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.
Jan 06, 2014
Remember when Coca-Cola changed its recipe and became Classic Coke, which became a classic fail in marketing? The folks at General Mills have just launched a marketing/public relations campaign for Cheerios cereal that in our view is the total opposite of Classic Coke. In other words, it's a winner without significant changes to the product. General Mills announced they will no longer make Cheerios with GMOs, which will earn style points from the anti-GMO crowd, but it's mostly a PR move that will have little impact on anything--including General Mills' financial report. The company could just as easily have declared Cheerios as "free-range." That's because Cheerios are mostly GMO-free anyway, since the main ingredient in the product is oats. All General Mills need do to make Cheerios GMO-free is change the sourcing of cornstarch and sugar. The company conveniently neglected to change the recipe of its other cereals to become GMO-free, likely because those other products--such as Multigrain Cheerios--have primary ingredients sourced from corn, which contain GMOs.
Crop Circle Hoax
Aliens did not create the crop circle etched in a farmer's barley field in Chualar, California. And neither did D.B. Cooper. Sunday night at the Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas, Jen-Hsun Huang, the CEO of a computer graphics company, revealed it was the work of his company's marketing team. The stunt worked, drawing free media attention to the new Tegra K1 graphics chip. The farmer who owns the field, however--apparently tired of the fuss and the traffic the crop circle was drawing--had the field mowed last week.
Frigid Weather for Cows
Brrrrr!! It's cold all over cattle country, but it's just part of winter chores for ranchers. South Dakota ranchers are receiving a little more attention after the freak October blizzard killed about 20,000 cattle. This week's weather is different, but with feed, water and a place to get out of the wind, ranchers like Bob Fortune of Belvidere think there cattle will be just fine.
Texas Ranchers Hope to Rebuild
Texas ranchers would like to start rebuilding their cow herds, but Mother Nature is not cooperating in much of West Texas. The state already lost 15% of its cattle to drought--about 2 million animals--between January 2011 and January 2013. Those ranchers are now interested in rebuilding again, but it will be a slow, gradual process. The biggest hurdle remains lack of moisture as 44% of the state remains in drought.