Trailblazer honored

Clint Peck, BEEF senior editor, left, presents the magazine's 2004 Trailblazer Award to Manhattan, KS, rancher, Jan Lyons, as NCBA CEO Terry Stokes looks on. Lyons was cited by BEEF editors for her volunteer efforts in helping formulate strategies and articulate industry positions in a difficult 2004. For more on Lyons, see “Flint Hills Fighter” in the November 2004 issue of BEEF.

Remembering an industry leader

Keith Gregory, first director of USDA's Meat Animal Research Center (MARC), passed away Feb. 7. He was 80.

Gregory served 43 years with USDA's Agricultural Research Service, serving as its director from 1966-1977. His research helped shape the world's selection procedures and breeding systems used to capitalize on the benefits of crossbreeding in the U.S. beef cattle industry.

Global share of animal protein consumption
Species Percent of total
Fish 35.4%
Pork 25.4%
Poultry 19.7%
Beef 16.3%
Lamb, mutton & goat 3.2%
Total 100%
Source: UN/FAO.

BEEF book corner

“Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior,” is Colorado State University associate professor and world-renowned animal behaviorist Temple Grandin's latest literary effort.

Written with Catherine Johnson, Grandin says autism closely mimics the psychological condition of animals, in part because both animals and autistics lack facility with language. She relates how the principles she's learned as a high-functioning autistic and her experience as a leading animal behavioral scientist can help humans better understand and empathize with animals. The result is lowered stress for both parties in human-animal interactions, and more effective and efficient contacts.

The book is available for $25 from simonsays.com, amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com and powells.com.

Japan confirms vCJD

Japan has confirmed its first case of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD), the human form of BSE. Japanese officials suspect the man likely contracted the disease by eating infected beef while living in Britain in 1989. Cases of vCJD have only been confirmed or deemed probable in 167 other people worldwide, almost all in Britain.

Beef demand rose 7.74%

Consumer demand for beef rose 7.74% last year, making the increase in beef demand since 1998 more than 25%. Cattle-Fax says that equates to an additional $22/cwt. in the price of fed cattle.

In addition, annual U.S. consumer expenditures on beef have increased by $24 billion/year compared to the spending levels in the mid 1990s. There are indications, however, of some cooling in beef demand growth due to price concerns and a dip in the popularity of high-protein diets. The signals underscore the criticalness of the U.S. regaining access to closed export markets, Cattle-Fax says.

A 10-year high

Producer support for the industry's self-help program registered 73% in a survey released last month and conducted for the Cattlemen's Beef Board by Aspen Media and Market Research, Boulder, CO. That was a 3% from a similar survey completed in July The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8%.