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.
Humpty-Dumpty on the Internet
Dec 23, 2013
We think any business marketing plan that relies on criticizing your competition has a giant crack at the foundation. That’s how we view GoodEggs.com and other startups that are taking online orders and delivering food to upscale shoppers. Some are calling this a wave of entrepreneurship and creativity, so what’s our beef? Mostly that these startups cater to the stuffy, high-income crowd, and they make unsubstantiated claims that their products are better for consumer health, farmworkers, livestock and the environment. All of which is simply hogwash. All the King’s horses and all the King’s men can’t provide solid evidence to any of those claims.
Mad Cow, 10 Years Later
America’s beef industry dodged a bullet 10 years ago today. This is the anniversary of the "cow that stole Christmas," the first cow in the United States that tested positive for BSE – mad cow disease. Beef exports dropped to near zero in the aftermath, but American consumers largely trusted what the feds were saying, that the "fire wall" of safeguards worked, that our food supply was safe. While that was true then, consumers have changed in 10 years. Their trust has eroded. Think pink slime. Have we taken steps to improve the system? Not so much. Our animal tracking system is still woefully inadequate.
Forbes Calls Out the Luddites
That Steve Forbes, editor-in-chief of Forbes magazine, is pro-business is not a revelation. But who knew he was pro-agriculture, too? Writing in the Houston Chronicle, Forbes touts American agriculture and the technology that sustains it. He also criticized the European activists who have "exported their Luddite views and implemented bans preventing the planting of bioengineered crops in all but four African nations." Finally, he offers this: "Agriculture is where an ecosystem of farmers and scientists provides the highest-quality products to Americans' tables, employs millions of workers and is saving lives around the globe. It is time to take note." We couldn’t have said it better. Thanks, Steve!
Will a Bounty Work?
Pennsylvania farmers are trying to cope with a growing coyote population. One solution offered by state lawmakers is a $25 bounty on the cunning critters, and they’re willing to set aside $700,000 to pay for the program. Wildlife officials, however, say there’s little evidence that bounties provide relief from the varmints. Most of the state’s cattlemen, however, favor anything that might help protect their calves that are growing more valuable by the week.