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Category: Lee Pitts

No Kiddin’.

More and more newly married couples are delaying the start of a family, are having fewer children, or are having none at all. And I think I know why: they are getting a dog instead. People are adopting pit bulls from shelters rather than kids from Romania.

There are many advantages to choosing a Cocker Spaniel over a kid. They don’t get an allowance, eat the same food every day and they don’t grow out of their shoes every six months.… Read the rest


Is R-CALF Dead?
— by Lee Pitts

If you read some cattle publications you may be under the impression that R-Calf USA is deader than a can of corned beef. The obituaries for the 7-year-old cattlemen’s organization, largely responsible for keeping the Canadian border closed long enough for ranchers to enjoy their best years ever, have been quite flowery:

• “R-CALF is disintegrating, falling apart at the seams.”

• “This has been a hostile take over.”… Read the rest


Now That’s A Checkoff
— by Lee Pitts

Because it has become a litmus test for its diehard supporters, I am often asked to clarify my position on the beef checkoff. It seems you are either friend or foe; you are either in the fraternity or you are not. But I didn´t quit their club . . . they quit me.

Before the vote on the third attempt to pass a beef checkoff I wrote in this very newspaper that I was going to vote yes, albeit with some reservations.

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Is R-Calf Dead? – by Lee Pitts

Sit down in almost any rural coffee shop these days and it won’t take you long to discover that THE topic of conversation amongst farmers and feeders is corn. Everyone from ethanol entrepreneurs to poultry pluckers wants to know how many of the golden ears will be available to feed, trade, turn into plastic, gasify or eat.

If you can believe the USDA, farmers plan to plant from fence row to fence row, sowing 90.5 million acres of corn this year, 15% more than last year and the most in 63 years.… Read the rest


Gone in a Mushroom Cloud — by Lee Pitts

Whether you like your beef with or without mushrooms, a recent decision by the Supreme Court is going to leave a decidedly toadstool taste in the collective mouth of the beef industry for a long time. In upholding a previous ruling by the Sixth Circuit Court the Supremes ruled the mushroom checkoff´s advertising program violated the free speech rights of mushroom growers. In doing so it struck down the mushroom checkoff and opened the door to a challenge of the beef and pork checkoffs.… Read the rest


It Begins And Ends With You – by Lee Pitts

The on-again, off-again marriage of IBP and Tyson turned into a shotgun wedding. When a Delaware judge ruled that Tyson Foods improperly backed out of its deal to buy IBP and must either complete the deal to buy IBP for nearly $5 billion or pay a lump sum settlement to walk away, Tyson figured as long as they have to cough up the cash they might as well consummate the marriage and get something in return.

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 by Lee Pitts

On his way out the door to take a job with the Cowboy Hall of Fame, former NCBA CEO, Chuck Schroeder, had this to say to the NCBA leadership gathered in Denver:

“While some ill-intentioned, ill-informed, vile spirited political junk merchants attacked the beef checkoff, while they attacked the NCBA and, of even greater concern to me, they attacked the honorable men and women who lead this organization, while they stoop to any level of chicanery and untruth to smear our reputation and mislead others about who we are and what we do, while people with their own barrels of ink spew that poison, the most popular President of the United States in modern history, the First Lady, the Secretary of Agriculture, several leading elected officials from the U.S.… Read the rest