AgDay Daily Recap - March 1, 2012

March 1, 2012 04:33 AM

MARCH 1, 2012


Good morning everyone. Clinton Griffiths is on assignment at Commodity Classic. Cattle producers are on Capitol Hill to stress how over regulation is hurting their operations. During a hearing, Kansas beef producer Mark Knight expressed his concern of increased regulation on the farm and urged for what he called a more productive relationship between regulators and producers. He said regulations like EPA’s proposed Clean Water Act on cafo's only drive the costs of production up and that could ultimately run producers out of business. Capper says the carbon footprint per pound went down 16% over the last 30 years and the use of water decreased 12% in beef production. Knight told the senators increased regulation won't help beef producers, but a better business environment that continues to allow farmers and ranchers to operate.

In other news from the beef sector, Iowa senator Chuck Grassley introduced legislation Wednesday that would ban meatpacking companies from owning or feeding livestock intended for slaughter. Grassley says outlawing packers from owning livestock would make the marketplace a more-level playing field for independent livestock producers. You can get many more updates on the beef industry, including market and production information from our partners at

It's opening day at the 2012 Commodity Classic in Nashville. Much of our staff - including Clinton Griffiths - will be there later today. We hope you stop by the Farm Journal booth. Even before the doors open, organizers of the show are expecting record attendance inside the Grand Ole Opry Convention Center. Last week, pre-registrations were over 5,200 people. Commodity Classic is hosted by the Grower Associations representing corn, soy, sorghum and wheat growers.

The four grower groups conduct their annual meetings at Commodity Classic. That's where the organizations will address policy issues for the coming year. AgDay regional reporter Michelle Rook is at Commodity Classic right now. She talked with the president of the American Soybean Association.

In a push-back against animal activists, both houses of the Iowa legislature have now passed the so-called "Ag Gag Law". The law would make it a crime to shoot undercover video on a farm in the state. We've seen undercover video before. It's often used by animal rights groups to expose what they call "animal abuse". The measure says a person cannot enter a farm operation under false pretenses or lie on an employment form. Critics say the bill violates the constitution and went too far.

USDA is joining forces with the American Legion to help find jobs for Americans who served our country. The two groups signed a formal agreement. The idea is to help veterans and military service members who are exiting the military to find Ag related jobs. USDA says it will let the veterans know about programs it offers to new farmers.
The Ag Department says about six million veterans live in rural communities, which is a higher concentration than anywhere else in the country.

Bob Utterback

Trying to come-up with housing solutions in developing countries can be very challenging. For instance, what natural resources are available for construction? Are those materials sustainable? And what about geographic and climate issues? In this report from the University of Illinois Extension, Todd Gleason tells us about some architecture students who hope to come-up with real, immediate and efficient answers.

Even though the month of February is considered "Heart health" month, new research reveals you can enjoy a healthier heart all year long, if you consume lean beef. The research was conducted at Penn State University. Doctor Penny Kris-Etherton is a distinguished professor of nutrition at Penn state. She's also lead-author on the study. The researchers looked at both men and women in their 50's, which had a history of high cholesterol. Her study shows that a diet that includes lean beef every day can be just as heart-healthy as well-promoted plant-based diets. Kris-Etherton says to enjoy the health benefits, people need to eat lean cuts of beef and don't drown it in gravy and sauces. The research took five years to complete. It was paid for by the Beef Check-off.

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