Wednesday, February 19, 2014

British White Cattle on Display for Australia's Beef Week at Shrublands Estate in Thornton, Victoria

This Texas gal went down under to the beautiful southern state of Victoria in Australia.  Besides the utterly beautiful scenery, excellent coffee available every where one looked, bird life that was captivating, and so much more . . . I also saw some very grand British White cows!

It was the occasion of Australia's annual Beef Week, and for the first time ever the British White breed was showcased on beautiful Shrublands Estate which is primarily a Black Angus stud, but with a keen interest in developing a top herd of British White cattle.  

ET Heifer Calves at Shrublands

Shrublands had a couple dozen British White calves on the ground for visitors to delight in.  Much of the folk dropping by were there for the unusual opportunity to learn more about the British White, as for most, it was their first introduction to the breed.

ET Bull Calf at Shrublands, Sired by J.West's Elvis from J.West's Doc's Gal

The British White calves are all the product of Embryo Transfer and the embryos were collected from several females from the herd of J.West Cattle Company, and variously sired by J.West's Elvis and J.West's El Presidente.  Shrublands has a particularly promising young 5 month old bull calf sired by J.West's Elvis that draws everyone's eye and leaves one saying "Wow!"  

Shrublands Estate is located alongside the beautiful Goulburn River in Thornton, Victoria.  Being located in close proximity to Lake Eildon upstream, the Goulburn waters are incredibly pristine and icy cold.  The Eildon Wier (dam) releases waters from the vastly deep man-made Lake Eildon this time of year, Australia's summer, for use in agricultural croplands that rely on the waters of the Goulburn for irrigation.  
Goulburn River at Shrublands Estate

The Goulburn is fully at its banks this time of year, but in the winter the water level of the Goulburn can be so low in this same area that cattle oftentimes stroll across to adjoining pastures on the other side for a visit!  

This slideshow of my visit is a nice overall look at the Shrublands Estate in Thornton, Victoria.  

Sunday, December 29, 2013

What will 2014 bring to American Cattlemen?

The article below is provided in its entirety.  Somehow I was not even shocked to see the Mother Jones headline . . . 

Should We Fight Climate Change By Taxing Meat?

Decreasing the global cattle population would reduce emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.

| Sat Dec. 21, 2013 3:00 AM GMT
cows eating
This story originally appeared in the Guardian, and has been reproduced here as part of theClimate Desk collaboration.
Meat should be taxed to encourage people to eat less of it, so reducing the production of global warming gases from sheep, cattle and goats, according to a group of scientists.
Several high-profile figures, from the chief of the UN's climate science panel to the economist Lord Stern, have previously advocated eating less meat to tackle global warming.
The scientists' analysis, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, takes the contentious step of suggesting methane emissions be cut by pushing up the price of meat through a tax or emissions trading scheme.
"Influencing human behaviour is one of the most challenging aspects of any large-scale policy, and it is unlikely that a large-scale dietary change will happen voluntarily without incentives," they say. "Implementing a tax or emission trading scheme on livestock's greenhouse gas emissions could be an economically sound policy that would modify consumer prices and affect consumption patterns."
There are now 3.6 billion ruminants on the planet–mostly sheep, cattle and goats and, in much smaller numbers, buffalo – 50% more than half a century ago. Methane from their digestive systems is the single biggest human-related source of the greenhouse gas, which is more short-lived but around 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide in warming the planet.
Emissions from livestock account for 14.5% of all human-caused greenhouse gases, according to the UN. It estimates that this could be cut by nearly a third through better farming practices.
Pete Smith, a professor of soils and global change at the University of Aberdeen, and one of the authors of the report, said: "Our study showed that one of the most effective ways to cut methane is to reduce global populations of ruminant livestock, especially cattle."
He said methane from livestock could only be reduced by addressing demand for meat at the same time.
The scientists say not enough attention has been paid to tackling greenhouse gases other than CO2, especially in the ongoing UN climate talks, which last convened in Warsaw in November.
The only way the world could avoid dangerous tipping points as temperatures rise would be by cutting methane emissions as well as CO2 emissions from sources such as energy and transport, they argue. Reducing livestock numbers, they point out, would also avoid CO2 emissions released when forests are cleared for cattle farms.
William Ripple, a professor in the College of Forestry at Oregon State University, and another of the authors, said: "We clearly need to reduce the burning of fossil fuels to cut CO2 emissions. But that addresses only part of the problem. We also need to reduce non-CO2 greenhouse gases to lessen the likelihood of us crossing this climatic threshold."
The farming industry said the tax proposal was too simplistic. Nick Allen, sector director for Eblex, the organisation for beef and lamb producers in England, said: "To suggest a tax is a better way to cut emissions seems a simplistic and blunt suggestion that will inevitably see a rise in consumer prices.
"It is a very complex area. Simply reducing numbers of livestock–as a move like this would inevitably do–does not improve efficiency of the rumen process, which takes naturally growing grass that we cannot eat and turns it into a protein to feed a growing human population."
Allen said reducing emissions was an important goal for the industry. He added: "Grazing livestock have helped shape and manage the countryside for hundreds of years. They bring significant environmental benefits that can significantly mitigate the negative effect of emissions. It is unfortunate that in recent years they have become an easy scapegoat for emissions, despite the fact that the livestock population is generally falling."

Saturday, November 30, 2013


My belated Happy Thanksgiving wishes to everyone and my best wishes for a very Merry Christmas!!


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Climate Change Command and Control Progressing Nicely in the USA

A grouping of articles regarding climate change, a plethora of them have popped up this past week . . . Of course, not much mention of the fact that the 'freak' snowstorm in South Dakota took them officially out of a drought - at great loss of cattle, which is beyond sad, but on the other hand, Mother Nature also corrected the region's water table with this snowstorm.  Actually, no mention at all of the great Atlas snowstorm of South Dakota in October . . . switching from the term 'global warming' to the now politically correct 'climate change' is intended to encompass all weather events of a perceived unusual nature . . . undoubtedly some UN/IPCC scientist is furiously trying to come up with scientific data to blame the snowstorm on the COWs.

  Former Prime Minister John Howard told the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a group of UK climate change sceptics, a global agreement on climate change action is unlikely.

'The claims are exaggerated': John Howard rejects predictions of global warming catastrophe 

"Former (Australian) prime minister John Howard has poured scorn on the "alarmist" scientific consensus on global warming in a speech to a gathering of British climate sceptics, comparing those calling for action on climate change to religious zealots."

"The ground is thick with rent-seekers. There are plenty of people around who want access to public money in the name of saving the planet.  Politicians who bemoan the loss of respect for their calling should remember that every time they allow themselves to be browbeaten by the alleged views of experts they contribute further to that lack of respect. . . . Economic growth in developing countries was much more important than countering global warming, Mr Howard said, and the West had no right to deny economic development to the rest of the world in the name of climate change. . . He accused the IPCC of including "nakedly political agendas" in its advice."  (The Sydney Morning Herald, Nick Miller, November 6, 2013)

Researcher helps sow climate-change doubt

Willie Soon’s work is funded by energy industry grants.
Willie Soon, 
“Those people are so out of their minds!’’ exclaimed Soon, a solar researcher at the prestigious Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, in Cambridge. He assailed former vice president Al Gore, among others, for his views on climate change, calling predictions of catastrophic ocean tides “crazy’’ and scornfully concluding: “And they call this science.’’

"Before the Heritage Foundation audience of 100 people, Soon won appreciative applause before launching into a fresh set of attacks: “IPCC is a pure bully,’’ he said, accusing the body of “blatant manipulations of fact’’ and engaging in a “charade.’’   “Stop politicizing science!’’ he said. “Just stop!’’  (The Boston Globe, Christopher Rowland, November 5, 2013)

Is It Too Late to Prepare for Climate Change?

" . . . As it happens, the very same day the I.P.C.C. report was leaked, President Obama issued an executive order titled “Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change.” Among other things, it established a new Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, to be co-chaired by the head of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the head of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and—suggestively enough—the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. " (The New Yorker, Elizabeth Kolbert , November 5, 2013)

USDA seeks input on agricultural coexistence 

" . . . as a result of recommendations from the department’s Advisory Committee on Biotechnology & 21st Century. According to a notice posted in the Federal Register, agricultural coexistence refers to the concurrent cultivation of crops produced through diverse agricultural systems, including traditionally produced, organic, identity-preserved and genetically engineered crops. . . .USDA is seeking public input, particularly in the area of education and outreach to foster communication and collaboration among those involved in diverse agricultural systems on the topic of coexistence as well as how USDA can best communicate and collaborate with those entities."  (John Maday, Managing Editor, Drovers CattleNetwork, 11/04/2013)

USDA says climate change task force will help ag communities

"USDA says a task force established by President Obama Friday will assist agricultural communities facing the impacts of climate change.  The Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience will advise the Federal Government on strategies to help American agriculture mitigate and adapt to the impacts of a changing climate. . . USDA expects the task force to help America’s farmers and ranchers adapt to changing climate conditions. . . As part of the broader Climate Action Plan, the USDA announced steps in June to create modern solutions against climate adversity. In addition to regional sources on climate information and forecasts, the USDA created the "Carbon Management and Evaluation Tool" (COMET-FARM), showing farmers how much carbon their land removes from the atmosphere."  (11/1/2013)

Climate change regulation: Scarier than climate change?

"We now know the plan, implemented almost entirely by executive order, might also be called, “choke the life of whatever feeble economic recovery we’ve managed so far.” I’m ready to say I don’t like much about it at all.  There’s a lot of code in there for unleashing enthusiastic federal regulators on job creators and workers. . . Farmers might well support reducing carbon pollution – if the methods are incentive and market-based.. . . I’m not a “denier,” but I am a “skeptic” on the whole global warming thing. From where I sit, climate change regulation is much more terrifying than climate change itself."  (Gene Hall, Texas Farm Bureau, 07/09/2013)

Friday, October 25, 2013

British White Cattle Sale in Hutchinson, MN - 2013 First Annual Sale


Minnesota British White Cattle Association - First Annual Sale
October 19, 2013 - Hutchinson, Minnesota (Photo by Jodi Olson)

The sale was a great success, this first annual auction was a lot of fun and had some really fine animals from both the ABWPA and the BWCAA.  The sale was attended by folks from all across the USA, including Texas, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska,and South Dakota - and perhaps more.  Lots of folks pitched in, even non- members whose help was invaluable to making this a very successful first sale.  I had a wonderful time, visited with old friends I haven't seen in ages, made new friends, and am so glad I made the journey. Even though the BWCAA sadly made extreme last minute efforts to harm the outcome of the sale - it went very well, one can only imagine how much better it may have been. 

As well as representation from so many States in the USA, also present were 6 Board alumni of the British White Cattle Association of America giving the new Minnesota BWCA our wholehearted support.  There were over 30 lots that sold, here are some pricing highlights from the sale.

B&B Karen
BRED HEIFERS: B&B Nellie $2800; B&B Karen $2700; Coyote Ridge Lucy $2500; Briar Stone Blue Belle $2200; Coyote Ridge Lucky $2200;  Briar Stone Marea $2100;  RLC Farms Willow $2000; RAI Little Rose $1950.  
Briar Stone Abigail and Briar Stone Allison
OPEN WEANLING HEIFERS:   RAI Bud $1800Briar Stone Abigail $1550; Briar Stone Allison $1550; RAI Blossum (donated by RAI British Whites) $1350   
Briar Stone Adonis & Pat Olsen

WEANLING BULL PROSPECTS:  Briar Stone Adonis $1600; RLC Farms Renegade $1500
Dale McDonald, Rambling Creek Cattle Company
Robert Isaacson, RAI British Whites

Walter and Nancy Bohaty, B&B Bohaty's British Whites