Forging the Links of Cold Chain Medication Hamburger icon Direct Relief Logo Search icon Search icon Email icon Direct Relief Logo Logo: Twitter Logo: LinkedIn Logo: Instagram Logo: Tumblr Logo: Youtube

It may be 80 degrees and sunny outside Direct Relief’s Santa Barbara warehouse, but in a house-sized box inside the warehouse, it feels like a winter day. Cold wind blasts down from the industrial fans overhead. It cuts through the parkas workers don before entering Direct Relief’s cold chain room, making it feel far colder than the 4-degree Celsius reading on the temperature gauge. Inside the room are racks of shelves rising to the ceiling, filled with cartons of insulin, vaccines and some of the world’s newest and most advanced medicines. In late June 2018, Direct Relief opened its new headquarters and warehouse, and with it the new cold chain facility. The refrigerated room, funded by BD, combines a suburban home-sized 2,800 square feet of floor space with a three-story ceiling. The cold chain room has been a portal to a new world of capability for Direct Relief, greatly expanding the organization’s ability to deliver medicines that require constant refrigeration. This, in turn, has already given tens of thousands of people around the world access to lifesaving insulin for controlling diabetes, vaccines for fighting a myriad of diseases, and advanced treatments for rare genet...

Dairy cow slaughter high, but let’s put dairy-beef numbers in perspective

In some circles, increased dairy cow culling and the trend toward more dairy farmers breeding a percentage of their dairy cows and heifers to beef sires has raised concerns over the impact on U.S. beef supplies. Latest data from University of Wisconsin – River Falls ag economics professor, Brenda Boetel, and research assistant, Jared Geiser, shows the importance of dairy-beef to the total U.S. beef supply, but also puts some of those concerns to rest. Dairy animals have been a stable source of total U.S. beef production for some time, contributing to the total beef supply in three ways (in order by volume): finished steers, cull cows and finished heifers. In 2018: In 2018, total U.S. commercial beef production was 26.9 billion pounds, the highest total since 2002. While dairy-beef contributed to that higher total, the increasing size of the native beef cattle herd has had the biggest impact, and dairy-beef’s contribution to the total has been declining incrementally from the highs of 2015. As of Jan. 1, 2019, the number of U.S. beef cows were estimated at 31.77 million head, up 299,500 head from the year before. In contrast, the number of U.S. dairy cows was estimated at 9.35 m...