I had planned to include some Gateway to Animal Welfare news articles from last week which were very interesting but access to them is currently limited due to a server problem on their end. Look for these in the future, as well as an uploaded powerpoint with a link embedded so that you can view my summer presentation related to the dairy taildocking debate.
In the meantime, please enjoy the bi-weekly ARS e-newsletter updates.
First is an article related to the increase in Canola being planted in the Pacific Northwest. After my spring and summer employment with MSU extension and the work I put into biofuel research lit reviews, I can honestly say that Canola oil does show great potential as an up and coming biodiesel fuel alternative. This is also a really pretty crop as I noticed when we overseas in the Salisbury area of England. The question will be whether it can be more environmentally friendly in the long-run than other energy alternatives. Wind energy certainly hasn't held up to the expectations held for it.
As Menhaden fish meal becomes in shorter supply and thus higher prices, ARS is also involved in research to feed more plant-based diets to fish on fish farms. Besides the supply aspect and sustainability concerns, when I research fish meal last year and its use as a feedstuff, it was unbelievable to me how expensive it was as a source of protein and specific amino and fatty acids in a diet. It might be a great feedstuff for diet balancing but it is just too expensive to be used in the quantities it was being used in.
Alltech's World Equestrian Games were also deemed highly successful as they came to a close after 16 days with over 0.5 million people in attendance over the span of the games. USA did pretty well with 8 medals in the events as well. I would've loved to have gone. I've heard about it at the Alltech booths for the last couple of years, but there is just so much to do this time of year and driving down to Lexington just couldn't be tacked on to life right now.
With increasing concerns about the E. Coli contamination and subsequent illnesses, the USDA-FSIS is now requiring inspectors and ground beef producers to specify the origin of the beef so that traceback on contaminated supplies will be faster and reduce illness.