GRSB Connect for February 24, 2015
Dear GRSB Member,
I had an interesting few days over the past week, visiting FAI Farms near Oxford and North Wyke research station near Okehampton in Devon. Both have been involved in the business of ruminant sustainability for many years, and have learned very useful lessons to pass on. In both cases I visited their innovative facilities, as well as picking up valuable messages regarding the role of ruminant livestock in farming and grassland systems.
Dateline: 02/09/15, Source: The Cattle Site
Canada is to invest more than C$3.1 million to support applied research and develop information and resources focused on sustainable beef production through the federal and provincial governments.
Dateline: 02/17/15, Source: By Jane Byrne, Feed Navigator
The compound feed industry needs to get behind initiatives that foster precision feeding on small farms in developing markets to help optimize use of on-farm ingredients backed by commercial feed mixes to plug nutritional gaps, says the FAO.
Members in the News
Dateline: 02/18/15, Source: By Stett Holbrook, Bohemian
Biologist Allan Savory doesn't face incarceration, but he's been subjected to plenty of scorn for his belief that livestock, lots of them, are the globe's only hope to roll back the interrelated crises of biodiversity loss, desertification and climate change. Fifty years ago is when the Zimbabwean–born biologist began his inquiry into the causes of desertification and habitat loss in Africa. His conclusion? Removal of livestock from the land has hastened, not reversed, its decline. The solution, he says, is more livestock, mainly cattle.
Dateline: 02/13/15, Source: By Tenise Whelan, The Guardian
Asia Pulp and Paper, one of the world's largest pulp and paper producers, wants to go deforestation–free. The company has worked with Greenpeace and TFT to develop its zero–deforestation programme, and invited Rainforest Alliance to evaluate progress thus far. That evaluation was just released, and the news is that APP suppliers have stopped destroying natural forests.
Dateline: 02/12/15, Source: CNN Money
Bion Environmental Technologies, Inc., a provider of proven comprehensive livestock waste treatment technology, has retained a former United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) auditor and current quality management system consultant to assist Bion with the development of its application for acceptance into USDA's Process Verified Program (PVP). The USDA PVP provides companies that supply agricultural products or services the opportunity to assure customers of their ability to provide consistent quality products or services.
Dateline: 02/16/15, Source: The Sheep Site
Seventy sheep and beef farmers from around the country are gathering in Wellington this week to equip themselves with the skills and knowledge they need to negotiate sustainable land and water management regulations in their own regions. Beef + Lamb New Zealand has facilitated the conference given the growing need for sheep and beef farmers to be represented on their local catchment groups and working with their Regional Councils to ensure sheep and beef farmers' voices are heard as decisions on farming within limits are developed.
Dateline: 02/17/15, Source: The Cattle Site
Time and effort spent on improving genomic accuracy is driving the long term sustainability of cattle production and has enabled the industry to leapfrog a generation of cattle. In an interview with TheCattleSite, Dr Kent Anderson of Zoetis genetics said: "We really want for cow/calf producers to be more sustainable long term and by matching the genetics in their cows to the environment and the feed resources they have and at the same time being mindful of what the consumer wants." He added that the costs of genomics are becoming "more sensible" relative to the value created. Zoetis has partnered up with a triad of Angus organisations; the American Angus Association, Angus Genetics Inc and the Certified Angus Beef Brand. Watch Video Interview HERE.
Dateline: 02/12/15, Source: By Charlotte Kaiser, Tree Hugger
This year, The Nature Conservancy's NatureVest program helped NRT to scale up the Livestock to Markets program with a $3.5M impact investment into a new entity, NRT Trading. The Nature Conservancy is considering another investment in NRT–T of similar scale in the coming months.
Dateline: 02/13/15, Source: The Reporter
Soul Food Farm, the Pleasants Valley flower, olive and herb farm, and agri–destination announces FarmSchool, a new educational outreach program. The mission of FarmSchool is to share information being discovered throughout the world about sustainable farming and the importance of rich, viable soil. The first program topic is "Grazing on Grasslands, 101," from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 1.
Dateline: 02/16/15, Source: Rapid City Journal
A big topic of discussion during the four–day Cattle Industry Convention and Trade Show was the work of the Beef Checkoff Enhancement Working Group (BCEWG) and the proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which would increase the checkoff assessment by one dollar to achieve a national rate of $2/head of cattle for each transaction.
Dateline: 02/12/15, Source: The Cattle Site
Two major animal health players integrated last month – but what does this mean for the cattle health? According to Elanco's President of North American Operations, Rob Auckerman, Elanco's acquisition of Novartis gives the company a "much more global footprint", broadening its portfolio and allowing ventures into new areas and consolidation in familiar fields. This will mean increased innovation, services and technical support. Watch 4–minute Video Interview HERE.
Dateline: 02/15/15, Source: By Chase Prudy, Politico
The meat industry is sharpening its knives over a small federal committee that issued sweeping nutrition advice that essentially told Americans to drop the burger and grab a handful of kale. The beef and pork associations spent months sweating as the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee worked on developing a large book of nutrition advice that would not only encourage Americans to eat less red meat but single out the livestock industry for contributing to environmental problems.
Dateline: 02/19/15, Source: By Jill Galloway, Stuff NZ
More workers are killed and injured on farms than any other industry, making farming more dangerous than forestry WorkSafe New Zealand says. And an industry leader says farmers could do with an attitude change. Safer Farms is a multi–year programme designed to help farmers manage health and safety risks.
Dateline: 02/19/15, Source: By By Sruthi Ramakrishnan and Nathan Layne, Reuters
Wal–Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) said it would raise entry–level wages to $9 an hour, a 24 percent increase from the U.S. minimum wage that some employees now earn, succumbing to longstanding pressure to pay its workforce more. The world's largest retailer said the increases would cost it $1 billion and impact 500,000 employees, or about 40 percent of its workforce, although the hike falls short of what some labor groups have been agitating for.
Dateline: 02/18/15, Source: By Erica Shaffer, Meat + Poultry
Health Canada's Veterinary Drugs Directorate recently approved an expanded product label for Zilmax. The updated label allows for component feeding, an alternative method of administering Zilmax using a targeted lower dose, according Merck Animal Health, Summit, NJ. Merck also included a maximum rate in complete feed. Merck temporarily suspended sales of Zilmax in the United States and Canada to conduct a scientific audit that monitored the process of feeding Zilmax to cattle. The beta–agonist drug promotes "increased rate of weight gain, improved feed efficiency and increased carcass leanness in cattle," according to Merck.
To read the entire source article, click on the link in the headline.
Dateline: 02/13/15, Source: AllAfrica
The government is in the process of providing funds for the Kenya Meat Commission to buy livestock from farmers in Narok county this dry season. Livestock PS Fred Segor said KMC will buy the livestock at Sh180 a kilo. He urged farmers to take advantage of the opportunity to offload their livestock and use the money for other economic activities instead of leaving the animals to die in the drought. Segor urged farmers to keep animals they can easily manage, instead of many that eventually die from drought and diseases.
Dateline: 02/12/15, Source: The Atlantic
The Hindu reverence of cattle—particularly the cow—is well–known. Census data shows that nearly 80 percent of India's 1.2 billion population are Hindu. Most Hindus worship the cow and abstain from eating beef, so it might come as a surprise that India has become the world's second–largest beef exporter. India's beef industry says all its beef comes from buffaloes, a claim challenged by right wing, religious, and animal rights groups. While it's true that cow slaughter is banned by most Indian states and the export of cow meat is against the law, the acceptance of the cow's sacredness is not uniform throughout India and it's likely that cow meat is sneaking into the buffalo beef market. The export numbers don't match up, and it's suspected that cow meat is being snuck out.
Dateline: 02/14/15, Source: By Matthew Cawood, Farm Online
In 2015, the northern beef industry operates much as it did in 1985. Roll forward another 30 years, though, and it's likely that the tools and techniques of beef production will look very different.
Dateline: 02/14/15, Source: By By Alex Mccuaig, Medicine Hat News
The latest case of mad cow disease confirmed Friday has both the government and beef industry reassuring ranchers and consumers this is an isolated case found in an animal before it reached the food chain.
Dateline: 02/17/15, Source: By Mark Ludlow, Stock Journal
One of Australia's largest meat processors says it is contemplating closing abattoirs because the industrial relations system overruled an agreement that its workers agreed to but was opposed by the industry union. Teys Australia – which has been in a long battle with the Australian Meat Industry Employees Union over an enterprise agreement – said last week's loss in the Federal Court had forced it to consider closing the plant in Beenleigh, south of Brisbane, which would result in 800 job losses.
Dateline: 02/19/15, Source: By Joel Durkin, Farmers Guardian
Beef farmers are now covered by the industry's first voluntary code of practice aimed at making farmer–processor relations more transparent. The code, which will not cover price, has been backed by the NFU and British Meat Processors' Association. It commits all processors signed up to give clear information to suppliers about abattoir terms and conditions of trading. But the National Beef Association (NBA) claimed regulatory enforcement would be more beneficial in making sure contracts were honoured properly within the beef supply chain.
Dateline: 02/19/15, Source: By Joel Durkin, Farmers Guardian
The voluntary code for processors was launched on Tuesday by the NFU and British Meat Processors Association in an attempt to increase transparency in the beef supply chain following the industry's severe downturn last year. But Scottish beef industry chiefs said there was not the same demand for a voluntary code as there was south of the border, although suggestions have been raised farmers and processors will look to further improve relationships in future.
Dateline: 02/18/15, Source: By Joe Roybal, BEEF Magazine
Consider that 95% of consumers reside outside U.S. borders, and as consumer incomes grow, the tendency is to eat higher on the protein chain. That puts high–quality, grain–fed U.S. beef in a tremendously positive position for the long term. That's why it's so important that a pair of issues on the trade agenda be resolved quickly. One is trade promotion authority (TPA); the other is a contract dispute with dockworkers that is crippling West Coast shipping.
Dateline: 02/18/15, Source: By Lee Hart, Grainews
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