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Packers Saving the World!!!

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I'm sure the packers are paying the Canadians $34 per cwt less so they can lower their prices to sell cheaper beef to the poor and starving of the world :???: ...RIGHT :wink: ... Isn't that what the Packer Groups were telling us? :roll:


Lackluster cattle prices
by Kevin Hursh

A major price spread has again developed between Canadian and American prices for fed cattle.

Sandy Russell, a beef economist with Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food says the spread is currently as high as $34 per cwt. That works out to about $450 on a typical fed steer.

Back in mid-February when an early March opening of the border to live Canadian cattle was expected, the spread was as narrow as $15 per cwt.

Russell says most Canadian feedlots are losing money at current fed cattle prices, having bought calves under the assumption of a better market than currently exists.

As for feeder cattle, the price of 500 to 600 pound steer calves in Saskatchewan has been averaging about $1.15 a pound, as compared to $1.21 at the same time last year.

Some of the calves coming to market are enrolled in the government set-aside program and cannot be slaughtered until either October of 2005 or January of 2006. Russell says set-aside calves are being discounted in the marketplace with the amount varying widely from one week to another and one auction market to another.
 

PORKER

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Small meat processors in demand



A bottleneck suppressing possible growth of this emerging industry [natural meat products] involves the scarcity of small meat-processing plants.



THE BEEF OF SMALL MEAT PROCESSORS

Roanoke Times & World News (Roanoke, VA)

May 1, 2005 Sunday Metro Edition

Lois Caliri



Rebecca Hubbard and her husband, Mike, show up every Saturday to sell their "natural" meat products at the Roanoke Farmers Market. Their Garden Mountain Farm in scenic Burke's Garden offers pasture-raised, grass-finished, hormone- and antibiotic-free poultry and eggs, lamb, pork and beef.



The Hubbards and the other 30 or so growers in Virginia who sell meat and poultry from grass-fed animals say their products provide a healthy alternative to commercially produced, factory farmed meat and poultry products.



Although consumers can also find the Hubbards' meat at Food City, the Hubbards say more local meat processors are needed, and would like to see existing processors expand so they can offer "value-added products," such as quick-cooking, prepared foods.



Demand is building, they say, for their kind of products.



But it is not as simple as growing more grass-fed livestock and putting more cuts of natural meat in grocery stores.



A bottleneck suppressing possible growth of this emerging industry involves the scarcity of small meat-processing plants.



The number of small processing plants, mostly family owned and operated, has dwindled, according to the American Association of Meat Processors. The number is down 10 percent from the 12,000 plants, nationally, in 1995.



The reasons given by plant owners and others vary:



- Children of plant owners want no part of a business that's labor intensive, some owners said;



- Overlapping rules and regulations from the state and federal government complicate the business;



- Regulators hold the small processors up to the same standards as the big guys;



- Some processors are unwilling to change with the times; and



- Some sources of revenue have now become expenses.



But the demand for their services is on the upswing. Processors take a slaughtered animal and cut it into portions that can be packaged and sold to consumers.



In September 2003, Central Virginia livestock producers identified the lack of local meat processing plants as the "major" impediment to entering emerging high value markets for high-end and specialty meat products.



The group came up with an idea to either build or convert an existing building into a processing plant.



One model, based on processing 25 cattle a day, would cost $1.4 million.



The average cost for each cow is estimated to be $30 for slaughter and $228 for processing. This is about 18 cents a pound above the estimated break-even sales cost.



Karl Keller, a grower of chemical- and hormone-free beef and hogs in White Hall, said he'd like the government to build the plant. But "the lobbyists in the beef industry won't allow it; they do not want the feed lots in Kansas threatened."



Nationally, the demand for natural and organic meat is up, too, even though it's typically more expensive than traditional cuts of meat found in grocery stores.



Jo Robinson, author of "Pasture Perfect" and "The Omega Diet," lists more than 800 alternative growers on her Web site, Eatwild.com. She said some growers have to travel 300 miles to find a federally inspected plant. And when they do find a plant they beg and plead to get space.



Challenges in the plants



"People just don't want to work anymore. It's hard work, standing on concrete at tables all day long, pulling knives all day long," said Dale Smith, owner of Smith Valley Meats in Rich Creek.



Typically, a small processing plant that employs between 25 to 35 people and operates five days a week processes between 100 to 300 animals a day. A plant that employs fewer than 25 may operate one to two days a week for slaughter activity, and then spend the remaining days further processing the animal to produce value-added products, for example grinding the pork for sausage.



The plants are also saddled with voluminous rules and regulations. What annoys operators the most is that regulators impose a one-size-fits-all philosophy.



Almost all of the rules that come out of the U.S. Department of Agriculture have been as a result of problems with big processors, Mike Hubbard said. Unlike the small processors, the larger ones have the money to hire hygienists and all the other experts to address the problems.



"The regulatory requirements do not differentiate based on scale and so, as a result, small processors doing 10 beefs a week have the same paperwork requirements as the processors doing 1,000 beefs a week," said Joel Salatin, a grower of pasture poultry, eggs, broilers and turkeys in Augusta County.



A beef refers to a single steer or heifer.



It costs a large processor in the Midwest, for example, $32 a beef, and a small processor $400 to do the same thing - break down and box the carcass.



Many processors work for individuals who take home the cow and freeze the meat. They are unaccustomed to producing a consistent product for resale, said Martha Mewbourne, a grower and president of the Scott County Hair Sheep Association.



Also, what were once sources of revenue for the processors are now expenses.



The beef hide market for leather products slid and the extinction of canneries contributed to losses. Processors also used to get paid by renderers, those who picked up the guts from the plants. Now, processors have to pay someone to get rid of the waste, said Smith.



"Bones got 2 to 3 cents a pound, and fat got 8 cents a pound. Now, we get paid nothing. Right now it's costing us $50 a stock."



Still, Smith said he spends about three times the amount of time on an animal that's spent by any other plant on the Eastern seaboard. "We zero trim cut to any perfection."



Responding to demand



A newcomer to the small processing plant business is Bev Eggleston, a former grower of poultry and other products. He recalled when he traveled along a 300-mile stretch of Interstate 81 from Harrisonburg to Greenville, Tenn., in the early '90s, looking for small processing plants and not one did poultry.



He has since given up on producing animal products, and has turned his attention to his federally inspected processing plant in Moneta. The plant processes and markets poultry and red meat.



"I come from a need," Eggleston said. He secured a loan from Valley Bank - about $450,000 - and is looking to secure additional funds from private investors to make his business a success.



Small meat processors have to stand out with value-added or specialty type products, said Steve Krut, executive director of the American Association of Meat Processors, which represents the small- to medium-size plants.



Another problem for small processors is the fees some have to pay federal inspectors who conduct surprise inspections after regular working hours, Krut said. At times, some processors have paid unionized inspectors $50 an hour.



"That's extortion," Krut said.



Small processors question why inspectors check on plant operations after regular working hours, especially when inspectors were already at the plant the same day, overseeing all the products and documentation.



"Not all inspectors are bad," Krut said. "But some take a heavy-handed approach."



The USDA said it pays its inspectors up to two shifts up to 80 hours a week, and if a company operates beyond those shifts then the processor has to pay the agency. The USDA said it does not conduct surprise inspections.



Defining consumer interest



Growers said they believe they could sell plenty more of the products.



But Mike Hubbard said the precise overall demand in Virginia for natural and organic meats remains a mystery.



U.S. sales of organic meat products reached about $75 million in 2003, the bulk of sales coming from poultry, according to the Organic Trade Association in Massachusetts. That's less than 1 percent of meat products sold.



Virginia does not track the natural meat industry. Cash receipts in 2003 for all types of meat and poultry produced in the state totaled $1 billion.



"We want the state to help define the demand for free-range poultry, grass-fed meat and pasture-raised pork," Hubbard said. They do not send their livestock to out-of-state processors. "When we get the meat back, we don't know if it's our meat," Rebecca Hubbard said.



Sales have increased by about 20 percent a year for the last several years for the Hubbards. Their gross income last year was $85,000 and they want to hit $100,000 in sales by year-end. In addition to pork, lamb and poultry, the Hubbards' own or manage 95 head of cattle, and will process 30 steer and heifers this year.



"We're seeing an incredible amount of interest from throughout the state; grass-fed, organic and nonorganic growers want to get closer to the retail dollar," said Spencer Neale, with the commodity / marketing department of the Virginia Farm Bureau.



Growers worry, though, that their processors who are getting older could face a health problem or some other crisis in their families, forcing growers to scramble to find another. Growers in Central Virginia often travel three to four hours to a processing plant, and could go to more than one so their needs could be met.



"If the mom-and-pop outfits go under, suddenly, we can't sell our meat," said Keller, whose hogs feed on grain and whose cattle feed on grass. The grower would need new labels, would have to interview the processor and find out if they can cut to the growers' specifications.



Keller travels three hours to one processor in Rich Creek in Giles County, and four hours to another. The processor in Rich Creek does not have a smoker or a linker and can't make link sausages.



Salatin, the Augusta grower, blames the state and federal government for running small processors out of business.



"Our culture loves everything industrial and quit patronizing local, and when industrial became outmoded, and started looking at local, again, the regulations became too prohibitive," Salatin said.



Regulations that came out in response to mad-cow disease have increased, said Dale Smith of Smith Valley Meats.



"It's 10 times more paperwork."



"Years ago, when something went wrong with an animal, the inspector made sure the beef was handled properly in a safe manner. Now, that responsibility is on the processor," Smith said.



The regulations have nothing to do with processing clean and safe meat, said Salatin. He drew a comparison between recreational deer hunting and selling meat from pasture-fed animals on his farm.



"The state encourages you to go out on a 70 degree November day, gut shoot a deer, drag it a mile through the squirrel dung, sticks and rocks and then strap it to the hood of your Blazer, and parade it around town for a couple of hours in the afternoon sun and then bring it home, string it up in a tree in the backyard, where birds roost at night, and then skin it the following week and feed it to your children and all their friends."



Yet, "You can't take a coddled steer or hog and wait until appropriate temperature days and dress it in the backyard and sell one pound to your neighbor without a quintuple-permitted, agricultural zone-prohibited, multi-million dollar, government approved facility.



"That is the kind of thing that makes you realize that all of the government concerns of safety and clean are nothing but a smokescreen to deny market access to local community-based food systems."



Matt Baun, spokesman for the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, said the agency's "responsibility to consumers is that products are federally inspected."



On-farm slaughters



Mewbourne, the Scott County grower, supports on-farm slaughtering.



Several states, on a small scale, have been experimenting with mobile units. The USDA-approved units go to the farm and slaughter the animals. It's less stress on the animals because they are not loaded onto a truck, driven two to three hours, waiting in a pen, smelling the odor of death, Mewbourne said.



Mobile units are a lot more common for poultry operations than for beef because of USDA rules. A farmer can sell up to 1,000 birds without federal inspections in some states.



Usually, poultry is slaughtered and processed on the farm.



A federally certified mobile unit can slaughter cattle on the farm. Beef, though, must be processed by either state or federally inspected plants before it is sold to consumers. Either the farmers or the mobile unit delivers the carcass to the processing plants.



Neale said a lot of issues arise with on-farm slaughter. "It's very challenging from an inspection point of view; [how do you make it] profitable to process animals, and you can only fit so many animals in trailers."



He said it may work better for sheep because it's a lot easier to deal with smaller animals.



The advantages are: less transportation costs; growers get another step closer to consumers with their products; and they own the livestock from birth to slaughter to retail.







meatpoultry.com
 

PORKER

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That Almost all of the rules that come out of the U.S. Department of Agriculture have been as a result of problems with big processors, Mike Hubbard said. *************The problem is there is not a traceback system like www.scoringag.com or the packing industry could solve their problems quicker.
 

PORKER

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USDA LABELS mean nothing other than somebody ok ed its use from a foriegn country.Where IS THE TRACEBACK?This is a the PROBLEM.
 

STAFF

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Traceback is what we do nomatter the product or where it came from and where it's going.Our system always knows each source and handler , when it was moved and the necessary records that needs to be with the product.www.scoringag.com is the world standard for import and export of food products nomatter the goverment or the destination.
 

PORKER

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The Point is their needs to be traceback for beef going to Tiwian,Japan,and South Korea etc. and I see that Scoringag.com has it.No discussion on whether it works or not from the Packers,as I see by their web site a new PowerPt. on just that.TRACEBACK --- here is the page link www.scoringsystem.com/agri/ Nice show!
 

STAFF

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We have goverments and packers that started using our database for traceback of beef and foods.Databases have to run in different lanuages in order to display the information such as in unicode frames.Check out the site at www.scoringag.com
 

Murgen

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http://www.scoringag.cowww.scoringag.cowww.scoringag.cowww.scoringag.co
http://www.scoringag.cowww.scoringag.cowww.scoringag.cowww.scoringag.co
http://www.scoringag.cowww.scoringag.cowww.scoringag.cowww.scoringag.co
http://www.scoringag.cowww.scoringag.cowww.scoringag.cowww.scoringag.co
http://www.scoringag.cowww.scoringag.cowww.scoringag.cowww.scoringag.co


Ther staff and porker, now you won't have to post the site the next 20 posts. We all get the message, www.scoringag.co, will save the industry and the world! :mad:
 

PORKER

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Say Murgen, Are you and CattleCO related or joined at the hip??I am proud of my Equipment as so many times farmers get shafted by flybynight salesman or some huckster on the phone!
 

Murgen

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That's great, I commend you on your honesty, but maybe you should buy a classified on this site. We all know by know that when you post on a subject that we can goto Scoring system.com and see the advantages and benefits of the system. There are probably other sales reps on here that don't feel the need to over advertise their products which are also:
 

PORKER

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So Murgen,Which Recordkeeping system do you use and does it work???There are probably other sales reps on here that don't feel the need to over advertise their products which are also:Murgen ,,Hey I not a sales Rep but are you.????Talk is cheap unless you got something to back it up.I have used bulls from Canada until Dec.2003 and never had a bad one yet.You guys got great stock. Iam using SSI and proud of it and I think it would solve a lot of commerce problems that are coming up..By the way Murgen,when Dec.9 2005 rolls around will your software do the job for the new FDA rules that are coming?Personally I don't think any Canadians have read those rules.
 

Murgen

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Porker, I'm not debating that the system you use is a great one. What I'm saying is that we have all probably been on the website already and there is no one else on Ranchers that try to sell their product as much as you and Staff. Use the website in your profile.

There are a lot of members here with their personal websites advertised in their profiles, but they don't attach them to each and every post within the text.

I'm sure if you wanted to get Staff to buy ad space on Ranchers and submit a testimonial, Macon would appreciate it. :)
 

PORKER

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On another thought,I have had 200 posts on this site and you have 527 posts,So have you noticed Staff has had only 25 posts????Not much has been written on their part and from what I can see they were always truthful and or reversed fibs that some site members tried to get away with.I hope the SSI STAFF keeps us informed as technology changes as they are the only non bais global group that appears on this site from time to time as they keep the twisted facts straight.
 

PORKER

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So lets change the subject as we can't lead a horse to water.I see that by last count there are over 400 readers on this site and they all have varied interest.My interest is in wholesome food raised and processed locally.By the way do you buy any products from these producers or know about value added products from grass-fed animals.Here in Michigan there is a big following on grass-fed animals and we have a couple of small co-ops selling natural grass-fed dairy milk and cheeses.I believe that our food system will go full circle back to local and regional as history repeats itself.

The Hubbards and the other 30 or so growers in Virginia who sell meat and poultry from grass-fed animals say their products provide a healthy alternative to commercially produced, factory farmed meat and poultry products.

Although consumers can also find the Hubbards' meat at Food City, the Hubbards say more local meat processors are needed, and would like to see existing processors expand so they can offer "value-added products," such as quick-cooking, prepared foods.
Love those Virginia sweet hams.
 

PORKER

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And about the lack of ability of the consumer to identify the source of his/her food... It's clear that the quality of ground beef may be questionable for a number of reasons and us consumers who don't raise our own beef, are well served sticking with identifiable ground beef products. Reader the second*****
You see why I think SSI is the route to go when the consumer wants to KNOW , here is a site that big overseas http://www.petersfarm.com/EN/ and here's www.scoringag.com as it shows what the consumer wants to KNOW.that's the reason I believe in SSI as the best thing since sliced bread or hamburger.
 

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Do any of you who are touting the "healthy alternative to commercially produced, factory farmed meat and poultry products" have results of testing of those "healthy alternative" products showing or proving that the food is any more "healthy" than meat from commercially raised meat or poultry?

Unless and until tests show there is a verifiable difference in the nutrient and residue content, why should anyone be able to claim such is the case?

It is fine if people choose to buy those products simply on the basis that they do not want to eat meat grown in the conventional manner and are willing to pay more to do so.

It is quite something else to lead people to believe that there are significant health benefits to be gained, or that their is a significant difference between the two products, UNLESS THERE IS PROOF via unbiased test results, IMO.

MRJ
 

Mike

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MRJ said:
Do any of you who are touting the "healthy alternative to commercially produced, factory farmed meat and poultry products" have results of testing of those "healthy alternative" products showing or proving that the food is any more "healthy" than meat from commercially raised meat or poultry?

Unless and until tests show there is a verifiable difference in the nutrient and residue content, why should anyone be able to claim such is the case?

It is fine if people choose to buy those products simply on the basis that they do not want to eat meat grown in the conventional manner and are willing to pay more to do so.

It is quite something else to lead people to believe that there are significant health benefits to be gained, or that their is a significant difference between the two products, UNLESS THERE IS PROOF via unbiased test results, IMO.

MRJ

It is no more wrong than CAB claiming their beef is Black Angus!
Besides, NCBA is calling for guvment to make a "nutritional label" mandatory on packages of beef. Would that fit your requirements?
 

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MRJ said:
Do any of you who are touting the "healthy alternative to commercially produced, factory farmed meat and poultry products" have results of testing of those "healthy alternative" products showing or proving that the food is any more "healthy" than meat from commercially raised meat or poultry?

Unless and until tests show there is a verifiable difference in the nutrient and residue content, why should anyone be able to claim such is the case?

It is fine if people choose to buy those products simply on the basis that they do not want to eat meat grown in the conventional manner and are willing to pay more to do so.

It is quite something else to lead people to believe that there are significant health benefits to be gained, or that their is a significant difference between the two products, UNLESS THERE IS PROOF via unbiased test results, IMO.

MRJ

How would what these people are doing by touting the benifits of their program any different than a ranch group touting how much they have improved the life and money paid to ranchers?

It's all about like selling mineral. They claim that it will help your cattle, but I've never seen any hard and fast proof.

If the consumer wants to buy something that they think is more healthful, than sell it to them. Instead of putting down someone elses practices, maybe we should look at some of our own.

I've bought beef in grocery stores before and often wondered how we ever sell any, if it tastes like that. Sure doesn't taste like the beef we raise and butcher for home use.

I sold some beef this year and made a gaurentee that if they didn't like it, I would take it back. Now if I can just find some more like it to sell the others who have heard about it and want some. :lol:
 

mrj

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Jinglebob said:
MRJ said:
Do any of you who are touting the "healthy alternative to commercially produced, factory farmed meat and poultry products" have results of testing of those "healthy alternative" products showing or proving that the food is any more "healthy" than meat from commercially raised meat or poultry?

Unless and until tests show there is a verifiable difference in the nutrient and residue content, why should anyone be able to claim such is the case?

It is fine if people choose to buy those products simply on the basis that they do not want to eat meat grown in the conventional manner and are willing to pay more to do so.

It is quite something else to lead people to believe that there are significant health benefits to be gained, or that their is a significant difference between the two products, UNLESS THERE IS PROOF via unbiased test results, IMO.

MRJ

How would what these people are doing by touting the benifits of their program any different than a ranch group touting how much they have improved the life and money paid to ranchers?

[JB, where have you heard or read the "ranch group" to whom you refer state that they "have improved the lives of ranchers"? Give us a break! Now, the fact that due to beef checkoff programs improving beef demand, the amount of money going into cattle producer pockets has increased is measureable. You may choose not to believe that fact, but you so choosing does nothing to make it untrue. MRJ]

It's all about like selling mineral. They claim that it will help your cattle, but I've never seen any hard and fast proof.

If the consumer wants to buy something that they think is more healthful, than sell it to them. Instead of putting down someone elses practices, maybe we should look at some of our own.

[Aren't there laws against misleading consumers with false information? I'm not putting down their practices, I simply want them to obey the law. Do the research and prove and verify their claims, or they can't make them, is all I ask. MRJ]

I've bought beef in grocery stores before and often wondered how we ever sell any, if it tastes like that. Sure doesn't taste like the beef we raise and butcher for home use.

[We often hear that sad tale, so I have purchased the lowest priced beef I can find in Rapid City and Pierre. When I cook it properly for the type of cut and quality, we have always had a good meal of it. MRJ]

I sold some beef this year and made a gaurentee that if they didn't like it, I would take it back. Now if I can just find some more like it to sell the others who have heard about it and want some. :lol:

[People from other places without access to home raised beef have that sort of reaction to our beef, too. We wonder if it may be because it is grass fed, rather than grain fed. MRJ]

[MRJ]
 

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