It’s Not, “Where’s The Beef?” It Is, “How’s Your Beef?”
And, Consumers Say, It Must Be Tender
DES MOINES, Iowa, Sept. 18, 2007 – Consumers tell us that tenderness and taste are two of the most important attributes when they are evaluating their beef eating experience. They want tender beef and are willing to pay for it.
That was the message Dr. Keith Belk, professor at Colorado State University’s Center for Red Meat Quality and Safety, delivered to agricultural editors and other participants at a Sensory Evaluation Briefing and Wet Lab held at Iowa State University. The training session was hosted by Elanco Animal Health as part of its continuing effort to educate beef producers on the importance of tenderness of the beef they produce.
Tenderness is an important aspect of beef palatability that ultimately drives consumer satisfaction. The Beef Checkoff’s 2005 National Beef Tenderness Survey shows the industry has made improvements since the 1999 study, but there still are inconsistencies and a need for improvement.
Cattle business is natural fit for pair
The McKibbens excel in green beef-raising practices
BY GEOFF PARKS
David and Betty McKibben’s agricultural practices were living proof of the saying, “everything old is new again” as they took home the Polk Soil and Water Conservation District’s 2007 Cooperators of the Year award at the recent 41st Annual Volunteer Recognition Awards Night at the Polk County Fairgrounds.
They were praised by the SWCD “for outstanding accomplishments in soil, water and related resource conservation” for turning away from the relatively recent practice of raising feedlot-fed beef to the more health-friendly grass-fed variety at their McK Ranch.
Former owners of an operation called Two-McK Logging Co., the McKibbens — now both 53 — sold out in 1993 after 23 years in the business.
Planting Winter Pasture Best Way to Winter Cattle
by: Ed Twidwell
Why plant winter annual forages? One major reason is that species such as ryegrass, wheat and oats grow and provide grazing during the period when bermudagrass and bahiagrass are dormant and unproductive. Nutritive quality is high and this reduces the need for feeding of protein and energy supplements. If legumes are included, they provide a bonus of free nitrogen. Even though fertilizer and fuel prices are high, planting a winter pasture may be the most economical way of wintering your cattle.
Productive winter pastures actually begin prior to planting. Field selection, soil testing, site preparation and selection of the crops and varieties best suited for your soils and your needs, well in advance of planting time, can help avoid many of the errors of last minute decision making.
Some producers may desire to have their winter pasture available for grazing prior to Jan. 1. For these producers, planting into a prepared seedbed in late September or early October provides the best opportunity for early grazing. With this type of pasture, small grains (wheat, rye or oats) plus ryegrass is a popular mixture. This type of pasture is expensive due to the seedbed preparation in addition to seed, fertilizer, etc.
County steps in to help farmers
By KATRINA CORNWELL/Staff
Sumner County is coming to the rescue of area farmers by agreeing to spend up to $100,000 to bring an emergency, out-of-state hay supply here.
The forage is desperately needed by cattle farmers hit hard by a late spring freeze and a summer drought that dried up ponds and burnt up pastureland so severely that officials say what was left isn’t any good.
“This is a lifesaver as far as keeping the cattle and trying to ration it out until the grass starts growing in the spring,” said James Gregory, a Bethpage beef cattle farmer. “If I couldn’t get this hay, I’d have to start selling cattle.
“I sold some calves in the early spring. I could see the weather signs it was going to be a bad year. I held on. I started feeding hay Aug. 15, and the way things are looking we’ll be feeding hay on up into March or April.
Swift CEO: Company has ‘global reach’
By Steve Porter
Northern Colorado Business Report
GREELEY – The new president of JBS Swift & Co. said a planned expansion of production at the Greeley meatpacking plant is in high gear and will be complete by December.
“We expect to hire the first 500-plus employees within 30 days and be at full staffing by early December 2007,” said President Wesley Mendonca Batista, who took over in July, after Brazilian beef processor JBS S.A. purchased Swift in a $1.4 billion deal. Batista’s comments were contained in an e-mail reply to an extensive list of questions from the Business Report about his plans for the company.
Within weeks of Bastista’s arrival in Colorado, JBS announced that it would add a second shift at the Greeley plant and hire an additional 1,300 workers, bringing total employment at the facility to more than 3,000. Batista also confirmed that JBS Swift would maintain its corporate headquarters in west Greeley, where more than 400 additional management workers are employed.
Support humane farming and slaughter of animals
The Walk for Farm Animals will be at the end of September in New Orleans. This is to bring awareness to the public about factory farm animal cruelty. The contact person is Miranda Robbins at NewOrleans@WalkForFarm Animals.org.
Please support your local organic farms such as Gotreaux Farms, 873-0383 (GoFamilyFarms.com), and BrookshireFarm.com. These farms are producing humanely raised and slaughtered meat. Brookshire also has a description of veal production cruelty on their site. A national brand, LaurasLean Beef.com, is at Albertsons.
Information about factory farm cruelties can be found at the public library and almost every animal welfare Web site such as hsus.org, hfa.org and farmsanctuary.org.
State Fair Fiasco Story Just Keeps Giving & Giving
Beef Cow/Calf Weekly
I’m amazed at how vehement the vocal minority can be on some issues. It seems the debate over the Colorado State Fair (CSF) disqualifications has taken yet another shift (“Colorado State Fair Fiasco Tops This Week’s Bloopers,” Aug. 31 BEEF Cow-Calf Weekly).
Now, apparently the argument is that the small number who did not comply with the CSF rules regarding premises ID were actually confused. They didn’t understand what a valid premises ID was, and they were somehow unaware that a premises ID had anything to do with the National Animal Identification System (NAIS).