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Paybacks Are Great

      What goes around comes around as the saying goes, and it is most likely true. Or, at least it was in the legal settlement of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). 

Field Entertainment, Inc., the producer of the circus, announced at the end of December that the company had reached a legal settlement with the ASPCA in connection with two federal court cases, and under the settlement, ASPCA has paid Field Entertainment $9.3 million to settle all claims related to its part in more than 10 years of manufactured litigation that attempted to outlaw elephants in the company’s circus. Golly, what’s a circus without elephants? An important part is that this settlement only applies to ASPCA. The report said that Field Entertainment’s legal proceedings, including its claims for litigation, abuse and racketeering, will continue against the remaining defendants, Humane Society of the United States, The Fund for Animals, Animal Welfare Institute, Born Free USA United with Animal Protection Institute, Tom Rider and the attorneys involved. 

Tom Rider was employed by Ringling Bros. and claimed that mistreatment to the elephants had caused him harm. He was paid $190,000 over an eight-year time period by the animal rights organizations. The original complaint was filed in July 2000, so Field Entertainment had over 12 years of this case hanging over their head and well deserves the $9.3 million settlement, as they stood up against the untruths against them. This should send a message.

On another note, we keep reading predictions on record prices for cattle in 2013 despite whether or not we have another year of drought and if we don’t have another year of drought, cattle prices may be higher yet as more people are looking to build up their herds. 

The facts show that in 2012, beef production was the lowest since 2005 and that in 2013 beef production is expected to be down another five percent or so, and it should decline again in 2014. The per capita beef supply in 2013 is expected to be the lowest since 1952 – or the lowest in the last 62 years. 

The strength of the national economy will dictate just how high beef will go, and if we slip into a recession, that would hurt the consumer demand terribly. Beef is the most expensive of the major meats, and people already are passing up the high-end steaks at the meat counter in favor of lower cost cuts of beef. 

If the drought persists or not, one of your best moves is to develop a plan to market your cull cows. Worldwide there is a great demand for hamburger and as more nations grow, the people want beef. Hamburger is the easiest to buy and prepare, and fast food outlets are continually and consistently demanding quality hamburger – especially the 90 percent lean hamburger. The past years of just getting rid of our cull cows is over. The marketing of them deserves some time and thought with the high prices they are bringing. 

As we see beef production declining, that means lots of opportunity for producers, so take advantage of the premiums you can as we go forward. 

Dennis