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October 23, 2014

Register NOW

Only 14 Business Days Left to Register!
NIAA Antibiotic Symposium Opens November 12th and runs through November 14th. Outstanding speakers, important discussions, extraordinary partnerships.

Register Today!

NIAA Antibiotics Symposium Features Group Discussion, Break Out Session

Developing Partnerships for Moving Forward
is one of the keystone concepts at the important NIAA Antibiotics Use and Resistance Symposium in Atlanta November 12– 14. Demonstrating how those partnerships will work, an integral part of the annual NIAA Antibiotics Symposium is discussion via small breakout groups and a large group session.

The NIAA Antibiotics Symposium has brought together academia, government researchers, the scientific community and stakeholders within animal agriculture, human medicine and the environment to share and learn from each other in order to seek resolution about the often misunderstood issues of antimicrobial use and resistance.

Following presentations on shared stewardship, prioritizing key resistance issues, metrics, and what the future will hold, important interactive discussion will be key in developing how the animal agriculture industry will "Move Forward."

Symposium Pricing:
Full Registration – $425
NIAA Members receive a $75 discount on a full registration
Nov. 12 1/2 Day Only – $150
Nov. 13 Day Only – $250
Nov. 14 1/2 Day Only – $150
Student Rate – $50/day (must present student ID at check–in)

12 Continuing Education Units have been approved by the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists, (ARPAS) for the Symposium.

NIAA would like to thank their partners including: Beef Checkoff, USDA/APHIS, Merck Animal Health, National Pork Board, Zoetis, United Soybean Board and Indiana Soybean Alliance, Georgia Farm Bureau and the American Farm Bureau Federation, Elanco, Auburn University, Qiagen, Innovacyn (Vetericyn), the American Veterinary Medical Association, Vance Publications, Dairy Business and Brownfield Ag News for their support of this Symposium.

Partnership opportunities are available. Contact Katie Ambrose at 719.538.8843, extension 14.

Click HERE to register or go to

"In Meat We Trust" Author Keynotes Animal–Welfare Conference

In the opening session of the 2014 American Meat Institute Foundation's Animal Care & Handling Conference, attendees heard firsthand details of an author's journey and the surprises she encountered as she researched and published a book about the history of the meat industry. Maureen Ogle, Ph.D., wrote "In Meat We Trust: A History of Meat in America," after exhaustively researching the subject matter for years. Ogle told the audience, "You all are in a headwind and that headwind is being propelled by the followers of Michael Pollan, who think you are evil and trying to destroy the planet." The widely accepted notion that corporate agriculture's insatiable greed is behind everything that is wrong with agriculture today is simply not true, according to Ogle's extensive investigation.

After seven years of research, she said it is clearly evident that consumers are the drivers of the agenda when it comes to livestock production and meat processing. "Consumers all the way back to the Colonial days have demanded meat as often as they can get it," she said. America's abundance of food is part of its fabric and history and the industry has responded accordingly.It's a miracle that the current food system feeds so many people across the world, said Ogle, but in another way it's not so miraculous because the food supply chain is " a system that has been built up to serve an urban population and an increasingly urban planet, and it works remarkably well." By Joel Crews, Meat & Poultry, 10/17/14

USDA Awards $18 Million in Small Business Research Grants Supporting Agricultural Research and Development

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today awarded more than $18 million in grants to small businesses for high quality, advanced research and development that will lead to technological innovations and solutions for American agriculture. NIFA awarded 100 grants through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.

"Small businesses are adept at finding solutions that can advance agriculture, create new jobs and grow our economy. These grants will provide resources so small businesses can innovate and create new breakthroughs," said USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. "The SBIR program has provided hundreds of small businesses with the ability to explore new ideas that have led to cutting–edge solutions to pressing challenges and helped keep American agricultural innovative and strong." USDA News Release, 10/20/14

Farmers Hope New Steps Will Contain Epidemic Killing Piglets

Two new experimental vaccines are available for sows, and pig farmers are ratcheting up biosecurity strategies, including high–tech truck washes that "bake" vehicles at high temperatures to kill the virus and prevent its spread. "The next six to eight weeks should be pretty telling" as far as how the virus spreads this year, said Justin Roelofs, swine specialist and financial services officer for AgStar Financial. By Tom Meersman, Star Tribune, 10/18/14

NPB Reports PEDv Survivability Results

Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDv) can survive in manure for at least four months, according to interim research results from work conducted at the Swine Veterinary Center, St. Peter, Minn. The Pork Checkoff funded the project. Research shows that PEDv is capable of surviving at least 14 days at 25°Celsius, (77°F) and greater than 28 days when stored at 20° and 4°C (68 and 39°F). Meat & Poultry, 10/17/14

15 Members of Congress Ask Vilsack For More Answers on Poultry Inspection Rule

Fifteen members of Congress sent a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on Friday with questions about the New Poultry Inspection System (NPIS).The letter asks Vilsack about an implementation timeline and agency plans for what happens if more (or fewer) than the expected 219 plants decide to shift to the new system, how FSIS will verify that NPIS plants are meeting requirements and producing safe food, how many positions will be displaced or eliminated, health and safety activities at the plants, and how the agency will make sure the plants adhere to animal welfare laws. They also inquire in the letter what penalties there will be for NPIS plants involved in a foodborne illness outbreak. Food Safety News, 10/18/14

First Federal Offshore Mussel Aquaculture Project to Get Underway

The first shellfish aquaculture project permitted in federal waters off the US east coast is expected to begin operating next spring. Scientists and fishermen are partnering on this project to grow blue mussels within a 30–acre area in Nantucket Sound. FIS, 10/16/14

Six Universities Launch Animal Ag Industry Climate Change Website

The $346 billion U.S. animal agriculture industry is already paying the price for an unstable climate with more frequent and extreme weather events that are devastating to individual producers and influence costs throughout the entire industry, a University of Nebraska Lincoln animal environmental engineer says.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal Agriculture in a Changing Climate project has launched a website at to help. "Climate change costs this industry money; we need to understand and plan to reduce those costs," said Rick Stowell, a UNL Extension animal environmental engineer and the lead project investigator for the project.

The website offers free, science–based educational resources and online training. Materials target all those working in animal agriculture that need to have a better understanding of the issues and consequences of climate change on the animal agriculture industry. It will be available through July 2016. Bovine Veterinarian, 10/16/14

Livestock Antibiotics May Spread Salmonella

Giving animals antibiotics may make them sicker and could lead some to spread even more salmonella than they would have otherwise, US researchers experimenting on mice said. The findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences could point to a new concern over feeding healthy livestock low doses of antibiotics to help them grow and stave off common illnesses, a practice that critics say may fuel drug–resistant superbugs.

Researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine gave oral antibiotics to mice infected with Salmonella typhimurium, a bacteria which can cause food poisoning. A small minority, known as "superspreaders" because they had been shedding high amounts of salmonella in their feces for weeks, remained healthy. It appears neither the antibiotic or the illness had much effect on them. "The rest of the mice got sicker instead of better and, oddly, started shedding like superspreaders," the university said in a statement describing the research. News Max Health, 10/21/14

Horses can Communicate Blanketing Preferences

Blanket? No blanket? Blanket? Oh, that frustrating inner battle on a cool day. There are many good reasons to put a blanket on your horse, but there are just as many reasons to leave it off. If only your horse could just tell you want he wanted! Actually, there might be a way to determine whether your horse wants a blanket or prefers to be naked: Cecilie M. Mejdell, PhD, of the Norwegian Veterinary Institute, and colleagues have developed a communication system with horses that allows the animal to express his desire to have a blanket on—or not.

Using a simple series of easily distinguishable printed symbols, Mejdell's group taught 23 horses to associate symbols with certain actions. The horses learned that one symbol meant "blanket on," another meant "blanket off," and a third meant "no change." Once the horses had learned the meanings (which took an average of 11 days), the researchers gave them free rein to choose symbols and rewarded them with food for their selection, regardless of which symbol they chose. The team tested the horses under a variety of weather conditions. "The horses' preferences were often very clear," Mejdell said. Video clips presented during the presentation revealed horses quickly making a selection when the researchers presented the symbols and then standing still waiting for their choice to be carried out. By Christa Lesté–Lasserre, MA, The Horse, 10/17/14

Livestock Producers Turning to Goats to Supplement Income

Goats are growing in popularity among Mississippi livestock producers who have limited acreage or want to diversify their farming business."Since 2012, the overall number of meat goats in the southeastern region of the state has increased," said Mitch Newman, Greene County agricultural agent with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. "More small farmers want to raise livestock to supplement other income, and some landowners have fragmented property, which makes raising cattle unrealistic."

Compared to cattle, goats that are managed well can thrive on fewer acres, reproduce more quickly and mature faster, Newman said. One cow can grow well on two acres of good pasture and can produce an average of two calves every 24 months. In contrast, six adult goats can thrive on the same area of quality land as one cow. A doe in optimal condition can give birth two to three times every 24 months and is more likely to have twins or triplets. Goats reach an ideal market weight between 60 to 80 pounds, depending on variations in breed and management practices, Newman said. As ethnic populations in the U.S. increase, consumer demand for goats is expected to continue to grow. Mississippi Business Journal, 10/16/14

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The National Institute for Animal Agriculture provides a forum for building consensus and advancing proactive solutions for animal agriculture-the beef, dairy, swine, sheep, goats, equine and poultry industries-and provides continuing education and communication linkages for animal agriculture professionals. NIAA is dedicated to programs that work towards the eradication of disease that pose risk to the health of animals, wildlife and humans; promote a safe and wholesome food supply for our nation and abroad; and promote best practices in environmental stewardship, animal health and well-being. NIAA members represent all facets of animal agriculture.