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by WLJ
2007 December 20
Brian Vasseur, interim director for the program, attributes the school’s success on its practical, hands-on approach to the business. “The goal of the school is to prepare students of all ages and backgrounds to manage a production ranch. We focus on the business management side of the industry and all of our classes are taught by ranching industry professionals,” Vasseur said. The program is a nine-month intensive course that combines seven hours of instruction each day with five week-long field trips and several practical projects which students can apply to their own operation. “Our field excursions take students across Texas and Oklahoma,
by WLJ
2007 December 20
However, the whole of the problem is never really eliminated, it is just shared with another producer who purchases the animal without realizing what he/she is getting into. The producer takes the animal home, quarantines it, sees no problem and turns it out with the rest of the herd. A year later, the producer is seeing drastic reductions in weaning weights, milk production and most critically, his/her bottom line. The producer then tests all livestock for an array of diseases that could be causing the problem. The cause is revealed, all infected cattle are culled and taken 10 miles down
by WLJ
2007 December 20
The Red Bluff Bull and Gelding Sale, one of the most anticipated events of the year for western bull buyers and producers, is set for Jan. 24-28 at the Tehama District Fairgrounds in Red Bluff, CA. This year’s sale will feature an increased number of bull entries with more than 450 headed to the competition, up from 437 in 2005. As herd expansion continues amid record calf prices, this year's event promises to be among the most exciting ever. Last year’s bulls averaged $2,664 on 302 lots. This year’s event features bulls from 11 different breeds. Bull producers from Washington, Oregon, California,
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Approximately $15,000 worth of beef made its way out of a refrigerated trailer and into the hands of some beef-appreciating criminals. The 16 cases of meat were meant for an upscale grocery store in the Fort Worth area. Lt. Dean Sullivan of the Fort Worth Police Department said the theft happened between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning after Christmas. According to Sullivan, a padlock was cut off the storage trailer which was parked behind the grocery store. The thieves went for specific beef located near the rear end of the trailer. Sullivan said he suspects the thieves knew what they
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Starting to feel a little lonely back at the ranch? Maybe it’s just you as the player-coach. You decide what gets done when. You know when it’s time to wean calves or put up hay. You develop your own game plan and follow it. You also play the role of trainer and publicist, and you’re reminded of your facilities manager title every time you fix fence or re-tin a shed. With all of those responsibilities, you might welcome the idea of having a cabinet or board to call on when you need them. Who is in your corner? Where do
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Details of BLM’s requirements will be posted in solicitation NAR070052, which is available at www.fbo.gov. Applicants must be registered at www.ccr.gov to be considered for a contract award. The solicitation ends Feb. 8, 2007. BLM manages wild horses and burros as part of its overall multiple-use land management mission. Under the authority of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, the Bureau manages and protects these living symbols of the Western spirit while ensuring that population levels are in balance with other public rangeland resources and uses. To achieve this balance, BLM must remove thousands of animals from the
by WLJ
2007 December 20
In 2007, the total value of U.S. farm exports is forecast to reach $77 billion. Exports account for one-quarter of all agricultural cash receipts annually. While addressing a conference during the AFBF’s annual meeting, Crowder acknowledged the importance of farm exports for the national economy. “Trade is fundamental for U.S. agriculture,” Crowder said. “And agriculture is fundamental for U.S. trade.” He listed a series of bilateral and multilateral farm trade negotiations undertaken by the administration in the past year to boost such exchange. Among other accomplishments, he cited the U.S. and trading partners implemented the Central American Free Trade Agreement—Dominican Republic pact, concluded
by WLJ
2007 December 20
One Tax Court case said on this point: “Efforts to gain experience, a willingness to follow expert advice, and preparation for an activity by extensive study of its practices indicates that a taxpayer has a profit motive.” It is difficult to make a statistical analysis of the issue, but in most Tax Court cases where the taxpayer lost on the hobby loss question, the taxpayer failed to introduce evidence of his or her expertise, or evidence of consultations with those who are experienced in the economics of the industry. Are you an expert? How does anyone become an expert? A police
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Aside from serving as the NWSS yard manager for seven years, Angell has also been the area coordinator for the American Polled Hereford Association, head of field services for the Record Stockman newspaper, head of commercial exhibits for the International Arabian Horse Association, and marketing director for Superior Livestock Auctions. Angell’s new responsibilities include scheduling, serving as a liaison with breed associations, and participating in committee meetings and professional show managers’ organizations. Angell’s duties will also include overseeing the Catch-A-Calf contest and the entry process from processing to payout, managing superintendents and seasonal help, hiring judges, negotiating contracts, establishing program guidelines
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Representing Swift and Company, Kevin Yost, executive vice president, customers and supply chain, said he anticipates the global footprint of the packing industry will expand as part of an effort to become more efficient and capitalize on economies of scale not available to small and mid-size companies. That’s not the only change predicted by Yost. “In 10 years, there will be fewer packing plants and they will be larger than they are today. Feedlots will be moved north and east. There will also be a proliferation of supply chain partnerships,” he said. “Those partnerships will allow the packing industry to
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Regardless of how many elk are infected, ranchers have a viable concern with respect to protecting the health of their cattle. It is absolutely essential that the infected animals are prevented from commingling with livestock. WG&F recognizes this and has put forth a great deal of effort to keep the animals away from grazing cattle and stored hay. “It’s a complex situation,” said Mark Gocke, public information specialist at the Jackson Region WG&F Department. “There is not a feeding ground in the nearby area (near Buffalo Valley). It’s all winter range. Elk have always wintered in the Buffalo Valley.” The conflict is
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Theories explaining the record numbers vary, but it’s common this year to hear spectators and participants comment on temperatures reaching the mid- to high 60s. “I have been coming to the stock show ever since I can remember and it has always been freezing cold and miserable on the grounds, but this year it feels like spring,” said Scott James, an exhibitor from southern Wisconsin. Not only are the crowds record-setting, the livestock numbers have also jumped to record levels. Cattle entries alone increased 14 percent over last year, according to NWSS records. There are 19 breeds of cattle represented at
by WLJ
2007 December 20
It isn’t as sexy as a beef ad that sizzles, but the market research that helps determine the success of that ad is just as important to beef producers. Along with research in human nutrition, food safety and product enhancement, market research is one of the research areas funded by the Beef Checkoff Program administered by the Cattlemen’s Beef Board. Market research projects are part of the effort to build beef demand and are managed and coordinated on behalf of the Beef Board and state beef councils by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). Market research is the basis for program decisions
2007 December 20
The phone rings. The producer answers and the voice on the other ends says, “We have a question on one of those calves you sold. Could you pull its record? We shipped it yesterday.” This reality check will be said repeatedly as the beef business moves into the future. Individual animal (and producer) accountability is arriving fast and the days of optical illusions may very well end soon. The Dickinson Research Extension Center experienced firsthand the illusions of the beef industry. Recently, the center attempted to source and age verify 21 purchased calves. More than 14 percent of the tags were
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Since the alarm was raised, more than 4.4 billion pounds of processed meat has made its way to U.S. consumers. USDA, in response to the report, said it had addressed numerous violations at multiple Canadian plants, some of which lost their export certification following inspections which noted the deficiencies. “In no instance was public health placed at risk,” said Richard Raymond, undersecretary for food safety. Since USDA inspectors decertified the Canadian processors, the Canadian government has been working with industry officials in that country to correct the specific violations and bring its inspection processes in line with U.S. standards. Canada, the
by WLJ
2007 December 20
It would appear that I may have spoken too soon about the beef industry having nothing to argue about in last week’s column. R-CALF USA didn’t waste any time after the holidays and went after USDA by attempting to continue their challenge of the agency’s minimal risk import rule. Last week they filed a motion for summary judgement in the district court where Judge Richard Cebull sits. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last fall that the court erred on granting a temporary injunction keeping Canadian beef and cattle out of the U.S. R-CALF then filed for an en
by WLJ
2007 December 20
“Small processors come and go, but mostly go,” said Hatch. He has been operating the Meat Cleaver since 1978, which is a long time according to Hatch, who called the business “volatile.” Hatch operates his very small processing plant near Denver, CO, attributing some of his success to his ideal location. Although Hatch has witnessed Colorado processing plants going out of business, three states did manage to maintain stable or growing numbers of local state inspected plants—New Mexico, South Carolina and Wisconsin. Processors in these states attributed their success to providing specialty products or niche marketing, according to USDA. Minnesota
by WLJ
2007 December 20
The cash feedlot trade got going last week after a big break on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) on Wednesday. Prices were trending mostly steady to $1 lower early, with a few packers actually having to pay 25 to 50 cents higher for cattle on Thursday in the five-state area, while in the south, trade last Thursday was called fully steady with the prior week. Texas cattle feeders reported selling 42,000 head in a range of $93.50 to $95. Kansas feeders moved 32,000 head in a price range of $93 to $94, or $147 dressed basis. Colorado feeders sold 5,000
by WLJ
2007 December 20
“Significant premiums can be realized in producing and marketing cattle through natural beef programs,” said Turk Stovall with ORIgen Inc., located in Huntley, MT. “However, if the program is not executed with caution, the premiums can be quickly replaced with losses.” According to Stovall, “natural” has been one of the hottest buzz words in feeder cattle sales over the last several years. He said the challenge is to make sure that everyone defines the term natural in the same way. Currently, the meaning of natural varies with who you ask, with no solid consensus. “The never-ever programs seem to have been
by WLJ
2007 December 20
In July of 2005, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the preliminary injunction and opened cross border trade with Canada for cattle under 30 months of age. Since that time, R-CALF has had their initial lawsuit pending in Judge Richard Cebull’s Federal District Court awaiting further movement. On Jan. 9, R-CALF filed a motion in U.S. District Court to have their case heard in Cebull’s court. After the group filed the motion, R-CALF President and Co-Founder Leo McDonnell said, “Back in July, the 9th Circuit heard only some very limited facts that were presented during the March hearing before


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