New meat plant owners turn to importing cattle to keep slaughterhouse going – Alaska Dispatch News

Fear that the slaughterhouse would close had a chilling effect on farmers, according to Amy Seitz, executive director of the Alaska Farm Bureau. Alaska farmers have been reluctant to invest in larger herds of cattle and swine for fear the slaughterhouse would close, she said, and leave them with a product they cannot sell.

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Jim O'Haco Cattle Company finalist for Environmental Stewardship Award – Western Farm Press

The Jim O’Haco Cattle Company at Winslow, Ariz. is one of six regional honorees of the Environmental Stewardship Award Program (ESAP) which recognizes outstanding stewardship and conservation efforts on beef operations.

The honorees were announced July 13 at the 2017 Cattle Industry Summer Business Meeting. The regional winners will compete for the national award to be presented at the Cattle Industry Convention in Phoenix, Ariz. in February 2018.

Third generation ranchers

The Jim O’Haco Cattle Company, founded in 1898, is named for the distinctive landmark which dominates the skyline. Jim and Jeanne O’Haco are the third generation on the ranch which includes about 60,000 acres in eastern Arizona.

The ranch is one of the largest working cattle ranches in the state.

Originally, the ranch didn’t include beef cattle. Jim’s grandfather raised sheep on the ranch until Jim’s father took over and made the transition to cattle. Today, the ranch is a cow-calf ranch with mainly Angus and Black Baldy cattle.

Hand-in-hand

Over the years, the O’Haco Cattle Company has worked hand-in-hand with state and federal agencies to improve the ranch for cattle grazing. This included the installation of the High Point Well which allowed water distribution to all corners of the operation.

Initially, the project was going to be a well with a storage tank yet 10 years later there were 40 miles of pipeline with water reaching every corner of the ranch. 

Due to the well project, “The weight on our cattle improved because they didn’t have to walk as far to water,” says Jeanne O’Haco. She adds, the well “has made a tremendous difference in the improvement of the land and the vegetation.” 

Win-win

The water project is a win-win situation. Due to an agreement with the Arizona Department of Game and Fish, the water tanks run year-round to provide drinking water for wildlife across the ranch. 

“This ranch is just one of those jewels that has a lot of good habitat,” said Arizona Game and Fish’s Al Eiden. He says wildlife and ranching can co-exist well. 

Jim O’Haco has always wanted to have quality cattle and help the environment, both missions he’s accomplished but are ongoing.

“The job’s not done – we can always improve. We learn from our past and keep on improving,” O’Haco said.

ESAP

ESAP was established in 1991 by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association to recognize outstanding cattle land stewards in the cattle industry.

The program is sponsored by Dow AgroSciences, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Cattlemen’s Foundation.

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JBS Sells Canadian Cattle Feeding Business for $40 Million – CattleNetwork.com

North America's largest cattle feeder has sold a 75,000 head Canadian feedlot and farmland for $40 million.
North America’s largest cattle feeder has sold a 75,000 head Canadian feedlot and farmland for $40 million.

Photo by Wyatt Bechtel

JBS has announced the sale of a feedlot and neighboring farmland near Brooks, Alberta, to MCF Holdings Ltd. (MCF) for approximately $40 million ($50 million CAD).

The Lakeside Feeders yard has a capacity of 75,000 head and JBS took ownership of the feedlot in 2013, forming JBS Food Canada.

JBS Food Canada will continue to own and operate their packing plant in Brooks, Alberta. As part of the agreement MCF will continue to supply cattle to the packer. The transaction is still pending a regulatory review and approval.

This is the first sale of the JBS Five Rivers Cattle Feeding LLC since the announcement was made last month that the cattle feeding business would be divested by JBS. The sale is part a $1.8 billion divestment plan by JBS following a bribery scandal that has rocked the Brazilian owned business.

Five Rivers has 12 feedlots in the U.S. with locations in Arizona, Idaho, Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma and Colorado. Including the yard in Canada, JBS had a one-time capacity of one million head in North America, making it the largest cattle feeder in the region.

MCF is a subsidiary of Nilsson Bros. Inc., a livestock-based agricultural business in Alberta and owns diversified agriculture operations across the western Canadian provinces. Nilsson Bros. business includes auction markets, livestock insurance and finance, and feedlots. There are additional ranchers and livestock operations in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

MCF plans to offer employment to the current employees of the farm and feedlot, pending approval. 

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Cattle operation earns honor for couple – Arkansas Online

SHILOH COMMUNITY — Cody and Meg Harrington met several years ago on the rodeo circuit. Early in his rodeo days, Cody rode bulls, then changed to team roping. Meg was a barrel racer.

Although rodeo is still a part of their lives, they now spend most of their free time tending to their small cow/calf operation of about 15 head on 20 acres they own in Grant County. They call their operation the Shack Creek Cattle Co. Their land is part of a larger family operation that encompasses about 160 acres.

Cody said, laughing, that there are so many Harringtons who live in this part of Grant County that people often refer to it as “Harringtonville.”

Cody and Meg Harrington are the 2017 Grant County Farm Family of the Year.

“We’re pretty excited about it,” Cody said, when asked about the recognition. “We feel pretty honored. We certainly weren’t expecting it.”

Meg said: “We are simple people.”

Cody added: “We put a lot of hard work into it.

“We try to be good stewards of the land. We have big ideas for the future. We want to retire with as many cows as we can get. We’re looking to expand. We’re not near done.”

Cody and Meg raise mainly SimAngus cattle, a cross between Simmental and Angus. They also have some Angus cattle and commercial heifers. They plan to register their SimAngus heifers.

“They are all grass-fed. We worked pretty hard to put this herd together. They are all [artificial-insemination] bred now,” Cody said.

“We currently sell freezer beef marketed to the local public. As a certified Beef Quality Assurance Producer (certified by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association), we take pride in the health and humane handling of our cattle and believe this is something our customers find a real value in,” he said.

“[We] would like to increase our acreage so we can hold back more heifers and keep bettering our genetics. Part of our land was once timber, and we have converted it over to pasture. There was not any cross-

fencing, so we use portable electric fence to rotate the cattle around the pasture,” Cody said.

“We have a goal to expand by purchasing more land to run cattle on. We have a current offer on some land that would bring our total acreage up to 93 acres. We are also looking for more land to lease,” he said.

“We believe in taking care of our land and making sure it is there to last us. When we first started on our place, there were several resource concerns. We started with some erosion issues in a gully running through the east portion of the field,” Cody said. “We filled in the gully, widened the bottom to spread the water out and planted grass to try and halt further erosion. We also do nutrient management on our farm, as well as rotational grazing of our cattle.”

Meg said she and Cody built their own house.

“We finished it last year,” she said, smiling. “Friends and family helped.”

The Harringtons also have three horses on their farm.

“We rodeo with them and use them to catch cows, often other people’s cows,” Meg said, laughing. “We don’t rodeo too much now; we just go to jackpots in the area, especially the arena in Sheridan. We help run the books and help support our local competitors.

“However, Cody won third place in team roping back in March at the U.S. Team Roping Championships in Tunica, Mississippi. He won a belt buckle.”

Cody and Meg both grew up on cattle farms.

“I have been around cattle for as long as I have lived, I guess,” Cody said. “My grandpa and dad have always had cattle, and I can remember going out with my dad when I was little to put out hay or break water, so raising cattle is just something I was born into.”

Cody, 28, is a son of Raymond and Teresa Harrington and a grandson of Roy and Audrey Harrington, all of Sheridan. Cody has one brother, Matt Harrington, also of Sheridan.

Cody has a full-time job off the farm. He is a resource specialist with the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission in Little Rock.

He graduated from Sheridan High School in 2007 and from Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia in 2012 with a degree in agriculture business. He was a member of 4-H in high school, participating mainly in shooting sports. He was a member of the rodeo team in college.

Meg, 29, grew up in Bedford, Indiana, a daughter of Lisa Jean and Alan Norman. She has a younger sister, Mary Endris, and an older sister, Amy Stevens, who both live in Bedford.

Meg also works off the farm. She is a territory sales manager for Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Heath U.S.

“We promote beef-cattle products to beef producers,” she said. “I travel a lot. I work the entire state of Arkansas. I visit local feed stores and veterinarians.”

Meg showed cattle when she was growing up.

“I was ate up with it as a kid,” she said, laughing.

“I was in 4-H and FFA for about 10 years. I graduated from Bedford [Indiana] North Lawrence High School and from Purdue University in 2009 with a degree in veterinary technology,” she said.

“I worked in veterinary practices for about seven years. My goal was to work in the veterinary pharmacist business. That’s what I do now, … plus I work with cattle,” she said. “I’ve got the best of both worlds. … I work with veterinarians and cattle.”

Cody and Meg have been married four years. They are both members of the Grant County Cattlemen’s Association and Heaven’s Trail Cowboy Church.

Additionally, Cody is a member of the Soil and Water Conservation Society.

Meg is also a member of the Arkansas Cattlemen’s Association’s Young Cattlemen’s Leadership Class of 2017 and the National Cattleman’s Beef Association. She served as president of the Arkansas Veterinary Technician Association in 2016-17.

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Roadshow: Whose cows are those at Stanford Dish? – The Mercury News

Q: Hey Hey Hey Mr. Roadshow. Here’s a topic for you — for a slow day.

Ron Chun
Los Altos

A: There are no slow days here. However, I’ve never received a question on this topic before, so let’s roll with it …

Q: Driving on Interstate 280 between Los Altos and Woodside, you pass the Dish at Stanford. And standing there watching everyone are hundreds of cows grazing on the hills.

It would be nice to know who’s putting those cows out there. What is the actual count of the herd size? The type of cows. And where they go at night and how they get there in the morning. And, if you’re psychic, the future of those cows. (Not everyone may want to know that.)

The reason for my questions? As a father, I’d love to annoy my kids and everyone else in the car with this information.

Ron Chun

A: You are my kind of dad! Keep the kids off-balance.

The cattle belong to a private company that leases some of the land from Stanford. About 300 of them arrive in December and leave in June. A new group comes in each year. The grazing cattle are mostly mixed breeds, which is why they don’t all look the same. And they help maintain the land by keeping the grass trimmed.

They’re young cattle recently weaned from their mothers. Eventually they’ll move on to a feedlot until they’re large enough for slaughter.


Like Mr. Roadshow’s Facebook page for more questions and answers about Bay Area roads, freeways and commuting.

Q: Due to the closure of North Tantau Avenue once again for the Apple Spaceship construction, traveling on Homestead Road toward Lawrence Expressway during the evening commute is harrowing to say the least. Apple workers are forced to exit from Swallow Drive and are turning left onto Homestead to get to Interstate 280. It’s even riskier for the large, gray Apple commuter buses trying to cross.

Starting at 5 p.m., it looks a real-life driving version of the Frogger video game. Any idea when North Tantau will reopen and put an end to this nightmare? It’s a debacle.

Beverly Freitas
San Jose

A: Around Aug. 1.

Q: Why does it take almost two months from the time of purchase of an electric car to getting the white sticker in hand?

Arun Venkatesan

A: The typical wait for a green or white sticker is two to three weeks. But the DMV has been flooded with people applying for the carpool-lane perk.

The DMV issued 260,559 clean-air decals through June 1, up from 240,911 just a few weeks earlier. These stickers will expire in 2019, though legislation now pending could extend the deadline for several more years.

There is no cap on the number that can be issued.

Q: Can I drive in the carpool lane in an eligible vehicle without stickers, if I have already applied for them?

Arun Venkatesan

A: No, no, no.

Join Gary Richards for an hourlong chat noon Wednesday at www.mercurynews.com/live-chats. Follow Gary at Twitter.com/mrroadshow, look for him at Facebook.com/mr.roadshow or contact him at mrroadshow@bayareanewsgroup.com.

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Cattle – Iowa Farmer Today

Boxed beef cutout values this afternoon were lower on Choice and higher on Select on light to moderate demand and moderate offerings, USDA said.

  • Choice fell $1.18 to $238.57/cwt.
  • Select gained 94 cents to $217.66.

USDA posted no reportable negotiated cash sales in Nebraska and Iowa-Minnesota.

“Futures opened lower off negatively construed Cattle on Feed report but have recovered nicely as I write,” a Country Futures analyst wrote this morning. However, he said the overall trend in cattle “will most likely remain down into fall.”

August live cattle “closed limit up on the day as traders faded the Cattle on Feed report and stops were activated above Friday’s highs,” The Hightower Report said. Analyst there said the market is “vulnerable to long liquidation selling if support levels are violated.”

Charts, weather and more

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Thin Trading Hobbles Online Cattle Auction – Wall Street Journal (subscription)

An online auction meant to help set prices in the volatile cattle market is in trouble.

Superior Livestock Auction LLC launched the Fed Cattle Exchange last year to help guide the often opaque cattle market, where low liquidity can leave participants scrounging for timely price data. But breakdowns and dwindling participation have dogged the weekly online auction. The exchange has crashed multiple times in the past two weeks; its…

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Cattle slaughter crackdown creates ripples in India – Reuters

Reuters is the news and media division of Thomson Reuters. Thomson Reuters is the world’s largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on Reuters.com, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Learn more about Thomson Reuters products:

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Cattle Empire team takes win at cattle working contest – The Garden City Telegram

The Beef Empire Cattle Working Contest on Thursday at Finney County Feedyard brought in 20 area teams to show their stuff in yet another event designed to inform the public about beef production, and a team from the Cattle Empire Yard in Sublette took home the win.

Sherri Armstrong, owner of Custom Cattle Service LLC, said the event is a great outlet for the processors to attend and learn about new doctoring products brought in by drug representatives, as well as an opportunity to get together with others in the field for a bout of friendly competition.

The contest involves mixing medicine, giving injections and inserting growth hormone implants into the animals’ ears with as much efficiency as possible. Armstrong said each judge pays close attention to one aspect of the process that effectively mirrors what cattle technicians do all day as they work to make sure consumers are getting the best beef possible.

“The final product, your major, most important thing is what these processors do because it is the first day that calf reaches this yard — how these technicians move these cattle, handle these cattle,” Armstrong said. “How they give their injections, their implants will affect these cattle until the day they leave, so it is very important that your crew know what they’re doing and how to handle cattle.”

The first-place team in the contest with a score of 85.5 was the team from Cattle Empire Yard No. 2 near Sublette, consisting of Joel Mendoza, Eulogia Cobieya, Jose M. Ovalle and Ruben Franco.

The second-place team from Midwest Feeders in Ingalls, with a score of 84.75, consisted of Manuel Juarez, Juan Sanchez, Oscar Carillo and Alfredo Chavez.

The third-place team from Centerfire Feed Yard in Ulysses, with a score of 84.5, consisted of Roberto Moreno, Maria Moreno, Nick Urias and Julius Hernandez.

Jerimy Culbertson of the Ulysses Feedyard said before competing that he took away the win first in 2014 and then second in 2015.

“I’m hoping just to represent, and my wife is here, too,” he said. “Her first year working we got first place, and her second year working we got second place. She’s been against me last year and this year, and she’s beaten me both years.”

When asked if he expects similar results this year, he said, “We’re going to find out.”

For Culbertson and many other competitors, the hardest thing about the contest is how nerve-wracking it is. He said having the judges stand around with clipboards and watch the competitors’ every move adds a new element to something they otherwise do almost every day.

“You get a lot of new guys, and they’re shaking and they’re like, ‘Why am I shaking?’” Culbertson said. “There are a lot of people watching.”

Culbertson has been in the beef processing business for 13 years and described it as “a way of life.” For those in the business, the competition gives them a chance to mostly relax and enjoy a day together in which they can showcase their skills.

“This is fun,” Culbertson said. “We’ve got a very large company, a lot of team members. This is a way to kind of unite everybody, kind of like a family reunion. We have some fun, eat some steak and do what we do.”

The teams work consecutively with six animals that maneuver down a barred metal pathway or chute as the gate locks around their heads and holds the calf in place for doctoring.

Thus, Culbertson and his team only had to work with six animals on Thursday, a steep decline from the 1,423 he said he processed on Wednesday.

“So this is kind of a day off, work six or seven head, do what we do every day and see how they judge us on it,” he said.

Culbertson explained that the contest showcases the quality control component of beef production that makes beef products safe to eat.

“My teams, they help me feed my family, I help them feed theirs, and together we feed the world, and you gotta take a lot of pride in that,” he said.

For Miguel Rodriguez of Finney County Feedyard, it was his first time participating in the competition. After performing with his team, he said his first time made him feel “a little nervous,” but added that it “was fun.”

“It’s a big ‘ole difference,” he said of the contest’s departure from his usual work routine. “A lot lies on you. You can’t do what you usually do. It’s a lot of pressure.”

Regardless, Rodriguez said he thought his performance was “great,” even “awesome.”

Beef Empire Days Executive Director Deann Gillen said the winning team receives custom-made BED belt buckles unique to 2017 and a $125 gift certificate to The Crazy House. Second-place winners receive $100 and a gift certificate to Baker Boot Co. and a $25 beef bundle, and third-place winners receive a $75 gift certificate to Baker Boot Co. and a $25 beef bundle.

“Every year, they look forward to this,” Gillen said. “They eat a nice meal and just kind of kick back and relax. You can see how they just kind of hang out and enjoy their afternoon. It’s fun for them.”

Contact Mark Minton at mminton@gctelegram.com

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Killing cattle a felony under Texas livestock bill awaiting Abbott's signature – San Antonio Express-News (subscription)

Careless hunters or trigger-happy gunslingers who kill Texas livestock would no longer get a slap on the wrist under legislation awaiting Gov. Greg Abbott’s signature that would make it a felony to terminate cattle, horses or bison without the owner’s consent.

The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, which was founded in 1877 to combat cattle theft and lobbied for the bill, says thieves are still a big problem and ranchers are increasingly finding more dead livestock.

The legislation would make it a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine per head to kill ranch animals — the same penalty as for livestock rustling. It was previously a misdemeanor.

“Either way, it has the same effect on the owner,” said Sonny Seewald, a special ranger who supervises a 52-county area that includes much of South-Central Texas and the Rio Grande Valley. “Whether the animal is stolen or killed, the rancher loses the value on the animal and its potential offspring.”

Sponsored by state Rep. Mary Gonzalez, D-El Paso, and state Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, the bill passed the Legislature May 26 and was sent to Abbott on Tuesday.

Local Business

The cattle group’s special rangers have full peace officer status in their jurisdictions in Texas and Oklahoma but are funded by the association’s approximately 17,500 members. And the rangers, who are on call with their unmarked vehicles 24/7, have been as busy as ever. In the past decade, they’ve helped recover or account for more than 37,000 head of cattle and other property valued at more than $42 million.

While most owners of larger ranches brand their cattle so thieves can be caught at the auction barn, many smaller cattle operations don’t bother.

“It’s good money,” Seewald said. Rustlers “get the same price for cattle as the owner does. It’s not like it’s a stolen radio out of a truck and they get $10 for it. They get full price.”

While North Texas, East Texas and southern Oklahoma are bearing the brunt of the thefts, the problem is all over cattle country. Seewald attributes some of the thefts to the end of the recent oil and gas boom as well as the opioid crisis now plaguing rural America.

“Since the oil fields went down, there’s a lot of unemployed people, and they’re out to make a dollar somewhere,” he said. “There’s a lot of times their theft is to support their dope habit.”

While it’s less common to wake up to animals lying dead as opposed to missing, more and more ranchers say the problem is growing. In 2016, special rangers investigated 20 cases involving 37 dead cattle. It’s likely more cases went unreported.

While circumstances vary, the livestock are often killed by nighttime hunters who think they’re aiming at a deer or wild hog or by local youths or others who may be drunk and up to no good.

In February, Seewald was called to San Diego, about 25 miles northwest of Kingsville, to look into a missing calf. It didn’t take long in the small town to track down four suspects — reputed gang members who reportedly were out drinking beer and thought it’d be fun to kill and cook up a goat.

They couldn’t find a goat, so they instead killed a calf spotted behind a rancher’s fence, stole it and are now facing felony cattle theft charges, Seewald said. The owner at least got back the meat and the hide.

“They were just going to have it themselves,” Seewald said. “A little barbecue in the back.”

lbrezosky@express-news.net

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