Price Cattle Ranch's and Global Beef's live beef exports from North Dakota to Kazakhstan is a great example about how cattle industries can be rebuilt.
When the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991 and Kazakhstan became an independent country, infrastructure collapsed, the economy foundered for a few years, and food supplies dwindled. "They had 38 million head of cattle in 1994, and they're down to 2 million now," [Dan] Price explains. "They killed and ate 'em all."
The government of Kazakhstan is spending $50 million to rebuild its cattle industry by flying in 2,000 pregnant heifers and 20 bulls via a series of chartered 747s. It is expected this seed herd will help Kazakhstan get back to a point where they can be come a net exporter of beef.
Marketing to consumers must be factored into any animal agriculture policy and legislative fronts. The public exposure animal rights and animal welfare debates create also impact purchasing decisions by consumers.
Fighting ballot initiatives regarding the care and housing of farm/food animals might actually be poorly advised, according to a recent study by economists at Oklahoma State University. The analysis evaluated demand for eggs in selected California markets before and following the vote on the farm animal housing initiative -- Proposition 2, or "Prop 2" -- in 2008 in which California voters adopted Prop 2 by 66% of the vote.
Animal ag producers must understand the consumer market space and strategically think about how to approach ballot initiatives and new regulations.
"If this attention leads to undesirable consumer shifts in purchasing behaviors, industry stakeholders need to be cautious in developing strategies in response to ballot initiatives similar to Prop 2 in the future"
advises Glynn Tonsor, an agricultural economist at Kansas State University.
The Federation of Animal Science Societies (FASS) webinar on Antibiotics in Animals and People presents a series of reviews and research on the use of antibiotics in animal agriculture.
“A broad prohibition on use of antibiotics to prevent disease has, in some cases, increased the amount used for disease treatment and has not minimized total antibiotic use,” [Jim] Pettigrew said. “This can be detrimental to animal welfare and to efficiency of resource use.”
Jim Pettigrew, University of Illinois professor of animal sciences, is a member of the FASS Science Policy Committee and served as the lead coordinator for the recently approved FASS policy statement on antibiotics.
FASS developed the following policy statement as part of their efforts to engage the public and provide guidance to animal agriculture professionals.
The Federation of Animal Science Societies (FASS) strongly supports the judicious use of antibiotics in food animal care consistent with the health and welfare of the animals, with preserving the value of antibiotics in protecting human and animal health, and with efficient use of the earth’s resources in food production
These metrics from Evernote can serve as a proxy for the tremendous growth of smartphone use in many sectors of business, including agriculture.
iOS is still the gorilla, with about twice as many users last month as Android (1.1 million vs. 550,000). iOS is not only big, but it’s also growing quickly with a 223% increase in users from a year ago. However, take a look at our Android growth rate—up by 1,570% over the same period! It’ll be fascinating to see how these two platforms do in 2011. BlackBerry is also growing nicely, although from an admittedly low base.
More and more farmers, growers, and producers will pickup a smartphone as they trade in their old phones. How would a grower use a smartphone application, or 'app' as they are called? Immediate uses include general information tools, like weather, news, or finance. Many of the smartphones ship with these types of applications pre-installed. Other uses include specialized seed and soil calculators, ag news, and subscription ag management tools.
Feed grain producers across the nation should increase the financial strength of their operators over the next five years, helped by strong commodity prices. Farms that have been in marginal or poor financial position in the last several years because of lower grain prices should recover and climb into stronger financial positions.
Science in the media can be very hard to explain. This is especially true when the topic, like genetically modified organisms (GMO), is very technical, not be very sexy, or controversial. In the case of GMOs, some media outlets cater to the confusion and aim to be sensational. Unfortunately, this approach distorts the facts and consumers only get part of the story, possible wrong making decisions about what they eat, buy, or recommend.
On December 7, 2010, Dr. Pamela Ronald, a distinguished plant scientist at the University of California – Davis, appeared as guest expert on the nationally-syndicated “Dr. Oz Show” to discuss the benefits of GMOs.
Unfortunately, what “played out” was way past disappointing. There was unbelievable bias in how the segment was edited to produce the “final” version that overshadowed the sound scientific facts about GMOs. I found it remarkable that much of what Dr. Ronald presented during the filming of the segment was edited “out” of the final version of the show!
It is important to understand how media uses fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) to derail constructive conversations about complicated subjects.