Daily Archives: August 29, 2007

The Case of Joe Frazier, Boxing Champion and Farmer

The Case of Joe Frazier, Boxing Champion and Farmer

by: John Alan Cohan, Attorney at Law

Cattle Today

Since 2000, the IRS has nearly tripled the number of audits of tax returns filed by people making $25,000 to $100,000. Kevin Brown, the IRS deputy commissioner, stated that this is an effort to run a “balanced audit program.” Last year the number of audits in this category was approximately 436,000, up from about 147,000 returns in 2000.

However, for people with incomes above $100,000 the odds of being audited are about 1 in 59, and for people earning $1 million or more the odds of getting audited are about 1 in 16.

For people who operate farms or ranches that generate tax write-offs continue to be audited fairly often because the IRS regards these taxpayers as “vulnerable.” Any endeavor that has some elements of a “hobby” but which the taxpayer reports as a business, poses a red flag under the IRS hobby loss rule.

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Glenn and Caryl Elzinga

Glenn and Caryl Elzinga

The ranchers

Culinate

On Alderspring Ranch in May, Idaho, Glenn and Caryl Elzinga raise cattle — organic and grass-fed — along with seven daughters, ages 2 to 13. With backgrounds in forestry (Glenn) and plant ecology (Caryl), the Elzingas practice a holistic approach to animal and land management.

Why did you go into ranching?

Glenn: We were living in the Lemhi Valley in Salmon, Idaho, and we wanted to have a family. And I thought, what better place to have a family than on a ranch with cattle and animals around?

Caryl was brought up on a farm in the Midwest, and I had many relatives who were dairy farmers. We both liked the idea of open space, of working on the land. We both love animals. I was traveling more and more in my work as a forester, and we just said, “Hey, let’s do something that’s going to keep us home.”

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Vet shortage nears critical stage, but you can help

Vet shortage nears critical stage, but you can help

By Ria de Grassi

California Farm Bureau Federation

Did you see that bumper sticker, “Have you hugged your veterinarian today?”

Dairy farmers, horse owners, poultry producers and others in animal agriculture appreciate the value of veterinarians in preventive herd health medicine and in treatment of sick and injured livestock. Maybe you don’t raise cattle or poultry or own a dog or cat, and don’t know a veterinarian. Regardless of your animal ownership status, veterinarians are a critical public health resource to all of us. The ever-growing shortage of these special animal doctors is a problem, but one that you can help fix.

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James Brolin Plans Organic Fast Food Chain

James Brolin Plans Organic Fast Food Chain

Starpulse News Blog

James BrolinBarbra Streisand’s husband, actor James Brolin, has his sights set on becoming an organic fast food king. The entrepreneurial star, who runs a lumber company and a building business, is the brains behind a new venture to sell healthy burgers.

He explains, “I had an idea for healthful organic food and burgers for your children that looks like fast food, but everything would come from organic cattle, free run.

“I have a design for that and a promotional thing that, if I just went ahead and did it, I’d have a thousand or two thousand franchises right now. You go to McDonalds and you get stuff put together, but it’s not a hamburger. It’s just shaped like one.

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Opposing Country of Origin Labeling

Opposing Country of Origin Labeling

Rogue Pundit

The proposed farm bill, pork-laden though it is, contains something most Americans will welcome, additional country of origin labeling (COOL) requirements.  A number of products remain excluded, but at least there’s progress.  First, a bit of background on why some labels show where a product comes from and others don’t…

    Some labels already disclose the information. The Tariff Act of 1930 requires it for many products, including processed foods, toys, vehicle tires and appliances. … Also, some suppliers–notably of fresh fruits–voluntarily affix country-of-origin stickers, so consumers know that their shelves hold apples from Chile, pears from Argentina and American nectarines.

    But the existing rules are not enough for some farmers and consumers, who have been pushing for decades for a law to fill the gaps. They won a partial victory with the passage of the 2002 Farm Bill, which required country-of-origin labeling on fresh meats, seafood, produce and peanuts but exempted poultry and poultry products, tree nuts and any food processed in the United States with imported ingredients. The U.S. Department of Agriculture got the job of crafting specific regulations under the bill and putting them into effect by Sept. 30, 2004.

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Foot-and-mouth’s lessons learned

Foot-and-mouth’s lessons learned

By Pallab Ghosh

Science correspondent, BBC News

No entry sign in Surrey

In 2001 foot-and-mouth became a national epidemic. It lasted for seven months. Six million animals were slaughtered and it cost the country £8bn.

But this time an outbreak on 2 August was contained and eliminated within weeks. So how did the government get it so right this time when it got it so wrong six years ago?

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Cover Crops Offer Benefits After Early Crop Harvests

Cover Crops Offer Benefits After Early Crop Harvests

Cattlenetwork.com

After harvesting corn for silage, ground can lay bare for eight to nine months, exposing it to wind and water erosion and not producing any income.

Cover crops might help you overcome both problems.

Deciding what to plant depends primarily on what you want to achieve with your cover crop. For example, hairy vetch is an excellent cover crop if you want to improve your soil by planting a legume that will produce nitrogen for next year’s crop.

If you’re still hoping for some feed this fall, the best choice might be oats because oats has the greatest forage yield potential in the fall. Another advantage of oats is that it will die over winter and not interfere with next year’s crop. Oat residue, however, is not very durable and provides less effective soil protection for a shorter time.

For better soil protection, rye is the best choice among the cereals. Rye also provides abundant growth early next spring to get cows off of hay sooner. Its fall growth usually is a little better than wheat or triticale, but nowhere near that of oats.

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Creating feed options for livestock

Creating feed options for livestock

By MARK MECHLING

OSU Extension Agent

Zanesville Times Recorder

The recent flooding in north central Ohio reminds us how quickly Mother Nature can change. The rainfall that we received in this area will be very helpful to crops and pastures.

There are still some opportunities to create some feed options for livestock. Jeff McCutcheon of Knox County Extension discusses some of those possibilities.

Besides stockpiling fescue, grazing standing corn and corn residue, there is still plenty of time to plant and grow high quality forage that can be utilized by grazing this late fall and winter. The key here is grazing. If you only think about making hay then your choices are limited.

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Beef on the cheap

Beef on the cheap

If you’re experiencing steak sticker shock, take a look at some budget cuts

Andrea Weigl, Staff Writer

In 34 years of owning Cliff’s Meat Market in Carrboro, Cliff Collins has seen meat prices ebb and flow. So which cuts of beef have gone up recently? “All of it,” Collins says.

A pound of lean ground beef crept over the $3 mark in February and has stayed there, the longest such stretch in the past decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Meanwhile, beef tenderloins and rib-eyes are averaging $13.82 and $8.69 a pound respectively during the past year. And flatiron steaks increased $1.22 per pound on average in the past year.

Beef prices have ticked upward because of several factors; most notably, the increasing cost of corn.

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Houston . . . we heifer problem

Houston . . . we heifer problem

The Northern Echo (GB)

SECURITY systems in towns and cities has led to some people feeling that Big Brother is watching them more and more.

But cows in remote countryside have so far avoided having their every move recorded by a surveillance system – until now.

Three of a herd of 50 blue grey and beef shorthorns have been fitted with electronic collars so they can be tracked by satellite to help conserve the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

The collars contain a global positioning system (GPS) receiver to give an instant fix on the animals’ position and a data logger to record information for a computer.

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Consumers may see higher prices because of drought

Consumers may see higher prices because of drought

By Elizabeth Donatelli

WAVE

This summer’s drought means tough times for everyone in the area — from farmers all the way down to the consumers. WAVE 3’s Elizabeth Donatelli takes a closer look at the ripple effect.

First it was frost, then it was hail, and now it is a drought. One farmer is calling it the toughest harvest since 1983.

“Every bit of water that we try to put on either tobacco or other crops, it just seems like half of it goes up into the air,” said farmer Tom Flowers.

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DNA from slaughtered cow narrows down case here

DNA from slaughtered cow narrows down case here

By Don Reid

The Daily Reporter

COLDWATER — Like CSI on television, it was the DNA that nabbed the killer. But this victim was a pregnant Angus heifer in a field north of Stateline Road in California Township.

Ryan Gibler, 28, of Hillsdale, waits for his Sept. 5 preliminary examination on charges of torturing and killing an animal, cattle theft and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

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U.S. appeals court OKs Canada beef imports

U.S. appeals court OKs Canada beef imports

By Adam Tanner

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A U.S. appeals court gave the green light on Tuesday to continued Canadian beef and cattle imports, rejecting a rancher group’s effort to impose a ban amid mad cow disease concerns.

The Montana-based Ranchers Cattlemen Action Legal Fund United Stockgrowers of America (R-CALF) argued that live Canadian cattle posed a risk of mad cow disease to the U.S. cattle herd and should be banned.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Canada had safeguards in place to prevent the spread of the deadly disease, also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

“Having reviewed the merits of this case, we conclude that the agency considered the relevant factors and articulated a rational connection between the facts found and its decision to designate Canada a minimal-risk country,” Judge Cynthia Holcomb Hall wrote for the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

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How Does Bovine Trichomonosis Affect Cattle?

How Does Bovine Trichomonosis Affect Cattle?

Cattlenetwork.com

The most common signs in an infected herd are:

• Early abortion (too early to find an aborted fetus).

• Repeated breeding resulting in long breeding seasons.

• A wide range of gestational ages at pregnancy check.

FULL STORY

Beef producers talk about good relations with their neighbors

Beef producers talk about good relations with their neighbors

By Jean Caspers-Simmet

Agri News

NASHUA, Iowa — Clark McGregor and Bob Peterson, cattle feeders from Nashua and Charles City, agree that common sense goes a long way when it comes to livestock production and neighbor relations.

They discussed the importance of getting along with neighbors at the recent “Cattle Farming Matters” Feedlot Tour near Charles City.

The tour, meant to give farmers information they can use to grow their beef farms, drew nearly 150 from several states.

McGregor said “there’s nothing wrong with calling down the road and letting them know what you’re doing before you move some dirt.”
FULL STORY