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Five Hot Topics Ranchers Should Know About

Five Hot Topics Ranchers Should Know About

Whether you’re driving the combine harvesting corn or riding your horse checking calves in the pasture, chances are you might have missed some of the big news items that have hit the mainstream media related to the beef industry. Today, I’ve rounded up the top five items I think you should know about -- some fun, some political, all relevant.

1. Tuesday was National Cheeseburger Day. Chef Rachael Ray cooked up several different burger recipes with Guy Fieri on her show [3]. Although the holiday is over, the celebrations can still go on. What are your favorite burger toppings?

Read More: Rachael Ray’s Book Of Burger Renews Old Classic [4]

2. More than 70% of the students at Mukwonago High School in Wisconsin boycotted the school lunch program. In an effort to fight childhood obesity, the protein serving in school lunches was slashed to a measly 1.5-2 oz. and total calories were capped at 850. According to Fox News [5], “Mukwonago High class president, Nick Blohm, says the healthier food is not so much the problem as it is portion size.  A 6-ft.-3-in., 210-lb. linebacker, Blohm says he burns around 3,000 calories during three hours of football practice and weight training. He’s taking various Advanced Placement classes.  But the new caps, he says, are making it harder to perform both physically and academically.”
 
A Closer Look: New USDA School Lunches Lack Protein Power  [6]

3. If you love beef topped with bacon, then you’re going to love this new real-life adventure called, “The Great American Bacon Barter Goes Cross-Country.” Comedian and actor Josh Sankey is being sponsored by Oscar Mayer to travel from New York to Los Angeles with nothing but 3,000 lbs. of bacon. He will be bartering for everything including food, gas and lodging. He started on Sept. 9 in New York City by bartering his way into a New York Jets game. Sankey is making his way across the U.S. to 12  other cities and will complete his journey in Los Angeles on Sept. 23.  His next stop is Las Vegas, NV, on Sept. 22, where he will try to get someone to marry him in exchange for bacon. Footage from his adventures will be live here [7].  Fans can also follow him as he tweets about his journey at @BaconBarter.

Read more: “Bacon, The Gateway Meat." [8]

4. Last week, producers gathered in Washington, D.C., for the Farm Bill Now rally [9], urging Congress to make a decision and pass a version of the Farm Bill. According to the Huffington Post [10], “Farm-state members of Congress have campaigned for decades on the back of farm bills delivering election-season subsidies and other goodies to rural voters. Not this year. The bill is stalled, primarily because House GOP leaders don't want a noisy fight over food stamps this close to the election. That poses a particular problem for some Republicans in tight races for the Senate or the House who will go home empty-handed when Congress adjourns this week.” More than 80% of the farm bill consists of the Food Stamp program, an area that Democrats and Republicans are divided on how to manage and how big of a cut it should take. What do you think the solution is for the Farm Bill? Do you predict a version will pass before the November election?

BEEF Audio: Congress Must Move Forward On The Farm Bill [11] 

5. I continue to follow news coverage from BPI’s recent press release announcing a lawsuit against ABC News. The company is seeking $1.2 billion in damages. The challenge will be for BPI to prove damages in the courtroom. With three plants closed and 700 jobs lost, News Busters also reports that [12], “Analysts say the pink slime reports cost the economy more than half a billion dollars.” Sounds like damages to me.

A Closer Look:  BPI Fights Back [13]

Weigh in on any or all of these topics in the comments section below. Thanks for your participation.

Also, don't forget to vote [14] in the "Workhorses" Of The Ranch Photo Contest. Voting ends Sept. 26.