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.
Let's Give them Ground
Feb 04, 2014
If the cattle industry is going to stay competitive, ranchers need to change the way they produce their beef. At least that's what Don Close, an economist for Rabobank, said in a recent report. He says producers are too focused on raising cattle for steak and other quality cuts of meat, when most Americans are buying burger. He adds that if the beef industry is to stay competitive, then ranchers should be raising between a third and a half of their cows for ground meat.
"Early identification of end use, and managing the choice/prime and select grade animals in a manner consistent with their best end use, is key to the U.S. cattle industry developing a long-term, sustainable future," Close says in his report.
We certainly wouldn't mind a sustainable future. If Americans want burger, then let's give them burger!
A Trade War? Not COOL.
As we count down to today's Senate vote on the farm bill, meat and livestock groups are still, unsurprisingly, upset about the mandatory country-of-origin labeling rules in the legislation. Ranchers groups from the Dakotas to Texas say they are concerned about the cost associated with the new labels, and some are already feeling the pinch. But what's more alarming is the possibility of a trade war with Mexico and Canada. If the U.S. goes through with COOL, Canadian officials are threatening retaliation in the form of tariffs on American products.
Several national meat groups expressed their concern about the COOL rules in a letter last week to the members of the House and Senate ag committees. "COOL is a broken program that has only added costs to our industries without any measurable benefit for America's livestock producers," they wrote. We couldn't have said it better ourselves.
Cattle Convention Kicks Off
The national Cattle Industry Convention kicked off today in Nashville, Tenn. More than 6,200 ranchers from across the country are expected to attend. The convention and trade show are the beef industry's largest, and feature education, entertertainment, the latest new products and lots of good people and good food. And our editors will be there to cover it. Be sure to check with Beef Today all week for the latest news from the event. No, we're not afraid of a little shameless self-promotion.
Behold, the Power of Plants
The PETA folks are at it again. This time, the group is petitioning jails in Australia to stop feeding meat to prisoners. Claire Fryer, who organized this ridiculous campaign, is convinced that forced vegetarianism will lead to more compassionate inmates. "If they're thinking about the animals' lives that they've saved, perhaps they'll be less prone to violence against other humans as well," she says. Yes, we're sure inmates who are accused of murder or assault get really broken up over their salisbury steak.