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Beef Industry Maverick Nears Next Step In Direct-Sale Plan

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Tommy

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Beef Industry Maverick Nears
Next Step In Direct-Sale Plan

By David Bowser

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Mike Callicrate hopes somebody steals his idea.

Long a maverick in the beef business, Callicrate built a feedyard so he would have a place to feed the cattle he raised. He established a direct marketing business when he said packers wouldn't buy his fed cattle. Now he has a deli and soon will have a restaurant here to serve the meat he produces.

His model is local.

"I'm not interested in replicating it anywhere else," Callicrate says. "I would love, though, for someone to steal the model and replicate it themselves somewhere."

Born in Denver and raised in Evergreen, Colo., the 53 year-old cattleman has had a varied career.

"I got interested in rodeo when I was in high school," Callicrate says. "Larry Mahan inspired me to become a bull rider. I saw him win the bull riding in Boulder, Colo., one night. We picked him up at the airport and hauled him down to the Boulder Powwow Days Rodeo, and I got to meet him.

“I was already kind of a cowboy. I had 4-H projects. My dad was a farmer and rancher. I was really interested in the rodeo business, so I started riding bulls."

That led him to Sam Houston State University in Texas.

"If you wanted to be a real bull rider, you had to go to Texas, because that's where the buckin'est bulls were," Callicrate says.

Out-of-state tuition was the killer, though.

He finished his degree at Lamar, Colo., and was on the rodeo team there. He was also on the judging team at the invitation of Red Heath, the animal science professor.

"Red took me under his wing and taught me a lot about beef cattle production," Callicrate says. "That's where I decided what I wanted to do."

He also met Vicki, his wife, there.

"We went back to St. Francis, Kansas, where her folks farmed," Callicrate says. "I built a feedlot in 1978 there."

He says he was disappointed in the income available to farmers and ranchers and decided to build a feedlot.

"They needed one in the area," Callicrate says. "Since then, I've built another feedlot, so I've built two 12,000-to 14,000-head feedlots there in the northwest corner of Kansas around St. Francis."

He still operates the 12,000-head feedlot, but he has only 1500 head in it.

"I can only feed for Ranch Foods Direct," Callicrate says. "The big packers won't buy my cattle. If they do, they're going to make sure I lose plenty of money."

One of the original plaintiffs suing IBP-Tyson in a class action lawsuit in Alabama last year, a case that is still pending in the appeals court, Callicrate harbors more than a little ill will toward the big packers and the concentration of the packing industry.

He says he decided to start Ranch Foods Direct after being boycotted by the big packers in 1999.

"It's proven to be an unbelievable challenge," Callicrate says, "with the predatory practices of the big meat packers and processors, with the difficulty of accessing the market."

Ranch Foods has evolved, he says, from selling in the wholesale market to selling directly to restaurants, chefs and retail customers.

"We've really focused heavily on direct retail to consumers, where the big packers, big retailers and big distributors don't have an opportunity to come into the transaction," Callicrate says. "We've approached it as if you're going to sell directly to the consumer, be responsible for what's on the plate. It has to be the best, so we put together a beef production protocol that controls the production from birth all the way — even genetics — all the way through to the end product, which is the consumer."

He says he's looking for a specific type of cattle.

"We like the English crossed with a Continental bull," Callicrate says. "We want those animals managed in a way that when they get weaned off the cow, they don't get sick, and they make that transition onto feed smoothly and without stress. They come into the feedlot, off the cow, ready to go. They're ready for market. They're ready for processing right at one year of age, 12 to 14 months of age.

“What you have is a younger animal with a finer muscle fiber, a very nice distribution of marbling throughout the beef, throughout the meat, and very minimal connective tissue. That gives you a strip steak or a ribeye that you eat all of. There is nothing cut away essentially in connective tissue."

He says that without implants, the beef is more tender.

Callicrate also says they do something that the big packers don't do. They flush the blood from their slaughtered animals.

"We get complete blood removal from the carcass of our animals," Callicrate says. "At the time of bleeding in a packing plant, we flush the vascular system with a cold water solution, using sugar and salt, that essentially removes all blood from the carcass. When you remove the blood, you improve the flavor profile of your meat."

The typical big meat packer is going to leave between 60 and 65 percent of the blood in the carcass, he says.

"They kill one every eight or nine seconds," Callicrate explains. "We kill one about every five minutes."

The other thing Callicrate says he does is age the beef.

"All of our middle meats age two to three weeks," Callicrate says.

He's proud of the beef he sells.

"If your beef is really high quality and tender, you can have a lower quality cut, typically out of the chuck and the round, that eats well without blade tenderization or chemical tenderization and flavoring agents that the industry has decided to use instead of concentrating on the quality of the way the animals are produced," Callicrate says.

A long-time outspoken critic of many practices in the cattle and beef industry, Callicrate says the positions he's taken are more than just business positions. They have to do with the social impact of concentration within the industry.

"My main reason for living is to improve income at the farm and ranch gate," Callicrate insists. "We need to save the rural communities. I go home to St. Francis every weekend and I see the economic decline first-hand in my town. I see a school system that has half the kids in it that it had 20 years ago. I see the old wore-out pickups and old wore-out combines and the lack of folks at the cafe in the morning.

“I’m worried. I'm really worried about our food system and whether or not we're being foolish in importing our food rather than producing it ourselves. I know we're being foolish importing rather than producing it ourselves."

Consequently, he says he's worked to restore competition to the marketplace.

"It's cost me," Callicrate admits. "They put my feedlot out of business. I cranked it back up when Ranch Foods was formed so I could feed the cattle and control that process for Ranch Foods.

Ranch Foods Direct is a partnership between Callicrate and the Warren Ranch. The ranch was originally established by a U.S. senator from Wyoming.

"The Samuelson family bought that ranch, and they're my partners in Ranch Foods Direct," Callicrate says.

Doug Samuelson is a state legislator in Wyoming. His father-in-law is a business leader in Wyoming.

"They're absolutely wonderful partners," Callicrate says. "You couldn't ask for better partners. They're 20-year friends of mine."

Samuelson was the first legislator to introduce country of origin legislation.

"That was in the state of Wyoming years ago when we were first talking about it," Callicrate says. "Doug knows what's going on, and he's concerned about the ranchers and farmers and rural communities."

Both Callicrate and the Samuelsons provide cattle for Ranch Foods Direct.

"I've got 400 black cows in St. Francis, Kan., that we get calves from," Callicrate says. "Doug's got 1200 black cows on the ranch there in Cheyenne, Wyo."

Samuelson and his father-in-law have cattle on other ranches in Wyoming as well.

"Those cattle are available to Ranch Foods," Callicrate says. "We also buy calves, not finished cattle, because we do want to control the process ourselves."

They also buy cattle at sale barns.

"We love going to an auction," Callicrate says, "whether it's a video sale in Cheyenne or a local St. Francis auction, and buying these calves that are guaranteed born and raised in the U.S.A. and free of antibiotics and free of hormones.

"We buy these calves, and we feel that our participation in the competitive market is important. We went to the Cheyenne video last summer, and I think made a difference in that video sale of what calves were worth that day.

"We'd like to see more people buying in a competitive market and help really establish a fair price at the farm and ranch gate."

The calves they buy to put on feed that will later be slaughtered for Ranch Foods Direct have to be certified as hormone-free and born and raised in the U.S. to meet the requirements for Callicrate's program.

"We use an affidavit," Callicrate explains. "It is a matter of trust."

Ranchers have to sign their names to that affidavit, he says.

"We want calves that are born and raised in this area," Callicrate says. "It's required that they bring us an affidavit. We want to know that they haven't been implanted."

He says such calves can bring premiums.

"They're sold accordingly," Callicrate says. "It's really improved the value of those animals, because it's not just me there that's trying to buy hormone-free or U.S.A. kind of cattle. There are other programs out there."

The calves he and the Samuelsons raise and the calves they buy all go through Callicrate's feedyard at St. Francis.

"Everything that we slaughter at Ranch Foods comes out of my feedlot," Callicrate says.

The use of the feedyard accomplishes several goals. They are able to manage the calves as they feel they should and it provides Ranch Foods Direct with a steady, not seasonal, supply of cattle.

The reason feedlots developed in the beginning of the industry, Callicrate explains, was to guarantee year-round beef.

"Grass is green only at certain times of the year," Callicrate points out. "When grass isn't green, the beef isn't very good. That's a real problem with grass-fed beef. It's very seasonal."

He says his operation cuts for about 50 different labels in addition to Ranch Foods.

"In the winter," Callicrate says, "the grass-fed quality really declines because they're on a declining plane of nutrition."

It's much easier, he says, for Ranch Foods to maintain a year-round supply of beef because of the feedyard.

"We've got fall calving cows," Callicrate says. "We've got spring calving cows. We're able to place these calves and manage these calves in such a way that we have beef every day."

Despite the controversy swirling around names and requirements, Callicrate says he's not concerned about what “natural” and “organic” mean. Those terms have been rendered meaningless.

"We define 'natural' the same way USDA does, minimally processed," Callicrate says. "It doesn't mean anything. We don't even worry about it. We don't even like organic labeling."

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has destroyed the organic standard and the natural standard, he contends.

"It just seems like industry, whom I believe controls USDA, has just decided they want a part of this whole natural/organic growth market," Callicrate says, "and they're going to do anything they can to get a product into it. You've got Tyson organic chicken? I certainly doubt that."

While he says his beef is free of implants and chemicals, which would qualify it for most natural beef programs, Callicrate’s focus is on buying locally.

He says local is greener than organic.

"Wouldn't you think if you could buy your food from somebody you knew and you've been to their farm and you could trust them and your kids went to school together and you see them on Sunday, wouldn't you rather buy from them than an ‘organic’ chicken from Tyson?" Callicrate says. "I think so. What we say at Ranch Foods is that our beef is better than organic and it's better than natural."

He says Ranch Foods Direct goes to great pains to explain to consumers exactly how it is produced and where it comes from.

In the store, amid the shelves and coolers, there are pictures of the producers.

"Even of our fishermen," Callicrate says, "where our salmon and halibut come from."

Ranch Foods Direct has expanded to include fish, pork, poultry and vegetables.

"We're setting up a shrimp connection with a bunch of shrimpers off the Gulf Coast," Callicrate says. "We've got pork coming from Heritage Acres in Missouri, which is a farmer-owned pork cooperative that deals in high quality, antibiotic-free pork. Our chickens come from Jay and Cindy Wisdom and their family in Haxtun, Colo., near Sterling. We've got tomatoes out here every day from a guy in Pueblo, Colo. We've got goat cheese from a local Colorado goat cheese producer. Our whole objective is to localize the food system."

Callicrate says he wants to reduce the miles his products must travel to reach his store so the people he buys from can keep more money in their local economy.

At the other end of the equation, he says, he wants his customers to feel that they've gotten value for their money.

"We want our customers to feel good before, during and after the meal," Callicrate says. “We want to serve a meal that is chemical-free. No MSG, none of these ridiculous chemical flavor enhancers. Just good food."

The key, he says, is how the customer feels an hour after the meal.

"Is your stomach bubbling and boiling and causing you some digestive upset and heartburn?" Callicrate asks.

He accuses the food industry of going to an industrial model.

"This is what USDA has decided," he says. "This is what the industry has decided. The big meat packers. The big food processors. The big retailers. They need it produced industrially because it's cheaper. It's consistent. It's uniform. It's of sufficient volume.

The problem with that model, Callicrate contends, is that chemicals are added to preserve the food.

"You use hormones to reduce the cost of production," Callicrate says. "All of these things coming together provide you with a less digestible product."

He says he ran across a woman at a deli in Michigan. She told him that she had a 98 year-old grandmother who told her that people in their family lived long because they had always eaten out of their back yard.

"If you eat out of your backyard," Callicrate says, "you eliminate all these chemicals that the big guys have to have so it can sit on a shelf until somebody buys it or so it can be transported so many miles without spoiling. If we can eliminate that from our diet, I think we extend our lives, and we'll most certainly extend our quality of life and reduce significantly the degenerative diseases that we deal with every day."

He thinks cancer, diabetes, obesity, heart disease and Alzheimer's are all related to the food supply.

Callicrate built a feedyard for his home-raised cattle, and then went into the packing and processing business to move his feedyard cattle. Now, he's opened a deli in Colorado Springs, near the Air Force Academy.

The next step will be in August when he opens the Ranch House, an upscale restaurant and market at Interstate 25 and Garden of the Gods, one of the busiest intersections in Colorado Springs.

"I believe that this restaurant-market combination that we're going to have at the old Hungry Farmer is going to be a blockbuster," Callicrate says.

It was during the IBP-Tyson lawsuit in Montgomery, Ala., last year that Callicrate stayed in neighboring Prattville and got to know a man by the name of Jim Wolf.

Wolf is the manager of the most profitable Longhorn Steakhouse in the 250-plus restaurant chain. He had an idea for a market-restaurant combination and suggested it to Callicrate.

Callicrate says he put that idea in the back of his mind. After a couple of months, however, Wolf called Callicrate.

"He said, 'Where are you on your restaurant retail?'" Callicrate says. "I wasn't anywhere. I had all I could take on my plate. I was so busy just trying to survive that I couldn't see the opportunity.”

Wolf came to Colorado, took Callicrate's Suburban and drove around town.

"He came back one afternoon about three o'clock," Callicrate recalls, "and he says, 'I found it.'"

Wolf had found the old Hungry Farmer restaurant at Garden of the Gods and Interstate 25.

"The most expensive real estate in Colorado," Callicrate says. "It is the best location you can imagine."

Some 132,000 cars a day go by the place.

"It is an awesome location," Callicrate reiterates.

The Hungry Farmer, which had operated in the same location for almost 40 years, had gone into bankruptcy the year before.

The restaurant was scheduled to be leveled and two fast food restaurants were to replace it.

"We ended up getting the building," Callicrate says. "We started construction in March, and it'll be complete and open in August."

Callicrate expects to serve 4000 meals a week there.

"A lot of that is going to be steaks," he says.



Check out Ranch Foods Direct at: www.ranchfoodsdirect.com
 
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Anonymous

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Unfortunately this wonderful testimony of the free enterprise system accoplishing what "M"COOL will never accomplish is presented by someone who felt it was necessary to lie under oath in Pickett vs. ibp.

What a shame!

I wish his enterprise the best of luck because it will be more proof that you don't need a government mandate to accomplish ownership of your product from pasture to plate.



~SH~
 

RobertMac

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Scott, why don't you try to duplicate what Mike is doing...I guarantee you will have a completely different out look on things in a short time...I have!!!!! I totally agree with Mike that all the garbage the industrialize food industry is putting in our food is the cause of our chronic health problems. Here is a simple test...put your food out on the kitchen counter...if something isn't growing on it in a few days, it's probably not worth eating. If simple life like mold and fungus won't grow on it, why would you think it will do you any good????? :???:
 
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RM: "Scott, why don't you try to duplicate what Mike is doing...I guarantee you will have a completely different out look on things in a short time...I have!!!!!"

I don't have any problems with his venture and agree with a lot of what he has stated HERE ONLY. My problem is his lies about the larger packing industries and their profits, his lying under oath in pickett, and his hypocrisy in not telling the truth about the profits in the packing industry.



~SH~
 

Mike

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~SH~ said:
RM: "Scott, why don't you try to duplicate what Mike is doing...I guarantee you will have a completely different out look on things in a short time...I have!!!!!"

I don't have any problems with his venture and agree with a lot of what he has stated HERE ONLY. My problem is his lies about the larger packing industries and their profits, his lying under oath in pickett, and his hypocrisy in not telling the truth about the profits in the packing industry.



~SH~

Looks like you two have a lot in common. :roll:
 

agman

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RobertMac said:
Scott, why don't you try to duplicate what Mike is doing...I guarantee you will have a completely different out look on things in a short time...I have!!!!! I totally agree with Mike that all the garbage the industrialize food industry is putting in our food is the cause of our chronic health problems. Here is a simple test...put your food out on the kitchen counter...if something isn't growing on it in a few days, it's probably not worth eating. If simple life like mold and fungus won't grow on it, why would you think it will do you any good????? :???:


The the average age keeps going in which direction?
 

Mike

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agman said:
RobertMac said:
Scott, why don't you try to duplicate what Mike is doing...I guarantee you will have a completely different out look on things in a short time...I have!!!!! I totally agree with Mike that all the garbage the industrialize food industry is putting in our food is the cause of our chronic health problems. Here is a simple test...put your food out on the kitchen counter...if something isn't growing on it in a few days, it's probably not worth eating. If simple life like mold and fungus won't grow on it, why would you think it will do you any good????? :???:


The the average age keeps going in which direction?

Wonder what the average age at death would be without modern surgery techniques and medicines?
 

Murgen

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Wonder what the average age at death would be without modern surgery techniques and medicines?

And still we get down on Science! And health standards, and ........
 
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Mike to (SH): "Looks like you two have a lot in common."

Ankle biter (pledging his support for a fellow packer blamer): "Well put, Mike! That's a good one!"


ZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

Talk is so cheap from the blaming section.

Both too big a cowards to take the bet.



~SH~
 

RobertMac

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agman said:
RobertMac said:
Scott, why don't you try to duplicate what Mike is doing...I guarantee you will have a completely different out look on things in a short time...I have!!!!! I totally agree with Mike that all the garbage the industrialize food industry is putting in our food is the cause of our chronic health problems. Here is a simple test...put your food out on the kitchen counter...if something isn't growing on it in a few days, it's probably not worth eating. If simple life like mold and fungus won't grow on it, why would you think it will do you any good????? :???:


The the average age keeps going in which direction?


What do the charts on diabetes, heart disease, and cancer look like??

Is there a correlation with an increased percentage of processed foods in the standard American diet (SAD)???


Agman: "the demise of rural America was ongoing long before you could blame corporate America."

I put the demise of rural America starting in the 1980s...what say you?
 

mrj

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RobertMac said:
agman said:
RobertMac said:
Scott, why don't you try to duplicate what Mike is doing...I guarantee you will have a completely different out look on things in a short time...I have!!!!! I totally agree with Mike that all the garbage the industrialize food industry is putting in our food is the cause of our chronic health problems. Here is a simple test...put your food out on the kitchen counter...if something isn't growing on it in a few days, it's probably not worth eating. If simple life like mold and fungus won't grow on it, why would you think it will do you any good????? :???:


The the average age keeps going in which direction?


What do the charts on diabetes, heart disease, and cancer look like??

Is there a correlation with an increased percentage of processed foods in the standard American diet (SAD)???


Agman: "the demise of rural America was ongoing long before you could blame corporate America."

I put the demise of rural America starting in the 1980s...what say you?

I say, factor in the sad fact that too many of us just plain eat too much and we exercise too little. Then admit that our love of high calorie/low nutrition snack foods high in fat and sugar and our refusal to accept the facts of cause and effect of our choices on our health might be more important than anything those corporations we all love to hate are "forcing" us to eat.

MRJ
 

Jason

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Mike isn't the first one to do this. Sunterra Farms in Alberta has been raising from pasture to plate for many years.

If Mike is so successful why is he following the model of Tyson by adding chicken and pork to his beef? Maybe he wasn't making any money and had to expand to cover his costs?

I applaud many of his ideas he presented in this article, but to say the packers were putting him out of business when he was trying to sell wholesale...I don't buy it. He just found out it was tough sledding out there in a competetive market.

And as for beef having to rot to be good...I have left steaks in the fridge for 2 weeks with no ill effects. Storebought beef will spoil in a few days under the same conditions. The bacteria load is what determines the speed of deteroration.

The quality of our food is less than ideal because the whole environment is damaged. Polluted soil and rains in a backyard garden can't raise better produce than is rasied in a more open area where there is less pollution.

Mike saying the organic label isn't worth anything is uninformed to say the least. I have the USDA guidelines and they are extensive. Food grown along those standards would be as good as we can get in a poluted environment. The science is finally coming along enough to understand the basics so we can go organic in an ecomomically viable manner.
 
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Jason: "And as for beef having to rot to be good...I have left steaks in the fridge for 2 weeks with no ill effects. Storebought beef will spoil in a few days under the same conditions. The bacteria load is what determines the speed of deteroration."

You are right, the bacteria load is what determines the speed of deterioration which is why crovac aging is different than aging commodity beef in traditional packaging.

The two aging techniques are not the same.



~SH~
 

Jason

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Scott, my beef hasn't been cryovac packaged to last the 2 weeks. It usually is when I take steaks out and then don't get to cook them...next thing you know it has been ages and they are still ok. Burger same thing...
I have had customers notice it as well.
 

agman

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RobertMac said:
agman said:
RobertMac said:
Scott, why don't you try to duplicate what Mike is doing...I guarantee you will have a completely different out look on things in a short time...I have!!!!! I totally agree with Mike that all the garbage the industrialize food industry is putting in our food is the cause of our chronic health problems. Here is a simple test...put your food out on the kitchen counter...if something isn't growing on it in a few days, it's probably not worth eating. If simple life like mold and fungus won't grow on it, why would you think it will do you any good????? :???:


The the average age keeps going in which direction?


What do the charts on diabetes, heart disease, and cancer look like??

Is there a correlation with an increased percentage of processed foods in the standard American diet (SAD)???


Agman: "the demise of rural America was ongoing long before you could blame corporate America."

I put the demise of rural America starting in the 1980s...what say you?

The demise of rural America started with the industrial revolution. To think the decline of agriculture is a recent event is simply a myth. That is why I have stated previously, "who was to blame for the the decline in agriculture prior to multi-national corporations?"

Check the history. The same event is now accelerating in China as urban incomes outpace agricultural incomes. It is secular in nature and is much larger and complex then to say these events just stated in 1980 as a result of mulit-national corporations. That is almost 200 years off the mark.

What is the rate of health problems at the same age level now versus previous periods. People live much longer, as such aging adds to some of the very health concerns you express. What was the incidence of heart attacks 50 years ago at age 35 versus 35 year olds today? That is a much more accurate way to measure the health of society rather than compare absolute numbers today versus 50 years ago.
 

RobertMac

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agman said:
The demise of rural America started with the industrial revolution. To think the decline of agriculture is a recent event is simply a myth. That is why I have stated previously, "who was to blame for the the decline in agriculture prior to multi-national corporations?"

Check the history. The same event is now accelerating in China as urban incomes outpace agricultural incomes. It is secular in nature and is much larger and complex then to say these events just stated in 1980 as a result of mulit-national corporations. That is almost 200 years off the mark.

What is the rate of health problems at the same age level now versus previous periods. People live much longer, as such aging adds to some of the very health concerns you express. What was the incidence of heart attacks 50 years ago at age 35 versus 35 year olds today? That is a much more accurate way to measure the health of society rather than compare absolute numbers today versus 50 years ago.

Agman, did agriculture not benefit from the industrial revolution? Mules to 'M's to JD 4840s??? Technology that increased yields and production efficiencies is what kept agriculture income ahead of inflation of input cost...God knows inflation of commodity prices haven't kept up! But the technological improvement curve has leveled off and now it takes increasingly larger size operations to maintain income levels on ever thinner commodity margins. Now multi-nationals and the global market is putting modern ag in direct competition with developing countries that are in a situation similar to USA ag in the 50s and 60s...cheap labor and improving technology. The real killer is that they don't have to operate under the same EPA, FDA, and OSHA rules (not to mention taxes and regulator cost) that USA ag does! The situations aren't equal and the multi-nationals are taking advantage of it at the expense of USA producer.
JMHO

Compare pre-1900 health with today...processed foods started becoming a major part of the USA diet in the early 1900s...a radical change from historic diets!
 

agman

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RobertMac said:
agman said:
The demise of rural America started with the industrial revolution. To think the decline of agriculture is a recent event is simply a myth. That is why I have stated previously, "who was to blame for the the decline in agriculture prior to multi-national corporations?"

Check the history. The same event is now accelerating in China as urban incomes outpace agricultural incomes. It is secular in nature and is much larger and complex then to say these events just stated in 1980 as a result of mulit-national corporations. That is almost 200 years off the mark.

What is the rate of health problems at the same age level now versus previous periods. People live much longer, as such aging adds to some of the very health concerns you express. What was the incidence of heart attacks 50 years ago at age 35 versus 35 year olds today? That is a much more accurate way to measure the health of society rather than compare absolute numbers today versus 50 years ago.

Agman, did agriculture not benefit from the industrial revolution? Mules to 'M's to JD 4840s??? Technology that increased yields and production efficiencies is what kept agriculture income ahead of inflation of input cost...God knows inflation of commodity prices haven't kept up! But the technological improvement curve has leveled off and now it takes increasingly larger size operations to maintain income levels on ever thinner commodity margins. Now multi-nationals and the global market is putting modern ag in direct competition with developing countries that are in a situation similar to USA ag in the 50s and 60s...cheap labor and improving technology. The real killer is that they don't have to operate under the same EPA, FDA, and OSHA rules (not to mention taxes and regulator cost) that USA ag does! The situations aren't equal and the multi-nationals are taking advantage of it at the expense of USA producer.
JMHO

Compare pre-1900 health with today...processed foods started becoming a major part of the USA diet in the early 1900s...a radical change from historic diets!

I really don't think you want to compare health today versus pre-1900. I think you would lose that one quite handily.

Regarding agriculture, should we isolate ourselves? What would other producing countries do? They would just take our export markets thus requiring less domestic production putting more producers out of business. The solution is to grow demand. Multi-nationals understand that process.

Your other concerns are created by government, not multi-nationals. I say at virtually every public meeting that unnecessary and burdensome regulation will out more producers out of business than all misdeeds perpetrated by all corporations or individuals.
 

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agman said:
I really don't think you want to compare health today versus pre-1900. I think you would lose that one quite handily.

Point taken...I did leave that a little too open ended. Let's compare diabetes, cancer, and heart disease of today with 1900. I agree that our medical system has don't great things to improve and prolong our health. And I also believe that, with more research, many of our modern health problems will be found to be nutritionally related.

agman said:
Regarding agriculture, should we isolate ourselves? What would other producing countries do? They would just take our export markets thus requiring less domestic production putting more producers out of business. The solution is to grow demand. Multi-nationals understand that process.

We have always agreed that growing demand is the best solution, but I believe that NCBA/CBB have failed miserably at promoting beef for the healthy food that it is...specifically giving in to the 'animal fats are bad' theory...and we know how you feel about unproven theories!!!! :lol:
What the multi-nationals also understand is that developing countries are the best opportunity for growth in production agriculture. 40 years ago Brazil was a blip in the grain markets...now they are a major force. If the multi-nationals are in on the ground floor development of these countries and have FREE access to the USA market (the largest beef market in the world?) with generic USDA inspected/graded labeling so the consumer won't know any difference, wouldn't that have huge profit potential????


agman said:
Your other concerns are created by government, not multi-nationals. I say at virtually every public meeting that unnecessary and burdensome regulation will out more producers out of business than all misdeeds perpetrated by all corporations or individuals.

This is true, but it is this unequal burden of production expense that will provide the improved profit margin that is the incentive for the multi-national bring in more imported product...and the more imported product, the more pressure on USA live cattle prices. Because the government created the burden on USA producers, doesn't make the multi-nationals blameless for taking advantage of it. To be fair, we should require all imported products to comply with all our USDA, FDA, EPA, and OSHA regulations...USDA "equivalency" is not fair enough! :???:
 

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