Beef packing merger threatens last competitive cash cattle market in U.S.

Last month, the nation’s fourth-largest beef packer, National Beef, announced plans to take over Sysco-owned Iowa Premium, a regional packer focused on processing Black Angus steers for the Upper Midwest. National Beef is majority-owned by the Brazilian firm Marfrig. (No paywall)

A ranch that produces not just beef, but medical parts

Just south of the Oregon border in Macdoel, California, the Prather Ranch has made a successful business not just selling top quality beef — but parts for the medical industry. "The hides are used to make purified collagen used in cell research. And the bones? Some have been made into screws for knee surgery," reports Lisa Morehouse in FERN's latest story, produced in collaboration with KQED's The California Report.

USDA nominee earned $100,000 in ‘pink slime’ trial

Texas Tech professor Mindy Brashears, President Trump’s nominee for agriculture undersecretary for food safety, collected $100,000 as an expert witness for Beef Products Inc. in its defamation lawsuit against ABC-TV last year.

Marginally higher beef prices at the grocery store this year

Cattle prices are stronger than expected this year but they they are likely to run below 2017 levels, with the result that retail beef prices rise modestly, at most, said the monthly Food Price Outlook. The United States is headed for the third year in a row of lower than average food inflation - 0.5 percent compared to the 20-year average of 2.1 percent annually.

This burger fights climate change, a new study says

A new Michigan State University study offers a ray of hope to America’s climate-concerned, burger eaters. Raised the right way, the study says grass-fed beef could be a part of a carbon-neutral—or even carbon-negative—diet. The study was led by professors Paige Stanley and Jason Rowntree and published in the journal Agricultural Systems.

Marfrig buys National Beef, becoming world’s No. 2 beef company

Marfrig Global Foods, a Brazilian meat processor, has acquired National Beef for $969 million. The deal will make Marfrig the second-largest beef processor in the world, after Brazil’s JBS.

Montana beef checkoff injunction goes to court

In June 2017, a U.S. District Court judge issued a temporary injunction on the allocation of Montana’s state beef checkoff funds. At a hearing on Monday before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Feedstuffs reports, advocates for independent ranchers faced off against lawyers for the Department …

Trump administration takes control of topics for Dietary Guidelines debate

The Agriculture and Health departments said they will decide the issues that will be discussed by experts in updating the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, precluding divisive topics such as meat consumption and long-term availability of food that delayed the 2015-2020 edition for months. Released every five years, the guidelines have a major impact on what the country eats, although three-fourth of Americans don't eat as much fruit or vegetables as recommended.

In absence of federal law, states take up country of origin labeling

Several states are considering country of origin labeling (COOL) proposals, which would require that beef products be labeled as imported or domestic products. The state proposals follow several years of attempts by rancher groups to revive federal law that would require country of origin labeling for beef.

Sustainability think tank pushes mushroom-beef burger

With beef production accounting for nearly half of all land use and greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture, the World Resources Institute is touting what it calls a better burger.