Current Progressive Cattle digital edition
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It is hard to wrap your arms around 1.4 billion people, or 18% of the world’s population, but after visiting Beijing, China, last year I have a better idea of the beef export opportunities in this country.

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No matter where cattle are being grown, each state wrestles its own challenges with drought, rain, flood and blizzards. However, on the New Mexico border, ranchers are being overtaken by a wave that has nothing to do with the weather.

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Producers face challenges in recruiting and retaining stockpeople. There are two job openings for each applicant, and much of the agricultural workforce is composed of immigrants. Immigration reform is making it difficult to generate a sustainable agricultural workforce, even as the U.S. demand for foreign labor has increased fivefold in the past 13 years.

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I can honestly say inserting myself into a conversation is difficult from time to time. As a fifth-generation cattle rancher from Oklahoma, I don’t take credit for things I don’t earn. I don’t raise havoc when things get tough.

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The volatile trade negotiations that have taken place between the U.S. and Mexico over the last few months are leaving the U.S. beef industry on edge and unsure of the future.

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