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Animal Science: Today and Tomorrow

December 4, 2014

Dr. Tom Troxel                                                                                Dr. Michael L. Looper

Cattle and Climate Workshop

This article is being written when the outside temperature is 22 degrees so it makes one wonder about global warming. Nevertheless, the ice glaciers have been melting since the late 1800’s and recently it’s been noted all of the ice glaciers in Glacier National Park will be melted by 2020. Farmers and ranchers have been managing around weather ever since the first seed was first planted in the ground or the first animal was domesticated.

There was a very interesting conference held at Oklahoma State University to address the issue of climate variability and its implications for cattle production. Here are a few points from the cattle and climate workshop.

  • By 2020 the maximum growth temperature is estimated to be 2 to 4 degrees
  • By 2090 the maximum growth temperature is estimated to be 10 to 20 degrees
  • The spring rains (usually occur in April) are occurring later in the spring (pushed back into May and June)
  • The years of 1970 to 2000 were “wet” years and now we are experiencing a 30 year period of “dry” years
  • There will be an increase in time from one rainfall event to another rainfall event
  • When a rainfall event occurs it will be more intense causing flash flooding, etc.
  • The weather typically seen in west Texas will shift into Oklahoma
  • There’s been an arms race for increased milk production and yearling weight which is anti-productive for a climate that is hotter and dryer.
  • Hereford cattle may be in the driver seat for the future of climate change
  • It is very easy to breed cattle that is better than the environment
  • Technical efficiency of a cow-calf operation is increased by 2.5% for every 30 days reduction in breeding season

There is no question, weather pattern changes and weather patterns are measured in decades. It’s also been observed weather forecast for tomorrow is often wrong.

“Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” Digital Advertising Campaign Achieving Big Results for Beef
This year marks the first year that the Beef Checkoff-funded “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” brand launched its online advertising campaign using a new integrated digital media plan.

There are an estimated 5.5 million daily online food-related searches by millennials. So, with the vast amount of information available to consumers online, just how is the Beef Checkoff-funded program creating such momentum with its brand new digital advertising campaign?

The “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” brand has also created a robust digital toolbox that reaches consumers in a variety of ways, across different platforms.

  • Website: com serves as the go-to resource for recipes and meal inspirations, cooking tips and techniques, and nutrition information. The website received almost 1.1 million new site visits – an 800% increase over pre-campaign levels. is the internet’s number one website for all things beef.
  • Search Advertising: A search advertising strategy was implemented to drive consumers that are already proactively searching for recipe, food and cooking information—but may not be thinking about beef—to com. Search engine optimization helped to increase organic search traffic to the website by 44%, while paid search resulted in over 676,000 click-throughs to the “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” website.
  • Videos: Five “No-Recipe Recipe” consumer advertising videos were created at the start of the campaign to inspire new meal ideas and cooking techniques, and show how beef can help bring a delicious and nutritious meal to life. The videos received more than 1.7 million total views.
  • Telecontext: This cutting-edge social interaction platform has prompted “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” to interact consumers in a new and unique way, in real-time, providing them with beef recipes and cooking tips while they’re watching their favorite cooking shows.
  • Social media: Social plays a large role in the digital advertising campaign through promotion of content like recipes and cooking tips. The “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” Facebook page added almost 41,000 new “fans” for a total community of 876,300 beef-loving consumers. Additionally, the checkoff-funded “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” campaign received a total of 434,000 engagements on Facebook and Twitter in the past 12 weeks. Engagements are defined as likes, comments, shares, re-tweets and click-throughs to checkoff resources such as recipes, nutrition information, cooking tips, etc.
  • Digital Labs: Over the past several months, the digital advertising experts at the Beef Checkoff have been partnering with various State Beef Councils (SBCs) across the country for digital labs. These digital labs are aimed to help support SBCs by evaluating each state’s online content to identify what resonates most with their local and target audiences. To date, 13 states have participated in these digital labs, and more are interested in future labs.

Since the launch of the first-ever digital beef checkoff advertising campaign, a total of 97% of visitors said they held positive opinions about beef after visiting the site. That number alone illustrates that the “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” new integrated digital advertising approach is already helping to shift consumer preferences toward beef (Source: by Mackenzie Jordan, Manager, Communication Content, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff).

How to obtain the latest Information from Animal Science

Animal Science publishes a number of free electronic newsletters that are available to Arkansas producers. Listed below are the newsletters available through Animal Science:

Animal Science E-News: this newsletter provides unbiased research based information about all species, 4-H events and pastures and forages. It comes out four times per year (January, April, July and October).

Beef CHAMPS: Beef CHAMPS is a quarterly newsletter that provides information on beef cattle management and health.

Horse E-News: Horse E-News provides the latest information regarding horse management, nutrition, care, 4-H events, ridership, etc.

Beef Cattle Research Update: This newsletter is a selection of recently published research reports concerning beef cattle management, pasture management, stocker management, feedlot management, carcass quality, etc. The reports are summarized in abstract form that is very simple to read and understand.

Market News Report: The weekly Market News Report is the Friday report commonly known as the Livestock & Grain Market News publication. This report will be moved to Monday to better reflect the previous week’s markets.

To sign up for these electronic newsletters and the Animal Science Blog go to or On the right side of the home page you can sign up for the Animal Science blog and receive the latest information from Animal Science. To sign up for the electronic newsletters, click on “E Newsletters & Video” and then click on “To join our E-Newsletters Mailing list.” Complete the information and at the bottom of the page click on the electronic newsletters you wish to receive.


For more information about cattle production, visit or or contact your county extension office.


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