AgDay Daily Recap - February 24, 2012

February 24, 2012 01:15 AM

FEBRUARY 24, 2012

Good morning. The debate is heating-up over a proposed law that would change the national standard for laying hens and the cages they live in. Last month, the bill found its way to the halls of congress. The law is based on a proposal written by the Humane Society of the United States and united egg producers, a trade association...and seeks to do away with conventional cage systems. Now two key leaders in congress, Ag Committee Chairman Frank Lucas and Collin Peterson of Minnesota, have resisted moving the bill into committee. Recently, Peterson talked to me about this kind push from activists.

Though the law is written for laying hens, there are concerns in the livestock sector that it will eventually lead to other animals. We have team coverage of this issue and we begin with Michelle Rook who joins us with the objections being raised by beef and pork producers.

Thanks Michelle. Agday national reporter Tyne Morgan joins us now. Tyne you just talked exclusively with the farmer who helped create this legislation. Yes I did Clinton. I went to Indiana farmer Bob Krouse's operation to ask him about this decision to cross the "traditional barrier" and work with what many in agriculture consider an activist organization. From his perspective stepping across the divide to work with HSUS may not be popular, but he feels it was necessary. Krouse says he knows this move is more expensive, and different than conventional production methods, but he feels it's a direction in which egg producers need to move. So what about the price of eggs? Are those expected to go up because of these changes? Yes. Krouse pointed out that eggs are a very price sensitive product. So, if they wanted to move in this direction, they'd need to be prepared to justify that added cost to consumers. But in the end, he says it's a production system which will make consumers comfortable with the food they're buying.
Thanks Tyne.

Meanwhile the proposed law received an endorsement this week from the American Veterinary Medical Association. The AVMA said in a statement that its executive board "Believes that the welfare of animals was the most important factor, even though they have significant concerns about the implications of establishing federal oversight..." What do you think about the hen housing issue? Send your comments to the AgDay inbox or join the conversation on Facebook.

Darren Frye

A growing number of cars on the road are hybrids - running on both gasoline and electric.
To run on electricity, you need to have additional battery power. And that technology is creating new safety concerns for firefighters. In this report from the University of Missouri, Kent Faddis shows us how Mizzou is helping. Thanks Kent. The EV Safety Training Project is funded by a grant from the department of energy. Up next, Food and Your Family.

In Food and Your Family this morning, the latest results of the annual "power of meat" study shows price leads the way in making decisions at the meat counter. The study is commissioned by the American Meat Institute and the Food Marketing Institute. It found consumers are focusing more than ever on price and value when making decisions about what to purchase. Many are pre-planning their shopping trips and buying around promotions. Chicken and beef continue to make up the largest share of meat purchases.

If you aren't a meat and eggs person for breakfast, we have some sweet news for you.
New research published in the journal steroids shows eating sweets for breakfast helps prevent gaining weight back after a diet. The study was done at Tel Aviv Univerisity and looked at nearly 200 middle-aged adults. It showed eating a breakfast high in carbs and protein curbs a hunger hormone which then reduces cravings later in the day.

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