Saturday, August 11, 2012

oh for the love of beef

Being a member of an organization, committee, or group is a humbling experience.  Today I sat in a meeting as a Director for the Ohio Cattlemen’s Board.   They ask a lot about if we are following issues and politics that affect the beef industry.  I’ll be honest that is not something I look up on the internet, nor is it something that runs on the Disney channel that my television is tuned into when it is on.  Therefore no, I am embarrassed to say I don’t have a clue and I should.  I am passing two important issues that you may have interest in not only as a beef producer or beef consumer but as an American.

There will be an issue on the ballot (too early to tell what number) to add to the Ohio Constitution that a group is appointed to handle redistricting.  We all know and have learned to hate the redistricting process in Ohio.  We all would love to see a simple and reasonable solution to the problem.  But this is not it!  They will advertise that it is wonderful and simple and will solve all of the redistricting problems.  However they will probably leave out:

1.     The rules for the group that can be appointed will not allow about 75% of Ohio residents to be considered for the board. 
2.     The board once appointed would set their own salary. Who would ever think this is a good idea?
3.     That once you are on the board you cannot be removed by anyone.  The only way to get off the board is to quit.  For example, not that this would happen, but if one of these members would do something to get them self, put in jail (not that a politician would ever do that).  They would still be on the board.

I think it will be in our best interest to vote no and have them go back to the drawing board to find someone to help us redistrict. 

The OCA party then moved to a hotel for dinner and meeting the people attending the Young Cattlemen’s Conference.  Daren Williams flew in to help us better understand who is helping us and who is hurting us in the media with our Beef Message.  The bottom line is we don’t have a lot of friends – media like viewers so they like drama.  Apparently the drama of running a farm or ranch is not enough.  The drought seems to be a big story.  Daren said they are reporting how much beef prices are going to go up.  The answer is they aren’t going up this weekend so feel free to stock up on beef.  The sad story is generally speaking people can’t tell you what they paid for hamburger last week, but they heard on the news that it was going up.  So, this week they bypass the beef and buy chicken.  Thank you – media. 

In other news ABC who has not run a positive beef story in years – if ever, is beginning a series of entertainment pieces called “What If”.  They are “investigating” what if we all became vegetarians.  We know that only 4% of the population is vegetarian now, so “What If”.  I think back to my Agriculture Education teaching days and think my students could rise to the challenge and answer this for ABC. This is why a basic Agriculture course is important for every high school student. But, back to ABC’s question:

  • 1.     We raise cattle, sheep, goats and other animals that are great sources of proteins in places that are not suitable for crops that would be nutritious enough for human consumption.  In other words if you do not have four compartments in your stomach, then you are not a ruminant and cannot eat what cattle, sheep and goats eat.
  • 2.     If we were to raise enough plants for all of these people with no meat to be served we would have to till ground that should not be tilled and increase our pesticide use.
  • 3.     We would have to destroy wildlife habitats, because cattle can cohabitate with rabbits and deer, but vegetable plants can’t.
  • 4.     We would have a severe labor issue in this country. The vegetable industry has a shortage of capable, quality legal labor now.  If we were to increase the plant supply it most certainly increases their problems. We can move thousands of pounds of beef with a couple of people.  Unfortunately we cannot move thousands of pounds of vegetables with a couple of people.

5.     We already have numerous people that are protein deprived and we have choices now.
6.     Deleting the livestock revenue from our budget surely would not be beneficial to the economy.

What else might happen if we all chose the vegetarian lifestyle?

On another note I would probably die, because I do not enough of any other food group to stay alive.

Stayed tuned to ABC’s – “What If” series.

ABC – My “What If” is what would happen if we actually spent our time as Americans solving real problems like feeding the hungry or stopping brutal crimes instead of thinking about what if we all decided not to eat meat.  I think America has bigger fish to fry.  Bahahaha I couldn’t resist.

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