Membership Meeting in Garden City Kicks Off 2018 Regional KCA Meetings

The Kansas Cattlemen’s Association (KCA) hosted a regional membership meeting in Garden City on March 1, 2018 at the Clarion Inn. Attendees heard presentations covering numerous topics regarding Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD), enjoyed a build-your-own burger bar, and received an update from KCA.

The evening started with a presentation by Tyler Dupy, Executive Director of KCA. Dupy reported on topics within the industry that KCA is currently focused, including: Country of Origin Labeling, Lab-Grown Protein Alternatives, Electronic Logging Devices, Beef Checkoff Corruption & Theft, Trade, and more.

Dr. Wade Taylor, Production Animal Consultation, started the animal health seminar with an overview of BRD. Infection begins at the nose and has a multi-factorial etiology which develops as a result of complex interactions between environmental factors, host factors, and pathogens. Environmental factors including weaning, transport, inclement weather, dust, and inadequate ventilation serve as stressors that adversely affect the immune and non-immune defense mechanisms of the host. In addition, certain environmental factors can enhance the transmission of infectious agents among animals.

BRD is costly to producers and feeders in more ways than the loss of the animal. Cattle with lung lesions at slaughter (due to prior bouts of BRD) display inferior average daily gain (ADG) compared to cattle without lung lesions.

Dr. Jason Nickell from Merck Animal Health continued with the focus on BRD, discussing how cattle are more susceptible to lung tissue loss due to the smaller size of the bovine lungs compared to other mammals. Ultimate diagnosis and treatment may be delayed far longer than initial infection due to the animal’s ability to hide that it is in fact ill.

Dr. Nickell discussed the benefits of being able to use variable rate application over group application methods. He explained how row crop applications are made scientifically, utilizing numerous factors in some cases within a specific square foot of the field. In years past, the entire field would get the same rate of planting and herbicide applied. Utilizing the same variable rate application methods in animals to treat BRD and the infections which cause it, can be difficult to accomplish.

Whisper Technology is an instrument that improves the diagnosis accuracy of BRD when cattle are brought into the chute for further assessment. By providing clarity on lung health and potential severity of disease, as well as which animals have BRD or are at the highest risk, Whisper will help veterinarians and producers optimize antimicrobial costs and develop optimal treatment plans.

Once cattle have been identified as ill or demonstrating signs that could equate to illness, Whisper is placed on the animal’s chest wall. In eight seconds, Whisper provides users with a lung severity scale – ranging from one to five. A lung score of one indicates no signs of lung tissue damage, while a lung score of five indicates permanent lung tissue damage. For more information about Whisper, please visit whispercattle.com.

This event has been made possible by these generous sponsors: Roto-Mix, Winter Livestock, Merck Animal Health, Schwieterman, Inc., Animal Health International, Highlands Livestock Services, State Auto Farm & Ranch Insurance, WaterTight Roofing, Hampel Oil, and First National Bank.

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