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Gregory Bloom Named New Executive Director of Colorado Beef Council
Greeley Tribune | June 1, 2016
Beginning June 30, Gregory Bloom will take the reins as executive director of the Colorado Beef Council. He will replace Fred Lombardi, who is retiring after 19 years of service with the organization.
Gregory Bloom is a Colorado native who grew up in the Brighton area. He accepts the position with 25 years of experience in the beef industry. Over the course of his career, Bloom has made an effort to educate consumers, chefs and retail food representatives on understanding beef cuts, and the best ways to prepare them.
"I'm excited about this opportunity to serve the great beef producing families and other beef industry stakeholders in Colorado, who feed consumers not only in our state but across the nation and the world," Bloom said.
Work Needed to Improve Australia's Beef Pricing
Aaron McDonald, Global Meat News | May 31, 2016
Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) has recognised that more work needs to be done to improve price transparency in the beef sector.
The news comes as part of a report into price transparency in the beef supply chain, initiated by the Cattle Council of Australia (CCA). After concerns that there was a lack of price information in the beef value chain, which was affecting marketing and investment decisions by the industry, CCA requested that more options be considered to increase price transparency.
Whereas it acknowledged that there was already a reasonable amount of cattle and beef market information in existence within the country, the report also suggested a range of further initiatives.
MLA managing director Richard Norton accepted CCA's call for more work to be done to improve price transparency within the sector and to further enhance MLA's market information services.
Inaugural Canadian Beef Industry Conference
Alberta Agriculture and Forestry | June 2, 2016
The inaugural Canadian Beef Industry Conference is set to take place in Calgary this summer. As Virgil Lowe, one of the co–chairs explains, this conference is designed to drive progress in the industry by bringing stakeholders together from all sectors of the industry, including cattle producers from across the country. Registration is now open for the Canadian Beef Industry conference, which is August 9 to 11 in Calgary. The early bird registration deadline is June 15. For more information, go to HERE.
New Test Digs Deep Into Soil Needs
Tom C. Doran, Agri News | June 2, 2016
A new soil health initiative team now is collecting samples across the nation to not only reveal content, but also make management recommendations.
A Cornell University multidisciplinary team created this new kind of soil assessment with early funding from multiple Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education grants. Traditional soil tests, which also are important management tools, typically are limited to measuring nutrient levels and pH. They do not reveal anything about the physical structure or microbial life present in the soil, yet such characteristics strongly influence crop yields as well as the efficiency of inputs such as water and fertilizers.
In contrast, Cornell's soil health assessment reports typically include management recommendations to address specifically identified constraints and promote soil–building practices such as cover cropping, reduced tillage, the use of compost or manure and diversified rotations that include perennial crops.
Ontario Government Doubles Feeder Cattle Loan Guarantee Program
Diego Flammini, Farms.com | May 31, 2016
The Ontario government is increasing its guarantee under the Feeder Cattle Loan Guarantee Program. The guarantee will increase from $32.5 million to $65 million, which can help farmers acquire more cattle, expand operations, invest in new opportunities and ensure an ample supply of feeder cattle is available for the processing industry.
"Fostering a competitive and sustainable beef industry is our number one priority," Matt Bowman, BFO President, said in a release.
Increasing the Ontario government guarantee under the Ontario Feeder Cattle Loan Guarantee Program will certainly support new and existing beef farmers, vital infrastructure across the province, and ensure that we can maintain a consistent supply of high quality beef for our consumers."
Beef Industry Opens Its Doors to Consumers
Matthew Weaver, Capital Press | June 1, 2016
No question was too tough when the Washington Beef Commission took 30 consumers on its annual tour of the industry, from pasture to plate.
"All bets are off — this is a completely transparent tour. We're going to show you everything," said Patti Brumbach, commission executive director. "There's no question that is out of line for us, because it's only through that kind of openness that you gain trust and support."
The Explore Beef Experience tour included Trinity Farms in Kittitas, Wash., a beef plant in Pasco, Wash., and one of Easterday Farms' feedlots about 100 miles south of Spokane. The facility was built eight years ago and accommodates 25,000 cattle, bringing cattle in from ranches throughout the West to Tyson Foods in Pasco.
"It's part of the responsibility we have producing beef to educate not only the consumers, but the people serving it and buying it," said Cody Easterday, director of the feedlots for Easterday Farms.
Farm Sector Fears Post–Brexit UK Will Turn To Argentine Beef
Louise Hogan, Irish Independent | June 6, 2016
Ireland's €2bn a year beef trade with the UK could be at risk if Britain leaves the European Union and strikes a "backdoor" agreement with South American production powerhouses Brazil and Argentina.
Philip Carroll, chairman of Meat Industry Ireland (MII), cautioned that a UK vote to leave the EU would have a "significant" impact and result in "high levels of uncertainty" over the coming years.
The warning came as Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) president Joe Healy said stakes were highest for farming and the agri–food sector with a dependence on the UK market for €4.4bn worth of exports. He also warned the shared land border would be an issue, while if the UK were to withdraw it could also potentially impact on the money from Brussels available for farmers under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) as the UK is a net contributor to the EU budget of €8bn.
Beef Battles with Perception
Jamie–Lee Oldfield, The Weekly Times | June 9, 2016
Beef industry heavyweights have focused on perception, rather than production, when asked what lay ahead for the sector.
With cattle prices at record highs, and a more positive weather outlook post–El Nino, beef farmers are facing fewer production hurdles, for the time being.
But they shouldn't take their eye off the ball when it comes to marketing their product, the audience at the recent Angus Australia national conference heard.
McDonalds' Tracey Monaghan said customer perception of beef production was a concern for the global hamburger restaurant. "What worries us is things like meat–free day, and the demonisation of beef. And we think we need to work together to find a way to tell the stories to our customers," Ms Monaghan said.
National Beef Verification Program Urged
Barbara Duckworth, Western Producer (Subscription) | June 9, 2016
The Beef Cattle Research Council will soon release an updated verified beef production program designed to assure consumers of safe, humanely raised, environmentally sustainable food. More food companies are demanding higher quality assurance standards, which means beef producers need to get on board.
"We have two choices: they can define how we do it or we can work with them," said Andrea Brocklebank, head of the Beef Cattle Research Council, which provides funding and support for the verified beef production program.
This program covers on–farm food safety, animal welfare, environmental stewardship and biosecurity. The newest version will be released June 15.
Indonesian Live Exports Scandal Revisited
Colin Bettles, Farm Weekly | May 31, 2016
Five years ago today, the ABC Four Corners program "A Bloody Business" exploded onto television screens throughout the nation, igniting a cataclysmic chain of events that catapulted Australia's northern beef cattle industry into its deepest crisis.
The dramatic, emotion charged broadcast showed repeated images of graphic and intolerable animal cruelty, originally captured by animal rights group Animals Australia in mid–March 2011, from deliberately targeted Indonesian abattoirs.
Intertwined with vision also filmed by the ABC's own investigation a month before, the expose zoomed–in on the gore and violence, to portray the live animal export trade as being systematically cruel and desperately needing government intervention to enact urgent reforms.