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U.S. regaining lost markets

The U.S. has regained 31% of its pre-BSE export markets. Among the most recent markets to partially or fully open is Trinidad, which is accepting beef and beef products for cattle under 30 months of age. Other recently reopened markets include Indonesia, Guatemala (boneless beef from cattle less than 30 months of age), Belize (boneless beef), Dominican Republic (beef from cattle less than 30 months

The U.S. has regained 31% of its pre-BSE export markets. Among the most recent markets to partially or fully open is Trinidad, which is accepting beef and beef products for cattle under 30 months of age.

Other recently reopened markets include Indonesia, Guatemala (boneless beef from cattle less than 30 months of age), Belize (boneless beef), Dominican Republic (beef from cattle less than 30 months of age), and Honduras.

Markets that either partially or fully opened earlier include Canada and Mexico, the Philippines, most Central America nations, many Caribbean nations, Morocco, Israel, and the European Union and its newest members, says Michelle Reinke of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association.

The U.S. lost about 90% of its export markets following the December discovery of BSE. Reopened markets since then, however, have recovered 31% ($1.2 billion of the $3.86 billion in 2003 trade) of U.S. 2003 beef and beef variety meat exports.

Cargill and MetaMorphix are cooperating to develop a genetic quick test. The Maryland-based MetaMorphix announced last month an exclusive agreement with Caprock Cattle Feeders and Excel Corp., both part of Minnesota-based Cargill, to develop and implement genomic selection tools to allow cattle breeders and feedlot operators to meet consumer demands for consistency and tenderness.

MetaMorphix plans to spend $100 million the next few years to develop a major genomic franchise in the livestock industry, a Cargill news release says. For this initial project, Cargill will provide $10 million to MetaMorphix to support the development of the cattle products.

Minnesota Cattlemen's Tour hits the road July 16. Based out of Mora, the tour will include visits with eight beef producers in central Minnesota. Also included on the stops are educational programs on animal identification, nutrition, carcass quality and reproduction. To view the itinerary, go to, or call Todd Kruse at 763/689-0055.

Buying American is apparently more of an age-related sentiment. An AP poll conducted in mid May found that, while consumers may decry outsourcing of U.S. jobs to foreign countries, the concern doesn't translate to stronger buying of American-made products. The poll found only a third of 1,000 respondents said they regularly check labels for the country of manufacture, with older Americans much more likely to do so than younger ones.

Slightly more than half of Americans (54%) said they would buy a higher-priced U.S.-made product over a cheaper, foreign-made one, while 40% indicated they'd buy the lower-priced, foreign-made product.

Of respondents less than 30 years old, 63% said they never check country of origin, and most would buy a lower-priced, foreign product over a more expensive U.S. one. Meanwhile, Americans 60 and older were twice as likely to check labels for country of origin, and more than 2-to-1 said they'd buy a U.S. product even if it cost more than its foreign counterpart.

Only one KSU Beef ID Academy seminar remains, July 19-20. To be held at the new Kansas State University ID Beef Facility in Manhattan, the intensive, two-day seminar covers the current issues surrounding individual animal ID, the proposed standards, basic components of an electronic ID system, how to select optimum hardware, the principles of Statistical Process Control and how to apply the learned concepts to commercial software programs. Seventeen of the industry's top electronic ID suppliers have participated in the meeting series.

For more information or to register, go to

USDA's nationwide series of listening sessions on animal identification (ID) continues. The sessions are aimed at discussing and gathering comment on development, structure and implementation of a national animal ID program for all livestock and poultry.

Upcoming sessions include: July 10, Stockton, CA; July 16, Socorro, NM; July 23, Pasco, WA; Aug. 10, Greeley, CO; Aug. 13, Billings, MT; Aug. 16, Kissimmee, FL; Aug. 18, Columbus, OH; Aug. 26, Ames, IA; Aug. 27, Joplin, MO; Aug. 30, Appleton, WI; and Aug. 31, St. Cloud, MN.

For more detail on each location, including the meeting site and time, go to

The International Stockmen's Educational Foundation is again offering 25 student travel fellowships. The scholarships offer students planning a career in agriculture, particularly in the beef and horse industries, an opportunity to attend the to the 2005 International Livestock Congress (ILC) March 1-4 in Houston, TX. The awards include airfare, ground transportation, hotel and meals during the ILC. Applications are due Nov. 15.

Contact Julie Kimball at 817/443-0686, or go to www.livestock and click on Student Fellowships.

Gudmundsen Sandhills Laboratory's 4th open house is set for Aug. 25. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., and the program goes from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (MST). It includes presentations on animal ID, Web-based beef cattle information, information on irrigated pastures, new EPDs, heifer development, biosecurity, protein supplementation during winter grazing, the impact of drought on Sandhills vegetation, and more. RSVP by calling 308/532-3611 Ext. 124, 800/657-2113, or e-mail

Richard Willham is the newest inductee into the Saddle And Sirloin Club. The Iowa State University professor emeritus is the 342nd inductee. His portrait will be unveiled Nov. 14 induction in conjunction with the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, KY.

Merlyn Nielsen, University of Nebraska animal scientist, is heading the fundraising for the commission of the portrait and the banquet. For info on how to contribute, call 402/472-6406 or e-mail

Cattle buyers sentenced in $160-million fraud case. Missourians George L. Young, 73, of Grant City, and Kathleen I. McConnell, 55, of Kansas City, co-owners of United Livestock Services, LCC and Professional Business Services, were sentenced in late May in federal court for the $160-million “Phantom Cattle Scheme” that involved victims in several Midwest states. U.S. District Judge Fernando J. Gaitan, Jr., sentenced Young to nine years and McConnell to seven years and three months in federal prison, both without parole. The court also ordered Young and McConnell jointly and severally liable to pay $182,981,100 in restitution.

To read more on the case, go to and click on “Phantom Cattle” on the right hand side of the opening page.

Cattle Industry Summer Conference set for Aug. 9-13 in Denver, CO. The event features meetings of the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion & Research Board, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, the American National CattleWomen, and National Cattlemen's Foundation. Issues forums will be open to all registered attendees at the Summer Conference. For more info, visit and click on conventions and meetings, or call 303/694-0305.

Pasture species selection and management seminars set for Illinois. The July 15-16 seminars at three locations are designed for producers interested in improving the quality, productivity and carrying capacity of their pastures.

The seminars are July 15, from 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at the Greene County Extension Office in Carrollton; from 5:45-8:30 p.m. the same day at Springfield's Sangamon County Extension Office; and July 16, from 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m., at the Fulton County Extension Office in Lewistown.

Pre-register by July 12 by contacting Rhonda Ferree at 309/547-3711 for the Lewistown seminar, Diane Duewer at 217/782-4617 for the Springfield location, and Rick Keim for the Carrollton seminar at 217/942-6996.

This monthly column is compiled by Joe Roybal, 952/851-4669 or e-mail

High Carbohydrate Foods Showing Sales Declines
$ Volume 52 Weeks Ending 12/27/03 % Change vs. Year Ago Unit Volume 52 Weeks Ending 12/27/03 % Change vs. Year Ago
Total Bread $5,968,111,699 0.8% 3,560,171,929 -2.5%
Dry Pasta $1,251,817,664 -0.1% 1,226,950,326 -4.6%
Bulk Rice $345,887,109 -2.8% 180,243,608 -4.9%
Instant Rice $168,716,903 -2.8% 79,081,545 -8.2%
UPC-Coded Fresh Potatoes $1,455,070,624 -7.3% 616,487,939 -0.5%
Dehydrated Potatoes $327,399,290 -10.0% 207,447,944 -3.2%
Refrigerated Orange Juice $2,775,978,467 -2.8% 1,065,593,625 -3.8%
Total Cereal $7,392,859,148 -2.8% 2,639,184,589 -3.6%
Cookies $3,952,221,554 -3.0% 1,839,733,156 -5.5%
Regular Carbonated Beverages $9,627,176,585 -1.6% 7,032,454,375 -5.9%
Source: ACNielsen Homescan Panel•Views Survey