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Angus Journal

The Angus Journal Daily, formerly the Angus e-List, is a compilation of Angus industry news; information about hot topics in the beef industry; and updates about upcoming shows, sales and events. Click here to subscribe.

News Update

October 6, 2016

Face the Pace of Change

We are used to slow change in the cattle business.

After decades at that pace, however, the North American cattle and beef industries are undergoing a rapid transition.

“Farming and food production in total are no longer local industries,” said Pete Anderson, Midwest PMS research director. “They no longer serve local markets. Now, they are part of the global marketplace, paired with scaled opportunities, scaled risk and increased volatility. The upside is bigger, the downside is bigger, and the risk is greater than it’s ever been.”

Anderson presented a state-of-the-industry overview at August’s Feeding Quality Forum in Grand Island, Neb., and Amarillo, Texas.

“As individual cattle producers, most of us are subject to external influences to a greater degree than ever before,” he said. “Our collective responses will shape the industry and determine its future. In other words, there’s stuff you can’t control that’s influencing how this works.”

There are fewer cattle, different and more valuable compared to previous decades. They’re bigger, better and fatter.

“Outside financial influences are having a bigger effect on our business than ever before,” Anderson said.

For more information, please view the full Angus Media news article online.

USDA Prepares for Hurricane Matthew

The USDA reminds farmers and ranchers, families and small businesses that could potentially be affected by Hurricane Matthew that USDA has several programs that provide assistance before, during and after disasters. USDA staff in the regional, state and county offices along the East Coast are ready to help.

“USDA has offices in nearly every county in the U.S., and we want to remind people that we have a variety of services that may be useful in challenging times like this one,” said Vilsack.

USDA encourages residents and small businesses in the potential impact zones to contact the following offices to meet their individual needs.

When floods destroy or severely damage residential property, USDA Rural Development can assist with providing priority hardship application processing for single-family housing. Under a disaster designation, USDA Rural Development can issue a priority letter for next available multi-family housing units. While these programs do not normally have disaster assistance authority, many of USDA Rural Development programs can help provide financial relief to small businesses hit by natural disasters, including low-interest loans to community facilities, water environmental programs, businesses and cooperatives and to rural utilities.

For more information, please view the full USDA news release online.

USDA Funding to Support Rural Broadband
and Economic Development

At the White House Rural Forum convened Oct. 5 at Pennsylvania State University, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced $32 million in loans and grants that will promote economic development and provide access to broadband in more than 80 rural American communities. Vilsack, who is chair of the first-ever White House Rural Council, convened the forum with rural policy, business and nonprofit leaders to discuss pertinent issues facing rural communities, including opportunities for economic growth and strategies for improving health care and housing.

“This funding will provide much-needed capital and bring cutting-edge technology to rural communities across the country,” Vilsack said. “Investments in our rural businesses and communities, coupled with extending high-speed broadband, have led to a resurgence of economic development, created jobs and improved the quality of life in rural America. While we have made great progress, our work to extend capital and technology to rural America is not done.”

Significant gains have been made across rural America: Rural household income climbed 3.4% in 2015, overall poverty and food insecurity fell dramatically, rural populations have begun to rebound, non-metro areas have added more than 250,000 jobs since 2014, and the share of rural Americans without health insurance is now at an all-time low.

For more information, please view the full USDA news release online.

Top 10 Teams Win $120K in Farm Bureau
Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge

The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Oct. 5 announced the top 10 teams — four finalists and six semi-finalists — in the 2017 Farm Bureau Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge. The challenge, now in its third year, provides opportunities for individuals to showcase business innovations being developed in rural communities throughout the United States. It is the first national business competition focused exclusively on rural entrepreneurs working on food and agriculture businesses.

AFBF President Zippy Duvall made the announcement at the organization’s October board of directors meeting, noting that four of the top 10 teams are ag technology entries.

“Entrepreneurship is alive and well in rural America,” Duvall said. “It’s a pleasure to recognize these 10 outstanding businesses. The FB Challenge addresses some of the unique obstacles entrepreneurs typically face; namely, limited options for support such as startup funding.”

The final four teams, chosen from 356 applicants, were each awarded $15,000 and will advance to the next phase of the challenge.

They will pitch their business ideas to a team of judges in front of a live audience at AFBF’s 98th Annual Convention & IDEAg Trade Show in Phoenix on Jan. 8, 2017.

For more information, please view the full AFBF news release online.

TSCRA Adopts New Policies at Conference in Austin

The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) hosted their annual Policy Conference Sept. 28-30 in Austin, Texas, and adopted new policies related to surface water rights, beef sustainability and live cattle contracts. More than 300 TSCRA members and guests attended this year’s Policy Conference.

TSCRA adopted surface water rights policy supporting the “Prior Appropriation Doctrine,” otherwise known as “first in time — first in right,” surface water-right system in Texas. The policy opposes legislative and regulatory changes to the surface water-rights system that would negatively affect agricultural producers. This action also supports the protection of surface water-right holders from any efforts or initiatives that would negatively affect surface water flow and remove or diminish the availability of surface water regulated by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).

TSCRA also adopted new policy to ensure the beef industry’s leadership role in the growing global conversation about the topic of sustainably produced beef. The beef sustainability policy enacted supports a sustainable beef industry in which the full value chain is able to balance economic viability, environmental stewardship and social responsibility while meeting the growing global demand for beef.

For more information, please view the full TSCRA news release online.



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