Friday, October 29, 2010

Balanced Diets Best

Vegetarians at risk of brain disorders

IANS, Oct 28, 2010, 02.36pm IST

Vegetarians are at an early risk of mental disorder such as dementia and alzheimer's as they develop a Vitamin B-12 deficiency, doctors said here Wednesday.

Fish, shellfish, meat, eggs, milk and their by-products are some of the biggest sources of Vitamin B-12.

"Deficiency of Vitamin B-12 can reduce working capacity of the brain and result in progressive memory loss that has an impact on day to day activities," Praveen Gupta, consultant neurologist at Artemis Health Institute in Gurgaon, said in an Interview.

"Since majority of the Indian population is vegetarian and milk consumption has reduced considerably, they are more prone to early onset of dementia. Those who suffer from lactose intolerance are also at risk," Gupta explained.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), India had nearly 3.5 million alzheimer's and dementia patients in the year 2000.

"We see at least 30 patients under the age of 40 every month -- suffering from memory loss and other manifestations due to deficiency of vitamin B-12. Once diagnosed, these patients respond very well to vitamin B-12 supplements," Gupta added.    Read More

Eating a balanced diet that includes meat and dairy products has been proven time and again to be the best diet for people.  But diet alone doesn’t determine your health.  There’s a little thing called exercise that also plays an important factor.  Many critics of our food supply conveniently seem to forget that. 

Missouri's Prop B Affects Real People

Breeders fearful of tighter rules under Prop B

By Melanie Loth

October 28, 2010
6:42 p.m. CDT
Columbia Missourian

COLUMBIA – Peaches rolls in the grass by the feet of his breeder, Hubert Lavy. The French bulldog casually sniffs Lavy’s shoes and jeans, finding the scent of the other dogs at the kennel.

“If you ever want a pet, this is what you get,” he said. “They are the most loving, comical pets.”

Lavy and his wife, Sharon Lavy, own Tenderheart Kennel in Silex, which is in Lincoln County. They have been breeding dogs to sell as pets for the past 10 years.

“We sell love, we sell friendship, but we also sell a reason to get out of bed in the morning,” Hubert Lavy said.

Tenderheart Kennel is one of many large-scale dog breeding operations in Missouri that would be affected if voters statewide approve Proposition B on Tuesday.

Proposition B would add new regulations to current laws governing dog breeders in Missouri. The regulations are limited to dog breeders with 10 or more breeding females. Tenderheart Kennel has 37 breeding females, but only breeds about 20 of them; the rest are too young or too old.

The Lavys oppose Proposition B because they fear it would be cost-prohibitive to meet all of the proposed standards.

“It’s the only thing I want to do for the rest of my life,” Hubert Lavy said. “It’s my hobby, it’s what I love to do and, dammit, they are going to take it away from me.”

Hubert Lavy estimated renovations to meet the standards in Proposition B would cost $50,000. He put his yearly earnings at $15,000 to $20,000.    Read More

This article is the first one that I’ve seen about Prop B in Missouri that has attempted to put a face on the people this will affect.  HSUS has been able to make a fortune by trying to make criminals out of honest, hard working people that raise animals.  The widely used HSUS talking point is to say that they only want to stop the worst cases of abuse.  Yet spending just a minute on their website will tell a completely different story.  They don’t want people using animals for any purpose whatsoever.  Prop B, like many other pieces of legislation they have forced on states, is just a step in the direction of their ultimate goals.  Please vote NO on Prop B in Missouri. 

Another Local Shelter Has To Set The Record Straight

Michigan Humane Society: not part of political campaign, Peters ads

Published: Thursday, October 28, 2010
By Charles Crumm
For the Daily Tribune

The Michigan Humane Society is distancing itself from a political action committee called the Humane Society Legislative Fund, which is running ads on behalf of U.S. Rep. Gary Peters.

The Bingham Farms-based nonprofit said in a statement Wednesday that it is not connected with the Humane Society Legislative Fund or its parent organization, The Humane Society of the United States.

It is prohibited as a nonprofit from promoting or endorsing political candidates, Humane Society spokeswoman Nancy Gunnigle said.

“Our focus is on caring for dogs and animals each year in metropolitan Detroit,” she said.

  Read More

Here’s one thing you will never hear anyone from the HSUS be able to say with a straight face, “Our focus is on caring for dogs and animals”.  And if they do they are lying.  That’s probably the best way for local shelters to differentiate themselves from the HSUS.  It’s just a shame that local shelters have to spend precious time and resources trying to straighten out the confusion intentionally caused by the HSUS to feed their fundraising machine. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010 Helping Share Our Story

I just wanted to say a quick thank you to the team over at  for volunteering to help us share the story of the American Farmer and Rancher.  Mike Rowe and the entire team are certainly big supporters of the hard working men and women that make this country what it is. 

I really appreciate them posting my blog article on the Farm American project.  If you haven't seen it yet you need to check it out.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Farm American

We’ve been saying it for a long time in agriculture, we need to be proactive in our efforts to educate the consumer about domestic food production and the farmers and ranchers that grow it rather than being reactive to the latest inaccurate accusations from an anti-ag group. There’s not a better way to do this than to tell our story one person at a time and let consumers get to know us, let them meet a real farmer or rancher. But we’ve also talked about how great it would be to tell our story on a bigger stage to a bigger audience. With limited resources and opportunities it hasn’t happened yet, however, that is about to change.

I truly believe that the opportunity we have been looking for has just landed in our lap. Even more amazing than that is it’s coming from someone with no ties to agriculture at all yet he realizes the important job that farmers and ranchers have and wants to help tell the story of the 21st century agriculturalist. His name is Barney Visser and he owns the Furniture Row chain of furniture stores. Like most farmers and ranchers, Visser is a self-made man and a great example of what you can achieve with hard work. He started with a single store in Denver selling an invention of his called the bean bag chair. That single store turned into the fastest growing furniture chain today which includes brands like Denver Mattress and Oak Express.

Visser recently formed the Furniture Row Racing NASCAR team but unlike most teams he wanted to use his to promote worthwhile causes when possible. When he was presented with the idea of promoting the American farmer and rancher he knew it was the right thing to do. At one time he had 800 employees in Colorado making furniture for him. Unfortunately he had to eventually close it down though because he couldn’t compete with less expensive imports. Reflecting back on that experience Visser stated that it was bad enough he now has to get his furniture from overseas, the last thing he wanted is his food coming from there. So over the past year he has spent millions of his own money developing the Farm American project.

The Farm American project has several facets to it. Visser has generously offered to turn the Furniture Row Racing team into the Farm American team. The Farm American car ran at three Sprint Cup races this year and we were fortunate enough to be at the final running a few weeks ago in Fontana, CA where we got to meet Visser and his family and the entire race crew. The paint scheme is beautiful on the car and really stands out among the rest of the field because it’s not cluttered with advertisements. Along with this, we want to develop a traveling interactive display that would be set up in the Fan Zone at every race. It would include having local farmers and ranchers there to share with consumers what they do, a real farmers market, farm machinery simulators and other great teaching tools. Research has shown that this segment of the project can reach 33% of the American public every week.

The next phase of the plan also highlights the commitment and generosity of Barney Visser. He is going to allow us to use all of his retail locations across the country to promote farmers and ranchers as well. This will include in-store displays featuring local farmers and ranchers as well as promotional material included in their advertisements. Visser has even offered to re-paint all of his delivery trucks to match the paint scheme on the Farm American car. This would reach another 30% of the American public.

Finally, the Farm American car and traveling educational exhibit could be available for various other functions, including fairs and shows.

When you add it all up, this project could reach nearly 200 million people. That’s an astonishing number! Unfortunately, it will take some money to bring this project to it’s full potential. As I mentioned earlier, Mr. Visser has already put a couple million dollars of his own money into it to get it off the ground. Now it’s time for agri-business to step up and help the farmers and ranchers they depend on to tell their story.

The Farm American project will need to raise $22 million in order to implement all of the components and operate for a full year. Now I know that seems like a big mountain to climb but in reality it’s not. When you think about the economic impact that agriculture has on this country and the importance of this issue, that’s a small price to pay to educate our consumers. It would be tough for individual farmers and ranchers to raise that kind of money so that’s why we need ag businesses to step up.

We need agri-business to realize that they need to become partners in our efforts to tell the real story of modern agriculture. It’s been great to see some companies realize this and trying to do what they can to help. For those, it’s their opportunity to become part of something even bigger than themselves. If there are companies out there that feel it’s not their responsibility to help tell this story, then they have a shockingly short-sighted view of what needs to be done. I plan on asking all of these companies, both privately and publicly, to help with this project. Their survival depends on our survival.

So what do we need from you? We need your voices. We need your passion. We need you to help share the story of the Farm American project so we can share the story of the American Farmer and Rancher with 200 million consumers. These ag businesses will need to hear from each and every one of you about why this is important. I am going to commit to giving my business to the companies that support this project and will encourage all of you to do the same. It's also important for me to stress that neither Visser or Furniture Row Racing will be profiting from this project.  They are doing it because it's the right thing to do. 

Above all else, we want this effort to stay very positive! The anti-ag groups like to stoop to that level on a regular basis. We don’t have to, our message speaks for itself. So thank you in advance for keeping all of your comments very positive and helping us make this incredible project a reality.

Let me know if you have any ideas, comments or questions and stay tuned for more updates!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Animal Friends Advocate Violent Death For Deer

Group: Use coyotes, not hunters to cut deer population

Published: Tuesday, October 19, 2010

VALLEY FORGE — An animal-rights group that opposes the use of hunters to cut the deer population in Valley Forge National Historical Park wants officials to consider using coyotes instead.

The Pennsylvania chapter of Friends of Animals opposes a plan to use sharpshooters to eliminate more than 80 percent of the park's deer in the next four years. Last year, the group filed a lawsuit seeking to stop the hunts.

Now, the group has started a campaign called the Coyote Coexistence Initiative. The group wants park officials to consider encouraging natural predators rather than shooting the deer.

Park officials say the proposal wouldn't work.

Friends of Animals says it will seek an injunction to stop a hunt planned for next month. According the Friends of Animals' Web site, attempts to control coyote populations through trapping and killing have been futile and "an ethically and scientifically sound strategy that focuses on empowering people to respect coyotes" is preferable.

"Education and outreach designed to inform the public about the role of feeding in coyote attacks is an integral part of coexistence programs already in place and those currently being developed," the group's Web site says. "Coyote education campaigns can demonstrate practical ways to avoid unwanted incidents — by, for example, making coyote deterrents using household items."     Read More

Let’s see if I can get this straight.  The Friends of Animals group would rather have predators chasing and harassing a deer until it finally dies a very slow and painful death than have sharpshooters quickly harvest the deer and use the meat to feed the homeless.  With friends like that who needs enemies??  Not only would this be a tremendous waste of resources, but it would also lead to an eventual problem with coyotes as well.  With their plan, what happens to the coyotes if and when they would lower the deer population?  They either start starving to death or die off from disease.  It’s another great example of people with no knowledge or experience dealing with managing natural resources trying to make recommendations that cause more harm than good. 

Activists Threaten Food Supply

Ruling Imperils Sugar Production


Wall Street Journal

U.S. sugar production will be cut by about 20% if farmers are banned from planting genetically modified beets next year, according to data prepared for the U.S. Department of Agriculture as part of a court case over whether to continue allowing the practice.

Genetically modified beets have come to account for 95% of the U.S. sugar-beet crop in the five years since they were approved by the Agriculture Department. But in August, a judge threw out the USDA's initial approval for the use of genetically modified seeds, saying it hadn't done enough research into the environmental impact. The department says the studies the judge required will take about two years.

That triggered concerns there wouldn't be enough traditional sugar-beet seeds for next spring's planting season, as many seed producers had switched to genetically modified varieties. It takes about two years to produce seeds.

Sugar beets, from which sugar is processed, will account for about 60% of domestic U.S. production this year.

If farmers can't plant genetically modified seeds next spring, a shortage of traditional seeds would likely cut 1.6 million tons from next year's sugar-beet crop, according to a declaration by the USDA prepared by Daniel Colacicco, director of the department's dairy and sweetener analysis group. The government has forecast next year's crop at 8.1 million tons.    Read More

This falls in line with the typical “shoot first, ask questions later” approach by anti-ag groups in their efforts to force agriculture to change without looking at the consequences.  Many of these groups have a similar philosophy to roll ag back 100 years in it’s technology use.  What they don’t realize is that these types of things reduce our ability to grow food at the exact time we need to be increasing our output.  All of these efforts come from people that live very comfortably and don’t worry about being able to afford food.  Those that live on a budget or don’t know where their next meal is coming from would certainly disagree with these elitist attacks on our food production system. 

Vote No on Missouri's Prop B

Ballot issue breeds contempt between dog breeders, animal-rights activists


The forces for and against Missouri’s Proposition B are making their cases with cute and cuddly puppies.

But make no mistake, the contest to convince voters is a down and dirty dogfight.

Prop B on the Nov. 2 statewide ballot will ask voters whether to enact the “Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act,” a set of laws that would substantially sharpen regulations on dog breeders.

Proponents, led by national animal-rights groups, contend new laws are critical to ensure humane treatment within Missouri’s vast dog-breeding industry.

“The regulations on the books now … ensure that dogs in these facilities survive, but don’t do much more than that,” said Barbara Schmitz, campaign manager for Missourians for the Protection of Dogs. “We’re trying to insert animal-welfare provisions into the large-scale breeding equation.”

Breeders and animal-agriculture trade groups counter that the laws will devastate reputable family businesses and raise the price of puppies at pet stores, but do nothing to stop bad breeders.

“What this does is make regulation so strict on breeders that it will basically put them out of business,” said Anita Andrews, director of the Alliance for Truth, a campaign opposing the ballot measure.   Read More

The HSUS doesn’t want people using animals for any reason, not as pets or as sources of food.  If this bill passes it helps them on both fronts.  They know this will hurt people who raise dogs in turn making it harder for people to have dogs for pets.  It will also get their foot in the door on the livestock front and further their argument that eating meat is wrong.  HSUS is nothing but a fundraising machine and in order to keep that machine running they must continually push onerous regulations on people who use animals by distorting the truth.  Please let your friends and family in Missouri know they should vote NO on Prop B.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Background on the PETA Rally

Some parents question PETA protest at Pa. school

- The Associated Press
October 13, 2010 9:32am EDT

• PITTSBURGH — Some parents are questioning a protest by People for the Ethical Treatment for Animals outside a Pittsburgh public school.

A person in an elephant costume with a bloody forehead bandage handed out coloring books as students left Colfax Elementary School on Tuesday. The protest targets the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus coming to town next month.

Parent Sabrina Weihrauch says she generally supports PETA, but doesn't believe in demonstrating outside a school.

PETA spokeswoman Virginia Fort says the stunt "gently let children know" how circus animals are treated. The circus says its animals aren't mistreated.

Seventy-two-year-old Anne Myrick tried to shoo students away from the protest, telling the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, "They're hustling little kids."   Link

This is pretty standard fare for PETA but I thought I’d let all of you know a little more about Virginia Fort. She is PETA’s full time paid protester. She travels across the country setting up these demonstrations. I was able to visit with her when they were in Rapid City last November. At that protest they were trying to convince people that all dairy cows are abused by the farmers that own them. In part of our discussions with Ms. Fort we asked her what should be done with all of the pasture land that cows are grazing on since they want animal agriculture eliminated. Her response was that we should farm it. Another rancher standing nearby asked if she really thought ripping up native prairie in a semi-arid climate was a good idea. She said we might as well since the cows are out there pooping on it anyhow. WHAT?? I asked her if I could video her saying that response again and she refused. Obviously this wouldn’t be the best use of the land but her idea is that if anything is “pooping” on the land it is being destroyed. That’s PETA mentality for you.

The other main point to take home from this is that there aren’t protests from local people taking place. PETA has to hire employees to do this for them. For the most part it’s the same few people at every PETA protest.

Friday, October 8, 2010

NASCAR Team Promotes Ag

This weekend, Stacy and I have the incredible opportunity to attend the NASCAR race in Fontana, CA as guests of the #78 Furniture Row Racing Team.  This past year the team created a car that pays tribute to agriculture and the American farmer and rancher.  This weekend will be the last time this year that the car will be run. 

We are really excited to see the Farm American car run and learn more about the incredible opportunities we have to teach consumers about agriculture through this amazing program.  Over the weekend we will be updating our followers through our blog, our Advocates for Ag facebook page and twitter account

Please take a look at some of the great things this race team is already doing to promote agriculture and stay tuned!! 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

OH Livestock Board Drafts First Proposal

Wednesday, October 6, 2010, 1:21pm EDT

Ohio's Livestock Care board drafts 1st set of rules

The voter-approved Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board is taking its first steps in drafting new rules to govern the treatment of animals in the state.

The board this week voted to create new standards on livestock euthanasia, marking the first time such guidelines have been established in Ohio. Specifics of the new euthanasia rules must be OK’d by a committee before going into effect and are posted here for a two-week public comment period.

The proposed euthanasia rules not only define the term itself but establish acceptable methods for horses, chickens, pigs, cattle and other farm animals based on weight and other conditions. Violators are subject to civil penalties, according to the approved draft.

The issue of more humane methods of euthanasia for animals in the state was a key sticking point in a standoff between state officials and the Humane Society of the U.S., which earlier this year was planning a ballot issue that would have bound the Livestock Care Standards Board to implement specific rules if passed. The activist group and state officials brokered a compromise in June that kept the issue from heading to the ballot and ensured the board, created with voter approval last year, would hand down regulations on dog breeding kennels, cockfighting and exotic animals. The state also has agreed to phase out so-called gestation crates used by the pork industry.

Robert Boggs, director of the state Agriculture Department, said in a release that the proposed euthanasia rules are designed to be “clear and practical for Ohio’s livestock producers.”  Link

These are the first regulations to come out of the newly formed Livestock Care Board.  Regardless of how beneficial they are for farmers and ranchers, what remains to be seen is if the HSUS will approve of them.  From here on out, any regulations the board approves will also have to be approved by the HSUS or they will start reminding everyone how they have enough signatures to go back to the ballot and force whatever they see fit.  There are certainly differing opinions about the compromise that was made in June but we do know one thing for sure, HSUS will hold the state hostage until they get everything they want.  Like a gun to Ohio’s head, those ill-gotten signatures will have more affect on the outcome of Ohio’s livestock industry than this board will. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

EPA Targeting Chesapeake Bay Farmers

Bay cleanup could cost farmers

Act would step up protections for bay, cause stricter regulations


Published: October 04, 2010

Cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay could cost local farmers more than just money.

“If you’re a farmer now, and you’re barely making it, and this regulation comes along, you’ll have to get out,” said Bill Nance, a farmer in Bedford. “There’s a good number of (local) farmers who may have to get out of farming because of this legislation.”

U.S Senate Bill 1816, The Chesapeake Clean Water and Ecosystem Restoration Act of 2010, steps up the protections for the bay by applying new, stricter regulations and extending the regulatory power of the Environmental Protection Agency. The bill will go to the full Senate in the coming days.

The entire Chesapeake Bay watershed is overburdened

by nitrogen, phosphorous and sediment. The nitrogen and phosphorous kill the grasses below the surface and suck oxygen from the water, creating dead zones. Oysters and other wildlife that used to thrive now struggle to survive.

This pollution comes from agriculture as well as air pollution, storm-water runoff, sewage and other factors.

Last week, the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation delivered 18,000 letters from farmers protesting the bill to Sens. Mark Warner and Jim Webb.

“Even without the letters, your Farm Bureau leadership has been crystal clear on how you feel about the bill,” Warner told farmers in a Senate conference room Thursday, according to a news release about the event.

Read More

I’ve recently been highlighting some of the things that the EPA is doing that will severely impact the ability of family farmers and ranchers to grow food.  Their only goal seems to be increased regulations regardless of what it does to the people in this country.  In order for our country to remain great, an abundant, reliable food supply must be grown right here.  Unfortunately that doesn’t seem to be a concern of this federal agency. 

Proposed GIPSA Rule Could Reduce Welfare

NCBA Echoes Temple Grandin’s Animal Welfare Concerns
10/04/2010 03:40PM

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration’s (GIPSA) proposed rule on livestock marketing poses concerns to animal welfare, according to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). The Obama Administration's proposed rule would ban packer-to-packers sales of livestock causing many to question the impact to the welfare of livestock. Colin Woodall, NCBA vice president of government affairs, said eliminating packer-to-packer sales would have several unintended consequences such as animal welfare.

“Let’s say that there is a beef packer located in the Pacific Northwest that also owns a feedlot in Southwest Kansas. Under this proposal, that company would be required to ship all of its Kansas feedlot cattle to Washington State for processing, which subjects those cattle to an additional 1,600 miles of travel,” said Woodall

Woodall also said the packer-to-packer ban would especially hurt smaller producers, dealers and packers. He said the ban would encourage consolidation and displace producer livestock.

“In addition, those cattle that traveled from Kansas to Washington State would displace the local cattle that typically supply that plant,” said Woodall. “The proposal would add inefficiencies for the feedlot through added transportation costs, which could result in the sale or liquidation of that feedlot, thereby driving consolidation and less competition.”

Colorado State University professor and world renowned animal welfare expert, Temple Grandin, wrote USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack offering her concerns about the well-being of livestock if the proposed rule requires packers to market and sell livestock through dealers is implemented. Beyond stress to livestock that would occur if this rule is implemented, Grandin is also concerned that the proposed rule would complicate and compromise the effectiveness of many established animal welfare-certification programs by requiring another level of paperwork and recordkeeping to track the additional transactions.

“As a scientist who has dedicated her life to improving livestock welfare, I am extremely alarmed that although this rule is concerned with marketing and competition, the department ultimately responsible for it – USDA – is also charged with enforcing the Humane Slaughter Act and apparently has paid so little attention to the animal welfare implications of this proposal,” Grandin stated in the letter.     Link

The GIPSA rule proposal has certainly been cussed and discussed throughout the beef industry.  The unintended consequences of this proposal seem to be mounting though.  Temple Grandin has now added her welfare concerns to the mix.  The last thing we need in animal agriculture is the federal government forcing new regulations on us that actually limit our ability to properly handle cattle. 

HSUS Doesn't Help Us

"Woofstock" a big hit
Middlebury, Vermont - October 2, 2010

The Addison County Humane Society says the number of animals in their care has doubled in recent years, and they are struggling financially to keep up. Officials say the economy is to blame, but a big fundraiser "Woofstock" was a big hit!

Tails were wagging at Woofstock today. About 75 dogs and their owners came out to support the Addison County Humane Society, and have a little fun. Many of the canines on hand were alumni of the ACHS donning bandanas as they roamed the recreation field. But many more critters remain at the shelter.

"When I got here three years ago we had about 85 animals. Right now we have 140 at our shelter and another 50 in foster care," said Vicki VanDenBurg of ACHS.

But while their numbers doubled, their budget did not.

"We do not receive any state or federal dollars. We do not receive any funding from any national organizations like The Humane Society of the United States or the ASPCA. We adopt an animal out for $100 and it costs us about $400 to care for that animal," said VanDenBurg.    Read More

I thought this article was interesting because this local shelter made sure to mention that they receive no financial help from the HSUS.  Here’s another shelter that struggles to make ends meet day after day while the HSUS continues to raise hundred’s of millions of dollars from people confused about what they do.

Monday, October 4, 2010

A Great Weekend

Being involved with the National Beef Ambassador Contest this past weekend was a great time!  Eighteen of the most talented young leaders in the beef industry were in Rapid City to show off their knowledge and passion for this great segment of agriculture.  While every one of them would have done a fantastic job representing beef producers, the field was whittled down to five. 

Your 2011 National Beef Ambassadors are Kelli Fulkerson from Michigan, Maddy Ruble from Minnesota, Jessica Sweet from Callifornia, Austin Joyce from Texas, and Kristen Stufft from Pennsylvania.  I'm looking forward to following these great young leaders as they travel around the country telling the great story of agriculture and the beef industry. 

It was an honor to help judge this competition and to speak at the awards breakfast.  Hopefully we inspired the contestants as much as they inspired us over the weekend.  The future of our industry is in great hands.

Friday, October 1, 2010

National Beef Ambassadors Contest

This weekend have the distinct honor of being judges for the National Beef Ambassador contest being in Rapid City, SD.  If you are in the beef industry and aren't familiar with the Beef Ambassador program, you should be.  These young adults have always impressed us with their passion for agriculture and especially beef production. 

There is no doubt in my mind that the Beef Checkoff money (or lack thereof) for this program is returned to our industry ten-fold.  You can't buy the enthusiasm and dedication that we have seen year after year from these young leaders. 

Along with judging the competition, we will also get to share our story with everyone coming to the contest at the Sunday morning breakfast.  This generation of young producers will spend their entire ag careers knowing that educating consumers and telling their story are very important.  That's why I know our future is in good hands. 

For more information check out the National Beef Ambassador website. 

EPA's Anti-Ag Agenda

NCBA Blasts EPA for Anti-Agriculture Agenda


by Gary Truitt

The National Cattleman’s Beef Association has launched a series of blistering allegations against the Environmental Protection Agency. Last week EPA administrator Lisa Jackson testified before the Senate Ag Committee that her agency is not out to get American agriculture. But, this week National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Chief Environmental Counsel Tamara Thies accused the agency of trying to put the cattle industry out of business, “It is ironic that as we strive to become less dependent on imported oil the policies of the Obama administration are likely to make us more dependent on imported beef.” She accused the EPA of waging a war to bring an end to production agriculture, “EPA exhibits reckless indifference to scientific fact, and instead imposes stringent regulations based on nothing more than its biased, anti-animal agriculture agenda that will leave many cattle operations with no recourse but to shut down.”

Speaking on Wednesday at a forum focused on the impact of EPA regulations on job creation and economic growth in the nation’s rural communities, Thies told members of the Rural America Solutions Group that EPA’s regulations will result in a loss of jobs, just the opposite of what the White House says they want to do. She said EPA regulations are causing economic uncertainty in the cattle industry and throughout rural American because they are “vague, overreaching, costly, unnecessarily burdensome, ludicrous, and sometimes illegal.”     Read More

The mentality at the EPA is that everything humans do is inherently damaging to the environment and that their job is to continually come up with more “solutions” to these problems.  It’s beginning to look like the EPA is more of a threat to the people of this country than people are to the environment.  This has never been more apparent that it is now with their goals of regulating dust. 

How Pig Parts Make the World Turn

How Pig Parts Make the World Turn

September 30, 2010 in Agriculture, Business

Christien Meindertsma wondered what happened to the pig parts that don’t make it into the grocer’s freezer as pork. Long ago, people used all the parts of the animals they raised for food. She asked herself, “Do they still use all the parts?” And then she tracked one pig from the farm to the processor and through all the products he ended up in.

She wrote a book about her research, called Pig 05049, and divided the chapters by skin, bones, meat, internal organs, blood, fat, and miscellaneous. She lists the products derived from each body part.

It surprised me how many of these are in everyday products. Before the day even starts, she says, we use shampoo, conditioner, soap, face cream, lotion, toothpaste.    Read More

Most of the critics of animal agriculture have no idea as to how important livestock are in our daily lives.  Besides the obvious of providing us with physical nutrition, we use the co-products in everything from crayons to jet fuel.  If we want to continue supporting our growing population on this planet then livestock will a pivotal role.  There are those that think we should all become vegans.  This is at best foolish and at worst dangerous to suggest.  

Lean Beef Good For Diet

Have a Cow: Heart Association Lines Up With Producers to Support Healthy Beef-Eating

By Hanna Raskin, Thu., Sep. 30 2010 @ 1:02PM

Animal rights activists may disagree, but beef is delicious. It's primal and earthy and packed with protein, which is probably why many Americans eat more red meat than they should.

But the Texas Beef Council's aggressively pushing another rationale for red meat consumption: It's good for you.

The organization is again sponsoring a Firehouse Grill-Off at the State Fair, featuring "big burly firefighters grilling heart-healthy recipes."

The council is so intent on demonstrating beef's cardiovascular benefits that it's partnering with the American Heart Association to present the event, which Alex Roberts, a publicist e-mailing on behalf of the Texas Beef Council, characterizes as an important step "to lower the risk of developing heart disease."

"We definitely support the promotion of portion-controlled, lean beef choices as a part of a heart healthy lifestyle," e-mails Claire Kinzy, communications director for the American Heart Association's South Central Affiliate.    Read More

With so many lean, healthy cuts of beef to choose from, it can be part of any diet.  Eating a balanced diet that includes meat and dairy products continues to be the only diet plan that has stood the test of time.  If the diet you are on doesn’t provide your body with all of the nutrients and vitamins it requires then you need to make a change.  Nutrition and dieting is 95% common sense but that seems to be in short supply these days.