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.


Glenn and Caryl Elzinga

Glenn and Caryl Elzinga

The ranchers


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.”


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.


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.


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.


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?


Cover Crops Offer Benefits After Early Crop Harvests

Cover Crops Offer Benefits After Early Crop Harvests


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.