Sep 26, 2013
If at first you don't succeed, try and try again. That's the mantra meat industry groups are touting as they filled an appeal against a district court ruling that prevented an injunction of COOL. Farm Progress and Oklahoma Farm Report offer their interpretations on the appeal, but the National Farmers Union cries foul at the appeal, saying its just another attempt to obstruct consumers' right to know. Somehow this seems far from over.
Meanwhile, a five nation beef alliance came together to show their support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. The agreement states all tariffs and market barriers must be eliminated in order to facilitate unfettered trade between the countries. Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico and the United States. We have to wonder if the other countries, especially Canada and Mexico, signed the agreement with a bit of cynicism since the COOL ruling.
King of the Farm Bill
Averting a government shutdown, with or without Obamacare funding, has taken center stage in Washington, so the farm bill is now akin to a needy orphan who has outgrown his only pair of shoes. Even though the shoes don't fit, the young lad can likely hang on a bit longer. And it appears that's what farmers and ranchers must do--hang on a bit longer. Most likely, Monday the bill will expire. But most of the programs in the bill don't officially end until December 31. We're sure Congress knows that, so simply ignoring things until they have time to address it will have to do.
Today the Huffington Post's Green blog takes a look at the King Ammendment that's included in the House and Senate versions of the farm bill. Animal rights activists are passionately against it. In a nutshell, it says states can't enact laws that place conditions on how ag goods are raised or grown if they are to be sold in other states. The amendment takes aim at many of California's animal laws related to egg laying hens, gestation crates and other things. Beef Producer presents King's side of the argument. We think this is something you might want to learn more about.
Money on the Table
The EPA and Iowa cattle feeder Brandstand Farms have come to an agreement on alleged violations of the facility's water permit. The settlement includes a $26,000 investment by the feedyard in a wetland restoration project in lieu of a straight monetary penalty. The violations are big news in Iowa because the feed yard is owned by the governor's brother.
Too Much "Help"
With the week's news being dominated by activities in Washington, we found this story from BEEF more than a little timely. It spells out how too much government involvement brought down Argentina's beef industry. And with the farm bill on the table (supposedly) this article should make cattlemen and farmers alike scratch their head a little bit.
The Pickle Over Picky Eaters
After so much serious news this week, here's a fun read from one of Huff Post's senior writers. It's not pro-vegan or pro-red meat, but it does offer a tongue-in-cheek look at how obsessive people have become with their food preferences: no gluten, no meat, or our favorite "nothing that had a mother." She counters that she would eat basically whatever she is offered, albeit might not be her favorite. Ma'am, most of us learned that lesson around the age of 4 or 5, and we're passing that on to our kids. We're glad to know it still applies in a Huffington Post writer's kitchen, at least in principle.
The Rainless Flood
It hasn't rained much in Nebraska, but some of the state is dealing with a flood from their western neighbors. The South Platte River is swelling rapidly. In fact, 150,000 gallons per second are flowing by a checkpoint. That's enough to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool every four seconds. Farmers and ranchers have had time to move livestock and equipment to higher ground, but there's one thing they can't relocate--their corn crop.
Other News Bites ...
It's National Pancake Day! ... well, some days are just better celebrated with a steak.