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News Update

January 24, 2012

Global Feed Tonnage Reaches Record 873 Million

The world’s feed production has reached an estimated 873 million metric tons, according to a global survey commissioned by Alltech. Conducted through Alltech’s regional managers, the survey assessed the tonnage of 132 countries and all species.

“This new global estimate is quite significant, especially when compared to the 2010 WATT report, which indicated 717.6 million metric tons,” said Aidan Connolly, vice president of corporate accounts at Alltech. “Feed production is an increasingly global phenomenon and this survey is the broadest in its reach and, therefore, also complete in terms of its review of the state of play in the world feed industry.”

Asia has secured a role as the number one feed producing region with a tonnage of 305 million, and China is the leading country with a total tonnage of 175.4 million. Europe follows Asia with 200 million. North America, Latin America and the Middle East/Africa round out the listing with 185 million, 125 million and 47 million, respectively.

In terms of species, poultry feed now represents 44% of world feed, which may reflect the cost, health and religious preferences of this white meat. Ruminant feed is calculated at more than 220 million tons but this does not include a similar quantity of dry matter fed as silage or forage on farm. Pig, equine and pet feeds have not changed significantly, but aquaculture is the fastest growing feed sector, totaling nearly 30 million tons.

“As we look to feed 7 billion people in 2012, it is clear that the efficient production of meat, milk and eggs has never been more important,” said Pearse Lyons, president and founder of Alltech. “Alltech has invested in this evaluation of the world’s feed industry as part of its ongoing commitment to information and technology transfer between providers and customers.”

NCBA Responds to Legislation to
Mandate On-Farm Production Practices

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President Bill Donald today criticized legislation introduced by Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) that would codify an agreement between the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the United Egg Producers establishing federally mandated egg production practices. Donald said the legislation would set a dangerous precedent for allowing the federal government to dictate on-farm production practices and disregards decades of work the cattle industry has undertaken to develop science-based, voluntary animal care programs. Donald issued the following statement:

“America’s farm and ranch families are committed to raising healthy animals, which are the foundation of a safe, wholesome food supply. Decades ago, our farmers and ranchers voluntarily took it upon themselves to work with veterinarians, animal health specialists, university researchers and with each other to develop animal care practices and guidelines. That is why the programs have been so successful, certainly not because politicians in Washington, D.C., mandated them.

“This legislation, while currently only affecting egg producers, could set a dangerous precedent to allow government bureaucrats in Washington to mandate how farmers and ranchers across the nation raise and care for their animals. This ill-conceived legislation could set the model for a one-size-fits-all approach to cattle production. Unfortunately, one-size-fits all doesn’t work with cattle producers, who are in diverse settings in all 50 states. This legislation won’t improve animal health or care and will result in further costly and burdensome regulations being placed on America’s food producers.

“America’s cattle producers work day in and day out, in extreme weather and at all hours of the day and night to ensure your family and families around the world have a safe, wholesome and consistent supply of beef. Instead of mandating production practices and increasing regulatory burdens on America’s farmers and ranchers, we urge members of Congress to reject this legislation and to work with food producers to empower and enable them to continue raising the healthiest, safest and most wholesome food supply in the world.”

R-CALF USA Urges Aggressive Appeal of
WTO’s Anti-COOL Ruling: Part I of Multipart COOL Series

On Friday, Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America (R-CALF USA) sent a letter and memorandum to Ambassador Ron Kirk, United States Trade Representative (USTR), and to Secretary Tom Vilsack, USDA, urging the United States to “aggressively appeal the Nov. 18, 2011, anti-COOL (country of origin labeling) ruling by the World Trade Organization (WTO).”

In its letter, R-CALF USA stated the U.S. COOL law “empowers U.S. consumers to exercise choices in the marketplace, which is an indispensable element for the promotion of marketplace competition.”

On Nov. 18, 2011, the WTO issued a 233-page decision in response to complaints filed by Canada and Mexico against the United States’ new COOL law that requires food retailers to inform U.S. consumers about the origins of meat they purchase in U.S. grocery stores for themselves and their families.

The WTO struck down the U.S. COOL law, claiming it violated international law that prohibits domestic laws that treat imported product less favorably than domestic products and that are unnecessarily trade restrictive. The WTO’s anti-COOL decision was publicly applauded by long-time COOL opponents including the American Meat Institute (AMI) and its allies, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC).

But R-CALF USA believes the WTO’s decision, which the group described as a One-World Government edict, was politically motivated and baseless. And, to prove its point, the group drafted a 17-page memorandum that provides numerous arguments the USTR can use “as a basis for an aggressive appeal of the WTO’s reprehensible attack on COOL.”

In addition, the group’s memorandum urges USDA “to immediately initiate a rulemaking to strengthen the COOL law to further expand benefits to U.S. consumers, who now have basic information regarding the origins of their food.”

Due to the length and comprehensive nature of R-CALF USA’s memorandum in support of an aggressive appeal of the WTO’s ruling, the group will initiate a series of news releases that address each of the individual arguments it developed to demonstrate the WTO ruling is absurd and intolerable. To read the first four arguments in support of an appeal, visit

New York Meat Processing Plant to Break Ground This Summer

After winning final site plan approval from officials in the town of Liberty, a new meat processing plant is expected to break ground this summer in Sullivan County, N.Y.

The Southern Catskills Red Meat Processing Facility will be a 5,000-sq.-ft., $1.7 million plant that is expected to open for business sometime in 2012. In 2010, the federal government agreed to provide $800,000 towards the plant. Sullivan County will be providing an additional $150,000.

The search for a meat processing firm to run the plant will begin once the official request for proposals is issued. It is expected to supply metropolitan New York with high-end meats to markets and restaurants from local livestock producers, reducing the time that farmers previously needed to process their animals. Additionally, the plant will employ five full-time employees and support more than 50 new agricultural jobs.


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