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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. 

Obama Lets His People Go

Feb 27, 2013

Obama lets his people go
While we’re being glum, let’s consider this New York Times account of the Administration’s decisionto release detained illegal immigrants.

First, we wonder if we could get a few of those guys hired to grub mesquite.

But, note, also, the part in there about the Jamaican who’s been in a detention center for 3 years. No, I said, "3 years." While he fights deportation. How much does that cost? How come a guy convicted of child abuse is allowed to stay here after the first conviction?

It’s no secret our immigration policies need work. To that end, President Obama says he will meet with Republican leaders hoping to craft new, bipartisan, legislation.

Good luck with that, guys.
Meanwhile, alarge coalition of groups representing agriculture, are begging for some sort of workable guest workable program. To quote from Mr. Brown’s comments:

We are focused on five major themes: border security; a very simple improvement to the E-verify system as an alternative to a national identity card; clarity in anti-discrimination laws; an occupational visa category that our industry can use that could be tied to local or regional employment; and, options to effectively address the 11 million undocumented workers in the shadows of our economy.

To date much of the discussion has focused on the need to retain highly skilled workers such as scientists and engineers, and the need for additional temporary agricultural workers. These are important objectives, but they do not meet the needs of our industry sector. Our workers are neither highly skilled nor temporary. We are manufacturers, wanting a stable and permanent workforce that can help sustain the rural communities where we do business.

Amen and amen. Just to drive home the point a little, look at this BBC video on the use of robotic cow milking machines. These dairy farmers are pointing out that nobody wants to milk cows and so they’re being forced to spend the big bucks to invest in machinery.

We don’t need to get off into public policy too much here, but if this country is going to enjoy a safety net that makes work unnecessary for survival, nobody is going to do the nasty work.

We’re not judging it right or wrong. Just factual.

There are millions of non-citizens who don’t have such safety nets. They are glad to have that nasty work to do. They are willing to risk their lives to do get the jobs you and our children don’t want.

Let them in.

A drought-buster? You had to ask?
It was a doozy of a storm in my part of Texas, but the AP correctly points out that it was no cure for the drought afflicting wheat country.

And, adds Mr. Life-ain’t-no-bed-of-roses-in-these-parts, that’s without them seeing how little snow stayed on the wheat fields. Amarillo recorded hurricane-force wind gusts during the storm, after all. Even in the relatively small area hit with the biggest totals, the snow just sort of howdied the wheat as it headed for the fence rows. We graze the wheat in these parts and this year it is more accurate to say we "grazed" the wheat." There’s nothing sticking up to stop a snow flake.

Having just driven much of Texas, let your reporter report that there is not much on any wheat—or spring crop, for that matter—field to slow the snow between Amarillo and Austin.

So, it is safe to suggest that it is going to take more than a bit of snow to fix things. Thegovernment’s assessment of soil moisture isn’t pretty. And if you scroll over to the "anomaly" section, it still looks like somebody painted most of the country’s winter wheat counties red and tan.

Mr. Pessimistic continues: On top of that the NOAA’s outlook isn’t something to make you think you’d want to go spend a lot topdressing dryland wheat.

Woe is us, I guess.

Country folk: Hoist on our own pitchforks
We read the Daily Beast so you don’t have to, and we learn that Daniel Gross finds "poetic justice" in the impact that the budget sequestration would have on red states.

Should it be "red meat" states?

This poll indicates our politics influence our eating preferences.

"Democrats view vegetarians favorably, 63-16 percent, while Republicans say the same only 38-30 percent. The divide was even starker for vegans: 48 percent of Democrats view vegans favorably while 22 percent do not; 31 percent of Republicans back vegans while another 41 percent view the animal product-abstainers unfavorably"

A note of caution, however. In this poll, Burger King outscores McDonald’s, but in the real world, McDonald’s enjoys a 50% market share and Burger King lags behind even Wendy’s.

What we need is regulation resistance
These congressfolk would like for us to file more reportsso they can get some more statistics and damn statistics to fight antibiotic use in agriculture.

But they’re growing ethanol corn aren’t they? These guys say high crop prices hurt the environment...

The good news: It’s not just you and me. Everybody’s in debt.
Beef’s biggest demand challenge is this stubborn economy and the fact that too many Americans have too few bucks to spend on good food. But it seems it’s not because we’re all caught up in setting money aside.

Please give us more animal ID
Here’s a twist for you. In the UK, it’s the auctioneers who are pushing for a database to protect against cattle larceny.

Send them a ranger
The Missourians are still trying to catch their very successful cattle thieves. We Texans should loan them our TSCRA special rustler rangers.

It all tastes fishy to us
I’m afraid that the sushi you buy may be mislabeled. Will the fraud never cease?

Moi wants to know where the horse came from
France—where they eat horse because they like it—is asking for new rules on meat origin.

California’s tax dollars at work
A group led by a philosophy major (so, Dad, what’s he going to do with that $200,000 degree?) is pushing for a vegan dining hall at another California college. Turns out the other one isn’t working too well. Too little demand. I’ll be darned.

Headlines we didn’t open, but feel free:

  • Who are you most excited to see compete on "Dancing With the Stars"?
  • Rachel McAdams, Michael Sheen Split
  • Eva Longoria on Snack Attacks

--Steve Cornett

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