April | May 2022 • Vol. 61 | Issue 2 CALF NEWS THE FACE OF THE CATTLE INDUSTRY www.calfnews.net GONE TO TEXAS 2022 Cattle Industry Convention & NCBA Trade Show
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4 CALF News • April | May 2022 • www.calfnews.net APRIL | MAY 2022 Highlights On the Web www.calfnews.net Go Mobile Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ calfnews/ Twitter https://twitter.com/calfnews YouTube www.youtube.com/CALFnews Instagram www.instagram.com/calfnews/ Advertising Jessica Ebert National Account Manager (785) 477-1941 firstname.lastname@example.org Features In Every Issue 5 Gypsy Wagon 20 Chuteside Manner 38 On the Human Side 39 Gatherings 40 Recollections Opinions 10 Rumblings From the Great White North 11 All In 12 Prime Points 14 Whitt & Wisdom 36 Beyond the Ranch Gate 6 Gone to Texas From policy votes to the Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame to the latest in the NCBA Trade Show, the 2022 Cattle Industry Convention is covered here. Cover Stories 26 Maternal Bovine Appeasing Substance Reduces Stress, Improves Productivity Researchers study fatty acids that could be a key to improving animal welfare and increasing cattle health and profitability. 32 Cattlemen's Beef Board Forges Ahead The organization responsible for U.S. beef promotion and education tackles each year with a fresh perspective. 41 Where’s the Really Exceptional Beef? 42 Baxter Black 43 CALF's Featured Lady 43 Index of Advertisers 30 NCBA Says 'No' to Mandatory Negotiated Cash Trade Cattle producers denounce any governmentmandated, one-size-fits-all approach to marketing. 33 Rural Areas Need Boy Scouts and Vice Versa An Eagle Scout and one-time rancher explains why scouting and agriculture are good for each other.
5 CALF News • April | May 2022 • www.calfnews.net Editor & Publisher Betty Jo Gigot | (620) 272-6862 National Account Manager Jessica Ebert | (785) 477-1941 Art Direction & Administration Kathie Bedolli, Lisa Bard Leslie McKibben | BluePrint Media Copy Editor Larisa Willrett | BluePrint Media Contributing Editor Gilda Bryant Contributing Editor James Coope Contributing Editor Blaine Davis Contributing Editor Chris McClure Contributing Editor Burt Rutherford Contributing Editor Larry Stalcup Contributing Editor Will Verboven Contributing Editor Megan Webb, Ph.D. Contributing Editor Jim Whitt Contributing Editor Patti Wilson CALF News (ISSN 00077798) is published bimonthly for $40 per year by B.J. Publishing, 115 Wilcox Street, #1604 Castle Rock, CO 80104; (620) 272-6862 e-mail: email@example.com Postmaster/Change of Address Send address changes to: BluePrint Media 2935 Little Salt Road Seward, Neb. 68434 (308) 440-8179 Please notify us of your change of address at least six weeks before the change. Include the address label from your latest issue. Give both your old and new full addresses. Please print legibly. Copyright 2022. B.J. Publishing CALF NEWS The Face of the Cattle Industry April | May 2022 Vol. 61 Issue 2 Published bimonthly by B.J. Publishing Gypsy Wagon From the Publisher ON THE COVER: The NCBA Trade Show in Houston this year sported lots of interesting characters. Photo courtesy National Cattlemen's Beef Association A lthough I see from the weather report in Castle Rock, Colo., that it’s supposed to snow again next Thursday, we all know that spring is on the way. What else is on the way is a serious question and, as I write this, wonder what the state of the world will be when you read this. The same goes for our articles on markets and projections. It is all moving fast these days with concerns we haven’t considered for years. Both my dad and husband often said, “This generation needs to know what it is like to go hungry.” With today’s inflation and shortages, one would hope people at least appreciate how spoiled we all are. Coping with the costs of inputs is another matter for everyone but especially those of us who feed the world. One only must look at Ukraine, the breadbasket of Europe, to realize what the reverse of fortune can bring to one’s life and to the world. The good news, I guess, is that Tom Brady just came out of retirement and March Madness is upon us. So onward we go, carefully. The annual Cattle Industry Convention in Houston was, as usual, a chance to see friends, do business and relax a bit. I had to laugh at the weather. The convention is always held in the South so that us Northerners can get out of the cold. This was the first time we had gone to Houston, and it proved to be a bit of a reversal. As I was waiting for my ride in the hotel lobby on Friday morning, my Apple watch said it was 27 degrees. If you didn’t have a chance to be there, or even if you did, you will find a complete report in this issue of CALF. We are proud to bring it all to you and know you realize just how important it is to stay abreast of our changing world. Check out our reports on new and improved products as well as the happenings down there. It is worth your time. I am sure most of you know that Baxter Black has had some health problems and announced his retirement the first of the year. Baxter first appeared in CALF News in 1974 (see page 42), and Champ Gross started publishing Baxter’s column every issue starting in April 1982. By my math, that is 40 years of the best cowboy poet. Those 40 years also included fast friendships with all of us here. Baxter has been featured in all kinds of stories during that time, including when he and friends went to London to see the Queen and to Washington, D.C., to see the Senate. For the next while, we will be reliving those moments in the space where we always featured “On the Edge of Common Sense.” Years ago, I did a TV show with Baxter for Superior Livestock at his home in Colorado. He had just written the “Plants Feel Pain” piece that took on vegetarians in spades. In the interview, I kept trying to ask him about being one of the prime influencers in our industry. He never would go there, claiming only to be an entertainer. We all know better. He entertained a nation and not only made us laugh but made us think. Stay safe, our friend. We are all honored to know you. Remember to tune in on Tuesdays for Wes Ismael’s Price Point market recap on Calfnews.net. More than 14,000 people download his podcast that runs Monday through Friday at cattlecurrent.com, and we are proud to feature him on our site. Meanwhile, take care and keep the faith. Those of us in the business have faced all kinds of challenges through the years and survived most of them. Somehow, 1974 comes to mind for us older ones, but there have been many other challenging years. People like us just put our boots on in the morning and march on. Betty Jo Gigot firstname.lastname@example.org
6 CALF News • April | May 2022 • www.calfnews.net arkets, packer capacity, the environment, foreign trade and government regulations were hot topics when Houston’s space-age convention center hosted the Cattle Industry Convention & National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Trade Show in early February. It was only six months after the pandemic-delayed 2021 convention in Nashville. As in Music City, H-Town saw numerous committees and general sessions contemplate policies that will impact cow-calf and stocker producers, cattle feeders and satellite industries that depend on cattle production for their livelihood. Guest speakers ranged from a former world heavyweight boxing champ and NFL MVP to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. Attendees also received Texas-sized hospitality that included prime ribeyes, two-steppin’ tunes and numerous educational sessions. Vilsack spoke by video link during a general session. He addressed provisions by the Biden administration to help producers counter the effects of drought and roadblocks that hamper marketing. “We have two main goals: First, we want to create more new and better markets, and second, to develop local and regional food systems to make our system more resilient,” Vilsack said. “We have to expand meat and poultry processing capacity to make sure the markets we have are as competitive as they’re meant to be. We want to make sure the supply chain catches up to demand and that we keep American agriculture on the move.” (On Feb. 28, USDA provided $215 million in grants and resources to strengthen the meat and poultry processing sector and create a more resilient food supply chain, part of $1 billion in federal investments to bolster handling capacity). Vilsack said more funds are needed to provide local operators with “valueadded assets” to improve markets. “We hope to see more farmer co-ops so producers can gain from processing and marketing,” he said. “We also encourage more price discovery [for producers] to be more confident in cash markets. We want to make sure producers don’t have just one place to go.” (See separate story this issue on NCBA’s Live Cattle Marketing Committee action on page 30.) Drought continues to dry out the Southwest, as northern production areas hope late winter snows will end devastating dry conditions in that region. Vilsack said USDA’s Livestock Forage Disaster Program is available to deliver producers assistance to help compensate for losses caused by drought, wildfire and other storms during 2020 and 2021. He also promoted a new USDA app, farmerfairness.gov. Return of WOTUS Could Spell Trouble for Stock Ponds Ethan Lane, NCBA vice president of governmental affairs, said up to now NCBA has worked well with the Biden administration. But the administration’s efforts to revise regulations that would cross the line on ranch and other private property water management could drown that relationship. Houston Hosts Cattle Industry Convention A Whole Herd of Policies Discussed By Larry Stalcup Contributing Editor COVER STORY M Photo courtesy National Cattlemen's Beef Association NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Ethan Lane. NCBA’s Danielle Belk is a strong voice for requiring fake meat products to be identified on packaging like real meat products. Continued on page 8
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8 CALF News • April | May 2022 • www.calfnews.net New administration proposals would repeal bipartisan exclusions for agriculture under the Navigable Waters Protection Rule set by the Trump administration and which existed under both Democratic and Republican administrations, NCBA Chief Environmental Counsel Scott Yager said in a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency following the convention. “Without these critical exclusions, common features like stock ponds, agricultural ditches and drainage systems can fall under federal jurisdiction, preventing cattle producers from actively managing their land and caring for their cattle,” Yager wrote. Other issues addressed in Houston included: The exemplary hours declaration for truckers set during COVID to allow for longer hauls of livestock. The lack of enough truckers is already an issue, along with other supply chain stalls. Fake meat in various forms won’t go away. Danielle Beck, NCBA senior director of governmental affairs, is determined to make sure there is regulatory action to ensure only beef can be labeled “beef ” at the meat counter. Efforts to improve traceability of cattle with contagious diseases were discussed, along with antimicrobial stewardship to combat antibiotic resistance, and defense against foreign diseases. “Preharvest food safety is not a onesize-fits-all [situation],” said Dr. Cathy Simmons, NCBA veterinary policy leader, adding that NCBA is working to better educate veterinarians on different pathogens and preharvest food safety. NCBA contends Brazil’s BSE issues are a threat. TheWorld Organization for Animal Health requires that any case of BSE be reported within 24 hours. “[However] Brazil is knowingly holding back on [reporting] BSE cases,” said Kent Bacus, NCBA senior director of international trade.“For Brazil, it’s a matter of years [not days or weeks]. NCBA has asked the USDA to suspend trade with Brazil until they report [on BSE].” Lane and Dame Karen Pierce, UK ambassador to the United States, discussed U.S. beef sales to the United Kingdom.With Brexit, the UK is no longer part of the EU’s trade agreement with the U.S.“A free trade agreement [with the U.S.] is in our bests interests,” Pierce said while wearing a cowboy hat on the Texas stage.“We want to sell our products as well as buy yours. Our job as Brits is to stand shoulder to shoulder with the U.S. We are developing legislation to improve tariffs [which are high in the EU].” Sustainable beef production by U.S. producers is a key issue among domestic and foreign consumers. NCBA has set goals to “demonstrate climate neutrality of U.S. cattle production by 2040.” Major buyers of U.S. beef want to know that cattle are produced humanely in Continued on page 13 order to satisfy consumer demands. The same applies to the UK and other countries. “[American ranchers and farmers practice] sustainable agriculture,” Ambassador Pierce said. “You understand the land and the earth. You curate America’s land for the next generation. That’s an important area where we can work together. Anything you can do to showcase stewardship [should attract positive coverage in UK media].” New NCBA Officers – Minnesotan Takes the Reins Don Schiefelbein, Minnesota seedstock breeder and cattle feeder, was elected new NCBA president during the convention. He replaces Jerry Bohn of Kansas, who will serve as past president. HOUSTON HOSTS CATTLE INDUSTRY CONVENTION Continued from page 6 TOP LEFT: NCBA’s Kent Bacus discusses U.S. beef export successes. TOP RIGHT: Dame Karen Pierce, UK ambassador to the United States. BOTTOM LEFT: NCBA’s Cathy Simmons, DVM, says antimicrobial stewardships remains critical. BOTTOM RIGHT: NCBA Chief Environmental Counsel Scott Yager.
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10 CALF News • April | May 2022 • www.calfnews.net Rumblings From the Great White North CALF VOICES By Will Verboven Contributing Editor Quiet, Boring Canadians Revolt Against Federal Government C anada doesn’t usually garner much interest in the United States, being we tend to be quiet, boring and hunkered down for half the year just trying to keep warm. But recently, thousands of courageous Canadians spearheaded by hundreds of heroic truckers descended onto Canada’s capital city, Ottawa, Ontario. Many truckers and their semi rigs started their crusade 2,800 miles away in the province of British Columbia and were joined by hundreds of vehicles and trucks as they convoyed eastward. Canadian and American governments that required truckers crossing the border to be fully vaccinated. That’s after more than two years when truckers were considered to be heroic essential workers and were not required to be vaccinated or tested to cross the border.What drove truckers over the edge was the hypocrisy of this new restriction and the multitude of other ever-changing COVID and mask restrictions imposed by a distant, out-of-touch federal government. A similar feeling I suspect is shared by most Americans. Interestingly, a clear reflection of Canadians’ perspective on the issue was a nationwide poll that showed a whopping two-thirds of the population supported the truckers’ cause. As noble as the truckers’ and protestors’ intentions were in demonstrating against the new, useless COVID restrictions, it was not the underlying factor that caused so many Canadians to support the blockades and protests in Ottawa and elsewhere. What seems to unite Canadians outside of the big urban centers in eastern Canada is that the federal Liberal progressive government is so despised by regular working folks, farmers, ranchers and others across the rest of the country – that may sound familiar to Americans. Because Canada is governed under the Westminster parliamentary system, the latest federal government was elected with only 30 percent of the popular vote but is propped up by a small socialist party (it’s a long story). Both parties are urbanbased, green, left-wing entities dedicated to destroying the energy industry and believe Canada will save the planet. As you might expect, this type of progressive, elitist government sees truckers and their supporters as the enemy that must be belittled, neutralized and put back in their place. But I digress. What has all this got to do with the cattle industry? Well, the trucker blockades were not just in Ottawa; one was set up at Coutts, Alberta, which is next to Sweetgrass, Mont. That border crossing is the primary entry point for beef and cattle between Canada and the United States. It sees tens of thousands of cattle trucks and refrigerated beef trucks crossing that border point every year – it’s a billion-dollar-plus business. The Coutts trucker blockade stopped all border traffic, which had devastating effects on Alberta feedlots and processing plants. The giant Cargill and JBS plants are entirely integrated into the North American beef business, and even one day’s blockade upsets a delicately balanced continental distribution system. It wasn’t just beef and cattle that were impacted; feedlots up here import hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of U.S. Midwest corn, distillers’ grains, supplements and hay. That, too, was stopped. Ironically many of the folks blockading the Coutts border traffic were directly/indirectly involved in the agriculture business – it was like shooting yourself in the foot to spite your nose. Some local grain farmers brought huge tractors to the blockade, easy for them to rationalize; Canadian grain mostly moves east and west by rail to seaports, not south across the Montana border. I expect blockaders came under pressure from feedlot operators and others connected to the beef industry to end the border blockade. Canadian Mounties also seized quite a few firearms from some of those involved in the blockade – guns are highly restricted up here, and charges were pressed. All of that caused the Coutts blockade to disband quickly. For those courageous folks involved in the Ottawa blockade, in a massive show of intimidation, hundreds of police moved in to end the blockade, seizing the trucks and arresting more than Continued on page 11 It wasn’t just beef and cattle that were impacted; feedlots up here import hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of U.S. Midwest corn, distillers’ grains, supplements and hay. As you might expect, Alberta was a hotbed of trucker support and supplied eager participants. It is also the home of some principal organizers who later found themselves thrown in jail and their financial assets frozen by a vindictive federal Liberal/Socialist government. Upon reaching the capital, dozens of semis were able to occupy the streets in front of the parliament buildings. Those semis looked like the assault tanks of the people’s revolution, and the truckers’ subsequent blockade and protest demonstrations were seen on media worldwide. Incredibly, that Canadian trucker-led protest has spawned similar kinds of truck protests in the United States, Europe and even New Zealand. So what was it all about, millions worldwide wondered, considering Canada is usually viewed as the boy scout of the world. The truckers’ blockades started as a protest against the imposition of new COVID border restrictions by the
11 CALF News • April | May 2022 • www.calfnews.net All In Truth in Labeling CALF VOICES By Chris McClure Contributing Editor I write this from a motel room between bull sales. Yep, it’s that time of year. My wife tells me I should abbreviate that as BS. Oh, she knows I’m really at bull sales because she has been attending with me. Before we checked into the motel, we stopped for dinner at a local eating establishment. I decided to change footwear before going inside because there seemed to be a lingering odor about me and the only thing likely to be carrying that odor was the pair of Twisted X shoes upon my feet. My mother raised me to be polite, so I changed into a clean pair of boots before entering, and nobody seemed to notice the odor. I enjoy bull sales (BS). It is a place where I frequently run into old friends and acquaintances, and a chance to see the slowly advancing state of the genetic potential of the industry. After all, it will be at least a year before I see the fruits of the day’s efforts and nearly two years before I truly know whether the decisions made were good ones. One of the challenges of a bull sale is balancing the numbers with the actual product. I guess that for me, the proof is expressed phenotypically. If what I see doesn’t match expectations based on the numbers, I draw a big X through the offering in the sale catalog and then discipline myself to ignore it when it goes through the ring. Yes, it requires discipline. Adrenaline, pride and a whole gamut of other emotions can get in the way when sitting in an auction with a bidder’s card in your pocket, or your hand. In a way, my spouse’s wisdom of calling BS is quite appropriate. Sometimes, what you see is not what you get, and I am certain that the numbers printed on the page don’t tell the entire story. The photographs are flattering and the accompanying commentary, both in the catalog and from the auctioneer, often are …well … if not fiction, at least questionable. They are proof that the old marketing adage of “perception is reality” applies to bull sale catalogs. Ultimately, I need to get a little manure on my boots, er, Twisted X Driving Mocs, in an effort to visually evaluate the phenotypic expression of the numerically expressed traits. Thus, the need to change footwear before entering the restaurant. I spent a good deal of time in the pens with pen (of a different kind) in hand, looking at each and every bull. I like to use the wisdom of one of the most knowledgeable women in the industry, Mary Lou Bradley Henderson, when looking at bulls: Eliminate the ones you don’t like and then bid on the rest until you fill your ticket or the price gets higher than you are willing to pay! So, where am I headed with this? I guess it boils down to truth in labeling. Just because it says it on the label, or in the catalog, doesn’t mean you are buying what you are led to believe. Touch it, feel it, smell it – yeah, the real deal has a distinct odor.Walk the pens, cook the beef or fake “wannabe” and experience it for yourself. It may take a while to figure it out, but there is a difference. Fake meat is just like a bull with no depth. In the end it will fall apart and you will be disappointed. Perhaps my analogy is inadequate. I do know that you can stand the bulls in a pen and tell the difference between them. Some have quite the pedigree but may not make it through a single season. Others just keep on kicking out the kind of calves that bring top dollar year after year. Labels are just a flash in the pan that only time will prove. If the product stands the test of time, it is hard to argue with the labeling. I know that may not be popular in the short run, but I believe in the free-enterprise system. If you want to call a dog a cat, more power to you; it just makes people wonder if you need a visit from the men with the straightjackets. I prefer to focus on my own game and make certain that I am doing the best job possible producing the kind of product in exchange for which the consumer wants to part with their hard-earned, inflationadjusted, non-gasoline purchasing dollar. As an industry, we need to focus on being better rather than on pointing the finger at every competitive product that comes along. Choice and Prime carcasses are making up an ever-larger percentage of production. Consumers prefer beef over every other cut of meat; the sizzle and the smell still turn heads in a restaurant.We still complain about the packers, we still complain about the government and we still complain about the “corporates.”The reality is that the only one we can do anything about in a meaningful way is ourselves and yet we never stop complaining while producing the besttasting food product on the planet. Does anyone see the incongruities here? Maybe it’s time we just call BS on all the complaining, accept the realities of the marketplace and figure out how to get our own slice of the pie. I like to hang out with the innovators. I’m fortunate to have the privilege of doing so most days. Yeah, it’s okay to complain now and again as long as you keep on digging and fighting and doing everything in your power to do what you do better. But, if all you are going to do is to complain, I call BS. E-mail comments to email@example.com 180 heroic protestors. In addition, the Federal government, for the first time, activated emergency measures legislation to freeze the financial assets of organizers involved and to use the military if necessary. Regardless, I suspect that this Canadian-style people’s revolt is not yet over. Like so many revolutions, it will lie low for a while. And it’s all happening in boring, quiet Canada. E-mail comments to firstname.lastname@example.org RUMBLINGS Continued from page 10
12 CALF News • April | May 2022 • www.calfnews.net Prime Points CALF VOICES By MeganWebb, Ph.D. Contributing Editor From Label to Table A pproaching a retail case at your local grocery store can be mesmerizing! Some cases have built-in background reflection mirrors, LED lighting and can be filled with many products and packaging styles. Regardless of the scenery, have you ever walked to the meat counter or isle and been mesmerized by consumers as they engage with beef cuts and identify a selection? Do you ever wonder what made a consumer select a cut or roast? There has been a rise in credence attributes such as “local,” dryaged,” and “natural” marketing efforts, for example. These products do provide more choices to customers, but they also add a greater complexity of options that requires some skill to decipher. So, let’s begin with what is required on a meat label: Five Requirements on a Meat Label 1. Product name 2. Official inspection legend including the establishment number 3. Address line 4. Net weight or quantity, unless net weight is measured at retail 5. Ingredient statement, if there is more than one ingredient The product name is used to accurately define the product in the package and use the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Food Safety Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) definitions. The official inspection legend includes an establishment number that is unique to both federal and state processing facilities. The net weight or quantity may not be included if measured at retail. The ingredient statement lists elements in the order included in the final product. If 2 percent of an ingredient is included, it can be listed as “contains less than 2 percent...” General items such as “spices” or “seasonings” are allowable to protect proprietary recipes. If allergens are included in the product they must be listed. The major eight include wheat, shellfish, eggs, fish, peanuts, milk, tree nuts and soy. What Else May Be on a Label? Other label features can include nutritional information. Raw products with only one ingredient do not need to include nutritional information, but those with multiple ingredients do. A handling statement can also be included and indicate, “Keep Frozen” or “Keep Refrigerated” if the product requires specific handling to maintain food safety. The safe handling instructions can also be found on raw or partially cooked products requiring cooking steps. Fully cooked or ready-to-eat products do not contain safe handling instructions. Now, after sifting through these items, what tends to be left on the label is marketing information! Although this additional information is optional, avoiding misbranding is important. The act of misbranding can result in rescinding the label, product retention, recall, inspection suspension and criminal prosecution. Who Oversees and Approves Label Marketing Information? The USDA-FSIS regulates products containing 2 percent or more cooked meat and 3 percent or more raw meat. The Food and Drug Administration regulates “meat flavored” sauces and soups and products containing less than 2 percent meat. Through USDA-Agricultural Marketing Service (USDA-AMS) marketing opportunities are created in the form of grading (i.e. USDA Choice), certification (i.e. USDA Certified Tender), and verification (i.e. USDA Process Verified). Documentation can be provided to USDA-FSIS Labeling and Program Delivery staff (LPDS). The LPDS evaluates labels, publishes guidance and verifies claims. Label guidance can be found online through USDA: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/ fsis/topics/inspection/siluriformes/ labeling. Some labels such as dry aged, kosher, oven roasted, and 100 percent pure for example can be generically approved onsite by a USDA inspector. Other labels, such as natural, breed claims, AMS verification programs and certified claims are special claims that require a label sketch to be developed and submitted to the LPDS office in Washington, D.C. You may be wondering about unique claims you’ve seen regarding how the animal is raised. Those are referred to as “animal-raising claims.” Animal-Raising Claims Are Special Claims Requiring Approval Animal-raising claims such as “raised without antibiotics,”“raised without hormones,” living claims such as “free range” or “pasture raised” and diet claims such as “grass fed,”“grain fed,” or “vegetarian fed” require oversight by USDA-FSIS LPDS. The owner of the product must provide a definition, verify compliance and provide transparency of the information through a definition listed or a website link provided on the label. These animal-raising claims are often described further by a statement that initiates with an asterisk on the label. This information must be provided in the label sketch submission for these specialty claims. For frequently used animalraising claim and certified claim definitions, visit USDA-AMS auditing and accreditation, https://www.ams.usda.gov/ services/auditing/certified-beef-programs. I hope you can appreciate all of the information that is provided to you the next time you are selecting your perfect steak at the retail case! Our beef labeling system provides a safe, proven system for beef merchandizing that directly ties to product value. Facts are powerful, and let’s use them to help convey why there is no substitute for beef ! E-mail comments to email@example.com
13 CALF News • April | May 2022 • www.calfnews.net HOUSTON HOSTS CATTLE INDUSTRY CONVENTION Continued from page 8 TONY ROMO: ‘Beef, It’s What’s For Dinner!’ He and his family operate Schiefelbein Farms, a diversified farming operation in Kimball, Minn. “I’m very fortunate to have been involved in the cattle industry through several different avenues and have seen the positive results when people come together,” Schiefelbein said. “As NCBA’s incoming president, I will continue bringing people together for the benefit of the industry.” The complete 2022 NCBA officer team approved by the NCBA Board of Directors includes Todd Wilkinson of South Dakota, president-elect, and Mark Eisele of Wyoming, vice president. Nebraska rancher Buck Wehrbein was elected chair of the NCBA Policy Division, and stocker/backgrounder Gene Copenhaver of Virginia was elected policy vice chair. Brad Hastings of Texas and Clark Price of North Dakota were elected as chair and vice chair of the NCBA Federation Division. The officers and board adopted these policy priorities: improved market leverage and opportunities through increased access to market data and risk management tools for producers; securing the future of the beef industry by protecting crucial tax provisions, limiting regulatory burdens on farms and ranches and leveling the playing field for producers; boosting the resiliency of the beef supply chain by addressing labor shortages, improving processing capacity, expanding technology and strengthening transportation; and achieving key cattle industry priorities in the 2023 Farm Bill. “With the challenging year cattle producers have faced, NCBA is focused on strengthening our industry for the future,” Schiefelbein said. “By highlighting economic, environmental and social sustainability, we are addressing the long-term needs of the cattle industry and advancing policies that will contribute to business success, economic growth and respect for our way of life.” He said NCBA would continue to focus on protecting cattle producers from government overreach and burdensome tax and regulatory burdens. Popular Sirius XM country DJ Buzz Brainard once again emceed the convention. One of his interviews was with Joe Theismann, former NFLMVP, who discussed ways to overcome obstacles and succeed. Also interviewed was a former world heavyweight champion whose name is on some 145 million George Foreman Grills that sizzle beef around the world. Foreman mentioned how boxing got him off the streets. He had blowby-blow accounts of his championship fights with Joe Frazier and Mohammad Ali, and discussed how the idea for a portable grill grew into the George Foreman Grill trademark. His knockout-punch comment drew a roar from the crowd – “There’s nuthin’ better than a bone-in ribeye grilled.” LEFT: Don Schiefelbein, 2022 NCBA president RIGHT: George Foreman looks to Jesus Christ for guidance in his colorful life. From James Garner to Sam Elliott, the Beef Checkoff has enjoyed prime publicity for promoting beef. Garner touted, “Beef, Real Food for Real People” in the late ‘80s. And Elliott has been one of many celebrities to help declare, “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” Add former Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo to that list. During the convention, the CBS NFL analyst was announced as the new Beef Checkoff spokesman for “Beef It’s What’s For Dinner,” one of the world’s most recognized promotional slogans. The brand is managed by NCBA and will help remind Romo’s massive fan base of the great taste and healthfulness of beef. “Kicking off this partnership in early 2022 is the perfect time to gear up for summer nutrition and grilling, spending time with friends and family and, of course, tailgating,” said Sarah Reece, NCBA senior executive director of brand marketing. “From his nutrition expertise to his love of beef and family, Romo is the perfect spokesperson for the brand.” The checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. States may retain up to 50 cents and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board. Those investments are currently providing about $11 in returns for every $1 collected – not a bad ROI. For more on the Beef Checkoff, visit www.beef.org. no substitute for beef!
14 CALF News • April | May 2022 • www.calfnews.net A Galveston, Texas, newspaper ran a story about a woman and her pet parakeet named Chippie. It seems she was vacuuming the bottom of Chippie’s cage when the phone rang. Turning away from the cage to answer the phone, she continued to vacuum. She then heard the unmistakable sound of a large object being sucked into the vacuum cleaner. You guessed it. The object was Chippie. The woman dropped the phone and rescued Chippie from the bowels of the vacuum cleaner. Chippie, stunned but still breathing, was covered with soot. In an attempt to restore Chippie to original condition, she raced to the bathroom and gave Chippie a high-pressure wash job under the sink. Chippie, now sparkling clean but soaking wet only needed to be dried off. The frantic woman spotted her hair dryer on the counter, fired it up and completed Chippie’s restoration with a blast of hot air. A few weeks later the newspaper followed up on Chippie’s near-death experience and dispatched a reporter to interview the woman. “How is Chippie doing?” the reporter inquired. “Well,” sighed the woman, “Chippie doesn’t sing much anymore. He just sits and stares.” Chippie’s experience reminds me of the title to that old Audie Murphy war movie, To Hell and Back. Chippie had been there and done that. Whitt & Wisdom By JimWhitt Contributing Editor Dealing With Adversity Adversity is painful, but it's our most powerful catalyst for change. Then we’re treated to high prices, high inflation, supply chain constipation, a war in Ukraine and the beat goes on. But it’s a song we’re tired of hearing. Like Chippie, we don’t sing much anymore. We just sit and stare. We feel a little like George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life. George is in trouble and God summons an angel named Clarence to help him. “Is he sick?” Clarence asks. “No,“ God answers. “It’s worse. He’s discouraged.” I am an optimist, but the last few years have been discouraging. Contrary to the President’s assessment of the state of the union, our nation is in sad shape and things are getting worse, not better. The current state of the world is eerily similar to the state of the world prior to World War II. When Winston Churchill warned the world that Germany was building a war machine in the 1930s, he was ridiculed in the British Parliament. That had to be discouraging but no one understood discouragement better than Churchill. He suffered many setbacks throughout his career. As First Lord of the British Admiralty, Churchill was made the scapegoat for a bungled World War I mission and was fired from his post in 1915. He endured the taunts for that failure from political opponents for many years. At his lowest point he said, “I thought I would die of grief.” The last few years have been a series of Chippie experiences for the human race. We were chirping along and bam, we got sucked into the pandemic, woke-culture vacuum cleaner. Then the government put masks on us, vaccinated us, gave us a highpressure wash of leftist propaganda, dried us off with a blast of political hot air and put us back in our cage.
15 CALF News • April | May 2022 • www.calfnews.net Churchill was vindicated when he replaced Neville Chamberlin as Prime Minister in the early stages of World War II. Upon taking office, he wrote, “All my past life had been a preparation for this hour and for this trial.” It was adversity that prepared him. When times are good and life is easy, we become complacent and soft. We’re like hogs in a mudhole – fat, dumb and happy but totally unaware we’re on our way to the packing house. We do everything in our power to maintain the status quo because it is human nature to seek pleasure and avoid pain. Adversity is painful, but it’s our most powerful catalyst for change. It was another British statesman, Benjamin Disraeli, who said, “There is no education like adversity.” It is during times of adversity that we learn our most valuable life lessons." Churchill provides us with an example of how to deal with adversity. We need to remember that overcoming our past adversities has prepared us for overcoming the adversity we are experiencing now. Unlike Chippie, we haven’t been to hell and back – we’re still there. But as Churchill advised, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” E-mail comments to firstname.lastname@example.org This weekly market update brings you the latest in market influencers from longtime beef industry communicator Wes Ishmael. Have you subscribed to the CALF News PRICE POINT podcast? https://calfnews.net/price-pointpodcast/ Wes Ishmael is the owner and producer of Cattle Current, an electronic newsletter and podcast providing a daily snapshot of cattle markets and relevant news. He has written and communicated about the cattle and beef business since 1983. BE IN THE KNOW TODAY!
16 CALF News • April | May 2022 • www.calfnews.net Uncertainty Piles on as 2022 Hits Road Gear Many thought 2022 would be a return to normal. Surprise! COVER STORY W elcome to the real 2022. And you thought it would be better than ‘20 and ’21. Indeed, while uncertainty is a given in the beef business, piling on seems like a bit much. Given that, however, here’s the weather and market outlooks from CattleFax, presented during the Cattle Industry Convention in early February. First the weather, which may turn out to be the most certain aspect of a very uncertain year. Let’s start with the good news. “Very, very rarely has La Niña shown up for three seasons.We’re in number two,” said Matt Makins, the new CattleFax weather forecaster who stepped in for the retired Art Douglas, Ph.D. The last time we had a La Niña three-peat was in the early 2000s, he told beef producers. In an El Niño, the Southwest and Gulf Coast are wetter than usual, while the northern United States is drier and warmer than usual. Most weather models show a move to a more neutral pattern, Makins said, with one exception. “Our American model, NOAA, predicts that La Niña hangs on and stays with us.” That means, by and large, what we’ve seen is what we’ll get, at least for this spring. However, the summer forecast isn’t largely tied to either El Niño or La Niña, as those events tend to fade. “So for your summer, the Western U.S., very warm. Eastern U.S., fingers crossed we can keep your temperatures more tempered than last year. If you look at the precipitation map, there is a bit of monsoon moving into Southern Arizona, Southern California,” he said. However, wetter weather in the Southwest portends drier weather in the Corn Belt. But not completely. While the west gets water, the Corn Belt won’t be completely left out, getting water periodically, he said. For the fall forecast, because the models show a trend toward neutrality, the weather should paint an even picture, he said. “We can begin to spread out moisture a little more judiciously. We can start to get water into Texas, southern New Mexico, Arizona. We can get water to the Pacific Northwest and we can continue it over the Northeast.” As the nation looks to spring, May will be critical for the Corn Belt, he said. The merry month of May will give a good indication of how strong the monsoon season will be. “The stronger the monsoon, the drier the Corn Belt. The weaker the monsoon, the better off for the Corn Belt.” The World at War As this was being written, diplomacy had failed and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continued. Because Ukraine production is a significant part of the world grain trade, grain prices were crazy. And because Russia supplies a significant of the world’s oil, gas and diesel prices were equally lunatic. By Burt Rutherford Contributing Editor CattleFax Meteorologist Matt Makens sees drought continuing in the Southwest. La Niña and El Niño events depend on sea surface temperatures. Makins said the Pacific sea surface was very warm from north of Hawaii all the way to Southeast Asia.“That is warm water that will as some point be forced back across the East and replace La Niña with El Niño.” Should that happen, that’s good news for parts of drought-stricken regions. CattleFax analyst Kevin Good has strong projections for cattle prices. 2021 CattleFax President Mark Frasier Photos by Larry Stalcup
17 CALF News • April | May 2022 • www.calfnews.net All rights reserved. Case IH is a trademark registered in the United States and many other countries, owned by or licensed to CNH Industrial N.V., its subsidiaries or affiliates. www.caseih.com YOU NEED SPEED AND PRODUCTIVITY. SO LET’S JUST CUT TO THE CHASE. When you’re a large acreage or commercial hay producer, being able to cut more hay in less time is critical. And, when it comes to getting the most from your windrower, nothing tops RD3 series disc heads. Their full-length auger optimizes feeding and are designed for a range of crop types, ensuring hay quality, maximum productivity and long service life. Experience best-in-class productivity with RD3 series disc heads. Only from Case IH. What that portends for the U.S. beef business remains to be seen. Perhaps, by the time you read this, the picture will be a bit clearer. But any grain prognostication is essentially impossible while the invasion continues. Looking at the cattle market, however, it’s the input side that appears more at risk. Given that, here’s what Kevin Good, CattleFax’s most senior analyst, had to say. Looking back, he said beef producers expanded the cattle herd by 6 million from 2014 to 2018. Then drought and prices brought on a 3-million-head liquidation the past three years. “Unfortunately, as Matt laid out in the weather forecast, we probably are going to face another year of liquidation in 2022,” he told beef producers. At the same time, consumer demand for beef was trending higher. Looking back, he said beef prices, both wholesale and retail, increased at twice the rate of inflation over the past 20 years. “That means there’s more real dollars that have come into our business. During that same time frame, we’ve seen our share of the retail dollar go from 40 percent to 48 percent. We’re gaining market share. We’re producing a better product. We think the dollars are there and we’ll continue to see an upward track.” That’s the good news. “But at the same time, we’ve got to recognize that we have a major headwind as we think about the drought cycle we’re in,” he said. As this was written, around 60 percent of the country was dealing with some degree of drought. That means the all-time high of 65 percent set in 2012 could well be breached. Thus, a scenario of forced liquidation in the face of higher prices across all sectors of the beef business will likely be 2022’s legacy. That turn of the cattle cycle will return leverage to the production segment for perhaps three to four years as smaller calf crops come to fruition. For cattle feeders, however, those smaller calf crops will be augmented by the growing numbers of beef-on-dairy crosses.“That number is probably somewhere close to 3 million today out of the 9-plus million head of dairy cows. And it’s only going to get bigger as we go forward, in our opinion.” Will that be enough to affect calf and yearling prices? Not likely. Here’s why. For beef producers in areas where it does rain, calf values will be high enough to encourage staying the course, if not expanding, Good said. As cattle feeders entered the year, the feeder cattle supply outside of feedyards was down 700,000 head.What’s more, drought will encourage feeder cattle to continue to be pulled forward. That means the pace of feedyard placements will get tighter as spring melts into summer. In turn, that means tighter fed cattle supplies as the year draws to a close. Beyond that, CattleFax predicts lighter harvest weights for both fed cattle and culls. Taking everything into account, the net-net is smaller beef production year Continued on page 18
18 CALF News • April | May 2022 • www.calfnews.net over year of about 2.5 percent.What’s more, CattleFax predicts exports will be up 5 percent for the year, mostly because of demand in the Asian market. That puts further pressure on alreadytightening wholesale and retail supplies. That will play out as about a 2-pound drop in per-capita supplies. Keep in mind that percapita supplies don’t equate to demand. “Just an old rule of thumb, all things being consistent as far as demand and leverage, it would suggest the market should be substantially higher,” he said. “The old rule of thumb,” he added, “is a 1-pound change [in per-capita supplies] is worth $10 per hundredweight from a live cattle standpoint.” Price Outlook Given that, here’s how CattleFax forecast cattle prices as of early February: “Our suggestion for this year is basically a $140 per hundredweight fed market with the cutout at $280,” Good said. Should the cutout slide below that, it still leaves the packer with plenty of margin but pushes the average fed cattle price higher. “From a seasonal standpoint this year, we would lay out the fed market this way,” he said. “We’ve been in the mid to upper $130s starting the year. We feel like we’ve got potential to go to the mid to upper $140s for the spring high.” That may break 10 percent plus as the summer doldrums take hold.“That being the case, you would have to talk back somewhere into the mid if not lower $130s for summer low risk. And then your absolute high at the end of the year, somewhere between $150 and $155.” Good said this seasonal pattern should hold true over the next couple years.“Last year, the peak was at the end of the year. This year and in the next two at least, we should have a fall high looking at the fed market, which does influence your seasonality of feeders and calves.” The yearling market started in the upper $150s and should trend higher seasonally through spring into August, he predicted. “September typically is your peak. But in these types of years, prices stay that stout if not get a little stouter as you go into late year, supported by the higher trend in the fed market,” he added. So, with a forecast of a $172 average for feeder cattle, the low in the market has already been set. “By the time you get out to August on, you’ve got a feeder market that should be at $180 or better, which obviously will be very supportive to the calf market.” In early February, the calf market for under 550-weight calves was close to $190. “We should be higher into the spring for green grass fever. Then typically, the track back down into the fall is not as severe in these types of years. If you’ve got a yearling market at $180 or better going through the fall, you should have very good support in the calf market at $200 as we go through the second half of the year, a level that should be very supportive to profitability for our industry.” Then there’s the cow market, which started the year trading at the highest levels since 2016. For the first part of the year, CattleFax thinks the cow market will move from $66 to $72 per hundredweight. “As a reminder, the cow market bottomed back in 2018. All other classes of cattle bottomed in 2020. Grinds, hamburger demand is stouting up, and it’s lifted the cow market in an upward trend earlier than the other classes,” Good said. “That all is very supportive for a bred cow market. Obviously, you’ve got to have the feed in a lot of areas that are desperate today. But the underlying values for fed cattle, yearling cattle and calves will be very supportive to a bred cow market that should move higher over time.” UNCERTAINTY Continued from page 17 Each mL contains 300 mg of oxytetracycline base (equivalent to 323.5 mg of oxytetracycline dihydrate). For Use in Beef Cattle, Non-lactating Dairy Cattle, Calves, Including pre-ruminating (veal) calves BRIEF SUMMARY (For full Prescribing Information, see package insert.) INDICATIONS: NOROMYCIN 300 LA is intended for use in treatment for the following diseases when due to oxytetracycline-susceptible organisms: Beef cattle, non-lactating dairy cattle, calves, including pre-ruminating (veal) calves: NOROMYCIN 300 LA is indicated in the treatment of pneumonia and shipping fever complex associated with Pasteurella spp., and Histophilus spp. NOROMYCIN 300 LA is indicated for the treatment of infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis (pink eye) caused by Moraxella bovis, foot-rot and diphtheria caused by Fusobacterium necrophorum; bacterial enteritis (scours) caused by Escherichia coli; wooden tongue caused by Actinobacillus lignieresii; leptospirosis caused by Leptospira pomona; and wound infections and acute metritis caused by strains of staphylococcal and streptococcal organisms sensitive to oxytetracycline. Swine: NOROMYCIN 300 LA is indicated in the treatment of bacterial enteritis (scours, colibacillosis) caused by Escherichia coli; pneumonia caused by Pasteurella multocida; and leptospirosis caused by Leptospira pomona. In sows NOROMYCIN 300 LA is indicated as an aid in control of infectious enteritis (baby pig scours, colibacillosis) in suckling pigs caused by Escherichia coli. PRECAUTIONS: Exceeding the highest recommended level of drug per pound of bodyweight per day, administering more than the recommended number of treatments, and/or exceeding 10 mL intramuscularly or subcutaneously per injection site in adult beef cattle and non-lactating dairy cattle and 5 mL intramuscularly per injection site in adult swine, may result in antibiotic residues beyond the withdrawal time. Consult with your veterinarian prior to administering this product in order to determine the proper treatment required in the event of an adverse reaction. At the first sign of any adverse reaction, discontinue use of the product and seek the advice of your veterinarian. Some of the reactions may be attributable either to anaphylaxis (an allergic reaction) or to cardiovascular collapse of unknown cause. Shortly after injection treated animals may have transient hemoglobinuria resulting in darkened urine. As with all antibiotic preparations, use of this drug may result in overgrowth of non-susceptible organisms, including fungi. The absence of a favorable response following treatment, or the development of new signs or symptoms may suggest an overgrowth of non-susceptible organisms. If superinfections occur, the use of this product should be discontinued and appropriate specific therapy should be instituted. Since bacteriostatic drugs may interfere with the bactericidal action of penicillin, it is advisable to avoid giving NOROMYCIN 300 LA in conjunction with penicillin. WARNINGS: Warnings: Discontinue treatment at least 28 days prior to slaughter of cattle and swine. Not for use in lactating dairy animals. Rapid intravenous administration may result in animal collapse. Oxytetracycline should be administered intravenously slowly over a period of at least 5 minutes. CAUTION: Intramuscular or subcutaneous injection may result in local tissue reactions which persists beyond the slaughter withdrawal period. This may result in trim loss of edible tissue at slaughter. Intramuscular injection in the rump area may cause mild temporary lameness associated with swelling at the injection site. Subcutaneous injection in the neck area may cause swelling at the injection site. ADVERSE REACTIONS: Reports of adverse reactions associated with oxytetracycline administration include injection site swelling, restlessness, ataxia, trembling, swelling of eyelids, ears, muzzle, anus and vulva (or scrotum and sheath in males), respiratory abnormalities (labored breathing), frothing at the mouth, collapse and possibly death. Some of these reactions may be attributed either to anaphylaxis (an allergic reaction) or to cardiovascular collapse of unknown cause. To report a suspected adverse reaction call 1-866-591-5777. Livestock Drug - Not for Human Use. Restricted Drug(s) California. Use Only as Directed. Manufactured by: Norbrook, Inc. Lenexa, KS 66219 MADE IN THE UK Rev: August 2021 Version: I08 (oxytetracycline injection) ANTIBIOTIC Noromycin® 300 LA Approved by FDA under NADA # 141-143 Randy Blach sees strong prices continuing.