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November 2011 Archive for Out to Pasture

RSS By: Steve Cornett, Beef Today

Read the latest blog from Steve Cornett.

Turkey Mayor Tells PETA to Eat More Beef

Nov 16, 2011

The mayor of Turkey, Texas, responded to PETA's request. No, the town will not change it's name, but it would like to see people eat less turkey, but replace that with beef. Read more from today's Amarillo Globe News:

A Beef Idea for PETA

Nov 15, 2011

Let’s take up a donation to buy everybody in Turkey, Texas, a steak dinner for Thanksgiving.

It’s the PETAsses again. They may be goofy, but they sure know how to get attention. Even from those of us who know that’s all they want. But I can’t resist.

Now they’ve asked my neighbors at Turkey, Texas, to change the name of the town for a day to get free vegetarian food. I wish the Turkeyites would do it and then survey the townsfolk about how that stuff tastes. Well, I almost wish they would. I’d rather we’d buy the town a beef dinner.  Maybe offer the town a choice between vegan fare and a nice steak, just to show what a fringe group PETA represents.

I know quite a few Turkey residents. I don’t suppose there is a vegetarian in the town, and if there is I bet it’s a high school girl going through a phase.  She will soon be out of that but the PETAasses will go on trolling for more bucks from the suckeriest of the animal rights movement.

They do this stuff because they know that if they can get 100 million (to pick a number) of media impressions, 99,999,998 normal humans will recognize the gimmick as a gimmick,“consider the source” and forget it,  but that leaves two new donors and one of them may be a rich crazy cat lady who will leave her millions to this richest of crazy cat lady outfits.

Which, bucks from crazy cat ladies, is what it’s all about.

A Rustler’s Nightmare

Nov 11, 2011

The comment period is still open on animal traceability, and I’ve finally decided I’m for it. I’m all in. It has not been easy for me. I am distrustful of government programs. I would rather see it done by the industry. It could be. It won’t.

There are several reasons I think it will be worth the little bit of extra trouble and expense of individually tracking cattle. One is that it should allow the industry to do a better job of protecting ownership. I want to be required to put an EID button and a matching tattoo on every animal I own. I want it to be a requirement for me to sell cattle.

The rustlers and rascals among us would hate it.

Yes, yes, I know. Brands are all you think we need. Maybe where you live. Not where I live. I’m in Texas. You can register my brand in the adjoining county if you want to.

Jay O’Brien broached the topic during a panel at Texas Cattle Feeders Association convention a few days ago. He suggested that individual ID could serve like a Vehicle Identification Number on a vehicle. He wonders, as do I, why ag bankers aren’t pushing the concept. Here, from this morning's Amarillo Globe News, is a story with which I am a bit familiar, that offers a reason they should: Man gets 9 years for bank fraud.

By the reckoning of O’Brien and me, the Happy State Bank would still be happy if they had been able to access a national registry that showed the cattle they were loaning money against didn’t belong to the young man they were loaning money to. 

And, from earlier this week, is this one from USA Today with the same story we see every time cattle prices get high.  People steal cattle and sell them:

It would be nice if cattle thieves could still be hanged, but I don’t see that coming back.  So what’s to keep a guy from backing a gooseneck up to my pens and loading, say, $10,000 worth of springing heifers? I mean that’s a pretty nice night’s wages.

If I had a “VIN” on each of them and buyers were required to keep those numbers. I’d have more protection AND a way to know where the cattle went.

I know lots of cattlemen disagree. But I don’t understand why.

Walmart’s Choice

Nov 09, 2011

Among stories I’ve not gotten around to writing about is the sudden increase in the Choice spread. It’s hard for me to believe that one retailer’s decision could make so much difference, but the boys at Cattle-Fax say it’s probably Walmart’s decision to start featuring Choice meat.

Happily, the Wall Street Journal produced a nice piece on the matter earlier this week: Wal-Mart brings higher-quality beef to U.S. stores

Like I say, I’m hesitant to believe one retailer could have such a dramatic effect. There is also the fact that grain is expensive, meaning fewer days on feed, meaning lighter carcasses and lower grades. But it seems hard to doubt the premise that Walmart is the big factor.

Which makes you wonder, what happens if they change their minds one day.

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