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WLJ

Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
“We’ve completed the dairy herd testing and have passed the halfway point for testing purebred and seed stock herds. More than 750 of these have been tested since late April when herds were randomly selected for the disease surveillance. We plan to complete the remainder of the testing of the randomly selected herds before the end of the year. Volunteers still are welcome to have their purebred or seed stock herds tested,” said Dr. Dee Ellis, who heads up field operations for the Texas Animal Health Commission, the state’s livestock and poultry regulatory agency. “Accredited private veterinarians who are TB-certified conduct
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
September 3, 2007 Colorado State Fair punishes 4-H youth On the eve of the livestock sale at the Colorado State Fair being held in Pueblo this week, several youngsters who had qualified for the sale were told they would not be able to sell their animals because they had not complied with the state fair rule requiring enrollment in the premises registration component of the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). Two of the families involved had submitted the premises identification number for their county fairgrounds. Both families say they received permission from state fair officials to do so for the 2007 fair.
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
The U.S. House of Representatives is tentatively scheduled to vote Sept. 7, on a bill that would completely eliminate horse slaughtering in the U.S. Rep. John Sweeney’s, R-NY, House Bill 503, “The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act,” would mean an immediate and permanent ban on the “shipping, transporting, moving, delivering, receiving, possessing, purchasing, selling or donation” of horses in interstate commerce for slaughter for human consumption. Reportedly, House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-IL, made a deal with Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-KY, to bring this bill out of the Energy and Commerce Committee and straight to the House floor for an immediate
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
September 4, 2006 Again, fed cattle markets were slow to develop last week. Packers were reluctant buyers looking into the Labor Day weekend, the last big grilling holiday for summer. Labor Day is a pivotal point for market direction and strong meat sales are often required for the market to advance into positive territory during the following weeks. Packers are at break-even levels and will be trying to get some positive margin back into the picture. Packers were bidding $86 for cattle and feeders were looking for $90 as of last Thursday. The boxed beef markets were significantly softer last week,
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
September 4, 2006 The Northern Montana Angus Association welcomes you to the Big Sky Country of Northern Montana for three fun filled days where you will tour some of Montana’s finest Angus Herd operations. This annual event of combined association and membership activities will kick off on September 20, 2006 with a golf scramble tournament that will start at 9:30 am and is being hosted by Universal Semen Sales of Great Falls, MT. Tour Registration will begin at 2:00 pm at this year’s headquarters, the Best Western Heritage Inn in Great Fall, MT. Other Wednesday activities will include a social with meal
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
September 5, 2005 So much of the discussion today in the beef business concerns itself with the application of an eartag followed by the systematic ability to track the movement of the animal. To avoid confusion, other uses of the tag are deliberately not discussed or simply ignored. Eartags are the seeds of numbers that evolve into data. Data trends are what managers look for. In fact, there are large organizations that do nothing but manage data. Hidden within the depths of most data sets is an answer to a question. The answer may not be very profound; however, day-to-day operations of most
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials added that no suspect ruminant feed sources were found and indicated that a ban against all animal by-products in ruminant feeds would probably be announced either in late October or early November. According to John Clifford, chief veterinary officer for USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, testing and surveillance of animals, both within and outside the “index herd,” showed there to be no other associated cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). “We depopulated and tested 67 animals of interest from the farm where the infected animal originated,” said Clifford. “All of the these animals tested
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
September 5, 2005 It is absolutely amazing the punishment mother nature can dish out. This last hurricane, Katrina, wiped out an entire socio-economic system and it certainly won’t stop there. The economic system in that region has come to a screeching halt and it has been suggested that it will have a negative impact on the entire U.S. economy to the tune of one-and-a-half percent. Much of that impact is to be felt through higher oil and gas prices. The energy industry has become a very complicated business and the effects this one storm has had, in just a few days, on
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
— Energy prices curtail restaurant demand. Early optimism for a steady to $1 stronger fed cattle market was eroded last week when trade occurred Thursday at prices mostly $2-3 lower dressed, $1 lower live. Packing plants were starting to see profitable margins decrease and projections for late summer and fall beef demand decline as rising energy prices start to take a toll on consumer demand. By Thursday, Nebraska cattle feeders had traded approximately 55,000 head at $127-128 dressed, while Kansas feedlots had traded 30,000 head at mostly $81-81.50 live. Texas cattle feeders were still holding out for $82 at press time, however,
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
September 5, 2005 The other day, I struck gold when I went to my local Costco store. That’s where I buy most of my beef because Costco sells only USDA Choice beef at the best everyday prices I’ve come across. I was scanning “in-the-bag” items in the meat case when I spotted whole strip loins (about 10-11 pounds per bag) at only $5.15 per pound. Then I turned the bag over and saw the words “USDA Prime” printed on the original packer bag. It seemed to be the only Prime bag in the case so I quickly put it in my cart.
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
“This move is absolutely a last straw; no one wins when it comes to trade sanctions, but we want Japan to recognize a science-based approach to their regulations,” said Mike Fitzgerald, vice president of communications for NC. In a letter sent to U.S. House of Representatives Agriculture Committee Chairman, Bob Goodlatte, R-VA, NC urged additional government efforts to open the border to U.S. beef products. The letter was also sent to President Bush, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, USDA Secretary Mike Johanns, Nebraska representatives Lee Terry and Tom Osbourne, Nebraska senators Chuck Hagel and Ben Nelson, as well as National Cattlemen’s
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
During an Aug. 30 press conference, Johanns, under enormous pressure from producer groups and government officials, announced “guiding principles” for the development of a public/private partnership which will create a privatized animal movement database as part of USDA’s efforts to initiate a multi-species ID program. “We are eager to work closely with industry as they develop and maintain databases that contain animal movement information. After hearing the confidentiality concerns of producers, we envision a system that allows these databases to feed a single, privately held animal tracking repository that we can access,” said Johanns. During his briefing, Johanns announced USDA will
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) reported Aug. 28 that 239 premises in seven western states have been quarantined since the first case was confirmed April 27. A total of 295 horses have been confirmed as infected with the disease, with another 76 head of cattle testing positive. The number of those animals that are currently still infected with the disease is 199 horses and 60 cattle. According to APHIS, 148 of the infected premises are still under quarantine. Seventy-two of those premises are on a 21-day countdown to be removed from quarantine. This year’s outbreak of VS is
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
September 11, 2006 Wyoming food safety month Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal has proclaimed September Food Safety Month. He recognized that the U.S. has the safest, most abundant food supply in the world and that cooperation is the key to ensuring that continues. Food Safety Education Month is a national initiative in which the restaurant and food industries, government, higher education and consumer organizations work together to enhance and recognize food safety, from the farm to the table. The key components of this initiative are public education and food safety training for state and local health departments, restaurants, supermarkets and food service operations. Grant
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
Have you noticed any changes in the beef industry lately? Or should I say, have you seen anything stay constant lately? I was asked recently how I felt about how producers today can't enjoy the same lifestyle that was enjoyed on the farm in the last generation. I wondered whether the lifestyles that raising cattle 30 years ago provided is really what people want today. At that time, a small acreage did support an entire family and they lived well (at least by the standards of the day). However, producers then did not ask their farm business to support four
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
Some people are unlucky enough to get audited on multiple occasions. Austin Mitchell’s family has owned and operated a farm in Salem, MO, for over 100 years. Mitchell is also a lawyer and CPA. He grew up on the farm, and returned to live there in 1991 when his mother took ill. After her death, he inherited the farm and continued living there and managing it. The farm has had prodigious corn harvests, and trees in various stages of maturity that are sold for lumber. Mitchell also sought to make money with haying. The IRS determined that the activity was not
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
The Conaway Ranch was purchased in 2004 by the Conaway Preservation Group, a conglomerate of land developers from California’s second fastest growing region. The group has operated the ranch as a working facility, growing rice, wheat and tomatoes as well as preserving the wetlands for waterfowl production and hunting purposes. Despite the fact the land is owned by developers, the group has said it has no intentions to subdivide it. “We can do wildlife-friendly farming and conservation and make money at the same time,” said Steve Gidaro, one of several owners of Conaway Ranch. The ranch, located along the Sacramento River, is
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
Back in the mainstream "Out of sight, out of mind!”—That has been the situation the last six weeks to two months with several important non-BSE related issues in the U.S. livestock industry. However, now that Congress is back in session, western state producers need to realize that things will start to happen at a very rapid pace on issues that are of utmost importance to them. One of those issues is the Endangered Species Act (ESA), specifically, the pending amendments to the law and its reauthorization for another unspecified term. Among the proposed changes to be discussed by Congress is a suggestion
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
The next step in the ongoing saga regarding the legal challenge of live cattle and beef trade with Canada was finally made public late last week as attorneys for R-CALF United Stockgrowers of America filed for an en banc appeal with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. If accepted by the court, the request would result in the entire Ninth Circuit ruling on the case, instead of the previous three-judge panel. In mid-July, a three-judge appellate panel allowed the U.S. to resume imports of live Canadian cattle and additional beef products. That ruling overturned a U.S. District Court decision that put in
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
Of particular focus was reallowing the use of most of the small intestine in the manufacturing of sausage. USDA followed suit by amending its BSE rules to allow bovine small intestine to be harvested after the potentially infectious portion of the tract has been removed. The rule prohibits the use of bovine specified risk materials (SRMs), which are materials most likely to carry the agent responsible for spreading bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). SRMs include the brain and spinal cord and other parts in the central nervous system. The original IFR included the entire small intestine as an SRM, meaning that it couldn’t


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