MU Extension project helps 93-year-old farmer – Houston Herald

Farmers like 93-year-old Harry Keutzer don’t quit just because their body parts slow down.

His hens, cows and pets depend on him. So do customers at the Kansas City-area farmers markets where he sells produce, eggs and hand-loomed rugs.

The Missouri AgrAbility Project, through University of Missouri Extension, Lincoln University Cooperative Extension and the Brain Injury Association of Missouri, provides aging farmers with information, referrals and a variety of resources to keep working.

Lincoln University Extension farm and AgrAbility outreach worker Susan Jaster carried out an assessment of accessibility at Keutzer’s Lafayette County farm and made recommendations on how to make the home safer and more accessible.

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Harry Keutzer

HARRY KEUTZER

MU Extension state health and safety specialist Karen Funkenbusch said AgrAbility helps farmers with disabilities caused by age, injury or illness to keep farming. The program provides research-based information and appropriate referrals to other agencies as needed.

America’s farm population has been aging rapidly over the last 30 years. According to the USDA’s 2012 Census of Agriculture, released in 2014, the average age of U.S. farmers is 58.3 years. There are now more farmers over 75 than between the ages of 35 and 44, Funkenbusch said.

Keutzer and his daughter-in-law, Stacy, grew 3,000 tomato plants in a high tunnel last year. They also planted a three-acre garden and put in a large plot of potatoes on a neighbor’s garden spot. Stacy picks all of the produce and Harry sorts it. Both wash and pack it.

Mobility is a challenge. When it rains, Keutzer has to stay inside and can’t work. But Keutzer’s energy level and stamina during the three-hour farm assessment surprised Jaster.

“He has the energy and deserves to be able to carry on his active life,” she said.

AgrAbility recommended a different type of scooter to reduce fatigue and help him maneuver around the farm over muddy and rough ground. The program also recommended a hydraulic lift to move pallets from the ground to make it easier to load produce onto the enclosed truck the Keutzers take to farmers markets.

Harry’s weathered hands are rarely idle and his mind remains active with farmer ingenuity. He finds it increasingly difficult to plant, so he and his son, Virgil, built a transplanter for their small tractor. It plants and waters the plant plug and lays weed-barrier plastic.

He uses his scooter to check on 100 chickens and takes buckets of water to livestock. He milks a three-teated cow that provides milk for two calves and a gallon a day for milk, butter, homemade ice cream and tapioca for the Keutzers.

He still enjoys cutting wood. He makes wine and helps his daughter-in-law cut fabric strips to make into loomed rugs. In October, he assisted a calving cow with a difficult birth.

Keutzer grew up working with his brothers on his father’s 500-acre farm at Creighton, Mo. He was so small when he started milking cows that his father had a special milking stool made for him.

He went to a country school until eighth grade. He said boys carried .22-caliber single-shot rifles to school, shooting rabbits and squirrels along the way to feed their families. And all boys had a two-bladed pocketknife, he says, to skin wild game and play “mumblepeg” at recess.

After school each day, he listened to 15 minutes of the Tom Mix cowboy show on the radio before starting chores. The radio wasn’t turned on again until 9:30 p.m., when the family listened to “Amos ’n’ Andy” and the news.

He farmed with a team of horses before buying his first tractor, a Farmall F-20. In 1942, Harry bought his second tractor, an Allis-Chalmers WC, at auction for $870.

He and other farmers anxiously awaited electrification through REA. On Jan. 7, 1945, he and his wife, Johnnie, celebrated her birthday in nearby Clinton. They returned home to a house lit with electricity, and their new Montgomery Ward refrigerator was plugged in and running.

He, his wife and a hired hand traveled the area baling hay from spring to fall. His wife drove the tractor as he put the 8 ½-foot wires into the baler. The hired hand tied the bales. It was hard work, but Keutzer and his wife made enough money to buy a new Kaiser automobile with cash.

In 1952, the Keutzers moved to southern Minnesota, where his uncles lived. He rented 320 acres on shares and was one of the first to plant soybean. Corn was selling for $1.25 a bushel under a government price-protection system.

Times were different then, Harry recalls. Farm implement dealers and oil companies helped young farmers get started by extending credit until crops were sold. He bought a four-row cultivator, planter, disk, a new corn picker and two new tractors – a John Deere 720 diesel and an IH Farmall 400 – on credit.

He and Johnnie also opened their home to 50 foster children during their time in Minnesota. The dinner table was often set for more than 20. He taught the children the value of rural life, hard work and being self-sufficient.

In 1959, his father quit farming and he returned to Missouri. Harry rented the farm next to his father’s and had 1,000 acres of South Grand River bottomland.

They farmed the home place until 1972, when Truman Reservoir took much of their land. They sold out and returned to Minnesota to a 45-head dairy farm.

His son met Stacy and married. She wasn’t a farm girl but quickly learned how to care for 45 bucket calves. They farmed there until Harry’s wife died, then moved to Iowa. He worked until he was 81 as a night watchman for Spee-Dee Delivery Services before moving to Napoleon.

Keutzer’s farming practices and lifestyle evolved as times and technology changed. He keeps current with technology by following farm auctions and news online.

Just as he learned to incorporate new farming methods throughout his life, he has learned to adjust as a farming nonagenarian.

AgrAbility gives him the resources to continue doing what he loves to do-provide food to feed America.

National Institute of Food and Agriculture, an agency of USDA, administers the AgrAbility Project.

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Brighten up your home – Waterbury Republican American

Gorgeous Bull Skull by Aureus Arts

CHICAGO TRIBUNENo need to break out the crayons. Beat the winter grays with bright stuff for your home. Here are some products to get you started.

1. Scottish designer Jonathan Saunders’ cheeky designs make clashing colors harmonious. His Herringbone carpet for The Rug Company is a case in point. $129 per square foot at The Rug Company, Chicago.

2. Primary colors and simple organic shapes mark the chairs from the Swedish design trio Claesson Koivisto Rune for Tacchini. The Kelly E Chair is $2,300, at Orange Skin, Chicago.

3. The Lindona Necklace from Songa Designs, an eco-friendly accessories line made by women in Rwanda as a way to establish their economic independence. Each handmade piece is made of repurposed natural materials such as banana leaf fiber, sisal plant, and cow horn. $48 at songadesigns. com.

4. Improve your mood by upholstering Vitra’s Mariposa sofa in a bold hue. Pick from dozens of colors including poppy red, grass green, magenta and lemon, pictured. $7,520 at hivemodern.com.

5. Four shades in different hues give the Tam Tam suspension lamp by Design Fabien Dumas a colorful personality. $1,093 at hivemodern.com.

6. Give time the attention it deserves with a clock that steals the proverbial show. Normann Copenhagen’s Watch Me Wall Clock is $50 at normann-copenhagen.com

7. Studio Job’s paper lamp for Moooi is inspired by classic lamps but draws on a crafty material. $1,703.00 at moooi.com.

8. Warm up any seat in the room with Maharam’s Millerstripe Pillow with fabric designed by famed 20th-century industrial designer Alexander Girard. The 17-inch pillow is 92 percent wool and 8 percent nylon and sports a cotton insert with a duck feather fill. $175 at maharam.com.

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Vietnamese beef stew blends flavors of multiple spices and cultures – Christian Science Monitor

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Christian Science Monitor

Vietnamese beef stew blends flavors of multiple spices and cultures
Christian Science Monitor
The other day the taste I wanted was a particular combination of beef and lemongrass and spice. And I wanted sauce, and plenty of it. This is a recipe we've been tinkering with for years. The basic elements are aromatic and reassuring in a very

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Queen's cow graces national dairy event – Waikato Times

Warren Ferguson with a right royal cow, Ferdon Volcom Locket, co-owned by his father Don Ferguson and the Queen.

David Unwin/Fairfax NZ.

Warren Ferguson with a right royal cow, Ferdon Volcom Locket, co-owned by his father Don Ferguson and the Queen.

She is most definitely of royal stock, but you won’t see her splashed across the cover of Woman’s Day with her udders out. 

Ferdon Volcom Locket, a cow co-owned by Queen Elizabeth II, is on show in Feilding this week.

While her blood may be blue, her milk is perfectly ordinary.

Ferdon Volcom Locket, a 3-year- old jersey cow co-owned by Don Ferguson and Queen Elizabeth II.

DAVID UNWIN/FAIRFAX NZ

Ferdon Volcom Locket, a 3-year- old jersey cow co-owned by Don Ferguson and Queen Elizabeth II.

The three-year-old jersey cow is among the third generation of stock co-owned by Don Ferguson, from Ferdon Genetics in Otorohanga, and the head of the Commonwealth. 

READ MORE: 
* Country’s best cows come to Feilding
* Lower milk prices fail to reduce dairy entries

Don’s son Warren Ferguson was on-hand at the New Zealand Dairy Event 2017 at Manfeild on Tuesday to show off Ferdon Volcom Locket.

He said he had been to the Queen’s dairy farm at Windsor, and that she was a dab hand at recognising good cows and horses. 

“And the Queen has visited us at Ferdon Genetics in Otorohanga. She came in 1990.”

He said co-owning cows was an “interest she and dad [Don] had had since they first owned a cow together in 1977”.  

Don Ferguson had travelled to Britain in 1992 and helped prepare the Queen’s cows for showing.

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Ferdon Volcom Locket is one of 360 cattle at the New Zealand Dairy Event, on until Friday.  

It brings top dairy cows, heifers and calves from all over the country, and hundreds of farmers to the region.

Most cattle are in the stadium to be shown rather than sold. There is kudos in winning breed sections, but the most mana comes from winning the supreme champion title.

Last year’s winner was Ferdon Comerica Viyella, a jersey cow that had previously won the supreme title in 2015 and 2012​.  She has now been retired from showing off her form.

Six breeds take part in the show; ayrshire, jersey, holstein friesian, swiss brown, milking shorthorns and guernsey.

 – Stuff

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Research and Markets – Africa Dairy Products Market Outlook to 2020 with Danone, Clover, Parmalat, Nestle, Unilever … – Yahoo Finance

DUBLIN, Jan. 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ —

Research and Markets has announced the addition of the “Africa Dairy Products Market Outlook to 2020 – Inclining Demand for Yoghurt and Ice Cream across Africa to Boost Dairy Product Market” report to their offering.

Research and Markets LogoResearch and Markets Logo

Research and Markets Logo

Dairy product market in various nations of Africa such as Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, Algeria and Tanzania is dominated by the organized players such as Danone, Clover, Parmalat, Nestle, Unilever and other recognized domestic dairy brands such as Paramount, Pearl Dairy, NKCC, and Raka Milk Processors.

The report includes the market share contributed by the sales of different dairy products including processed milk, yoghurt, cheese, ice cream, butter, flavored milk and milk powder. Further, the market in the study is also differentiated by countries including Nigeria, Algeria, Kenya, Sudan, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, and other African nations. The study also includes the snapshot on key market in Africa dairy product industry in detail. Issues and challenges, trends and developments and Porter’s five forces analysis are also added in the study for understanding about the factors responsible for present scenario of the market.

In few nations of Africa such as Ethiopia, Somalia, Morocco, the market of dairy products is highly volatile due to current political instability and lack of government regulations in milk and dairy product market such as flavored milk, yoghurt, butter and cheese. Nestle being one of the highly recognized global brand have major market share in the milk powder market of various nations in Africa. Similarly, Unilever with its major manufacturing hubs in 19 nations of Africa have dominance in the butter market in various nations across the continent.

However, the domestic market players such as Clover SA Pty Ltd, Parmalat, Danone, NKCC, and Pearl Dairy are facing health competition and continuous threat to their market hold from various domestic small scale dairy products manufacturers. Hence the organized players are aggressively making acquisitions and mergers to increase their market share in the industry.

Key Topics Covered:

1. Executive Summary

2. Research Methodology

3. Africa Dairy Product Market, 2013 – 2015

4. Africa Dairy Product Market Segmentation, 2013 – 2015

5. Snapshot on Sudan Dairy Product Market

6. Snapshot on Kenya Dairy Product Market

7. Snapshot on Algeria Dairy Product Market

8. Snapshot on Ethiopia Dairy Product Market

9. Snapshot on South Africa Dairy Product Market

10. Snapshot on Nigeria Dairy Product Market

11. Snapshot on Tanzania Dairy Product Market

12. Snapshot on Uganda Dairy Product Market

13. Porter’s Five Forces Analysis for Africa Dairy Product Market

14. Issues and Challenges in Africa Dairy Product Market

15. Trends and Development in Africa Dairy Product Market

16. Government Role in Africa Dairy Food Market

17. Value Chain Analysis For Africa Dairy Product Market

18. Company Profiles of Key Market Players in Africa Dairy Product Market

19. Africa Dairy Market Future Outlook And Projections

20. Macroeconomic Factors In Africa Dairy Product Market

Companies Mentioned

– Brookside Dairies Ltd
– Brown’s Cheese
– Chi Ltd
– Clover Industries Limited
– Dairybelle (Pty) Ltd
– Danone SA (Pty) Ltd
– Eldoville Dairies Ltd
– Gero Yoghurt
– Glacier Products Ltd
– Nestle South Africa
– New Kenya Cooperative Creameries
– Paramalat SA (Pty.) Ltd
– Paramount Diaries
– Pearl Dairy
– Planet Yoghurt
– Premier Food Industries Ltd
– Promasidor Nigeria Ltd
– R&R Ice Cream
– RCL Food
– Raka Milk Processors Ltd
– Unilever Ltd

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Meet Nevada's cow cops – High Country News

Where crime scene investigators ride the range.

On a July morning in 2014, a third-generation cattleman named Mitch Heguy was driving his truck along Susie Creek in Elko County, Nevada, when he saw something peculiar. It was one of his neighbor Jon Griggs’ cows, standing there with an odd-looking, circular wound on her shoulder, several inches in diameter, with its blood crusted over her dark hide. Heguy wondered if it was a particularly horrible rattlesnake bite, or if the heifer had stuck herself with a tree branch, which cattle can do on a bad day. But as the rancher looked closer, squinting in the sun, he decided it had to be the result of something more intentional, nefarious even. It was a bullet wound. He called Griggs. “I think someone shot one of your cows,” he said.

The dazed heifer meandered back into the hundreds of thousands of acres of sagebrush and juniper of the Maggie Creek Ranch, a checkerboard of Bureau of Land Management and private land. She wasn’t seen again for six weeks, when Griggs gathered his herd for sale at season’s end. By then, the wound was partly healed.

As Heguy and his wife, Rhonda, remember it, that cow, worth at least $2,000, was the first such victim found near their property, though they had heard of livestock being shot elsewhere over the past couple of years. The Nevada Cattlemen’s Association eventually reported 25 wounded or dead cows that year, in addition to at least 35 more since 2012 — though it wasn’t clear how many had been shot with guns.

Through the summer, Jon Griggs and the Heguys counted about 30 cows wounded between their two herds. By August they were ready to call the cops. The people who respond to these kinds of incidents across the state comprise a six-person team called the Agriculture Enforcement Unit within the Nevada Department of Agriculture. They are well known to ranchers, but unknown to most other people. Each member of the team has a background in ranching and is a graduate of law enforcement academy. They carry handguns and a handy book of livestock brands; their patrol vehicles are equipped with police sirens but also veterinarian supplies. They call themselves jokingly, but accurately, cow cops. And those were the cops the ranchers called.

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Cow on A12 between Blythburgh and Wangford brings traffic to standstill – East Anglian Daily Times

18:55 22 January 2017

File picture of a cow.

File picture of a cow.

Contributed

A loose cow has blocked a main road through Suffolk and has brought traffic to a holt.

Suffolk Constabulary was called to the A12 between Blythburgh and Wangford at 6.13pm to reports of a cow on the southbound carriageway.

Officers have arrived at the scene and are working to locate the cow, a spokeswoman for police force said.

Drivers have reports that traffic is “at a standstill” on the A12 at Yoxford.

The spokeswoman for Suffolk Constabulary said: “It was reported to be a cow in the road between Blythburgh and Wangford.”

The A12 runs from London to Great Yarmouth and it’s primary destinations are Stratford, Romford, Chelmsford, Colchester, Ipswich and Lowestoft.

However the section between Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft is soon to be renamed the A47.

The A47 currently runs from the west of Peterborough to the east coast and has been part of a Highways England study ready for a £300million improvements project.

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National Western Stock Show feeds the largest US agricultural industry: cattle – The Denver Post

In a yard full of cattle with colorful names, Trump Train stood out.

His caretaker, Lee Whyte, wore a hat bearing the bull calf’s name and stood near his pen. “I’ll buy that hat for 50 bucks,” an admirer said to Whyte, who graciously declined. “I’ve had people come up to me trying to buy this all day,” he said.

Trump Train was named shortly after the election because “its got a ring to it, but there’s no affiliation of any sort,” said Matt Lautner, his owner. The blonde, 84-pound Charolais Chianina cross calf drew a following amid National Western Stock Show crowds. People surrounded his pen to snap photos of him, likely because of his provocative name.

But Trump Train wasn’t driven almost 700 miles from Lautner’s ranch in Adel, Iowa, to be in the background of ranchers’ selfies.

He was there for business. Specifically, the business of spreading his genes.

Cattle are the bedrock of the American beef industry, which is now worth about $60 billion a year. Genetically superior semen from Trump Train and other bulls will impregnate cows across the United States to improve the quality of the beef Americans find in supermarkets and restaurants.

For cattle breeders, the National Western Stock Show show in Denver is the biggest event of the year, with more than $10 million in cattle, semen and embryos changing hands over a 16-day period. It’s also an annual chance for the men and women of the cattle industry to meet in one place and strengthen the bonds that fuel America’s largest agricultural industry — and this year,to  parse the uncertain future of their industry.

Inside the stock show events hall, vendors sell lawn ornaments, embroidered cowboy boots and tasseled leather vests. Guests melt into massage chairs and get their hair coiffed by stylists. Old West imagery is found on everything — decorative signs, wind chimes, rugs.

Just 400 feet from the main building, the stockyards are deafening and hectic. Hundreds of portable gas generators and hair dryers used to fluff the cattle run at once. The roughly 20-acre yard is divided into small pens where ranchers from small towns and cities across the U.S. show off their animals.

Here, industrial competition is playfully waged through elaborate branding and merchandise.

Cattle are given names like Cool Cat, Knock Out, No Guts No Glory and McGregor (after mixed martial arts fighter Conor McGregor). Breeders display banners listing their animal’s measurements.The pens, lined in brightly colored wood chips, are immaculate.

A black bull named Honest Abe has his own hype man, an Abraham Lincoln impersonator hired by his farm.

Little Jimmy, a coffee-colored Akaushi bull stands nearby. He was trucked to the stock show from Harwood, Texas, by Jordan Beeman of HeartBrand Beef to promote the Japanese breed of cattle. Beeman has a vacuum-sealed slab of meat ready for inspection.

“The whole country comes here,” Beeman said, “you can have so much more of a presence.”

Delegations from countries like Mexico, Canada and Japan wander the stockyards, buying semen and embryos, and picking up tips from producers like Beeman. The deals and connections are made in person. the livestock and genetic material are shipped later.

Breeders bring their cattle to Denver to entice customers into purchasing frozen semen. The buyers look for musculature and form, characteristics that hint at what they may get in the future if they buy the semen and use it to impregnate their heifers.

Late in the day, hundreds of people fill a conference room in the Renaissance Denver Stapleton Hotel for an auction of cattle, and frozen embryos and semen.

In the center of the room, an ice sculpture of a cow towers above a busy bar. The name of the event, “Embryos on Snow,” is carved into its body. The room has a faint smell of livestock.

The auction has the energy and intensity of a Wall Street trading floor. Businessmen, some wearing cowboy hats and pristine suits, talk animatedly into their phones while a motor-mouthed auctioneer shouts prices at the crowd. Embryos go for up to $7,900. Partial ownership of one bull named Loaded Up sells for $240,000.

In total, $1.9 million worth of frozen genetic material and live cattle is sold at the event, according to organizer Christy Collins, who runs a livestock promotion company. The celebration and energy of the stock show belies the fact the cattle industry has had a turbulent decade.

A long drought that started in the early 2000s and abated in 2012 shrunk production in the southern plains, home to many ranches. As feed prices grew, beef producers were forced to liquidate their stock. Consumer prices dropped dramatically.

“Currently it’s a tough time in the market. This drought came so fast, economists didn’t expect prices to drop as fast as they did,” said Marshall Ernst, senior director of livestock for the National Western. Ernest also runs Ernst Herefords, a ranch in Windsor, about an hour north of Denver. “There’s no place to hide. Our input cost continues to rise: cost of machinery, cost of parts. Rural families are really feeling it now.”

As the drought eased, cattle producers began growing their stock. Now, as those cattle have come into maturity and are entering feedlots and the market at large, there has been another dip in cattle prices.

Producers could be in for further change if President Donald Trump follows through on his campaign promises.

During his campaign, Trump spoke of scrapping industrial regulations from multiple sectors. He also mentioned allowing industries to use federally protected public land, which in some states would allow some ranchers to substantially expand their cattle operations.

Under President Barack Obama, the Environmental Protection Association established the Waters of the United States rule, which extended federal protection to smaller bodies of water like streams, wetlands and ponds. The rule is meant to protect groundwater from things like livestock contamination, mostly from cattle excrement. Cattle producers say it places unfair hurdles in their ability to run their ranches.

“The government needs to listen a little bit more instead of reacting as much as they have,” said Bubba Bain, executive director of the American Akaushi Association, an organization that promotes Akaushi cattle, a breed that produces high quality, finely marbled beef commonly known as Waygu. “Ranchers and farmers are the best stewards that anyone can ask for the land. They can do a lot better job than people sitting behind a desk in Washington, D.C.”

The cattle industry may have a powerful ally in Trump’s pick to head the EPA, Scott Pruitt. As Oklahoma’s attorney general, he sued the EPA on multiple occasions, recently as part of a 19-state request for an injunction of the Waters of the United States rule. The court issued a stay in enforcement and the case is ongoing. During his confirmation hearing Wednesday, Pruitt said the EPA needs to clarify the rule so enforcement can be fairly enacted.

Industry groups, including the Centennial-based National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, have endorsed Pruitt. “As Oklahoma’s Attorney General, Mr. Pruitt led the fight to bring common sense back to environmental regulation and he was an unrivaled defender of private property rights,” National Cattlemen’s president Tracy Brunner wrote in an open letter.

Still, some cattlemen and women are worried Trump’s isolationist trade policies will hinder the growth of their business. Every year, American beef producers export billions of dollars in meat to countries like Japan, Mexico and Canada. China, a frequent target of Trump’s ire, is an expanding market for U.S. beef.

On Thursday, Trump announced the nomination of former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue as secretary of agriculture. A former veterinarian, Perdue, 70, comes from a family of farmers and was involved in grain trading and trucking. Unlike Pruitt, his career has not been marked by open hostility to the federal agency he will likely run.  As governor, Perdue opened an office in Georgia to serve as the state’s focal point for international trade, experience he could bring to the agency.

“As world incomes grow, there’s going to be more people who can buy beef,” said Chris Hurt, a professor of agricultural economics at Purdue University. American consumption of beef has dipped in recent years, Hurt explained, so it’s vital for producers to look beyond U.S. borders.

“As an organization, we support the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” Colorado Livestock Association CEO Bill Hammerich said, “Long term, it is going to be beneficial to the industry and probably from an immediate sense, we’re probably going to see a 4 percent increase in cattle inventories.”

Meat from those cattle needs a place to go, Hammerich said.

For cattle ranchers, political, economic and environmental turbulence is part of the job.

“We’re just happy to break even,” said Kim DeJong. She drove her hulking 1,350-pound black bull, DJ on Point, in a trailer from her ranch in Kennebec, S.D., and was selling his semen for $30 a batch.

“He’s super tame, he loves to be scratched,” she said.

DeJong spent her time at the stock show tending to her bull and chatting with other beef producers. They felt encouraged the few names the Trump administration has floated for positions in the Department of Agriculture have experience in agriculture, and they are hopeful they may have a stronger voice in the White House.

“We don’t have a lot of say in politics,” DeJong said, “and yet, we feed the world.”

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Why are we feeding cows Skittles? | MNN – Mother Nature Network – Mother Nature Network (blog)

At first I thought the Facebook headline was a joke. Thousands of red Skittles spilled on a highway were intended for cattle feed. But the Fox 61 story led to the Facebook page of the Dodge County Sherrif’s Office in Wisconsin where the story was confirmed.

“Hundreds of thousands of Skittles were spilled on County Highway S near Blackbird Road,” according to the Facebook page. Originally the candy’s origin was unknown. The sheriff’s office updated the post later and said, “the Skittles were intended to be feed for cattle as they did not make the cut for packaging at the company.”

Candy as cattle feed

Bowl of sprinkles
Does this look like a meal fit for a cow? Hardly. But a ton of sprinkles costs half as much as a ton of corn. (Photo: Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock)

As I dug a little deeper, I found the practice of feeding candy to cows is not unusual. It’s a common practice for many cattle farmers and became even more common after corn prices rose in 2009, according to CNN. Farmers tapped “into the obscure market for cast-off food ingredients” to feed their cows less expensively.

In 2012, when CNN reported on candy as cow food, the price for a ton of corn was about $315. The price for a ton of sprinkles was as low as $160 a ton. The sugar in the candy is what the farmers want for the cows. It puts weight on them and even increases milk production. It’s mixed with other forms of cattle feed, and one farmer interviewed for the CNN piece said he worked with an animal nutritionist to determine it should not be more than 3 percent of the feed.

In all my reporting about food waste, I’ve never thought about what happens to food waste from candy factories. This practice of feeding candy that doesn’t make the quality control cut to animals as feed is certainly a way of making sure it doesn’t go to waste. While it may be a solution for the candy manufacturer and the cattle farmer, I wonder how it affects cows or the those who consume products made from the cows.

Candy isn’t the only addition

Orange peels
Orange peels are one type of food production scrap that may be added to cattle feed. (Photo: Charikova/Shutterstock)

It’s not just sugar-laden candy that’s added to cattle feed to keep the cost down. The Animal Legal Defense Fund has a list of scraps from food production that can go into cattle feed including cookies, breakfast cereal, orange peels, dried fruit, taco shells, refried beans, cottonseed hulls, rice products, potato products, peanut pellets, and the byproducts of milling wheat into flour.

Not all of those additions seem as odd as candy, but none of them are what a cow would normally eat if it was grazing as it was mean to do.

A complicated food system

dairy cow
Candy is made from corn syrup, but farmers are buying candy as cattle feed because corn is too expensive. How does that make any sense? (Photo: David Molina G/Shutterstock)

I get a bit dizzy trying to connect the dots, but this is the complicated thought going through my mind: Candy is cheaper than corn to feed to cattle. However, a main ingredient in a lot of sugary candy is corn syrup (or high fructose corn syrup), which is made from corn — the ingredient that’s too expensive to feed to cattle. Corn is the one of government’s most subsidized crops — farmers are paid to grow it — yet for a cattle farmer, the price is so high they forgo corn for candy, made from corn.

It’s a big dizzying circle, isn’t it? It’s just an example of our complicated food system that makes my mind reel. Today it’s reeling because a truck accidentally lost a shipment of Skittles on its way to becoming cattle feed. And it’s not a joke.

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Michigan Cheesemaker Known for Big Cow Statue Adds Big Flag – AgWeb

A flag blows in the wind on Thursday, Jan. 19 2017 outside Williams Cheese Company Outlet in Linwood, Mich. The Michigan cheesemaker that turns heads with its larger-than-life statue of a milk cow at its shop entrance is making a big patriotic gesture.

© Jacob Hamilton/The Bay City Times via AP

A Michigan cheesemaker that turns heads with its larger-than-life statue of a milk cow at its shop entrance is making a big patriotic gesture.

A storm toppled Williams Cheese Company’s sign and U.S. flag in 2012, so owner Mike H. Williams resolved to replace the 6-by-10-foot flag at the store. The Bay City Times reports crews this week raised one that’s 10 times that size.

His son Ladd Williams says the business “used to be the place with the cow.” Now, he notes: “we might be the place with the flag.”

The installation came ahead of Donald Trump’s inauguration as the 45th president of the United States. The Williams family says the new 20-by-30-foot flag aims to be a general patriotic message rather than a specific political endorsement.

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Confirm or Deny: Peter Thiel – New York Times

Maureen Dowd: California should secede.

Peter Thiel: Confirm. I’d be fine with that. I think it would be good for California, good for the rest of the country. It would help Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign.

Meryl Streep is overrated.

Confirm. She’s probably very overrated, especially by all the people who are vociferously saying that she’s overrated.

You did the seating chart at the Trump tech meeting.

Deny.

You have eaten 3-D printed meat, which you invested in.

Deny.

The empire in “Star Wars” gets a bad rap.

Deny. Oh, come on.

You like “Star Trek” more than “Star Wars.”

Deny. I like “Star Wars” way better. I’m a capitalist. “Star Wars” is the capitalist show. “Star Trek” is the communist one. There is no money in “Star Trek” because you just have the transporter machine that can make anything you need. The whole plot of “Star Wars” starts with Han Solo having this debt that he owes and so the plot in “Star Wars” is driven by money.

You have written some of Trump’s tweets.

Deny.

The Trump elevator is the new Mordor.

Deny, although that’s close.

You’ve never stayed at a Trump hotel.

Deny. I’ve stayed at the Trump International in New York.

We should create a GPS-style algorithm to tell employees what to do at any given moment, like Bridgewater, the world’s largest hedge fund, is doing, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Deny. That’s always the place where everyone’s overpaid and superunhappy. That algorithm doesn’t seem like a formula for happiness.

As Jeff Bezos said of you in October, contrarians are usually wrong.

Deny.

Liberals are intolerant.

I’ll confirm that but that’s too one-sided. You have to get some nuances in here. I think it depends where they are. If you’re the village atheist in a small town in Alabama, you’re probably the most tolerant person there.

Optimism doesn’t sell anymore.

That’s complicated. It always sells some but not as much.

Mark Zuckerberg asked you to invest in Facebook while wearing pajamas.

Deny. The actual story was that Sean Parker convinced him to go to Sequoia Capital wearing pajamas to insult them at some point.

Zuckerberg did not have a great pitch.

Confirm. He was 19 years old. He was totally introverted, didn’t say much. You desperately need a good pitch when you have a bad company. When you have a great company, you don’t need a great pitch.

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Facebook is a media company.

I think the official policy is to deny that.

The media should trust Facebook.

Confirm. Although, trusting in what way? There are a comical number of misguided conspiracy theories about Facebook.

Google had too much power in the Obama administration.

Confirm. Google had more power under Obama than Exxon had under Bush 43.

The age of Apple is over.

Confirm. We know what a smartphone looks like and does. It’s not the fault of Tim Cook, but it’s not an area where there will be any more innovation.

There’s no job you would take in the Trump administration.

Confirm. I want to stay involved in Silicon Valley and help Mr. Trump as much as I can without a full-time position.

You do not like your character in HBO’s “Silicon Valley.”

Deny. I liked him. I watched the first season. My character died. I think eccentric is always better than evil.

You don’t like cowhide rugs because you were sitting on one when you asked your father, Klaus, what happened to the cow and you understood mortality.

Yes, I very strongly confirm.

You do weird diets.

Confirm — on Paleo diet.

You believe that no one should ever eat sugar.

Confirm. We preach, we don’t always practice.

You think the stock market is a giant bubble right now.

Confirm.

You should always switch doors in the Monty Hall problem.

Confirm.

Your favorite movie is “No Country for Old Men.”

I like that one, yeah.

You’re addicted to online chess.

Confirm. I delete it and download it a few times a year. I have it right now.

Your favorite opening move is Pawn to King 4.

Confirm.

The quote you like to use from Enoch Powell, “All political lives, unless they are cut off in midstream at a happy juncture, end in failure,” applies to Trump.

Deny. He’s not a standard politician.

Death and taxes are not actually certain.

Confirm.

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