Beef

5:00am

Thu April 23, 2015
Agriculture

Beef Industry Not Sold On E. coli Vaccine

Research technician, Bradley Boyd, tags a steer that just arrived at the University of Nebraska Lincoln feedlot near Mead, Neb.
Credit Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

Thousands of people get sick every year from E. coli bacteria in their food. While the beef industry has gone to great lengths to limit illnesses in meat, the industry has been slow to adopt an E. coli vaccine that could keep people from getting sick.

Ground beef has a track record of causing some serious outbreaks of food illness, like E. Coli O157 H:7. The problem is, when cows carry E. coli bacteria in their gut it’s totally harmless, but if the bacteria gets on your meat and then you undercook it, you could easily end up in the hospital.

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5:00am

Thu March 5, 2015
Agriculture

Ranchers Counting On Labels To Stand Apart From Global Competition

Country of origin labels on packages of beef, pork, chicken and other meat are supposed to list where a harvested animal was born, raised and slaughtered.
Credit Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

You’ve probably seen, but may not have noticed, labels on the meat at your grocery store that say something like “Born, Raised, & Harvest in the U.S.A.” or “Born and Raised in Canada, Slaughtered in the U.S.”

These country of origin labels, as they are known, are part of an ongoing international trade dispute that has swept up Midwest ranchers. And they may not be long for store shelves.

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5:00am

Wed January 21, 2015
Agriculture

Beef: It's What's For Dinner, And For Fueling A Rancher's Rebellion

Kansas rancher David Pfrang is one of thousands of small beef producers challenging the oversight of the multimillion dollar “beef checkoff” fund, which is used to promote the beef industry.
Credit Courtesy Jill Toyoshiba / The Kansas City Star

From their small farms set in the rolling hills of northeast Kansas, two ranchers are raising a few cattle, and a lot of Cain. David Pfrang and Jim Dobbins turned themselves into activists, launched a shadow corporation, got hauled into federal court and had to hire a lawyer.

All over $1.

That buck, though, divides the beef industry and may influence what you decide to have for dinner.

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5:00am

Wed December 10, 2014
Agriculture

'Prayer And Work' Go Hand In Hand At This Colorado Ranch

Sisters Ann (pictured left) and Elizabeth tend to Yoda, a young water buffalo calf during his morning feeding at the Abbey of St. Walburga.
Sonja Salzburg For KUNC and Harvest Public Media

Many beer aficionados are familiar with the rare breweries run by Trappist monks. The beer is highly sought after, but it’s not the only food or drink made by a religious order. Many abbeys and convents have deep roots in agriculture, combining farm work with prayer.

Just five miles south of the Colorado-Wyoming border you’ll find one of these places. Idyllic red farm buildings sit in the shadow of the main abbey, all tucked in a stony valley. At the Abbey of St. Walburga, cattle, water buffalo and llamas graze on grass under the watchful eye of Benedictine nuns.

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5:00am

Mon December 1, 2014
Agriculture

To Build Up Cattle Herd, Ranchers Attempt A Grassland Grab

Cattle take a drink from a tank filled by a windmill. Rancher Dave Wright was hoping to buy part of a neighboring ranch to expand his herd, but it sold for extreme prices.
Credit Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

After getting pummeled by drought and low cattle prices, many ranchers are across the Midwest are eager to grow their herds. As they do, grass is turning into a hot commodity.

The national beef herd is down to the size it was in 1951. Shoppers know that beef is more expensive, which has people switching to chicken and pork. To raise more cattle and perhaps bring down meat prices, ranchers need more pasture. The trouble for many ranchers is grass has grown expensive.

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