• Beef: It's (what used to be) for dinner (commentary)

    Foodlinks Blog

     by Dr. Richard Raymond
     on April 15, 2014

    THE beef checkoff program funded the "Beef: It's What's for Dinner" ads starring actor Robert Mitchum that first aired on May 18, 1992. That was more than 20 years ago, and much water has flowed under the bridge since then, with some undesirable (to me, at least) repercussions. That initial ad ran for more than a year at a cost of $42 million. Different versions have aired since then, but probably none with the same effect the first one had on promoting beef for our dinner…

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  • Changing how we've always done it (commentary)

    Foodlinks Blog

     by Megan Brown
     on April 15, 2014

    AGRICULTURE is an industry where stoicism is revered. Media perpetuates the myth that cowboys are cold, aloof and uncommunicative; just picture the lone cowboy riding off into the sunset. Often, our online advocating presence reiterates these labels by using cold science instead of a blend of affable emotion and fact to attempt to tell our stories. After all, being emotional in an industry that values indifference is a challenge. Why is that? Often, emotions are viewed as a sign of weakness…

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  • Soaring beef price signal different meat case? (commentary)

    Foodlinks Blog

     by Chuck Jolley
     on April 15, 2014

    On April 14, Nolan Feeney, writing for Time magazine headlined his story, "Beef Prices Soar To Highest Level Since 1987." He wasn't alone in flagging this serious economic problem. Too many recent articles have reported similar price jumps. It should scare the hell out of the beef industry on several levels: We're still weeks away from the usual summer grilling season and the inevitable boost in retail prices. Booming Asian economies are putting serious stress on worldwide…

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  • Priority was never what it seemed (commentary)

    Foodlinks Blog

     by Dr. Nevil Speer
     on April 15, 2014

    Everything that follows is hypothetical. But what IF it really happened? Assume northbound I-65 possesses a construction zone beginning at mile marker 90. The speed limit changes from 70 mph to 55 mph. And accordingly, there are multiple warning signs along the way alerting drivers to what’s ahead. This area has particularly dangerous area and thus guarded closely by the state patrol. Almost assuredly, speeding within the construction zone will lead to a double-fine violation…

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  • 'Farmland' won't change the game (commentary)

    Foodlinks Blog

     by Chuck Jolley
     on April 8, 2014

    I recently saw the film "Farmland," along with several hundred other ag folks and media types. It was a special, by-invitation-only screening hosted by the Kansas Farm Food Connection. The event was part of a slow, nationwide rollout of the long-awaited film commissioned by the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Assn. Walking out of the theater after the closing credits, I was of two minds: (1) it's a great flick that tells the story of American agriculture, and everyone should…

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  • No winning with double standards (commentary)

    Foodlinks Blog

     by Dr. Nevil Speer
     on April 3, 2014

    MY daughter's math teacher requires her students to draw a vertical line on their papers; the left-hand side is designated for answers, and the right-hand side provides space to do work. I'm sure we all remember some math problems where it just seemed impossible to calculate the answer. Regardless of how many times you worked it, a solution remained elusive. With that in mind, much of what follows is redundant; I've written about these issues previously, but like the math problem…

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  • Forego top-down approach to egg law (commentary)

    Foodlinks Blog

     by Dr. Nevil Speer
     on March 27, 2014

    THE food and agriculture industries are never dull. Wherever you might find yourself in the system, there's inevitably some sort of hullabaloo going on. Some of the controversies are frivolous. They come and go without ever landing a punch. However, some issues are highly significant; they matter a lot and have widespread implications. The latter is precisely where the agriculture industry finds itself regarding California's pending egg production laws. As a quick review, the…

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  • FDA Guidance 213: Is it a good thing? (commentary)

    Foodlinks Blog

     by Dr. Richard Raymond
     on March 27, 2014

    On Dec. 12, 2013, the Food & Drug Administration announced that the long awaited Guidance 213 had been finalized, signaling a 90-day response period for the pharmaceutical companies producing and selling antibiotics to be used in animals. In a very simplified nutshell, 213 calls for voluntary suspension of using “medically important” antibiotics for growth promotion in animals and moving all antibiotics under veterinary oversight. For reference, it is estimated by many that…

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  • Another brilliant ad campaign bites the dust (commentary)

    Foodlinks Blog

     by Chuck Jolley
     on March 25, 2014

    ALTHOUGH Freddy Mercury of Queen sang it years ago, it could be  considered an ode to some great advertising campaigns that are no longer with us: "Steve walks warily down the street; Brim pulled way down low; Ain't no sound but the sound of his feet; Machine gun ready to go; "Are you ready, hey, are you ready for this? Are you hanging on the edge of your seat? Out of the doorway the bullets rip, To the sound of the beat. Another one bites the dust." The one that bit…

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  • Obesity epidemic goes beyond label (commentary)

    Foodlinks Blog

     by Dr. Nevil Speer
     on March 18, 2014

    AS Feedstuffs readers know well, the food world can sometimes be nonsensical. Those in the business have witnessed many irrational complaints, worries and policies surrounding agriculture and food over the years. As such, nothing ever seems really shocking, but every once in a while, something comes down the pike that simply defies logic, especially when it comes to the nation's ever-present obesity problem. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) indicates that nearly two…

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