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March 2019 Newsletter



If you have not yet received your Beef Quality Assurance certification, you have a chance to go to a meeting at the Youth and Ag Building in Lancaster. The meeting will be held on March 28th with registration at 5:30 pm and the meeting starting at 6 pm. The cost for the meeting and certification is $15.

As of January 1, 2019, everyone who sells finished beef cattle will be asked for their BQA certification number. If you also milk, you can use your FARM certification. This requirement is in effect for all markets and all private treaty transactions.

Beef producers created the voluntary Beef Quality Assurance Program in 1987 to assist each other in raising, feeding and harvesting high quality beef. By participating in BQA and adopting BQA production practices, you are helping to answer the call from the packers’ consumers, for safe beef raised in a humane manner.

You can also obtain free, online BQA certification at BQA.org, http://www.bqa.org. Here you will create an account (based upon your email address) and select the course that best fits your particular operation. Each interactive course takes about 2 hours to complete, and requires an 80% score to pass the final test. You will receive your BQA certification via email, which you will provide at the point of sale.


Everyone is busy and some things happen at the last minute. We try to keep our inventory tight and up to date. Sometimes this combination means that we will not have the quantities of vaccines or medications on hand that you need when you stop in the clinic.

Please call ahead if you need large quantities (more than 100 doses) of a vaccine or something special. Jill can order what you need and have it delivered to your house or to the clinic, sometimes even by the next day if the order is placed early enough.

We want you to be able to have what you need when you need it, so please check to make sure we have enough in stock before you take time to drive to the clinic. Jill will be happy to help you on the phone with questions about prices on various products and different quantities.


We have been seeing a lot of calves with pneumonia lately. Calf barns are hard to ventilate when the temperatures go up and down so drastically and the humidity is high. The frustrating ones are those that die before they even show signs to let you know that they need to be treated.

The calves that we have posted and sent in have been a combination of viral and bacterial agents. These combinations are especially deadly. A calf may be able to fight off a little corona virus or a little salmonella but the two together are a problem. Throw in a little mycoplasma and you have a quick death.

The most important pneumonia prevention is ventilation. What about the beef calves out on the pasture?? Plenty of ventilation! Yep, they get pneumonia, too, but usually not until they are older and mixed with other cattle at weaning. Beef calves are also more susceptible if they get wet and chilled out in the pasture. Calves in hutches do better than those in barns because of better ventilation and less exposure to pathogens traveling through the air from calf to calf.

Calves need cold, fresh air instead of warm, muggy, ammonia smelling air. Use calf coats and bedding to retain body heat and keep calves comfortable in a cold barn. Keep calves grouped by age to decrease exposure of young, susceptible calves to diseases that older calves and adult animals are shedding.

If you do lose a calf, have it posted so that we aren’t guessing about the cause of death. Then we can adjust the vaccinations that you need to give and know what the best antibiotics are to use in your herd.


This year’s Client Appreciation Party will be in June instead of July. We are planning for Friday, June 21st from about 3-7 pm. We hope we will have our new veterinarian hired and working by then so everyone can get acquainted.

We will have free food and beverages and fun and door prizes and lots of things for kids to do. We are planning on having food in the garage and activities in a tent on the south lawn, so everything will be easy to find.

Of course, you are welcome to tour the clinic and see our most recent improvements and landscaping. Kids will be able to bring their stuffed pets and practice bandaging them. We may even have some special visitors from the Humane Society. You can also tour the dog park north of the clinic.

Everyone is welcome! Please bring the family, have some food and join in the fun. Please tell all your friends and neighbors!


Many of you are heavy into spring calving season now and working hard at keeping newborn calves alive. Now is also the time to be checking the bulls you have to make sure they are potential breeders before you turn them out with the cows and replacement heifers.

A breeding soundness exam or BSE involves examination of the bull for any physical problems such as bad feet or other injury, palpation of the internal and external genital organs, measurement of scrotal circumference, collection of semen (usually by electroejaculation). All these procedures can be accomplished on the farm with a chute to restrain the bull and power for the equipment. Concentration and motility of the sperm is checked under the microscope at the farm. A semen sample is also taken back to the clinic and examined for morphology under the dual head microscope. Just because we can see “swimmers” at the farm does not mean that enough of the sperm are normal for the bull to be fertile.

Depending on the number of bulls done at one visit, the cost of a BSE ranges from $30 to $45 per bull. The results of the BSE are recorded after the test. We have forms for individual bulls or groups depending on whether you are selling animals or keeping them for your own use.

Bulls are classified as a potential breeder or needing a retest or as a non-breeder. Sometimes bulls can recover from an injury and test OK on a retest. Yearling bulls may not test OK the first time, but be OK later. The BSE is designed to find the non-breeders before you turn a bull out and find all the cows open this fall. Rarely, a bull will test OK and not be a breeder. A BSE does not test libido or mating ability. We have been finding about 20% of the bulls tested to be non-breeders or needing a retest.

Please call if you have questions or want to schedule a time to check your bulls.


Lyme disease is carried by ticks and can affect all different species of animals, including people. Heartworm disease is spread by mosquitoes and affects primarily dogs. We recommend an annual blood test for all dogs that checks for both of these problems. Sometimes people ask if their dog really needs to be tested. The answer is YES!

Please protect your dog year round from fleas, ticks and mosquitoes with an effective preventative product. We have a choice of products and parasite prevention package deals that will work for you. You can get a rebate on some of the products if you buy a year’s worth of prevention at a time.


Committed to the health of your livestock and pets.