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rancher

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U.S. cattle producers may recall Dec. 23, 2003, as the day that rocked their beef world.

A dairy cow infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy was discovered in Washington state; the animal's origin was traced to Canada.

It was during a profitable year in the cattle industry and a record year for beef exports. But the export market went sour in a hurry.

Japan bought $1.4 billion in U.S. beef products during 2003 and nothing since, said Todd Domer, vice president of communications for the Kansas Livestock Association.

Total U.S. beef exports amounted to $3.86 billion in 2003, and 88 percent of that value was shipped to Japan, Mexico, South Korea and Canada. A portion of the Mexico and Canada markets have returned, he said.

The U.S. cattle industry remains profitable, thanks to Americans eating more beef.

"Domestic demand was strong," Domer said.

Beef prices would have been higher, he said, but the Japanese boycott offset some of the domestic shortages of beef that were driving up prices.

Demand for beef continues to climb. In 2004, it was 7.7 percent above 2003. Increases from 1998 through 2004 added $22 per 100 pounds to the price of fed cattle, he said, quoting CattleFax, an industry market analysis service.

Trendy low-carbohydrate diets have changed nutritional perceptions about beef, Domer said, and the industry has developed new products to make beef more convenient.

Cattle producers enjoyed good profits in 2004, said Mike Samples, manager of the Farmers & Ranchers Livestock Commission, 1500 W. Highway 40. Farmers & Ranchers sells approximately 200,000 cattle a year and is among the largest cattle auctions in Kansas, second only to Pratt Livestock.

"For the first time ever in the history of the cattle business, all facets of the industry have enjoyed some profits," he said.

Domestic cow numbers are still down and beef consumption, Samples said: "We should maintain good times in the cattle business."

The only variables are Canada and Japan.

Since 2003, the United States has opened the Canadian border and is accepting beef from cattle under 30 months of age. The risk of BSE is higher in older cattle, Domer said. It rarely is found in younger animals.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has proposed opening the Canadian border to live cattle this month. Neither beef from cattle slaughtered when they were older than 30 months nor cattle older than that will be accepted from Canada, Domer said.

To win back Japan as a U.S. beef customer, he said, "You name it, we've done it."

The USDA sent technical and scientific teams to Japan, and the Kansas Livestock Association, Kansas Beef Council and National Cattlemen's Beef Association played host to Japanese delegations in the United States.

The goal was to "show them the protocols that are in place to prevent BSE," Domer said. "The one thing you have to remember is Japan made some pretty major mistakes from a regulatory nature."

After the first BSE case surfaced in Japan in the fall of 2001, that government was slow in banning the inclusion of protein from ruminant animals -- meat and bone meal -- in cattle feed. That's been banned in the United States since 1997, Domer said.

Cattle can catch BSE from eating feed including protein from infected animals.

Looking ahead, cattle ranchers should remember what they learned in 4-H and FFA when they were youngsters. Record-keeping, especially documenting the age of cattle, is becoming more important, said Carl Garten, director of Central Kansas Extension District, Salina.

"I've had a lot of cattlemen call me about proving calving dates," he said. "The future of the industry is going to depend on the identification of livestock, confirmation of birth and age."

Samples isn't opposed to an identification system but said "country of origin" labeling should come first.

"The American consumer has the right to know, when they buy a package of meat, where it came from," he said.

A bill mandating country of origin has continually stalled in Congress, Samples said, in part because the National Cattlemen's Beef Association is opposed to it.

"The problem is that packers don't want it. They can blend imported meat in with our meat," Samples said. "The NCBA and other livestock groups seem to be in that corner."

MAD COW DISEASE

BSE, or mad cow disease, is a neurological disease in cattle. Humans who eat beef from infected cattle rarely get the potentially deadly variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Domer said.

No cases of Americans being infected have been reported, he said, other than one in the United States that originated in the United Kingdom, where BSE has been around since 1986. The United Kingdom has had 151 cases of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is a rare, usually fatal disease of the brain, characterized by progressive dementia and gradual loss of muscle control. It occurs most often in middle age and is caused by a slow virus, according to a dictionary
 

mrj

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Mr. Samples should have been asked how mandatory COOL is possible without M-ID. Arguing about which should come first, the chicken or the egg, is like twiddling ones thumbs......doing something, and accomplishing nothing.

I don't know if it is factual that country of origin labeling hasn't happened because of NCBA........but I would be pleased if that is so.

Personally, it seems misguided to legislate origin labeling when it is available, and is being used. There are US cattle producers, individually and in groups, who already are labeling their beef as a verifiable product of the USA via their branded beef label. They are getting paid for the added value of that information by consumers to whom it is important. Didn't require legislation. Didn't require bureaucracy additions to implement. Just good private enterprise. What a concept!


*************************

Here is the current Country of Origin Labeling resolution from the current mail ballot of NCBA.

WHEREAS, NCBA supports voluntary, market-driven country of origin labeling for beef products sold within the borders of the UNITED STATES, and

WHEREAS, any voluntary country of origin labeling law must not place too great a burden on domestic producers to prove the origin of their cattle, and

WHEREAS, H.R. 4576, as introduced in the 108th Congress, did not appear to seek to create a voluntary country of origin labeling program which would be any more workable than the voluntary program currently in place, and

WHEREAS, it should be the objective of Congress to amend the current country of origin labeling law so as to provide the maximum value of country of origin labeling to the beef cattle industry and to American consumers,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, NCBA shall ensure than any voluntary country of origin labeling law shall give specific attention to the following issues:

1. Self-certification of origin for livestock producers.
2. Protection of personal production records.
3. Simple, easy to understand, country of origin retail labels.
5. Tempering of penalties during implementation period.
6. Reconciliation with existing labeling regulations.

MRJ
 

Tommy

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mj...WHEREAS, any voluntary country of origin labeling law must not place too great a burden on domestic producers to prove the origin of their cattle.

Aren't you one of the people who have always said we MCOOL supporters "didn't want to burdened with traceback"? Yet you seem to be supporting a Voluntary COOL that doesn't want to burden producers with a traceback. So if it is mandatory a traceback is needed and if it is voluntary a traceback is not needed?
 

rancher

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Tommy, I am sure signatures will work fine for Voluntary :???:
 

Tommy

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Yeah rancher we want mandatory traceback if we have MCOOL but voluntary traceback if we have voluntary COOL. Sounds good to me....hahhahaha
 

mrj

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First, one needs to define "too great a burden".

Can we agree that requiring a veterinarian to certify that he/she had seen a calf born to a specific cow which had previously been A-I'd to a specific bull would be "too great a burden" as a requirement for proof or origin of a calf?

Can we agree that a written plan stating rancher X turns his bulls out with cows June 15 and and takes them out July 30; begins calving on or about March 15 and finishes about 45 days later; tags his calves using the mama's tag number as part of the number on the calf tag; would be a reasonable system of giving "proof" for this program?

Can we agree that similar programs validated by vaccine and other records/receipts for numbers of calves owned by the rancher could qualify?

Can we also agree that a rancher who sells X number of calves and simply signs a paper claiming he raised them, though he can't/won't offer any form of document to show evidence that he actually does own the cows, or that they gave birth to the calves he is currently offering for sale might not be a good candidate for a "signed affidavit" or any other "handshake" deal?

MRJ
 
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MRJ said:
First, one needs to define "too great a burden".

Can we agree that requiring a veterinarian to certify that he/she had seen a calf born to a specific cow which had previously been A-I'd to a specific bull would be "too great a burden" as a requirement for proof or origin of a calf?

Can we agree that a written plan stating rancher X turns his bulls out with cows June 15 and and takes them out July 30; begins calving on or about March 15 and finishes about 45 days later; tags his calves using the mama's tag number as part of the number on the calf tag; would be a reasonable system of giving "proof" for this program?

Can we agree that similar programs validated by vaccine and other records/receipts for numbers of calves owned by the rancher could qualify?

Can we also agree that a rancher who sells X number of calves and simply signs a paper claiming he raised them, though he can't/won't offer any form of document to show evidence that he actually does own the cows, or that they gave birth to the calves he is currently offering for sale might not be a good candidate for a "signed affidavit" or any other "handshake" deal?

MRJ

MRJ- Kind of sounds like what the majority of the producers in this state are already doing-- but they go another step and also have a hot brand on the calves and the cows to show permanent ID and an inspection and inspection papers by a state official ( brand inspector) showing that ownership and any movements or transfers taking place... These state documents accompany the calf to the new owner....Not hard at all....
 

rancher

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But it all comes down to a written signature and if it won't float for M' Cool it sure won't pass for V'Cool.
 

Chuckie

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personally, i've thought for a few years now that simply making the whole country brand-inspected would be the cheapest, easiest solution to the id problem. those electronic ear tags aren't all they're advertised to be, and you can't lose a brand. plus, generate some jobs for cash-flow....

BTW, rancher--you get ANYthing out of this storm that came thru??
 

rancher

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I got a skiff of snow and wind. Sounds like they didn't know what they were talking about again.
 

Chuckie

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we got lucky in a way--north/east of us got 12-18", but we could sure use the moisture. not as bad as you all; we had agreat summer last year, i think we got 4 cuttings on the alfalfa around here. oops-forget i said anything, you'll just get mad at me... :roll:
 

PORKER

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I think ScoringSystem has the answer as they use brands and Boluses,You can't lose them and they are permanet for the animals life time .No one's going to cut out a Bolus .
 

rancher

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oops-forget i said anything, you'll just get mad at me...

Chuckie, the real Jake and I haven't been mad at Oldtimer YET, for all his moisture. Glad you had a good year, sure makes ranching a lot more fun. Seems like when the calf prices are up, the rain doesn't come and you spend it on hay, but guess that is better than low prices and buying hay. :)
 
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Anonymous

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OT: "MRJ- Kind of sounds like what the majority of the producers in this state are already doing-- but they go another step and also have a hot brand on the calves and the cows to show permanent ID and an inspection and inspection papers by a state official ( brand inspector) showing that ownership and any movements or transfers taking place... These state documents accompany the calf to the new owner....Not hard at all...."

Not hard at all?


1. Many states or parts of states (Eastern SD) do not have or need brand inspection.

2. There is brand duplications between states.


Nope, not hard at all for someone who doesn't even know these two simple facts.



~SH~
 

mrj

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OT, I purposely did not mention brand ID for the simple reason that there is duplication of brands between states, many states do not have a branding system, and I believe it will take lots of time to sort out that situation. Most especially the duplication question because people who have a brand often are emotionally tied to it. One could consider time of ownership of a brand, and allow the longest held brand to prevail, but doubt that would be easily accepted.

I do believe Scoringsystems and similar systems with boluses or some other form of un-tamperable chip will prevail.

Though I hate it personally, I believe anyone can see the handwriting on the wall that branding is not going to be acceptable for ever into the future. The question of un-marred hides and possible premiums for them probably will end it sooner than the animal fanatics with their emotion based reasons, IMO.

My points in previous post about verifying age of calves via documentation, tags, etc. does require far more than a "signature" accompanying a load of calves, if anyone cares to admit it.

The COOL law requires source verification by packers, doesn't it, yet ties their hands with no verification required of ranchers. unless you can show me proof to the contrary, I stand by that.

MRJ
 
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MRJ said:
The COOL law requires source verification by packers, doesn't it, yet ties their hands with no verification required of ranchers. unless you can show me proof to the contrary, I stand by that.

MRJ

I think all the 6 items of NCBA's resolution would fit into the current MCOOL law or could easily be put in--- since much of the instituting of the law was left up to USDA.... According to the US General Accounting Office, the USDA could use the same method as is used for the school lunch program to institute it using the COOL requirements.....Right now with no imported cattle or beef coming in that is not marked- COOL would be simple to institute- but as long as USDA is in the packers pocket and the packers don't want it, they will not make it easy......
 

Chuckie

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mrj, et al--so much for my "simple solution" :roll: sounded good there for a minute, but of course, i know nothing about duplicate brands between states; i'm lucky to keep track of brand inspections areas! BTW, WHY isn't texas a brand area??!!??? just seems crazy to me.
 

mrj

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What do you mean about TX not being a "brand area"?

Years ago when we attended some meetings of the International Livestock Brand Conference, TX was a strong participant, so am certain they do brand cattle, therefore must have brand laws.

Curious!

MRJ
 
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OT: "According to the US General Accounting Office, the USDA could use the same method as is used for the school lunch program to institute it using the COOL requirements....."

We're back to that crap again huh?

This just proves what a mindless R-CULT clone you really are OT!

Once on the old forum you finally admitted that the qualifications for the school lunch program and "M"COOL were not the same.

Now you are back to parroting Leo's bullsh*t again.


IF AN ANIMAL IS BORN IN CANADA AND FED IN THE UNITED STATES, THAT ANIMAL QUALIFIES FOR THE SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM

IF AN ANIMAL IS BORN IN CANADA AND FED IN THE UNITED STATES, IT DOES NOT QUALIFY FOR A "BORN, RAISED, AND SLAUGHTERED IN THE U.S." ORIGIN LABEL

THE TWO ARE NOT THE SAME, PERIOD!!!!

QUIT REPEATING LIES!!!!!!


~SH~
 

RobertMac

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All the beef coming from Canada is labeled by country of origin NOW. How much of that beef is voluntarily labeled for the consumer in the stores NOW???
When almost 90% of the beef sold in the USA is sold by companies opposed to country of origin labeling, THAT MAKES V-COOL A JOKE!!!!!
This issue is not about DOABILITY, it is about who will control the beef industry. In the bigger picture, it's about who will control the world food supply. Country of origin labeling is a barrier to that control!
 

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