Tuesday, December 28, 2010

There's No Such Thing As Hormone Free

Hormone meat pulled off shelves

• Wendy Hargreaves
• From: Sunday Herald Sun, Austrailia
• December 26, 2010 12:00AM

It is an Australian first that has sent shock waves through the meat industry.

Industry experts predict higher beef prices as more customers demand hormone-free meat, which makes up about half of all beef sold in Australia.

Farmers have used hormone growth promotants (HGPs) to speed up muscle growth in cattle for more than 30 years, backed by rigorous safety approval from health authorities.

But in a survey of 1000 people by Meat and Livestock Australia, leaked to the Sunday Herald Sun, almost half said they would consume less meat if it had added hormones, while 16 per cent would "never touch it again" and 15 per cent would "actively warn others".

Without the HGPs, industry experts said another two million head of cattle would be needed to make up a shortfall in meat, creating environmental problems.    Read More

The most common question we get as we talk to consumers is about hormones. Most media stories, like this one, fail to give readers all of the information they need in order to make a sound decision. All food has hormones in it. Both animal and plant-based foods contain hormones. Hormones are the chemical messengers that life depends on. Many plants actually contain higher levels of hormones than meat does. There is no such thing as hormone free food.

The difference in hormone levels from a 3 ounce piece of beef treated with a growth hormone versus one that wasn’t is one-half of a nanogram. That’s one-half of one-billionth of a gram. Compare that to the amount of estrogen in a birth control pill, which is in the neighborhood of 34,000 nanograms. You would have to eat nearly 5 million pounds of beef to equal the amount of hormones in a year’s supply of birth control pill.

It’s essential that we put things in context when we are having discussions like these.

Fallout From Pacelle's Comments Continue

Michael Vick wants a dog? Try Cujo

Tamara Dietrich
December 26, 2010

I love dogs. They improve our lives, and lengthen them. They make us happier people.

Who doesn't deserve that?

As one animal lover/activist told me recently, "Nobody should be denied the companionship of a loyal pet."

But that same animal lover/activist also has this bumper sticker on his vehicle: "Help stop dog fighting. Neuter Michael Vick."

Harsh? Only if you forget the deeper, sordid picture of Vick's Bad Newz dog fighting ring in Surry County, which wasn't just some gentleman's sporting club where wagering was committed as well-muscled, athletic pit bulls tussled in a ring together, and may the better dog win.

This was a blood sport — emphasis on "blood" — in which dogs were maimed, crippled and ripped apart.

A judge ordered him not to own a dog while he's on probation, but apparently Vick has begun to reflect on how wonderful a family pet can be.

"I think just to have a pet in my household," said Vick in an interview with NBC News and The Grio.com, "and to show people that I genuinely care, and my love and my passion for animals, I think it would be outstanding."

His advocate, Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States, thinks so, too.

"I have been around him a lot," Pacelle told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "and feel confident that he would do a good job as a pet owner."

Unless Pacelle is willing to give Vick his own personal family pet with no conditions, oversight or reservations — then forget it.    Read More

Wayne Pacelle and the HSUS continue to show how out of touch they really are with their endorsement of pet ownership for convicted felon Michael Vick.  This isn’t sitting well with anyone and Pacelle is hearing about it.  This probably one of the biggest blunders Pacelle has ever made for his factory fundraising machine.  It shows where their priorities are when they still don’t want livestock used for food but they think Vick should own a dog again. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Local Humane Society Talks About Damage Caused by HSUS

Hear the words straight from the director of a pet shelter in South Dakota that the intentional confusion caused by the HSUS is hurting local shelters.  You will also hear her say that they give 97% of their budget towards the animals they care for.  Why can't the HSUS do that?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Estate Planner in a Box

Randy McKee: Estate planning in a box

By Amanda Radke, TSLN

“It used to be what separated people was between have and have nots; but today, it's more split between who is informed and who is ignorant,” said Randy McKee, of McKee Companies, at the South Dakota Cattlemen's Association (SDCA) 62nd Annual Trade Show and Convention in Aberdeen, SD on Dec. 1, 2010.

McKee is a nationally-recognized estate planner, who developed “Estate Planner In A Box,” an easy-to-understand course designed to teach families how to put together an estate plan for an agriculture business. At the convention, he offered his advice on what farm and ranch families should think about as they prepare for the uncertainties of tomorrow.

“Estate planning can't wait,” said McKee. “There are three solid ways to eliminate federal estate taxes; if you pay even one penny for your estate, it's voluntary now. We can help you eliminate or reduce the costs for your heirs.”

McKee noted that while there are so many factors in the agriculture sector that can't be controlled, such as prices and the weather, there is one thing producers can have control on – the future of their family business.

“Our product teaches you how to gain control,” said McKee. “You don't want a judge determining the outcome of your operation. We can help you get on track to making those big decisions in your estate plan.”

Read More

Most of the time you hear me focusing on issues like animal rights and food production.  There's no doubt that retaining the social license to produce food in this country is one of our biggest challenges.  But the other one that I see as a threat is the complicated process of passing a farm or ranch to the next generation.  Too many times this process doesn't seem to work out like everyone had hoped or else the task seemed so daunting that no estate plan was ever put in place.  Estate Planner in a Box is by the far the best program I have ever found for dealing with this difficult subject.  Many times the hardest part of estate planning is just getting started.  That's exactly what this helps you do.  Randy is a nationally respected expert on estate planning, but maybe even more importantly, he's a ranch kid from South Dakota.  Agriculture is something that is near and dear to him and he has helped many families plan for their future. 

Pacelle, HSUS Says Vick Should Have Dogs Again

Humane Society president open to Michael Vick owning dogs again

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) -- The head of one of America's biggest animal protection organizations said Thursday that Michael Vick, who served prison time for his role in a deadly dogfighting operation, should have the opportunity to bring a dog home -- in due time.

Humane Society President Wayne Pacelle told HLN's Jane Velez-Mitchell that the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback shouldn't get a pet immediately and should have to meet certain milestones whenever he does. But Pacelle, whose group has worked with Vick in public outreach efforts, said that it would be wrong to close the door to his ever having a dog again.

"He's been going through counseling, he's been speaking to kids twice a month, and he needs to interact with animals," said Pacelle. "If he continues to hit these markers, then if his daughter wants a dog two or three years down the line,... I'm saying that we should be open to that possibility."    Read More

So Pacelle and the HSUS continue to try driving animal agriculture out of this country yet he has no problem letting Vick own dogs again?  Vick forced dogs to kill each other and farmers and ranchers are using livestock to help feed the world and Pacelle thinks the farmers and ranchers are a bigger threat?  The reality bus left HSUS long ago but things like this continue to remind us how out of touch they really are. 

Biotech Helping Feed Africa

Farmers benefit from biotech crops production


NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Continued progress on commercialization of biotech crops was witnessed in all three countries in Africa during the 2009 period.

According to the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Application (ISAAA), South Africa has increased its hectarage by 17 percent while Burkina Faso increased by 14 percent.

The three countries broader coverage is of strategic importance because it allows more African countries to become practitioners of biotech crops and be able to benefit directly from learning by doing, a practice which has been proved to be very important.

This is a remarkable achievement given that Africa is the continent with the greatest challenge on food production compared to other continents.

As South Africa continue to export their biotech agricultural products such as maize, researchers now say that Kenya too could be on the beneficiary list once it adopts the technology.

With the food insecurity already ravaging most parts of sub Saharan Africa hence forcing countries to import food mainly maize and beans, the application of biotechnology could be of a solution to pest and diseases that wipe out millions of crops yearly.     Read More

You certainly get a different perspective about biotechnology in countries where so many people are starving.  There are no Michael Pollan’s in Africa and the reason is that many people over there wonder where their next meal is coming from.  Having the luxury to choose food that was raised in a certain way is a very foreign concept to people in Africa.  Our country has the ability to help feed these people yet we have full-stomached protesters and activists that are trying to stop that from happening.  This is why Pollan’s line of thinking is so out of touch with reality, a reality that too many people live with every day. 

Monday, December 13, 2010

NE Gov Tells HSUS To Stay Out

Nebraska governor on HSUS: ‘We’re going to beat them’

December 9, 2010 by Ken Anderson

The governor of Nebraska is sending a strong message to the Humane Society of the United States—if the animal rights group goes after the state’s livestock industry, it’s in for a fight.

“The Humane Society of the United States is anti-agriculture and they’re out to destroy animal agriculture—and if they want to come to Nebraska, we’re going to fight them and we’re going to beat them,” Heineman says. “Agriculture is the number one industry in this state. It’s what makes our economy so strong. I’m going to stand tall and this is a fight we won’t shy away from.”

In an interview with Brownfield after his speech to the Nebraska Cattlemen’s group in Kearney, Heineman made it clear that compromise is not an option.

“In Nebraska, no deal, no compromise—we’re going to stand up, we’re going to beat them,” he says. “They’d be better off going somewhere else because they’re going to lose if they stay in Nebraska.”

HSUS has recently become more active in Nebraska, hiring a state director and holding a town hall meeting in Lincoln.     Link

It’s great to see our elected leaders stand up for their constituents against the lying bully that is the HSUS.  Their efforts to eliminate animal agriculture are more apparent than ever and it’s being noticed.  I would think it must be getting tougher for Pacelle to continue trying to sell his group as just an animal welfare group.  You don’t see politicians coming out against worthy charities, just the fraudulent ones. 

Beat Stress, Eat a Steak!

Feeling stressed? Grill a steak, study suggests

Des Moines Register

Red meat's image has tended to emphasize stereotypically aggressive male behavior, ranging from ancient barbarians to modern tailgaters.

But McGill University in Canada says its studies suggest otherwise: Meat has a calming effect on men.

Maybe men know what is best for them when they gravitate to the backyard grill.

"It wouldn't be advantageous to be aggressive anymore, because you would've already used your aggression to acquire the meat, and furthermore, you'd be surrounded by people who share ... your DNA," lead researcher Frank Kachanoff told the Montreal Gazette. "One of the basic principles in evolution is to want to preserve not only your DNA but also that of your next of kin."

How well the beef-is-calming notion takes hold remains to be seen. U.S. per capita consumption has dropped by about 25 percent in the last half-century.    Link

It’s hard to be stressed when you are about to enjoy a great steak!  Meat is an essential part of the balanced diet that we should all have.  Eliminating food groups from your diet is never a good idea and the science continues to suggest it.   

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Ag is the Foundation of our Society

Ag aiding economy

By: Jerry Hagstrom, Special to Agweek

WASHINGTON — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, in a Dec. 1 news conference, highlighted recently released trade and income statistics showing agriculture leading the country out of the recession.

Vilsack said USDA forecasts that U.S. farm exports in fiscal year 2011 will set a record high $126.5 billion, exceeding the fiscal year 2008, formerly the highest level on record at $114.9 billion.

Agriculture continues to be one of the only major sectors of the American economy with a trade surplus — which is expected to be $41 billion in this fiscal year, Vilsack noted. He said the forecast “demonstrates that the demand for U.S. food and agriculture around the world is stronger than ever,” with sales surging in China, Southeast Asia, North America and the Middle East.    Read More

Agriculture truly is the foundation for our society, and that includes our economy.  All wealth comes from the ground which is why a domestically raised food supply is so critical.  The instant we start relying on someone else to grow our food our country will be in grave danger. 

Truth About HSUS Revealed Again

The Humane Society of the United States is not what you think

By: Ron Arnold 12/02/10 8:05 PM
Wahington Examiner
OpEd Contributor

If you donate to the Humane Society of the United States for supporting the homeless doggies and kitties in your local animal shelter, you've likely been suckered by one of Big Green's most notorious propaganda mills.

HSUS is a radical no-meat, anti-hunting, anti-gun octopus that spends millions swallowing other animal groups whole, but habitually gives less than 1 percent of its annual revenue to a few selected local shelters. It's not that they can't afford it -- they raked in $101.6 million last year alone.

HSUS got so big because of CEO Wayne Pacelle's takeovers of the extremist Fund for Animals and the respectable Doris Day Animal League, in what he calls "corporate combinations."

That, and his ability to create high-profile projects like disaster relief crews that swoop stranded cats and dogs from flooded housetops while the TV cameras watch -- then quietly dump them on nearby shelters without so much as a dime's worth of support.

Pacelle gets the credit, the grunts get the critters.    Read More

There are more people every day that are learning the truth about the HSUS.  While they continue to claim that they aren’t anti-meat or anti-ag, one only has to look at their suggested recipes to see what their true goals are.  That’s where the rubber meats the road.  But while we have made great strides in exposing this group we must continue to do more.  There are still too many people that think this group actually cares for pets.  Nothing could be further from the truth. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

More Farm American Coverage

I have really appreciated all of the media coverage of the Farm American project.  A big thank you to Vicki Myers from Progressive Farmer/DTN for this article. 

Ag Warrior

Cowboys, Farmers, Furniture and NASCAR

Victoria G. Myers Progressive Farmer Senior Editor

Mon Nov 29, 2010 08:31 AM CST

Troy Hadrick is looking for $22 million. That's what it will cost to build a campaign to promote America's farmers and ranchers on NASCAR's pit row. And when you hear Hadrick talk about the program, $22 million begins to sound like a deal.

The no-nonsense rancher from Faulkton, S.D., has a face you might remember. He countered a contribution Yellow Tail wine made to The Humane Society with a YouTube video that went viral. It was a simple, straightforward image of the young rancher pouring a bottle of the wine out on the ground, with cattle in the background. The reaction had Yellow Tail backpedaling on its donation soon after the video was posted.

Since then, Hadrick and his wife, Stacy, have become well-known advocates of the American farmer and rancher. They travel and speak across the country with one goal: letting average consumers get to know a real rancher. It's a rewarding pursuit.

"It's amazing to watch it happen, when consumers meet a farmer or rancher. It's like the lightbulb goes on and they see we are human and that we do care," says Hadrick.

The rancher says for too long media and organizations he considers anti-agriculture have worked to fear monger and dehumanize people who produce America's food. He points to terms like "factory farm" or "big ag," which he says have a goal of "making us faceless and cold."    Read More

A Film About Beef

Here's another great video by a student filmmaker talking about the beef industry and sharing what she learned.

A Film by Katie Griffith from ExploreBeef on Vimeo.

SD Cattlemen's Association

Today we are at the South Dakota Cattlemen's Association annual meeting in Aberdeen.  There are lots of great speakers here including Gregg Doud, chief economist from NCBA, Randy McKee, one of the best estate planners in the country, and Amanda Nolz who will be talking about social media. 

Being involved in your industry organizations is extremely important and it's why we are involved in several. 

Have a great day!