At the Padlock Ranch, we strive to manage the resources and assets of the ranch for long-term sustainability, and the checkoff-funded Beef Quality Assurance program (BQA) helps us meet our goal of producing quality beef.
Last month, Governor Steve Bullock signed an executive order establishing the Sage Grouse Habitat Conservation Program. The program has been in the works for some time with several Montana groups having the opportunity to provide input on maintaining state management of the sage grouse species and its habitat in the state of Montana.
Recently, I spent some time in Africa as a USAID (United States Agency for International Development) volunteer on two farmer-to-farmer assignments, each about three weeks in length. One was in Malawi and the other took me across the central plains of Mozambique.
It’sbecoming clear who has the ear of Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack; the National Farmers Union (NFU). Last week Vilsack held a meeting with the Beef Checkoff working group and said, “This is going to be a one-way conversation,” telling the group that he plans on.
Do we need an increase in the Beef Checkoff? You say, “But it promotes our product.” Really! The NCBA (National Cattleman’s Beef Association) who controls your Beef Checkoff dollar is associated with the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and TNC (The Nature Conservancy) among other groups that aren’t particularly the livestock producer’s friend.
One of the beef industry’s greatest accomplishments in the past 20 years has been to improve the eating experience for beef lovers. It was a huge shock in the 1990s when the industry discovered that one out of four steaks was not meeting consumers’ expectations.
Thus, we are introducing our new “WLJ Ambassadors” feature, a short profile of a reader who has been with us for a while and helped us along the way, either through their longtime loyalty or through vigorous sharing of this publication with their neighbors and friends.
Placements have been lower over the past six months and at lighter weights up until the August report that said heavy weight placements that were over 800 lbs. were much higher during August. Most areas had great summer grazing, producing heavier cattle, which may defer some for cattle going into the feedlot.
Those first calves graded 20 percent Choice, and motivated him to continue feeding cattle for the next two decades. It also spurred the rancher to adopt an AI plan to infuse the best genetics more quickly. Today he sells loads above 90 percent Choice, with more than half of those reaching the upper two-thirds of that grade.
That is a difficult question producers must answer. Just how many more is not an easy number to grasp because most beef operations actually try to keep their carrying capacity or stocking rates stable. Stocking rate, or the cow/calf pairs that inhabit the ranch, are set based on the carrying capacity of the particular type of land.
So let’s see who has the most influence. I figured that Facebook may have some answers about membership or something close to it. According to Facebook stats, NCBA is the clear winner with 34,239 folks liking their page. On the other hand R-CALF has 1,048 “likes” and the United States Cattlemen has 698 “likes.
“The grain farmer is absolutely going to get hammered to move his grain,” said Dan Basse, President of AgResource Company. “All of this passes back to you,” the analyst told cattle feeders and other attendees at last month’s Feeding Quality Forum in Kearney, NE, and Amarillo, TX.
For many, the bulls are left on pasture and rounded up with the cows and calves as fall progresses. Throughout the summer, various bulls are moved around or brought home. In some cases, they are injured. In other cases, they simply won’t stay in the pasture.
The Beef Checkoff is being threatened again. It’s absolutely amazing to me that the Beef Checkoff continues to cause problems for this industry. A simple dollarper-head is no big deal. Even two or three dollars a head shouldn’t be a big deal.
Advertising and promotional expenses are usually deductible along with other ordinary and necessary expenses in horse and livestock activities operated as a business. Traditional print ads in magazines can be expensive, and must be repeated in order to be effective.
Agriculture faces many challenges, and strong, effective leadership has never been more critical to the future of agriculture than it is today. In order to meet the nutritional demands of an ever-increasing global population, we must find solutions to the problems that limit our capacity for producing and transporting food.
USDA said in a 2014 risk analysis, “Although the expected consequences of an FMD outbreak in the United States would be severe, the likelihood of such an outbreak occurring due to exposure of the domestic livestock population to FMD-susceptible animals and products imported from the Patagonia region of Argentina is very low.
Instead of sustainability, what we really may need is an organized response to everpresent change. As cattle producers, how we respond to the environment is key to our survival. The world is covered with water and plants. How we use the plants depends on how consumers look at their plates.
Since releasing our proposal in March to better protect clean water, there have been some questions raised in the press, most recently about maps that use data developed by the U.S. Geological Survey and the Fish & Wildlife Service and show locations and flow patterns of many of the nation’s waterways.