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June 2013 Archive for Grazing the Net

RSS By: Greg Henderson and Friends, Beef Today

Our editors spend some time roaming the web looking for stuff cattle people and others in agriculture might find useful or entertaining. 

Payback Time for MF Global

Jun 28, 2013

If you were left with empty pockets after the MF Global collapse in 2011, here’s some good news. MF Global has agreed to pay funds still owed to customers as well as penalties totaling $100 million, Reuters reports. The CTFC is also suing Jon Corzine, says, for additional penalties and seeks to ban him from the futures industry. Let’s just hope MF Global’s bankruptcy proceedings will result in enough dough to go around.

The Final Trade

Today is the final day of trading for the Kansas City Board of Trade after the CME Group bought the KCBT last December. The closing bell will mark the end of 157 years of trading, according to the Kansas City Business Journal. Most of the pit-traders will not be making the move to Chicago, Reuters reports.

Gang of Eight Celebrates

With a strong vote of confidence, the Senate passed immigration legislation. The New York Times offers a thorough write-up on the passage, which has some pro-ag labor components, says the Denver Post. The legislation was also hailed by the National Farmers Union. But the celebration may be short-lived as those in the House say "not so quick...."

Test Tube Meat: Yummy! reports from the Farm + Tech Brainstorming Session held in New York City last week that fake meat created in a test tube may be the answer to producing more food to feed the world. Strangely, their anti-technology rhetoric is all in favor of producing "food" in a laboratory. Yuck. What more is there to say?

Rabobank: Cattle Feeding Must Recover

If you’re feeding cattle, there’s little doubt you're very familiar with the color red. Closeouts have been painful to look at for several months. And a report from Rabobank says the health of the cattle feeding segment is key for the industry to recover and rebuild. Cattle Network has the details.

Sour About Sugar

About 6,500 genetically engineered sugar beet plants were "murdered" last week in Oregon, the same state where Roundup Ready wheat was discovered. The FBI is now on the case.

Wendy's Goes to Washington

Jun 27, 2013

Among a variety of ag-related issues on the table in Washington, the Renewable Fuel Standard is up for debate, and the beef industry has some interesting allies. NCBA is chiming in, again, on the subject. And so have those in the fast food industry, according to Triple Pundit. Wendy’s and White Castle, march on!

Agri-Pulse reports that House democrats introduced the Senate version of the farm bill in hopes to find some common ground, but no one is jumping up and down with excitement.

The Senate is moving forward with an immigration bill, but the House is blasé on the legislation, according to Reuters. The impact to farm workers isn’t getting much attention, despite the best efforts of one Georgia senator.

Vilsack cites hazardous weather in farm states as reason to support climate change legislation, according to the Des Moines Register.

How About a Joint with Supper, Wilbur?

In the ultimate use of feeding byproducts to animals, reports a Washington state pig owner is feeding leftovers from medical marijuana production to his pigs. Not only do the pigs love it, but he’s smiling all the way to the bank, getting $17 a pound for their bacon!

Turkey Steak, Anyone?

If you’re working on your Fourth of July grilling menu, the folks at Jennie-O hope you’re planning on steaks and burgers—turkey steaks and burgers, that is. If your mouth is watering at the thought of an all-white-meat turkey burger patty, The Sacramento Bee has the scoop on two new turkey options available to consumers.

A Fishy Situation

A Fox News report states that, in some instances, the species of fish you order for dinner may not be that type of fish at all. According to the story, more than 90% of red snapper sold is actually a cheaper substitute. To combat that, some retailers like Whole Foods offer source-verified information on each fish sold, all the way back to a photo of the boat caption who caught it. Wonder how those EID tags work?

School Lunch Regulations Tighten, Again

If your school-aged kids have come home complaining about the cafeteria food, they’re not alone. In 2010, a federal rule limiting the calories allowed in school lunches took effect. Kids across the country complained they weren’t getting enough food. A group of high schoolers in Kansas even created a video parody of the situation. Bloomberg reports that additional rules are now in the books that take effect in 2014, and even more are on their way in 2016.




Antibiotics in the News

Jun 26, 2013

Antibiotic resistance is in the news again, but this time it’s in the ag media. A survey of records at the K-State Veterinary Diagnostic Lab shows an increase in drug resistance of Mannheimia haemolytica in not just one, but almost all antibiotics used to treat pneumonia in cattle. Despite our industry’s best scientific efforts, BRD continues to be a huge hurdle for cattlemen.

In an effort to be good stewards of animal antibiotics, producers are encouraged to use medically important antibiotics judiciously. The FDA is implementing a voluntary strategy for such, and more information on that strategy can be found here.

Veto of Ag Appropriations on the Horizon

On the heels of the farm bill defeat, the Obama administration notified lawmakers it strongly opposes the ag appropriations bill. No money for the FDA? No money for WIC and the school lunch program? Agri-Pulse has the details.


COOL Impact?

Fox News Latino reports that Canada has approved eight Mexican slaughterhouses for beef exports. The article is not clear if the latest Country of Origin Labeling ruling has anything to do with the new approvals, but it’s a clear sign that Canada plans to import Mexican beef.

A Steak by Any Other Name Would Taste as Sweet

How many times have you ordered a ribeye and had to specify "a BEEF ribeye" for your plate? That may be the new norm as the new-fangled names for meat cuts take hold in the marketplace. Beef Magazine’s Amanda Radke takes a look at the possible confusion the new "consumer friendly" names could provide.

Ever Wondered About Raising Beef in China?

The Herald Online has an interesting report about China’s beef industry.

Some Things We Find Online Just "Make You Go Hmm..."

The Grist’s review on an article in The Atlantic magazine is one of those "hmmm...." stories. It talks about fast food, Big Macs and obesity. Throw in a mention of Michael Pollan and an argument for healthier fast food, and you might have some entertaining Wednesday night reading.

Is 'Meat' a Dirty Word?

Jun 25, 2013

The good news: Taco Bell is adding more meat to its products. The bad news: It’s afraid to call it "meat." Yep, that’s right. Their new "Protein Power" menu features meat-heavy items, but according to, the burrito business is afraid the mention of "meat" would lead customers to think of the new menu items as unhealthy.

Roundup Ready Wheat — No "Oops"

Last month’s discovery of some genetically engineered wheat in Oregon has Monsanto saying "foul play." Folks at AgriMarketing say the seed company believes the plants were a result of intentional contamination. They just don’t know by whom.

No Farm Bill. What Now?

In the wake of the failed farm bill, opinions vary on the next step for Congress. Some believe the legislative body will simply extend the current bill, while Agri-Pulse reports that Senator Harry Reid is asking the House to pass a previous version of the bill that was blessed by the Senate on June 10.

Beef Checkoff Demand Study

With woes prevalent in terms of current beef demand, the Beef Board released its beef demand study. Food safety, consistent quality and price top the list that drive demand, says Oklahoma Farm Report.

Washington Buzz Words: Farm Bill, Immigration, Climate Change

In the last seven days, several big buzz words have been hot topics in Washington. Today’s version is "Climate Change," as Obama announces his plan to reduce carbon pollution. But unlike the farm bill or immigration, USA Today predicts many of the proposed regulations will bypass Congress, thanks to an Executive Order.

The Committee on What?

Some senators are asking the FDA to join in a whole host of government agencies that are analyzing the Smithfield Foods purchase. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (who knew that existed?) asked the FDA to join the party in the wake of food safety concerns in China. Food Safety News explains the senators’ concerns.



Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Huddled Masses...Or Not?

Jun 24, 2013

On the heels of the failed farm bill, the immigration debate is now bubbling to the surface. Isn’t it interesting that the Senate is confident that the "Gang of Eight’s" hard work will pass, while others, such as Fox News, predict it’s DOA in the House? Public opinion is what’s really interesting—there is a majority in favor of both sides, according to USA Today. Not much has been mentioned lately in the mainstream media about the debate and how it could affect agriculture. The bill could be voted on this afternoon.

And just for grins, here’s Politico’s take on why the farm bill failed.

Fewer to Feed and Fewer to Harvest

Friday’s Cattle On Feed report showed more shrinkage of the U.S. cattle supply. In case you missed the news roundup over the weekend, here’s a quick recap from Reuters.

As we have fewer cows, our neighbors to the North have temporarily closed an Alberta Cargill plant due to flooding in the area. Have you seen these pictures of the flooded Stampede arena and the Saddledome? Calgary Stampede officials definitely have their work cut out for them. The legendary event is still scheduled to kick off on July 5, the Los Angeles Times reports. Calf roping in waders, anyone?

Ouch, That Hurts!

In an "ouch, that hurts" kind of article, blogger Richard Eskow punishes the beef industry for selling a product that’s "too expensive" and argues with ranchers’ logical reasoning against the Death Tax. Although it may make you squirm in your seat, we found it interesting how he argues his viewpoint. Perhaps his reasoning would be a good sounding board for beef’s next marketing campaign.

GMO Debate Continues

Chipotle’s website is now labeling the products they serve that include genetically modified ingredients. Consumers may be surprised how many of the ingredients fall under this category. On a related note, a District Court judge is pushing the FDA to decide of GMOs can be considered all natural.

Sweet Comeback

For your sweet tooth, Hostess says its famed Twinkies will be back in stores in July, reports USA Today. Maybe the Beef Board could do a "grab a steak with your Twinkie" ad?


Embarrassing Farm Bill Failure

Jun 21, 2013

With a vote of 195-234, HR 1947 failed in a Republican-controlled House, CNN reports. Apparently,  conservatives said the bill spent too much on food stamps. The other side of the isle said it didn't spend enough. So, instead of accepting the bill as "not perfect" but "better than nothing" and holding out for a vigorous debate to sort out spending differences, the House decided the farm bill could wait. Who needs a farm bill anyway? Who needs one? The farmers who are praying daily the weather holds out for a good season, the young producer who only wants a chance and the single mother who can’t make ends meet and truly needs the assistance. But anyway, who needs a farm bill?

Coburn’s Bloody Mary Problem

Even though it is slicing and dicing food stamp programs, USDA still has a spending problem, according to one senator. The Washington Times reports that on Wednesday, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) sent a letter to Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack explaining just what he thinks about the department’s spending habits. Apparently, Coburn’s heartburn stems from the fact the department spent "$45,000 to help a West Virginia company market its Bloody Mary mix and sent hundreds of thousands of taxpayers’ money to help vineyards and wineries rebuild websites or start wine festivals and ‘wine trails.’" He is also worked up about cuts to food aid, but continued support of free lunches "for wealthy children in Tulsa, Okla."

Corn, Beans and Meteorites

A Minnesota farmer found a 4-billion-year-old meteorite while ridding a field of rocks before planting. The meteorite had sat in the farmer's rock pile for two years before curiosity got the best of him, reports the Star Tribune. Now that's one heavy harvest.

Did Your Congressman Support HR 1947?

Here’s a full list of votes from the Washington Post.

Cattle Futures Fall, Consumers Choose Chicken

The boards closed yesterday with the largest decline in cattle futures prices we’ve seen this week. Speculators believe consumers will opt for chicken or pork this summer due to high beef prices. Bloomberg says supermarkets may have already completed all of their buying for the Independence Day holiday and while it dropped 6% in the past four weeks, beef was still 90 cents more expensive than its closest competitor pork. They might prefer yard bird, but we're choosing beef!

Free Mowing Service

A group of cattle were found grazing in a Wichita neighborhood this morning—several miles from any farm or stockyard, reports. It is unclear how the animals made their way to the neighborhood. One reader suggests it was a cow-stork or cow-fairy.


EPA Receives Hand Slap from House Amendment

Jun 20, 2013

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) believes it is possible to wrap up work on the farm bill by the end of the day Thursday, according to The Hill. The amendment from Rick Crawford (R-Ark.) that would prohibit the EPA from disclosing the private information of farmers and ranchers passed through the House just before midnight last night. Don’t worry; the feds can’t give HSUS your address anymore...for now, anyway.

House Cuts $2 Billion in Food Stamp Funding

According to The Washington Times, the House voted 234-188 against an amendment to keep food stamp spending at its current level. Stay tuned for a White House veto.

Cow Rescued From Roof

How did it get up there? Houses must be shorter in Scotland.

U.S. Cow Herd to Shrink, Again

Lingering drought is the reason, according to USDA's hopes for rebuilding the U.S. cow herd from a 72-year low are drying up along with the pastures.

Body Builders' Best Beef

The same day we learned of a new study linking beef to obesity and diabetes, released its "Best of Beef: Top 10 Steak Cuts." Obviously, these guys don’t believe beef will make them fat. Maybe physical activity is the key after all!

Six Months in Jail for Roast Thief

The Salem News reports that a Peabody, Mass., man is in jail for six months after pleading guilty to a series of high-priced beef thefts. How sly can you be with a roast?

GMOs Win World Food Prize

Three scientists were named this year’s World Food Prize laureates: Robert Fraley of Monsanto, Mary-Dell Chilton of Syngenta and Marc Van Montagu of the Institute of Plant Biotechnology Outreach in Belgium. The winners "used science to multiply the harvest," quipped the Des Moines Register. Indeed, this news will probably cause a stir with non-GMO advocacy groups.

Quality Beef at Chicken Prices

The News Tribune in Tacoma, Wash., shares tips for finding quality beef without the high price. Things they suggest paying attention to include "the grade, the grain and the aging."

Arrests Made in Japan’s Wagyu Beef Scandal

Wagyu beef has been in the news for a few weeks. Yesterday, a Japanese farm’s managers were arrested on "suspicion of misleading customers," according to The Wall Street Journal.


Obama Likely to Kill the Farm Bill

Jun 19, 2013

USA Today reports that the White House is already threatening to veto the House version of the farm bill because the administration believes the cuts on SNAP are too deep. The White House said the food stamp program is "a cornerstone of our nation’s food assistance safety net."

Don't Feed the Bears

An Alaskan man never got this memo. While the man was camping, barbecuing and drinking beer, a large (and hungry) black bear decided to crash the party. When the man encountered the bear, he threw it a piece of meat. Bad move, according to the New York Daily News. The bear didn’t kill the man, but now the man could be charged with illegally feeding if his horror, bumps and bruises weren’t punishment enough.

Severe Storms Often Lead to 'Hardware Disease'

Tom Troxel from the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture says that tornadoes and other strong wind events can spread debris, which can "set the stage for ‘hardware disease.’" He says after a severe weather event it’s important for ranchers to cautiously inspect all the fields where their cattle are being grazed. According to Troxel, if cattle ingest the hardware it can lead to perforations in the organs that might lead to infections and scarring. Learn about the symptoms in this story from the Magnolia Reporter.

Check Your Freezer: Ground Beef Recall

National Beef Packing Co. has been forced to recall nearly 23,000 lbs. of raw ground beef products potentially contaminated by E. coli, according the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.

Find out which products are subject to recall.

The Fickle Food Stamp Debate

Learn more about the situation in this blog from Harvest Media.

Fat Is Now a Disease

According to the New York Times, the American Medical Association officially recognized obesity as a disease. The Times essentially says this is a semantic issue considering there isn’t a universally agreed upon definition of disease. Now, instead of moms prescribing more vegetables and 60 minutes of play to keep their children healthy, doctors can diagnose this disease and prescribe counseling, drugs and even surgery.

Behind the Fluffy Cows

How did all this fluffy cow business come about anyway?

Red Meat Increases Diabetes Risk

A new study from the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine shows that people who increase their red meat serving by more than a half serving a day had a 48% increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes over a four-year period, writes USA Today. The study also showed that eating more red meat was linked to increased weight gain. After some of the delicious steaks we've grilled, we'll take our chances.

A Rising Interest in Grass-Fed Beef

Learn how these ranchers have made their mark on the beef industry.

Track Your Macca’s

A new app from McDonald’s in Australia attempts to help frame their business as leaders in the farm-to-table movement, reports Time Magazine. The app, called TrackMyMacca’s (named after the Australian nickname for McDonald's), provides users with origin information of everything from beef patty to tomato slice. The app also showcases some of the farmers who grow those products for Mcdonald’s. The app’s only criticism so far? It pinpoints and records the user's exact location, time and date in order to provide accurate source information. Kind of creepy!


U.S. Live Cattle Futures Rise Thanks to High Beef Demand

Jun 18, 2013

Analysts believe Monday’s rise in the live cattle futures market at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange was in part due to a five-year high in U.S. beef exports. Monday’s exports were the highest they have been since the USDA began recording them in 2008, Business Recorder reports.

Vegetarians Calling Red Robin’s Latest Ad Disrespectful and Callous

In an ad meant to draw attention to chain’s 24 burger options, Red Robin made a snarky statement that only took 15 seconds to aggitate the vegetarian population, according to Ad Week. The line in question? "We even have a garden burger...just in case your teenage daughter is going through a phase."

Farm Bill Braces for Firing Squad

Sara Wyant of Agri-Pulse says that when the farm bill reaches the House floor for debate, possibly this evening, it will "look more like a circular firing squad, with traditional supporters lining up to attack each other in ways that could lead to defeat of the overall bill." As anticipated, the major quarrel is over farm and nutrition interest and the proposed $20.5 billion in SNAP cuts over the next decade.

Checkoff Website Gets Midlife Crisis Facelift

While it maintains its decades old slogan "Beef, it’s what’s for dinner," the new site is designed to be a better platform for engaging consumers.

Beef Production Drowned Out by Fish

The Earth Policy Institute reports that for the first time in the history of the world, fish production has topped beef production. The study reported that in 2012, fish accounted for 66 million tons of consumed protein, while 63 million tons of beef was produced that year. Something seems fishy.

$120,000 Worth of Kobe Beef Jerky Fraud

Kobe Red, a project that said it was going to make flavored jerky out of organically raised, beer-fed cattle turned out to be a hoax, Huffington Post reports. Fortunately, the online fundraising site Kickstarter backed out just in time for the more than 3,200 investors to lose nothing but pride.

Flame-Resistant Cattle?

Early this week in Pennsylvania, 14 head of steers and pet cattle survived as the barn they were kept in literally burned to the ground. Would those fluffy cows we’ve been seeing everywhere been able to survive?

A Breath of Farm Fresh Air

The Peterson Brothers, who you remember from their first YouTube video "I’m farming and I grow it," are at it again with "A Breath of Farm Fresh Air." The brothers, raised on a cattle and corn farm in Kansas, channel Will Smith from "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air" in their latest muse.

Bank Deposits that Moo

A new type of banking has made its way to Zimbabwe. Called a "Cattle Bank," this institution was designed for cattle to be used as collateral on cash loans. For many in the rural country in southern Africa, it’s the first time they’ve ever had the option of banking. Owners are able to leave their cattle in the bank for as long as they’d like and they are able to withdraw cash equal to the value of the cattle they have in the bank. An executive for the bank says this is a great option for many that need cash but aren’t willing to sell their cattle. While they are able to accrue interest, instead of checking fees do they have hay fees?

Forest Service Uses Cattle to Heal Mined Lands in Colorado

If effective, this system will become a model for restoration throughout the country.



Farm Bill 'Unfriendly to Competition'

Jun 17, 2013

Sometimes, you have to wonder what’s in the water in the Northern Plains. Here’s a story from Casper that quotes everybody in the beef business except people who think they're in the beef business. They, in general, lament the farm bill's failure to outlaw forward contracts. We’d heard that issue was dead in D.C., and apparently that’s exactly the problem these folks have.

New King of Beef?

Argentina abdicated the throne. So who is the next king of beef exporters?

Who, Us? 'An Industry that Thrives on Ignorance?'

You'd be well advised to save your free story chits on this New York Times editorial. Like too many of their editorial team efforts, it is all heat and no light. They say all CAFO information should be public because CAFOs thrive on ignorance.

A Voice for the Trabajadores

Most of the immigration commentary we see on our daily rounds comes from folks who spent too much time in college and offices. Baxter Black, on the other hand, hits it right in the middle. He should get serious more often.

A View from the UnCOOL Side of the Border

The Western Producer explains how the government and producers there view USDA’s new COOL regulations.


Know More; Eat More

That, anyhow, is the tenor of this report. If Europeans knew more about their meat, they'd buy more of it.

Speaking of Meat Ignorance...

The Washington Post has a primer on buying beef. Maybe they should share it with Europe.

Des Moines Register: No Free Lunch for Farmers

The paper's editorial page says requiring conservation programs to justify federal subsidies just makes sense.

Immigration's 'Christmas Tree'

If you're a foreign ski instructor or among some other senator’s favorite donors, the Senate immigration bill has a gift for you, says USA Today.

Senate’s Chicken Language Lays an Egg

The Daily Caller thinks the gummit should keep its bill out of the fowl business.

Organics: Yes or No?

Wall Street Journal has a couple of "experts" expounding on whether organic foods are safer or healthier or better or something else that science hasn't been able to demonstrate.


Gene Patents and Beef's Future

Jun 14, 2013

Yesterday’s SCOTUS ruling applies specifically to human genes, but patents are a crucial part of the cattle genetics progress as well. Surely, some enterprising ag reporter will follow up on this before Monday. Science Insider reports.

Meanwhile, Beef Magazine has a good piece on the Meat Animal Research Center's release of across-breed EPDs.

Boehner and Lucas on the Farm Bill

Fox News reports that Speaker Boehner will support a farm bill.

Ron Hays has a good interview with the chairman of the House ag committee, in which he vows to fight farm bill amendments that "try to tell rural America how to farm."

WalMart Tries to Get More Local

Food Business News says WalMart wants to offer more regional products.

ABC Will Fight BPI

The TV network that about killed the "pink slime" company says it will continue to fight a defamation suit. Sioux City Journal reports.

Pig Bellyache: Do GMOs Cause It?

This report says maybe and maybe not. More research needed.

Horse Slaughter

Parts of Congress are, again, of a mind to dictate an end to horse slaughter. Food Safety News reports.

Oregon's Water War

While many of you are worrying about too much water, westerners continue to fight over who gets how much of a crucial resource.

From the Denver Post

From the Washington Post

Now It’s Which Comes Last? The Chicken or the Egg?

First it's test tube meat, now it's chickenless eggs, according to this NPR story.

Corn Moving North

The Wall Street Journal reports on the trend toward corn replacing wheat in our northern climes.

NCBA's Weekly Update

The Association's wrap-up of the news.

PETA's Nekkid Beauty Queens

It is only our professional and very non-prurient interest in the tactics of the animal rights movement that forces us to stoop to including pictures like this. If the CBB would find a bunch of unclothed beef-eater beauty queens, we'd be equally interested.

Party Poopers: The T-rex Is No More

USA Today reports the nine-patty treat is axed as an oh-so-politically correct spokesperson intones against eating so much at one sitting.

Maybe Minerals Aren't So Complicated After All

AgWeb has a piece making it sound like most of us worry too much.

Whatever It Takes

The Memphis paper reports on a county commission apparently willing to spend upwards of a million to stop a CAFO. Their tax dollars at work.

Manure Spill

All the rain apparently caught this outfit unprepared.

The Weight of the World

This prominent cook says it is the calling of the chefs of the world to lead us into a healthier, more "sustainable" future. Such a burden.

A Cool McDonalds Ad

These guys do such a good job of selling stuff. It's too bad they'd just as soon sell fowl as beef.

A Very Bad Day: Impaled on His Chain Saw

Pravda is proving a great source of oddity stuff, obviously translated not very well from the foreign. Anyhow, this would be an accident to avoid if you can.

Rural Population Decline

Now, even the old people don't want to stay around, the Associated Press reports.

Note to Ag Bankers: Plan for Hard Times

We're not sure our banker needs this advice, but the the Wichita Eagle reports that regulators say the money changers shouldn't be too easy with the easy money. Low interest and increased competition are tempting many to seek other avenues of revenue.


The G-8 Sticks 8 Noses Into Antibiotic Resistance

Jun 13, 2013

The G-8's science ministers have turned their ears to the relationship of antibiotic resistance and animal agriculture—worrying about the various aspects from the need for new, efficacious, drugs to the impact of current practices on resistance in both animal and human drugs. Global Meat News reports.

Separately the head bossman at the OIE suggests that he expects that group to disallow the prophylactic use of antibiotics in agriculture.

Fine. We Like It. Now, What’s Up with Paris?

We're not sure if this poll indicates widespread support for THE bill or for ANY bill that will get the issue out of the news so we can get back to the important news. But Politico thinks it's significant.

Not that Politico (or much of anybody else) thinks the story will go away soon. It's that House, again.

A Flash Weather Future?

The Midwest's wet spring after last year’s dry summer has the climate changers suggesting that's how it will be from now on, NPR reports. Always too hot or too cold or too dry or too wet. Sounds like a typical week in our part of Texas.

The All-Beef T-Rex Burger.

Now, we're talking. Wendy's has finally figured out that you don't need no stinkin' bacon to make a great hamburger. You just need more hamburger. Like nine patties.

Schmallenberg Virus (SBV)

The livestock business does not need a new virus and we don't need a new impossible-to-spell word to write about. But here's the bad news from Wyoming.

Kalbi Flank Steak for Father’s Day

We'll take more steak in our steak, thank you, but this PBS suggestion sounds like it might be quite tasty and probably adequate for sissier dads. Anyhow, it’s nice to see PBS saying something nice about beef. Keep those pledges coming.

Let Us Now Consider the Canine Person

Yale will host a most curious conference this winter as part of its "Nonhuman rights project." The host groups will include the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, the Nonhuman Rights Project, the Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics, the Yale Animal Ethics Group and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. (Not really. We were just kidding about NCBA. They weren't invited. But the others are real groups of people who think they have a cause and acronym that will support them.)

We Grazers try not to waste your time with a lot of verbiage on this site, but consider this peculiar passage from the Nonhuman Rights website:

Special consideration will be given to discussions of nonhuman animal personhood, both in terms of understanding the history, science, and philosophy behind personhood, and ways to protect animal interests through the establishment of legal precedents and by increasing public awareness.

By the close of the conference, attendees will have gained an enhanced understanding of the neurological, cognitive, and behavioral underpinnings of personhood and those traits required for such consideration; personhood theory; the history of personhood consideration and status (both in terms of philosophical and legal conceptions); and the legal hurdles and requirements for granting personhood status outside of the human species.

Whoa. Wait. Did somebody just say, "personhood status outside of the human species?" How do we connect all those words together in that order? Very mysterious.

It makes Humanewatch nervous, too.


Good luck on collecting this, but It’s always nice to see a crooked trader take a ding.

A Worse Crop, but Not That Much Worse

We love the way this UPI reporter dumbs it down for us on yesterday’s WASDE report. And we love the fact that we can still hope to see some moderation in feed prices.

Ethanol Editorial. We Have No Comment.

We didn't write this. No cow person of our acquaintance wrote it. Don’t blame us. We just report. It’s those guys at the Heritage Foundation.

Silage Calculator

Lots of us—all caught up in flash weather and such—will be buying and selling new types of fodder this year. AgriNews has some help on figuring the value of silage.

TB-Free SD Says the Cow Was from Texas

The Stock Exchange News reports.

More Wolves for the Southwest

What Fish and Wildlife giveth, Fish and Wildlife taketh away. Having proposed to delist one species of wolf, they now propose to increase the range of another. USA Today has one of the stories.

High Country News reports these cows are enjoying their personhood status by tromping seeds into the ground on reclamation sites.



Can Beef Prices Be Too High?

Jun 12, 2013

Have you head that beef prices are too high? They are. You should consider pig or chicken meat for your grilling needs. That's the message we get in story after story. How can that be good for demand?

This piece from NPR is one example.

And apparently, the fallout of these high prices is already occurring.

In Indianapolis

And in Massachusetts

Argentine Farmers Strike

Say what you will about the U.S. government's tendency to impede commerce, we are better off than most countries. In Argentina, they're blessed with a control-freak government that manages, year after year, regime after regime, to always find new rules to keep agriculture from taking full advantage of the munificene afforded the country by nature. MercoPress reports.

'Bad Kitchen Habits'

Herewith, the conundrum faced in this attempt to create the perfect food safety some expect. Most consumers (the poll cited by this lawyer's site is from Britain, but who doubts Americans are just as bad) do a poor job of being the final link in the food safety chain—and any chain is no stronger than the weakest link, you'll recall. So when we foolish, careless people get the bellyache, is it our fault for being idiots, or the system's fault for not producing idiot-safe food?

Immigration Bill Clears a Hurdle

So the Senate's bill "cleared a hurdle" yesterday, and as usual, you need to read stories from several sources to get the whole gist. Was it always thus? Anyhow, it sounds like this thing still has lots of border fences to cross before it becomes law.

Fox News
The New York Times
The Washington Post

More from the Internet Range

Again, We're Preaching Sunscreen

New study, same as the old studies. Might save your life. Sure will help your looks.

Might Have to Put Up a New Fence

If the cattle business doesn't work out, we suppose we could always try our hand at raising another kind of bull.

Bird-Friendly Beef?

Grouse and beef seems like a good combination to us. And they say cattle production is bad for the environment.

An Argument for Cow Insurance

We understand the frustration.

Things That Leave Us Wondering....

A peanut butter and bacon shake.

Does this mean we don't have to tip the pizza guy?

A Different Kind of Magic Kingdom

Seems like a worthy wish to us.


Adapting to Change We Don't Believe In

Jun 11, 2013

This Grist writer has our number. USDA is leading us into the era of climate change even though poll after poll (and conversation after conversation, judging by our farmer friends) says most us don't think it's happening.

You Don't 'Need' Help. You Just Want It.

You can read whatever you want to about the immigration bill. Our interest, of course, is in agriculture's need for guest worker labor. This guy from National Review says we don't need labor at all. We just "want" it. He says that's science.

The other coverage is about the chances of the thing making it out of Congress in one form or another.

CBS News

ABC News

Farm Bill: 'Late and Lame'

The farm bill means different things to different people. To Grist, it's too bad the locavores and fruit farmers get short shrift.

To NCBA, it's good to see progress without a lot of infringement on rights.

To us at GTN, it's a good excuse to offer cattlemen a YouTube video illustrating a smart dog's way of dealing with "treats" from the government.

And, to more general media, it's mostly a political story.



Bloomberg business

Big Chicken

JBS, already wearing the biggest hat in beef, has donned the biggest overalls in the chicken industry, as well, MercoPress reports.

More UnCOOL Retaliation

More publications are weighing on the possibility of a trade tiff within NAFTA.

International Business Times

The Santa Fe New Mexican

More from the Internet Range

Trent Loos Says We Let Him Down on the Ag-gag Movement

The popular columnist and radio commentator says the ag media got it all wrong and that helped opponents define the debate.

Australia Sets Another Export Record

Global Meat News reports.

Donut Sandwiches

A glazed sloppy joe? Somehow, we don't think Mark Bittman will approve.

CSPI Gets It Right?

Buy Beelzebub a parka before the big freeze. CSPI is right on this issue.

The New York Times Explains Global Not-Warming

The New York Times finds several experts to explain why global warming seems to have quit warming the globe.

Range Conditions

Most folks are having a much greener summer than they did last year.

This Story Isn't About Cattle or Beef

But we just can't quit reading it.

A P.S. on that Dry-Cooked Steak

We promised last week to try Chef Michael Mina’s recipe for dry-cooking a porterhouse and report back. We tried it. It was good, but no contest with a regular old mesquite-grilled T-bone.




Canada Bites Back on COOL

Jun 10, 2013

No surprise here, but cattle, beef and sundry other "bovine" products are prominent on the list of stuff Canada wants to put retaliatory tariffs on. Mexico, the other big trading partner affronted by the rule, is still to weigh in.

We find stories in four different publications:

The Canadian government statement of last week

A concern about a trade war, as reported by Industry Week

More concern, this time from NASDAQ

Ron Hayes has an interview explaining why all the fuss

But It Feels Sooo Good

There are plenty of editorials on the web about how good it feels to have mandatory labeling. Here’s one from Casper.

Gang Blame

They’re going to talk a lot about immigration the new few days in D.C., and we hope this Denver Post prose isn’t so purple its underlying theme is missed. Let the market, not government quotas, determine how many guest workers are needed.

Five Guys Opens in England. Serves England Cow.

Anybody who has tried a European burger--even one from a chain with an American name--knows there's something not quite right. Five Guys is apparently in the loop on that, according to The Independent.

USDA's Climate Change Initiative

USDA has given a lot of attention the climate change issue, and last week unveiled its plan. It's quite the audacious set of goals and worthy of our attention.

Forbes' Anti-Horse Diatribe


Why Forbes would devote this much space to a lopsided argument supporting horse starvation over slaughter is beyond us, but it probably goes to show you how deep sentiments run in some sectors.

In Missouri, the Public Agrees with Forbes.

At least, if you trust this poll from the Humane Society folks.

More from Around the Net


Tips for Hay-Making Negotiations

It's a tricky business, hiring somebody else to make your hay.

Cow Candy

This KSU researcher has a new supplement he says will enhance cattle health.

Delisting Wolves?

Fish and Wildlife wants to delist the grey wolf and turn management back to the states. Public comments are welcome.

Beware 'Aggressive Foreign Cattle'


In England, every list pasture has fence stiles and footpaths providing public access. It's a charming tradition allowing everybody access to everybody else's land. But danger lurks in the form of Brit-hating European stock.

Electric Manure


The L.A. Times reports on another attempt to use manure to generate electricity. More power, if you'll pardon the pun, to them. When you spend a lot time grazing the web, you realize that CAFO waste is big part of the anti-beef argument. If it takes subsidies to turn manure into energy, CAFOs should set about finding the money.

Anthrax Has Returned to Minnesota.

Here's a report from Minnesota Public Radio.

A Cautionary Headline from The Oregonian

For certain folks...and you (and your spouses) know who you are: Weed-killing propane torch sparks house fire west of Wilsonville.




Record Replacement Prices in Iowa

Jun 07, 2013

Both bulls and open heifers set new records at the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association bull test sales this year, according to the High Plains/Midwest Ag Journal.

Tenderized Beef: A Brush Too Broad

Even AMI agrees that some labels were needed, but says that USDA's proposed rules goes too far.

AMI's statement

USA Today's take

Dan Flynn's usual good story

No P****t Please, but Most of Texas Gets a CRP Pass

USDA has opened 192 counties in the thirsty state to haying and grazing of CRP acres. But, since p****t is a dirty word in Washington these days, you can’t pay the landowner a p****t.

Cow's Cool Antibodies

You’ll need to be smarter than us to read this report from The simplified version suggests "thinking of these long CDRs as a probe on a thin extended scaffold that can fit narrow crevices to reach and bind unique hidden pathogen determinants that ordinary antibodies cannot." But it says human doctors may be able to learn about immune systems from cattle. We think.

PETA's Big Brother Offer

The Brisbane paper reports PETA has offered to furnish close circuit TV systems on the ships used to export livestock. Not our business, but we’d probably promise to get back to them on that.

Russia's Beef Goals

Russia wants to feed itself, so they’re buying cows in the U.S., says the Moscow Times.

Quick Hits from the Net

How to Stop a CAFO

Here's a workshop in Indiana.

Where the Cows Went

NPR has a piece on why Texas is become the Lone Cow state.

• And NPR has a story on the farm-retail price spread. Sort of.

• And NPR has a story on how much water you waste when you waste food.

Whoppers on Wheels

Burger King is adding Denver to its delivery towns, according to

Story Ideas We Wish We Had Thought Of: The Michigan Burger Tour

Mlive's guy has a good thing going.


A Beef Boom Looms in China

Jun 06, 2013

Bloomberg reports on the FAO’s estimate of 7% annual growth in Chinese beef imports.

A Critical Day for the Farm Bill

This morning’s cloture vote will offer signals on whether the Senate ag committee has its act together.

Read Politico's report
Oklahoma Farm Report shares a letter to Sen. Harry Reid

Let’s Try Steak Like This

Chef Michael Mina has a dry cooking method for a porterhouse that makes our mouths water. We’ll give it a run today and let you know tomorrow what we think.

Purple Prose Watch: HumaneWatch vs. Mike Callicrate

HumaneWatch has a tendency to get a bit ad hominem every now and then.

Are the Obama Folk Dragging Their Feet on Horse Slaughter?

The Washington Post reports that the owners of the proposed Roswell horse plant say the administration is throwing up roadblocks they didn’t have for cattle harvest.


Chesapeake Bay Agreement

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation and EPA strike a deal that doesn’t much suit the environmental activists, the Washington Post says.

Animal Drug User Fee

NCBA says this little-followed bill is a good thing for Congress to have done.


This MSN writer doesn’t seem to much understand the implications of mandatory labeling, but he’s probably pretty typical of your average consumer. So we should probably listen up.

Quick-Hit Updates

OMG! The BLM Mustang Program Isn’t Well Managed!

Breaking news from the Denver Post

Immigration Reform: The Gang of 8-X

ABC News offers this update

Secretary Vilsack on the Importance of Preparing for Climate Change

He says we need to, according to the Des Moines Register

Anthrax Confirmed in North Dakota

The Bismarck Tribune is on the case



Invest in Sick Cattle

Jun 05, 2013

Forget human medicine; invest some of your stock portfolio in animal health companies. That’s what suggests, saying investing in animal health might be a sound strategy. After all, those of us in the industry know the need for animal health products, and animal health doesn’t have to deal with the repercussions of Obamacare.

Tractor Chaser?

According to St. Louis Business Journal, Pacific Northwest wheat farmers are working on damage control, trying to preserve their export market while "tractor chasing" attorneys file suit against Monsanto on behalf of a Kansas farmer for damaging the wheat market. Monsanto announced it has provided importing countries with a test for the GMO wheat, says Food Business News.

On a related note, Food Safety News reports Connecticut is now the first to label any GMO food.

An Order of Beef with Your Books

Amazon has extended its grocery business to Los Angeles, reports the Wall Street Journal. The online retailer said even though food is a low-margin business, it could bundle groceries with electronics, Reuters reports. Hmm...I’ll take a box of Choice ribeyes with a Kindle on the side.

Beef on the Cheap?

There’s a trend for restaurants to appeal to a frugal food audience, reports USA Today. Taco Bell, Dairy Queen and other fast food is trying to capitalize on bargain shoppers. Now it appears Pizza Hut and Olive Garden want in on the deal too.

Can’t Leave Out the Farm Bill and Immigration

The Gang of Eight-plus-One had this to say about immigration, Politico reports.

And some are weary of a farm bill rule regarding the Farm Credit System, while the Oklakhoma Farm Report says others remain optimistic.

Porky Presents?

Hung up on what to get Dad for Father’s Day? Oscar Mayer has this suggestion, according to Advertising Age.

Show-Me Heifers Disappoint

Jun 04, 2013

Missouri’s "show-me-select" bred heifers have been a leading indicator of the breeding stock market for years, and this year the indications were not good, according to Mizzou Extension.

COOL: Don’t Expect Much

Oklahoma Farm Report talked with KSU economist Dr. Glynn Tonsor of K-State, who says USDA’s new COOL regulations, which demand, more information from producers at what will likely be significant cost to the beef industry, will not improve beef demand.

CAFO’s "Wild West"

FairWarned, the self-described "investigative journalism" service, has managed a comprehensive—about 5,000 words—story on confined animal operations with what looks like two quotes taken from industry sources. Warned, perhaps, but fair?

Meat Allergy and the Lone Star Tick

This daily web surfing teaches even old guys stuff they never knew. It turns out that there is such a thing as a "meat allergy" and Science Magazine says the lone star tick is to blame.

PETA Offers TV Monitors on Cattle Ships

Some of this stuff we offer up only because we figure you should keep your eyes on the leading edge of the cattle haters’ movement. This particular piece is courtesy of the Brisbane Times.

Tips on Breeding Cows in Confinement

The University of Nebraska has some tips on how to do it.

Will China Change Its Mind about Ractopamine?

Food Safety News wonders if China’s new interest in Smithfield’s profitability will impact the country’s attitudes about growth enhancement products.

More Bits from the Net

Texas Farmer Dies after Killer Bee Attack

This CNN story reminds us that we should be more careful in our outdoor activities—and brush clearing on bald tractors and dozers comes quickly to mind.

"Fluffy" Cows

We’ve had cows named Bossy and cows named Spot. We never had a cow named "Fluffy," but fluffy cows are apparently an internet rage, according to The Today Show.

Another Sunscreen Reminder

Never mind skin cancer, CBS says sunscreen makes us prettier.

Here’s a Pro-Farmer Op-Ed from Des Moines:

Iowa View: Farm Bill Should Help Farmers

Sage Grouse Study

The Billings Gazette provides a link to a federal Sage Grouse study that will probably affect a lot of western ranchers for a long time.

A Pravda Headline We Had to Open

Three goats arrested in India for attacking brand new Honda




The Farm Bill: Nobody's Darling

Jun 03, 2013

The Senate leadership expects to pass something soon, but the one prediction we can make with some degree of certainty is that nobody will be happy with it, but everybody agrees it's time to do SOMEthing. A sampling of current opinion

Farm Bill Proposals That Fail the Truth Test (Washington Post)
A New Bait-and-Switch Farm Bill (AEI)
Time to Plow Ahead on 5-Year Farm Bill (Billings Gazette)
Federal Farm Bill Matters to Mississippi (Hattiesburg American)

Same Goes for the Immigration Bill

The gang of eight says they've got progress. The reporters who follow them most closely aren't so sure.

Immigration Bill Pins Big Hopes on Dairy Cows (Reuters)
Immigration Bill Faces Tough Path in Full Senate (USA Today)
Despite Early Success, Immigration Bill Faces Uncertain Path Forward (TIME)
Report Finds Tough Border Security Does Not Deter Detainees From Re-Entering The Country (
GOP Immigration Supporters Face Back-Tax Dilemma

Twister Hits the El Reno Sale Barn

Oklahoma’s latest tornado tragedy hit one of the biggest cattle auctions in the country, and it sounds like they may be out of action for several weeks. Ron Hays provides more information.

Hands-Free Whopper Holder

We’re not sure how popular this handy (make that "unhandy") contraption will be, but it is at least one effort to make the burger as easy to eat as chicken nuggets.

Cowfolk Decide SOME Government Interference Is OK

OK. We can live with big government as long as it means free money for us.

Livestock Disaster Protection Act introduced

Federal funds would help mend fences

Benevolent NM Judge Allows Rancher to Sell His Cattle

The rancher who has been charged with allowing something like 1,700 cattle to starve on his 180,000 acre ranch has been granted permission to sell them.

Tyson Buys Another Brand

They're just getting more and more invested in their reputation. Pay attention. The more they have at stake in their quality reputation, the more pressure they will put on suppliers.

One Way to Approach CAFO Challenges

These pig farmers ask their recalcitrant nay-bors to help with the expenses their court shenanigans are causing. 

A Moo Monitor

This inventor says he can tell you when your cows are in heat.

Pitts: Create-a-Crisis

We don't always agree with what Mr. Pitts says (though we always like the way he says it) but this time we're firmly in his camp. Except he forgot to mention the "packer oligarchy" crisis he helped to create.

A Fresh New Spokesman for the Vegetarian Argument

Humans develop emotion before they develop intellect. Interestingly, while we suspect this kid was trained for the bit, it's clear his brain is able to grasp and regurgitate the entire HSUS-PETA intellectual argument. It's good to know that NPR is working hard to keep the vegan debate alive. Keep those pledges coming.

More Bits from the Net

Hog Industry PR

Pork industry makes an effort to open up (Des Moines Register)

Fewer Cows=More Fires

It takes an expert to argue the obvious?

A New 'Rock Star' in the Property Rights Movement

This guy is going to the mat with local government over his right to sell the stones from his land. There is not much defense of the regulation offered in the story, but we presume they're trying to guard against some new "puppy mill" kind of industry, with mom and pop operations profiteering from inhumane treatment of their rocks.

There Goes the Neighborhood

Some Scottsbluff citizens fret about the sort of folks that will move in to run a proposed packing plant. Others worry that the plant will pay too much.

It Doesn’t Take Caviness Long to Inspect a Hot Horseshoe

They bought it. They tried it. They dropped it.


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