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Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Great Bacon Barter Campaign


So I just heard about one of the coolest freaking things EVER.

Oscar Meyer, in an brilliantly genius marketing strategy, has decided to employ comedian Josh Sankey as a spokesperson for their new 'thick-cut' bacon product. No big deal, right?

I could even argue that no spokesperson is needed to move bacon off the shelves. It has even been called "The Gateway Meat" by many for its power in swaying former vegetarians back into the realm of meat-eating.

But this marketing campaign is truly innovative. Oscar Meyer is sending Josh on a cross-country campaign to promote the product, even giving him a truck and refridgerated trailer for his journey.

However, the only thing he will be taking with him is 3,000 lbs of their new bacon. He will have to make it across the country by bartering with bacon in exchange for food, gas and even a place to sleep.

He will be available by social media such as Twitter and Facebook and has even claimed that if you make him an offer, he may swing through your neighborhood on his trek!


Check out this Youtube video which should tell you more!

 

 
I'm heading home now to cook up some bacon myself, writing this post has me drooling.
 
 
Cheers,
 
Hyatt Frobose

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Hold That Date!





Wrong kind of date....

I'm talking about marking your calendars for the Fall 2012 Upson Lecture Series.

November 5 at 7 pm in Union Ballroom in K-State Student Union

We're not able to reveal the speaker juuuuuuust yet but we'll have more details in a week or so. For now you need to mark that date in your calendar as a definite event to attend.

We can tell you that this fall's speaker will be addressing a hot topic in the ag industry and will attract a very diverse audience. You'll not want to miss this presentation!

Check back regularly for more details regarding the Fall 2012 ULS Speaker!

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

Monday, September 24, 2012

Agriculturists Police Themselves





The agricultural community is capable of policing themselves and taking care of issues as they arise. My father and brother, Gary and Travis Theurer, have both been involved with a local animal cruelty case close to home. This past year, the Midwest has seen some of the worst drought conditions people have faced since the Great Depression in the 1930’s. This has resulted in drastic management changes by animal caretakers in order to keep the health status high of all the animals. On our farm and ranch, the drought has resulted in selling off some of our cows to have enough grass and forage available to feed all the cows in the summer, extra supplementation in the form of hay bales, lick tanks, and range cubes, and has also resulted in consistent monitoring of water situation to ensure all cattle had access to high quality water. However in this isolated incident, one particular cattle producer did not take the proper steps.
My father was contacted by the local sheriff department to see if he would be willing to help capture the animals and bring them home and care for them. Dad immediately wanted to help because he was informed of the condition of the animals and wanted to do anything he could to nurse them back to health. My dad and brother drove up to this ranchers’ place and gathered all the cattle and hauled them home. Both my dad’s and brother’s responses were, “These are the thinnest cattle I have ever seen. I’m surprised they even have enough energy to walk. These cows need a lot of care to help them along.” At home, the cattle were fed a forage diet. We were initially worried to start the cows on a high quality grain diet because the cows have not seen enough feed and would over-eat any grain product placed in front of them resulting in metabolic acidosis causing more harm to the animal rather than good. We developed a gradual step-up ration diet that would initially meet the minimal cattle nutrition requirements needed and then increased in order to add weight to the cows to get them back towards adequate conditions. We went to gather the cows the first part of July and they have currently added approximately 300 pounds due to the water and nutrition supply my family has been able to provide to these animals. I saw these animals a few weeks after they arrived at home when I was down visiting for the weekend and I saw them again a couple weeks ago. The progress they have made has been remarkable just do to some management practices. Video of the cows and news report of the animal cruelty case can be found here:
The reason why I chose to write this for a Food For Thought blog was just to show the ability of production agriculturists to not only care about their own animals but all of the livestock sector. The drive and passion people can have is outstanding in agriculture sector. While it was a sad and isolated event that animals suffered, people directly involved with production agriculture stepped in and tried to fix the problem the best way they could.

Until next time,

Miles Theurer

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Huffington Post Blog

Sometimes I write blog posts....and sometimes I send you to really good blog posts that I've read. Lazy? Maybe, but you should really check out this Huffington Post Blog about why one blogger believes both organic and conventional agriculture may not feed the world...

Do you remember reading things along the similar line on here?

Customer is Always Right

Factory Farming Will Feed The World

Some Real Food For Thought


I'm sure there's even a few more! What do you think about what Ms. Greene said in her blog?

-Tera


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Farm Safety

When I was younger we had to make these safety posters at school. I wanted mine to be about farming, of course, so I asked my dad for some help.

"Hey dad, what are you most afraid of happening on your farm?" 

Because my dad is a total farmer and his dad was a farmer and even his dad was a farmer, I expected answers like:

"$1.80 per bushel corn price"
or
"Hail storm in the middle of May"
or
"Irrigation wells going down"

You see, those three things are examples of situations that could cause us to struggle to make a living growing crops. Selling crops for too little of a profit, mother nature wreaking havoc close to harvest or means of irrigation depleting in the middle of a growing season are all examples of things I thought would really devastate my dad and his business.

While, those are pretty bad situations that I thought of, my dad responded to my question with something that would really help out on my safety poster,

"If one of my hired men or family members ever got injured."

He's right. We can get through a lot of challenges on the farm, but just like in any other line of work - people are simply irreplaceable and safety has to come first.

Farm and ranch families have several resources for responsible safety measures that need to be taken in the workplace. A few of my favorite can be found at:

Farm Safety For Just Kids

OSHA Farm Safety Facts

National Education Center for Agricultural Safety

Accidents are aptly named because they are simply that - an accident. But we can do things on our farm to prevent a lot of common accidents as well. Just like on a construction site, in a hospital or at a restaurant, farmers and ranchers must think about safety in the workplace. Here's to hoping my mom doesn't read this blog post and dig out my old safety poster to embarrass me on Facebook. 

Stay tuned,

Tera

Monday, September 17, 2012

BPI Suing ABC over 'Pink Slime' (Lean, Finely Textured Beef) Debacle



Hey - it's actually called Lean, Finely Textured Beef (LFTB).

You may have read/heard that Beef Products, Inc. filed a lawsuit against ABC and three news reporters (Diane Sawyer, Jim Avila and David Kerly) and are seeking $1.2 billion in damages for defamation. But you may be wondering how they can file a lawsuit against a news company and reporters. Let's get down to the facts, folks.

First off, we need to define defamation: it is the communication of a statement that makes a claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual or business, a negative or inferior image. In Common Law it is usually a requirement that this claim be false and that the publication is communicated to someone other than the person defamed (in this case BPI is defamed person). (Wikipedia.org)

or in simpler terms:

Defamation is the false or unjustified injury of the good reputation of another, as by slander or libel (dictionary.com)

Basically, you can't go out and spread false information and not expect to be sued.

But what exactly is the claim against ABC?  

BPI claims that ABC did knowingly publish and report misinformation in 11 television reports and 14 online news items relating to BPI and LFTB that were false and misleading, which aired from March 7 to April 3. In a press conference on September 13, BPI's lawyers expressed that ABC had been provided with real factual information about LFTB from USDA and several other sources and still chose to release 25 reports that stated otherwise. The pushing of a negative agenda caused hundreds of thousands of parents to ask their schools to cease use of LFTB in lunch programs and ABC also created and release a 'blacklist' of grocery stores who were using LFTB. That's a lot of negative press in a 28 day period. So much negative press that BPI lost 80% of their business and was forced to shut down 3 of their 4 plants and let go of 650 employees. Ouch.

About that misinformation - let's clear some of that up. Here are the facts about LFTB.

- LFTB is 100% beef. One hundred percent.
- LFTB is a USDA approved product that is sanitized and made safer with a minuscule amount of ammonium hydroxide mist.
- Ammonium hydroxide is present in most foods - cheese, cereal, beer, bread, even fruits and veggies.
- LFTB is 94-97% lean. Meaning that when it is used, the product is lower in fat and is healthier than a 80% or 85% lean product.
- The photo that was splashed across every TV station and newspaper of pink oozy stuff coming out of a machine is not representative of LFTB. It wasn't even beef.

So, that's the bare bones facts of it all. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out. I personally don't see how BPI could lose this case. There were over 500 pages of evidence logged with the claim and it's hard to ignore the hundreds of jobs lost and nosedive of BPI's business.

If you want to read more about LFTB here are some good links

Engineering a safer burger - Washington Post article
Beef is Beef - a collection of articles and more hard facts about LFTB
Q & A about ammonium hydroxide in food production

And if you have questions, we'd love to hear them!


So now that you have the facts, what's your take?

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

 

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