PDCA - One Blog

Welcome to the first Dexter cattle blog to disseminate information for members of the Purebred Dexter Cattle Association of North America (PDCA) and for those with a curiosity about Irish Dexter cattle, cattle in general, as well as news from the PDCA. Expressions of opinion are to not be regarded as expressing the official opinion of the PDCA unless expressly stated. Hopefully you will find something here of interest and don't overlook browsing through the archives. Comments are welcomed.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Chef Serves Up Food For Thought

UK - Brian Dooks

'Festival audience 'gingered up' and inspired to cook new dishes – with quality local produce.

YORKSHIRE'S own celebrity chef Brian Turner was cooking up something special yesterday using ingredients found at the first Ryedale Festival of Food and Drink being held at Castle Howard.

Among his selections from local exhibitors was a fillet of Dexter beef being offered by three producers in North and East Yorkshire and the freshest of asparagus from Low Moor Farm at Sand Hutton, near York.

Mr Turner, whose 40-year professional career began at his father's cafe in Leeds, finds that people in the North have a simpler attitude to their food, but most understand quality and they want value.

So when he does demonstrations he does not set out to make anything fancy. "They don't always want something new, but they can get lazy. If I can get them gingered up a bit and inspire them to do something different, then I think I am doing my job."

Among the surprises he has for audiences at Castle Howard is a Raspberry and Pineapple Eccles Cake. "It's just puff pastry with a touch of cinnamon and sugar with raspberries and pineapple. I think it's a really nice dish – either eaten in your fingers or in an evening with some cream."

The beef for one of his meat dishes came from one of three Dexter herds – Jane McBretney's Rawcar Farm at Danby Wiske, near Northallerton, Penny Hodgson's Thornhill Farm at Easingwold and Christine Piercey's Round House Farm at Beverley.

At one stage the diminutive Dexters were a rare breed and even now there are probably only about 3,000 breeding animals in the country. The three herds are grass fed, slaughtered locally to reduce stress and properly hung before being sold.

Mrs McBretney, whose group markets the product as "Little Dexter Mighty Meat", said: "What we say is that if you have not tasted Dexter you have not tasted beef. It is scrumptious – sweet and tender. It is absolutely mouth-watering."

Monday, May 30, 2005

Memorial Day

Sunday, May 29, 2005

A Belated Happy Birthday To Aggie -

New York City's Favorite Cow!

Aggie, a Dexter cow at the Prospect Park Zoo’s petting area, turned 12 on Thursday, May 19. The friendly, black cow has been charming Zoo visitors since 1993 and has become an unofficial mascot of the Zoo’s Domestic Area.

Over the years, hundreds of young New Yorkers have written letters to Aggie – thanking her for their fun visit to the Zoo. A sampling of current letters hangs on a display board inside the Barn Area, and pencils and paper are provided for zoo-goers to pen their own “Dear Aggie” letters.

So be sure to stop by the Zoo and visit Aggie.
Queens Zoo

Saturday, May 28, 2005


With the sun setting it was interesting how the new addition comes out looking almost gray colored in the photos that I took last night. He's dun colored and very frisky this morning.

Vesicular Stomatitis Now Found in Texas

By Glenn Selk, OSU Extension

'Texas, on Friday, May 20, joined New Mexico and Arizona as states with confirmed cases of vesicular stomatitis (VS) this spring. Two Travis County horses were hauled home May 10 from a trail ride in Arizona, where they apparently were exposed to the vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV). The year’s first VS cases were confirmed April 27 in two horses in southwest New Mexico. Since then, infection has been detected in 17 horses on 11 premises in New Mexico, Arizona, and now, Texas.

Vesicular stomatitis is a viral disease which primarily affects horses, cattle, and swine. The agent that causes vesicular stomatitis, VSV, has a wide host range and can occasionally infect sheep and goats. In affected livestock, VSV causes blister-like lesions to form in the mouth and on the dental pad, tongue, lips, nostrils, hooves, and teats. These blisters swell and break, leaving raw tissue that is so painful that infected animals generally refuse to eat and drink and show signs of lameness. Severe weight loss usually follows, and in dairy cows a severe drop in milk production commonly occurs. Affected dairy cattle can appear to be normal and will continue to eat about half of their feed intake.

The clinical signs of VS mirror those of the dreaded foreign foot-and-mouth (FMD) disease. Horses are susceptible to VS, but not FMD; however, both diseases can affect cattle, sheep, goats, swine, deer and a number of other species. When sores or blisters are seen in FMD-susceptible animals, veterinarians must immediately rule out an introduction of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). When horses have lesions, a VS test rules out other possible causes for blisters and sores, including toxic plants, chemicals or poison.

The State of Oklahoma will require a statement on the Certificates of Veterinary Inspection on all animals except poultry coming from New Mexico, Arizona, and TEXAS stating that: “the animal (s) listed on the CVI, do not originate from an area under quarantine for Vesicular Stomatitis and that the animal (s) do not have any visible vesicular lesions”.

Anyone that observes clinical signs such those previously described for vesicular stomatitis should report these situations to a local veterinarian and/or (if you reside in Oklahoma) to the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry Animal Industry Division: phone 405-522-6131.

More information about “vesicular stomatitis” can be found by consulting the following pdf file on the APHIS website.'

Friday, May 27, 2005

Tonight's delight

Nala with newborn bull calf.

Memorial Day Weekend

I knew the holiday was here because gasoline prices jumped backed up 10 cents a gallon just before the weekend.

The PDCA Family Album would like to add some more photos of members and/or their family with their Dexters. So should you take some photographs this weekend that you would like to share with everyone that enjoys seeing the "family cow", be sure to send some of your pictures to the PDCA Webmaster. Rebecca is always happy to receive more Dexter cattle photographs and so keep her in mind as you gather around the bbq and your Dexter family herds this weekend.

Have a happy and safe weekend!

New Zealand

Such a beautiful country makes this sad story of the Bentley's ordeal all the more tragic.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Taking it easy...

Taking it easy...
Dexter bull calves.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

PDCA Annual Meeting Guests

It appears that six members representing the cattle breeders association of Ghana will be attending the PDCA annual meeting and show & sale this July in Orland, California. So a presentation of raising cattle in Ghana may be added to the PDCA program of member events. Included among the special guests will be a chief of one tribe and his wife. The chief currently owns 1,000 cattle.

Ghana has over a million cattle with the two most populous breeds being the West African Shorthorn and Sanga, which have demonstrated some resistance to diseases. Studies have indicated that the indigenous cattle kept by smallholders are generally low milk producers which could perhaps explain their interest in Dexter cattle.

Our visitors will have the opportunity to view some of the best Dexter cattle being shown in the U.S. while PDCA members attending will benefit from what should be an educational and interesting addition to the annual meeting events. So if you haven't already, be sure to make your reservations to attend because this should be a great Dexter weekend.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

A leggy calf

Dexter breeders may often talk about long and short legs on Dexters but I've not heard of any like this story of the six-legged Holstein bull calf born Friday at county farm in Wisconsin.

PDCA Raffle

I purchased my PDCA raffle tickets online.

It was a simple process to buy tickets and supports the PDCA.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Dexter Cattle Books

I had a phone from a new breeder yesterday asking me what are some good Dexter cattle books. When I started looking around my bookshelves I discovered that many of the books that were specific to Dexter cattle that I've collected over the past 15 years are now difficult if not impossible to find. So I thought a list of Dexter books might be helpful to new members in order that they might at least know what book titles to look for.

"My Love Affair with the Dexter"
by Beryl Rutherford
This is the latest Dexter book just coming out and will be available through the PDCA for as long as we can keep supplies in stock to meet demand. Dex-Info also has several sources listed around the world where this book can be acquired.

"Dexter Cattle"
by John Hays
Originally published in 1984 and now just recently republished for a 4th edition. This book gives a good general history of Dexters in America and also provides some Dexter dairy data. Currently available from the PDCA.

"The Ilsington Herd of Dexter Cattle"
by Rosemary Brown
First published in 1997, this is a story of a Dexter cattle herd and their owner's experiences from 1975 to 1995 in the UK. This book may still be available from http://www.dextercattleforsale.co.uk/ under other ads.

"The Life and Times of Dexters"
by Ted Neal
Dedicated to Dexters, when this book came out in 1992 it was an instant favorite with all Dexter breeders. This book has some good information about the breed and is sometimes described as the ultimate Dexter coffee table book because of the large and colorful photos of Dexters. Unfortunately, I don't know any place that you can purchase this book but should you ever come across a copy you should definitely buy it.

"Kerry and Dexter Cattle and other ancient Irish breeds, A History"
by P.L. Curran
While the book's accent is more towards the Kerry it contains some excellent historical background on the Dexter and delves into the genetics resulting in "bulldogs". Published in 1990, occasionally you may come upon a copy on the internet but it may some time searching for it.

"The Dexter Cow and Cattle Keeping on a Small Scale" by W.R. Thrower
First published in 1954 with a revised edition printed in 1980, this was probably for a long time the most popular Dexter book published. The book provides the kind of information many new Dexter owners are seeking about the care and managing of a Dexter, albeit from a UK perspective. A once common Dexter book that now may be difficult to find.

I'm not sure if this is a complete listing of all books specifically about Dexter cattle but these are the ones in my home library that I recommend keeping an eye out for. If you know of a Dexter cattle book that I've omitted here please let me know and we'll pass that information along. Happy hunting!

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Strike Gold with the PDCA!

*** PDCA Coin Raffle ***
Purchase your raffle tickets now!
First prize is a 2005 1 oz. $50 Gold Bullion Coin
(estimated value of $600 plus on ebay - photo not of actual coin).
Second prize will be a 2005 Silver Bullion Coin.
Drawing will be held at the PDCA Annual Meeting on July 17, 2005.
Winners do not have to be present to win and this raffle is open to all.
Raffle tickets are now available online here.

Thank you for supporting the Purebred Dexter Catttle Association of North America.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

PDCA Annual Meeting News

This is really more of a teaser than news until announcements and plans are completed and formalized.

We have had some PDCA fundraising ideas and great donations that have come in and so you can be looking for announcements coming soon promoting these on the PDCA Website.

Also, we may have an addition to the PDCA Annual Meeting scheduled programs as it appears that we may have some very special cattle guests attending that are coming from a long distance away. Those able to attend PDCA's inaugural meeting this July in Orland, California, may have an added bonus attraction.

The Summer 2005 PDCA Record was delivered to the printers this week and so PDCA members can be looking forward to another great issue in the mail shortly.

There's a lot of excitement and good things happening within the PDCA right now and so be on the lookout for forthcoming announcements.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Cow -

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Happy St. Dunstan's Day!

Which has nothing to do with dun Dexters but according to The Old Farmer's Almanac:

'Traditional weather lore has it that St. Dunstan was a great brewer who sold himself to the devil on the condition that the devil would blight the apple trees to stop the production of cider, Dunstan's rival drink. This is said to be the cause of the wintry blast that usually comes about this time.'

No wintry blast here today as it's going to be very warm and so the cattle will be lounging around in the shade this afternoon. Perhaps they have Dexter daydreams of touring old castles in Ireland, like the bovine in this photo:

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Cattle Health Report

Special Issue 2005 of the Cattle Health Report (pdf file) from the National Institute for Animal Agriculture. The Cattle Health Report provides the latest information on issues pertinent to cattle health initiatives, strategies, research and regulatory action.

National Institute for Animal Agriculture

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Timing of Service or Insemination

Artificial insemination or natural service lead to a pregnancy only if the spermatozoa are "at the right place at the right time." The egg is released from the ovary about 10 to 14 hours after the end of heat and can only survive unfertilized for six to 12 hours. In contrast, the spermatozoa may live up to 24 hours in the reproductive tract of a cow. A common recommendation for the best timing of artificial insemination is the "morning-evening" rule: cows observed in heat in the morning are inseminated the same evening, and cows observed in heat in the afternoon are inseminated the next morning.

In the case of natural service, the cow and the bull may be allowed to mate starting a few hours after the cow accepts mounting until the cow refuses to be mounted.

The Babcock Institute - Michel A. Wattiaux

Monday, May 16, 2005

Buying Dexter Cattle

There is a lot of diversity among Dexter cattle and prices will vary depending on the animal, the breeder, and the location. So the first step for the first time buyer will be to determine why you want a Dexter or Dexters and in deciding which characteristics and traits would be most important to your plans. If you plan to milk you'll want to pay close attention to udders or if you're raising Dexters for tender beef then your emphasis may be more on rumps. Conservation and the bloodlines of the animal may be important to you. Breeders vary from the conservationists, small homesteaders desiring a family cow on their small acreage, natural beef growers for niche gourmet beef markets, to retired cattlemen and cattlewomen that keep Dexters because they're easier to handle and they just like having cows around. You'll need to decide your preferences such as age of animal(s), polled or horned, whether color is important to you, size, etc. I always recommend that a new buyer visit several herds before buying in order to find just the right type that will suite one's needs. Most Dexter breeders will be happy to show you their herds no matter how large or small.

Your next step will be locating herds to look at and trying to find the type of Dexter you desire that is available for sale. Dexters are widely distributed but they vary in numbers and certain types may be more prevalent in one area than another. If you contact the PDCA -

Purebred Dexter Cattle Association of North America
404 High Street
Prairie Home, MO 65068


You will receive an information packet which will include a current list of Dexter breeders along with the PDCA Record which contains classified advertisements for Dexter cattle. You can also find a membership directory and some classified advertisements on the PDCA Website.

Area Managers and State Representatives can also be a good source to contact in helping to find your Dexter as they may know animals available for sale in their respective regions. The listing of PDCA Area Managers and regions with their contact information can be found here.

So happy hunting and good luck in finding the perfect Dexter for you!

Sunday, May 15, 2005

It's another boy!

Saturday's new addition to Ginny & Frank Miles Florida Dexter herd.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Animal Handling

The American Meat Institute or (AMI) has a new Web site www.animalhandling.org aiming to be a resource for the meat industry, public and media about animal handling in meat plants, AMI says.

Included on the new site is the AMI Foundation's (AMIF) "Recommended Animal Handling Guidelines and Audit Guide, 2005 edition," written by animal handling expert, Temple Grandin. The guide is a free download and includes AMI Foundation audit forms for cattle and calves, pigs and sheep. The publication is considered the gold standard for animal handling and auditing worldwide, AMIF says.

The Web site also includes sections on animal welfare auditing, animal handling training materials, a section on animal welfare vs. animal rights, an explanation of federal requirements for animal welfare in meat plants and a series of photos that illustrate animal handling in meat plants.
- AMI release

Friday, May 13, 2005


I want to thank blogging friend and twin --karbonkountymoos for the addition of our humble little PDCA blog to the Big Sky blogosphere.

Karen describes herself as "the official Parts Runner, Short Order Gourmet Chef, Seamstress, Gardener, Laundress, Collector of too many things to mention, Tractor Operator, and in my "spare" time I research local history."

I sometimes decribe her as the "postcard lady"

...and we share something in common:
---We have cows.

So if you've ever wondered what it would be like on a big cattle ranch and sugar beet farm in Montana, give a howdy to karbonkountymoos.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Talisman Farm

Story by Matthew Reed

The one-lane drive threads up a picturesque draw to Belle Hays’ home, past sheep that graze on spring’s new grass. As I walk up to the slab door with iron band hinges, Belle, a sprightly white-haired woman with cheerful eyes, greets me. She leads me into an expansive living room with slate floors and a domed roof. Bay windows look out on a stone patio, framed in the background by rolling green hills covered in oak and redwood trees. One of the hills, Belle says, they call “Poison Oak Hill.” Looking closer, I can see the thick brush is indeed a mat of tangled poison oak vines.

Belle begins to tell her story.

In 1973, she and John were caring for, among other animals, an abandoned bobcat and a wallaby. They read an article about the keeping of Dexters. Coincidentally, their property in Los Altos was soon to be part of a freeway project. They decided to look for a place where they could raise and breed Dexter cattle, as well as care for the animals they already had. They found forty acres in the heart of the Redwood Empire, previously owned by two “old Finn bachelors.” The main house needed a lot of repair work and became a temporary aviary. Parking a trailer near the proposed location of their new house, the couple set about contacting organizations and breeders of Dexters while John continued commuting to work as an attorney in San Francisco.

In 1974, John and Belle obtained four Dexter cows from a herd in Indiana and a Dexter bull from Texas A&M. The following year, their first calves were born. In order to register their Dexters, the Hayses were required to have a name for their farm. John suggested “Talisman” because their farm was small and so were the cattle they were ranching. According to the American Dexter Cattle Association, sixty-six Dexters were registered under the “Talisman” herd name over time. Belle told me that two dozen head was probably the largest their herd ever was; the rest were sold as they were old enough. Talisman Farm soon began to establish a reputation for breeding quality Dexters.

John became a key player in the reorganization of the group originally known as “American Kerry and Dexter Club,” incorporated in 1943. John wrote the Articles of Incorporation for the new American Dexter Cattle Association in January of 1978. He also wrote the original bylaws for the ADCA, updating the bylaws from 1977 until 1989, and acted as director for the original Pacific Region. John compiled the information for the first edition of Dexter Cattle, commissioned by the ADCA and published in 1984. Currently, Dexter Cattle is in its fourth printing. In 1994, the ADCA made John and Belle Honorary Lifetime members.

The Dexter is the smallest of domesticated cattle. Three-year-old bulls usually do not weigh more than a thousand pounds; they are often less than forty-four inches in height, but are never shorter than thirty-eight inches at the shoulder. Mature cows often weigh 750 pounds; they do not exceed forty-two inches in height, but stand no less than thirty-six inches in height. The two remaining Dexter cows at Talisman Farm that I saw were in fact quite short. I had seen some breeds of domesticated dogs reach heights only slightly shorter than a Dexter. In fact, Belle’s Irish wolfhound seemed to my eye to be as tall as the two small cows. With their bulk, however, Dexters most definitely outweigh any canine. I could see that the pair was still well proportioned and looked quite sturdy, capable of doing any work needed on a farm.

The origin of Dexter cattle is somewhat obscure and debated among Dexter enthusiasts. Some say that a “Mister Dexter,” an agent of Lord Howarden of Tipperary, is responsible for developing the diminutive cattle from the best of the hardy mountain cattle of the region, including the Kerry breed, during the 1750s. This theory of the origin of Dexter cattle seems to have some merit: even today, some of the cattle tend to resemble the long-legged Kerry type, as opposed to the shorter, thicker, “true” Dexter. Breeders agree, though, that the original home of Dexter cattle was the southern part of Ireland where small stockholders bred them in the rugged mountainous regions.

Because of this tough ancestry, Dexters are exceptionally hardy, grazing on poor land where there is only weeds, brush, or leaves, in contrast to standard cattle, which require large tracts of grassy land. In South Africa, ranchers keep large herds for beef production where traditionally only sheep have been ranched. Sheep farmers also use Dexters to suckle as many as eight to ten orphan lambs per cow.

The first recorded importation of Dexters to America was between 1905 and 1915 and numbered over two hundred head. Popular with settlers, the Dexter was an ideal homestead cow, providing milk, meat, and muscle power, but as milk and meat production became more specialized in other cattle breeds, Dexters declined in population to fewer than five thousand in the world. Today, with renewed interest in small holdings, that number has risen to approximately fifteen thousand head worldwide. The ADCA has nearly 650 members and registered 852 cattle in the year 2000, and, according to Wes Patton, president of the Purebred Dexter Cattle Association (PDCA), there are currently five to six thousand Dexters in the United States.

I mention the Dexters’ history as homestead cattle to Belle. “Oh, yes. Women can handle them easily,” she states. “That way the wives could do all the work with the cows.”

Dexter cattle produce enough milk for most families. Actual milk production varies with breeding and feed, but averages one to three gallons per day. Some owners share the milk with a calf, while others take all of it for their family to use. In every case the owners were pleased with the quantity and quality of the milk from their Dexters.

Wes Patton, of the PDCA, wrote to me saying, “Milk and meat production statistics are not kept by any organization in the U.S. at this time as they are with other cattle breeds. Dexters number so few in herds and total numbers that it is very difficult to gather factual information. Those few that milk them can give testimony as to the level of milk production, but it isn’t well documented. Those that process them for meat can relate all of the virtues of this breed, but again, little has been recorded in a factual manner. I did compare a few Dexters to conventional beef breeds a few years ago as far as feedlot performance and carcass characteristics were concerned, but it was a very small sample. The one thing that did come from that was that Dexters are quite tender when put to a Warner-Bratzler Shear test. Those who have consumed the meat will attest to this too. Average daily gain was in the 1.8–2 pound range, which is in line with their size compared to larger breeds that gain two-and-a-half to three-and-a-half pounds per day. Since they are a dual-purpose breed, the dairy portion of their background results in dressing percentages about 2 percent lower than regular beef breeds, but that is certainly made up in meat quality.”

When I asked Belle if she and her late husband had ever slaughtered any of their cattle, she told me that they had three times had somebody come out and butcher a Dexter. “But it’s so hard to eat them after you get to know them,” she said.

According to John Hays in Dexter Cattle, “an ox is merely a steer with a good education.” Dexters are intelligent, which means that they can pick up bad habits as quickly as good habits. This is not a problem as long as the ox teamster is always smarter than the oxen. Consistency, fairness, and patience are important values, Hays writes, when training cattle. The calves should start to be handled and trained within days of birth. Halter breaking, voice commands, and learning to wear a yoke usually begin early as well. Then, as with many things, it’s all about time and practice.

Dexters’ spunky nature makes them want to pull and do the work asked of them. The larger ones are able to pull a walking plow, logs, and wagons. For the smaller steers, loads have to be scaled down. Putting lots of time into training a yoke of oxen makes any teamster want the pair to last for years. Dexters can be long-lived, another plus for them as oxen. For the competitive ox puller, Dexters can compete in the lower weight classes for their entire lives, an advantage over younger, less experienced yokes of cattle.

Talisman Farm no longer commercially breeds Dexters. John passed away in November of 2004 at the age of ninety-two. The original farmhouse that once served as a temporary aviary is now home to Eric Burtleson, who assists Belle with maintenance of the property and the care of the animals.

“I originally did all the work around here,” Belle says.

Belle tells me Miss Muffet, the nineteen-year-old cow, had originally been sold to a mobile petting zoo, whose insurance company had required the removal of her horns, much to Belle’s disappointment. The other cow, Misty, is younger at sixteen and retains her distinctive horns.

One of the only drawbacks I learned about the Dexter is achondroplasia, a congenital condition commonly called “bulldog.” A bulldog calf is always premature and stillborn. The disease is a form of dwarfism, the recessive characteristic that makes Dexters smaller than average cattle. Achondroplasia often appears when a short-legged cow is bred with a short-legged bull. Breeders now often test for the gene. Belle says she and John had few bulldog problems because they bred only the medium-legged Dexter.

Often, Dexters are separated into two styles or types: the short-legged “true” type and the longer-legged Kerry. The Kerry type is rangier and less compact, but both types are “true” as far as pedigree is concerned. Still, Belle is adamant when she says that the true Dexter is a medium-legged animal with the horns intact. John was equally clear in his book that while dehorning is acceptable in the ADCA standards, a dehorned animal is the lowest in herd pecking order.

Dexters are all black, red, or dun (a dull reddish brown); red, a recessive genetic trait, is a darker, richer hue comparable to that of an Irish setter. Red and dun are only phases of black.

As I speak with Belle, we move outside to the stone patio where I can see more of her farm. A large aviary, first built to contain their wallaby, containing a couple of dozen canaries and a pair of white peafowl sits at the foot of Poison Oak Hill. There is a second, smaller aviary that is home to blue ring-neck and Bourkes parakeets. A handful of white-tailed deer are grazing, and wild turkeys scratch and peck for lunch. One particularly large tom puts on a fine show of his tail feathers for the hens. Almost as if reminded of the time of year, the white peacock in the aviary begins a similar display. Belle says the white peacock tries to win the affections of the peahen every year, but to no avail. Still, his display is grand.

Later, wondering about the actual meaning of “talisman,” I read that a talisman is “something that produces extraordinary or apparently magical or miraculous effects.” The name, then, is quite apt. There is magic in the hills of Comptche, and there live the extraordinary creatures called Dexters.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

PDCA's First!

Our Webmaster is doing the happy-Snoopy dance.

Yesterday we had our first on-line membership as paypal is now in operation.

Great job Rebecca!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Cattle movement limited by disease-fighting rules

By Josh St. Peters

New requirements for the movement of breeding cattle into and around South Dakota will take effect next month. The new policy created by the state's Animal Industry Board is intended for controlling the spread of trichomoniasis in beef cattle herds.

The order requires non-virgin bulls to be tested negative for the disease by 3 weekly tests prior to being imported, sold, loaned or leased in South Dakota. In addition, non-pregnant females which have had at least 1 calf in their lifetime will be restricted from sale for breeding purposes, according to a statement issued by South Dakota officials.

Trichomoniasis is a venereal disease of breeding cattle, which spreads through the breeding process and poses no risks or concerns for feeding or grazing cattle. The disease does not affect the health of the animal or the food supply. It can, however, seriously affect the reproductive efficiency of the breeding herd.

State officials report 35 newly affected herds in South Dakota in the past 6 months. Various cattle industry groups and producers had encouraged the Animal Industry Board to put control measures in place.

The rules take effect on June 1, 2005.

New rules for cattle, bison

Cattle and bison entering the state will be required to undergo new testing requirements for bovine tuberculosis beginning June 1 according to information released by the Indiana State Board of Animal Health Friday.

Testing will be conducted based on an animal’s place of origin and is being implemented in response to a reemergence of tuberculosis in cattle in several states. Three states — New Mexico, Texas and California — have lost their TB- free status within the last three years, although California recently regained free status.

“That tells me that Indiana needs to be proactive in protecting our growing dairy industry in a very uncertain climate,” explained Indiana State Veterinarian Bret D. Marsh, DVM.

Most of the new testing requirements are based upon the U.S. Department of Agriculture TB status of the regions from which the cattle originate.

Additional testing is required of sexually intact female dairy animals, including crossbreeds, regardless of their state/zone of origin.

The rule exempts from testing cattle originating from TB-accredited herds, as well as those moving under a BOAH-approved commuter herd agreement. Cattle moving directly to slaughter in Indiana, or through only one approved livestock facility, are also exempt from testing.

“These new requirements will provide Hoosier producers an opportunity to have confidence in the health of the cattle and bison entering the state. We need assurance that the nation’s tuberculosis surveillance efforts are reliable and on target,” Marsh said.

“We hope the additional dairy testing won’t be a permanent change, however we feel it’s prudent in our current environment.”

What it is...

Monday, May 09, 2005

Celebrating Things Bovine

If you've not seen it before, Crazy For Cows is a fun website for admirers of all that's bovine.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Utah State Fair

Utah State Fair
September 8, 9 & 10, 2005
For more information please contact:
Patricia Sorenson
PDCA Promotions Manager

Friday, May 06, 2005

On the way to the PDCA...

Ordering details for PDCA members will be in the upcoming
Summer 2005 PDCA Record.

PDCA Committee Chairs

Arbitration Committee
Stan Cass - Chair

Classification Committee
Mark Muir - Chair

Genetics Committee
Gabriella Nanci - Chair

Nominating Committee

Ginny Miles - Chair

Oversight & Goals Committee

Jack Goodman - Chair

Rules Committee

Don Piehota - Chair

Show Committee

Jane Patton - Chair

Seniors Club
Mark Davis - Chair

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Cowboy Nicknames

Have Some Fun!

Get your cowboy nickname here.

Courtesy of the Calgary Stampede.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

McHenry Highland Festival 4th Dexter Cattle Show

Saturday, June 4, 2005 - Garrett County Fairgrounds in Western Maryland

The 4th Dexter Cattle Show, will be held in conjunction with and co-sponsored by the McHenry Highland Festival, at the Garrett County Fairgrounds in Western Maryland on Saturday, June 4, 2005.

Registered stock with Maryland or Interstate Health certification could arrive at the fairgrounds on Friday, June 3 or Saturday morning. Judging begins at 2 p.m., including classes for heifers through two-year old bulls.

Our “tidy little cows” were visited by 5,000 plus festival attendees during last year’s show. For advance tickets or cattle exhibitor tickets (2 festival tickets provided for each exhibitor), contact:

Tom Donaldson
Rt 1 Box 2583
Horse Shoe Run, WV 26716
304-735-3102, or 240-321-1312

Ceud mille Failte! (a hundred thousand welcomes!)

Monday, May 02, 2005

May is National Hamburger Month

Americans love to fire up the grill for almost any occasion, from backyard barbecues to tailgating parties. No matter what the grilling occasion, burgers are the most frequently chosen fare. In fact, hamburger is the most popular food for the grill. So for National Hamburger Month, let’s celebrate this timeless masterpiece.

One out of every five times Americans fire up the grill, it’s to cook a hamburger, according to NPD National Eating Trends Research, 2003. But the real question is how to top that perfectly grilled burger. Here are just a few suggestions from the Nebraska Beef Council:

Blue Moon: Crumbled blue cheese, sautéed mushrooms, lettuce leaves and sliced tomatoes; serve on an onion bun.

Greek Style:
Crumbled herbed feta cheese, sliced black olives and sliced onions; serve in a pita bread pocket.

Mozzarella cheese, roasted red bell peppers, and mayonnaise mixed with basil pesto; serve on focaccia bread.

For more great topping suggestions, contact the Nebraska Beef Council at 800-421-5326 to request the recipe brochure, “101 Burger Builders.”

This brochure will make America’s favorite hamburgers a thrilling event every time. Simple or inventive, nothings beats a good burger.

By Nebraska Beef Council

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Where Dexter Cows Come Home

If you've stopped by the PDCA Web Site recently you may have noticed that the PDCA Webmaster has been busy doing some interior decorating. Rebecca has added some fresh paint and new carpeting providing a great new look for PDCA members and all the new visitors that may come by as a result of the PDCA's new internet marketing.

Another added feature that you might notice on the bottom of the page is that our PDCA Webmaster is in the process of installing paypal for those members that prefer the convenience of paying online. In the future PDCA breeders will be able to pay their dues, pay for registrations and transfers, buy classified ads, shop for books and PDCA merchandise, all from their computers if they wish.

Your Dexter Cattle Association is moovin forward for Dexters past, present, and future...

PDCA - One Google