A new Internet blog is loaded with bull - and cows, too.
Cattle producers can stay abreast of industry trends and pick up management advice through a Web resource produced by beef specialists across the country.
"The Beef Blog is a new Web-based news and information resource for beef producers, located at www.thebeefblog.com," says Ron Lemenager, Purdue University beef specialist. "The blog contains Extension-oriented beef production information from Purdue and sister institutions across the country, as well as pertinent national and international beef industry news."
Blog postings run the gamut of beef subjects, Lemenager says.
"For example, a producer who visits the Beef Blog might find information on such topics as grass tetany, pinkeye, beef exports, cattle breeds and mad cow disease," Lemenager says.
The Beef Blog is unlike many blogs, in that it more closely resembles a news service than a personal journal. But like most blogs, the Beef Blog is updated regularly and allows readers to post comments, says Phil Reid, Purdue beef distance learning coordinator.
"We produce this five days a week, Monday through Friday, and we try to have it up by each day," Reid says. "We use a news searching service every morning to find the stories. The stories are usually no more than one paragraph in length but are linked back to the original story on the Internet.
"Our big push, especially with the news stories, is immediacy. For instance, when the recent Alabama BSE case came up, we did a special blog on that event and had it out within one hour of when it hit the general news market."
Extension beef information from Purdue and other land-grant universities is posted alongside breaking industry news.
"Extension services in Montana, Kansas, North Dakota, Tennessee, Ohio and Michigan put together beef newsletters, and we post those on the Beef Blog," Lemenager says.
"We're also starting to put together what we call audiovisual fact sheets. These five- to 10-minute PowerPoint presentations will deal with some aspect of beef production, and we'll post those on the Beef Blog, as well. In time, we hope to create a library of online audiovisual tools addressing issues that producers face at various stages of the production cycle."
Audiovisual fact sheets on pinkeye and grass tetany already appear on the blog, Lemenager says.
Beef Blog visitors can receive e-mail notification of Web site updates. To be added to the blog's listserv, log onto www.thebeefblog.com and click on "Add Me to the Beef Blog's Mailing List" under "Links."