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.
Life Support for the Farm Bill?
Sep 27, 2013
Perhaps Congress hasn't completely forgot about the farm bill. The House took the necessary steps yesterday to hold a vote today that would tie the farm bill passed earlier in the summer with the SNAP legislation that was inked earlier this month. And get this, Politico says the Congressional leadership plans to work over the weekend!
"Behind every good rancher is a wife who works in town." We grin every time we see someone with this T-shirt. But according to the USDA, it's true. Most farmers receive some type of off-farm income, according to USagnet. Big Picture Agriculture takes the study a little deeper with a graph of the percentage of on- and off-farm income. It's interesting to see the percentages. Where does your operation fit in the graph?
More women in agriculture--that's The Atlantic's answer to animal welfare. The food would be safer and animals would be treated more humanely if more women raised food. It's an interesting proposal, despite the author's reasoning that women would be more likely than men to name the cows or notice their personality traits, so the food supply would be safer and animals happier. We think it would be great for more women to join in agriculture, but we're not so sure we agree with The Atlantic's reasoning.
Shrinking Cattle--Good News, Bad News Scenario
While cattle producers could be cashing big fat checks this fall, it will also take some big fat checks to purchase beef. The retail side of beef is at record levels and has some analysts (and consumers) wondering, "How high is too high?" This price hike (on the producer's side of the equation, that is) might be a nice change for the short-term, but it has many concerned about cattle futures and the possibility of a big dip in demand. Beef Today has the details.
Democracy Gone Ary?
Even if you're not involved with the horse industry, this news could affect you or organizations you're a part of. The American Quarter Horse Association announced it will appeal a U.S. District Court decision that it violated antitrust laws. Two individuals sued the association for the right to register cloned horses saying that AQHA had a monopoly on the marketing of Quarter Horses. What's interesting about this case is AQHA is a member-run organization, and the membership overwhelmingly voted against registering clones. Yet, these two individuals won their right--initially--to register cloned animals. Although this is big news in the Quarter Horse world, perhaps its even larger news to private, member-run organizations. To think that two people can take certain channels of our court system and overrule the masses? Organizations: beware.
While in Salem
Grab some groceries if you're in the neighborhood. It might be as fruitful as winning the lottery. Shoppers in the Oregon town say they are finding $100 bills inside various grocery items, like a carton of eggs and a pink candle.
Not Too Quick, FDA
States say "slow down" when it comes to implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act. North Carolina Ag Commissioner says it's important for the FDA to hear from real farmers and ranchers across the country before implementation of the rule begins. But the Center for Food Safety says speed up!
The rule--voted on by Congress in 2011--is the first major change in food safety in almost 60 years and covers animal feed, import and third-party verification rules being drafted by the FDA. After all, the act is only a few years late. What's a little more time?
NCBA hails the passage of legislation that would improve federal forest management. Citing the danger to livestock during catastrophic wildfires, the legislation would allow needed fuel-reducing activities such as grazing and logging. This victory for cattlemen would be easier to celebrate if it wasn't overshadowed by a looming government shutdown. We doubt these services would be considered "essential."
Superman--No, Super Steroid
A story in Science Daily will likely get some more air time in the near future. It reports that trenbolone acetate, a product found in some implants, has been found in minute quantities in waterways. The author proposes that the steroid is excreted from livestock and eventually makes its way into the water supply via runoff. It even goes so far as to say that the steroid "hides in another form" during the day to "evade analysis and detection" and then readily grows at night. Maybe it's like Superman, and finds the proverbial phone booth at night?
If this does make the mainstream press, we should all be ready with our beef hormone facts, courtesy of AMI. One of our favorites? A 3-oz. serving of ice cream has 520 nanograms of estrogen, while a 3-oz. serving of beef raised with an implant has only 1.9 nanograms.
If your up for a challenge and want to move to South Dakota, a judge OK'd the Aberdeen beef plant's credit request to hire an investment banking firm that can pursue the sale of the plant.
Agrimoney.com takes a look at some record highs hit yesterday on the futures market.
Along the Lines of Weird
If you're into stupid criminal stories, this one might give you a grin. How did a marijuana-smoking teenager from Brooklyn get into the cattle hide business? You’ll have to read the story for the punch line.
Remember the mysterious cattle mutilations in the 60s and 70s? A new book says the government was behind it, as well as UFO sightings and other things. Hmm ...
A conniving goat thief had a "baaaaad" plan to keep his captives quiet during the heist. He duct taped the goats' mouths together so they couldn't let out the "baaaaad" news of their disappearance. Huff Post has the "baaaaaad" story.
Any saxophone-playing-ranchers out there? This guy says it's the ultimate cow calling tool.