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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Legislation to help horse slaughter



A new bill being proposed by Missouri Representative Jim Viebrock will bypass a 2006 federal law that prohibits federal money from being utilized for the inspections of horse slaughter plants.  The 2006 law put the last remaining horse slaughter plants in Texas and Illinois out of business, however; it doesn't specifically outlaw slaughter.

The new bill by Viebrock will establish state-level USDA inspectors for slaughter plants, in turn making it possible to export horse meat to Europe and Asia where it is considered a delicacy.  I've never tried horse meat (and don't intend to) but while I was in Europe it was offered at most restaurants I dined at.  Viebrock says that the biggest hurdle will be the USDA allowing the circumvention of the current anti-inspection law. 

Prior to the 2006 legislation the horse slaughter market was strong; however, since the law has been instituted the lack of a market has given rise to more neglect and abuse of horses that people can't afford to care for, but would have been sold for slaughter.  Additionally, the lack of care for horses intended for slaughter has "killed the horse market" states Jim Joyce, veterinarian.

Chris Heyde, deputy director of government affairs with Animal Welfare Institute in Washington, D.C., said Viebrock is "naive" to believe Missouri could pass a law that bypasses the will of Congress.
"He's markedly misinformed about the industry," Heyde said. 

Looks like there's gonna be a showdown on Capitol Hill over this one.  What's your opinion - let me know!

Until next time,
~Buzzard~

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

NCBA, National Meat Association are heard by NY Times

It's great when the voice of agriculture is heard by the nation in a positive way.  Both the National Meat Association and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association submitted letters to the NY Times about the Times' negative presentation of BPI and the beef industry.  The Times published an article that criticized BPI for using ammonia yet still having occasional e. coli and salmonella occurrences.


The letters criticize the NY Times for only showing one side of the story and for 'demonizing a company that had the courage to invest in innovative technology'.  The ammonia treatments at BPI have drastically reduced the amount of e. coli and salmonella in beef products; BPI's rate of positives is well below the industry average.

Props to these organizations for standing up to the Times and standing up for our industry.
Until next time,
~Buzzard~

Monday, January 25, 2010

Rocky Mountain Experience - on to Denver!

So, as promised here is the second part of my weeklong trip to Colorado.

I arrived in Denver on Thursday afternoon and promptly headed to the yards where Becca and I watched the finals of the pen of Hereford bulls show.  Later that evening we sat in on the Angus Foundation Female and Angus Bull sale. It was really cool to see so many people supporting the Angus Foundation.  Later that night we joined the party in the barn celebrating the champion Angus heifer.  This was turning out to be quite a night since we started drinking at 5.  The evening led to drinks in the room, drinks at dinner and drinks at the hotel bar.  Day 1 = success!

Friday we rose early (kinda) and headed to the hill (I learned some Denver terminology) to watch the open Angus show.  There were so many competitors and so many great cattle - I learned many of the in's and out's by listening to Becca and Dana chatter :)  Met up with Ninja and the KSU Livestock Team for lunch and then did some shopping -- I absolutely loved a belt that Dana was considering buying but unfortunately, neither she or I could afford the $200 price tag (heavy sigh).

Friday night led us to the Doubletree where we had a blast - 'nuff said.

Sadly, our last day at the yards was upon us.  Saturday flew by in a blur; lunch at the yard bar, helping tear down the Mill Creek Ranch tie ups, dinner at IHOP and then back to the Doubletree!  We got to see all of our old judging friends, several who I hadn't seen since my days at Fort Scott Community College.  It was great to catch up with old friends and make new ones.

Denver will definitely be on my new 'to-do' list for January of 2011.  Can't wait till next year!

Until next time,
~Buzzard~

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Saddle Up for San Antonio!

I am super excited to be heading to San Antonio for the Beef Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show in only two days! I am attending as an Intern for the convention and will be assisting with the meetings, presentations and numerous festivities to take place.

I'm really excited about this opportunity to network and learn from the leaders of the beef industry; I'm also pumped about several of the meetings and events that will take place including:
 ---- Cattlemens College; specifically the Advanced Reproductive Technologies session
 ---- Innovative Carcass Fabrication session
 ---- Hearing Chris Gardner at the opening session; (Pursuit of Happyness)
 ---- Best of Beef Awards Breakfast
 ---- PBR Invitational
 ---- NCBA Trade Show

I also hope to make it to the Beef Industry Quiz Bowl that Hyatt is competing in and of course, I'll have to make time to visit the River Walk and see the Alamo!  I'm sure I'll be pretty busy while in San Antonio but if you're in Texas at the same time, be sure to shoot me a text.  I'll try to keep you updated as to the happenings in San Antone but until then, happy trails!

Until next time,
~Buzzard~

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Self-regulation is the best kind


Animal welfare is the hot topic for probably the next decade and following with the times, producers and packers alike are trying to meet standards and fend off the next big attack from HSUS, PETA and the likes.

The AMI (American Meat Institute) and UEP (United Egg Producers) have made a giant step in the right direction.

These two corporations, with the help of a third party, have developed animal welfare audits that all of their customers have adopted.  Because of this third party, the welfare audit instrument is sure to be rigorous and has been developed my professional experts within their respective industries.  The utilization of one single audit is more cost effective and also addresses important issues in the industry such as gas stunning vs. electrical stunning.  With one audit, there is only one set of requirements therefore eliminating any confusion on what is or isn't taboo in the processing and packing industry.

Until next time,
~Buzzard~

Friday, January 22, 2010

Do you love your beef?



Because I sure do...it's wholesome, safe and nutritious and always hits the spot every time whether I'm celebrating my engagement with a KC strip or relaxing at La Fiesta with some tasty fajitas - beef hits the spot.

This year the Beef Board is sponsoring a new campaign, "I Heart Beef".  The campaign is targeted at consumers in order to educate them on the heart healthy aspects of lean beef. It will also encourage consumers to purchase more beef, especially for that special someone on Valentines Day.  Aspects of the campaign include a recipe contest and electronic and online communications to reach consumers.  If successful, the Beef Board hopes to pursue similar avenues in March for St. Patrick's Day and promotion of corned beef!

Tell your significant other or your best friend that if they really want to spoil you on Valentine's Day, they should buy you a steak!

Until next time,
~Buzzard~

Thursday, January 21, 2010

HSUS = False Angels


Remember Michael Vick?  The Falcons quarterback who was convicted of facilitating and participating in dog fighting in 2008?  HSUS stepped in and "helped" take care of the dogs and find homes right?

Wrong.

A December 28, 2009 article in Sports Illustrated on the Vick dog case stated:
 "The Humane Society of the U.S., agreeing with PETA, took the position that Michael Vick's pit bulls, like all dogs saved from fight rings, were beyond rehabilitation and that trying to save them was a misappropriation of time and money. "The cruelty they've suffered is such that they can't lead what anyone who loves dogs would consider a normal life," says PETA spokesman Dan Shannon. "We feel it's better that they have their suffering ended once and for all."
It was actually the Best Friends organization that saved Vick's dogs and found homes for them.  If HSUS had it their way, all dogs seized from dog fighting operations should be euthanized since they "fail to pass behavioral evaluations."  Ridiculous.


The point here is that HSUS puts up a false front by portraying themselves as an organization that operates animal shelters.  This too, is a falsehood.  Your local animal shelter is not associated with the HSUS.  If you want to help your local humane society, Google it in your community and volunteer to be a foster "parent" to a sheltered animal.  But, by all means please don't donate to the HSUS.  Tell your friends about how they can help too.  In Manhattan, you can contact the Riley County Humane Society by visiting their site

Until next time,
~Buzzard~

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Should've scheduled a detour to Colorado Springs


Why you ask do I want to go to Colorado Springs when I just got back from Denver and the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo? The answer is simple -- the ProRodeo Hall of Fame is in Colorado Springs.
Every year a select few historic rodeo competitors, stock contractors and influentials are elected to the Hall of Fame - last year's honorees include Dan Mortensen, Ted Nuce, Ace Berry, Erv Korkow, Leonard Ward and Walter Arnold.

Needless to say it takes an extreme level of talent to reach the level of greatness it takes to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. More importantly it takes unending determination and perseverance to push through those slumps and keep going in order to make the "big show" - that's slang for the National Finals Rodeo and reach the ranks of the legends of rodeo. Some day my fav, Trevor Brazile, will be in there. I definitely plan to go take the tour then :)

If you're ever in Colorado Springs, please go take the tour and send me some pictures! I hope to make it there soon!

Until next time,
~Buzzard~

Monday, January 18, 2010

Damn it feels good to be a Wildcat!


I'm very proud of my alma mater and our sports teams - through thick and thin, good and bad; I bleed purple.  But tonight is an especially wondeful night to be a KSU alumna - we just knocked off #1 ranked Texas 71-69.  We haven't beat a #1 ranked team since 1994 (Kansas) - damn it feels good to be a Wildcat!

Frank Martin will probably make the whole team run sprints and shoot free throws for the entire practice tomorrow, it doesn't matter because tonight all Wildcats can hold their heads up high!  And even though Luis Colon is the clumsiest player I've ever seen and Denis Clemente only scored 5 points, thanks to the "the greatest fans in the world" (quote from Frank Martin) KSU pulled through in the Octagon of Doom (Bramlage Coliseum) for a big W.

So K-State fans, raise your glasses and be proud, be purple, Go State!

Until next time,
~Buzzard~

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Rocky Mountain Experience - the first 3 days

I traveled to Fort Collins, Colorado this past week to meet with faculty at Colorado State University about a project I am doing for The Pork Board.  The two days of meetings were very informative and I learned a lot; I also learned there's a lot I don't know!

I got to the Hilton at 11 on Monday night; due to overbooking (or something like that) I was comped a king size room with two tvs couch, work desk - the works. Pardon my excitement but I felt like a celebrity.

Tuesday I met with Dr. Terry Engle, Dr. Dave Anderson, Dr. Lily Edwards - my major professor and also Dr. Bernie Rollin.  We discussed protocols, procedures and a timeline.  Looks like we won't be starting the actual trials until early May but that's ok -- I've got a lot of reading to do.

Wednesday I holed up in my exquisite room and worked on a summary of our meeting and also entered data from my first research trial.  A mere 4 hours later, I had accomplished my entire day's worth of objectives!


I didn't take many pictures while in Fort Collins but I did snap this one outside of the Dean of the College of Agriculture's office.  Makes me proud of my cowgirl/Western heritage!   More from my Colorado trip soon.

Until next time,
~Buzzard~

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Importance of Science in Advocacy

Today everybody thinks they're an expert on greenhouse gas emissions, slaughtering practices and production processes.  There is a ton of information out there - some true, some not.  It's hard for consumers and producers alike to sift through the information and differentiate between fact and fiction.


That's why it's important for researchers to continue conducting scientific studies to determine what is fact and what is fiction./  If a consumer hears a piece of false information in an HSUS commercial and believes it, that consumer could tell 30 people a month about false information involving the agriculture industry.  However, if that same consumer reads an article about a recent study on safe practices, for example practices in the swine industry, their opinion can be reversed.  Sound science is and will continue to be the basis of production practices in the United States.

It is up to us to inform the media, consumers and world about our way of life.  You can help by reading a scientific magazine every month - there are several available in libraries or you can read selected articles online.  A few examples of some journals are Journal of Animal Science, The Economist, Journal of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences and the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry.  Read an article and share it with your peers; not only will you be advocating for our industry but you'll also look smart too!

Until next time,
~Buzzard~

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

It's a New Year: New Resolutions and New Beginnings

It's that time of the year again: resolution time.  This year, I've decided to set goals that I will actually achieve (or at least work a lot harder to achieve before giving up).  Enjoy - comment for my entertainment :)

1 - Get in shape by going to the rec and doing the Gutz and Butz workouts --> important for looking good in a wedding dress!
2 - Keep my 3.7 GPA in grad school -- study for stats and put in at least 20 hours on my seminar presentation
3 - Maintain close relationships with friends who are no longer in Manhattan -- via Facebook, texts and snail mail (I'm not so great at talking on the phone, sorry).
4 - Continue to work hard to maintain and improve the great relationship Hyatt and I have
5 - Find a house in the Manhattan area and decorate it with both western decor (for me) and outdoor/hunting decor (for the Ninja).  Pics will definitely be provided as this process takes place
6 - Move my horses to Manhattan so I can get them in shape and get back to my passion -- rodeoing!
7 - Stay close to family by going home as much as possible
If you have any fun suggestions (or serious for that matter), let me know!

Until next time,
~Buzzard~

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Skiing adventures in Utah

So before I left for Utah to go skiing with Hyatt's family I asked for prayers. Someone must have answered my request because I didn't break any bones!  We skiied for three days and it was awesome!

Day 1 - Brighton Ski Resort
The first day we went to Brighton ski resort.  I refused to take skiing lessons - so I started off on the bunny slope (fairly successful) - after three runs down that, my instructor extraordinaire *the Ninja* decided I could handle something more. I was pretty stoked to be there at this point

On the bunny slope

  After getting off a much higher lift, I proceeded to fall down repeatedly (no less than 10x) on a very steep blue.  I got so frustrated I took off my skis and tried to walk down the mountain (that's not as easy as it sounds).  I eventually got over my frustrations and struggled down to the base. It was finally lunchtime and I was thankful for a chance to warm up and take a break from falling down.  The afternoon was much more fun as I fell down a lot less and completed several green runs.

Day 2 - Snowbasin
Me, Hannah, Hallie, Hunter and Vicki at the top of Snowbasin

On the second day we had originally planned to go to Alta, the highest resort, but due to a late start and bad traffic we trekked to Snowbasin.  Snowbasin was really pretty too.  They didn't have as many easy courses so I had to step up my game and do some blues.  I got ticked at my teacher (Ninja, again) because he was overly confident in my skills and I had to go down a race slope (very icy, very steep).  But the girls and I ended up having a pretty great day.

Day 3 - Alta
We finally did end up going to Alta on the last day.  It was amazing! It was absolutely gorgeous!  They had tons of green and blue runs at the top!  By this time I felt confident enough to do a black diamond with moguls!  I was successful and only fell about 8 or 9 times the whole day (much better than the 30 on the first day alone!)  Here is the most entertaining fall
Yes, that is my skipole upsided down.

Also at Alta, the Frobose family (diehard Ohio State fans) wrote the script Ohio in some really deep snow! Check it out -- you could see it from the lift!


One other really amazing thing happened on that last day on the mountain.  The Ninja proposed! He told me to take the blue path down and meet him at the script Ohio (above) and he would go down a black diamond and then meet me.  When I got there, this was written in the snow

and this was in his pocket!

He was so sweet!  I'm very blessed!  Thanks to everyone for all the congrats!

All in all, the ski trip was a huge success!  I'm only a little bit sore four days later!

Until next time,
~Buzzard~

Monday, January 4, 2010

Christmas in Ohio

This year I spent Christmas with the Ninja's family in Ohio -- this was an unfamiliar experience for me because I've never spent a Christmas away from either of my parents.  But I bit the bullet and headed east to celebrate my favorite holiday!

I was a little sad because it poured on Christmas Eve so there was no snow but we still had a blast!  Check out my awesome stocking

Great times were had by all -- the Frobose family completely spoiled me -- I think I am going to like being a part of that family :)

Until next time,
~Buzzard~