States in which the animal was born, raised and slaughtered in the United States; (2) Multiple countries of origin. The animal was born and/or raised in another country and then slaughtered in the United States; (3) Animals imported for immediate slaughter; and (4) Imported finished products to be sold at retail. These products are labeled as products of the given originating country.
There are exemptions to the rule. Food operations such as restaurants, cafeterias, food stands, butcher shops and fish markets do not have to label their foods. Grocery stores that sell less than $230,000 a year also do not need to provide this labeling. To read more about COOL go to: http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/cool.
So there is geographical labeling from a country standpoint but not a "local" as the interesting question was posed. Given that the wine industry seeks out and receives appellation labels, it might be worth pursuing their path with regard to geographical labeling or certification of meat products.
To see an overview of Dashboard in pdf, click on this link: http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELPRDC5085698.
To go directly to Dashboard and start using it click on this link: http://mpr.datamart.ams.usda.gov/amsdashboard/./span>
As a service to our hay, pasture, new cereal grain and custom farming providers, we are creating a directory so those seeking to buy hay, cereal grains, rent pasture, custom graze or get custom tillage or harvesting done will know where to make contacts. This is similar to our sheep, goat and cattle directories and like those will be posted to our web site.
To get listed you'll need to fill out the brief questionnaire located at:
http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=5129 It should only take about 10 minutes to do this and yet it will be a great advertising and services resource. If you know others that should be listed pass this on or have them contact me. Thanks in advance!
The following is reprinted from the Meating Place and is a good example of the Beef Checkoff dollars at work. Producers who sell direct to the consumer will find the web site described below useful for educating the public.
The tool features sections including steaks, roasts and ribs, ground beef and prepared cuts, or visitors can search by cut. It highlights cut descriptions, recipes, cooking tips and more.
The checkoff, in conjunction with the market research team, conducted beta testing with foodies, moms, dads, bloggers, media representatives and others to get their feedback before launching the Interactive Meat Case.
“We wanted to help consumers with their cooking and meal-planning process,” said Meredith Stevens, manager of digital media for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. “We know that consumers, more and more, are looking for the best value for their dollar; they’re looking for meals for their family and friends; and they want something that has easy recipes to follow that doesn’t take a lot of time. So we wanted to make sure that this was a tool that they could see complementing their existing cooking and meal-planning process.”
By Ann Bagel Storck on 7/12/2010/span>