Utah joined Iowa in legally telling camera-wielding anti-ag activists they are not welcome. March 20, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed HB 187 into law, making it illegal to film livestock operations without the permission of the owner.
Rural Californians are all fired up over a new fee. The state claims the fee is needed to continue providing fire protection to rural residents. Opponents are calling foul, however, saying it is an illegal and unfair tax that will do more harm than good.
Beef projections are expected to be slightly higher from February with prices getting stronger. Export is expected to remain unchanged, but domestic slaughter is expected to be low. Slight overall increase is small, but still well below numbers from past years.
Many amendments were suggested and shot down for Highway Bill S.1813. Two of the small handful that got through should make farmers and ranchers breathe a sigh of relief. The bill will no longer require commercial licenses for drivers of farm vehicles and will lift restrictions that might have interfered with key seasonal activities.
Cross your fingers; the Endangered Species Act (ESA) may be getting a much-needed reworking soon. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) recently submitted a list of proposed reforms to the aging ESA which may improve transparency, efficiency, and the local involvement of ranchers and farmers in listing proceedings.
A newly-released FDA study shows some encouraging trends in food safety and the battle against antibioticresistant bacteria. Not only does retail ground beef show lower contamination rates than poultry in many cases, but many of the bacterial contaminations found in beef are less resistant to antibiotics than those found in poultry.
According to 2011 data compiled by the U.S.-Russia Coalition for trade, Russia is currently among the world’s top 10 importers of pork and beef (ranked 5th and 8th respectively). Most recent 2009 data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations lists pork and beef as Russia’s top two imports by value, at about $3.
The newly-discovered Schmallenberg virus has spread to southern England. So far, 83 farms in the United Kingdom (UK) have documented infected animals, as well as many farms in Germany, France and the Netherlands. Of the confirmed English cases, most have involved sheep herds, but some infected dairy cattle have been noted as well.
The U.S. Supreme Court just unanimously overturned the Montana Supreme Court’s decision requiring PPL Montana LLC (PPL)—an energy company—and other landowners, such as ranchers, to pay rent for the use of Montana’s riverbeds. The state of Montana and a number of environmental groups had argued that the state owned the riverbeds.
The growth of beef exports around the world has resulted in more conflicts over how individual countries raise their production animals. Increased U.S. beef export efforts, coupled with mutual interest in expanded trade in areas of Asia and Europe to a lesser extent, have sparked controversy over our meat production practices.
Delegates from China met with U.S. agricultural representatives in Iowa to discuss trade agreements and agricultural cooperation at a firstever symposium. Chinese officials toured farms and signed a five-year agreement to direct conversations on agricultural topics.
Sunday, Feb. 19 saw the announcement of what might be the first successful effort to grow meat in a lab. Of course, it didn’t take long for the discussion to take on distinctly science-fictiony tones that would make any nerd feel at home. Star Trek’s famous replicators were mentioned.
Anti-animal ag groups like the Humane Society of the United States have been crowing over recent reports of declining domestic demand for beef. But their cheers might be not only premature, but wholly misplaced. The reality of the so-called decline is far from what it seems on the surface.
Ag folks aren’t the only ones complaining about President Barack Obama’s proposed budget. The budget has created some unusual bedfellows; groups like the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) are both dissatisfied with Obama’s fiscal proposal.
American ranchers both big and small stand to benefit from the new Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The Pacific-countries trade agreement aims to reduce barriers to trade and integrate companies of all sizes into the global market.
Many non-ag consumers see the concepts of “animal welfare” and “animal rights” as synonymous. Given society’s move away from the farm, consumers’ experiences with animals are often limited to their pets. People’s tendency to see their pets as family members makes the situation ripe for well-funded animal rights groups to exploit consumers’ confusion.
Under fire from critics and lawmakers calling for CME to be stripped of its oversight powers, CME has announced the creation of a $100 million fund to protect farmers and ranchers in the event of another CME-member bankruptcy. The proposed fund would not cover losses sustained from the collapse of MF Global.
The conversation on sage grouse isn’t over yet. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) have extended the comment period on their proposed ruling until March 23. They are seeking public comment regarding topics that should be addressed in the evaluation of sage grouse issues.