‘Ark’ animal terminal coming to JFK airport

In what’s being touted as the first of its kind, John F. Kennedy International Airport will soon open a new terminal dedicated entirely to animals.
Called “The Ark,” the $48 million, 178,000-square-foot multi-purpose animal handling and air cargo facility will include a large animal departure and arrival lounge, an overnight pet resort run by Paradise 4 Paws, and an East End Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Center. Quarantine and transport services for both large and small animals will also be provided — including birds, snakes and other critters. It’s expected that The Arkwill handle at least 70,000 domestic and wild animals annually.
“For the animals who pass through The Ark, as well as the people who own them, air travel can be stressful and confusing,” Cliff Bollmann, an architect at Gensler, one of the firms designing the facility, told The Independent. “Our design team sought to create a comfortable, healthy environment for them all.”
Unlike what humans have to endure in some terminals around the world, the well-being of animals within The Ark will be a top concern. So as not to discomfort some species, transport from aircraft, terminals, or cargo areas will take place in climate-controlled vehicles. “The design allows planes to taxi directly to the building, so horses can be transported in a seamless fashion that reduces stress,” Lachlan Oldaker of Gralla Equine Architects told the Equine Chronicle. In addition, the design of the livestock transport handling system is being spearheaded by animal welfare advocate Temple Grandin.
Over the course of its planned 30-year lease in the long-empty Cargo Building 78 at JFK, The Ark will create roughly 180 full-time jobs and generate revenues estimated at $108 million for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
“ARK’s investment of $48 million into JFK will transform an airport structure that has been vacant for nearly 10 years into a world-class specialty cargo facility, and the agreement guarantees the Port Authority more than $100 million in revenue without any additional capital investment,” Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye said in a statement.
The Ark is expected to start operations at JFK Airport in 2016.

* via MNN


Abundant California rain aids rangelands, fills stock ponds

All the rain that’s fallen on California is doing wonders for rangelands, but livestock producers are still relying on supplemental feed. Much more rain will be needed for ranchers to start replacing animals that were sold off because of the drought.
RED BLUFF, Calif. — All the rain that’s fallen on Northern California in December has done wonders for rangelands, but it’s still too soon for ranchers to start planning for the end of drought conditions.

Ranchers are still supplementing feed with baled hay and other grains, even as fields and hillsides are lush and green as a result of precipitation that has approached records in some areas.

“After the years of drought we’ve had, it’s nice to actually have a fall like this,” said Josh Davy, a University of California Cooperative Extension livestock advisor here.

The abundant rains not only help the grass grow but also fill stock ponds, Davy said.

“We’ve had enough rain that there’s been some runoff and we’ve started to see these ponds fill up, which is crucial to winter grazing,” said Sunol, Calif., rancher Tim Koopmann, the California Cattlemen’s Association’s immediate past president. “At my place, we’ve had 9.3 inches of rain since the first of November.”

Three years of drought have taken their toll on forage lands throughout California, but annual grasslands have shown tremendous improvement lately, Koopmann said. The grass still has high water content, but it will gain nutritional value in a few weeks as it starts to harden, he said.

Aiding in the growth have been relatively warm temperatures, as most lower elevations have recorded “100-degree days” in which afternoon highs and nighttime lows add up to more than 100 degrees, aiding the soil, Koopmann said.

While Northern California has seen plentiful rainfall, precipitation in the Central Valley and areas south has varied, noted Mark Lacey, a CCA board member who runs cattle on several properties south of Fresno.

A property in the foothills near Visalia has received nearly 8 inches of rain this fall, while another at the south end of the valley has gotten about an inch and a half, he said.

“It’s starting to respond depending on where it’s at and how much rain it’s had,” Lacey said of the rangeland.

The rainy fall and early winter comes as cattle have been moved to lower elevations. The weather has helped fields, too, as rain has aided the emergence of a wheat crop of which 80 percent was rated good or excellent, the National Agricultural Statistics Service reported.

{Full story here}

*via Capital Press

After Sneaking It Into Her House, This Little Girl Cuddles With Her Baby Cow And It’s Adorable

Five-year-old Brennan Decker probably shouldn’t have let her baby cow into the house, but thank goodness she did, because otherwise we wouldn’t be able to witness this adorable moment:

Luckily for little Miss Brennan, once her mom saw the love between cow and girl, it was impossible to be mad.

* via BuzzFeed

19 Phrases That Have A Totally Different Meaning To Livestock People

Livestock people have a language all their own. Be honest, how many times have your friends laughed at you for talking openly about buying semen. Or better yet, had Siri correct your words because she has no idea how to spell Simmental heifer.

The show cattle, showpig, show goat, and show lamb business is full of quirky terminology that most people simply don’t understand. RHD’s experience in this sector is one of the many reasons people in the ag business enjoy working with us — we get it. You don’t have to explain to us the difference between a Yorkshire and a Duroc hog. We know.


Here are 19 words that have a totally different meaning to livestock people.


Others: A medical prescription
Us: What happens to you when your calf gets away and you don’t let go.


Others: Actor, the star of twilight.
Us: Semen distributor

The corner
Others: The place your parents used to send you as a form of punishment.
Us: The most dreaded spot in the show ring.

Others: A color
Us: Not ready to go to a show yet

Others: elections, as in republicans or democrats
Us: When the judge was friends with whoever won the show.

Sleeping in
Others: Whenever you wake up, even if it’s noon.
Us: 7:30 at the latest. You have stock to feed.

Others: A national steakhouse for fine dining.
Us: The supplier of show equipment.

Others: A place to store your drinks
Us: A place to keep your cattle in the summer to grow hair

Others: Grassy areas behind your house
Us: National Western Stock Show

Others: a form of jewelry, usually including diamonds!
Us: The place we compete

Others: A healthy lifestyle, physically active
Us: The artistry of grooming your animal for a show

Others: An area in a public restroom
Us: Where you tie your calf

Others: The town that hosts the Kentucky derby and makes baseball bats.
Us: The town that hosts the North American.

Others: Slippery
Us: No hair

Others: A tool used by women to look pretty.
Us: Where you hold your calf right before you go in the ring

After School Practice
Others: Baseball, football, drama, choir, etc.
Us: Rinsing and working our cattle.

Others: What time a movie starts
Us: An awesome magazine

Others: A scary character from a horror movie
Us: A novice

County fair:
Others: The once a year event where you ride the midway, eat fried food and go to concerts.
Us: The single most important show in the history of the universe. As in, you can win championships at every major show in the world but if you don’t win here, you’re nothing. Especially to the other showman in your county.

*via Ranch House Design, Inc.