The Cattle Business Weekly
  • On Dec. 12, Congress showed their support of productive western rangelands by passing necessary provisions of the Grazing Improvement Act, amending the grazing section of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act for the first time in many years. Championed by Sen. Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Rep. Labrador (R-Idaho), the provisions were passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act with a strong bipartisan majority vote, 89 to 11. 
  • A model developed by a Kansas State University epidemiologist and one of his former graduate student evaluates the impact and control of a potential outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in livestock.
  • Momentum was the theme for 2014 as the year kicked off with Congress passing a much-awaited Farm Bill, and the year picked up steam on through to December – capturing record cattle prices along the way. Following, we put our annual spotlight on several of the good things happening within the beef industry: 
  • Meredith Gilroy has been named executive director of the North Dakota 4-H Foundation. Her primary role is to develop relationships that lead to increased private financial support for 4-H youth development programs in the state. 
  • Angus producers between 25-45 years old are encouraged to apply for the eighth-annual BLI scheduled for June 22-26, 2015. Applications are due back to the Association by March 2, 2015. 
  • Another year of tight beef supplies, record prices
    CattleFax is projecting the U.S. average for a 550-pound steer in 2015 will be $2.40-$2.60/cwt. 
    “That number could go higher, especially here (in the northern states), but that is what we are estimating the national average* will be,” says Troy Applehans. 
  • An attempt to convince the student governing body at UNL to promote Meatless Mondays on campus has been defeated, thanks to the efforts of a group of agricultural students. 
  • Reading is certainly an opportunity for continuous improvement, and thus, I share some of my favorite management, leadership and supervision books.  
  • The National Restaurant Association announced that the Beef Checkoff Program has become a sponsor of the Association’s award-winning Kids LiveWell program, a voluntary industry-wide initiative designed to help make the healthful choice the easy choice when dining out with children.  
  • Twenty two participants have been chosen for the Colorado Agricultural Leadership Program to comprise class 12. 
  • “In tax planning, it is best to start with year-to-date income and expenses and estimate them for the remainder of the year,” says Ron Haugen, North Dakota State University Extension Service farm economist. “Do not forget any income that was deferred to 2014 from a previous year.
    “Depreciation also needs to be estimated,” he says. “It is best to try to spread out income and expenses so producers don’t have abnormally high or low income or expenses in any one year. However, caution should be used in deferring too much income into future years because it may push you into a higher tax bracket.” 
  • Seven regional winners and one national winner are selected annually by a committee of representatives from universities, conservation organizations, federal and state agencies, and cattle producers. The nominees compete for regional awards based on their state of residency, and these seven regional winners then compete for the national award. Candidates are judged on management of water, wildlife, vegetation, soil, as well as the nominee’s leadership and the sustainability of his or her business as a whole. 
  • College of Agriculture and Natural Resources scientists at the University of Wyoming are hopeful their brucellosis studies may produce a better vaccine for livestock and are studying whether a change in vaccination procedures could offer better control. 
  • While the nation was recovering from eating too much on Thanksgiving this past Friday, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative was busy appealing a World Trade Organization decision. The WTO handed down in October that Country of Origin Labeling rules – which require meat to be identified with where the animals were born, raised and slaughtered – still does not meet trade requirements set forth in 2012.  
  • “It’s not meat and potatoes anymore.” That’s how John Lundeen, NCBA senior executive of market research, explains the forecast for what consumers are looking for from food in the future. Lundeen is a frequent speaker at beef industry events. He shared remarks this fall at the Hereford Genetic Conference held in Missouri, and was a featured speaker at the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Convention taking place Dec. 3-4 in Aberdeen. 
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