F UNIVERSITY o
INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
25th Annual Cattle-
men's Institute and
Allied Trade Show
Dairy Producer Forage
Census of Agriculture
Ethics and Livestock
Small Farms Livestock
Florida Beef Ambassa-
Manatee County Fair
Beef Cattle Manage-
The Florida Cattlemen's Institute and
1 Allied Trade Show will be held Janu-
ary 17, 2008 at the Osceola Heritage
2 Park. The theme for the this year will
be "Keys to Profitability" Nutrition,
3 Health and Management for Repro-
duction. The trade show will open at
4 8:00am with the program to begin at
9:45am. The first speaker will be Dr.
Marisa Silveria with the Range Cattle
REC in Ona, discussing Soil Fertility
Management for Forage Crops. Fol-
5 lowing her we will have Dr. Joao
Vendramini from the Range Cattle
REC in Ona, discussing winter forage
7 preparation. Other topics to be dis-
cussed include why and how you
have your forages analyzed, how
to produce your cattle for the least
amount of costs and reproductive
tactics to improve profitability.
The program will be concluded
with a panel discussion. There
will be a $5 charge for lunch at the
If you are planning
please let me know.
reached at 722-4524.
I can be
Dairy Producer Forage Workshop
January 8-Dairy Forage
January 11-South Florida
Beef Forage Advisory Meeting
January 17-Cattlemen's Insti-
tute and Allied Trade Show
January 17-27 Manatee
There will be a workshop for Dairy
Producers and/or managers at the
Hardee County Extension Office in
Wauchula for Dr. Joao Vendramini
to discuss his Dairy Forage Analysis
Program with you. The program will
be held on January 8th from 11:30am
until 1:00pm. Lunch will be pro-
vided. The program will consist of
lunch and a short program outlining
the free forages tests that will be con-
ducted by Dr. Vendramini at the
Range Cattle REC in Ona. This
program is being sponsored by the
Dairy Check-Off. If you are able
to attend please let me know, 722-
25th Annual Florida Cattlemen's Institute and
Allied Trade Show
Bronson Urges Florida's Farmers And Ranchers To Participate In Census Of
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles H. Bronson is
urging the state's farmers and ranchers to watch their mail
in early January for the arrival of the 2007 Census of Agri-
"I urge all of Florida's agricultural producers to participate
in the Census by completing and returning the form,"
Bronson said. "The input received by the Census helps
shape the future of agriculture for years to come, and we
want to make sure that the voices of Florida's farmers and
ranchers are heard."
Conducted every five years by the U.S. Department of
Agriculture, the Census is a complete count of the nation's
farms and ranches and the people who operate them. The
Census examines land use and ownership, operator charac-
teristics, production practices, income and expenditures
and other topics. It provides the only source of uniform,
comprehensive agricultural data for every county in the
"Regardless of how large or small their operation or what
kinds of products they produce, it's important for Florida
farmers and ranchers to complete and return the form,"
Bronson said. "By participating in the Census, they will
help themselves and their communities."
USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS)
will mail out Census forms on December 28, 2007, to col-
lect data for the 2007 calendar year. Completed forms are
due by February 4, 2008. Producers can return their forms
by mail or fill out the Census online via a secure web site.
"The Census of Agriculture provides information that
benefits agricultural producers and their communities in
many ways," Bronson said. "For instance, policy-makers
factor Census data into decisions concerning agricultural
and rural programs. Community planners use Census data
to target needed services to rural residents. Companies
rely on Census data when determining where to locate
their operations. And farmers themselves can use Census
data to help make critical decisions about their busi-
For more information about the 2007 Census of Agricul-
ture, contact the NASS Florida Field Office at (407) 648-
6013 or 1-800-344-6277 or visit www.agcensus.usda.gov
What is the Census of Agriculture?
The Census of Agriculture is a complete count, taken
every five years, of America's farms and ranches and the
people who operate them. It is the most complete agri-
cultural data resource available, providing the only
source of uniform, comprehensive information for
every county in the nation. The Census provides infor-
mation on land use and ownership, operator character-
istics, production practices, income and expenditures,
and many other important topics. The 2007 Census of
Agriculture is your voice, your future, your responsi-
By participating in the 2007 Census, producers can
help show the nation the value and importance of U.S.
agriculture. This is an opportunity for every producer
to show how agriculture contributes to America by
providing food, fuel and fiber. Each producer has the
power to influence key decisions that will shape the
direction of American agriculture for years to come,
0 Transportation and marketing locations
0 Farm services
O Production practices and new technologies
O Policy decisions
By responding to the Census, every producer can have
a positive impact on the future of their own operation
and their entire community. The Census provides
valuable information used for:
0 Community planning
0 Farm succession planning
D Store/company locations
O Availability of operational loans and other funding
O Location and staffing of USDA service centers
0 Federal budget support for agriculture
Everyone's response to the Census makes a differ-
ence. To assure we are providing the best tools and
reports, we need accurate information from all farmers
and ranchers no matter how large or small their opera-
tions. This information is used to make a positive dif-
ference in local communities. Additionally, responses
are required and protected by law.
For more information:
Jim Ewing, (407) 648-6013, firstname.lastname@example.org
Volume 1, Issue 1
Ethics and Livestock Shows
Christa L. Carlson
Extension Agent II, Livestock
Many state and regional fairs are requiring that
youth attend or become "certified" in livestock eth-
ics. In many ways it is difficult to teach youth
about livestock ethics. This is due to each individ-
ual person having his or her own set of ethics
which they developed as growing up.
Most people will say that you cannot teach ethics.
In many ways this statement is true. If we are not
teaching ethics, how are the youth of today devel-
oping their own standards of ethics? After teach-
ing a portion of the Florida State Fair Ethics train-
ing it became evident to me that everyone a youth
comes in contact with will shape one's ethics. Of
course, the people whom one comes in contact
with as well as the culture and region of the world
he or she is brought up in will also shape one's eth-
It is our hope that through the youth development
programs and livestock shows, we are helping to
shape positive ethics for the youth. Ethics can be
defined as moral standards that tell us how to be-
have or as a code of values that guide our choices
and actions. Basically, ethics are what help us de-
cide what is right and wrong. General H. Norman
Swartzkopf states that "the truth of the matter is
that you always know the right thing to do. The
hard part is doing it."
During the livestock shows, it is important to re-
member that decisions made by both adults and
youth are affecting the stakeholders of that show.
Many will ask who the stakeholders are. They are
the youth, parents, family members, sponsors,
breeders, show committees, and consumers. Basi-
cally a stakeholder is anyone who comes in contact
with while participating in a livestock project.
One of the easiest ways to decide if a decision is an
ethical one is to ask four questions from Jeff Good-
win's "Line in the Sand" video.
Does it violate Food and Drug Administra-
Is it fraud?
Does it compromise the welfare of the
Does it relate to real-world agriculture?
Another way to decide is to ask yourself if you
would be doing what you are doing if your
mother or grandmother were watching you, or if
you would like your friends and family to read
about your actions on the front page of the news-
A few years back I came across an article in a
newsletter entitled "The Ten Commandments for
Showring Parents." With the show season at our
doorstep, I believe it is appropriate to share these
"commandments" with you.
1. Thou shall know the rules.
There are written and unwritten rules re-
garding the showing of animals. Topping
the list of unwritten rules is to be courte-
ous at all times and never lose your tem-
2. Thou shall allow your children to do their
Obviously, when a child is 8, 9, or 10
years old, a parent is going to do much of
the work. However, there is a gradient in
which the youngster starts doing more
and accepting an increasing amount of the
3. Thou shall be supportive and involved.
To the other extreme, some parents be-
lieve there should be no parental involve-
ment or help. That is unrealistic. The
breakdown of many American families
can be directly related to the family hav-
ing nothing in common, no family pro-
jects or goals. A 4-H Project can bring the
entire family together with a common
goal. Parents often find they have as
Continued... Page 6
Small Farms Livestock Production Conference
"So Ya Wanna Be a Farmer"
The Small Farms Livestock Production Conference is presented by the South Florida Beef Forage Pro-
gram and was designed for ranchette or small landowners who are considering the raising, management
and production of livestock for pleasure or profit. This course, "So You Want to be a Farmer", was de-
signed more specifically for new or agriculturally inexperienced landowners who are considering some
field of livestock production on their small or limited acreage to help guide them and provide them infor-
mation for making a more informed decision about what type of livestock producer they may want to be.
This course will provide basic information about all the different animal species as possibilities for a small
farming operation, explore some economic and business basics of agriculture production, look at spe-
cialty production and markets as possibilities, give some basics of animal health, buying healthy animals
and keeping them healthy, your pasture and forage requirements before you ever get started, including
understanding different forage species and their fertility and maintenance requirements, and what consid-
erations you will need to make for fencing, housing, handling and holding equipment for all types of ani-
This course will be offered on Saturday, March 29, 2008, 8:00am, at the Polk County Extension Office
located in Bartow. Cost of the conference will be $20 per person pre-paid registration to include lunch
and any program materials. On site registration will be available for $30 per person. If you are interested
in participating you can pre-register with Christa Carlson, 941-722-4524.
Beef Ambassador Program Undergoes Revisions for the 2008 Contest
New this year, the Florida Cattlewomen's Associa-
tion has modified the Florida Beef Ambassador
Program to align our contest to the National Beef
Ambassador Contest. The 2008 Florida Beef Am-
bassador Program is open to youth ages 13 to 20;
juniors age 13-16, seniors age 17-20. The purpose
of this program is to provide an opportunity for
youth to become spokespersons and future leaders
for the beef industry.
The District Contest will now consist of each par-
ticipant competing in a mock media interview as
well as presenting a lesson related to beef products
and the industry for third grade youth. At the State
Contest each participant will compete in a mock
media interview, the presentation for a class of third
grade youth as well as responding to a letter to the
editor about a beef related issue.
The state contest will be held at the Annual FCA
Convention in Marco Island on June 19th. To qual-
ify for the state contest, junior and senior contest-
ants compete at the district level. The junior win-
ner from each district will receive $75 cash and an
invitation to compete in the state contest. The sen-
ior winner from each district will receive $100 cash,
an invitation to compete, and a one night stay at the
Marco Island Marriott during the FCA Conven-
At the state competition, the junior winner will re-
ceive $100 in cash. The senior winner will earn a
$500 scholarship, the opportunity to represent Flor-
ida, and the potential to earn a $1,000 scholarship
at the National Beef Ambassador Contest in Okla-
homa City in October, 2008.
District Contest Registration Deadline is March
1st. For further information and to register, please
contact Christa L. Carlson at 941-722-4524 or ccarl-
Volume 1, Issue 1
Manatee County Fair Youth Livestock Schedule of Events
Every year many youth participate in the Manatee County Fair to compete for prizes, awards and most
of all bragging rights. Many of these youth will be competing in many different areas during the fair. At
this point we are looking at a very successful fair in the livestock area. To date we have 98 market steers,
175 market swine, 45 dairy animals, 75 beef breeding animals, and 30 goats registered. I encourage each
of you to take some time to come out and support the youth of today who will become the leaders of to-
Tuesday, January 15 -
Wednesday, January 16
Thursday, January 17-
Friday, January 18-
Saturday, January 19 -
Sunday, January 20 -
Monday, January 21-
Tuesday, January 22 -
Wednesday, January 23
Thursday, January 24 -
Friday, January 25 -
Saturday, January 26 -
Sunday, January 28
Swine Weigh-In 2-6:00pm
Dairy Check-In 4-7:00pm
Swine Showmanship 6:00pm
Swine Show 6:00pm
Dairy Show 6:00pm
Dairy, Swine and Horse Judging 7:30am
Dairy Costume Contest 10:00am
Swine Sale 2:00pm
FNGLA Youth Plant Sale 7:00pm
Goat Check-In 5-7:00pm
Steer Weigh-In 2-6:00pm
Beef Breeding Check-In 2-6:00pm
Goat Show 7:00pm
Steer Showmanship 6:00pm
Steer Show- 6:00pm
Beef Breeding Show 6:00pm
Beef Breeding, Steer and Goat Judging 8:30am
Steer Sale 2:00pm
Youth Livestock Awards 7:00pm
Goats, Beef Breeding and Steers Released-10:00pm
Horse Show 11:00am
As a reminder to all youth entering livestock in the Manatee County Fair, you are required to have a Cer-
tificate of Veterinary Health Inspection (health certificate) for your animals to be admitted to the fair.
Without a certificate you will not be allowed to exhibit your animal. Check your fair livestock rules for
any additional tests, bleedings, or any other procedures that must be followed prior to exhibition at the
Manatee County Fair.
Ethics and Livestock Shows, Continued
much to learn as their children.
At home, parents can help with the training, feeding, and care-as the youngster learns, grows, and
develops. At the show, parents can give advice if they see a judge is looking for something particu-
lar in the showing. They often see an area on the animal that needs more attention. Parents make
great bucket-carriers, runners for something that was forgotten, animal holders, etc. Most impor-
tantly, they can give a word of encouragement and a smile when it is needed the most.
4. Thou shall allow your child to participate in as many shows as possible.
Experience is the best teacher. Nothing builds more confidence or takes the place of the actual feel
of the show equipment in a child's hand. Many 4-H and FFA clubs sponsor showmanship work-
shops and one-day shows throughout the year. These activities not only give your child an opportu-
nity to gain experience and insight----they help you get an idea of the type of animal needed for a
5. Thou shall provide the proper equipment.
Although it is not fancy or expensive equipment that determines a winner, the appropriate equip-
ment is a necessary part of showing.
6. Thou shall keep your attitude in check on show day.
Your attitude on show day can temper how your youngster performs. If they are worrying about
their mother or father being upset, it is impossible for them to concentrate on what they ought to be
7. Thou shall not be a showing sideline director.
Parents standing on the sidelines giving instructions to their children are distracting to other exhibi-
tors and to the judge. Your child is better off doing it on his or her own and making his or her own
mistakes. That is how they learn-and, after all, the education and growth of the youngster is the
8. Thou shall not complain about the judge.
Complaining about the judge rarely, if ever, accomplishes anything positive. You do not have to
agree with the judge's decision and opinion, but you should try to see his or her perspective on that
day. Even if you cannot, don't complain. Remember, there is another show and another judge
down the road. Regardless of the judge, you will win a few and lose a few.
9. Thou shall not disparage the competition.
There always seems to be a good deal of griping about how somebody got the job done. The only
solution is to make sure you and your children are getting the job done in the right way. If others
are cheating or not behaving in a suitable manner, they will cause their own demise.
10. Thou shall honor your child.
When parents ridicule their children for bad performances as they leave the showing, they are for-
getting that the award-the trophy, the plaque, or the ribbon-is not as important as the things the
children learn and the friends that they make while pursuing that goal. Since we are beginning an-
other club year and show season, let us remember, as parents (and as Extension Educators, FFA
Advisors, and as 4-H/FFA Leaders) that the showing is not just for prize animals; it is the show
place for the finest young people in America.
I am looking forward to an exceptional show season with the youth of Manatee County. There are many
things that occur behind the scenes that many never see. Many hours of work and preparation go into live-
stock shows. It is important to always remember that we are here for the youth and the final question on
everyone's mind should be, "What is best for the youth in this program?"
Volume 1, Issue 1
Beef Management Calendar
* Begin grazing small grain pastures (if ready).
* Check mineral feeder.
* Check for external parasites and treat if needed.
* Deworm cows and heifers prior to winter feeding season.
* Observe regularly for calving difficulties.
* Rotate calving pastures to prevent diseases.
* Watch for scours in calves.
* Investigate health of bulls before you buy.
* Have dead animals posted by a veterinarian or diagnostic laboratory.
* Complete review of management plan and update for next year. Check replacement heifers to be sure they
will be ready to breed 3 4 weeks prior to the main cow herd.
* Apply lime for summer crops.
* Check for lice and treat if necessary.
* Control weeds in cool season pastures.
* Begin grazing winter clover pastures when approximately 6 inches high. Rye should be 12-18 inches high.
* Check mineral feeders.
* Put bulls out for October calving season.
* Make up breeding herd lists if using single sire herds.
* Watch for calf scours.
* Give bulls extra feed and care so they will be in condition for breeding season.
* Make sure cow herd has access to adequate fresh water.
* Buy only performance tested bulls with superior records.
* Get taxes filed.
* Discuss herd health with your veterinarian and outline a program for the year.
* Review herd health program with your veterinarian regularly.
* Carry a pocket notebook to record heat, breeding abnormalities, discharges, abortions, retained placentas,
difficult calvings and other data.
* Observe cow herd for calving difficulties.
* Watch for grass tetany on winter pastures.
* Increase magnesium levels in mineral mixes if grass tetany has been previous problem (if you are not al-
ready using a high magnesium mineral).
* Examine bulls for breeding soundness and semen quality prior to the breeding season.
* Vaccinate cows and heifers against vibriosis and leptospirosis prior to the breeding season.
* Top dress winter forages, if needed.
* Check and fill mineral feeders.
* Put bulls out with breeding herd.
* Work calves (identify, implant with growth stimulant, vaccinate, etc.).
* Make sure lactating cows are receiving an adequate level of energy.
* Watch calves for signs of respiratory diseases.
* Cull cows that failed to calve while prices are seasonally up.
* Check for lice and treat if needed.
The South Florida Beef Forage Producer Survey
Many beef cattle producers will receive the South Florida Beef Forage Program Producer Survey after the first
of the year. This survey is used to advise and guide programs provided by the South Florida Beef Forage Pro-
gram. I will also use this survey to develop and guide the Manatee County Livestock Program. The survey
will be sent to approximately 60 individuals in Manatee County. If you receive a survey please fill it out and
return the completed survey by using the self addressed stamped envelope provided. I would like to thank you
advance for your assistance with this survey.
Christa L. Carlson p
Extension Agent II, Livestock r R