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Monday, February 7,2005

National Angus carcass results are in

by WLJ
Purebred Angus cattle dominated the 2004 National Angus Carcass Challenge (NACC), but they came from such diverse areas as Texas to Montana, Idaho to Iowa. Winners were from a wide range of genetic and management programs, fed in eight feedlots in five states and harvested at eight plants in six states. Stan and Brad Fansher, Garden City, KS., had their Grand Champion pen fed by neighbor and feeding partner of 15 years, Sam Hands, Triangle H Grain & Cattle Co. No one was surprised that these heifers did well—their sisters won reserve division champion in the 2003 NACC, and Fansher Angus Ranch supplies bulls for the ranch that had top value CAB-fed pen in the 2002 Best of the Breed (BoB) contest. The winning cattle were chosen by ultrasound from a group of 150, but the entire group achieved 96 percent Choice or better. Harvested in November at National Beef Packing, Dodge City, KS, the only surprise is that the February-born heifers spent only 65 days in the finishing yard. NACC is an annual beef value contest, sponsored in 2004 by Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB), Drovers magazine, Merial SureHealth, Farnam Company, John Deere FoodOrigins and the American Angus Association. Groups of at least 40 steers or heifers sired by registered Angus bulls have to be fed in CAB licensed feedlots, according to NACC coordinator Rod Schoenbine. Winners of the 2004 contest were announced Jan. 15 at the National Western Stock Show in Denver, where Stan Fansher accepted $5,000 and a new John Deere 4x4 GatorŪ. “I am impressed with quality overall,” Schoenbine says. “Twenty high-value entries graded more than 85 percent USDA Choice, less than 3 percent Yield Grade (YG) 4 and more than 25 percent Certified Angus Beef—not counting CABŪ Prime.” Of 140 pens and 5,998 cattle entered, 4,909 were harvested as eligible and several pens carried over to the ongoing 2005 NACC, he said. The top value pen graded 40 percent Prime and another 53 percent met all criteria for the brand, which include Modest or higher marbling. “They had nearly twice as many Primes as the next closest group,” Schoenbine says, “and the second heaviest heifer carcasses.” Stan Fansher said, virtually all were sired by four Fansher herd sires: sons of Traveler 6807, Precision 1680, Lucys Boy and Emulation 5522. The family’s 400-cow registered herd was built upon genetics from Gardiner, Sitz and Jorgensen Angus ranches, Stan Fansher added. In deciding to finish the heifers, son Brad looked more at winning Prime premiums rather than the NACC. Hands turned to ultrasound to help avoid over-finishing the already 1,000-lb. animals. “They had maturity on their side, along with genetics and technology,” Hands says. The veteran of several carcass contests says he learned early on that the feeder cannot take full credit for quality grades. “We can either enhance or take away from genetic potential.” The heifers’ $107.74/cwt. value on the NACC grid was more than a dollar above last year’s champion on the same grid, $2.09/cwt. above the 2004 top steers and $3.25/cwt. above the heifer division champion pen. Four of them went over the YG 4 line, without which the whole pen would have tallied another dollar higher. The Champion steers, from Woodstone Angus Ranch, New Ulm, TX, were fed at Cattleman’s Choice Feedyard, Gage, OK, by managers Dale and Mary Moore. They came from a herd of 500 registered cows and bulls of an old Irish line. Families noted on the Web (irishherd.com), such as Lady Elizabeth of the Manor, read more like Celtic romance than animal science, but they all trace back to the first registered Angus cattle. Bill and Yvonne Woods keep half the cows in Texas; the other half run on family land near Hackett, AR, looked after by John and Angela Wiggins, who backgrounded the 43 NACC steers. The Woods family accepted the $3,000 NACC award in Denver. The only entry to avoid all discounts on the contest grid, the steers won premiums from their 7 percent Prime, 51 percent CAB showing. Only 30 percent of the 785-lb. carcasses were YG 1-2, but Woods says he is “not trying to raise Limousin or Charolais. If we get too many YG 2s, we lose marbling, so we aim for YG 3 and easy fleshing mommas.” Steers sired by 14 different linebred bulls demonstrate the uniformity in that herd, he adds. Woodstone generates its own bulls and another 25 for local customers, Woods says: “We don’t just feed the bottom end.” Moore has fed and admired Woodstone cattle for four years. “These came in at 870 lb., converted in the 5s and gained in the 3s for 150 days, not implanted,” he reports. “If all our customers keep the records Bill keeps and use carcass data the way he does, we’ll have nothing but outstanding cattle,” Moore says. “That’s where we’re heading.” He and Woods already have plans for the 2005 NACC. “We’re going to win both the steer and heifer divisions next time,” he says. Darnall Ranch came closest to doing just that this time, with its commercial herd and CAB licensed feedlot near Harrisburg, NE. Forty Darnall heifers won Champion Heifer Division with 20 percent Prime and 45 percent CAB, while 40 Darnall steers came in third in the Steer Division. All were harvested at the Swift plant in Greeley, CO. “They were all home-raised,” says owner-manager Gary Darnall, “and they trace back to the Performance Breeders on both the cow and bull side.” Dave and Yvonne Hinman, Malta, MT, are partners with Bill and Jennifer Davis of Rollin’ Rock, Sidney, MT, in Performance Breeders. Ultrasound sorting 80 days preharvest is routine at Darnall’s 20,000-head feedlot, so the scans were taken into account. But Darnall entered a wide cross-section-16 groups in all-for educational purposes. And nothing special was done to enhance grade. “We aggressively implant everything,” he says, ending with a TBA compound. All were calf-fed and harvested at about 14 months. “They did well, but we were surprised they came out that high in the contest,” Darnall says. He accepted the $3,000 heifer and $1,500 third-place steer awards in Denver. Reserve Champion Steers ($2,000) and third-place NACC heifers came from Jimmy Thomas, Homedale, ID, who had the top heifers in 2003, all fed at Boise Valley Feeders, Parma, ID. The Reserve Heifers were a “middle cut” from longtime CAB test herd cooperator Chuck Pluhar’s 600-cow commercial Angus ranch near Cohagen, MT, fed by CAB partner Beller Feedlots, Lindsay, NE. The 2005 NACC features easier entry rules and a new sponsor, Alltech, a multinational biotechnology company providing natural solutions to the feed and food industries. For more information, visit cabfeedlots.com, contact Schoenbine at 330/345-2333 or e-mail rschoenbine@certifiedangusbeef.com.

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Monday, February 7,2005

National Western Sales Reports

by WLJ
NATIONAL WESTERN MILE HIGH RED ANGUS CLASSIC Jan. 17, Denver, CO 16 Open heifers $4,347 3 Choice/Pick lots 5,466 2 Bulls 3,250 12 Embryo packages 2,264 5 Bred females 2,580 6 Flushes 2,925 6 Semen packages 1,525 Auctioneer: Kyle Gilchrist Sale Management: Amy and Kyle Gilchrist On fairly short notice—an incredible line-up of live cattle, embryo= s and flushes was assembled from progressive breeders of Red Angus cattle from across the country. Some of the freshest genetics in the breed were offered! A large crowd of mostly regular breeders from across the U.S. were on hand and were very active for a solid sale. TOPS—Glacier OSCE 403, 2 0/04, daughter of Glacier Chateau 744, dam Leachman Chassis, Glacier Red Angus, Polson, MT; to Cabernet Red Angus, Pomeroy, WA, $16,000. Reserve National Champion Female Ms 122 Chateau of 4L 302N, 9/15/03, daughter of 4L Mr Chateau R122, dam Panhandle Centerstage, Von Farell Ranch, Wheatland, WY; 2 int. and poss. to 3 Fires Red Angus, Lacygne, KS, $10,000. Choice of ET calves due 3/05, sired RBJR AdvanceA709, dam 4L Rambo R621, Perks Ranch, Rockford, IL; to Sandpoint Cattle Co., Lodgepole, NE, and Solution Genetics, Cushing, IA, $9,500. — JIM GIES THE 30TH ANNUAL NATIONAL SALERS SALE Jan. 16, Denver, CO 14 Bulls $4,052 13 Heifer calves 3,143 Auctioneer: Col. Bruce Miller Sale Management: Conover Auction Services This sale was not big on quantity but certainly was big on quality! Some 19 consignors from 12 states offered some of the very best in this National Salers Sale. The cattle were right on the forefront of genetics, performance and phenotype. A good crowd filled this arena representative of purebred and commercial producers alike and steady selling throughout. TOPS—Bulls: Futurity Champ Bull JGK Flat Iron 502P, 1/02/04, blk, polled, purebred son of AP Polled Genesis XZ64F, Krehbiel Salers, Scott City, KS; 2 int. to Jasperson Cattle Co., Goshen, UT, $8,500. GGT P Blk Double Play, 3/5/04, blk, polled, purebred son of GGT P Broker 137K, GG & T Land & Cattle, Co., Quniter, KS; 2 int. to Washakie Ranch, Salt Lake City, UT, $5,200. PCSL Priority, 1/30/04, blk, polled, purebred son of Hubb Pld Dakota 41K, Panter Country Salers, Leigh, NE; 3/4 int. to Bittersweet Farms, Cathage, MO, $4,500. Females: GGT P Blk Esther 365N, 3/13/03, blk, polled, purebred daughter of AP Polled Genesis XZ64F, bred to GGT P BLK Heavy Duty, Jason Conater, Jamestown, TN; to Washakie Ranch, $4,900. Hubb Bod Nancy 306N, 2 6/03, blk, polled, purebred daughter JFW Packer 40F, bred to Hubb Pld Dakota 41N, Dalroy Farms & Bodee Schlipf, Miami, OK; to Thiel Land & Livestock, Nysse, OR, $4,000. — JIM GIES THE AMERICAN CHIANINA ASSOCIATION '05 Peak of Performance and Style Sale Jan. 16, Denver, CO 24 Bulls $3,410 20 Heifer calves 2,349 1 Embryo lot 6,300 Auctioneer: Steve Dorran Sale Management: Prime Time Marketing The breed was back on the forefront with a strong representation of Chiangus, Chimaine and Chianina bulls and females. This all black mostly coming yearling set of seedstock represented several breeds across the country. A set of cattle that would add style and pounds to any operation. TOPS—Bulls: TMH Kingpin 2CA, 3/6/04, son of RDCA Pollette Pride 2CA, dam HCK Nutone ICA, Todd Hixon, Laramie, WY; 2/3 int. and poss., to T Bar T, Gresham, NE, and Melroe Farms, Gwinner, ND, $8,000. Presale champ bull GGM Jax 57P ICM, 3/20/04, son of FJH All American, dam Eagle Scout 2CA, Double G Cattle Co., Albany, MO; to Winkonly Cattle Co., Alrich, SD, $6,500. GGM In Excess 46P ICM, 3/10/04, son of Bass Western Union 37L, dam Blk Power 2CA, Double G Cattle, Albany, MO; to Wayne Buggard, Tuscon, AZ, $5,200. Females: WEBC Cocoa Crisp 456 P ICM, 3/15/04, daughter of EEX Playmate, dam Double Vision, Weleo Show Cattle, Highmore, SD; to Allen Scott, Georgetown, OH, $5,200. TBSC Joanne 457P ICM, 4/14/04, daughter Heat Wave, Burke Shaw Cattle, Genoa, NE; to Dale Phelps, Barrington, IL, $5,000. RDD Ms Venus 217P 2CA, 3/19/04, daughter of RDD Desperado 1CA, Deiter Brothers and Holt Brothers, Faulkton, SD; to Melroe Farms, Gwinner, NE, $4,800. — JIM GIES

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Monday, February 7,2005

Obits

by WLJ
Joe Mendiburu Joe Mendiburu, 87, passed away at his home Jan. 20, five years and one day after his beloved wife, Jeannie, passed. Mendiburu was born in Bakersfield, California Aug. 18, 1917, to parents, Gregorio and Eulalia Mendiburu. He married Jeannie in May 1941, and followed in his father’s footsteps in the livestock business. He never missed a day of work, not even for vacation. His day always involved the purchase of sheep or cattle and he loved working alongside his faithful and longtime employees, and they would vouch that no one could work the cattle chute like he could. He was very proud of his family, as they were of him and will be missed by all who knew him, since he touched so many hearts! He is survived by his son, George Mendiburu; daughters, Jo Ann Mendiburu, and Sharon Banks and husband, Tim; brother, Mike Mendiburu; brother-in-law, Dennis Bessonart; grandchildren, Bob Leppek and wife, Julie, Joe Mendiburu and wife, Lee, Timmy Banks and wife, Rana, Jody Reese and husband, Dan, Nicole Dobrzanski and husband, Robert, Danielle Mendiburu, and Lisa Salisbury; and many great grandchildren and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and his faithful dog, Nikki. In lieu of flowers, those who wish to make a donation are asked to make one to the charity of their choice. Richard A. Coon Richard A. "Dick" Coon, 78, died Jan. 31, in Washtucna, WA. Born in Watertown, MA, he attended Harvard University before transferring to Whitman College where he graduated in 1951. While at Whitman College, he met Stephanie Snyder and they were married in 1951. Together they spent their life ranching and raising their family at the Bar U. Coon also was office manager for Schaake Packing Co. in Ellensburg from 1956 to 1962. Mr. Coon was a member of the All West-Select Sires board and the Washington State Beef Commission. He served as president of the Washington Cattlemen's Association and on the Washington State University Dean's Advisory Board for Animal Science. He was the Soil Conservation Rancher of the Year and Commercial Cattle Rancher of the Year in 1978. Survivors include his wife; three daughters, Kathy Meline, Kahlotus, WA, Nedra Eychaner, Richland, and Patricia Coon, Olympia; two sons, Dick Jr. and Fritz Coon, both of Benge, WA; two sisters, Roberta Struck and Myra Gove; five brothers, James, Ralph, Paul, David and Peter Coon;13 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Memorial contributions may be made to the Washtucna-Benge Scholarship Trust, c/o Jim Whitman, 2946 E. Ralston-Benge Road, Benge, WA 99105, or the Washington Cattlemen Endowment Trust Fund, P.O. Box 96, Ellensburg, WA 98926.

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Monday, February 7,2005

Options for limited irrigation

by WLJ
Drought, declining water tables, and legal issues are limiting the amount of irrigation water available. University of Nebraska-Lincoln forage specialist, Bruce Anderson producers who don't have enough water to grow a good grain crop, may be able to rely on forages. Anderson realizes that many irrigated acres won't receive enough water this summer to grow a grain or root crop. He says sometimes producers can combine water allocated for several fields onto one field to get a crop, but that still leaves the other acres with little or no water at all. Forage crops also need water for high production, but, unlike most annual crops, Anderson says at least some useful yield can be gathered when total water available is very low. “So what are your options,” Anderson asked. “Do you expect these water limits to continue for several more years? If so, a perennial forage would eliminate the cost and time of establishing a new crop each year.” Anderson suggested that switchgrass is a good choice for a new crop because it is less expensive to plant. He also said, switchgrass’ primary water needs occur in early summer when water is available, and it can be managed successfully for hay or pasture. Other good warm-season grass options include big or sand bluestem and indiangrass. Anderson said these options are especially good for grazing. Some of the wheatgrasses and bromegrasses as well as alfalfa can work with limited irrigation, but he says these cool-season plants respond best to water applied during spring. For some irrigators water won't become available until after the most efficient time has passed. Anderson added that of course, annual forages like pearl and foxtail millet, cane, and sorghum-sudangrass are relatively water efficient and will yield proportionately to the amount of water they actually receive. “And don't forget small grains like rye, triticale, and oats for fall and spring forage if you have moisture at those times,” said Anderson. “It may not be what you hoped for, but growing forages under limited irrigation will help you make the best out of a bad situation.”

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Monday, February 7,2005

Senate committee grills Johanns on border issue

by WLJ
Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns got an unofficial welcome to Washington last Thursday when he testified to an at-times hostile Senate Agricultural Committee hearing. In sharp contrast to the warm reception at his confirmation hearings, Johanns faced probing questions about USDA's plans to reopen the Canadian border to live cattle. Johanns was also grilled about the lack of progress in opening the Japanese and other foreign markets to U.S. beef, as well as a lack of transparency in allowing some potentially dangerous products, such as tongue, into the country from Canada. The big issue, though, was the USDA final rule's contradictory exclusion of live cattle over 30 months from import, while beef products from those over that age are allowed as long as specified risk materials have been removed. Contending that there are two types of science at work here—health science and economic science—Sen. Mark Dayton (D-MN.) attacked USDA's economic science as "out of Mad magazine." Charging that both Tyson Foods and Excel Foods are building large new slaughterhouses north of the border, he called the USDA rule "ignorant and offensive. This is going to cost us jobs; it's like it was crafted to benefit Canada and the larger processors." The entire rule, he said, "is a disaster. It will cost our industry $2.9 billion over several years. Whose interest is this in?" The attack was bipartisan. Although Republicans favored the rule more explicitly, virtually no one on the panel tried to defend the cattle/beef disparity. Johanns admitted that it bothered him too, and promised to review it quickly, before the actual opening of the border on March 7. He also said that he would release the full report on the state of Canada's compliance with its ruminant-to-ruminant feed ban in the middle of February, with a further report on Canada's epidemiological practices due by the end of the month. “These reports will be critical as we consider any adjustments to current policies are warranted,” Johanns said. Though changes will be considered, Johanns added he is “very confident” that Canadian measures “provide the utmost protection t U.S. consumers and livestock.” Johanns also said the United States has done all it can to try to convince Japan to reopen its markets to American beef. “We’ve answered their technical questions. It’s time for the Japanese government to make the decision. There’s nothing more we could possibly provide,” he told the committee. Johanns also seemed to indicate that the U.S. officials are frustrated with the lack of progress. “Efforts to reopen this market have drawn on resources from across the federal government and the highest political levels,” he said. — WLJ

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Monday, February 7,2005

U.S. beef to Taiwan expected

by WLJ
Taiwan is expected to announce by the end of February the results of its federal inspections of U.S. packing facilities that were supposed to mark the final stage in allowing U.S. beef back into the island nation, according to officials with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Taiwan suspended beef from the U.S. in December 2003 due to safety concerns over bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) after the discovery of a singe case of the disease at a Washington state farm. Several USDA officials said Taiwan health and agriculture officials have traveled to the U.S. and have conducted on-site inspections of the implementation of the U.S. safeguards against BSE. The Taiwan officials have completed the reviews necessary for resuming the beef trade, USDA said, adding that officials from the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) have also been contacting relevant Taiwan officials in an effort to speed up the paperwork so that U.S. beef can reenter the Taiwan market at an earlier date. AIT is a quasi-official organization authorized by Washington to handle U.S. exchanges with Taiwan in the absence of formal diplomatic relations between the two countries. USDA officials are now more reserved and low-key over the re-entry issue than before after Taiwan lodged a protest against the USDA for its unilateral announcement late last year concerning Taiwan's reopening of its market to U.S. beef. The USDA announced Oct. 26 that Taiwan agreed in principle to resume imports of U.S. beef and beef products. Taiwan officials told them that they were close to completing the reviews necessary for resuming the beef trade, with on-site inspections being the final step of the process. If everything went smoothly, it was expected that Taiwan would reopen its doors to U.S. beef and beef products before the end of 2004, the USDA news release said. However, that didn’t happen, and the final review to be released by Taiwan will now happen late this month or in March. Taiwan purchased $325 million worth of U.S. beef and beef products in 2003, prior to BSE being confirmed. That made the Asian Island the sixth-largest importer of U.S. beef before it imposed the ban in December 2003. Since then, Australian beef has replaced U.S. beef in the Taiwan market. More than 40 U.S. beef export markets, including Japan, the largest foreign consumer of U.S. beef, imposed embargoes against U.S. beef, seriously affecting the U.S. beef export trade worth $3.5-4 billion annually. — WLJ

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Monday, January 31,2005

Beef Bits

by WLJ
McD’s late ‘04 sales jump McDonald's Corp., last week reported that global system-wide sales for its restaurants increased 9.6 percent in December and 9.5 percent for the 2004 fourth quarter compared with the same periods in 2003. According to McDonald's CEO Jim Skinner, the company served more than 48 million customers per day during 2004, an increase of 1.6 million customers per day over the prior year. December and fourth quarter results were fueled by the performance of the U.S. burger business, which was up almost seven percent from the same time period of 2003. Uruguay sends most exports to U.S. The U.S. imported 148,434 metric tons of Uruguayan beef in 2004, in excess of a four-fold increase from 2003. The United States was the major market for Uruguayan beef last year, receiving approximately 63 percent of total Uruguayan fresh and frozen beef exports. Uruguay is allocated an annual U.S. beef quota of 20,000 metric tons, of which 99 percent was filled last year. However, the majority of beef, 128,618 tons entered the U.S. subject to the 26.4 percent over-quota tariff. The tariff is typically paid by the Uruguayan exporter and included in the bid price for U.S. importers. Sara Lee sales up, profits down Despite sales increases in the second fiscal quarter, Sara Lee Corp. reported that higher meat commodity prices are taking a toll on the company's bottom line. For the quarter ended Jan. 1, Sara Lee posted total earnings of $326 million, or 46 cents a share, up from $312 million for the prior-year period. Total sales for the period were up 3.6 percent to $5.2 billion. But higher meat commodity prices pulled down the division's operating profits almost 26 percent to $85 million, prompting the company to lower its full-year earnings outlook to between $1.46 and $1.56 per share, versus previous predictions of $1.61 to $1.71. New BSE in Spain A Spanish laboratory on Jan. 21 confirmed a new case of BSE in the country. The National Reference Laboratory of Zaragoza reported the diagnosis of mad-cow disease on a four-year-old cow, which had died, in Galve de Sorbe, Guadalajara. This was the eighth case in the autonomous municipality since 2000, according to a report of the Castilla-La Mancha Board. The Agricultural Advisory has ordered an immediate slaughter of all cows born up to 12 months before or after the birth of the infected cow, which were raised close to it. It also ordered the slaughter of the offspring born two years before the cow's death and the destruction of the animal feed of animal origin. Since 2000, a total of 519 BSE-positive cases have been detected in the country, five of them this year, said the Castilla-La Mancha Board. Steakburgers donated America’s Second Harvest, The Nation’s Food Bank Network, and MasterCard International announced the donation of 402,304 Steak n Shake STEAKBURGER patties to help feed the hungry in 18 states. Sixty-eight America’s Second Harvest food banks are receiving STEAKBURGER patties thanks to the success of MasterCard International and Steak n Shake’s recent TAKHOMACARD gift card program. As part of the program, the 425-store restaurant chain agreed to donate one STEAKBURGER patty to America's Second Harvest for every $5 in TAKHOMACARD gift card purchases. For more information on how to help your local food bank, visit www.secondharvest.org or call 800/771-2303. British beef sales up in 2004 Sales of English beef saw healthy gains during 2004, with total value of beef sales for the year hitting 1.5 billion lira. The growth is shown in figures released by the Meat and Livestock Commission on behalf of the English Beef Executive. The data shows that the value of beef sold in Britain rose by 4.4 percent over 2003. The area that saw the most growth were cuts more suited for marinades of beef, which increased over 2003 by 32.4 percent. Koreans using RFID chips In a effort to quell consumer fears of BSE in Korea, the Korean Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service is tracing all imported beef with radio frequency identification (RFID) chips in a new pilot program. Beginning April 1, beef with embedded chips will be sold at several Galleria stores so consumers will be able to scan the beef and get a report on its country of origin distribution path. This system will also allow for immediate recalls if the government decides in the future to ban imported beef from that country. The Korea Times reported that the system will eventually include native cattle.

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Monday, January 31,2005

Bush eats ‘natural’ U.S. prime rib

by WLJ
During the week of his second inauguration, President George W. Bush celebrated by eating beef produced from a Wyoming ranch and produced by a Colorado Springs company. Ranch Foods Direct, which operates a fabrication plant in Colorado Springs, shipped 1,200 pounds of prime rib roast to Washington D.C. to be served at the White House on Wednesday, Jan. 19. The beef was originally produced from a Wyoming ranch under “natural” production protocol. “It was wonderful, really tasty," said Max Hansen, chef and owner of Max and Me Catering, who prepared and served the presidential dinner. “It was a hot item, too, not just temperature-wise; it was very popular. The fact that it was U.S. produced and natural—both of those are great selling points. In our catering company, we aim for the best quality we can find. Ninety to 95 percent of our products are American raised and produced.” Vice President Dick Cheney, a Wyoming native, previously sampled Ranch Foods' Naturally Tender Beef on a campaign stop at the University of Wyoming. A portion of Ranch Foods cattle are raised on Doug and Susan Samuelson's historic Warren Ranch Company, Cheyenne, WY. All Ranch Foods Direct beef is produced under the Naturally Tender Beef by Callicrate label and protocol including only the highest quality cattle raised without hormones, subtherapeutic antibiotics and fed natural rations free of animal byproducts. The beef all carries a “Born and Raised in the USA” label and has been documented as being of U.S. origin. All of the cattle involved in the program are raised within 300 miles of Colorado Springs and processed locally. "The Bush administration and Vice President Cheney wanted to serve Wyoming beef," said Mike Callicrate, owner of Ranch Foods Direct. “Considering the state of our industrial food system, the increase in imported food, and the threat of (BSE) coming in from Canada, I'm proud that our company could offer them great beef knowing where it came from, how it was raised and that it would be exceptionally tender, wholesome and safe.” — WLJ

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Monday, January 31,2005

Bush eats ‘natural’ U.S. prime rib

by WLJ
During the week of his second inauguration, President George W. Bush celebrated by eating beef produced from a Wyoming ranch and produced by a Colorado Springs company. Ranch Foods Direct, which operates a fabrication plant in Colorado Springs, shipped 1,200 pounds of prime rib roast to Washington D.C. to be served at the White House on Wednesday, Jan. 19. The beef was originally produced from a Wyoming ranch under “natural” production protocol. “It was wonderful, really tasty," said Max Hansen, chef and owner of Max and Me Catering, who prepared and served the presidential dinner. “It was a hot item, too, not just temperature-wise; it was very popular. The fact that it was U.S. produced and natural—both of those are great selling points. In our catering company, we aim for the best quality we can find. Ninety to 95 percent of our products are American raised and produced.” Vice President Dick Cheney, a Wyoming native, previously sampled Ranch Foods' Naturally Tender Beef on a campaign stop at the University of Wyoming. A portion of Ranch Foods cattle are raised on Doug and Susan Samuelson's historic Warren Ranch Company, Cheyenne, WY. All Ranch Foods Direct beef is produced under the Naturally Tender Beef by Callicrate label and protocol including only the highest quality cattle raised without hormones, subtherapeutic antibiotics and fed natural rations free of animal byproducts. The beef all carries a “Born and Raised in the USA” label and has been documented as being of U.S. origin. All of the cattle involved in the program are raised within 300 miles of Colorado Springs and processed locally. "The Bush administration and Vice President Cheney wanted to serve Wyoming beef," said Mike Callicrate, owner of Ranch Foods Direct. “Considering the state of our industrial food system, the increase in imported food, and the threat of (BSE) coming in from Canada, I'm proud that our company could offer them great beef knowing where it came from, how it was raised and that it would be exceptionally tender, wholesome and safe.” — WLJ

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Monday, January 31,2005

China eases Canada bans

by WLJ
China recently lifted its ban on imports of poultry and poultry products from Canada, processed from Jan. 18 can now be imported. In addition, China has approved Canadian collection centers and processing facilities for bovine semen and embryos, and porcine semen and blood products, allowing trade to resume. This restores partial access to one of Canada's most important export markets in Asia. “China is one of our most important Asian markets, and we are very pleased with their decision to immediately resume trade in these areas. The decision underlines the level of confidence in Canada's food safety systems and the measures we have put in place," Canada’s Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Andy Mitchell said in a statement. “I am pleased that our two countries are taking a science-based approach to resolving these important issues,” said Canada’s International Trade Minister Jim Peterson, during a Canadian trade mission to China last week. “We will continue discussions with China to open the border to remaining beef products and live animals," he said. In 2003, poultry and poultry products exports to China totaled more than $5 million (Canadian), and exports in semen and embryos totaled $3.5 million. Imports of poultry and poultry products were halted in February 2004 following the discovery of highly pathogenic avian influenza in Canada. China's decision to lift the ban was based on evidence provided by Canada which showed that the disease had been eradicated and was consistent with the guidelines of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). A ban on imports of bovine and certain porcine products followed the discovery of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in a Canadian cow in May 2003. China lifted the ban on a number of products in September 2004, following a series of technical discussions with Canadian officials. In October, during a visit to Beijing, Mitchell signed two protocols establishing the animal health conditions for resumption of trade in bovine semen and embryos. The recently approved Canadian establishments can now begin immediately to export these products, as well as porcine blood products, to China. "These developments are extremely positive news for both the poultry, the beef and the porcine industries, and reflects the success of recent efforts and discussions reinforcing the stringent measures we have in place to ensure the safety of Canadian products," Mitchell said. — WLJ

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