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.
Searching for the Next Pink Slime
Feb 24, 2014
The Humane Society of the United States works every day to put you out of business. Their strategy is to paint you as a cruel steward of your animals and a greedy fat cat who annually eats at the subsidy trough.
Their latest attempt at scaremongering is to reveal the pork industry's attempt to control porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, or PEDV. The virus has killed 2 million pigs in 25 states since last April. The video shows workers making "feedback" from the intestines of dead piglets to feed to sows. HSUS calls that a pig "smoothie," and wants consumers to be outraged by such a cannibalistic practice. HSUS doesn't bother to tell consumers the rest of the story, but Dr. Richard Raymond does. He's the former undersecretary of agriculture for food safety who now writes a blog for Meatingplace.com. (Note: Many of Meatingplace.com's articles requite a log-in but membership is free and creating an account only takes a minute or two.)
Raymond says feeding intestinal lining that contains the virus to sows is "an attempt to promote immunity through exposure." That's similar to the practice of "fecal transplantation" used in human medicine, which is just what it sounds like. We think consumers should be outraged over this issue – outraged that HSUS would want the pork industry to stop a practice that seeks to control a disease that causes suffering and death. But that storyline doesn't make for a good fundraiser.
Ag Curriculum Saves Rural School
Kids at a Kansas school are begging to do farm chores. You read that right. In fact, transforming the school's curriculum to focus on agriculture saved it from closing.
The Walton 21st Century Rural Life Center – located in Walton, Kan., population 235 – is an agriculture-focused charter school for kindergarten through fourth grade.
Prior to the curriculum change in 2007, Walton school had less than 80 students, but now the enrollment is 183 with a waiting list. Located in a farming community, the school is located about 30 miles north of Wichita but only about 10% of the students live on farms. Kids may think caring for chickens and pigs during school is fun, but what about test scores? They've increased about 8% since the switch to an agriculture-based theme.
Ranch Sunsets - Updated
Last week we told you about the unofficial 7 best places in the world to view a sunset, according to the web site Green Landscapes.
We asked you to send us sunsets from your ranch which we would publish here for the world to see. Here's our updated ranch sunset slideshow.
Keep sending them, and we’ll add yours to the slideshow!
Brawley Loses Appeal to National Beef
Despite the best efforts of community leaders, local cattlemen and state representatives, National Beef still plans to close its Brawley, Calif., processing plant.
The plant will cease operations April 4 and 1,300 jobs will be lost. Officials from Imperial County, Imperial Irrigation District, city of Brawley and the local cattle industry formed an ad hoc committee to present an incentives package that they hoped would address National Beef's concerns.
The Imperial Valley Press said in an editorial, "The Valley will feel pain for a while. The unemployment numbers will rise again. The national media will write their stories and use us as a reference point. But after that, we will rebound, move forward and end up stronger than ever."