Current Progressive Cattle digital edition

From the Editor

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


A few weeks ago while visiting family members, I had a chance to chat with a nephew who manages an independent grocery store.

After attending trade shows where analysts gave their market forecasts for 2013, I figured his insight might be the most intuitive of them all.

Who better to gauge beef sales than the guy buying it in bulk for the neighborhood market?

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One year after the “pink slime” fiasco hit American headlines, not to mention the beef industry, a certain sea change has evolved among the chattering classes of media and the Internet.

The legal battle waged to defend Beef Products Inc. and its product – lean finely trimmed beef, or LFTB – against the blitzkrieg of negative press led by ABC News is far from over.

But as more facts emerge from the case, it’s obvious that the so-called reporting on LFTB was blatantly foul.

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My great-great-grandfather fought for the Confederacy.

I realize that’s not a popular thing to confess. It’s easy to throw our past into the dustbin of history if it clashes with modern taste and propriety.

But for Durham Hall Smith there’s a legacy reaffirming what unites our country rather than what divided it.

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0313pc cooper 1Listening to Linda Davis talk to a room full of cattle producers at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Cattlemen’s College, you easily get the impression there’s no crisis that cannot be conquered.

Whether it be drought, high prices, sick cattle, political opposition, the Depression, world war or the heavy loss of loved ones, Davis has seen most of it in her 83 years on the New Mexico range. Now her wisdom is as telling as ever.

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Watching Congress and the White House fumble economic policy, Americans probably think they have the moral high ground to say, “we deserve better.”

Fact is, no, you don’t. What’s happening in Washington is something we all helped create. Until we change ourselves, we deserve every bit of it.

We invited this pox upon our house through years of overspending, by waging wars without revenue to support them, by growing addicted to convenient debt, by electing craven ambitious leaders who don’t care to lead and by ignoring industries that define our core.

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This past year, my colleagues and I at Progressive Publishing have been reading some of the history behind the explorer Roald Amundsen, the Norwegian who led the first modern exploration team to reach the South Pole.

At the age of 39, Amundsen took a five-man company 1,400 miles in a period of four months across the frigid Antarctic landscape, literally not knowing which hazards and dangers lay before them.

Preparations for the journey took years and painstaking detail. Amundsen had to envision any possible challenge that would come in a polar geography where temperatures routinely hit 20 degrees below zero.

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