4 beef headlines: heart-healthy beef cuts, jobs for FFA kids & more

Industry chatter this week has been largely positive, and the blogosphere has been busy praising the lessons learned in 4-H and FFA youth programs and the opportunities that await these young people after college. In other news, extra-lean ground beef has received a stamp of approval from the American Heart Association (AHA), joining several other beef cuts that merit the AHA’s Heart-Check mark on the label. Finally, one writer shares his frustration as a food producer trying to meet society’s increasing demands on his business. Here are four articles worth reading today.

1. “Industry demand high for FFA students” by Matthew Weaver for the Capital Press

There's high demand for youth in precision agriculture careers, says James Durfey, manager of Washington State University's Agriculture Technology and Management program. He says for every one FFA student, there are two jobs available for that individual. Durfey spoke to FFA students recently about the opportunities in the agricultural industry.

2. “Agriculture, the one-percenters” by Damian Mason, farmer and agricultural speaker

It’s not just Wall Street’s “Wealthy 1%” that are being beat up by the media these days, but another group of one-percenters -- farmers and ranchers -- says Mason. Here is an excerpt from his opinion piece:

“I see a different 1% under attack, and it’s equally absurd. I’m talking about farmers. The list of demands society has demonstrates how out of touch with food production the American consumer is. They want outdoor chickens without cages. (So do the coyotes.) They want produce without insecticides. (So do the potato leaf hoppers.) They want GMO food labeling. (But 80% of consumers also want labels for foods containing DNA….hint, every living or formerly living organism contains DNA!)”

3. “6 unexpected things youth can learn from 4-H” by Diana Prichard for www.righteousbacon.com

After a conversation with a city friend about 4-H, Prichard says, “Sometimes I mourn the fact that these programs — 4-H, FFA, and their ilk — don’t reach a wider variety of participants.”

She lists the lessons 4-H kids learn from this program and the strengths they have once they get out into the real world. This is a great read that’s worth passing along.

4. “American Heart Association certifies extra lean ground beef as part of a heart-healthy diet” from Beef Checkoff News

Although there’s nothing to fear about the saturated fat in beef (read Nina Teicholz’s book “The Big Fat Surprise”), some folks prefer lean protein choices. The beef checkoff program recently announced that extra-lean ground beef (ground beef that is at least 96% lean, 4% fat) is now certified by the American Heart Association (AHA) to display its recognized and respected Heart-Check mark. Retailers now have the opportunity to help identify eight different extra-lean beef items as options for part of an overall healthy diet to their shoppers using one of the most trusted nutrition icons on food packaging today.

Check out all of the beef cuts that have earned AHA’s Heart-Check mark here.

What do you think about this week’s headlines? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. Have a good news tip to share? Email me at [email protected]

The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of Beefmagazine.com or the Penton Farm Progress Group.

 

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