Studying the Prion Gene
by Laura McGinnis
While the first confirmed case of BSE on U.S. soil in December 2003 had little effect on domestic consumption, it carved into our international beef sales. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS), the United States exported only $552 million worth of beef in 2004 — down from $2.6 billion in 2002 and $3.1 billion in 2003 — a reduction due, in part, to the BSE case.
A bill that would allow ranchers to produce so-called “natural beef” cattle was heard before the House Agriculture Committee yesterday. Democratic Representative Ken Hansen introduced Senate Bill 544 which would create a marketing program allowing the state to certify Montana “natural beef” cattle. It also specifies guidelines for certifying beef as grass-fed.
Family farms aren’t the answer, either
by Lisa G. Leming
Mountain Xpress (NC)
Editor’s note: Stories of this ilk are included in the blog to inform those in our industry how agriculture is being presented to and perceived by the public.
Am I to understand correctly that one of Nathaniel [Beuer]’s justifications [“The Vegetarian Drama,” Letters, March 7] for animal slaughter is that it provides vegetable fertilizer, without which gardening is impossible? This is one of the dumber (albeit humorous) rationalizations I have seen. Vegetarian societies, monasteries, communes and religions have existed since time began (including, many believe, Eden) without the benefit of animal slaughter. It is also possible to keep animals without slaughtering them, as many people do with their pet chickens, geese, ducks, goats, pigs etc., and as I myself have done. Yes, chickens make great pets, as well as provide fertilizer and bug control.
New CEO for Cattlemen’s Beef Board
High Plains Journal
OMAHA (DTN) — The Cattlemen’s Beef Board, based in Centennial, Colo., will see a new chief executive officer at the end of April, according to a news releasefrom the board.
Tom Ramey will take over as chief executive officer of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) effective May 1, 2007, the board’s executive committee announced this week. Ramey, now CBB’s chief financial officer, will take the reins from current CEO Monte Reese, who retires April 30 after 17 years of service to the Beef Board.
University Of Minn: Proper Cattle Handling Facilities Make Things Easier
Cattle handling facilities are an essential part of any cattle operation.
Producers who want to improve cattle health as well as marketing and production (along with family and worker relations) must invest in some type of livestock handling facilities.
A well-designed handling facility can save you time and money by making the task of treating and conducting preventive health practices, pregnancy testing, implanting, controlling parasites, vaccinating, castrating and dehorning practices easier and safer to conduct.
The Presence of Estrogenic and Androgenic Substances in Effluents from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations
Environmental Protection Agency
Abstract: In February 2003 the U.S.EPA published a final rule on National Polllutant Discharge Elimination System Permit Regulation and Effluent Limitation Guidelines and Standards for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). Manure and wastewater from CAFOs have the potential to contribute pollutants such as nitrogen and phosphorus, organic matter, sediments, pathogens, heavy metals, hormones, antibiotics and ammonia to the environment. Excess nutrients in water (e.g., nitrogen and phosphorus) can result in or contribute to low levels of dissolved oxygen (anoxia), eutrophication and toxic algal blooms. The CAFO rule mainly covers the control of nutrients and bacterial contamination.
Northey reflects on Agriculture Day and Iowa’s farmers
by Bill Northey, Secretary of Agriculture for Iowa
(The following is an editorial piece from Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture. And while it is written specifically for Iowa, it is equally well suited on National Agriculture Day for any state that is economically dependent on the production of food, fiber and fuel and on those families who produce it. — ed.)
Iowa Celebrates National Agriculture Day
Agriculture impacts Iowa every day and has done so for centuries. Agriculture Day represents an opportunity for all Iowans to pause and recognize the contributions of agriculture to the Iowa economy and the good quality of life Iowans enjoy. On March 21, 2007 I celebrated my first Agriculture Day as Secretary of Agriculture. Iowa’s rich and tillable soil has made it one of the most productive areas for food production in the world. Iowa is the top producer in the country of corn, soybeans, pork and eggs.
Iowa agriculture faced many dark days in the 1980s and then again in the late 1990s. Iowans from all different sectors of the industry worked through these difficult times to expand markets overseas and to create new products for domestic consumption. Farmers and industry leaders worked tirelessly to make ethanol and biodiesel viable in the energy market and to create new markets for Iowa meat and grain products.