Legendary Michigan livestock leader Harlan Ritchie died April 27. Dr. Ritchie, Distinguished Professor of Animal Science, spent his entire 47-year career at Michigan State. Livestock leaders widely regarded Dr. Ritchie as the man who led beef's transformation in composition, size and growth potential, and his influence reached around the world. In 1994, Ritchie was inducted into the Saddle and Sirloin Portrait Club, the highest honor awarded in the U.S. livestock industry.
"The combination of his intellect, vision, practical experience, yet also his kindness, humility, inclusion of everyone, and love of helping others is what set Dr. Ritchie above all others," said former student Rachel (Williams) Cutrer.
Canadian Beef Boondoggle
Insulting local beef producers is not a good business model. An announcement from Vancouver-based Earl’s restaurant chain that it planned to source all of its beef from a U.S. supplier provoked a fast and furious backlash.
The company said it tried to use Alberta beef, but there was not enough that is Certified Humane, a designation now required by Earls.
You might guess how Canadian beef producers reacted, but no one foresaw this as the trigger to a local politician’s downfall. Craig Chandler resigned from the board of the PC Party of Alberta after he posted an online comment accusing Earls of supporting terrorism because of its decision to purchase beef from Creekstone Farm, an American company that also offers halal meats for Muslim customers.
Fun stories we’ve stumbled upon while composing this week’s Grazing the Net.
Whole Foods Fiasco
In federal district court this week, Whole Foods Market won a dismissal of a lawsuit brought against the retailer by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Drovers columnist Dan Murphy writes, “Anytime PETA gets put in its place, it’s good news, of course. But when two self-righteous, self-important, self-proclaimed ‘authorities’ on animal agriculture get tangled up in an expensive, contentious court case where they’re calling each other nasty names, the result is as good as theater gets.”