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by WLJ
2005 March 7
A jury in the U.S. District Court in Omaha awarded a judgment in favor of South Sioux city resident Carol Marmo for damages and injuries she suffered due to numerous releases of hydrogen sulfide gas by IBP, Inc. This trial was the culmination of a nearly five year court battle for Mrs. Marmo and vindication for the community in a more than fifteen-year fight against IBP for damages caused by massive chemical emissions from IBP’s Dakota City wastewater treatment facility. Mrs. Marmo is represented by the law firms of Croker Huck Kasher Dewitt & Gonderinger of Omaha and Resolution Law Group,
by WLJ
2005 March 7
The House of Representatives is being asked to consider a bill that would make paying producers for reduced or eliminated grazing permits a law. This bill entitled the “Cattlemen’s Bill of Rights,” was recently introduced by Rep. Rick Renzi, R-AZ. Renzi’s bill HR 411 seeks “to recognize the importance of livestock ranching to the history and continued economic viability of the western U.S.” The bill states that it would accomplish this by compensating ranchers when certain government actions result in the loss or reduction in Animal Unit Months (AUMs) authorized under a grazing permit or lease issued by a federal land
by WLJ
2005 March 7
There’s very little chance it will leapfrog “The Da Vinci Code” on any bestseller lists, but a new book compiled and edited by two University of Missouri professors might just gain a devoted cult following. Agronomist Craig Roberts and animal scientist Don Spiers, along with Chuck West of the University of Arkansas, co-edited “Neophytodium in Cool-Season Grasses” (2005 Blackwell Publishing). The less-than-catchy title belies the significance of the work, which addresses every aspect of naturally occurring toxins in pasture grasses’ a huge problem for livestock producers in Missouri and around the world. “Neophytodium” is the Latin word for the fungus also called the
by WLJ
2005 March 7
Meat market sources and analysts predict that U.S. grocers will offer shoppers a broad mix of fresh beef, pork and chicken cuts in the coming weeks rather than focus mainly on any one sector. They said that, with ongoing uncertainty about the status of the import ban on Canadian cattle after a Federal District Court judge in Montana ruled last Wednesday to postpone the March 7 scheduled reopening of the border, grocers may be cautious about aggressively featuring beef. Meat industry sources said opinions among retailers, wholesalers and distributors ahead of Wednesday's ruling seemed to be about evenly split as to whether
by WLJ
2005 March 7
— Beef ban resolution demanded. Legislation asking for the office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to impose economic sanctions against Japan if the Pacific Rim country continues to ban U.S. beef from entering its market was formally introduced by a member of the House of Representatives last Thursday. Rep. Jerry Moran, R-KS, said it is apparent that Japanese officials have been reneging on an October agreement to reopen the Japanese borders to U.S. beef, and that if the ban remains in place that they should be forced to pay damages to the U.S. beef industry. “While the U.S. has done its part
by WLJ
2005 March 7
— USDA’s final import rule nixed. — House proposal expected next. The full Senate voted 52-46 in favor of a resolution of disapproval against USDA’s proposed final rule concerning imports from “minimum BSE risk” countries. A similar proposal is expected to be introduced in the House of Representatives over the next two weeks, sources said. The Senate resolution, originally introduced by Sen. Kent Conrad, D-ND, specifically cited the issue of allowing live cattle and an expanded category of beef from Canada beginning March 7. The resolution means that a majority of the Senate is against USDA implementing its final rule concerning imports from
by WLJ
2005 March 7
The American Simmental Association (ASA) has added dollar indices to its Spring 2005 Sire Summary. Working with USDA geneticist, Dr. Mike MacNeil, ASA blended EPDs with five years of economic data on prices and costs to predict the dollar differences between sires when used in a commercial operation. Terminal Index (TI) is designed for evaluating sires’’ economic merit in situations where they are bred to mature Angus cows and all offspring are placed in the feedlot and sold grade and yield. Consequently, maternal traits such as milk, stayability and maternal calving ease are not considered in the index. The All-Purpose Index (API)
by WLJ
2005 March 7
USDA banned meat from the human food supply from cattle too sick or injured to walk following the discovery of mad-cow disease in just such an animal over a year ago, but some of those banned cattle carried "no threat" of the disease, the department's secretary said last Tuesday. “Let’s say in the transport of an animal, the animal breaks its leg," USDA Secretary Mike Johanns said. "Everybody agrees that there is no (mad-cow disease) risk whatsoever. You have an animal with a broken leg.” The ban on all cattle too sick or injured to walk - called "downers" - together with
by WLJ
2005 March 7
A program to register and identify livestock is being launched in Arizona to help quickly trace the origin of diseased animals. The Tri-National Livestock Health and Identification Consortium will begin as a voluntary program but will eventually be required of all livestock breeders and owners, said Katie Decker, a spokeswoman for the Arizona Department of Agriculture. Arizona will join Colorado, New Mexico and two Mexican states in the pilot program. "It's consumer-driven. The consumer wants food safety," she said. The program is being spearheaded by agricultural officials in Colorado, Decker said, and Arizona will sign an agreement later this month to participate. Larger
by WLJ
2005 March 7
Sun Capital Partners, a private investment firms with positions in dozens of U.S. companies, including retailers like Mervyns and Sam Goody, has acquired a majority interest in Creekstone Farms. John Stewart, the company's chairman and holder of a large minority stake, will continue to operate Creekstone. According to Stewart, Sun will also invest additional money in the company to expand its physical plant to give it added scale. "That will allow us access to additional major retail accounts," Stewart said, "and that will put us in a position to become the natural beef leader nationwide.” "We are very enthusiastic about our relationship and
by WLJ
2005 March 7
A Texas animal health official says a national animal identification program will help the livestock industry stay ahead of threatening diseases that could hurt farms nationwide. "It (the identification system) enables us to protect animal health in our country as best as we possibly can," Bob Hillman, executive director of the Texas Animal Health Commission, told beef producers at the 43rd Blackland Income Growth Conference recently in Waco. Though a mandatory animal identification program has yet to be established, the animal health commission is already issuing premises identification numbers on a voluntary basis. The commission assigns premises identification numbers to farms, ranches, feedlots,
by WLJ
2005 March 7
The leaders of two Texas producer organizations say the Bush administration should impose economic sanctions on Japan due to Japan’s unwillingness to open its market for U.S. beef. According to Bob McCan, president of Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, efforts by the Bush administration and industry have gone the extra mile in proving U.S. beef is free from BSE, but Japan continues to stall on the issue. “Japanese consumers are expressing a desire and need for safe and wholesome U.S. beef,” said Texas Cattle Feeders Association Chairman Charlie Sellers. “The time has come for us to take these efforts to a
by WLJ
2005 March 7
Tyson Foods Inc. Springdale, AK, will pay an $18,400 fine to settle several environmental violations that occurred last year at its Temperanceville, VA, poultry processing plant, according to the Virginian-Pilot (Hampton Roads, VA) newspaper. The newspaper said processor will also upgrade the processing plant. The State Water Control Board, which next meets on March 15 in Richmond, must approve the settlement. The board can alter the terms but usually adopts what state regulators have negotiated with violators. According to a proposed settlement with Virginia regulators, problems surfaced at the Accomack County complex last May, when an inspector from the Virginia Department of
by WLJ
2005 March 7
— Agriculture disease research network could disintegrate. Bush budget cuts would hit important research programs that examine everything from soybeans and dairy production to cattle viruses, agriculture school officials complained to Congress on Tuesday. Fred Cholick, dean of the agriculture college at Kansas State University, said the cuts threaten the original mission of the 75 land-grant schools, created by Congress in the 1800s to use public money on shared agricultural research. Under the Bush plan, funding for three programs on farming, forestry and animal health, mainstays at land-grant institutions for decades, would be slashed from $200 million this year to $100 million next
by WLJ
2005 March 7
Beef production will be slower than expected after Canadian cattle are allowed back into the U.S. this month, the Agriculture Department said. Cattle prices should remain relatively high because of competition between U.S. and Canadian packing houses, according to a report issued by the Agriculture Department’s chief economist. Banned since the discovery of BSE in May 2003 in Alberta, live cattle imports from Canada are scheduled to resume on March 7. “Based on increased slaughter of steers and heifers in Canada, U.S. packers will have to compete more aggressively for the pool of slaughter-ready cattle, somewhat dampening an expected decline in fed steer
by WLJ
2005 March 7
U.S. demand for meat remains firm, but increasing cattle supplies could pressure prices in 2005, according to Shayle Shagam, livestock analyst at the World Agricultural Outlook Board for the USDA. Shagam spoke Friday, Feb. 25, during the the USDA's Agricultural Outlook Forum in Arlington, VA. Strong demand for meat protein and moderate growth in meat production continue to support prices, grain costs have moderated and the multi-year drought in the western U.S. has diminished, Shagam said. Producers have received higher returns for their products but have responded in measured fashion to the urge to increase production. Production increases for 2005 in pork and
by WLJ
2005 March 7
It's a pretty safe bet you won't hear this request from your kids: "More liver, please." If you do, however, there will be no shortage of the iron-rich delicacy most kids love to hate thanks to a vaccine developed by Kansas State University professors. T.G. Nagaraja, a professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology in K-State's College of Veterinary Medicine, and M.M Chengappa, university distinguished professor of microbiology and department head of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology, have developed a vaccine that prevents liver abscesses in cattle. The vaccine was recently given approval by the United States Department of Agriculture. The KSU Research Foundation
by WLJ
2005 March 7
— Two separate bills in House. Two members of the U.S. House of Representatives recently introduced legislation contradicting a law passed last year that allows wild horses and burros to be sold for slaughter—including for human consumption—after appropriate adoption measures have been exhausted. The minority ranking member of the House Resources Committee Rep. Nick Rahall, D-WV, in late January introduced HR 297 to reverse last year’s authorization of sale authority for wild horses and burros. Rahall’s bill would “restore the prohibition on the commercial sale and slaughter of wild free-roaming horses and burros.” Language introduced by Sen. Conrad Burns, R-MT, was attached last
by WLJ
2005 March 7
The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection board is making a few additions to the state's proposed Livestock Facilities Siting Rules. Wisconsin is in the process of creating a set of standards that local municipalities can use to grant permits for larger livestock facilities. The idea is to prevent pressure on boards to pass emergency rules to keep large livestock operations out of an area. A task force appointed by State Ag Secretary Rod Nilsestuen developed the proposed rules with the help of a technical advisory panel. Those proposed rules are now the subject of a dozen public hearings
by WLJ
2005 March 7
Producers who are tackling the sage grouse habitat issue or managing the drought situation in Wyoming will have the opportunity to receive grants for those efforts due to a program put forth by USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and a producer group called the Wyoming Private Grazing Lands Team (WyPGLT). These two entities recently announced that new grant money will be available for projects that demonstrate new, improved or applied techniques that enhance grazing and result in improved or increased production and stewardship of private-grazing lands. Wyoming producers can take advantage of the grants by contacting the grazing team and


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