Cowboys find niche for locally raised beef
The Aspen Times
The Jacober brothers have a beef, of sorts, with the standard practices of the cattle business.
The thought of eating steak, roast and hamburger coming from cows raised in feedlots, fattened on corn and regularly dosed with antibiotics is more than they can stomach. So they raise their own grass-fed, natural beef.
And they’ve learned that an increasing number of residents in the Roaring Fork Valley want the peace of mind that comes with knowing where and how their beef was raised.
Despite their modern names and boutique beef business, the Jacobers are cowboys to the core. They grew up on a family ranch in southwestern Colorado, then migrated to Carbondale after a brief detour to St. Louis. After graduating from Montana State University, Tai, 30, and Rio, 33, worked for several years for the late Bob Perry at his legendary Mt. Sopris Hereford Ranch just south of Carbondale.
Cattlemen’s Beef Board set to have lower checkoff budget for 2009
The Cattlemen’s Beef Board projects to have lower beef checkoff funds by 6.6 percent next year. The board’s Beef Promotion Operating Committee has recommended a $45.8 million budget for 2009, down from 2008’s $49 million.
CBB Chief Executive Officer Tom Ramey told Brownfield about the financial challenges that led to the recommendation.
“What’s occurred is we have lower revenues, because cattle numbers overall in the U.S. are dropping a little bit,” Ramey says. “Our imports have gone down, because we have not been exporting as much product overseas as we used to.”
The largest projected cuts in the budget came from promotions, down 12.4 percent and consumer information, down 13.3 percent. Foreign marketing actually saw an increase of 11.2 percent.
US refuses to negotiate with Korea on beef
ABC Rural (AU)
The United States is refusing to renegotiate its beef deal with South Korea, after Korea’s President Lee bowed to public concerns about mad cow disease.
The US insists American beef is safe, that it has met international mad cow safety standards, and that Korea should abide by those rules and stop delaying a beef deal Seoul announced with the US in April.
Sean Spicer from the US Trade Representative’s Office says: “The agreement that our two governments reached in April is a good agreement, based on recognizing international science, and there would be no reason for any type of renegotiation.”
Free-range fast food: Presenting the green hot dog
The Free Lance Star
–It’s been said that hot dogs–like laws–are something you never want to see being made.
But Steve Elzer is glad to know what goes into the wieners he buys from a new hot dog stand near his office–100 percent grass-fed beef raised in California’s Central Coast area.
“I love the feel, the taste, the pedigree that this meat is free-range,” the 46-year-old movie publicist said between bites at the chrome and ketchup-red Let’s Be Frank stand.
ISU professor finds test to track gene causing Angus dwarfism
Des Moines Register
Mini-Moo, a five-year-old Angus who lives at Iowa State University’s Beef Nutrition Farm, was born with a condition known as “long head dwarfism.” This genetic mutation caused her legs to stop growing before the rest of her was fully grown.
However, Angus cattle like Mini-Moo may become a thing of the past because of a new test for the mutation developed by James Reecy, an associate professor in animal science at Iowa State University.
Reecy and a research team identified the genetic marker for the long head dwarfism mutation and developed a test to find it.
Tri-State Stocker Conference August 6-7
Scott P. Greiner, Ph.D., Extension Beef Specialist, VA Tech
The first Tri-State Stocker Conference will be held at the Washington County Fairgrounds in Abingdon, Virginia on August 6 and 7, 2008. A tour of three Virginia stocker operations will take place the afternoon of August 6, and an educational program from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. is planned for August 7. Topics covered at the meeting will include Managing Health on Newly Purchased Calves and What to Do In a Health Wreck (Dr. Dee Whittier, Virginia Tech); Use of Supplemental Feeds in a Forage Based Stocker Program (Dr. Matt Poore, North Carolina State University); Stocker-Feedlot Dynamics – How Is It Changing?; Beef Cattle Outlook (Dr. Ron Plain, University of Missouri); and Livestock Risk Protection Insurance for Stocker Operations (Dr. Emmit Rawls, University of Tennessee).
Mineral Needs for Optimum Cattle Growth & Productivity
Along with energy and protein, which are the two essential nutrients in a feeding program, cattle require vitamins and minerals to realize optimum growth and productivity.
“Cattle need a balance of macro minerals and trace minerals in their feed,” says Barry Yaremcio, beef and forage specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development’s Ag-Info Centre, Stettler. “Feeds grown in Alberta are deficient in most of the trace minerals, necessitating supplemental feeding of the missing elements. Feed testing, especially if feeding local feeds, is the first step in ensuring that cattle have the nutrients they require and that money isn’t being wasted on unnecessary supplementation.”
Indiana Beef Producers Gain Market Share at Marsh Supermarkets
Hoosier AG Today
In the face of large product recalls and frequent negative media attention given to mass produced food items, locally raised meats and produce are seen as a safer alternative by many consumers. Some grocery retailers have recognized these consumer concerns and have moved to offer more locally grown products to their customers.
NCBA Care and Quality Conference Open to Registration
Pre-registration is now open for the 2008 Cattle Industry Summer Conference, which will be held July 15-19 in Denver, Colo.
For the second year in a row, the beef and dairy industries will team up for an educational session to kick off the conference. On Wednesday, July 16, the Beef-Dairy Animal Care and Quality Assurance Symposium will highlight joint issues and crisis management efforts coordinated between the two industries. The symposium will also address the timely topic of animal care and handling guidelines for all segments of the beef industry. Speakers from dairy, cow/calf and feedlot operations will address animal handling techniques, transportation requirements, and strategic marketing decision tools that can lead to improved product quality and consumer satisfaction.
Low interest loan programs for agriculture producers to combine
The Oskaloosa Herald
After a successful three years, a low interest loan program for livestock operations will merge with a similar program designed to improve soil and water conservation, with funding to increase for both.
The programs offer low interest loans — 3 percent or less — for water quality-related improvements on agricultural land.
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Division of Soil Conservation (IDALS-DSC) will now operate both programs.
Bill Kurtis steers the way toward grass-fed beef
TV icon Bill Kurtis wrangles cattle as well as news stories.
Specifically, Red Angus cattle on his 10,000-acre Red Buffalo Ranch, not far from his boyhood home in Independence, Kansas.
Just don’t brand the A&E fixture and former WBBM-TV anchor as a “weekend rancher.” The host of “Cold Case Files” and “American Justice,” who founded Tallgrass Beef Co. in 2005, spends half his time overseeing his herd and praising the merits of organic, pasture-raised beef.
Russia Allows U.S. Livestock Imports
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that the United States will begin exporting breeding cattle, bovine embryos; breeding, fattening and slaughter swine; and breeding and sport horses to Russia. Russia will accept cattle born on or after implementation of the United States’ 1997 ruminant-to-ruminant feed ban.
“Russia’s decision demonstrates our trading partners’ confidence in our ability to effectively protect animal health and food safety,” said Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer. “This decision opens up a new market for U.S. livestock producers, and we are pleased that such an important trading partner is looking to the United States to help establish a significant livestock market.”
Cattle Comfort/Flight Zone Affects Reactions
People and cattle have a comfort/flight zone that affects how we react.
In many Western cultures, two feet is considered the comfort zone for conversing with another person. In some other Eastern regions of the world, six inches is considered normal. At parties, you might observe Western speakers backing up to seek their comfort zone and Eastern speakers following them to maintain their comfort zone. Also, consider that we typically turn and face someone who is talking to us.
Just as we have some predictable behaviors, so do cattle. Understanding this behavior can be very useful in designing cattle-handling facilities.
USDA was right to close loophole on ‘downer’ cows
Springfield News Sun
It was a YouTube moment capable of converting backyard barbecue enthusiasts into vegetarians: “Downer cows” — those too sick or injured to move — being shocked, sprayed with high-pressure hoses and forklifted to get them on their feet to be slaughtered at the Westland/Hallmark Meat Co. in Chino, Calif. The undercover video, taken by a Humane Society member who got a job with the meat company, created a media maelstrom and resulted in the biggest beef recall ever, criminal charges against some of the workers and the shutdown of the plant.
Beef up on your knowledge of meat
Audiences cringe watching participants of reality TV ingest insects and other creatures that are typically considered inedible. But when making their own meal choices, many people don’t give a second thought to the food they consume. Beef, in particular, can present serious health problems and pose a threat to global sustainability within the current framework of production.
Whether you eat in the dining hall or shop for your own beef, it is important to understand where the dead cow is coming from. Since the sources of beef prepared in the dining halls are not publicly available, caution should be taken when considering what to eat. The United States Department of Agriculture does have a grading system in place for labels on beef marketed to the public and can be utilized in making better decisions regarding beef consumption. But unfortunately the current grading system is only on a voluntary basis and is implemented by meat companies to better market their products. The system stops short of actually telling consumers about the health risks related with certain types of meat and the way in which the cattle were raised.