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December 2018 Newsletter

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Catawba Valley Cattlemen’s Association
(meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month)

This month’s meeting is on Tuesday, December 11, 2018
N.C. Cooperative Extension of Catawba County office (Ag Resource Center)
GPS address: 1175 South Brady Ave. Newton, NC 28658

Agenda                                                                                                                        6 p.m. – Supper is served
6:45 p.m. – Business meeting: Dr. Greg Whitener, president
7 p.m. – Educational meeting: 3 Speakers: 4-H Speakers:
Regan Mitchem: Hormones in Beef – Dispelling the Myths
Jordan Mitchem: Two Step, Low-Stress Weaning Method
Main Speaker: Mr. Sam Dobson is involved with Hickory Nut Gap Meats-
grass fed beef and owns an organic dairy in Statesville
8:10 p.m. – Meeting adjourned

        All visitors are welcome to attend the meeting and meal free.


  • We have a lot of good 4-H young people. Please encourage our 4-H speakers by thanking them after the meeting.
  • If you donated hay and/or transported hay to eastern NC Flood – to retrieve a tax-deductible receipt from the NCFB Foundation, a sign-up sheet will be available at the meeting. Thanks for your kindness in sharing hay for those in need.
  • A demo site is needed that has between 10 to 20 acres to put in a novel fescue. Another pasture of 10 to 20 acres of regular fescue is required, as well as, stockers to graze over summer months to compare weight gains. Seed will be free!
  • Caleb Huffman has started a business called Top Hands @OCF which helps producers with farming needs. Call him at (828) 234-4047 for more information.
  • Hickory Nut Gap Farms has a very good website to check out before the meeting.
  • Mineral orders will be collected by Sec. Jeff Carpenter. Price is $13.75/50lb. bag.

                          Wishing you all a Merry Christmas

The following articles are to prepare you for our main speakers talk:

  1. NC State Extension Local Grass-Fed Beef Production Guidelines at a Glance
    1. Animals remain on pastures their entire lives.
    2. No hormone implants are used.

    3. No growth-promoting antibiotics are fed.
    4. Animals are of known age and origin.
    5. Individual identification is maintained throughout the life of the animal.
    6. Producer is certified in the North Carolina Beef Quality Assurance Program.
    7. Production system emphasizes the use of high-quality pasture and stored forages with minimal use of concentrate supplements. More than 95 percent of the animal’s diet between weaning and finish is from grazed or harvested forages. This means the average animal would receive no more than 500 pounds of concentrate supplement during growing and finishing (subject to the daily feeding restrictions).
    8. Supplementation is allowable at up to 0.5 percent of body weight from
    weaning to yearling, and at up to 1.0 percent of body weight from yearling to finish, but the number of days fed is restricted by the total feeding limit.
    9. When supplements are used, they primarily include low-starch ingredients that are balanced to meet the nutrient requirements of the cattle.
    10. Ingredients containing significant amounts of starch or sugar are used only as a limited portion of the concentrate supplement.
    11. No animal byproducts are fed.

Author: Dr. Matt Poore Extension Specialist

Organic meat production is governed by USDA’s national organic standards implemented in 2002. The USDA’s definition for certified organic is “agricultural products that have been grown and processed according to specific standards of various state and private certification organizations.” These standards state that animals must be raised using organic management practices and that organically-raised livestock must be separated from their conventional counterparts.

The use of growth-enhancing hormones and sub-therapeutic antibiotics is prohibited. Cattle can receive preventive medical care (e.g., vaccines) and dietary vitamin and mineral supplements. Cattle can only be fed 100% organically-produced feed that is free of animal by-products. Furthermore, cattle must have access to the outdoors, pasture, shade, exercise areas, fresh air, and direct sunlight. Organic beef producers may use either an organic grain-fed or an organic grass-fed system. The former system uses organic grain, hay, and supplements, while the latter primarily uses organic pasture and hay to produce market weight beef cattle. Certifying agents review farm applications, and qualified inspectors conduct annual on-site inspections. Farm records must track all management practices and materials used in organic production. A certified operation must have a written Organic Farm Plan and make it available to the public upon request. An exemption is made to the certification rule for operations with gross agricultural receipts of $5,000 or less.

The costs of producing organic beef are higher than commodity beef because of lower productivity, increased processing and marketing costs, and additional risks. Organic beef sales totaled $146.7 million in 2015. In 2016, there were 2.3 million acres of organically certified rangeland and 46,014 organically-certified beef cows. The price of natural/organic beef averaged $7.97 in the first quarter of 2017 which represented a premium of 67 percent over conventional. Such premiums are the result of consumer demand as well as the additional costs of producing organic beef. Organic beef imports supplement domestic U.S. production as a means for meeting domestic demand.

Currently, most organic beef imports originate in Canada, Australia, and South America. Organically-produced beef is available in some retail grocery stores, specialty meat outlets, and directly from ranch locations, farmers’ markets, and the Internet. Movement of products across state lines, however, requires that meat be processed at a USDA-inspected facility.

Information: Ag Marketing Resource Center
Edited by Glenn Detweiler,
Livestock Extension Agent

“Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you’re a thousand miles from a corn field.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower