February 8, 2004
|In this issue|
US Animal Identification Plan
I'm so Dizzy...
Las Cruces Trip
Fun Things to do February 9 - 14
Last week, in my epilog, I put this item:
On my way back from Kansas last week, I stopped in Dalhart to grab a bite and re-fuel. In the Quik-Mart, I saw a T-shirt for sale that said,
Someone in Texas Love Me
I wasn't sure if that T-Shirt was supposed to say,
Someone in Texas Loves Me
or if it is a kind of twisted plea. The T-shirt hanging next to it gave me a clue:
It's a Texas thing.
Far be it for me to try to figure out Texans.
Bill Cotton, who lives in Clovis (which is too close to Texas for comfort), sent this item to me so that the rest of us sorta maybe, prob'ly, coulda understand Texans. I'm not sure it's possible, but we'll try, won't we, Bill?
VOCABULARY - TEXAS STYLE:
1. AS WELCOME AS A SKUNK AT A LAWN PARTY.
2. TIGHTER THAN BARK ON A TREE.
Not very generous
3. BIG HAT, NO CATTLE.
All talk and no action
4. WE'VE HOWDIED BUT WE AIN'T SHOOK YET.
We've made a brief acquaintance, but not been formally
5. HE THINKS THE SUN CAME UP JUST TO HEAR HIM CROW.
He has a pretty high opinion of himself.
6. IT'S SO DRY THE TREES ARE BRIBIN' THE DOGS.
We really could use a little rain around here.
7. JUST BECAUSE A CHICKEN HAS WINGS DOESN'T MEAN IT
Appearances can be deceptive.
8. THIS AIN'T MY FIRST RODEO.
I've been around awhile.
9. HE LOOKS LIKE THE DOG'S BEEN KEEPIN' HIM UNDER
Not the most handsome of men.
10. THEY ATE SUPPER BEFORE THEY SAID GRACE.
Living in sin.
11. AS FULL OF WIND AS A CORN-EATING HORSE.
Rather prone to boasting.
12. YOU CAN PUT YOUR BOOTS IN THE OVEN BUT THAT
DOESN'T MAKE THEM BISCUITS.
You can say whatever you want about something,
but that doesn't change what it is.
13. WE'RE IN TALL COTTON. Things are going well
I HOPE EVERYONE IS IN "TALL COTTON"
US Animal Identification Plan
I received a concerned e-mail from a reader this weekend about the United States Animal Identification Plan. She forwarded a letter to me in which the original writer was concerned about another Big Brother-type intervention and more permits and fees imposed upon livestock owners. So, I went to http://usaip.info/, and here is the introductory information on this site.
Protecting American animal agriculture by safeguarding animal health is vital to the wellbeing of all U. S. citizens. It promotes human health; provides wholesome, reliable, and secure food resources; mitigates national economic threats; and enhances a sustainable environment. Essential to achieving this goal is an efficient and effective animal identification program. Building upon previously established and successful animal health and animal identification programs involving many animal industries, an industry-state-federal partnership, aided by the National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA), was formed in 2002 to more uniformly coordinate a national animal identification plan. This resulting plan, requested by the United States Animal Health Association (USAHA) and facilitated by USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), was formulated in 2003 for presentation at the October, 2003 annual meeting of the USAHA. More than 100 animal industry and state-federal government professionals representing more than 70 allied associations/organizations collectively assessed and suggested workable improvements to the plan to meet future U. S. animal identification needs.
Fundamental to controlling any disease threat, foreign or domestic, to the nation’s animal resources is to have a system that can identify individual animals or groups, the premises where they are located, and the date of entry to that premises. Further, in order to achieve optimal success in controlling or eradicating an animal health threat, the ability to retrieve that information within 48 hours of confirmation of a disease outbreak and to implement intervention strategies is necessary. The USAIP is focused on utilizing state-of-the-art national and international standards with the best available and practical technologies. It is dynamic and flexible, and will incorporate new and proven technologies as they become available. States’ needs in implementing animal identification will receive priority within the uniformity provided by federal oversight.
The USAIP currently supports the following species and/or industries: bison, beef cattle, dairy cattle, swine, sheep, goats, camelids (alpacas and llamas), horses, cervids (deer and elk), poultry (eight species including game birds), and aquaculture (eleven species). Implementation will be in three phases: Phase I involves premises identification; Phase II involves individual or group/lot identification for interstate and intrastate commerce; and Phase III involves retrofitting remaining processing plants and markets and other industry segments with appropriate technology that will enhance our ability to track animals throughout the livestock marketing chain to protect and improve the health of the national herd. Initial implementation will focus on the cattle, swine, and small ruminant industries. In transition, the USAIP recommends that: all states have a premises identification system in place by July, 2004; unique, individual or group/lot numbers be available for issuance by February, 2005; all cattle, swine, and small ruminants possess individual or group/lot identification for interstate movement by July, 2005; all animals of the remaining species/industries identified above be in similar compliance by July, 2006.
These standards will apply to all animals within the represented industries regardless of their intended use as seedstock, commercial, pets or other personal uses.
It is well acknowledged that costs associated with the USAIP will be substantial and that a public/private funding plan is justified. Significant state and federal costs will be incurred in overseeing, maintaining, updating, and improving necessary infrastructure. Continued efforts will be required to seek federal and state financial support for this integral component of safeguarding animal health in protecting American animal agriculture.
I don't really find anything onerous in this program. I have been accused by my friends and family for abandoning my libertarian ideals in my stance on the Fugitive Dust issue, and I bet I am going to get some more flack for thinking that this USAIP is not a bad idea. First of all, how is it a bad idea to know where a cow comes from in this age of communicable diseases, like Mad Cow disease? My dad raises cattle, and I talked to him yesterday about micro-chipping and what he thought about. He said that we wishes he had it on all of his existing cattle. Up until now, he has ear-tagged his cattle. Sometimes the tags come off, and they don't have any idea who a cow is once that happens. He would love to be able have something electronic and reliable that would tell him the identity of any cow. And if having a chip in each cow makes it easier and more efficient when it goes to market, even better. I see the micro-chipping as something like at bar code on a soup can. I suppose you could keep the bar code off your label, but you'd never be able to sell your product to WalMart.
But, those of us in the horse industry are not interested in making our horses easier to sell to the slaughter houses. Some may ask, why should we have to have the expense of a micro-chip? My answer would be for the same reason a Coggins test and hauling papers are required every time you move your horse or enter it into a show. I think having a chip in each horse will only protect us, both from disease and theft.
You might have noticed in our February issue of The Voice, we are trying to find a home for Luke, a dog that someone rescued. Luke has chip in him, put there by Animal Humane. With just one call, we were able to find out something about Luke's history, and even his name. It turns out that the woman that adopted Luke from the Humane Society didn't want him any more because he keeps escaping. This tell us that Luke would not be a good only dog, so we know to only adopt him out to a home that already has dogs. If Luke didn't have that chip, we wouldn't know that about him.
I have only heard about this USAIP program for a day, and I obviously have not dug into it a lot. It doesn't seem like a bad idea to me. Any one have any other thoughts? Go to the USAIP web site, study it, and let us know what you think of it.
I'm so Dizzy...
Those of you who are in your twenties or younger can be forgiven if you don't relate to this next topic. You are still young enough that you think this won't happen to you. You thirtysomethings out there know it will be coming, but are probably still in denial. Some of you past forty may still believe it won't happen to you, but trust me it will. But, anyone who is older than 45 knows exactly what I'm talking about.
I got my first progressive lens glasses last week.
Some how "progressive lens" seems better than "bi-focals." The latter seems so... old.
I have noticed for some time that I have not been able to read any more with my glasses on. I had to either look under my glasses, or take them off to even read a newspaper. As a result, I was always taking my glasses off in inappropriate places, then misplacing them. About two weeks ago, they were lost for good. At least, so far. I had to resort to wearing my sun glasses all the time, and even doing some driving at night with them on. Not exactly the safest thing to do.
Last week, I finally broke down and got my eyes checked and bought new glasses. The new multi-focal glasses are a trip. They make me dizzy. I am told that this will eventually go away, but that doesn't really help right now. Another thing that I have noticed is that my posture when I drive is bad. I have learned that I slouch and tilt my head back when I drive. I know this because all of a sudden everything becomes blurry because I am looking out the bottom half of my glasses. On the plus side, it is easier to read the speedometer and other gauges again.
Nothing like a little technology to help you see better and feel older all at the same time.
Las Cruces Trip
For my "day job" this week, I am going to traveling in the southern part of the state. I will be in Carlsbad on Wednesday, El Paso on Thursday (which is not technically part of New Mexico, but it should be. Did you know that Texarkana is closer to Chicago than it is to El Paso? El Paso is closer to the capitals of New Mexico and Arizona than it is to Austin), and Las Cruces on Friday.
I'd love to meet anyone on this list on those cities. Call me if you want to have dinner together, or something. I think I have the most subscribers in the Las Cruces area, so how about we find a time and place to meet Friday night? Contact me Monday or Tuesday, and we'll see how many people want to get together. After Tuesday, contact Nancy at NancyGage@HorsemensVoice.com, and she will tell you how to find me on the road.
Fun Things to Do February 9 - 15
13 – 22 49TH ANNUAL SCOTTSDALE ARABIAN HORSE SHOW, Westworld, Scottsdale, AZ. Entries close 12/15/03. Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
14 TRAINING SHOW, NM Palomino Exhibitors Assoc., Dairy Barn, NM Expo (formerly NM State Fairgrounds). Judge: Kathy O’Neal. Info: Shelley Bateman, 832-6867 (email@example.com), or Lloyd Aker, 281-3032 (BAker28777@aol.com) . Premium at www.nmpea.com
14 – 15 LAS CRUCES HORSE TRIALS, Isaacs Ranch, Las Cruces. Las Cruces Horseman’s Assoc. Info: Bill Gammill, 523-7020; Gail Feeley, 526-3310; secretary Mary Alba, 382-5378 or firstname.lastname@example.org
14 – 15 QUARTER HORSE SHOW, SW Quarter Horse Assoc., El Paso Equestrian Center, El Paso, TX. Info: Farrel, (505) 382-5911 or email@example.com
15 WINTER FUN—barrels, poles & flag racing. Beginner, novice, & intermediate divisions. 1 p.m. Bosque Farms Rodeo Arena, Bosque Farms. Info: Vernon or Wendy Honeyfield, 865-9585
You might notice that this newsletter is dated the 8th, but I am sending it on the 9th. That's because I stayed up late last night writing something that I finally decided didn't fit in the newsletter. However, if you want to read a little about some of my thoughts on training horses, go to www.HorsemensVoice.com and click on Personal Musings.
505 by 2/29 update: up to 430 subscribers. Tell all your friends to sign up. We have just over three weeks to get to 505. Remember the valuable prizes: 505th person gets a one year subscription to the Horsemen's Voice magazine. The person who refers the most people will get the same prize. And everyone on the list who is a subscriber to the printed magazine will get their subscription extended one month. And if you are not a subscriber... why not? Go to www.HorsemensVoice.com to sign up.
The above newsletter was written when Nancy Gage and Jay Koch owned The Horsemen's Voice magazine. The Horsemen's Voice name and logo are used here with permission of the new owner, Catherine Logan-Carillo, who is a fine, upstanding member of the community. Catherine disavows any silliness, stupidity, vapidity, errors, or unintentional offenses, and the reader should know that she would know better than publish anything like this.
Aside from the Horsemen's Voice name and logo, the rest of this newsletter is copyrighted by and is the full responsibility of Jay Koch. All rights reserved. Please ask permission before using any of this material in any form.