In Tebbetts, Mo., JJR Family Farm raised USDA-certified organic livestock without antibiotics or genetically-modified feed. After six years of raising and selling organic beef, they decided it was just too expensive to keep the certification. Rancher John Rice helped us figure out just how much it costs to raise organic beef in Missouri.
The organic farming industry is booming. Since the U.S. Department of Agriculture launched its federal organic certification program in 2002, the number of organic farms has more than doubled. U.S. organic food sales have also grown from $1 billion in 1990 to $31.5 billion in 2011, according to the Organic Trade Association.
While Canada grapples with the largest beef recall in its history, meat suppliers and retailers in the U.S. have been dealing with their own share of fallout from the contaminated meat. The recall has consumers and food safety advocates demanding anew that the U.S. Department of Agriculture keep fresh meat border inspections in place so tainted meat can be stopped before it enters the food supply chain.
A researcher at the University of Missouri is trying to find a way to track the most productive cattle to predict future profits. Plus, a quick update on the rise in Missouri’s state revenue last month, and what that might mean for state funding levels.
For cattle breeders, buying a new bull or cow can be a risk—its offspring will bring home the profit. Jared Decker, a phD student in genetics at the University of Missouri, thinks he’s found a way to manage some of that risk through the manipulation of cow genetics.