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Wrangler Western embarks on National Patriot Tour

Wrangler Western has announced the 4th Annual Wrangler National Patriot Tour – which was scheduled to visit bases in Djibouti, Africa and Turkey, along with other undisclosed areas of operation this Memorial Day – has been re-routed due to tensions in the Middle East. The Wrangler National Patriot team will now put their boots in the dirt and on the ship decks of the Pacific Command.  

As part of the Wrangler National Patriot program, and in addition to the Memorial Day trip, the team will visit troops throughout remote areas of operation Independence Day and Veterans Day this year. 

The Wrangler National Patriot team, led by the brand’s own Jeff Chadwick, is made up of western industry representatives including two-time World Champion PRCA bareback rider Kaycee Field, former Miss Rodeo America Maegan Ridley, country music artist Lucas Hoge and veteran Robi Powers of American300. 

“The Wrangler National Patriot program was founded in 2009 to pay tribute to those veterans who lost their lives or suffered injuries fighting for our country’s safety and freedom,” said Jeff Chadwick, director of special events, rodeo and equine for Wrangler. “I’m honored to be a part of the fourth tour, spending time with these brave men and women and offering gratitude in person.” 

With the help of local rodeos across the country, professional cowboys and cowgirls, and patriotic Americans everywhere, the Wrangler National Patriot program raised more than $750,000 since 2009 – with additional funds being reported daily. Wrangler donates a portion of the proceeds from the sale of all Wrangler National Patriot logo apparel to support wounded or fallen American veterans and their families. 

Stay tuned to the Wrangler Western Facebook page for photos and videos from the Tour: .

My Prayers Go Out To Oklahoma Tornado Victims

While we can prepare for bad weather, Mother Nature makes a tough adversary. The tornado in Oklahoma has been the hot topic on the news the last couple of days, and my heart goes out to the communities that were destroyed and the families of the victims who lost their lives in the devastating storm.

According to USA Today, “A massive, mile-wide tornado with winds up to 200 mph killed at least 51 people Monday afternoon during 40 terrifying minutes of destruction across southern Oklahoma City and its suburbs. The state medical examiner's office confirmed the number of deaths and said the toll was expected to rise. Several children were among the dead, and at least 70 others were being treated at hospitals.

“Catastrophic damage was reported in Moore, where two elementary schools were destroyed, including one that took a direct hit. Several children were pulled alive from the rubble of Plaza Towers Elementary, but there were no immediate reports of rescues or casualties at Briarwood Elementary, about a mile away. Three hospitals reported treating at least 120 injured, including some children rescued from the Plaza Towers school. The twister heavily damaged Moore Medical Center, ripping off its roof but causing no injuries. Staff had to relocate 30 patients to nearby Norman and another hospital.

“The preliminary rating of the tornado that hit Moore at 3:17 p.m. CT (4:17 p.m. ET) was put at EF-4, which means wind speeds from 166 to 200 mph, the National Weather Service said.”

I can’t imagine the pain these individuals are going through right now. I remember being 11 or 12 years old when a tornado passed just miles from my house. Like a big black wall, my sisters and I watched outside of the window as the twister moved in an angry, black whirl across the countryside.

That tornado struck the small farm community of Spencer, SD, killing six people, injuring 150 and destroying 90% of 195 structures within that town. The tornado left a ground track of 21 miles, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and was considered an F4 tornado on the Fujita scale.

After the storm, my parents took us for a drive to examine the shattered community. I remember seeing people out on the streets, picking up lost treasures in a sea of debris, and looking over the devastation that the tornado had created in their town. That storm is still a memorable one in South Dakota’s history, and it caused friends, neighbors and strangers to come together to rebuild the town and help the victims start their lives anew.

The same thing is needed in Oklahoma. Our thoughts, prayers, generous donations, charitable actions and volunteer hours will help rebuild, reshape and regroup the people and places that were impacted by this tornado.

My heart is in Oklahoma this week. God bless those impacted by the tornado. Do you have any reports or stories to share from Oklahoma? Share what you know in the comments section below.


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Get what you need from your company's marketing

The sales function is built into the DNA of every business. It’s as basic and unquestioned as a “great steak” at a company sales meeting.

The story with marketing is quite different. It’s often viewed as a “side dish” to the sales “entrée,” nice but not necessary, particularly when the economy is either very good or very bad. When things are humming, who needs it and when the economy tanks, “we can’t afford it.”

There’s something of an “inbred” ambivalence about marketing. Wanting it but not really trusting it. Even more to the point is a pervasive doubt that it’s worth the investment or that it doesn’t really make much of a difference.

It’s not surprising that marketing often finds itself on the defensive, never quite sure of its future.

Even so, the menu of the value of marketing today is lengthy. Here are eight:

• Guard against negative public comments. This applies to every business –– including yours –– and here’s why. In the past, negative comments were mostly limited to word-of-mouth, with minimal spillover. Now that those same comments are viral, get prepared before you get hit.

Make it a continuing priority to encourage satisfied customers to share their thoughts about your business. Satisfied customers often remain silent so they need to know how important it is to have their support. Unsigned testimonials look contrived, so be sure they include names and cities or towns. Otherwise, don’t use them. Make it easy and convenient for customers to post comments.

Just when you think it will never happen, it will.

• Create a reservoir of goodwill. It doesn’t appear on the company books, but you can take it to the bank. More often than not, its value is ignored, not taken seriously or dismissed as less than a “soft” asset. Whatever else it’s called, it’s goodwill.

Avon has banked enormous amounts of it with its long-time national sponsorship of the “Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Research.” Bank of America wants more of it. Meanwhile, much maligned BP (British Petroleum), having learned a bitter lesson with the horrendous Gulf oil spill debacle, is attempting to capture as much as possible by spending millions of dollars on an ongoing series of “public service” TV ads describing the company’s role in the cleanup, what it’s doing to assure it won’t happen again and the role the hundreds of thousands of its employee play in the economy. This is a carefully crafted program that’s designed to change the public’s image of the company.

A far better approach is to pay forward so that there is an existing reservoir of goodwill available should trouble strike.

• Help customers help themselves. Ian Gordon of Convergence Management Consultants, offers an indispensable marketing insight. He contends that the incredible pace of change in technology, attitudes and products doesn’t give customers enough time to adjust, which causes continual stress, discomfort and frustration.

Why is this important? What difference does it make? He points out that whether we admit it or not, we need help to make successful adjustments. Otherwise, we avoid what makes us feel uncomfortable. Recognizing this, businesses that take the customer experience seriously help their customers to help themselves to avoid negative feelings that can lead to opting out.

The Boston Globe, like so many newspapers, saw subscriptions nosedive at the same time that it’s free online products were failing to attract subscribers. Then, things changed. Early in 2013, the subscription decline stopped and slowly moved upward mostly with paid subscribers to its new, unique electronic edition. Customized for individual readers, the presentation of key stories is just right.

Today, “intuitive” claims abound but few deliver on such a promise. The companies we do business with need to make sure they are providing the assistance that helps customers to help themselves.

• Fight making unnecessary mistakes. Marketers worth their salt welcome a major marketing challenge, one that flies in the face of “going along to get along.” Caving in is easy, but maintaining one’s objectivity in face of pressures to the contrary takes strength, more than most possess. This is a task that often requires raising questions about proposed plans and programs, pointing out deficiencies and even saying something’s not appropriate and why. Such a role can have enormous value for creating discussion, thinking beyond the obvious and the emotional.

Would the history of retailer JC Penney be any different if its board had sought the views of marketing professionals and others before draining the company coffers of $170 million acquiring a new management team and one billion on making merchandising changes?

If a company doesn’t value its marketers’ independence, it should be prepared to make unnecessary and costly mistakes.

• Have a clear picture of what you’re doing. In a recent Psychology Today article, Sam Gosling, Ph.D., a personality/social psychologist at the University of Texas, Austin, says there are some things about ourselves that we see quite clearly, such as judging our own self-esteem, optimism and pessimism. But when it comes to other things in which we’re heavily invested, such as intelligence, attractiveness, body language, we have a lot of blind spots.

And it’s the same for companies. They not only know what they do well but they can become overly enamored with their excellence. In other words, companies can fall in love with themselves. Kodak is a good example. It saw itself as the premier film company –– and it was. And even when digital photography was decimating its film sales, management failed to permit change. The myopia even extended to the company’s valuation of its vaunted patents. They finally went for a quarter of the company’s “estimated value.” Kodak’s ignominious fate is the story of a company that loved itself to death.

There are others. Dell could be one. Blackberry may be another And there are countless smaller businesses that fail to understand that such self-love is misplaced and dangerous, and is quite different from loving your customers, which is only possible when you stop looking in the mirror every morning.

Companies, like people, can become so preoccupied with themselves that they fail to see themselves as they are.

When you think about it, getting the most from your company’s marketing has less to do with ads, sponsorships, events, websites and press releases than it does with applying the analytical capabilities and insights of marketers to a company’s basic business issues.


John Graham of GrahamComm is a marketing and sales consultant and business writer. He publishes a free monthly eBulletin, “No Nonsense Marketing & Sales.” Contact him at [email protected], 617-774-9759 or


Meat Market Market Update | Daily Choice Cutout Hits Another Record

The Daily Choice Cutout for Friday, May 18 was at a record-high $209.51, up $4.53 from the previous week. Ed Czerwien, USDA Market News reporter in Amarillo, TX, explains how the boxed beef trade impacts the cattle market and beef prices.

Zoetis Gifts Texas Tech $100,000 For Salmonella Research

Zoetis Inc., formerly the animal health business unit of Pfizer, today announced a gift of $100,000 for Salmonella research to Texas Tech University, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Department of Animal and Food Sciences. The research gift will help provide resources to better understand and describe the ecology of Salmonella in cattle populations and to discover and evaluate tools that might ultimately result in a safer food supply.
“We believe food-safety research is critical to the current and future health of the cattle industry,” said Rob Kelly, vice president, U.S. Cattle and Equine Business Unit at Zoetis. “Consumers expect the food they serve their families to be wholesome and safe, and they are counting on everyone in the industry to work together to deliver safe food to families around the world.”
Establishing partnerships with top research institutions such as Texas Tech University is essential to managing foodborne pathogens like Salmonella during the preharvest stage, Kelly added.
“Salmonella continues to threaten human health. With new understandings of how it interacts with livestock populations, we can develop better tools that can lead to meaningful improvements in food safety,” said Guy Loneragan, BVSc, PhD, epidemiologist and professor of food safety and public health at Texas Tech University. “This sort of industry collaboration is vital to the discovery and development of tools to keep food safe, and the research gift from Zoetis will greatly support and enhance our activities to discover and deliver these solutions.”
Because the Zoetis gift is allocated to research and discovery in the area of Salmonella and not tied to a specific project or endowment, it has a lot of potential, Dr. Loneragan added.
“Anticipating every outcome is difficult when working with a foodborne pathogen like Salmonella in cattle,” Dr. Loneragan said. “The flexibility of this research gift ensures that we can pursue new developments as they arise.”
Michelle Haven, DVM, PhD, senior vice president, corporate development, alliances and solutions at Zoetis, said that research focused in the cattle industry at large will not only help provide important solutions in Salmonella research but also offer opportunities for education and training for graduate students at Texas Tech University.
“Texas Tech University has a talented and enthusiastic research team, including microbiologists, molecular biologists, epidemiologists, meat scientists, animal scientists and those focusing on education,” she continued. “We’re glad to help bring everyone together to identify these complex problems and solutions.”
This research gift really reflects an ongoing and growing relationship between Zoetis and Texas Tech University that is built on success and trust, Dr. Loneragan added.
“Without industry partnerships such as this, our ability to achieve food-safety research goals and drive innovation in the area of foodborne pathogens is greatly diminished,” Dr. Loneragan said. “This relationship with Zoetis is helping us to better understand Salmonella and will provide support to help deliver tools to producers to improve the health of cattle herds and the safety of the food supply.”

About Zoetis
Zoetis (zō-EH-tis) is the leading animal health company, dedicated to supporting customers and businesses focused on raising and caring for livestock and companion animals. Building on a 60-year history as the animal health business of Pfizer, Zoetis discovers, develops, manufactures and markets veterinary vaccines and medicines, complemented by diagnostic products and genetic tests and supported by a range of services. The company generated annual revenues of $4.3 billion in 2012. It has more than 9,300 employees worldwide and a local presence in approximately 70 countries, including 29 manufacturing facilities in 11 countries. Its products serve veterinarians, livestock producers and people who raise and care for livestock and companion animals in 120 countries.  For more information, visit

Country-Of-Origin-Labeling Survey Finds Consumer Support

The National Farmers Union (NFU) recently released the results of a survey that polled a selection of Americans on the hotly debated country-of-origin labeling (COOL) issue.

In a sample of 1,000 Americans, NFU says 90% strongly or somewhat favored requiring food sellers to denote the country of origin for fresh meat on the label. Additionally, 87% strongly or somewhat favored requiring retailers to indicate the country where animals were born, raised and processed on meat labels.

NFU, which supports COOL, says the results are an indicator that consumers want to know more about the origins of their food.

"These findings, coupled with the recent withdrawal of two short-sighted amendments to the Senate and House's respective farm bills that would have negatively impacted COOL, are promising indications that country-of-origin labeling is vitally important and here to stay," says NFU President Roger Johnson.

To read the entire article, click here.


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Readers Share Their Best Of The Worst Ranch Moments

everyday ranch life bad moments

Last week, I shared my top 15 signs you might be having a bad day on the ranch. Admittedly, when I compiled the list, I realized it might be a little reminiscent of comedian Jeff Foxworthy's "you might be a redneck" schtick, but I figured my bad days were probably a lot like some of yours. It turns out I was right, and in BEEF Daily reader fashion, many of you weighed in on the many ways your day hasn’t gone quite right on the ranch.

And, just like a video reel on “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” where you know the guy is going to get hurt, you can’t help but chuckle a little bit at the bloopers on TV. The same goes for some of the reader stories shared in last week’s blog post.

So, without further ado, here is a roundup of the best of the worst ranch moments shared by readers:

1. You might be having a bad day on the ranch if, “you see the water break on a good heifer on Saturday night about the time you and wife are going to town for a nice meal.” -- Anonymous

2. You might be having a bad day on the ranch when, “I slipped and fell down when stepping over the fence; I couldn’t get off the fence fast enough.” -- Bob Voegeli

3. You might be having a bad day on the ranch when, “I forgot to close a gate after moving the cattle and soon all the cattle were running around the yard near the house." -- Dawn Butzer

4. You might be having a bad day on the ranch if, “you're walking through mud when your boot gets stuck by suction, comes off and you step with your bare foot." -- Nebraska farm/ranch wife

5. You might be having a bad day on the ranch if, “an infield breaks down and while you’re either survey situation or trying to fix the problem, you discover you’re standing or lying in red ants! Yipps!” -- Dr. Cathy

6. You might be having a bad day on the ranch if, “the sheriff calls and asks if you own a particular colored bull near the highway.” -- Rodney Eckhardt

7. You might be having a bad day on the ranch if, “you're working a big bunch of cattle, and you miss catching the last one through the squeeze chute, so you have to go sort her out and re-pen her. Or, you've sorted a cow out of a group, and are bringing her to the barn....right as she gets to the last gate, she turns, and zips back off to the group before you can stop her. Or, the power goes out in the middle of working a group of cattle through your hydraulic squeeze chute.” -- Patty F

8. You might be having a bad day on the ranch if, “you catch your favorite pair of jeans on a barbwire fence as you’re climbing over.” -- Anonymous.

9. You might be having a bad day on the ranch if, “you’re putting a cow back in the pen while you’re on your way to a job interview, and your panty hose falls down.” --Nicole

10. You might be having a bad day on the ranch if, “your ground hay pile catches fire. You push the burning portion into the driveway to save the rest. You try to put it out, to no avail. Eureka! Load it in the feed wagon and dump it in the muddy pen to the cows, so they can clean it up. Bury said feed wagon and tractor up to the axles with a load of smoldering ground hay. Bad day.” -- Warren Symens

One of the common themes among readers who weighed in on this discussion was that the benefits of living on a farm or ranch far outweigh those days when things just don’t go as planned. With less than 2% of people in the U.S. directly involved in production agriculture, our working days are pretty unique.

So, whether the cows get out, or you break down, or you get stuck in the mud, remember that you could be sitting in a cubicle somewhere. So, breathe in the fresh air and know that you’re lucky to be in agriculture. I’ll take the good and the bad; I’m still happy to be in the cattle business.

Do you have more “bad” days to add to our list? How about we look on the bright side of things. What makes a great day on the ranch? Help me create a list of those perfect moments in agriculture that make the bad days worthwhile. Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.


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Bill Gates Finds Fertilizer Fascinating

Fertilizer. It’s not the most scintillating of conversation starters, not something one would bring up to impress a young lady on a first date, perhaps. It’s not the first thing one would think of when sitting down to a fancy meal in one of Dallas’ finest restaurants. And one would be foolish to believe fertilizer would concern a mother shopping for blue jeans or tee-shirts for her children.

But perhaps it should be. Bill Gates believes so.

Yeah, that Bill Gates, the one responsible for the computer system that we alternately praise and curse, depending on which version we have at the moment and how familiar we are with how it works. That Bill Gates, the one with more money than Croesus and considered by some to be one of, if not the, most important figures in recent history.

“A few billion people would have to die if we hadn’t come up with fertilizer,” he told CBS’ Charlie Rose Sunday night on “60 Minutes.”

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Don’t Bet Your Farm: An Estate Plan Can Help Preserve Assets

There are two things you need for your farming operation, says Ed Gillentine: an estate plan and a knowledgeable, trusted tax professional. Otherwise, he says, the consequences to you and your heirs could be unnecessarily costly.

“I’ve worked with hundreds of estates, and I’ve never seen an estate that worked out well without some type of plan,” he said at the annual meeting of the Mississippi Land Bank. “Given the outlook for further growth in land prices in the coming years, and the increasing value of your equipment, buildings, and other assets, I can promise you: if you don’t have a plan, you’re going to get hosed.”

Gillentine, a Certified Financial Planner and Chartered Financial Consultant with the Memphis firm, Williams & Gillentine Legacy Planning LLC, specializes in large estate transfers and philanthropic strategies, focusing on research, planning, and wealth management for families in the highest tax brackets.

“You may not think you have an estate large enough to worry about,” he says, “but with today’s land prices and the value of equipment, storage bins, and other assets, it quickly adds up.”

To read the entire article, click here.


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HSUS Appears To Have A Powerful Friend Within the IRS

humane society of the united states has friends at IRS

When it comes to business, sometimes it’s not what you know, but who you know. The Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) appears to have a powerful friend within the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It's Lois Lerner, who serves as director of the in the IRS Exempt Organizations Division, and is also a proud member and supporter of HSUS.

Lerner has been a popular name in the headlines lately, after a press conference where she confessed, “I’m not good at math.” Wait, an IRS employee is bad at math? Does that make sense?

The press conference was held to address the IRS admission that it inappropriately targeted conservative groups seeking non-profit status from the agency. Lerner was unable to answer questions about political bias behind the targeting of these groups, but the IRS is admitting that such abuse has been occurring.

It’s quite evident that if you are disliked by the IRS, you will most certainly be overly scrutinized, taxed and audited, but if you are a bedfellow with this government agency, you might just be exempt from paying in at all.

That’s exactly what might be happening with HSUS, given the organization’s cozy relationship with Lerner and the IRS. Even though several members of Congress have written letters to the IRS requesting that IRS investigate the questionable tax-exempt status of HSUS, there has been no action. It makes you wonder if it’s time to look closer at Lerner and her HSUS ties.

Note that HSUS spends less than 1% of its $150-million annual budget actually supporting animal shelters, despite raising millions from consumers via heart-wrenching commercials about homeless and abused pets. Meanwhile, the organization continues to spend bundles of money lobbying and launching ballot initiative campaigns attacking American agriculture. Their promise to save puppies and kittens is nothing more than a smoke screen to hide the true agenda of eliminating meat, dairy and eggs from the dinner table by regulating farmers and ranchers out of business.

A great blog post at Protect The Harvest explains how the IRS has increased its scrutiny of political organizations -- namely the ones they don’t like -- while it lets HSUS slide. Check it out all the details here.

As Protect The Harvest aptly states, “Only time will tell, but hardworking American taxpayers deserve answers. Government shouldn’t be picking favorites and the IRS should be applying the same rules to everyone.”

What do you think about the IRS targeting certain organizations over others? Why do you suppose an investigation of HSUS has yet to be conducted in full? Do you think Lerner’s affiliation with HSUS has anything to do with it? Weigh in by leaving your thoughts in the comments section below.


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