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Mexico Says Round Two Of COOL Is No Better

Mandatory country-of-origin labeling (MCOOL) has been a contentious issue for U.S., Mexican and Canadian producers for years. When the World Trade Organization ruled in favor of Canada and Mexico in legal action against the U.S. MCOOL law, the U.S. had until May 23, 2103 to make changes to bring the law into compliance. However, USDA offered regulations that cattlemen in all three nations said made the situation worse, not better. Andres Piedra, chief economist with CNOG, the Mexican cattlemen's association, describes Mexico's possible response, with interpretation by Saul Mercado, a veterinary consultant from Austin, TX.


Lorenza by HomeMax Imports

Lorenza by HomeMax Imports

Four piece bedding ensemble displaying brilliant red and gold medallions on luxurious printed velvet combined with subtle stripes in the perfect rich tones. Shirred velvet, lavish trimmings and impeccable detailing make this a striking addition to any grand space. MSRP $390 Super Queen and $420 Super King.

Justin, JOW names salesman of the year

Justin Boot Company and Justin Original Workboots held their annual sales meeting at the beautiful Big Cedar Lodge in Ridgedale, MO, and Mark Van Peursem was named the 2012 Salesman of the Year.

Also recognized for their dedication and hard work were Denis Arey, Josh Lane, Gary Faulhaber, John Lynd, Loren Braucht and Jeff Harris.

Justin Brands, Inc., a recognized leader in Western footwear, is a Berkshire-Hathaway corporation (NYSE: BRKb) and its subsidiaries include Justin Boot Company, Tony Lama Company, Justin Original Workboots, Nocona Boot Company and Chippewa Boot Company.

Bad year for rust, good year for the aerial applicators


An invasion of a new strain of stripe rust that affected top varieties believed to be resistant to rust presents a challenge that likely has knocked off some of the yield potential of the best crop in several years.

But for one segment of the ag industry, the rust invasion — along with a bumper crop of insects as the result of the unusually mild winter — has meant good business.

Aerial applicators hit boom times in the central corridor of Kansas in late March and early April, as farmers faced a tight window to get on a fungicide application in time to avoid costly damage to what appeared to be a bumper crop.

Key Points

• Year of bugs and disease challenges producers.

• Conditions provide an opportunity for aerial applicators.

• Demand hit earlier than expected this year and is likely to continue.

For Bob Clancy, an employee of Rice County Aerial Sprayers at Lyons, it meant virtually nonstop loading of chemicals, and an incredible amount of fuel pumped.

Bill Hoeffner, who owns the Rice County operation, says the flurry of activity took ag applicators somewhat by surprise. First, it was alfalfa weevils, then rust in the wheat fields, he says.

Everything came early

“We are pretty much gearing up for the big rush around the last week of April to the middle or maybe third week of May,” he says. “Everything came early and it hit hard and fast. We had to do some scrambling to get everything in place.”

Spencer Maxwell, 23, a pilot at Lyons, is one of three pilots based there. The others are Tracy Hillegeist, who lives at Beverly and Hoeffner, who also has a hangar, loading equipment and fuel services at Moundridge.

Maxwell says he was a teenage high school student in Sterling when an ag plane captured his attention as it swooped across a road.

“I thought that looked like something I wanted to do. I Googled it, found a school and went for training, and then came back here to get a job,” Maxwell says. “I’ve been here three years, and this is the busiest year I’ve seen.” Applicators moved from insecticides for weevils to fungicides for rust almost without a break, Maxwell says.

“It’s been an exceptional year for us,” he says, “And we needed it. The drought of the last two years made those pretty poor years, so it’s good to have a really busy year.

Maxwell says the flurry of activity died down as the wheat matured past the label date for fungicide application, but planes have still been busy helping farmers fight insects and the bumper crop of weeds that emerged with the spring rains.

Hoeffner says pasture spraying is also in demand, as ranchers fight musk thistle in the early spring and noxious weeds in the summer and fall. “You can’t do ground spraying in pastures; they are too rough,” he says.

He says later in the summer, the calls will be to spray for corn, milo and soybeans for earworms or head worms.

“This year, I think we’ll see a lot of grasshopper problems and ticks in the pastures,” he says. “It’s likely to keep us busy.”


This article published in the June, 2012 edition of KANSAS FARMER.


All rights reserved. Copyright Farm Progress Cos. 2012.


Ag Advocacy Is More Than Just Tweeting

ag agvocacy is more than tweeting

Call me weird, but I love spring cleaning. Over the weekend, I cleaned out and organized everything from my closets to my kitchen cupboards. We picked up sticks in the yard, burned off the dead brush in the garden, and even had the steel man come out and haul off 18 tons of old junk machinery and odds and ends we no longer needed around the place.

I have found with projects like this that the hardest part is just getting started. The same can be said for agricultural advocacy. Social media has become the new platform for getting the word out and lighting a spark to create change, and it’s easy to do.

Remember when 2010 BEEF Trailblazer Troy Hadrick boycotted Yellow Tail wine after the Australian winemaker donated money to the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS)? Off the cuff, he created a video in his farmyard and posted it on YouTube. The video was viewed around the world. It was a few days later that Yellow Tail owners announced they would no longer donate money to HSUS.

My first round of advocacy started with a Facebook group, challenging kids to walk out of the Carrie Underwood concert at the National FFA Convention in 2006. That was after the country-western singer came out publicly against animal agriculture during her American Idol tour.

Bloggers have been able to discuss hot topics and introduce ranchers to the world. Check out Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, and you’ll see what I mean. She writes about everything from grilling the perfect steak to shipping steers, and her best-selling cookbooks, cooking show, romance novel and children's book prove she has got this advocacy thing down. 

When the industry was “pink slimed” a year ago, the Twitter hashtag #beefisbeef helped to explain to consumers what lean finely textured beef really is.

Ranchers are also showing a strong presence on Instagram, Pinterest, Vine and Google+ (by the way, BEEF just got G+. Join our circle!). Whatever the channel, I can count on producers participating, and it’s impressive to see. Without a doubt, social media has enabled producers to join the conversation from their remote locations on the ranch. However, Rebekah Kuschmider, a blogger at The Broad Side, says that social media isn’t truly activism. She warns folks that social media can’t replace face-to-face conversations. This definitely applies to agriculture.

Kuschmider writes, “If you really want to be an agent of change, you need to get off the Internet and get in the room. What room am I talking about? Any room with a decision maker in it. It might be an office on Capitol Hill, it might be a community forum, it might be a fundraiser that you pay to get into.

“And decision makers can be legislators, corporate leaders, staff of a government agency, or the principal of your local school. These are people who are supposed to give ear to the voices of the people they serve. They are not required to go trolling Twitter to find what those voices have to say.

" You have to break through the static of Internet noise and get your message across clearly and individually. Make sure you’re using a direct conduit to your decision maker, not just shouting into the online wind and hoping that the right person happens to overhear.

"You have to do the outreach if you want to be heard. Take your message to the right rooms and say it loud and clear. Put the active back in activist,” Kuschmider says.

She definitely has a point. Just like spring cleaning, we can sit around and talk about it all day, or we can put on our work gloves and get to it. So, whether it’s putting on your Team Beef jersey and running a 5K, helping serve ribeye steaks to the troops at a steak feed with the All-American Beef Battalion, reading a fun farm book to elementary students in schools, inviting a member of the media for a tour of your place, or lobbying for an issue that’s important to you, there are countless ways we can step outside of our comfort zones -- on the ranch or in front of a computer -- and be active advocates for agriculture.

At the end of the day, we have to quit talking about it and just get started.

Join BEEF's online communities:

Twitter - @beefmagazine

Google + - BEEF Magazine

Facebook - BEEF Magazine

How are you an advocate for agriculture in your daily life? Share your favorite social media tools, as well as ways you get involved in your community, in the comments section below.


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How The Drought Impacted Mexico's Cowherd

Much of Northern Mexico has experienced drought similar to what cattlemen in the Southern Plains and Southwest have endured. And just as in the U.S., Mexican cattlemen have liquidated herds significantly. Andres Piedra, chief economist with CNOG, the Mexican Cattlemen's Association, explains the impact of the drought on Mexico's cattle industry. Saul Mercado, a veterinary consultant from Austin, TX, interprets.

Readers Show The Love For Their Ranch Sweethearts

Ranchers have a unique business in that they work side by side with their loved ones. This photo gallery features those ranch sweethearts who make working in agriculture a worthwhile affair.

This contest is now closed.

Readers who submitted photos were entered to win a pair of Roper boots or a $75 gift certificate from Cowgirl Crush. See the top 15 photos here and find out the winners of the contest here.


Thank Memorial Day Weekend For Beef Market Rally

Several factors have been limiting beef demand lately – cold weather, big supplies of competing meats, high gas prices, higher payroll taxes – but that is changing.

Choice boxed beef reached record levels above $200/cwt. last week, with fed cattle prices not far behind. The late spring rally comes after boxed beef and fed markets appeared to have topped in March, according to Derrell Peel, Oklahoma State University Extension livestock marketing specialist.

Peel says the rally can be attributed to beef purchases ahead of the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.

"Though the weather has moderated somewhat recently, winter conditions still occurred as late as last week," Peel says. "Purchases now seem to be more in the tone of insisting that the weather will warm up for the first big summer holiday, in the absence of concrete improvement in the weather so far."

Beef demand also is getting a boost in the form of lower gasoline prices and strength in competing meat prices. Broiler breast meat has made a strong increase, leading to the highest prices since 2010. On the pork side, ham prices have recovered dramatically since Easter lows, although pork loin prices remain relatively weak.

To read the entire article, click here.


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4C Summit Introduces Ideas From Other Industries To Cattle Producers

The annual 4C Summit brings together hundreds of producers to hear how successful operators in other industries address and solve problems. This year's event was held in Charleston, SC, with previous years' events held in Sonoma, CA, and Seattle, WA. Elanco's Shannon Wilson and Eric Schilling detail how the program comes together and its intent.


Connecting The Dots | Beef's Story From Gate To Plate

Fragmentation is both the blessing and the bane of the U.S. beef cattle industry. BEEF magazine is embarking on a year-long journey to explain the different industry sectors and their roles in the production process from the seedstock producer to the end consumer. Along the way, we will also examine the technology and management breakthroughs that have allowed each sector to build efficiency, and the outlook for their future.

As this gallery shows, every head of cattle makes numerous stops and sees several industry sectors – sometimes more than once – from pasture to plate.

Read the whole story "Connecting The Dots" series.