Search: in Authors List
 

All Articles

by WLJ
2006 July 3
  Last minute buying by retailers to fill holiday needs and a very positive cattle on feed report boosted the market last week. Although fed cattle trade was slow to get started, as of Thursday, there was some trade in Nebraska at $131-132 dressed while most dressed offers were holding firm in a range of $131-135. In most of the northern tier, feedlot offers stood at $85-86 and in the southern Plains, feedlots were holding out at $86-$87. Expectations for the bulk of northern trade were $132-133 dressed and
by WLJ
2006 July 3
  There’s no doubt about it, Coloradans love beef, and the responsibility for keeping beef at the forefront as one of the most delicious and nutritional foods anyone can eat has been the work of the Colorado Beef Council (CBC). Prior to his appointment as CBC executive secretary, Fred Lombardi spent 20 years in the food industry with Noble Food Services, which was purchased in 1981 by Sysco and then became Noble/Sysco. During the course of those 20 years, Lombardi worked his way up to become president and CEO of the company.   Lombardi’s tenure with CBC
by WLJ
2006 July 3
  Last week I was invited to Camp Cooley Ranch in Franklin, TX, to speak to a young cattlemen group. They just had some rain in that part of the country and it was absolutely gorgeous.   Camp Cooley ranch is a unique operation that does demand a bit of attention. Last week they were attempting to do their part in developing the future of the beef industry and felt they needed to start with some of their young customers.   Klaus Birkel, the owner of Camp Cooley, is a fascinating individual. He’s from Germany, and inherited
by WLJ
2006 July 3
  Earlier this month, 41 senators opposed a permanent estate tax repeal, preventing opponents of the commonly referred to death tax to garner enough votes to repeal the tax indefinitely. Now, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 5638, the Permanent Estate Tax Relief Act. The legislation, passed June 22, would go into place in five years. Taking effect in 2011, it would be exactly one year after the current tax relief package reduces the estate tax to zero. President Bush’s tax cuts reduced estate taxes through 2009, with elimination of the tax for one
by WLJ
2006 July 3
Few cattle on feed reports have generated as much impact on the market or producer attitudes as the June 1 report issued by USDA. The report held much good news for both feedlots and cow/calf producers and showed the industry has been doing a good job moving through the heavy placements of cattle that have resulted from this year’s drought.   The number of cattle on feed as of June 1 was reportedly 4 percent above a year ago at 11.2 million head. That number is the second highest June 1 inventory
by WLJ
2006 July 3
  Unpredictability has been the predominant market theme so far this year. In last month’s column, I noted the prospect of a resumption of beef export to South Korea. Alas, that blew up in our faces, mostly over the issue of USDA having “inspection sovereignty” over U.S. beef processing plants. The delay has made both USDA and the industry gun-shy about the agreement by Japan to accept our beef again until it actually arrives in Japan.   South Korea’s last-minute concerns are like the bride (or groom) who flees the church at the last moment. The behavior
by WLJ
2006 July 3
  The feed ban established in 1997 specifically prohibits feeding cattle any ruminant remains in an effort to further safeguard livestock from being at risk for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). Science reveals the underlying cause of the brain wasting bovine disease to be from tainted feed containing bone and other matter from ruminant remains. Although the U.S. has been reportedly clear of such violations, recently a feed and fertilizer company recalled feed supplements from nine states that were found to be contaminated.   “This is very concerning to us. This isn’t something that happens to us.
by WLJ
2006 July 3
  The World Trade Organization (WTO) is facing a significant hurdle in negotiations that could cause the talks to collapse without any agreement on cuts to agricultural subsidies, WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy said last week as trade representatives from the organization met in Geneva, Switzerland.   Trade ministers from more than four nations were scheduled to meet in Geneva from June 29 through July 2 in a bid to wrap up an agreement. Negotiating an acceptable preliminary accord is crucial during talks in Geneva in order to meet an end-of-July deadline for governments to submit their
by WLJ
2006 July 3
  June has been a very busy travel month for me, but the good part is I have been to some absolutely fun places and events. The last week of May, Pete and Rita Crow and Geri Lyn and I had our WLJ Montana Tour and it was a great time. We saw some stunningly beautiful country and some of the great ranches in southwest Montana. It was like old home week for me having grown up in Montana and gone to Montana State University. A lot of the country has changed and if you
by WLJ
2006 June 26
A massive producer survey is currently in the works to be distributed to 8,000 U.S. cattle producers in order to effectively evaluate checkoff procedures and their validity. The survey, said to be the largest producer based survey ever, is part of the settlement of the lawsuit challenging the checkoff that reached the U.S. Supreme Court but failed. The producer based study is scheduled to begin this fall and conclude by January 2007. The upcoming survey will be checkoff-funded.   Although the latest checkoff-funded survey of beef producer attitudes indicates continued support of the checkoff program, cattlemen
by WLJ
2006 June 26
Every minute of life is full of the potential to learn and grow. Hours and even days go by without our capturing much of what could be. But sometimes, for a second or, incredibly, a string of days, we are in the flow. A light comes on.   It could be a strobe flash, leaving an incredible new image on the retina. It could be a floodlight that shows us the way. These are the lights that education psychologists call “teachable moments.” Teachers are more likely than students to see the moments as they occur,
by WLJ
2006 June 26
After WLJ’s Montana tour, my wife, Rita, decided we just had to go to Italy to see her family. They live in some pretty nice places like Lake Como, Venice and Rome, so it didn’t take much arm twisting.   Most of her family lives in the northern part of the country in the Lake Como area, Varenna, to be exact, where a couple members of the family run a restaurant and another runs a small grocery store. We got together for supper one evening with all 20 of them. Andrea, one of Rita’s cousin’s husband, runs
by WLJ
2006 June 26
Demand for natural beef is growing and with that, more producers are adjusting their operations to meet consumers’ wants. The growing trends reported this month by the Natural Food Merchandiser, the journal for the natural and organic industry, reported in their June 2006 issue that total 2005 sales was $25.5 billion, a 10.9 percent growth over 2004. The meat and seafood industry reportedly grew 13.5 percent, the third highest of food commodities behind the beer, wine and snack food categories.   According to the consumer research and consulting firm ACNielsen, natural meat sales, excluding
by WLJ
2006 June 26
The long awaited announcement that trade with Japan would resume came last week after days of negotiations between officials from USDA and the Japanese Agriculture Ministry. Under the terms of the agreement, Japan will arrive in the U.S. on June 24 to inspect packing plants for 30 days before trade begins in mid to late July.   Trade is expected to begin on or around July 22 and Japan has agreed to allow only boneless beef from cattle 20 months of age or younger. All specified risk materials must be removed from any cattle exported
by WLJ
2006 June 26
Recent legislation being proposed in both the House and the Senate may significantly change livestock feeding practices if passed. Proponents of the legislation claim human health, as well as the animal’s well being, is being jeopardized when antibiotics are added routinely to livestock feed to stimulate growth and aid in offsetting range or feedlot conditions. More specifically, healthcare professionals are claiming the unnecessary antibiotic feeding is causing some people to become resistant to some medications, limiting their ability to fight off life-threatening infectious diseases.   “Physicians, nurses and now infectious disease professionals are all
by WLJ
2006 June 26
The Livestock Marketing Association (LMA) hosted their annual World Livestock Auctioneer Championship last week at the Escalon Livestock Market in Escalon, CA. The winner, described as a “jack of all trades,” was Dave Macedo of Tulare, CA.   Macedo, 44, a long-time auctioneer and owner of the Tulare Sales Yard, Inc., actually went to college to be a dentist but turned auctioneer and politician instead. He is the former mayor of Tulare and is currently a city councilman. John McBride, director of information for LMA, said Macedo’s role in politics complements his ability to be
by WLJ
2006 June 26
The Agriculture Small Business Enhancement Act of 2006 (SBEA), if passed by Congress, will allow producers greater access to markets in other states. The legislation, introduced by Sen. Kent Conrad, D-ND, will allow processors and producers whose meat products meet state level inspection standards to be exported across state lines.   The Federal Meat Inspection Act of 1967 and the Poultry Products Inspection Act of 1968 both require processors to comply with or exceed federal inspection procedures, yet those products are not eligible to be shipped between states, a fact Conrad said limits competition and
by WLJ
2006 June 26
A report released by two environmental groups accuses ranchers, the banking industry and the government of confounding efforts to change public lands grazing policy. The report, titled Mortgaging Our Natural Heritage, was released by Santa Fe, NM-based Forest Guardians and the Sagebrush Sea Campaign, June 15. The report, generated with information gained through the Freedom of Information Act, blamed the loan process and banking industry for the groups’ inability to get public land grazing regulations changed at the federal level.   Maggie Beal of the Public Lands Council said the report was a simple repackaging
by WLJ
2006 June 26
West Nile Virus has once again started to plague many western states. According to the Centers for Disease Control, active cases of the disease have been detected in mosquitoes and birds in California, Idaho, Utah, South Dakota and Wyoming, and nine other Midwest and East Coast states. In Texas, Mississippi and Colorado, the disease has already been transmitted to humans.   A spring and early summer which has dumped above normal amounts of precipitation in some West Coast states has contributed to the problem by offering mosquitoes more breeding grounds than in past years.   In Utah,
2006 June 19
There is nothing more serious in the cattle business than buying a bull. Much time is spent evaluating available information, such as performance data and pedigree, to assure that the right bull is brought home. Not everyone will use the right information (a personal bias), but when the gavel strikes the podium, the bull has a new owner and home. The process essentially has bonded the bull to the new operation. There is always the need to look over the fence as the bull settles into the new surroundings.