‘Equal Access to Justice Act’ is a top priority for NCBA

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association has made revisions to the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA) one its top policy priorities for 2012.

The EAJA was designed to level the playing field between small businesses and individual citizens and the federal government.  It allows plaintiffs to recover legal costs from the federal government when they prevail in a case against the federal government. 

But NCBA says although EAJA was intended to protect citizens’ rights, it has become a means for radical environmental and animal rights groups to target ranchers by challenging in court their rights to natural resource uses.  That’s why NCBA is seeking changes to the EAJA.

At the recent Cattle Industry Convention, we discussed that issue with Dustin Van Liew, director of federal lands for NCBA and executive director of the Public Lands Council.

AUDIO: Dustin Van Liew (6:59 MP3)


CattleFax CEO offers thoughts on 2012

One of the big events at the Cattle Industry Convention each year is the CattleFax Outlook Seminar.  This year was no exception, as a large crowd gathered to hear reports on weather, grains and energy, global beef trade, cattle numbers and meat production, beef demand and economics, price outlook and risk and management strategies. 

Here is CattleFax CEO Randy Blach’s wrap-up report from the 2012 Outlook Seminar.

AUDIO: Randy Blach (21:27 MP3)


Growing Iowa’s cattle industry

Exciting things are happening in Iowa’s cattle industry.  At the Cattle Industry Convention in Nashville, we sat down with Iowa Cattlemen’s Association CEO Matt Deppe and discussed some of those developments, including a Cow-Calf/Feedlot Forum taking place near Guthrie Center on February 8th

AUDIO: Matt Deppe (6:04 MP3)


Sandhills rancher leads Nebraska group

Jim Ramm of Atkinson, Nebraska is the president of the Nebraska Cattlemen’s organization.  In an interview with Brownfield at the Cattle Industry Conference in Nashville, Ramm discussed some of the national and state issues that his group is focused on.  He also talks about the four percent increase in Nebraska’s January 1st cattle inventory and indications that increased heifer retention might be taking place in the Sandhills of Nebraska.

AUDIO: JIm Ramm (4:26 MP3)


A more tranquil cattle conference this year

Recent gatherings of cattle industry leaders have been tumultuous affairs, with battles over organizational structure, concerns over possible breaches of the policy/checkoff firewall, and accusations of financial improprieties.

This time around, at least outwardly, there seems to be more harmony.

We talked with two key players—Rock Valley, Iowa cattleman Kent Pruismann, who sits on the Cattlemen’s Beef Board—that’s the checkoff organization—and Craig Uden of Cozad, Nebraska, incoming chair of the Federation of State Beef Councils.

AUDIO: Kent Pruismann (3:28 MP3)

AUDIO: Craig Uden (4:09 MP3)

Study: Beef in diet reduced cholesterol

The beef industry has long argued that beef, consumed in moderation, can and should play an important role in a heart-healthy diet.

Now it has some solid research data from a respected institution to back up those claims.

In a first of its kind study, researchers at Penn State University have demonstrated that eating beef everyday as part of a heart-healthy diet can improve cholesterol levels by ten percent.

The research project, which was called the Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet (BOLD) study, was funded by the Beef Checkoff. 

At the 2012 Cattle Industry Conference, we had a chance to visit with one of the leaders of the research project—Dr. Penny Kris-Etherton, distinguished professor of nutrition at Penn State University.

AUDIO: Dr. Penny Kris-Etherton (3:45 MP3)


More on Novartis’ new BRD vaccines

At the NCBA Trade Show in Nashville, we stopped by the Novartis Animal Health booth to find out more about their two new BRD vaccines.

Here’s how a Novartis news release describes NUPLURA PH:

NUPLURA™ PH is a new vaccine for beef and dairy cattle that provides fast-acting protection against bovine pneumonia caused by Mannheimia (Pasteurella) haemolytica.

M. haemolytica, formerly known as Pasteurella, is a highly transmissible bacteria and a leading cause of bovine respiratory disease (BRD) complex. Research has shown that M. haemolytica is present in nearly 75 percent of all diagnosed BRD cases, causing more death and economic loss than any other respiratory disease.

NUPLURA PH differs from other M. haemolytica vaccines because of the advanced cellular technology used to purify antigens in the vaccine. As the first and only U.S. cattle vaccine developed with recombinant technology, NUPLURA PH contains only purified leukotoxin to deliver the strongest immune response with minimal reactivity. It is the first new M. haemolytica vaccine available in the U.S. in over 10 years.

And here’s the scoop on the other new product, BRD Shield:

BRD Shield™ is a new modified-live vaccine (MLV) developed to protect non-pregnant beef and dairy cattle against bovine respiratory disease (BRD) complex.

BRD Shield provides broad-spectrum protection against leading viral diseases that contribute to BRD, including bovine virus diarrhea (BVD) Type 1 and Type 2, infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR), parainfluenza 3 (PI3) and bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV).

BRD Shield represents a significant advance in BVD protection, offering more complete coverage than other MLVs.

We discussed the two new products with Doug Scholz, director of veterinary services for Novartis Animal Health.

AUDIO: Doug Scholz (3:32 MP3)


The egg bill, COOL and the estate tax

“A dangerous precedent.”

That’s how NCBA vice president of government affairs Colin Woodall describes that bill that would dictate the size of cages of egg-laying hens.  Woodall says that, if it were to pass, it would be the first time Congress has actually put, into statute, a production practice. 

In a Cattle Industry Convention interview, we also asked Woodall about COOL and the estate tax.

AUDIO: Colin Woodall (4:50 MP3)


Obama’s comments on regulations disputed

In his recent State of the Union address, President Obama claimed his administration is  working to reduce unnecessary regulations.

But the chief environmental counsel for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association—Ashley Lyon—questions whether that is really happening, at least as far as agriculture in concerned. Lyon says the EPA is continuing to promulgate new rules and regulations that she says will be “economically devastating to the cattle industry and  agriculture as a whole.”

Lyon spoke with Brownfield’s Ken Anderson at the Cattle Industry Convention in Nashville.

AUDIO: Ashley Lyon (8:10 MP3)


Finding profitability in volatile times

One of the Cattlemen’s College presenters at the Cattle Industry Convention on Wednesday was cattle industry analyst Dr. Nevil Speer of Western Kentucky University.   Speer discussed the unprecedented volatility facing the beef industry and offered cattlemen some advice on how to navigate in uncharted territory.  Afterwards, Speer visited with Brownfield about some of the factors influencing the cattleman’s bottom line.

AUDIO: Nevil Speer (4:48 MP3)