Friday, March 12, 2010

Socialism - It will Trickle into our Lives - and the Obama Administration's EPA is Helping it Along

The Obama Administration is already gearing up for the next critical component of Barrack's grand plan to redistribute the wealth of America - and that wealth includes the very ground itself upon which crops and cattle are raised.

The health care bill, the so-called stimulus bill, and all the fat salaries of this bloated administration have to be paid for. How? Clearly taxes will be raised, that was surely a given. But, the backdoor attack on the wealth of America is being accomplished through the EPA.

The President is already making moves to legitimize the EPA's regulatory control of greenhouse gases. The EPA's "Endangerment Finding" on GHG emissions opens the door to a vast revenue stream for the use of liberal Democratic salaries and social programs, and will effectively set the stage for the redistribution of American farm lands.

Recognition, or legitimization, of Greenhouse Gases as hazardous to human health is just the first step.  Many, many more recommended "mitigating policies" of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) will follow.  The end result will be the transfer of pasture and farm land in to the hands of the federal government, friendly large industrial players, or into the hands of some individual who qualifies for a loan under some federal "redistribution" program -- that you can't touch.  How?  Through the burden of new taxation that forces the small holder out the door and his children and grandchildren into "alternative livelihoods" and leaves them forever distanced from the roots of the rural lifestyle of their ancestors.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Will Brazilian and Australian Cattlemen Actually 'Believe' BioDiesel By-Products will Improve the Nutritional Quality of their Beef?

Here we go again, another 'authority' claims that methane emissions by grazing animals makes up one-third of this planet's greenhouse gas emissions.  Our own EPA provides us a handy chart that makes the respected Dr. Alex Chaves of the University of Sidney look like a student rather than a member of the faculty.  Per the EPA, CH4, or methane, accounts for 14.3% of Global GHG emissions, and that includes other sources beyond cattle, like Coal production.

Dr. Chaves' answer to solving this exaggerated statement in regard to beef cattle methane emissions is.....drum roll please....feeding Australia and Brazil's livestock more by-products to make their belches and their dung more environmentally friendly.  He really caught me off-guard on that position, really, I would have never thought either Australia or Brazil would buy in to this FAO generated bunk of modifying the grass diet of grazing cattle...  and Dr. Chaves actually has the temerity to claim his bio-diesel byproducts will improve the grazing cows nutrition and the quality of beef and milk?

Figure 1: Global Anthropogenic Greenhouse Gas Emissions in 2004
Figure 1: Global greenhouse gas emissions, 2000. This pie chart shows the breakdown of global greenhouse gas emissions by gas. CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion and cement manufacturing account for 55 percent of the total. CO2 emissions from land use change and forestry account for another 19 percent. Methane emissions account for 16 percent of the total, nitrous oxide accounts for 9 percent, and the high-global-warming-potential gases (such as sulfur hexafluoride) account for 1 percent.

Greener grazing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

3 March 2010
Gases such as methane expelled by grazing animals make up roughly one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions.Dr Alex Chaves, Senior Lecturer of Animal Nutrition in the Faculty of Veterinary Science, is working on ways to reduce these livestock emissions, which contribute to global warming.
Working in collaboration with the CNPGL-EMBRAPA (Dairy Research Centre) and the Federal University of São João del-Rei in his native Brazil, Dr Chaves plans to supplement ruminant feed in Brazil and Australia with biodiesel by-products, such as press-oil seeds and glycerol.
"Brazil has a massive biodiesel industry," he explains. "By using biodiesel by-products in animal feeding, we can hopefully improve animal nutrition and performance, and reduce methane emissions per unit of production."
While Brazil has the second-largest number of livestock animals in the world (170 million head), the quality of its grasses is lower (tropical grasses, or "C4") than those in temperate areas (temperate grasses, or "C3"). This means its animals develop at a slower pace, and therefore emit more methane over their lifespan.
Essentially, Dr Chaves' project aims to improve the quality of Brazil's grasses from C4 to C3, to improve the performance and sustainability of the agricultural sector.
"The better the nutrition, the better the efficiency," he explains. "And the better the efficiency, the less animals you need to produce to feed human beings. This means lower emissions."
"We are trying to kill two birds with one stone," he continues. "We are trying to reduce methane emissions while simultaneously improving animal performance as well as the nutritional quality of the meat and milk."
If the project is as successful as Dr Chaves anticipates it will be, it will help producers to maximise livestock productivity, improve the income of thousands of farmers in marginal regions including outback Australia and lower greenhouse gas emissions, mitigating anthropogenic climate change.

Contact: Michelle Wood
Phone: 02 9351 3191

Sunday, March 7, 2010

In March 2009, a Bill was Introduced to Prevent the EPA from assessing a "Cow Tax"

The efforts of South Dakota's Thune to protect the farmer from a "cow tax" on methane emissions from the cow's belch has not resulted in actual passage of a bill specific to prohibiting a "cow tax".  However, a prohibition against such a tax is included in a 2010 appropriations bill.  While the "2010 Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill prohibits the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from taxing producers for naturally occurring livestock emissions,"  -- the battle is far from over.  

The current cap and trade legislation includes the "dietary modification" policy recommendation of the United Nations, and the EPA continues to maintain numerous web pages devoted to the methane emissions from the cow's belch.   

This anti "Cow Tax" bill, introduced right at a year ago, is sitting in the Committee on Environment and Public Works, per  Voice your support of this bill at  The minority voice of Vegan Meat Haters would appear to be the vast 'majority' of any concerned US citizens who have taken the time to 'click' their opposition to this bill --take the time to voice your support, the risk to the family farm is quite real.

Thune, Schumer Introduce "Cow Tax" Prevention Bill, Puts Nail In Coffin Of Inane Proposal That Could Cost SD Farmers An Estimated $367 Million And Put Family Farms At Risk Of Going Out Of Business

Financial Impact Would Be Devastating To The Thousands Of Family-Owned Farms in South Dakota
"March 5th, 2009 - Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators John Thune and Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) today introduced a bill (S.527) that will once and for all prevent the government from imposing an onerous "cow tax" on farmers across the country. Late last year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) discussed regulating greenhouse gases in its Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking under the 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act, which could include requiring farmers to purchase expensive permits. Although the EPA did not propose moving forward with the permits, Thune and Schumer are taking preventive action to protect America's farmers. The "tax" would cost South Dakota farmers an estimated $367 million -- or $175 per dairy cow, $87.50 per beef cow, and $20 per hog -- fees that could put already struggling family farms on the brink of closure.

In a move to alleviate farmers' fears and ensure that such a proposal is never implemented, Thune and Schumer introduced legislation to prevent the EPA or any other governmental agency from imposing this fee on farmers.

"The Clean Air Act was written to curb pollution from smokestack industries, not to regulate livestock production in South Dakota or elsewhere," said Thune. "Livestock producers do not need another burdensome regulation to worry about, and this legislation would ensure that the `cow tax' never becomes a reality.

"Cattle and dairy production is vital to the economy of South Dakota and to our nation, and in these difficult economic times, it would be disastrous to enact policies that would increase food prices for all Americans. This bipartisan effort reflects our commitment to ensure overbearing proposed rules are never put in place."

"Times are hard for families across New York State, and they are particularly hard for our farmers. The idea of a imposing a cow tax on our farmers and adding one more crushing burden is absurd," Schumer said. "This bill will put an end to this inane `cow tax' once and for all."

In 2007, the Supreme Court ruled in Massachusetts, et al v EPA that the EPA cannot categorically refuse to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions under the Clean Air Act, a law that defines EPA's responsibilities for protecting and improving the nation's air quality. On July 30, 2008, in response to this, the EPA began to consider the implications of defining greenhouse gases as an air pollutant by issuing an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. This is typically a precursor to a proposed rule and the first in several steps in creating a new regulation. As a part of this process, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) responded to the Notice with a comment that defining greenhouse gases as air pollution may require the EPA to issue permits to farmers for their livestock. Currently, permits for other pollutants cost roughly $45 per ton, though that level can change. Title V of the Clean Air Act requires that permits be obtained by most large and small sources of air pollution.

The USDA indicated that if the EPA chose to move forward with regulating farm animals and requiring permits for emitters of methane, farms with more than 25 dairy cows or 50 beef cattle would need to purchase permits for each ton of methane their animals emitted. The American Farm Bureau Federation, assuming a price of approximately $45 per ton, calculated that this would cost $175 per dairy cow, $87.50 per beef cow, or $20 per hog. This regulation would cost a medium sized dairy farm with 75 to 125 cows between $13,000 and $22,000 a year. It would cost a medium size cattle farm with 200 to 300 cows between $17,000 and $27,000.

If enacted, these permits would be devastating to farmers and could put family farms at risk of going out of business. Beef and dairy products are part of a highly competitive global market, meaning American farmers cannot significantly raise prices when the cost of doing business in the United States rises. If forced to pay a "cow tax" or other additional fees, farmers could face a competitive disadvantage, which could close farms and lead to more imported food products.

Importation of dairy and beef products carries its own set of risks for consumers. Overseas livestock and dairy farms are often not regulated as stringently as U.S. farms, and cases of tainted agricultural and food products making their way into U.S. markets have proliferated in the last year. Most recently, baby formula in China containing dangerous levels of melamine and a salmonella outbreak resulting from contaminated jalape¤os from Mexico have rocked American consumers and put the U.S. imported food safety apparatus to the test.

South Dakota is in the heart of farm and ranch country and is a leading producer of livestock. South Dakota has 15,700 cattle ranches, 660 dairy operations, and 960 hog operations. With this new livestock fee, South Dakota farmers and ranchers would pay approximately $367 million in new fees each year to continue operating at current levels. The livestock sector break down for South Dakota is as follows:
  • There are 3.7 million beef cattle in the state of South Dakota, which would result in $323,750,000 in fees for South Dakota farmers
  • There are 1.42 million hogs in the state of South Dakota, which would result in $28,400,000 in fees for South Dakota hog farmers.
  • There are 85,000 dairy cows in the state of South Dakota, which would result in $14,875,000 in fees for South Dakota dairy farmers.
To ensure the burden of a cow tax is never placed on South Dakota farmers, Thune introduced a bill that will prevent the government from imposing the fee, by ensuring that Title V of the clean air act will not apply to methane emissions from livestock agriculture."

Monday, March 1, 2010

College Students Create Videos to Convey the Importance of Agriculture

Everyone should have a look at these videos on agriculture. The first video was produced by a student at Sam Houston State University, entitled "Agriculture is our Soul", and took second place in a competition ". . . for explaining the importance of agriculture to the general public."   The second video below took first place in this competition, and was produced by a student at the University of Missouri.

This first prize winning video is entitled "Naked and Hungry", don't let the beginning few seconds scare you!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Interesting Advice from 1808 on the Care of the Cow that Prematurely Calves or Aborts

How to Manage and Care for the Cow that has Prematurely Calved (or slipped) their Calf - from The Complete Grazier, 1808, by Thomas Hartwell Horne

". . . But where a cow slips, or casts her calf prematurely, she must be tended with great care; and ,whatever may be the cause, whether abusive treatment, violent exercise, bruises or blows, or that unnatural appetite known by the name of longing, every animal that has slipped her calf should be carefully separated from the rest of the herd.  Cleanliness which is an essential requisite in the general management of cattle, ought in this instance to be an object of special attention; and, as cows which are liable to drop their calves usually evince some preparatory symptoms between the cause of the abortion and the actual slipping of the fetus, it will not be altogether useless to bleed them two or three times, as this expedient has sometimes operated as a preventive."

"After, however, the calf is produced, it will be necessary to assist the natural functions of the animal in order to carry off the secandines * provided in the uterus for nourishing the fetus; and which, continuing there in consequence of abortion, would become putrescent, and thus occasion a disagreeable odour that would quickly communicate an infection among other breeding cows."

"For this purpose we would, at all times, recommend the following mixture to be given the cow as soon after calving as possible:  Let about three quarts of water simmer over the fire; and, when warm, strew in as much oatmeal as will be sufficient to make a strong gruel, carefully stirring the whole, till it boils, that no lumps may arise; then add one quart of ale (or two of table beer) and one pound of treacle (molasses), and carefully incorporate the different ingredients by stirring.  This mixture should be given lukewarm: it is peculiarly grateful to cows, which (particularly young ones) will drink it eagerly, after the first hornful, and are thus prevented from taking cold.  And, as it is of importance to regulate the state of the body, this object may be effected by giving a mash of bran wetted with warm water."

"Further, it will be necessary to milk the cows, especially if they be full of flesh and the udder hard, three or four times a day, for two or three days, and the calf should be suffered to suck as frequently, if in the house; or, in the field to run with her and suck at pleasure; care being taken to observe that the mother does not prevent it, for, if the udder or teats be sore, she will naturally be averse to suckling, and danger is incurred of losing both animals: and, in case the kernel of the udder is hard, the hardness may be removed by rubbing it three or four times in the day."

*"Or afterbirth: -- in the North it is termed the cleansing.  This excrement ought to be narrowly watched,  after it is passed, as cows will often eat it with great avidity."