Dirty Jobs Kerfuffle

Published on: 12:59PM Feb 20, 2014

Mike Rowe didn't know it was a dirty job when he agreed to narrate a Walmart television commercial. The spot, which first aired during the Olympics opening ceremony, sparked a controversy as it touts the company’s pledge to bring manufacturing jobs back to America. That's right, the Walmart that helped drive millions of manufacturing jobs offshore says it will buy $250 billion (with a B) of U.S. made goods over the next decade and put them on its shelves. A parade of critics sees Rowe’s involvement with Walmart as hypocrisy, since his eight-year run on Discovery Channel's "Dirty Jobs With Mike Rowe" connected him with regular, hard-working Americans, many of whom have a distaste for the anti-union Walmart that offers rock-bottom wages. On the contrary, Rowe says, it's an initiative we should all support, regardless of our image of the Bentonville Behemoth. Rowe continues as an advocate for Americans who work hard, and his foundation offers scholarships to learn a trade. But, you’ll have to sign "The S.W.E.A.T. Pledge."

Beef Checkoff Support Grows

Nearly 4 out of 5 beef producers support the national $1 per head checkoff, which is the highest approval rating for the program in the past 21 years. That's according to a recent random survey of 1,225 beef and dairy producers conducted by Aspen Media & Market Research for the Cattlemen's Beef Board. The survey contains some other notable findings. For instance, 71% of producers say the checkoff contributes to the profitability of their operations. Disapproval ratings have been trending lower for a decade, now 14 points lower than January 2003.

World's Top 7 Places to Watch Sunsets

Do you take sunsets for granted? Farm and ranch folks might, since they're likely to have many more opportunities to view nature's beauty than urban dwellers. The web site Green Landscapes has identified what they believe are the 7 best places in the world to view sunsets.

Only one of those places is in the United States, and it doesn't include mountains or seashores. We like the choice, though you may have a different opinion. Send us a photo of sunset on your ranch. We'll post a sampling of the best.

USDA Shutters California Packer

Federal inspectors shut down a Hanford, Calif., slaughterhouse that supplies beef to the National School Lunch Program because of unsanitary conditions. Central Valley Meat was closed Tuesday, but USDA says "The plant's suspension will be lifted once we receive adequate assurances of corrective action."