October 31, 2014

The Gift of Beef – Feeding a Family

In America, one in eight people goes to bed hungry at night. To fight hunger, the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Auxiliary (SDCA), in partnership with the Beef Checkoff Program and the South Dakota Beef Industry Council (SDBIC), recently completed the “Feed A Family” project, where they donated beef to local food pantries and daycares.

In addition to the donation of ground beef, which was gifted to the Lake County Food Pantry, Lake Preston Food Pantry, Kingsbury County Food Pantry, Huron Salvation Army, and Madision Food Pantry, SDCA also put together packages complete with recipes, oven mits, seasoning and pie plates to prepare the recipes.

“Each year, we go to different communites and do something a little different,” explains Laurie Johnson, SDCA president and SDBIC board of director. “This year, we did pie plates and different beef recipes that you can prepare in a pie plate. Last year, we did crockpot recipes.”

Recipes included: Applesauce Meatloaf, Shepard’s Pie, Taco Pie, Spaghetti Pie, and Cowboy Casserole. SDCA also hosted a couple of cooking classes to teach area families how to prepare the recipes, which featured ingredients that most food pantries have on hand.

As the holiday season draws near, meat will be available for many area families in need, thanks to the beef checkoff. Not only does the donation of beef help those less fortunate, but the recipes provided during the cooking class were versatile, budget-friendly and easy-to-make for weeknight meals and hopefully will soon become family favorites.

By reaching this demographic, this project educated families on how to use beef as a go-to protein choice that is nutritional without breaking the bank.

The SDBIC is comprised of three representatives from eight agricultural organizations: SD Beef Breeds Council, SD Cattlemen’s Association, SD Cattlemen’s Auxiliary, SD CattleWomen, SD Farm Bureau, SD Farmers Union, SD Livestock Auction Market Association and SD Stockgrowers Association.

Source: SDBIC

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Soybean Meal Soars, Harvest Rolls

Soybeans and meal are still leading the crop markets upward to start the trading week.

Bullish traders attribute some of the recent strength to robust demand for soybeans and meal at a time when farmers have been slow to sell from their fields.

The weekly USDA Crop Progress report showed the corn harvest a bit farther along than expected.

The Department of Agriculture says farmers harvested a fair amount of the nation’s corn and soybeans over the past week. Corn harvested increased from 31% last week to 46% this week. That’s 19 points behind the five year average.

USDA says corn moisture levels remained an issue for many producers. Corn harvest in the state has been at least two weeks behind normal since harvest began.  With the harvest now past 40 percent complete, progress is now only about ten days behind the five year average.

Slow corn harvest progress was also noted last week in the Dakotas, Wisconsin and Michigan.

Soybeans harvested nationwide increased from 53% last week to 70% this week. That’s only six points behind the five year average.

Soybean-meal futures surged the most in seven years on Monday’s session. Futures for December delivery on the Chicago Board of Trade jumped over seven percent and touched $378, the highest since June 30.

Meanwhile, USDA said the nation’s winter wheat crop was 84% planted and 67 percent emerged as of Sunday.

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WTO Rules Against U.S. Country of Origin Labeling

The World Trade Organization has again ruled against Country of Origin Labeling. The WTO compliance panel decided the rule was less favorable to meat imports from Canada and Mexico and more favorable to domestically produced meats. The ruling was announced Monday. The panel concluded the amended COOL measure “increases the original COOL measure’s detrimental impact on the competitive opportunities of imported livestock in the US market,” according to the reports released by the WTO. The panel pointed to the incentive to choose domestic over imported livestock and a higher recordkeeping burden contributed to the ruling. The United States can appeal the ruling.

Canada’s Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz told Canada Today he expected the U.S. to appeal. A U.S. Trade office spokesperson told the Hagstrom report  “we are considering all options, including appealing the panels’ reports.” Earlier this year, Canadian agriculture officials said retaliations are likely if the rule is implemented. Ritz said Canada calls upon the U.S. to enact legislative change to eliminate COOL’s discriminatory treatment against Canadian hogs and cattle.”

Response to Ruling

As groups respond to the recent ruling by the World Trade Organization against Country of Origin Labeling, two messages are clear. Groups opposed to the measure are calling on congress to help stop potential tariffs or bring the rule to compliance. Groups in favor of the measure vow to continue fighting for the measure, noting the WTO simply needs the rule to be in compliance with world trade rules. National Catlemen’s Beef Association President Bob McCan stated the announcement “brings us all one step closer to facing retaliatory tariffs from two of our largest trading partners.” Further, he said there is no regulatory fix to bring COOL into compliance.”  

The National Pork Producers Council President Howard Hill said “Congress and the White House need to address this now.” American Soybean Association President Ray Gaesser said the decision “ only solidifies what we in the industry already knew to be true: that mandatory country of origin labeling in its current state is an unworkable burden on soybean farmers’ largest customers—the animal agriculture industry.”

The United States Cattlemen’s Association reiterated strong support for the rule. USCA President Danni Beer said “The WTO has never said we cannot require country-of-origin labeling” but rather it needs to be sufficient.” He said this action by the WTO provided “no basis for false alarms about repealing the COOL statute itself.  The National Farmers Union called the ruling positive that the problem is not the rule, but rather how it is to be implemented.

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