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Posted on February 28, 2011 07:11 by Lauren Chase

Hello all! 

The 2011 editors have moved NCBA's Young Producer Council's Cattle Call over to Wordpress:

This decision enables us to have a more modern look and helps with the ease of posting. 

We are still actively seeking submissions so PLEASE be thinking about your daily lives, cattle industry issues or any story that the public should hear about. Send content to Lauren Chase, editor of YPC CC at 


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Lesson to be learned for US Beef Industry

Posted on February 24, 2011 19:24 by Jesse Bussard


We’ve all heard of the “turn the other cheek” philosophy, but there comes a time when this method isn’t always the best course of action.  I believe a lesson for the beef industry can be learned from the current situation in the United Kingdom.  Recently reports leaked to the press that UK government advisors were to release a report stating that eating less red meat and processed meat lowers the risk of developing cancer.  This report suggests that consumption of red meat has been linked to higher risks of tumors and cancer in research studies.  The part they forgot to mention is that most of these studies have proved inconclusive in their findings and cannot justifiably say that there is a true correlation between consuming red meat and increased risk of cancer.  Nutritionists from the British Nutrition Foundation have responded to this government report stating that “moderate red meat consumption has positive benefits” and “consumption of moderate amounts of meat makes a significant positive contribution to both micronutrient and macronutrient intakes, without risking any negative health effects.”

Beef and Lamb New Zealand, a large supplier of lamb to the UK, released a statement saying that they will take a relaxed approach to the UK government claims.  Because their market for the UK is mainly a lamb market, which is one of the most expensive of mainstream red meats in the UK, it is considered more of a special occasion product.  They feel that this sets lamb apart from beef making it less likely to be affected by the government report’s claims.

The UK’s leading beef producer organization, the National Beef Association released a response:

The National Beef Association urges the Coalition Government not to rush to judgment on the place of red meat in the diet if it is presented with yet another, hesitant and confused report, linking meat with a cancer.

Its plea comes after yesterday’s media leaks claiming that government was poised to warn the British people that a more cautious approach to the weight of both fresh red meat, and processed meat, in their diet must be taken – otherwise they faced an increased risk of bowel cancer.

“The red meat industry, which embraces farmers, processors, and retailers, will despair if it becomes the target of yet another in a long line of alarmist reports – which later undergo deep reconsideration, and substantial modification, after initial conclusions of been found to be too simplistic,” explained the NBA’s director, Kim Haywood.

The Association fears that another, unnecessary, embarrassment to both government, and the specialists on its Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition, is inevitable unless the expected public statement on cancer and red meat consumption properly acknowledges the complexity of the subject and the contradictory nature of the evidence.

To read more, click here.

Situations such as this only emphasize the ongoing need for beef producers, processors, and retailers to share the facts about beef with both the consumer and government officials.  If we do not do our part to tell our story, someone else will do it for us and we may not like what we hear.  So the next time you hear false claims about beef do your part to speak up!

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New life, same great love for ranching

Posted on February 24, 2011 07:03 by Lauren Chase


As I've described in an earlier post, my job for the Montana Stockgrowers Association is to visit our member ranches and take photos/videos to promote the cattle industry. My first...and second stop (loved it so much that I had to go back the next day)...was at Ehlke Herefords in Townsend, MT. Day One, which is posted below, I talked about how lively calves are and how ranching families care about the animals, their families, and the safety of the end product. Day Two, I spent with the Ehlke's hired help, Ryan Hamilton, who took me around in the tractor to feed. Boy, when those cows see that big, round bale coming, it's a race to see who can start chomping first. Ryan talked about how he likes doing things on the ranch "the cowboy way." He would much rather be on horseback or on foot while in the herd as to keep the cows' stress down. When he started talking about his job, I could really tell this is something he is passionate about. Keeping the cattle safe and calm is his number one priority - and he loves it. Ryan also said that he hopes to have his own ranch someday.

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Howdy from the Bluegrass!

Posted on February 22, 2011 18:24 by Jesse Bussard


Howdy from the Bluegrass!  You may remember me, the Pennsylvania cowgirl, from an earlier post where I introduced myself as a new blogger for the Cattle Call.  My family runs a small Angus/Hereford crossbred cow-calf operation in south central Pennsylvania.  We keep our calves and feed them out to slaughter weight, selling them locally as freezer beef.  Growing up on a farm instilled a passion for agriculture in my heart at a young age, leading me to become an active advocate for agriculture and the beef industry in particular.

My life has provided me with a variety of experiences and I’m very thankful for that because it has provided me with an interesting outlook on life.  Growing up I showed livestock and horses in 4-H, FFA, and open shows.  I’ve worked at numerous stables breaking colts and exercising horses.  When I was 19 years old I got my Class A CDL and even drove truck for a while. 

It wasn’t until I was 21 that I decided to go to college.  I ended up at Penn State University majoring in Animal Science.  Here I made some of the best friends I’ll ever have and discovered my true passion for agricultural advocacy.  During the spring of 2009, the Penn State Collegiate Cattlewomen chapter was started.  Being involved in this club allowed me to become aware of current issues and develop a deep passion for advocating for the beef industry.

Upon graduation from Penn State, I moved to Lexington, KY to start working on my M.S. degree in Plant and Soil Sciences at the University of Kentucky (UK).  Having lived in Pennsylvania for the majority of my life, moving to Kentucky was a big change for me, but definitely the right decision.  I have been fortunate to have friended some great people from the Kentucky agricultural community that make this change a little easier.

Kentucky is a very beautiful state that boasts the largest cattle industry east of the Mississippi River.  The University of Kentucky (UK) and the KY Cattlemen’s Association (KCA) work closely with each other to provide educational opportunities for the cattle producers they serve.  This provides a unique opportunity for me to learn both from agricultural researchers and cattle producers, while helping to educate them about current research and management practices.

I am an active Agvocate on social media and currently also run my own blog, Pearl Snaps' Ponderings, where I talk about many different topics related to agriculture.  I also write a monthly column for an equine publication called Tack 'n Togs.  In the upcoming months I will be a monthly contributor on the Food & Farm Radio Show sponsored by Feedstuffs Foodlinks on America's Web Radio.

As I take over the reins as the new Public Relations Task Force chair and co-editor for the YPC Cattle Call, I hope that I can help to spread the word about beef cattle production.  A major need to inform consumers and elected officials about the real story behind the cattle industry is obvious.  My hope is that by improving upon the YPC Cattle Call blog we will improve upon our efforts to correct misinformation about the cattle industry and give the general public a better understanding of the many different aspects of the cattle business.  This being said, I also hope that we can provide insight into current issues affecting the industry and also give perspectives from producers in the field for our members.

If you have any suggestions on how to improve upon the YPC Cattle Call blog or would like contribute please contact me at  You can also find me on Facebook and Twitter


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All I can say is moo

Posted on February 22, 2011 05:52 by Lauren Chase

I’ve seen photos and I’ve seen them from a distance, but being up close to a newborn calf is unreal.

My first ranch stop this season for the Montana Stockgrowers Association was at  Ehlke Herefords  in Townsend. Their breeding philosophy is to “focus on the female. It takes an exceptional cow to produce replacement quality breeding animals.”

The ranch is operated by owners Mark and Della Ehlke, with daughters Lacey Jo and Jane’a and a hire employee, Ryan.

As I pulled in the snow-covered driveway, I saw the red and white cows grazing on hay with navy blue mountains behind them. They looked at me for a bit, but realized I wasn’t overly interesting and went back to eating.

Mark, Jane’a, Ryan and I went out to give the new cow/calf pairs some hay.

I had seen cow/calf pairs during the summer, but nothing like this.

The lil ones were only a handful of hours old and nestled comfortably in a pile of warm hay. Naturally, Mom was right by their side.

Immediately, I smiled and didn’t stop smiling until I left.

The day-month old ones leaped over small hills to get to tasty udders and called out with moos when they couldn’t find any.

I don’t think I could have been any happier. And what made it even more special was that Mark, Ryan and Jane’a smiled, laughed, and obviously, loved their work. I think that’s what ranching is all about…just doing what you love.

I’ve said it time and time again, and will keep saying it: In ranching, there’s a feeling of tangible, genuine passion for not only raising animals, but providing care for them…providing care for the family unit, and providing care for consumers’ quality of meat.  That’s exactly what I saw at the Ehlke’s ranch.

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Finding my way...

Posted on February 21, 2011 09:05 by Meghan Wooldridge

Finding My Way…

I have tried many times in my life to have everything planned perfectly and lined out just so.

You are probably smiling because you figured out long ago that this can’t be done.

Well I am blonde.

Since that is my natural color, I have the privilege of making this statement: being blonde means being a bit slower on the uptake than the average Joe.

After college, I had ambitions of doing something spectacular and making lots of money.

I wanted both of those criteria met by an agricultural job. I had no idea how that was going to happen. I was smart enough (overcame the blonde challenge in this instance) to know that money and agriculture are not particularly attracted to one another.

At this point, I was starting to analyze just how unrealistic my ultimate plan might be. The spring before I graduated, I interviewed for an intern position with a feed company. During the course of the interview, I was accused of being an ice queen. Wow…harsh! Truthfully, I deserved it. I needed someone to be brutally honest about the impression I made on people. I took myself way too seriously. We both left the room smiling and I had learned a valuable life lesson.

After a successful summer with the company, I was offered a full time position. The catch was the location was TBD.

In January, I became a resident of the state of Pennsylvania / Maryland. I was excited, but at the same time, devastated. My savior came in the form of my training supervisor. Her family treated me like one of their own and she was there for me when the homesickness hit in full force.

 First East Coast apartment

From her I learned how to interact with all types of people and how to always put my best foot forward, even if all I wanted to do was cry about missing my family.  I also made some lifelong friends that happened to be my second set of landlords. After frozen apartment pipes, sending my dog back to Colorado, a bed bug attack, a car burglary, and numerous other adventures; I received an email about a job position back in Colorado. I sent in my resume and didn’t hear anything. I had made a deal with myself that I wasn’t running back home until I had a job.  

 Long way back home                        Actual sign in Maine

I happen to be home one weekend for a wedding and got a call about the position. Later that day, between a wedding rehearsal and a rehearsal dinner, I had an interview. As soon as I sat down across from the woman, I knew I wanted to work for her.

And now I do. I am employed by AgInfoLink and my business card reads Verified Services. I have come to learn that entails many things.  I travel to ranches, backgrounding operations, and feedlots across the country performing audits to qualify producers as Age and Source Verified and Non-Hormone Treated Cattle suppliers. I have also worked on advertising, answering phones in the office, planning dinners out with clients, and getting my boss set up with Blackberry Messenger. I love every second of it and no, I am not just saying this because I think my boss will read this.

I am obviously back in Colorado and have been fortunate enough to work for yet another ag professional that has taken me under her wing. I have a short temper and lack patience, but she manages to guide me down the right path. Our strategy is to count to ten… I recommend this to anyone who might have tendencies similar to mine.

 Winter Travels

The point of this blog is not to bore you with my life story, but remind you that if someone has ever helped you out…pay it forward. Thanks to the agricultural industry for providing the needed support for a gal like me to succeed in this business.

This industry is unique in that we all look after each other – neighbor helping neighbor.

Even though it might not always seem like it, the next generation appreciates what the “older folks” have done and are doing!  

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