A new exhibit featuring
the history and timeline of
the beef cattle industry is now
open for viewing at the National
Ranching Heritage Center at
Texas Tech in Lubbock. Christopher
Columbus brought the fi rst cattle to
the Americas on his second voyage
in 1493. Today the United States has
more than 800,000 ranchers and cattle
producers, and the U.S. beef industry
is the most effi cient in the world at
converting grass and grains into beef.
The exhibit was co-curated by Julie
Hodges, Helen Devitt Jones, Director
of Education at the National Ranching
Heritage Center, and Ryan Rathmann,
associate professor in the Department
of Animal and Food Science. The
exhibit focuses on the timeline of the
cattle industry over the past 300 years.
“This exhibit is a unique collection of
historic photographs, life-size models
of cattle and interactive kiosks that
will give our visitors a hands-on experience,”
The 2018 Outstanding Commercial
Producer for the state of Iowa, Curtis
Claeys, is a fi rst-generation farmer.
The Claeys farm is a pasture-to-plate
operation that raises high-quality
Black Angus cattle for Iowa Premium
Beef and Aurora. The operation, near
DeWitt, includes row-crops, custom
cropping, approximately 250 cows
and a 650 head fi nishing operation.
The Claeys farm has hosted an open
house with the Coalition to Support
Iowa’s Farmers and recently launched a
locker beef program to sell beef directly
to consumers. The multi-generational
farm has transitioned over the years
from swine production to dairy steer
calves, then dairy heifer replacements
before beginning beef production.
The operation keeps detailed performance
records, and uses those records
to make decisions regarding culling
and sire selection. In six years, the
Claeys farm has achieved a 95 pound
increase in yearling weight, while
decreasing instances of calving diffi -
culty to zero. Most of the bulls used
in the operation come from the Iowa
Cattlemen’s Association bull test.
Curt Claeys has a strong record of
leadership as a member of his county’s
fair board, and continues that record
on the Iowa State Fair Board. His son,
Kendall, is a graduate of the Young
Cattlemen’s Leadership Program and
a board member for his county cattlemen’s
association. The addition of
another generation working on the
farm full time has been a vital component
in the beef enterprise.
FOUND IN NORTH DAKOTA
State veterinarians are investigating
a beef herd in Sargent County, ND
after bovine tuberculosis (TB) was
“In late 2018, we were notifi ed
that two adult beef cows originating
from the herd tested positive for
Mycobacterium bovis at out-of-state
slaughter plants,” State Veterinarian
Dr. Susan Keller said.
The herd was subsequently tested by
state and federal veterinarians and fi ve
additional cows have been confi rmed
affected. Additional testing is ongoing.
There are no other cattle herds which
have direct contact with this herd.
Animals which test negative for the
disease may move direct to slaughter,
but other movements are not allowed.
Meat from animals that pass inspection
is safe for consumption. This strain of
TB has not been previously identifi ed
in the United States and is most similar
to cases that have been identifi ed
in Mexican cattle. Tuberculosis is a
zoonotic disease and can be transmitted
from animals to humans and from
humans to animals.
WHERE THE FUTURE OF
RESOURCE MANAGEMENT BEGINS
At TCU, we don’t just produce great ranchers. We train serious
resource managers to tackle the challenges of our rapidly changing
global industry. Combining more than 50 years of tradition with the latest
in ranching education, the TCU Ranch Management program offers nine
months of intensive training both in the classroom and in the field.
To learn more about our programs and scholarship opportunities,
visit www.ranch.tcu.edu or call 817-257-7145.
MARCH 2019 I WORKING RANCH I 21