Angus Productions Inc.


American Angus Association


Certified Angus Beef (CAB)


American Angus Auxiliary


Angus Foundation


Angus Genetics Inc.

Angus Productions Inc.
Copyright © 2015
Angus Journal

The Angus eList is a daily news feed provided by Angus Productions Inc. To subscribe visit

News Update

July23, 2012

Livestock Industry Backs the Catastrophic Wildfire Prevention Act

The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) and Public Lands Council (PLC) July 20, voiced strong support for the Catastrophic Wildfire Prevention Act of 2012 (H.R. 5477), which was considered by the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands. David Cook, an Arizona rancher and vice chairman of NCBA's Federal Lands Committee, who testified on behalf of NCBA, PLC and the Arizona Cattle Growers' Association, spoke to the urgency of passing the legislation in light of the millions of acres of western lands being affected by catastrophic wildfire.

H.R. 5477 was introduced by Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) with 31 bipartisan cosponsors, to address the forest health, public safety and wildlife habitat threats presented by the risk of catastrophic wildfire on lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. The legislation would require the agencies to expedite forest management projects, including livestock grazing and timber harvesting, for the purpose of hazardous fuels reduction, forest health and economic development.

For the full release, click here.

Cargill CEO: The Fight Over GMOs Is Coming, So Be Prepared

Although India and China account for 40% of the 1 billion undernourished people in the world, Africa represents the largest proportion. It is there, argues Greg Page, chairman and CEO of Cargill, that the power of existing technologies can be harnessed to slow the effects of an increasingly hungry world. The problem, Page said Thursday, July 19, during the Food & Agriculture 2012 National Conference hosted by Faegre Baker Daniels, isn't what he called "caloric famine" but rather distribution. "The calories exist; they're just not evenly distributed," he said.

Among the solutions is the technology that makes genetically modified organisms (GMOs) possible.

Since 1975, the production of grains, rice and major oilseeds has nearly doubled, thanks largely to improved yields of crops that have been genetically modified — under the "appropriate and well-regulated use" of technologies that require less water, tillable land and pesticides.

Arguing that GMOs have "demonstrably improved food security," Page warned that although it's been a hot-button issue globally (the European Union requires labeling of GMOs), that button is about to be pushed in the United States with a California ballot initiative calling for the labeling of GMOs.

The "Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act," also known as Proposition 37, will be on the ballot in November. If passed, it would be the first law in the nation requiring labeling of genetically engineered foods.

For the full release, click here.

Extension Expert: China Shipping More Food
Products to United States

The trends are stark and unmistakable: During the last 10 years fruit and vegetable imports from other countries to the United States have increased sharply with no letup in sight, according to data from the USDA.

As of 2010, almost half of the fresh fruit and one-fourth of the vegetables consumed in the United States were imported, according to Luis Ribera, an agricultural economist at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Weslaco.

Most came from North and South America, but an increasing number of fresh fruit imports are coming from China, Ribera said.

"China is now the fourth largest importer of fresh vegetables to this country," he said. "That's a concern, especially when you consider the well-publicized problems we had in the past with contaminated Chinese dog food, milk and baby food."

Other cases of contaminated food include produce from Honduras and Mexico, Ribera added.

As foodborne illness outbreaks grab headlines, food safety is drawing the attention of lawmakers, according to Juan Anciso, a Texas AgriLife Extension Service horticulturist and food safety expert.

"Assuring safe food supplies is increasingly important for fresh fruits and vegetables as state and federal governments eye legislation to regulate safety issues, both domestically and internationally, because of past outbreaks," he said.

The increase in perishable food imports is due to cheap labor and favorable growing conditions in China and other countries, Ribera said. But with that comes an inherent and increased risk of contaminated food.

For more information and the full release, click here.

United States Cattle on Feed up 3%

Cattle and calves on feed for slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 10.7 million head on July 1, 2012. The inventory was 3% above July 1, 2011. The inventory included 6.74 million steers and steer calves, up 4% from the previous year. This group accounted for 63% of the total inventory. Heifers and heifer calves accounted for 3.92 million head, up 1% from 2011.

Placements in feedlots during June totaled 1.66 million, 2% below 2011. Net placements were 1.60 million head. During June, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds (lb.) were 460,000, 600-699 lb. were 320,000, 700-799 lb. were 390,000, and 800 lb. and greater were 494,000.

Marketing of fed cattle during June totaled 1.97 million, 6% below 2011 figures. This is the lowest fed-cattle marketing for the month of June since the series began in 1996.

Other disappearance totaled 66,000 during June, 8% below 2011. Cattle on feed July 1, 2012, from all feedlots in the United States, totaled 12.3 million, up 1% from the 12.2 million on July 1, 2011. Cattle on feed in feedlots with 1,000 or more head accounted for 87% of the total cattle on feed July 1, 2012, up from 86% last year.

For more information and the full release, click here.

Agriculture Policy Leaders Make a Case
for Conservation Compliance

Three U.S. agriculture leaders held a briefing for Congress on Capitol Hill July 22 to support attaching conservation compliance to crop and income insurance in the Farm Bill — a measure that would save taxpayer money, protect against soil erosion and conserve natural resources.

Conservation compliance, which is not tied to the crop or income insurance premium subsidies American farmers enjoy, restricts participation by farmers on highly erodible land in any other farm payment programs unless the farmer agrees to maintain soil loss below a basic, good stewardship level.

Key comments from Jon Scholl, president of American Farmland Trust can be found here.

NFU: Do Not Mess with the RFS

The National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson issued the following statement responding to the recent study "The RFS, Fuel and Food Prices, and the Need for Statutory Flexibility" by Thomas Elam, president of FarmEcon LLC:

"The main culprits in the current rise in commodity prices are the drought and high petroleum costs, not the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) as this study suggests. Commodity prices were actually declining in the months prior to the drought.

"Some are erroneously using this study as a reason to reduce the RFS. NFU opposes the proposed legislation by Reps. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and Jim Costa, D-Calif., which could potentially reduce the RFS as suggested by the study. The legislation would require a biannual review of ending corn stocks relative to their total use and the RFS would be reduced if that ratio fell below certain thresholds.

"Many in the livestock industry are saying that we must choose between food and fuel as the drought continues and production estimates decline, but this is a false choice. Rather than dramatically altering RFS, we need to look at policies such as the Market-Driven Inventory System (MDIS) to save back some grain during periods of high production and low prices so that it can be used during times of low production and high prices like we are now experiencing."

OSU Extension Offers Tractor Safety Training Course

Educators and volunteers interested in learning about teaching tractor and machinery certification to teens can do so at a workshop offered by Ohio State University (OSU) Extension July 25.

The training is one way for youths to meet current rules set by the U.S. Department of Labor that require young workers to have some form of training when working on a farm, said Dee Jepsen, OSU Extension state safety leader. Currently, teens under 16 who want to work on farms other than their parents' farm have to go through a 24-hour training program and earn a certificate, she said.

The workshop will be hosted July 25 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London, Ohio. The program, which costs $25 and includes lunch, will offer participants the opportunity to experience tractor driving course layouts and skill test evaluations, Jepsen said.

"The course will provide a comprehensive overview of the training exemptions teens need to complete prior to working in agricultural environments," she said. "Teaching resources are included in the workshop registration fees, and will include print and online access to up-to-date training materials."

Registration information for the workshop can be obtained by contacting Jepsen at 614-292-6008 or

AFA Foods to Close Another Ground Beef Plant

AFA Foods Inc., which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April following extensive media coverage and consumer backlash over lean, finely textured beef, has notified the state of New York that it will close its Ashville ground beef processing plant.

The company, based in King of Prussia, Pa., on Thursday, July 19, filed a worker adjustment and retraining notification with the state's labor department indicating the plant will close on Oct. 16. The closing affects 100 employees.

AFA Ashville plant manager Don Butler told The Post-Journal of Jamestown, N.Y., that the company is looking for a buyer for the facility. An AFA executive could not immediately be reached for comment.

AFA is selling its King of Prussia ground beef processing facility to Wilder, Idaho-based CTI Foods Holding Co. A federal bankruptcy court has also approved the sale of three other AFA plants to Cargill Inc., FPL Food LLC and Tri West Investments LLC.

NASS Seeks Nominations for the Advisory
Committee on Agriculture Statistics

The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is now seeking nominations for new members to serve on the Advisory Committee on Agricultural Statistics. The Advisory Committee on Agriculture Statistics advises the Secretary of Agriculture on the scope, timing and informational content to obtain from respondents of the periodic agricultural censuses, surveys of agriculture and other related industry surveys.

The committee also prepares recommendations on the content of agricultural reports and presents the views and the data needs of major suppliers and users of agricultural statistics. The committee, appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture, consists of 20 members representing a broad range of disciplines and interests including, but not limited to, agricultural producers, national farm organizations, agricultural economists, rural sociologists, farm policy analysts, educators, state agricultural organizations, and agriculture-related business and marketing experts. Members will serve for a two-year term and can serve up to three terms for a total of 6 consecutive years.

Nominees must submit the following form: AD–755 (Advisory Committee Membership Background Information, OMB Number 0505–0001), available online. Nominees also may request the form by telephone: 202-720-9579, fax: 202-690-1311, or email

To submit a completed form, fax to 202-690-1311; email to; or mail or hand deliver to Hubert Hamer, chair, Agricultural Statistics Board, National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Room 5029, Washington, D.C. 20250-2010.

To see the Federal Register notice for details, click here.

The deadline to submit a nomination is July 27, 2012. For more information about the advisory committee, click here.


Editor’s Note: The articles used within this site represent a mixture of copyrights. If you would like to reprint or repost an article, you must first request permission of Angus Productions Inc. (API) by contacting the editor at 816-383-5200; 3201 Frederick Ave., Saint Joseph, MO 64506. API claims copyright to this web site as presented. We welcome educational venues and cattlemen to link to this site as a service to their audience.