BEEF bits

Oct 2, 2009
by WLJ

Animal welfare symposium Oct. 16

As animal agriculture comes under scrutiny and animal welfare issues are hotly debated, the time to become educated to proactively address animal welfare issues is now. To better understand and proactively address farm animal welfare issues, the Department of Animal Sciences and the College of Veterinary Medicine are holding an Animal Welfare Symposium, “Building Partnerships to Address Animal Agriculture,” on Friday, Oct. 16, at The Ohio State University’s Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center, 2201 Fred Taylor Dr., Columbus, OH 43210. Well-known animal welfare experts and social scientists from around the world will discuss the scientific, ethical, legal and social contexts embedded in the animal welfare debate. For more information, contact Melissa Weber, director of communications and marketing for the College of Veterinary Medicine, at 614/292-3752 or

Salina resident wins Kansas cookoff

Eight Kansas chefs competed in the Kansas Beef Council’s What’s For Dinner Beef Cookoff held Saturday, Sept. 19, 2009, at the Kansas State Fair. Salina resident Miki Orr-Muths was chosen the winner for her Top Round Steak with Zucchini Marinara over Whole Wheat Pasta recipe. The finalists were scored on taste, ease of preparation, overall appeal and presentation. Orr-Muths received a check for $300 and a gift bag with “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner” materials and recipes. Prizes for second, third and fourth also were awarded and are as follows: 2nd Place: Denise Pounds, Hutchinson, KS—Mediterranean Garden Dinner with Beef Strips and Penne Pasta, $200; 3rd Place: Laura McReynolds, Hutchinson, KS—Cowboy Sirloin & Veggie Soup, $150; 4th Place: Beth Riffel, Tampa, KS—Taste of Summer Beef Orzo Salad, $100. Recipes from the eight finalists are available at www.

More consumers cooking at home

The difficult economic circumstances facing consumers have helped to boost fresh meat sales as consumers prepare more meals at home. “When it comes to meal preparation, what’s a meal without meat?” Todd Hale, senior vice president of consumer and shopper insights at The Nielsen Company said last Tuesday while presenting his latest research on U.S. retailing and consumer trends. In the year ending Sept. 5, 2009, fresh meats saw 9 percent dollar growth over the prior year in major retail channels. The second leading category, which rose nearly 6 percent, was packaged meats, driven, Hale said, by strong innovations in convenience such as microwaveable bacon products. Overall, there was a 2.2 percent increase in dollar growth in edible departments in the period. Most of the increase came at the expense of meals purchased away from home during the period, which declined sharply.

Siddiqui nominated to ag negotiator post

President Barack Obama has nominated an eminent agricultural scientist for the post of chief agriculture negotiator, a position which has assumed a critical role in the days of tough global negotiations on the concerned issues. Islam A Siddiqui, who earned his Bachelor of Science from the Uttar Pradesh Agriculture University, has been nominated by Obama as the chief agricultural negotiator in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, a White House communication said. Siddiqui is currently vice president for Science and Regulatory Affairs at CropLife America. From 1997 to 2001, Siddiqui served in various capacities in the Clinton administration at USDA as undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, senior trade advisor to Secretary Dan Glickman, and deputy undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs.

U.S. beef makes gains in Japan

While access for U.S. beef remains limited in Japan, consumers in the former No. 1 export market are more ready than anytime in recent years to chow down on American steaks and beef bowls, according to surveys conducted by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Over the past three years, the number of consumers who feel “extremely safe” or “somewhat safe” in consuming U.S. beef have more than doubled from 12.1 percent in 2006 to 30.1 percent in August 2009, according to surveys commissioned by USMEF and conducted by Macromill. Those consumers who feel “not very safe” or “not safe at all” have declined from 62.5 percent to 30.8 percent, while the balance have no firm opinion.

Dairy cull exceeds 225,000 head

Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) said its audits show a total of 225,783 dairy cows have been retired so far this year in an effort to address a supplyand-demand imbalance that has fueled a severe financial crisis in the dairy industry. Jim Tillison, CWT’s chief operating officer, said still more herd reductions are possible this year due to the continuing milk price squeeze farmers are in. In its most recent round of herd retirements, the majority of the 74,114 cows culled were sent to processing plants, CWT said. Also removed were 2,958 bred heifers. In all, CWT said it removed 274 herds in 38 states.