AMI, FMI Make Waves With COOL Preparations
The run-up to the scheduled implementation of country-of-origin labeling (COOL) has drawn a bit more heated rhetoric recently. Two weeks ago, the American Meat Institute and the Food Marketing Institute sent letters detailing the verifiable auditable paper trails, indemnification of liability and the like that they will be demanding from suppliers. While this is nothing new, it sparked some reaction because people are beginning to realize that the implementation date is just around the corner — September 2008.
Quite a few of the calves born this spring will be marketed past the COOL implementation date, so producers need to be putting together their documentation and paper trails right now. While there was a similar chorus of complaints about how this doesn’t have to be complicated, there is also a growing understanding that the problem was that COOL is a very bad piece of legislation. Expect the impetus to correct the law to make it more workable to grow exponentially as the implementation date draws nearer.
Remember That Food Safety Equals Trust
Beef Cow/calf Weekly
The industry’s record from a scientific viewpoint regarding food safety has been amazing. Probably nothing illustrates that more clearly than the recent meat recalls for E. coli. It was almost surprising to hear about a problem, yet it wasn’t that many years ago when we were suffering through what was called “the summer of E. coli.”
BSE is another example where the industry has done an amazing job of preventing a major problem. However, the best way to gauge consumer perceptions of food safety is to have them evaluate their impression of the integrity of the industry, and its direct suppliers.
Still, we find ourselves yet again having an improper and illegal shipment of beef being sent to South Korea. In Japan one of its own companies, Meat Hope, has created a huge controversy by putting pork into a key beef product, because beef supplies had gotten tight.
An honest look at the beef industry
By ANDREA JOHNSON, Assistant Editor
Farm and Ranch Guide
Take a moment to think about beef.
For many people, a high quality steak – broiled to perfection and tender enough to cut with a table knife – is one of the pleasures of life.
That thick and juicy hamburger enjoyed in the company of friends; your mom’s slow-cooked pot roast; or a quick beef stir fry after work are delights for the senses and the stomarch.
We all want a good eating experience every time we eat beef.
It’s the beef industry’s job to do everything it can to assure that a good beef entrée experience happens.
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) takes that challenge seriously.
A stop at Nolan Ryan Ranches and the Sundial Bridge
By Jean Barton
Daily News (CA)
Our final stop was at Nolan Ryan Ranches in Gonzales, Texas, and there was a modest entrance to the ranch. N-R on the top of a white pipe entrance.
Nolan Ryan personally shook hands with each member of the tour as they stepped off the buses. His wife greeted us at the house, and we enjoyed lunch in the shade of the trees at their home: some Nolan Ryan rib-eye steaks, creamy new potatoes, string beans with slivered almonds, green salad, rolls, ice tea and ice cream on peach cobbler.
Japan, U.S. to Hold Meetings Over Beef
By CHISAKI WATANABE
The Washington Post
TOKYO — Japan and the U.S. will hold a two-day technical meeting on U.S. beef imports, officials said Monday, amid expectations the talks may pave the way for easing Japan’s strict import restrictions.
Officials from the two countries will meet Wednesday and Thursday in Tokyo, according to a press release by the Japanese Health and Agriculture Ministries.
Japan only allows imports of U.S. beef from cattle 20 months old or younger, because the mad cow disease has not been detected in meat from young cattle _ although the U.S. has called for that restriction to be eased.
Farm Bill — Let The Fun Begin
Beef Cow Calf Weekly
The House released its mockups of the new farm bill last week. These are intended as a starting point for the upcoming debate. Not surprising, there was very little revolutionary in the new bill, much to the consternation of both the proponents and opponents of American ag.
The real change this time around is the number of non-ag groups involved in the farm bill. From animal welfare to environmental groups to consumer advocate groups, they’re all trying to enact parts of their agenda through the upcoming farm bill. There also is pressure from fiscal conservatives, free-market advocates and from the social liberals who want more government dollars directed toward other activities. Of course, there’s the renewable energy issue, as well.
Heat Stress can Reduce Pregnancy Rates
Dr. Glenn Selk, Extension Cattle Specialist, Oklahoma State University
The effects of heat stress on reproductive performance of beef cows has been discussed by many animal scientists in a variety of ways. After reviewing the scientific literature available up to 1979, one scientist wrote that the most serious seasonal variation in reproductive performance was associated with high ambient temperatures and humidity. He further pointed out that pregnancy rates and subsequent calving rates were reduced from 10% to 25% in cows bred in July through September.
Typical Oklahoma summer weather can fit the description of potential heat stress, where many days in a row can exceed 95 degrees and night time lows are often close to 80 degrees. Many hours of the day can be quite hot and cause the slightest rise in body temperature of cattle. Research conducted several years ago at OSU illustrated the possible impact of heat stress of beef cows on their reproductive capability.