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Digest: A lot of cattle and a little bull

February 27th, 2008 · No Comments · Digest, Farm Bill

My digest fodder folder was getting pretty full. Here are some tidbits.

This horse is beaten, but is it dead? Remember the farm bill? Yea, that big ugly bit of legislation that touches our diets in very real but often hidden ways? Well, the House and Senate conference committee is trying to sort out the two chambers’ different versions, but don’t expect much reform. In case you aren’t weary from the effort, the Sustainable Agriculture Coalition has some info you can use, but it’s hard not to feel inadequate to the challenge. Others have been talking, but no one seems to be listening.

Agricultural wonders. I had to read it twice to believe that the National Farmers Union gave freshman U.S. Rep. Nancy Boyda, a Democrat, its highest honor at its recent annual meeting. FOF (friend of Dan Nagengast, meanwhile, received the Meritorious Service to Agriculture for his work at the Kansas Rural Center and elsewhere to promote sustainable and alternative agricultural methods. I also notice that the High Plains Journal rushed the news to press.

Not for a cup of tea. Eileen Roddy reviews the Merc’s new eating area.

Smoke and computers. The annual grass-burning on Kansas prairie where many a cow grazes (and a few buffalo roam) goes 21st Century.

Psst…don’t tell anybody. The KC Star’s Paul Wenske weighs in on the secrecy involved in meat recalls. (Registration required.)

Whither cattlewomen? K-State hosts Cattlemen’s Day next week. Why not Cattle Ranchers Day? Oh, bother. Maybe that’s why they needed a woman, noted animal behavior expert Temple Grandin, to speak.

Tracking cattle. Well, actually, they’re talking about tracking meat based on its bovine DNA, which may be of greater interest when packers start officially putting cloned meat into the food stream. (Why do I think someone will oppose labels that read, “Not from cloned cattle”? Hmm.) And there, there in the last paragraph, you see that the U.S. base for IdentiGEN, the company doing it, is right here in Lawrence, Kansas.

Being Present in KC. OK, I’m slow to find this site, and if you’ve missed it, too, you can check out Present Magazine, a webzine with lots of food content.

Rural Kansans losing link? It’s hard to believe that residents in Liberal, within whiffing distance on a bad day of major feedlots, would have some idea where their food comes from, but maybe not. And if they don’t, what about residents of, say, Denver?


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