BEEF bits

News
Oct 16, 2009
by WLJ

2009 Iowa Beef Backer awarded

Iowa’s beef producers have chosen the Iowa Beef Steakhouse, Des Moines, IA, as the 2009 Iowa Beef Backer recipient. This annual honor is presented to an Iowa restaurant that exemplifies exceptional beef dining. According to owner Henry Schneider IV, the Iowa Beef Steakhouse is committed to serving only the best beef available. Their simple menu features beef’s finest cuts, The “grill-your-own” concept allows customers to personally select their steak and then grill it to their liking over a large brick charcoal grill. As the Iowa winner, the restaurant will compete for the National Beef Backer title which will be announced in San Antonio, TX, during the Cattle Industry Annual Convention in January.

New beef products available now

What may seem like a time-intensive process is now starting to pay off as several of the beef checkoff’s new product concepts, initially developed and tested in 2006 and 2007, were recently introduced into the marketplace. Schwan’s launched the marinade-ondemand concept (which keeps the beef and marinade separate until the consumer is ready to marinate their steak) in a Chimichurri Beef flavor profile. In as little as 30 minutes, the steak is ready for the grill. Since introduction in late spring of 2009, over 200,000 packages have been sold with a retail value of over $2 million. Schwan’s is also receiving very positive feedback on another new product introduction developed by the beef checkoff, the Wine & Garlic Flat Iron Steak. Tyson also has several new products for retail, foodservice and international markets. One new product is Skillet Creations, a frozen retail meal kit with less sodium than Tyson’s prior offerings

Superior-SelectVAC winners named

Pfizer Animal Health partnered with Superior Livestock Auction to give away saddles to qualified producers at three auctions in July and August. Producers were automatically entered into a raffle drawing with every lot of SelectVAC calves consigned. The saddles, donated by Pfizer Animal Health, were raffled off at the following Superior Livestock auctions: “Week in the Rockies XXI” in Park City, UT, ran July 6-10 and sold 292,000 head. The winner of the saddle, Twin Meadows Ranch of Buhl, ID, had three lots of SelectVAC cattle consigned. “Video Royale XVII” in Winnemucca, NV, ran July 27-31 and sold 255,000 head. Franko Ranch of Terry, MT, was the winner of the Superior Livestock-SelectVac saddle, with two lots of SelectVAC consigned cattle. “Big Horn Classic” in Sheridan, WY, ran Aug. 18-21 and sold 190,000 head. The saddle went to Weil Ranch of Boswell, OK, with two lots of SelectVac cattle consigned. Tail-docking ban becomes law Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed a bill, that he once mocked, which bans the practice of tail docking of dairy cattle in California. The law will go into effect Jan. 1. The bill, introduced in February by California Senate Majority Leader Dean Florez, was backed by the Humane Society of the United States, the California Veterinary Medical Association, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the California Cattlemen’s Association, and the California Farm Bureau. The bill passed by a vote of 27-12 in the Senate and 58-15 in the Assembly.

Tail-docking ban becomes law

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed a bill, that he once mocked, which bans the practice of tail docking of dairy cattle in California. The law will go into effect Jan. 1, 2010. The bill, introduced in February by California Senate Majority Leader Dean Florez, was backed by the Humane Society of the United States, the California Veterinary Medical Association, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the California Cattlemen's Association and the California Farm Bureau. The bill passed by a vote of 27-12 in the Senate and 58-16 in the Assembly. 

Study links meat and prostate cancer

A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology has linked red meat and the development of prostate cancer. The research, conducted by scientists of the National Cancer Institute, looked at 175,000 men in the U.S. between the ages of 50 and 71. During the nine-year study, researchers tracked meat consumption and the method of cooking along with their intake of iron and nitrite/nitrate, the presence of benzopyrene—a byproduct of combustion of organic material, such as meat or poultry on a grill— and the incidence of prostate cancer. Comparing the subjects who ate the most meat with those who ate the least, the scientists identified “elevated risks associated with red and processed meat” in all cases of prostate cancer and also in cases in which the cancer was advanced. The researchers did not find any “clear associations” between meat consumption and cases of fatal prostate cancer.

Congress requests more aid for pork

Last week, nearly 100 members of Congress signed a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack urging that the agency provide more assistance for the ailing pork industry. The request comes on top of the $180 million already dedicated to the purchase of pork for a variety of federal food programs. Congressional members requested that USDA buy an additional $100 million of pork for various federal food programs; work with federal agencies to address swine disease surveillance on farms, related diagnostic and vaccine development, and swine industry support; and work with the U.S. Trade Representative to open export markets to U.S. pork, particularly China. Until the pork industry begins to see a rebound in prices, beef prices are likely to remain depressed as a result of the lower absolute price of the competing protein.

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