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5 things to expect from BEEF during the 2016 Cattle Industry Convention

5 things to expect from BEEF during the 2016 Cattle Industry Convention

Today kicks off the 2016 Cattle Industry Convention and Trade Show in San Diego, and as BEEF editors fly from their various posts across the country to attend the event, you can expect plenty of live coverage, updates, photos, videos and more. Here are five reasons to check back often this week as the convention unfolds:

1. Get all the details from the Cattlemen’s College

Can’t make it to San Diego, but wish you could listen to all the great speakers featured in the 23rd Annual Cattlemen’s College? Don’t worry. BEEF editors Burt Rutherford, Wes Ishmael and Amanda Radke will be attending the sessions and providing up-to-date tweets and Facebook posts, as well as more in-depth articles, which you will find in upcoming editions of BEEF Daily and Cow-Calf Weekly.

For an overview of this year’s speaker topics, click here.

2. Follow us on Facebook at BEEF Magazine or on Twitter @BEEFMagazine

Use the hashtag #CIC2016 or #beefmeet to join the discussion. View our collection of photographs from convention We will be updating a photo gallery daily of the sights, sounds, speakers, people, awards, and of course, beef, at the convention, so stop at our homepage often to check out our collection of images. Also, if you are at the convention and would like to submit photos to include in our gallery, email BEEF Associate Senior Editor Jamie Purfeerst at [email protected]

3. Find out which ranch wins the 2016 Environmental Stewardship Award

Seven operations will vie for the 2016 Environmental Stewardship Award, and the winner will be named the evening of Thursday, Feb. 28. Check out Friday’s edition of Cow-Calf Weekly to find out which ranch will take home this prestigious honor.

Learn more about the seven ranches nominated for the 2016 Environmental Stewardship Award here.

Artists Brad and Sundie Ruppert (right) of Vintage Sculpture team up with Trent Johnson of Greeley Hat Works to create one-of-a-kind portraits from cowboy hat felt scraps. Visit the BEEF Magazine booth at this week’s CIC/NCBA Trade Show to sign up to win a uniquely created felt portrait.

Meet the editors, pick up a copy of the January issue of BEEF complete with the latest Seedstock 100 list and learn more about the VFD Resource Center created by the editors of our sister publication Feedstuffs to help guide you through the upcoming regulatory changes related to antibiotic use.

Plus, one lucky visitor to the BEEF booth will win an exclusive and custom-made sculptural felt portrait created by artists Brad and Sundie Ruppert of Vintage Sculpture. This BEEF-magazine commissioned piece of art is made from cowboy hat felt scraps salvaged from Greeley Hat Works.

5. Meet NCBA’s incoming president, Tracy Brunner

Industry involvement has always been important to Tracy Brunner. His path to the presidency of NCBA began shortly after college graduation. Photo credit NCBA

Tracy Brunner is part of the fourth generation to manage his family’s diversified farming, ranching and cattle feeding operation in the Flint Hills of western Kansas. The incoming National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) president has a big-picture view of the beef business. Brunner will take the reins at the conclusion of the convention, and you can check out BEEF Senior Editor Burt Rutherford’s feature on Brunner’s industry experience and plans for NCBA for the upcoming year. Read his story here. 

Will you be in San Diego this week? In the comments section below, let us know who you are, where you’re from and what you’re looking forward to most. We look forward to visiting with industry friends, and if you’re watching from home, let us know what coverage you would like to see while we’re at the 2016 Cattle Industry Convention!

The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Penton Agriculture.

 

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Consumers continue to keep beef on their plates

Consumers continue to keep beef on their plates

While speaking at a recent cattlemen’s meeting, several questions arose around the relationship of retail pricing power, the 2015 market plunge and beef demand. Primarily, the questions focused on whether or not beef demand in the U.S. remains solid. Clearly, that’s an important concern given weak market action during the second half of 2015.  

As a reminder, aggregate demand is a function of both quantity and price. For any product, demand stems from five key factors: population, income, tastes/preferences, expectations and the price of other goods. For beef, the last item, price of other goods, refers to potential price substitution where consumers trade down to pork and poultry.  

Specific to that discussion, the graph below highlights quarterly beef demand since 1990. Beef has had a solid run of improving demand since it bottomed during the third quarter of 2009. In fact, December 2009 was the last time we traded fed cattle at sub-$80 and marks the cycle low/turning point of the rally leading up to the highs established in 2014 and early-2015. Since that time, beef demand has improved almost 25%. More importantly, the 12-month moving average for 2015 now stands at nearly 93 – the best mark since 1992. 

quarterly beef demand

That’s somewhat counter-intuitive in light of recent market dynamics. However, market action of 2015 underscores how important the supply side has been in the sharp decline. That said, it also underscores how critical the efforts of maintaining and growing beef demand are to overall prosperity For some alternative perspective see the discussion on the reversal of direction in feedyard revenue. 

What are your perceptions around beef demand and its influence on the overall market? What type of market might we have had if demand were weakening? Given consideration of the five factors outlined above, where do you foresee demand going forward?

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.  

Nevil Speer is based in Bowling Green, Ky., and serves as vice president of U.S. operations for AgriClear, Inc. – a wholly-owned subsidiary of TMX Group Limited. The views and opinions of the author expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the TMX Group Limited and Natural Gas Exchange Inc.

 

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From pasture management to politics, the news is full of items to interest, educate and entertain. Here’s a glimpse at a few of the headlines.

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3 beef videos to kick off the week

If you’re cold from morning cattle chores, you can warm up with a cup of coffee and these three positive beef videos. There definitely worth watching, enjoying and sharing.

1. Nebraska cattlemen donate beef to school lunch programs

In an effort to offer students Nebraska-raised, high-quality beef, the Nebraska Cattlemen’s Association has started the Nebraska Beef in School Lunch Program Initiative. The program has been in effect since October 2015.

Three ranching families recently donated heifers to their local school’s lunch program in the hopes that area students will enjoy a hearty, healthy and nourishing beef meal to fuel through their active school days. Watch this interview from KNOPTV to learn more about this program.

2. NFL player Jordy Nelson talks about childhood on the farm

Kansas farm boy and NFL athlete Jordy Nelson shares how his life on the farm influenced how he manages his money, how he appreciates farmers and ranchers, and how the hard-work ethic gained from the ranch helps him in his professional football career.


Watch this interview from ESPN with Jordy Nelson by clicking here.

3. New Meat MythCrushers video debunks the link between red meat and obesity

Consumers have been led to believe that red meat is the cause of obesity, and if we want to be healthier, we should opt for more meatless meals in order to drop a few pounds. However, this information couldn’t be further from the truth.

According to Meat MythCrushers, “Data show that obesity rates have doubled since 1976. If red meat were a primary contributor to increased obesity, one would expect that red meat consumption would have increased during this same period, yet the opposite is true. Red meat consumption, which includes beef, pork, veal and lamb, peaked at 144.8 pounds per person per year in 1976. Since then we’ve seen a steady decline to around 104 pounds per person per year in recent years.”

What’s more, the MythCrushers write, “Beyond meat’s nutrient density, studies have shown that meat helps with satiety, meaning when you eat meat you’ll feel fuller longer. Feeling satisfied can reduce the likelihood that you’ll snack, lowering your overall calorie intake. As a complete protein, meat provides all the essential amino acids needed by people for balanced nutrition. Additional research led by Eric Berg, Ph.D. at North Dakota State University has shown that incomplete intake of essential amino acids, can lead to fat deposits in the body.”

Take a few minutes to watch these videos, and let me know what you think! Have a great week!

The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Penton Agriculture.

 

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Set Sail for San Diego | 2016 Cattle Industry Convention photos

The 2016 Cattle Industry Convention and Trade Show is kicking off this week in San Diego. Follow along with all the fun happening at the show with this photo gallery which will be updated daily. We also will be live tweeting from this week's events -- follow along using the hashtag #beefmeet.

Also, if you are at the convention and would like to submit photos to include in our gallery, email BEEF Associate Senior Editor Jamie Purfeerst at [email protected].

Meat Market Update | Normal seasonal cutout decline starts

Ed Czerwien, USDA Market News reporter in Amarillo, TX, provides us with the latest outlook on boxed beef prices and the weekly cattle trade.

The Daily Choice box beef cutout jumped $44 dollars in less than 3 weeks, but is starting to show signs that it will be following the normal seasonal decline that begins in later January and lasts through most of February.
 
Out-front sales were much bigger, climbing to over 900 loads but most of the prices were less than current spot or current formula prices.

Find more cattle price news here or bookmark our commodity price page for the minute-by-minute updates.

Get ready for an interesting year in the cattle business

Get ready for an interesting year in the cattle business

By all indications, 2016 should be a lot more interesting for cow-calf producers than cattle feeders. And that’s just looking at the cattle market. However, the cattle feeding industry has to be looking forward to 2016 if for no other reason than it has to be better than 2015. 

Estimates are that the cattle feeding industry lost over $4.5 billion in 2015. We used to say that when the cattle feeding industry lost money for two to three turns, they will buy their profits, but there simply wasn’t that opportunity in 2015. 

Will that change in 2016? Cattle feeders are buying replacements today well over $400 per head less than they were a year ago, and feed prices are down. While all the experts are predicting corn prices to remain low, I’m sure the cattle feeding industry is starting to believe in the old mantra that cheap corn leads to cheap cattle.  

The market promises to remain volatile. Numbers will be tight. Will beef demand get better or worse? Perhaps the question should be, will the global economy remain sluggish? The U.S. remains the largest economy in the world, but we have been stagnant for six years, with median income sliding and participation in the work force at historically low levels. 

hard working ranchers gallery

70 photos show ranchers hard at work on the farm
Readers have submitted photos of hard-working ranchers doing what they do best - caring for their livestock and being stewards of the land. See reader favorite  photos here.

 

We’ve been fortunate that China picked up the leadership and become the driving force in the global economy, but their economic prosperity is being questioned as well. As cattle producers, we used to talk longingly about cheap corn and cheap fuel, but having oil at its lowest levels in over a decade has brought with it more bad news than good, as it signifies just how severely the global economy, and especially China’s economy, has slowed down.

2016 not only promises to be a year of volatility on the economic side, the political side may be even more interesting. The general school of thought is that little gets done of significance in a presidential election year, even less if the president is a lame duck, and especially so if the presidency and Congress are controlled by opposing parties.

During his farewell State of Union address, Obama didn’t even bother to lay out an agenda for his last year or initiatives he wanted to work on. Yet, it looks like the politics of posturing will keep it interesting throughout the year. Obama has expanded the power of the executive branch more than any presidency, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t elect to more fully use that power in his final year; essentially acting without Congress’s approval through executive action and bureaucratic rulemaking to move forward and even accelerate his agenda. 

I question the pundits, though, who say Obama will attempt bold, sweeping actions. He may not be running for election, but he is also the most partisan president in history and I do believe that he will be constrained by the electorate perceptions. He will not do anything that will hurt the Democratic contenders chances for election. 

seedstock 100

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It is more than a little interesting that a full-blown socialist who nobody in the Democratic establishment wants to be the nominee is leading in Iowa and New Hampshire. On the Republican side, a billionaire, who not only happens to be the most liberal of all the candidates, but also the one who has managed to alienate women, Muslims, Hispanics and African-Americans, just to name a few, is also winning or close to winning in the two early primary states.  

It probably won’t and can’t happen; reality has a way of interfering with fairytale storylines, but just imagine a presidential election with Sanders vs. Trump. There wouldn’t be a single establishment figure allowed to remain in either party’s leadership. If nothing else, it would send the message that we are sick and tired of business as usual. 

If 2016 was a movie, it would be worth grabbing a bag of popcorn and sitting down; it should be an interesting ride.

The opinions of Troy Marshall are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com and the Penton Agriculture Group.

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Has the cattle market found the bottom?

Has the cattle market found the bottom?

The cattle markets in the fourth quarter of 2014 and throughout 2015 were psychology driven. The psychology in 2014 took the market higher than it deserved; the psychology in 2015 pounded it lower than the fundamentals would have dictated. The magnitude of the chasm between the highs and the lows seems extremely large as a result and the free-fall the last half of 2015 has everyone asking: how low do we go and when will we find solid footing?  

In a psychology-driven market, it isn’t the fundamentals that turn things around, which makes predicting the market difficult at best. Yet, market fundamentals are still the best indicator we have. Those fundamentals told us the market needed to move downward. We had, and have, a ton of pork and poultry on the market and the largest spread between beef and competing meats we have ever seen. Export demand plummeted, in large part due to the strengthening of the U.S. dollar. Throw in drought in Australia and it made sense to see their imports grow. Additionally, economics told feeders to hold cattle longer and make them bigger, which led to a very uncurrent situation. Couple that with record fed cattle losses and you had the perfect storm for psychology to plummet as well. 

Yet the fundamentals tell us it isn’t all bad news. Domestic demand continues to be solid. Cattle numbers remain at historically low levels, weights are moderating and placements have been below average for several months. So the question is this: will the fed market respond to the positive dynamics that exist? The highs are in, but that doesn’t mean we have to drop off the cliff either. 

Looking ahead, the short term looks like we should have a chance to turn things in a positive direction. From a longer perspective, expansion is underway but the effects should largely be negligible. We may have seen the highs, but there is no need to return to the price levels of a decade ago either.

The opinions of Troy Marshall are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com and the Penton Agriculture Group.

 

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President Obama shuts down WOTUS resolution

President Obama shuts down WOTUS resolution

As expected, President Barack Obama vetoed Congress's resolution to halt the WOTUS rule. In the veto message, Obama said, “The rule, which is a product of extensive public involvement and years of work, is critical to our efforts to protect the Nation’s waters and keep them clean; is responsive to calls for rulemaking from the Congress, industry, and community stakeholders; and is consistent with decisions of the United States Supreme Court.”

The Senate voted 53-44 on Nov. 4, 2015 and the House voted 253-166 on Jan. 6, 2016 in support of the resolution.  

Obama noted, “Because this resolution seeks to block the progress represented by this rule and deny businesses and communities the regulatory certainty and clarity needed to invest in projects that rely on clean water, I cannot support it. I am therefore vetoing this resolution.”

Philip Ellis, president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, said, “In siding with the EPA, the President has ignored the will of Congress, including members of his own party. Moreover, he has taken side against the 32 states, and countless stakeholders who have challenged the WOTUS rule. With Congress clearly showing their disapproval of this rule, the consequences of WOTUS implementation now rest solely with President Obama.”

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6 reasons to trust your supermarket’s meat case

Cathy Yeulet  ThinkStock

I recently read an article titled, “19 reasons why you might want to stop buying supermarket meat,” written by Dan Myers for The Daily Meal. The article was sent to me from a reader, and I appreciate the opportunity to respond to the statements made in this piece.

Myers paints an ugly picture of safe, wholesome meat that’s available at affordable price points.

Here is an excerpt of his opening lines, “If you’re like most Americans, you most likely buy your meat at the supermarket. Be it raw chicken and steaks from the butcher case or cold cuts from the deli counter, we tend to not give much thought to the meat we buy beyond whether it’s fresh and how much it costs. But you might want to think twice before buying your next Styrofoam-and-cellophane-wrapped chicken breast, because what we’re about to tell you may have you buying all your meat at the organic butcher shop from now on.”

Myers’ reasons for avoiding the supermarket meat counter include things like E.coli, Salmonella, Listeria, animal abuse, expiration dates, freezer meat, antibiotics and fecal matter contamination.

While I won’t attempt to address all 19 of his points in one blog post, here are six reasons why I trust my supermarket’s meat options, and why consumers should, too:

1. Meat at the grocery store is safe.

According to FactsAboutBeef.com, “The U.S. has worked hard to have one of the safest food supplies in the world. USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) is required by law to provide inspection for all federally-regulated beef establishments. Without the inspector present, the establishment cannot process cattle for beef. After the animal is slaughtered, a USDA inspector will perform additional inspections to ensure the safety of the beef carcass. Once approved, the carcass is stamped with a non-toxic ink stamp to show that the animal has passed the USDA inspections. If a carcass does not pass the USDA inspections, it is condemned, stamped as such, and does not enter the food supply. All meat products are inspected by USDA inspectors before they leave the federally-regulated establishment.”

What’s more, the beef industry has invested more than $550 million annually on safety research and implementation of beef safety interventions.

2. When handling raw meat, it’s up to me to play it safe.

Consumers are responsible for food safety, as well. When it comes to buying, prepping, cooking and handling raw meat, there are several things to keep in mind, including:

  • Buy beef that is cold to the touch, with intact packaging and no excessive pooling liquid. When shopping, put raw meat in your grocery cart last and bag it in its own plastic bag to prevent cross-contamination. Keep an insulated cooler in the car to store perishables in until you get home. Make sure your grocery store stop is the last of your errands before heading home.
  • Store raw beef in the fridge or freezer. Keep beef cold until it’s time to cook. Your fridge should be set at 40˚F or less. Use fresh beef within a few days or freeze it until it is needed. Freeze in original packaging for two weeks or wrap in aluminum foil or plastic freezer bags for longer storage.
  • Defrost frozen beef in the fridge, not on the counter. Avoid the “danger” zone between 40-120˚F where bacteria is most likely to grow.
  • When preparing beef, work on a clean plastic cutting board.
  • Wash your hands, knives and other utensils in hot soapy water after each use. Don’t prep vegetables on the same cutting board you just used to prep your raw meat.
  • Wash your hands often. It bears repeating, but cross-contamination often happens from our hands, so play it safe, and wash often after shopping, prepping or cooking raw meat.

buying beef

Cathy Yeulet / ThinkStock

 

According to FactsAboutBeef.com, “Farmers and ranchers are committed to raising safe, wholesome beef. In addition, the U.S. has a complex residue control system, with rigorous processes for approval, sampling, testing, and enforcement activities. The National Residue Program is designed to prevent the occurrence of violative levels of chemical residues in meat and poultry products.”

Watch this video about antibiotic residues from the Food Dialogues to learn more about this topic.

4. Grocery store meat is affordable with plenty of options in one easy place to shop.

While I’m lucky to have a freezer full of beef we’ve raised on our ranch, we still purchase meat to supplement our freezer stash. Whether it’s fish, chicken, pork or beef, I’ve become quite the savvy shopper when it comes to buying meat on sale and saving it for later. At my local store, meat always goes on sale on Tuesdays, with new specials being offered in the coupon mailer. However, I’ve started shopping on Mondays when the grocers clear out the older items to make way for the new specials. I’ve gotten super cheap ribeyes that way, and I stock up on our favorite cuts for grilling season. Buying in bulk, buying on sale and communicating with your grocery store’s meat manager are great ways to learn the best times to buy and which items will be on sale soon.

5. The grocery store has organic, natural, grass-fed and other options, too.

In his article, Myers suggests that folks should skip the local grocery store and choose a strictly organic butcher shop. Organic is a great option for folks who are seeking that method of beef production; however, organic doesn’t mean it’s safer than conventionally-raised beef. Plus, if I want to seek a specific labeling program like Certified Angus Beef, Meyer Natural, USDA Prime, or any other high-end, natural, organic, grass-fed or locally-raised beef options, chances are my local grocery store carries those choices for me to select from.

6. Grocery stores are local business that I’m proud to support.

Let’s face it. The margins in any retail grocery store business are often razor thin. I’m happy to support my local grocery store, and as a beef producer, I love perusing the meat case and shopping for steals on steaks, roasts, burgers and beef ribs for my family to enjoy. While my homegrown beef is hard to beat, I can confidently say that the beef I buy at retail is just as safe and wholesome as what I already have in my own freezer.

The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Penton Agriculture.

 

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