Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tainted Eggs

I wrote on perception last and here is a perfect example where public perception may end up outweighing common sense. The 550 million eggs from the recall due to salmonella may end up in your grocery cart yet. The eggs from the recall will be used as pasteurized egg product in many processed foods and commercial bakeries. The eggs will be broken, homogenized, and pasteurized.

One New York mother is having a fit on a philosophical level!? If it is dangerous to eat raw then why would be safe to eat cooked? Let me think about this... Because that is the reason we cook them in the first place is to get rid of the slimy texture and bacteria. She says science may back this but... Science backed nicotine use once also. WOW. Can we get anymore liberal and without common sense?

Use your brain. IF you may have recalled eggs cook them thoroughly. No over-easy, just hard or scarmbled. Do not eat raw dough or batter that may contain the eggs. Think about it. :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


“These people are rednecks,” Bryan Monell, an animal rights activist who specializes in undercover efforts, told a group of fellow activists in describing folks who work with animals. “We are superior,” he added.

I get hammered time and time again because when colleagues ask me what I think is the single largest threat is to the beef industry I say "perception". I don't think it is disease, genetics, or anything else. It is how consumers percieve what we are doing.

Take the current antibiotic debate- Science proves there is little to no connection between antibiotics used currently in the livestock industry and the antibiotic resistant bugs that are out there now. However, because of the percieved threat, the USDA is looking at limiting the use of sub-therapuetic antibiotics.

The same is true with dietary concerns of eating red meat. We go back and forth every decade about what is good and what isn't. Currently there are 29 cuts of beef that have less fat than a skinless chicken thigh. BUT... you look in any health magazine and chicken is the diet food of choice.

Change someone's perception today. :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Horses AGAIN.

"Wild" horses are back at it making our lives miserable. There is currently a gather going on South of here. They are scheduled to remove 2000 head from the Twin Peaks Herd Management Area. The area is only supposed to have ~500 head of "wild" horses and burros in it. People are throwing a fit!

Lets not let out smart our common sense here. As I have said before- I love horses. BUT! There are three times as many out there that are supposed to be. If I as a rancher turned out 3x as many cattle as what was supposed to be in my allotment- there would be court battles, fines, and prosecution. The agency is able to do it because the "public" that small majority that is loud enough to be heard wants them there. The "public" doesn't know anything about range and tend to live in a metropolis where they can go to Wal-Mart without driving 2 hours.

I don't understand how the agencies can let "public" dictate there decisions, until I talked with the Natural Resources consultant from this area. He spoke with our senator. She said she has meeting at least twice a week with wild horse advocates. Since last year she has only had two meetings with people that are in favor of removing "wild" horses to maintain Herd Management Levels. Those numbers which were scientifically researched to determine the carrying capacity of the range.

Science vs. Emotion rears it's ugly head again. Thanks Walt Disney. You just made it harder to feed this country.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Mundane Monday

I have to be honest... I got nothing today. Really, my brain is shot. Our weekend was filled with building fence and having family. I did get to think though as we were sitting there discussing life how odd some of our conversations must sound...

Did we have any babies?
Another set of twins?
Well we are definitely going to have to find a surrogate for the weak one.

Could you imagine someone who didn't have a clue what you were talking about hearing that?

One of my favorites was a friend and I were doing a research project in college. Somehow we ended up with the 2 AM fecal collection... Hmmm... 2AM on a Thursday morning, Wednesday was usally a good night to visit with friends and enjoy the drink specials. BUT...

So we started out being our normal, quiet selves. Discussing what normal college students, who are single, and drinking do. Then, I asked my friend- How do you take a fecal collection from a lamb? She proceeded to get another drink and explain how to correctly perform the 2-fingered tickle.

All in the name of science!

Another good one... I have a nephew who is three now. He loves bucking horses. He was with my mother at the mall and started bucking like he was a horse. He then threw himself on the floor and exclaimed that his horse had fallen down. He told my mother to get the horse up. She tried to help him by the arm. No, NANA, you hurt him. She tried by the head. No, NANA. Kick him in the butt. So here is my mother, acting like she is kicking my nephew in the middle of a mall. She was lucky the area is still slightly rural even if there is a mall. But she had gathered a crowd.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

El Paso Corps. trying to make amends with Ranchers.

New endowment aims to protect public-lands grazing

By Drovers news source
Wednesday, August 11, 2010

After many long conversations between representatives of the Public Lands Council (PLC), the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and Ruby Pipeline, an agreement has been reached, in principle, which seeks to ensure that the nearly 100-year relationship between the livestock industry and El Paso Corp. continues far into the future. While details of the agreement are still being finalized, it establishes a significant endowment with the mission to “protect, enhance and preserve the public lands grazing industry.” The concept was formally adopted earlier today after a unanimous vote by the board of directors of the Public Lands Council, whose board members represent 13 western states, NCBA, the American Sheep Industry Association, and the Association of National Grasslands.

“While we are concerned about the potential impacts of Ruby’s recent settlement agreement with the Western Watersheds Project and the Oregon Natural Desert Association, we are satisfied that this endowment provides us a tool with which to mitigate many of our concerns,” said Skye Krebs, president of the Public Lands Council. “As the organization which has represented public lands ranchers in the West for over four decades, we are confident that our industry will benefit from this endowment for many years to come.”

The $15 million endowment, $7.5 million to be contributed later this year and $750,000 to be added into the endowment annually for the following 10 years, will be governed by one representative from the PLC and one representative from El Paso Corp. While the principal amount will not be used, the endowment’s earnings will go toward meeting PLC’s mission to serve the public lands livestock industry. Specific projects may include scientific research, education, range monitoring, fire restoration, media, and community outreach for the benefit of the public lands grazing industry. It is important to note that funds from the endowment will not be used for litigation.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

WIld Horse and Burro Plan

We encourage you to comment on this issue entered online. More information available at:

. Please find below talking points that you can add to your letter. Please do not just copy and paste these into a letter and mail. The BLM and congress is looking for unique letters with specific responses. Our goal is to send a message that there are citizens that support gathers and proper wild horse management. Supporting the BLM on this issue is important along with the message that we need to keep horses at AML. Please also find attached a draft letter that is more personal and may be used if you so desire.

We ask that you do not postpone horse roundups or force a moratorium on gathers. It is important to gather horses that are dehydrated and starving because they are over Appropriate Management Levels. This is negligence for the wild horses and causing potentially permanent damage to vegetation resource base upon which we all rely.

· We know that wild horses and burros are not self-limiting. They double in population every 4 to 5 years. They have expanded well above the high end of Appropriate Management levels and outside of Herd Management Areas to range that they historically have never been before. We also know that even if cattle were removed and wildlife foregone, Wild Horses and Burros would over-populate to the point where they would suffer massive die-offs from starvation. We find that lacking compassion and unacceptable.

· The health of our rangelands is very important not only to the livestock industry, but for wildlife and the overall biodiversity and multiple uses of the landscape.

· Elevating one species over another, particularly a species which demands more forage than can be replaced, jeopardizes other users of public lands, and threatens native plants and wildlife species. Finding and keeping Appropriate Management Levels is the key to the balance of management and impacts on public lands. Tipping the scale towards the domination of wild horses does not correlate with the directive of the Bureau of Land Management.

We fear that by limiting management tools of the agencies, even more wild horse deaths will occur from starvation or lack of water. Leaving starving horses on public lands is not a humane solution to this ever growing situation.

· We manage our rangelands so that future generations can enjoy the beauty and the resources they possess. Management plays a key role in health of the multiple uses, and if wild horses are not managed the result affects all users of federal lands.

· Ranchers today develop water sources and forage that wild horses and burros enjoy. While cattle numbers in Nevada are at all time low levels, horse and burro populations are exploding.

· As ranchers and managers we use grazing systems to manage our livestock. We take care and pride in the health of the land and our cattle. With systems such as rest rotation, deferred grazing, dormant season use, and herding we achieve land health goals. With utilization records and proper management the health of the land is positively impacted.

· Degradation to our public lands is not acceptable by any user group. Management of wildlife and domestic animals is crucial to the health of the resource. If wild horses are kept unchecked their population can grow to unhealthy levels; causing not only resource damage but damage to the health of the herd.

· We support BLM’s plans to gather excess horses and manage numbers of those remaining with stacked sex ratios and non-breeding herds.

· We support keeping horses at Appropriate Management Levels and using gathers and fertility control as a way to keep the populations from exploding.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Why I love Ag people!

Within hours of bridlehorseman Bruce Sandifer being hurt during the Stock Horse competition at the Alturas Vaquero Fiesta there was already auctions being organized, crisis funds and donations being sent in and people readily taking care of his stock and finding a ride home for it. It is an amazing group of people that will readily donate any extra money, gear, etc for someone else without a second thought. Many people only know Bruce through the internet but are trying desparately to help a man who makes his living a horseback. That is good people.

The same people who are being chastised for not being humane or caring. THe same people who are continually defending a way of life that feeds this nation. Shame on those at the Humane Society of the United States. Bruce was laying there in pain with a split pelvis and the first words out of his mouth after the initial OOOOUUUUCCCHHH!!! Were someone take care of my horse, make sure he is unsaddled, fed, and watered. He didn't want to go to the hospital because he was worried he couldn't take care of his animal. Now that is a person who truly cares about Animal Care, Welfare, and Rights.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

2010 Vaquero Fiesta

This past weekend was a return to tradition. IT was the 2010 Vaquero Fiesta- a slow paced showcasing of skill, ability, horsemanship, and traditional technique. The best part about this event was nothing was based on time. It was all on a points system. So there was no ram and jam- Just good herdsmanship. Oh and many of the ropes used were from sustainable, resouces... AKA rawhide. That is right, most ropers used reatas. A traditional tool of the vaquero for canabilistic roping.

The weekend emphasized, low stress livestock handling and points were deducted for rough handling of stock and even loping of horses.

FOr more information visit: