BEEF bits

Oct 23, 2009
by WLJ



Nebraska Beef Council announces tour

The Nebraska Beef Council announces the “2009 Beef Producer Roundup” industry tour on Dec. 2-3, 2009. This is a great opportunity for beef producers to gain insight on the marketing of beef through the retail and food service channels and to learn about new research and other topics that affect the beef industry. The pick-up locations will include North Platte, Lexington and Kearney. Some of the stops include: Nebraska Beef Council and Cash-wa Distribution Center in Kearney, NE; Metro Community College Culinary Arts Center, American Foods Group, and Hy-Vee Foods in Omaha, NE; and Cargill Meat Solutions in Schuyler, NE. The tour is limited to the first 30 participants and registrations are due by Nov. 13, 2009. The only cost to the beef producer is their lodging on Dec. 2 and breakfast on Dec. 3. To reserve your spot on the tour, please call 800/421-5326, or for a complete agenda, log on to

South Dakota names cook-off winners

Twenty-three home cooks showed their sizzle for beef in the South Dakota (SD) CattleWomen’s 2009 Beef Cook-Off held recently at the South Dakota State Fair. Through eight hours of the contest, home cooks broiled, baked, grilled and saut beef vying for $2,000 in top prizes made possible by the SD Beef Checkoff and the SD Beef Industry Council. Beef Salads and Fast Family Favorites were the two divisions featured in this year’s cook-off. Capturing top beef salad and $500 was Doug Dreyer of Warner, SD, with his original recipe, Beef and Bleu Salad. Mary K. Bishop of Milbank, SD, earned honorable mention in the salad division. In the Fast Family Favorites division, the top prize and $500 went to Helen Gherghelescu of Milbank with her beef recipe, Dakotalicious Braised Beef. Mary Mairose of Kimball, SD, received honorable mention. Brochures with the finalists’ recipes are available from the SD CattleWomen and the SD Beef Industry Council. Call 605/894-4490 or visit to request a free copy.

Pilgrim’s Pride merger receives okay

JBS S.A. announced last week that the U.S. Department of Justice has given pre-approval for the plan to purchase a controlling stake in Pilgrim’s Pride for $800 million in cash. The total value of the transaction is estimated at $2.8 billion and is contingent on approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court which is overseeing the poultry company’s reorganization. “With today’s decision by the U.S. Department of Justice, JBS has been granted the opportunity to enter into the U.S. poultry industry pending approval from the bankruptcy court,” said Wesley M. Batista, president and chief executive officer of JBS USA Holdings, in a statement. “As a successful U.S. beef and pork company, we believe we are well positioned to bring that same competitive energy to Pilgrim’s Pride, its employees and customers.”

Tyson beef plant banned from Japan

The Tyson Foods plant in Lexington, NE, was found to have shipped banned spinal column pieces to Japan last week. The Japanese government has blocked further shipments from the plant until the company works out the problem with USDA. The company said the problem was the result of a mix-up at the plant. The shipment, which included short loins, was compliant in other areas including the stringent age requirement set forth by Japanese officials. The remaining Tyson beef plants remain eligible to ship beef to Japan under the terms of the trade agreement in place since beef shipments resumed.

Nebraska seeking buyer for plant

The Agriprocessors Inc. Facility in Gordon, NE, is for sale, according to a report by the Associated Press (AP). The city bought the plant, in conjunction with First Bank Business Capital Inc., last week during the Agriprocessors bankrupty auction. The plant has been shuttered since the company was forced into bankruptcy after an immigration raid in November 2008. The city manager, Fred Hlava, told AP that he has spoken with various parties about the facility. Some, he said, are interested in re-starting a kosher operation there; others are interested in more conventional processing operations. Hlava says the city of Gordon has a lien on the land because Agriprocessors didn’t meet terms of a state economic development grant. The bank has a lien on the remaining equipment.