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.
Raw Milk: Got Infection?
Dec 13, 2013
There’s a reason most of us don’t drink raw milk anymore. Mostly it’s called common sense, but it’s also because there’s this technology called pasteurization that’s been around for 100 years or so that generally eliminates the pathogens that might be hiding in milk. Still, we’ve heard some folks just insist on drinking raw milk and many even give it to their kids. Crazy, we know, which is why we’re providing this link that details research by the Minnesota Department of Health that found one in six people who drank raw milk became ill with bacterial or parasite infections.
FDA Stirs Antibiotic Debate
The Food and Drug Administration issued new guidelines on antibiotic use on farms and ranches this week, and the livestock industries mostly applauded the move. It’s a voluntary program phased in over three years with the intent of helping to limit the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. It may do that, to some extent, but the new guidelines are likely to have a limited effect. That’s because 82% of all antibiotics sold for use in animal medicine are of little or no use in human medicine, and 68% of the total volume of antibiotics sold for humans has little or no use in animal medicine, according to Dr. Richard Raymond. Pharmaceutical companies mostly climbed on board with FDA’s proposal, and some industry analysts think the new guidelines will have a minimal effect on sales.
Others criticized FDA for not going far enough and ordering an outright ban on antibiotic use. The Baltimore Sun says, "Clearly, what’s needed is a fundamental change in farm practices." The Sun uses the antibiotic issue to attack "factory farms" and other practices they likely know little about.
It’s a Deal!
It may not have been the deal everyone wanted, but Congress passed a budget plan this week that will avert another government shutdown that was looming in January. The Los Angeles Times called it "The Best Budget Deal a Polarized Congress Could Make," and acknowledged it wasn’t the long-sought "grand bargain" on spending, taxes and entitlements that would solve Washington’s long-term fiscal woes. But it is good news for livestock producers who have worried about consumer demand for pork and beef if Congress let the economic train run off the tracks again. Now, all we want for Christmas is a farm bill.
Tragic Cattle Loss in North Dakota
For two days, Dick Ressler used an ATV and an airplane to search for 40 cows and 88 calves last week. He found them frozen along the Cannonball River. Their deaths are a mystery, since the water tank, creep feeders, protein blocks and other feed was less than a half mile away. For information about helping Ressler, contact Kist Livestock Auction, Mandan, N.D. at 701-663-9573.