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WASHINGTON

Kentucky cattleman testifies before U.S. House subcommittee

Tim White, a cattle producer from Lexington, KY, testified before the House Small Business Committee’s Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy, and Trade, on March 23, regarding the future of America’s small family farms. In his testimony, White called on Congress to address the overly burdensome regulatory environment that is hampering rural America, repeal the federal estate tax, and to ensure the 2018 Farm Bill works for America’s cattle producers.

White said that as a small business owner, one of the biggest concerns he faces is over-regulation. EPA’s “waters of the United States” he said is a prime example of overregulation that would subject farmers and ranchers to unnecessary and costly permitting process.

White also called for the repeal of the federal estate tax, which is a leading cause of the breakup of multi-generational family farms. White concluded his testimony discussing the 2018 Farm Bill and how it could positively or negatively affect many small family farms and ranches.

SAN ANTONIO, TX

Cattle producers can expect more volatility, supply fluctuations

Volatility in the cattle market recently is a result of large supplies of beef and speculative investment in agricultural commodities, according to experts at the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association convention in San Antonio.

The overall message was cattle producers should brace for continued swings in prices as beef cycles through the supply chain.

“Obviously we’ve got a lot of meat to work through,” said Dr. Joe Paschal, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service livestock specialist from Corpus Christi. “Some economists have said it’s been a meat tsunami. I think we will get through that. Cows in good condition are moving up to the 70 cent mark in my part of the country, and bulls that are not completely worn out because of the lean beef value, are moving a little bit north of 90 cents.

Dr. Ron Gill, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service livestock specialist said some producers are looking at replacing some of the cattle they sold during the dry years or when cows were really high, or just rebuilding their cow herd.

Randy Blach, CattleFax cattle marketing economist in Colorado, confirmed both the market volatility and large supplies of beef during his market outlook presentation.

“We saw prices break 35 percent (in the fall) and now we are just coming off a 35 percent rally,” Blach said.

PENDLETON, OR

Neglected cattle seized from Oregon rancher auctioned off

More than 100 cattle found neglected and starving on a ranch in eastern Oregon earlier this year have been sold.

The East Oregonian reports officials say Tuesday's auction at the Hermiston Livestock Commission brought in more than $140,000. A few more of the animals will be sold next week.

The animals were seized in January from owner Michael Hockensmith.

The Hermiston rancher has been charged with 14 counts of first-degree animal neglect and 186 counts of second-degree animal neglect.

Deputies had visited Hockensmith's Cedar Creek Cattle Company and found 14 dead cattle and 15 others too malnourished to be safely moved from the pasture.

The money from Tuesday's sale will be used to reimburse the Umatilla County Sheriff's Office for the care of the animals. Any remaining funds will be returned to Hockensmith.

FISHERS, IN

Rare calf born at Conner Prairie following embryo transfer

A rare English Longhorn calf has joined Conner Prairie's livestock herds following a successful embryo transfer.

The male calf was born at the interactive history park in suburban Indianapolis. Its birth comes nine months after a frozen embryo shipped from England was implanted into one of Conner Prairie's female Shorthorn cows.

Livestock Manager Kevyn Miller calls embryo transfers a relatively new way of saving very old cattle breeds.

The newborn bull is now one of 11 English Longhorns at the museum, which boasts the nation's second-largest herd of the cattle breed. It will eventually be bred to boost the genetic diversity of the museum's Longhorn herd.

Conner Prairie's 850-acre park in Fishers includes a recreated 1836 village.

OAK BROOK, IL

McDonalds switching to fresh beef

Coming soon to McDonald’s: fresh beef.

The fast-food giant said last week that it will swap out frozen beef patties for fresh ones in its Quarter Pounder burgers by sometime next year at most of its U.S. locations. It’s a major change for McDonald’s, which has relied on frozen beef for more than 40 years.

EL RENO, OK

Mass cattle death investigated near El Reno

An official for the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture says the death of 60 to 70 cattle near El Reno appears to be accidental.

Deputy Commissioner Betty Thompson tells The Oklahoman that veterinary staff drew blood from the cattle to determine the exact cause of the death. She says the department will release more information on the deaths once the test results return.

The commission began investigating the incident on Monday. Thompson says the animals' death doesn't appear to be disease related.

She says the producer is working to dispose properly of the cattle. Authorities declined to identify the cattle producer.

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