State Beef Council's NASCAR Race and USDA's ASF Vaccine
**For the second time, the Federation of State Beef Councils, on behalf of the Beef Checkoff, has once again partnered with the Daytona International Speedway to sponsor a NASCAR race.
The federation is sponsoring the 41st season-opening NASCAR race, called the “Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner 300.”
The event is on Saturday, February 19, one day ahead of the Daytona 500.
**USDA's Agricultural Research Service announced one of its vaccine candidates can prevent and protect against African swine fever.
Specifically, the vaccine shows effectiveness against the current Asian and European strains of the virus.
The findings also show that a commercial partner can replicate experimental-level results and prevent the spread of the virus.
The onset of immunity was revealed in approximately one-third of the swine by the second week post-vaccination, with full protection in all swine achieved by the fourth week.
**A study from USDA's Economic Research Service shows the role meatpacking plants played in the spread of COVID-19.
The ERS study found meatpacking-dependent counties observed nearly ten times more COVID-19 cases in early May of 2020, compared to other manufacturing-dependent counties.
BUT, by July, the difference completely disappeared, driven by a reduction of cases in meatpacking counties.
The study found evidence of large differences between meatpacking communities and a comparison group during the initial outbreak, which disappeared following workplace safety precautions.