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Change is coming with the Veterinary Feed Directive

Change is coming with the Veterinary Feed Directive

By Julie Tomascik

Own livestock? Do they occasionally get sick? How you treat them will look differently in 2017. All because of the VFD—Veterinary Feed Directive.

That one acronym will carry a lot of weight.

What exactly does it mean for farmers and ranchers?

The end of over-the-counter sales of medically important antibiotics that are mixed into feed or water. More steps in the process of purchasing medicated feeds. And, in some cases, finding a different feed to suit your needs.

There are many new changes. But the biggest of all? The veterinarian-client-patient-relationship (VCPR).

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The value of weed control

The value of weed control

By Gary Joiner

Weeds are not welcome on the farm.

Unfortunately, in Texas this year, they’ve arrived in big numbers. Weather conditions opened the door wide. Farmers now must deal with them. And they really don’t have a choice.

A new national study by weed experts explains why. The research focused on corn and soybeans. It determined that more than half of corn production and value across North America would potentially be lost with weeds left uncontrolled. Ditto for soybeans. The loss figure for that crop is nearly half, if weeds were left uncontrolled.

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Time to celebrate on Earth Day

Time to celebrate on Earth Day

By Gary Joiner

Earth Day is April 22. The effort actually began in 1970 as a “national day for the environment.”

The event now attracts more than one billion participants in some way. It’s the largest civic observance in the world. There are special activities and events here in Texas to commemorate the day.

The goal is to recognize the importance of protecting our natural resources. That’s a great goal. It’s a practice that farmers and ranchers honor every day.

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IARC—A study in absurdity

IARC—A study in absurdity

By Gene Hall

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a branch of the World Health Organization (WHO), has something of a credibility problem. That agency just released a report saying that processed meat is a definite carcinogen and red meat is “probably carcinogenic.” IARC’s classification with four groups is confusing and misleading.

In that Group 1 category, you have, among other things, cigarettes, asbestos, a host of very powerful chemicals and salami, bacon and cocktail weenies. It’s okay, you can say it. This is absurd. Processed meats are on the list because if you eat that every single day, cancer experts say you can increase your cancer risk by 1 percent. That’s not exactly like plutonium, is it?

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Farmers and ranchers support voluntary labeling of GMO products

Farmers and ranchers support voluntary labeling of GMO products

By Gene Hall

I support a GMO product labeling law. Shocked? Well, it’s not THAT one. It’s this one—the Pompeo Bill.

Under its provisions, food sellers may voluntarily label food as GMO-free and gain any market advantage that exists. It also creates a meaningful standard, a certification for those products, under the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) supervision.

If this sounds like an approach that might work, it already has. Organic certification and labeling under USDA has functioned this way for years. In fact, since organic production itself specifies no GMOs, this is a multilayered labeling system that will make it quite easy to avoid a product that is perfectly safe to start with—if you want to.

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Proposed dietary guidelines are troubling

Proposed dietary guidelines are troubling

The following op-ed piece by TFB President Russell Boening appeared March 4 in the Houston Chronicle.

By Russell W. Boening

Thousands of Texans will flock to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in the days ahead to see the best of livestock production in our state. The scene, with its unspoken endorsement of meat production, is seemingly incongruous with the recent report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, which I and many cattle ranchers find troubling.

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