Animal Ag News 4/6

Carrie Muehling

  • More than 2,000 COVID-19 sampling kits will soon be on their way to hospitals across the state, thanks to Aggie innovation and ingenuity. Viral sampling kits — usually used on pigs, cows and chickens — are being repurposed to test humans by the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory in College Station. The sampling kits are being assembled from lab supplies already in stock at TVMDL’s four labs across the state. Once assembled, they will be shipped to hospitals in cities with a Texas A&M System campus to help meet the surge in needed test kits including campuses in Galveston, McAllen and the Texas A&M School of Law in Fort Worth. The university presidents will determine where there is the greatest need for the kits in their community.
  • During the 2020 International Production & Processing Expo, six researchers presented their findings from recently completed research projects funded by the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association and its Foundation as part of the TECHTalk sessions offered during the expo.
  • USPOULTRY and the USPOULTRY Foundation are accepting nominations for the Dr. Charles Beard Research Excellence Award through July 1. The goal of the award is to recognize outstanding completed research projects, funded by USPOULTRY or the USPOULTRY Foundation, which have made a significant positive impact on the poultry industry. The nominee may be recognized for multiple completed USPOULTRY research projects, all focused on the same subject area. To submit a nomination, please send a letter to Dr. Denise Heard (, director of research, which includes the nominee’s name, a brief description of the nominee’s research accomplishments and the impact of the research.
  • As Americans are spending more time at home, parents may be looking for meal inspiration to keep the whole family happy. The Beef Checkoff is here with recipes that everyone in the family can enjoy and even make together. Check out for easy recipes that call for five ingredients or less and affordable meals under $15 as well as a full collection of cooking lessons and even virtual farm and ranch tours.
  • Groups representing dairy farmers and cooperatives in the Midwest urged the federal government to provide direct assistance to farmers and to expedite the purchase of additional dairy foods amid unprecedented disruptions in supply and demand due to the COVID-19 national emergency.
  • The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) applauded a congressional letter that was sent to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, urging swift relief for American cattle producers who have been adversely impacted by the ongoing Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The letter was signed by a bipartisan group of over 145 lawmakers from both chambers of Congress.
  • A global pandemic is not the optimal time to start raising chickens, Marisa Erasmus, an assistant professor of animal sciences at Purdue University, cautions. As the COVID-19 virus spreads across the country and the globe, food security and sustainability is increasingly on people’s minds as government leaders issue stay-at-home orders and grocery stores are frequently low on staples. Recent popular press reports have said that anxiety around the food supply may be causing an uptick in the U.S. of people ordering chicks so they might have a reliable supply of eggs.
  • Ralco is pleased to announce and welcome the return of Dr. Jeff Hill to the company as a brand manager. In his new role, Dr. Hill will focus on managing product lines utilizing Ralco’s patented Microbial Catalyst® technology and its various applications in the marketplace as well as supporting Ralco’s expanding beef nutrition line.
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