Jul 30, 2013
Although the immigration debate isn’t top shelf news for the mainstream media this week, Agri-Pulse highlights why immigration reform is important to agriculture. They cite a White House report that states 43% of crop and livestock workers are noncitizens. Thus it’s important for these workers to have a path to citizenship, they say. We won’t take political sides, but if 43% of the ag labor force left, a fast food strike would be the least of the food industries worries.
It may be time to raid your loose change jar. The Huffington Post says a University of Kansas study shows that if McDonald’s doubled the salaries and benefits of their employees, it would raise the price of a Big Mac just 68¢. The study earned some press when fast food workers went on strike yesterday. Wonder if they'd make twice as much if they’d buy more beef?
Here’s NBC’s take.
Canadian Cattle are COOL
The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association is pulling out all the stops trying to delay COOL, says the Tulsa World. The group filed an injunction to hold off implementing the policy, which is scheduled to take effect in November.
Indiana is the latest state to jump on the ban-ag-gag bills, according to Food Safety News. The legislation, which outlawed undercover animal activists from applying for jobs in animal facilities under false pretenses, was vetoed by the Hoosier governor. Animal groups like PETA have effectively killed ag-gag laws in at least 11 states. We guess ag managers will need to add a "yes/no – member of PETA" answer blank to their job applications. After all, we’re sure any whistle-blowing-under-cover-animal-activist will flash their HSUS membership card at their job interview.
It sure sounds better than Meatless Mondays, and a group from Oregon is promoting Pro-Pasture Fridays to encourage locals to purchase pasture-raised meats one day per week. The "healthier life for animals and the economic support for farmers" go hand-in-hand, it says. Although we like the general idea of promoting local agriculture, be careful not to slide off the anti-grain-fed angle of this story.
Feedstuff’s highlights a positive solution to a growing problem – ag businesses existing harmoniously with their non-ag neighbors. Interestingly, while those in agriculture appear more concerned with following the law when it comes to their neighbors, the neighbors are more concerned with aesthetics when it comes to agriculture.
Grist offers this in today’s news: Herbicides linked to farmer depression. OK, we won’t discount their study, but there was no mention of drought, stress, commodity prices, labor struggles, stress, input prices, government regulations, stress, making ends meet, stress ... you get the picture.
Hang Him High
A crime as old as mankind ... well, not THAT old, but the crime of cattle rustling is in the news again. This time an Oklahoma district judge is involved. No, he’s not hearing the case. He IS the case. The former Lincoln County District Judge was indicted on 26 felonies for embezzlement and cattle theft.