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Vermeer Introduces

Vermeer Corporation, a leading manufacturer of agricultural equipment, introduces a new wagon-style cob collection system that will revolutionize corn harvesting by enabling farmers to harvest corn and cobs simultaneously. The Vermeer CCX770 Cob Harvester is designed to tow immediately behind select corn harvesting combines to collect and unload the cobs.

“This new patented Vermeer cob harvesting machine is a solution for supplying corn cobs for cellulosic ethanol production,” says Vermeer Product Manager Jay Van Roekel. “It’s easy to attach to the combine, is self-contained and cost-effective. This innovative product can help farms by diversifying their harvest in collecting bio-mass materials for

resale or reuse as well as supporting our country’s efforts to produce home grown energy.”

Corn cobs are certainly not an unknown commodity. There are many other opportunities for the use of corn cobs outside cellulosic ethanol production, such as livestock feed supplement for mixed rations, livestock and pet animal bedding, blending cobs with coal to co-generate electricity, gasification to create several types of energy for industrial processes and other industrial applications including construction materials, abrasives and absorbents.

The cob harvester concept was originally developed by an innovative Midwest farmer who saw a need and acted on it,

“much like the founder of Vermeer Corporation, Mr. Gary Vermeer, did 60 years ago in 1948.” According to Van Roekel,

test harvesting will be conducted throughout 2008 to evaluate performance and efficiency. Vermeer will then communicate product launch plan and availability for the 2009 harvest season.

Vermeer Corporation manufactures a full line of haying equipment including large round balers, mowers, mower/conditioners, rakes, tedders, bale processors, silage wrappers, bale movers and hay handling equipment; plus a wide assortment of industrial equipment for tree, construction, environmental and underground utility service work. For more information on Vermeer Agricultural equipment, log into the Vermeer Ag website at

VERMEER® and the Vermeer logo are registered trademarks of Vermeer Manufacturing Company in the U.S. and/or other countries.

(Note to editor: Color photos in electronic format are available upon request. Please contact Bellana Putz, Lessing-Flynn, @ 515-274-9271 for requests.)

Top Ten U.S. Steakhouses

Every morning, I open my laptop and I start sorting through the day’s top news. Not only do I read what’s happening in the beef industry, but I also get the dish from consumers’ view, paying special attention to articles that pertain to food. On a single day, I can see all kinds of headlines relating to beef. It seems the agriculture industry is blamed for everything from epidemic obesity to greenhouse gasses. In an effort to “go green,” many consumers see eating meat as an outdated trend, something not eco-friendly enough to grace their dinner tables.

In fact, yesterday I even received this comment on my blog post about Proposition 2, "Factory farms who raise animals for food claim they are the good guys feeding the hungry people. But the fact is that animal agribusiness is devastating to our environment, public health, and animal welfare. If is also a fact that if we replaced animals raised for food with crops, we could feed every starving person on earth. Congrats to HSUS!"

To tell you the truth, sometimes I just get plum burnt out from these statements and my efforts to respond with commentary and letters to the editors. Sometimes I just want to turn my head and pretend I never saw anything worth correcting. Then, I feel guilty, and I respond, guiding the Internet readers to beef-friendly websites where they can learn more about the foods they eat. It only takes a few minutes to educate a consumer, and it's a practice everyone in the beef industry should pick up. We should never tire of correcting misguided media outlets and consumers, don't you agree?

However, it’s so refreshing to see a positive beef story in the media, and when I saw an article on MSN this week titled, “America’s Best Steak Houses—Top 10 Spots to Enjoy Classic Cuts,” it just made my day! Although we could all agree that the best steak house is our own homes. You know what I’m talking about—after a long day of working outside, there is nothing better than a grilled steak and a home cooked meal. However, once in a while, I find a steak house that is so phenomenal, I can’t help but wonder why anyone would choose to give it all up for vegetarianism.

This article is the perfect way to end the week as it details the top ten steak houses in the United States. Everything from grand pianos, to fine wines, to jazz concerts and funky restaurant décor, and the one thing they all have in common: great tasting beef!


New Safety Apparel from Hobart Welding Products

  • Leather / cloth welding jackets, leather apron and welding sleeves

    APPLETON, Wis., November 18, 2008--Hobart Welding Products introduces a variety of welding apparel, meeting the demand for quality protective gear at an affordable price. New items include leather and cloth welding jackets, a leather apron and welding sleeves. Ideal for the garage, shop or outdoor use, the new items are made from high-quality materials designed to keep sparks, heat and ultra-violet rays from harming exposed skin.

    “Welding injuries happen too often due to improper protection,” states Caleb Krisher, product manager, Hobart Welding Products. “Safety apparel such as fire-retardant sleeves and leather jackets take only a moment to throw on and protect against nasty burns and otherwise needless trips to the emergency room.”

    Hobart safety apparel is offered through farm/ranch and hardware/tool retailers in the U.S. and Canada. Prices and availability may vary by retailer.

  • Leather Welding Jacket – To meet the protection demands of most welding applications this jacket is made from a high-quality split cowhide, heavy-duty stitching and reinforced snaps, which increase its durability. The HOBART® logo adds a branded detail to a patch on the left chest and deep ergonomic pockets allow for quick and easy access. Hobart’s Leather Welding Jacket is available in three sizes: L, XL, XXL. MSRP $60
  • Cloth Welding Jacket – A lightweight alternative to leather is Hobart’s cloth welding jacket. Made with INDURA 100-percent flame-resistant cotton this slate-black jacket features reinforced snaps down the front and on the sleeves, a HOBART® branded patch and pocket. The cloth welding jacket is available in three sizes: L, XL, XXL. MSRP $35
  • Leather Apron – Perfect for the shop or garage, Hobart’s leather apron offers lightweight protection for the chest and thighs. Made from split cowhide, this knee-length apron features neck and waist straps with quick-connect buckles that adjust to a proper fit. One pocket on the chest and three along the bottom provide ample storage. MSRP $20
  • Welding Sleeves – Keep bare skin covered from sparks, heat and ultra-violet rays. Made from INDURA 100-percent flame-resistant cotton, Hobart’s 18-in. long welding sleeves offer cool, lightweight protection and a wide elastic band at the top of the sleeve for added comfort. MSRP $8

For information visit, call 1-877-HOBART1 (877-462-2781) or write to Hobart Welding Products at P.O. Box 100, Lithonia, GA 30058.

Hobart Welding Products offers a complete line of industrial-grade Stick, MIG, TIG and spot welders, plasma cutters and generator/welding power sources designed for easy use. Hobart products are available through farm and tool retail stores as well as welding supply distributors.

Hobart Welding Products is a division of Hobart Brothers Company, Troy, Ohio, a wholly owned subsidiary of Illinois Tool Works Inc. (NYSE: ITW). Based in Glenview, Ill. ITW is a multinational Fortune 200 company that engineers and manufactures welding products, fasteners, components, assemblies and systems for customers around the world.

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Crunch Time

It's crunch time at South Dakota State University, as students are in a frenzy with last minute projects, tests and activity events before finals week and the end of the semester. For me, that means I'm running from one thing to the next, busy as ever and waiting for things to slow down. As soon as homework slows down, it's another writing assignment to do, a load of work to do on the farm, or a list of presents to buy before Christmas. Things are moving fast in the beef industry these days, too. Cattlemen are worried about earning high prices for their sale cattle, keeping the feeder calves healthy, wondering about the first snowstorm and trying to prepare the ranch for winter.

food.jpg Do you ever feel like you are in over your head? With the weak economy, ranchers are feeling the crunch. Because money is in short supply, consumers eat out less and purchase cheaper chicken instead of beef products. Fewer dollars are spent on quality meats, and this trickles down directly to you, the beef producer. You know, sometimes I feel like a broken record, but now is a crucial time to encourage others to keep beef at the center of the plate. A few years ago, I worked with the SD Cattlemen's Auxiliary to produce seasonal commercials, one for summer grilling and the other for Christmas. I was amazed at the feedback from people as they called and wrote to tell me what beef meals they prepared that Christmas, instead of turkey!

All it takes is a few minutes to share your favorite beef recipes with a friend. Suggest a cut of beef to use, how to prepare it and what side dishes compliment your recipe best. Even though we are all busy with a hundred things to do, slow down for a minute and talk with your friends. Let's take a proactive approach this holiday season to keep beef at the center of the plate.

Kosher Meat Void in U.S.

The bankruptcy of Agriprocessors in Postville, the worlds largest Kosher abattoir, has left a massive void in the supply of Kosher meat in the United States. This follows the stopping of Kosher production of beef at the two plants of North Star Beef earlier in the year.

Empire Kosher Poultry, Pennsylvania, is going to increase production by 50%, in order to counter some of the shortages. The beef market for Kosher beef, has been divided all over the country, to companies that have a revolving stunning box and approval from the Jewish authorities.

Brazilian Halal exports to the Middle East to cross $6.38 billion in 2008

Brazilian Halal exports to the Middle East are expected to exceed S6.38 billion in 2008, as the demand for beef meat and poultry continues to rise in the region. Industry reports have revealed that 33 per cent of Brazilian poultry and 40 per cent of its meat production are being supplied to the global Halal market, which is largely concentrated within the region. In line with their aims to leverage the booming Halal industry, more than 15 Brazilian companies have announced their participation at the second ‘Halal Expo 2008’, the definitive event for ‘Halal’ industry in the region, which will run from November 24 - 26, 2008 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Dubai.

As one of the biggest exporters of halal meat in the world, Brazil maintains a substantial percentage of its production to cater to the Halal market, approximately 70 per cent of its exports of 1 million frozen chickens goes to over 100 countries are Halal-certified. Most of the country’s Halal products are being shipped to GCC countries, with reports revealing that USD 1.4 billion worth of chicken has been exported from January to August 2008 to the Middle East - an increase of 66 per cent over the same period last year. In addition to meat and poultry products, Brazil has also emerged as a major source of other Halal-certified consumables in the region such as coffee, chocolate, biscuits, fruits, and juices, which will showcased during this year’s event.

“In the first eight months of 2008, Brazilian shipments of Halal products to the Middle East have totalled 756 tons, which reflects a 17 per cent rise compared to the same period last year,” said Francisco Turra, Executive President, Brazilian Poultry Exporters Association (ABEF). “This considerable increase in shipment of Brazil-produced Halal products to the Middle East has driven us to work towards fully leveraging this market by increasing the visibility of Brazilian food and beverage products. We have identified the ‘Halal Expo 2008’ as an important gateway to take us to the centre of the potential-laden regional and global Halal market, and we are looking forward to showcasing top-quality Brazilian Halal-certified products to buyers from the Middle East and UAE food and beverage sectors during this high profile event.”

The Brazilian Poultry Exporters Association (ABEF) has confirmed that the Middle East is still the main destination for Brazilian chicken exports, followed by Asia, which imported 632,000 tons of products valued at USD 1.3 billion. Among the region’s top economies, the UAE has emerged as one of the major Halal industry hubs, importing and channelling an estimated AED 550 million worth of Halal merchandise annually. In line with this, event organisers Orange Fairs & Events has decided to stage the event in Dubai for the second time, which is also set to feature ‘Sabores de Brasil’ (‘Brazilian Flavour’) to encourage new clients to taste and experience Brazilian products.

“The Gulf region as a whole has a huge requirement for Halal food, which presents global producers and suppliers an outstanding opportunity to expand their business to new heights. We are proud of the growing popularity of ‘Halal Expo’ among the world’s top producers of Halal products, and we are confident that this year’s event will reflect a considerable growth from last year’s achievements. As one of the leading Halal product exporters to the region, Brazil is seeking to showcase the credibility of Brazilian products in Halal market through this event, which reiterates its own integrity as a high impact business and networking event,” concluded Raees Ahmed, Director, Orange Fairs & Events.

At present, 51 global companies from 17 countries have already confirmed their participation at ‘Halal Expo 2008’. The organiser is also expecting to welcome more than 80 international exhibitors from Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Brunei, Bosnia, Canada, China, Egypt, France, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Netherlands, Pakistan, The Philippines, Turkey, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, KSA, UK and the UAE. In addition, representatives from government bodies such as Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources, Brunei Darussalam, including several regional and international Halal certification authorities, chambers of commerce, and international Halal associations have also confirmed their presence.

JBS Reports Best Quarter Ever

JBS S.A., the Brazil-based parent company of JBS Swift, reported its best consolidated quarter in company history.

JBS saw a net income of $327.2 million for the third quarter. Revenue was up 48.5 percent to $3.66 billion compared to the same period last year. The EBITDA, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, for the Greeley-based U.S. beef segment, before interest, was $155.6 million. During the third quarter of 2007, the segment lost $11.6 million.

The U.S. pork segment also saw a year-over-year increase in EBITDA, up 236 percent to $52.1 million.


Fear No TIG: Diversion 165 AC/DC TIG Welder

Miller’s Diversion 165 AC/DC TIG welder makes TIG welding steel, stainless and aluminum easier than ever before because it features just two controls. Designed for first-time TIG welders, this affordable TIG welder has a list price of $1,617.

Highlights/Key Facts

  • Designed specifically for first-time TIG welders that want to take on motorsports TIG welding applications, such as chassis fabrication, patch panels, aluminum oil pans, stainless exhaust systems and chrome-moly roll cages.
  • Fewest controls of any AC/DC TIG welder ever introduced.
  • Comes with 68-page TIG Welding for Dummies book and a DVD on how to set up, operate and weld with the Diversion 165, along with some basic TIG welding tips.
  • Amperage range of 10- to 165-amps (150 amps at 20 percent duty cycle), infinitely adjustable throughout the entire range for both the AC and DC welding outputs.
  • Weighs just 50 lbs., uses 230 V, 1-phase “dryer-type” 3-pronged plug.

APPLETON, Wis., Nov. 17, 2008--To encourage personal users in the motorsports market to take on TIG welding projects, Miller Electric Mfg. Co. has introduced its Diversion 165, the easiest-to-use, most affordable AC/DC TIG welder ever available.

The Diversion 165 features just two controls: one for heat input and one for selecting metal type and has a list price of $1,617. In addition to simplicity and affordability, the Diversion 165’s stable arc and positive arc starts make it easier for beginners to achieve good results.

The Diversion 165 weighs 50 lbs. (90 lbs. less than other units), connects to 230 V, 1-phase power using a “dryer-type” 3-pronged plug and only needs a 25-amp circuit breaker to produce its full welding output of 165 amps (150 amps at 20 percent duty cycle).

The Diversion 165 can weld material as thin as 22 gauge and as thick as 3/16-in. in a single pass with its 10- to 165-amp output. Every Diversion 165 box includes a 68-page TIG Welding for Dummies book and a DVD on how to set up, operate and weld with the unit, along with some basic TIG welding tips.

Miller Product Manager Quotes

“We designed the Diversion 165 specifically for first-time TIG welders that want to take on motorsports TIG welding applications, such as chassis fabrication, patch panels, aluminum oil pans, stainless exhaust systems and chrome-moly roll cages.

John Swartz, product manager, Miller Electric Mfg. Co.

“The Diversion 165 removes the three barriersprice, product complexity and perceived process difficultythat typically prevented DIY motorsports enthusiasts from learning to TIG weld. With practice, the Diversion 165 enables anyone with decent hand-eye coordination to create TIG welds suitable for most hobby-level motorsports applications.”

John Swartz, product manager, Miller Electric Mfg. Co.

Additional News Release Information

Reduced Learning Curve

When developing the Diversion 165, Miller engineers borrowed from the proven technology used in the company’s industrial, inverter-based TIG products. As a result, the Diversion 165 starts with a positive, crisp snap time-and-time again. There’s no “arc stumbling” or “arc wander,” which can be a problem with some other TIG welders.

In addition, the Diversion 165 produces a focused arc cone, which provides better weld puddle control and greater directional control over heat input. Users can direct the arc precisely where they want it and keep the heat off areas they don’t want to weld. Finally, the Diversion 165 has a great low-end TIG arc in both the AC and DC welding modes, making it suitable for welding thin material and delicate work. Combined, these capabilities can enable users to begin producing quality welds in a shorter time.

Designed for Personal Users

While the Diversion 165 offers the arc starting and arc stability characteristics of Miller’s industrial TIG welders, Miller designed this machine strictly for personal users. The Diversion 165’s feature set, output and duty cycle are not recommended for professional or industrial fabrication. For these applications, Miller recommends its Dynasty, Maxstar® or Syncrowave series TIG welders.

Benefits of TIG

TIG welders offer the flexibility to weld almost any metal, including steel, stainless, chrome-moly and aluminum found on cars, boats, trailers and aircraft and the copper, bronze and brass seen in metal art and other applications. The only metal not typically suitable for TIG welding is cast iron.

The TIG process produces visually appealing weld beads with the classic “stacked dimes” look, and it can create high-quality structural welds suitable for ultra-critical applications, including motorsports and aerospace. The TIG process precisely controls heat input, allowing users to watch the weld puddle and make adjustments while welding. Users can weld on wafer-thin materials and weld with minimal distortion on surrounding metal.

Unlike MIG, Stick or flux cored welding, the TIG process does not produce sparks, spatter, smoke and slag.

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About Miller

Miller Electric Mfg. Co., headquartered in Appleton, Wis., is a leading worldwide manufacturer of Miller brand arc welding equipment and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Illinois Tool Works Inc. (NYSE: ITW).

For more information, visit Miller’s Web site at, call 1-800-4-A-Miller (800-426-4553), e-mail [email protected], fax 877-327-8132, or write to Miller Electric Mfg. Co., P.O. Box 100, Lithonia, GA 30058.

How to Prevent Pinkeye

Video: Quick Facts about Pinkeye in Cattle