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Opinion

2009 May 1
The beef industry is struggling with data and data tracking. This statement, while met with a wide range of pro and con reaction, does point to the fact that there is slippage occurring. There is a lot of very good data collected, processed and utilized within the beef industry.
2009 April 24
The U.S. has become a debtor nation. Our federal government now owes more than $10 trillion in national debt, or about $35,000 for every man woman and child now living in this country. That money has been borrowed from other nations and from huge private banking consortiums.
2009 April 24
The end justifies the means must be the mantra in R-CALF United Stock Growers of Americas board meetings these days. Last week, we caught wind of a new marketing program R-CALF is pursuing.
2009 April 17
Last week, the boxed beef cutout rallied around $10 from the previous week based on lower processing numbers. Cattle sold at $86 two weeks ago and moved up to $89- 90 on the cash market last week, which should put some profit back in the picture for both cattle feeders and packers.
2009 April 17
The other day was difficult. The discussion centered on the horse industry as the Dickinson Research Extension Center was reviewing program costs. As the horse program was discussed, the updated costs were noted. Based on a five-year average, the annual cost (direct and overhead expenses) for maintaining a producing mare and nursing foal was $764.
2009 April 17
Cows cant do math, but their owners should at least do some counting. From financial balance sheets to stocking rates, a precise inventory is a must. Beyond that, you need cows that are worth owning. Cows that matter, that count because of what they can profitably produce.
2009 April 10
Cattle markets are moving a little better; fed cattle trade was up to $85 last week and feeder cattle are a bit stronger. Grass fever should be adding a few bucks to the calf market soon, if it isnt already in some areas. With the summer high-demand grilling season around the corner, it will be interesting how consumers respond to beef prices.
by WLJ
2009 April 10
For the sixth consecutive year, Oregons farmers and ranchers have experienced positive sales growth, grossing an estimated $4.9 billion in 2008the largest total in the states history, according to a new report just released by Oregon State University.
2009 April 10
The pass is open is an expression that is used by residents and travelers in mountainous areas. This year, the saying, the interstate is open would ring a bell, especially given all the changes in travel agendas in the past three to four months.
2009 April 3
What has the Cattlemen's Beef Board (CBB) done for you lately? As much as they possibly can, would be the answer. With cattle prices trading on the low end of the modern trading spectrum, it's assuring to know that CBB is still keeping beef in front of consumers.
2009 April 3
It's always nice to honor people in our industry who have achieved above the ordinary and that have made a difference in the industry. And it's even better when these honors come along and you know the recipients. Such is the case as I write this column.
2009 March 27
There is only one way to phrase the nature of the congressional aggression over the AIG bonus situation last week: ?out of control.? The House of Representatives voted to pass a targeted tax on AIG employees who received bonuses. But it didn?t appear that the Senate wanted anything to do with the issue.
2009 March 20
I have been traveling to bull sales the past few weeks and it is stunning how well the breeding bull market is going. Most operators are selling a lot of volume at good prices. I think having a $75-80 slaughter bull market last summer helped these bull sales in a big way.
2009 March 6
It?sabsurd that Congress is dealing with a bill to ban the slaughter of horses in the U.S. Honestly, who are we to regulate what the rest of the world eats and desires, just because they are pets to some people and they can?t stand the thought of...
2009 February 27
Right now, its hard not to be overwhelmed by our governments actions. Last week was about the budget deficit; the week prior was about the housing and bank bailout.
2009 February 20
Cattle futures took a beating the day after Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced he was going to ask the packing industry to voluntarily tighten up the regulations on Country of Origin Labeling (COOL).
2009 February 13
I suppose big problems require big solutions, at least that?s what the political world seems to think. Seven hundred eighty-nine billion dollars for an economic stimulus bill that is built on a hope and a prayer is pretty amazing. This piece of wisdom passed in less than a week without any real debate.
2009 February 6
CBB assigned a subcommittee the responsibility of coming up with a plan to streamline the organization and come up with a strategy for passing a new referendum which would increase the assessment to $2 and allow it to be increased later to $3. The task force asked nearly all producer groups to make comment on better ways for CBB to function.
by WLJ
2009 February 6
Participating in the uppertieredmarkets requires information-driven decisions. When considering different strategies in todays rapidly changing industry, it is important to look at economic indicators of other sectors of the beef industry.
2009 January 30
Perhaps I spoke too soon regarding Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL). The Obama administration decided to suspend any final rulemaking decisions and implementation of rules that have not been implemented.


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