Grazing the Net
Greg Henderson and Friends
Our editors spend some time roaming the web looking for stuff cattle people and others in agriculture might find useful or entertaining.
PETA Says "Cease and Desist"
Aug 15, 2014
Dairy Carrie considers her "cease and desist" letter from PETA a badge of honor. And we do, too! The ruckus is over a video PETA claims was filmed in a dairy barn showing cows wading in boot-high manure. Except, there are several inconsistencies in the video, as pointed out by our heroine, Carrie Chestnut Mess, aka Dairy Carrie. You have to read her post to get the whole story, but Dairy Carrie says the cows "were telling me the truth." For instance, the cows wading in the manure look like they just walked out of a shower – except for their feet, of course. How is that possible? It's not, and thanks to Dairy Carrie, PETA was exposed.
Montana Cowboy Bucks Putin
Montana rancher Darrell Stevenson stands to benefit from Russian President Vladimir Putin's ban on U.S. and European meat.
The third-generation American cowboy also has a ranch 550 kilometers (340 miles) south of Moscow, and believes the sanctions will "stimulate the growth and development of (Russia’s) domestic herds. Within a year, a considerable amount of Russian-raised beef will be available." With the government embarking on what Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev calls a "new page" of agricultural development in the wake of tit-for-tat sanctions, the biggest challenge for Stevenson and his team is the lack of ranch knowledge and infrastructure in the country.
Cow Herd Expansion: Where and When?
Higher prices for cattle and calves should encourage ranchers to expand their herds. But it will take time – maybe six to eight years. That's according to Purdue University Ag Economics professor Chris Hurt, who expects expansion to start in the Northern Plains. It's a region where beef cow numbers did not decline over the past seven years. "We have a lot of marginal land in that area and now there is a profit incentive," Hurt says. The western Corn Belt from Minnesota to Missouri, where cow herd reductions totaled 566,000 cows, is also primed for expansion. University of Kentucky analysts claim the next cattle herd expansion will be complex for producers.
"Too often we discuss cow-calf operations as though they make decisions year-to-year, when expansion decisions take a long-term outlook."
Feral Horse Fight
Free-ranging horses near Placitas, New Mexico, are now drawing the ire of some residents who say their growing numbers are hurting the delicate desert landscape amid an ongoing drought. Horse advocates say the drought is to blame for damaging the landscape and state officials have blocked their attempts to administer a female contraceptive to help control the horse population. A round-up of some of the 125 or so horses by state authorities and a plan by federal officials to remove some from nearby federal land have raised the potential for a standoff between horse advocates and federal officials over the animals' fate.