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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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Friday, February 10,2012

Sage grouse comment period extended by BLM

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
The conversation on sage grouse isn’t over yet. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) have extended the comment period on their proposed ruling until March 23. They are seeking public comment regarding topics that should be addressed in the evaluation of sage grouse issues.

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Friday, February 10,2012

Animal rights activists hold reins of Whole Foods´ welfare group

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
GAP and its six-step (Steps 1 through 5, with an additional “5 ” step) ranking system for farm animal welfare was created and embraced by Whole Foods Markets as their standard in meat.

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Friday, February 3,2012

New school lunch standards downplay meat, add fruits and vegetables

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
USDA Agricultural Secretary Tom Vilsack and First Lady Michelle Obama announced last week improved nutritional standards for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) are coming soon. According to US- DA, this move will be the first of its kind in over 15 years.

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Friday, February 3,2012

Far West real estate draws recreational buyers

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
Far West real estate markets in states like California and Oregon are picking up slowly but surely. High grain prices and the need for grazing land are driving some buyer interest, but recreational buyers are opening up new market opportunities for ag properties in the west.

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Friday, January 27,2012

Cattle on feed up 3 percent from 2011

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
Last week’s USDA-issued cattle on feed report was in keeping with earlier predictions. Cattle on feed were up; placements were down due to reduced supplies of feeder cattle. Fed cattle marketings were down slightly with one less trading day which put the marketing rate in line with projections.

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