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From the Editor

Read commentary from Progressive Cattle editors, ranging from the origin of specific magazine articles to thoughts about industry trends.

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Recently, I read about the life of Phillips Brooks, one of America’s most famous clergymen and the man who built Boston’s historic Trinity Church.

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Years ago, while living in another country, I had the chance to break bread with an older couple. As a guest in their land, they offered an afternoon to visit their home to share a discussion about our lives – mine, which was relatively just starting, and theirs, which was coming to an end.

I anxiously asked about memories from the monumental days when battles were fought in their villages and towns. Their tales of survival included years when they were isolated from the rest of the world.

Likewise, they eagerly inquired about life as a young American. What did I think of their homeland? What was family life like back in the States? What did I study and do for work back home?

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Reports from South Dakota this week say blizzards that hit the state over the weekend have led to tens of thousands of dead cattle strewn across the prairie.

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Tuesday came the government shutdown, and on Wednesday came the silence from the USDA in its economic reports.

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If you're working today, count yourself among the millions of Americans who are exponentially more productive than Uncle Sam and the federal government. As of midnight last evening, the U.S. government is closed for business.

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For a few days in the month of August, the story concerning beta-agonist usage in cattle had an almost anxious feel to it. After some packers started dropping cattle finished on certain beta-agonist products, the impression grew quickly that all packers would do the same.

Fortunately, that kind of panic never played itself out.

Two of the nation’s largest packers have dropped beta-agonist usage in fed cattle; the other two have not.

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