Country of origin label for meat cuts endangered

Photo © 2012 Cattlemen's Beef Board

The U.S. is running out of options in its effort to tell consumers where fresh cuts of meat originated after a successful challenge to package labeling by Canada and Mexico.  Read more at AgWeb BeefToday/The Associated Press

Ellis receives career excellence award

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Dr. Dee Ellis, Texas’ state veterinarian and executive director of the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC), has been awarded the 2014 International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM-USA) Career Excellence Award. The award recognizes a national leader who has made significant contributions throughout their career to promote and improve the emergency management profession in the U.S. This is the first time the award has been presented to a veterinarian. Read more…

US Drought Monitor for Nov. 18, 2014

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Bitter cold — albeit dry — weather resulted in no change to the drought depiction except along the Texas Gulf Coast. Despite the frigid, mostly dry conditions, some Abnormal Dryness (D0) was reduced along the southeastern coast of Texas where rainfall totaled locally more than 2 inches. Short-term drought remained most intense (Exceptional Drought – D4) along the Texas-Oklahoma border west of Wichita Falls, where 90-day precipitation has totaled less than 50 percent of normal. In contrast, many of the long-term drought areas from Texas into Colorado have received above-normal precipitation over the past 90 days, but are still wrestling with the impacts of longer-term deficits. Read more at droughtmonitor.unl.edu…

Authorities searching for information in Potter County missing cattle case

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TSCRA Special Rangers Dean Bohannon and Harold Dempsey are seeking information on 25 head of livestock that are estray or were stolen from a Potter County, Texas, ranch sometime between Feb. 1, 2014 and Oct. 16, 2014. Missing from the property north of Amarillo are a 5 year-old Charolais bull, 10 head of Corriente cattle, 9 head of black cows and 5 black yearling heifers or steers weighing approximately 500 pounds, each. Read more…

TSCRA Crime Watch: 24 calves missing in Oklahoma

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TSCRA Special Ranger Bart Perrier, Dist. 4 in Oklahoma reports the theft of 25 head of cattle from a property near Pawhuska in Osage County. Stolen sometime on Nov. 1 were 5 steer calves and 19 heifer calves weighing approximately 650 pounds, each. The calves are black or Charolais cross, are branded with a bar over F brand on the left hip and have a swallow fork ear notch in the left ear. If you have any information on this or any of the other recent cases of missing cattle, please call Special Ranger Perrier at 918-275-4257.

Directors appointed to Guadalupe, Angelina and Neches River Authorities

Texas State Capitol photo by TexasExplorer98 at flickr

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has appointed three members to the Angelina and Neches River Authority Board of Directors. The board sets policy, provides oversight and employs a general manager for the Angelina and Neches River Authority, which oversees water resources in 17 counties surrounding the Neches River Basin. One person was also appointed to the Upper Guadalupe River Authority Board of Directors. The authority develops water policies, manages floods and protects the quality of water for the Guadalupe River. Read more…

Conaway announces senior House Agriculture Committee staff

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Rep. Michael Conaway, R-Texas, the chairman-elect of the House Agriculture Committee, announced the appointment of senior staff to lead the committee in the 114th Congress. Read more at Agri-Pulse

It’s what’s for dinner: One-dish beef stroganoff

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This quick and easy recipe makes a great fall comfort dinner. Read more at beefitswhatsfordinner.com…

Cattlemen’s Column: APHIS rule proposal could devastate American cattle herd

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In this month’s Cattlemen’s Column, TSCRA President Pete Bonds discusses a rule proposal made by the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) that would allow the importation of live cattle and fresh or frozen beef from Northern Argentina. APHIS would accomplish this by adding the Patagonia areas of Argentina to the list of regions considered free of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD). TSCRA casts doubt on this decision, fearing it could be a costly mistake for America’s cattle herd. Read more…

High beef prices a boon for drought-weary ranchers

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If you’ve shopped for meat recently, you no doubt have noticed that beef prices are up. Some grades are even at the highest levels ever recorded by the USDA. Though the inflated prices may be hard on consumers, they’re helping Texas cattle ranchers recover from a fierce drought. Listen to the story at NPR.org…

House passes bill to reform EPA science panel

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The House on Tuesday passed legislation to overhaul the Environmental Protection Agency’s Scientific Advisory Board. Passed 229-191, the measure, H.R. 1422, would change the process of selecting members of the Scientific Advisory Board and the terms of office. Among other provisions, the measure would require the Scientific Advisory Board, which consults the EPA on its regulations, to have at least ten percent of members from state, local or tribal governments. Read more at The Hill…

Amid high prices, cattle buyers are choosier

Picture courtesy Oklahoma State University

Calves sold steady to $5/cwt. higher in the Southern Plains this week. They traded unevenly steady in the Southeast and uneven across a wide range in the Northern Plains. Buyers continue to place a heavy discount on calves that come with a higher health risk. The high premium ($30-$40/cwt) for steers versus heifers also continued, according to the Agricultural Marketing ServiceRead more at BEEF magazine…

Proper cow nutrition now saves headaches later

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by Dr. Vanessa Corriher-Olson

A cow is more likely to sustain a healthy state of living when the feed she consumes is a mixture of green and yellow feeds. Read more at BeefTalk…

Mule deer season begins soon – be sure to follow CWD testing requirements

picture courtesy USFWS

Texas mule deer season begins soon, so be sure to check the season dates and zones. Hunters taking mule deer and elk inside the Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Containment Zone during the 2014 general mule deer hunting season, Nov. 28 – Dec. 14, are required to submit their harvest (unfrozen head) for sampling at a check station within 24 hours of take. Read more….

Texas crop, weather, for Nov. 18, 2014

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The first hard freeze for the South Plains and Lubbock area came on Nov. 13 -14, about 10 days later than average, which was timely for finishing up the area’s cotton. Read more…

TSCRA Crime Watch: Calves stolen in southeast Oklahoma

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TSCRA Bart Perrier, Dist. 5 in Oklahoma, reports the Nov. 15 theft of 57 head of calves from a property near McAlester in Pittsburgh County. The calves are black mixed-breed steers and heifers weighing 450 to 550 pounds, each. All the calves had implants and have an A brand on the left hip. Some have ear tags in assorted colors. If you have any information regarding these cattle, please call Special Ranger Perrier at 918-275-4257. Anonymous information may also be left on our Operation Cow Thief tip line at 888-830-2333. TSCRA offers a cash reward for information leading to the arrest and/or grand jury indictment of thieves.

Ag groups urge Congress to act on tax extenders

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A number of agricultural groups, including the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Public Lands Council, sent a letter to House and Senate leadership Tuesday urging both houses to act on expired tax policies before the end of the year. Read more…

Oklahoma hunting check stations are not optional

Oklahoma Dept of Wildlife Conservation

Oklahoma state wildlife law requires anyone who takes a deer, elk, turkey or paddlefish to check in their harvest within 24 hours of leaving the hunting or fishing area, and in all cases prior to processing the carcass. Any device with Internet access can use the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s E-Check system, if a physical check station is not an option. Failure to report any harvest comes with some pretty steep penalties. Read more…

Windmilling, a dying art, hangs on in Texas

Photo by Carol Hutchison

Only a few dozen outfits still exist in the Texas Panhandle that practice the dying art of “windmilling” — fixing the old-style whirligigs that pump water from the aquifers. Windmills were crucial to 19th-century settlers of West Texas and the Great Plains because little surface water existed. Now, thousands of them — far smaller than the giant electricity-producing turbines that have sprouted around West Texas in recent years — still twirl in remote pastures. The windmills go where electricity cannot reach and cattle need to drink, though cheaper solar pumps are starting to push them out. Read more at The Texas Tribune…

TDA Market Recap for Nov. 17, 2014

Texas Department of Agriculture

For the week ending Nov. 15, 2014, Texas auctions quoted feeder cattle prices steady to as much as $20 higher per hundredweight (cwt), with light-weight offerings posting the largest gains. Texas direct feeder cattle sales were $1 to $4 higher. Fed cattle cash sales were nearly $3 higher for the week. Wholesale beef values were higher. Beef export sales for the week were up 16 percent from the previous week, but down 25 percent from the prior four-week average. Export shipments were down nine percent from a week earlier and 10 percent lower than the average. Cumulative exports are down 1.2 percent from this time last year. Read more…