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Friday, March 2,2012

New Schmallenberg virus causing concern in Europe

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
The newly-discovered Schmallenberg virus has spread to southern England. So far, 83 farms in the United Kingdom (UK) have documented infected animals, as well as many farms in Germany, France and the Netherlands. Of the confirmed English cases, most have involved sheep herds, but some infected dairy cattle have been noted as well.

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Friday, March 2,2012

Supreme Court overturns Montana's river rights

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
The U.S. Supreme Court just unanimously overturned the Montana Supreme Court’s decision requiring PPL Montana LLC (PPL)—an energy company—and other landowners, such as ranchers, to pay rent for the use of Montana’s riverbeds. The state of Montana and a number of environmental groups had argued that the state owned the riverbeds.

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Friday, March 2,2012

Beta agonists antagonize beef exports in Asia

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
The growth of beef exports around the world has resulted in more conflicts over how individual countries raise their production animals. Increased U.S. beef export efforts, coupled with mutual interest in expanded trade in areas of Asia and Europe to a lesser extent, have sparked controversy over our meat production practices.

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Friday, February 24,2012

U.S.-China symposium stresses relationships, trade

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
Delegates from China met with U.S. agricultural representatives in Iowa to discuss trade agreements and agricultural cooperation at a firstever symposium. Chinese officials toured farms and signed a five-year agreement to direct conversations on agricultural topics.

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Friday, February 24,2012

Prospect of lab-grown meat stirs controversy, skepticism

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
Sunday, Feb. 19 saw the announcement of what might be the first successful effort to grow meat in a lab. Of course, it didn’t take long for the discussion to take on distinctly science-fictiony tones that would make any nerd feel at home. Star Trek’s famous replicators were mentioned.

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Friday, February 24,2012

Semantic confusion: beef availability, consumption and demand

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
Anti-animal ag groups like the Humane Society of the United States have been crowing over recent reports of declining domestic demand for beef. But their cheers might be not only premature, but wholly misplaced. The reality of the so-called decline is far from what it seems on the surface.

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Monday, February 20,2012

Endangered species activists unhappy with Obama budget

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
Ag folks aren’t the only ones complaining about President Barack Obama’s proposed budget. The budget has created some unusual bedfellows; groups like the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) are both dissatisfied with Obama’s fiscal proposal.

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Friday, February 17,2012

Partnership seeks to ease trade agreements

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
American ranchers both big and small stand to benefit from the new Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The Pacific-countries trade agreement aims to reduce barriers to trade and integrate companies of all sizes into the global market.

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Friday, February 17,2012

Conversations with consumers; animal welfare vs. animal rights

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
Many non-ag consumers see the concepts of “animal welfare” and “animal rights” as synonymous. Given society’s move away from the farm, consumers’ experiences with animals are often limited to their pets. People’s tendency to see their pets as family members makes the situation ripe for well-funded animal rights groups to exploit consumers’ confusion.

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Friday, February 10,2012

MF Global collapse leaves farmers angry

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
Under fire from critics and lawmakers calling for CME to be stripped of its oversight powers, CME has announced the creation of a $100 million fund to protect farmers and ranchers in the event of another CME-member bankruptcy. The proposed fund would not cover losses sustained from the collapse of MF Global.

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