Monday, July 13, 2020

Kentucky Summer Forage Tour set for Aug. 6

A local family beef farm will be the hosting site for the 2020 Western Kentucky Summer Forage Tour. Palmer Farms Beef, located in Almo, Ky. near Murray, is owned and operated by Michael and Stacie Palmer and their three children. The Palmer’s GRASS finish and retail approximately 40 head of beef cattle per year. The Palmers’ forage system is based on both cool- and warm-season annual and perennial forages with the goal of providing high quality grazing year-round. Two key forage species in their system are annual ryegrass and crabgrass, grown in rotation. Tour stops and topics will include crabgrass as forage; annual ryegrass for grazing and silage; producing and marketing high quality grass finished beef; increasing productivity with summer annual grasses and legumes; managing perennial pastures; endophyte in tall fescue, grass finishing, fencing for controlled grazing, and more. The tour will be held rain or shine from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Aug. 6, 2020, at Palmer Farms in Almo. Registration will take place at 3 p.m. with the tour beginning at 4 p.m. The cost is $10 per person at the door to cover the farm tour, a dinner and a bluegrass band. There is no cost for students. Preregistration is required and will be limited. The walking tour includes a total route length of approximately 1.5 miles. Limited transportation will be provided on a first come, first serve basis for those unable to walk the tour route. Palmer Farms is located at 2629 Hickory Grove Rd. in Almo. Registration is available online at or by contacting Carrie Tarr-Janes, University of Kentucky Master Grazing Coordinator, at or by phone at (270) 963-8351. For more information on this tour and other forage and livestock related events, visit or contact Tarr-Janes.

Friday, July 10, 2020

USDA Announces Initial Purchase of Vaccine for National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is announcing the initial purchase of vaccine for the National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank (NAVVCB). APHIS will invest $27.1 million in foot-and-mouth disease vaccine, which the Agency would use in the event of an outbreak to protect animals and help stop the spread of disease. “While we are confident we can keep foot-and-mouth disease out of the country, as we have since 1929, having access to vaccine is an important insurance policy,” said Marketing and Regulatory Programs Under Secretary Greg Ibach. “Vaccines could be an important tool in the event of an incursion of the disease in the U.S, but their use will depend on the circumstances of the incursion and require careful coordination with the affected animal industries.” Vaccination helps control the spread of infection by reducing the amount of virus shed by animals and by controlling clinical signs of illness. While an outbreak would temporarily disrupt international markets, vaccination would allow animals to move through domestic production channels. Foot-and-mouth disease is not a threat to public health or food safety. It is also not related to hand, foot, and mouth disease, which is a common childhood illness caused by a different virus. The NAVVCB is one component of a three-part program established by the 2018 Farm Bill to comprehensively support animal disease prevention and management. The new U.S.-only vaccine bank—a concept APHIS officials have long discussed with stakeholders and industry—makes a much larger number of vaccine doses available than we currently have through the North American Foot and Mouth Disease Vaccine Bank. APHIS will continue to participate in the North American Foot and Mouth Disease Vaccine Bank, and this new program adds to the nation’s level of protection against this devastating disease. In the event of an outbreak, animal health officials would decide when, where and how to use the available vaccine, based on the circumstances of the outbreak. More information about these programs is available at: