4:51 am
Thu July 3, 2014

Texas cattlemen say yes to increased "beef checkoff" dollars

Lead in text: 
"Beef checkoff" is a national program that funds beef promotion and research. Texas ranchers recently voted in favor of increasing participation in the program by an overwhelming majority.
Every time a cow is sold in Texas, a dollar of that sale goes to industry groups that use it to promote and research beef. It's part of a national program called the "beef checkoff," and that charge will now rise to two dollars in Texas after a statewide vote by cattle owners.
A contuning challenge for ranchers
8:00 pm
Sun March 2, 2014

Invasive weeds may look forward to climate change

Dr. Dana Blumenthal and colleagues explain their invasive weed research during a tour of The Prairie Heating and Carbon Dioxide Enrichment (PHACE) Experiment in Wyoming. In this test plot higher temperature and richer CO2 conditions are being simulated to study their effects on invasive weed growth.
Credit USDA: Prairie Heating and Carbon Dioxide Enrichment (PHACE) Experiment

Most climate models paint a bleak picture for the Great Plains a century from now: It will likely be warmer and the air will be richer with carbon dioxide. Though scientists don’t yet know how exactly the climate will change, new studies show it could be a boon to some invasive plant species.  

A growing problem

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Cattle Ranching
8:00 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

The National Western Stock Show reflects changes in the cowboy way of life

The crowd at a the stock show sale.
Credit Matthew Starver / nytimes.com

The National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colorado, has been a diamond in the crown of cowboy life for over 100 years.  It also is a reflection of the way life is changing at home on the range.  

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8:01 pm
Sun September 29, 2013

Ranchers: Lesser Prairie Chicken = Greater Government Intervention

Credit Greg Kramos/USFWS

Landowners in Texas tend to be skeptical of more government involvement when it comes to protecting the lesser prairie chicken, a rare bird inhabiting the portions of Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas, according to an article in The Texas Tribune.

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Harvest Public Media series
8:00 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Tough guys in the saddle

Nate Pike has worked the land outside Dodge City, KS, for most of his 80 years.
Credit Frank Morris/Harvest Public Media

I met Nate Pike working on a story back in 2012. When I dropped back by his ranch 30 miles south of Dodge City, KS, this summer, he took me on a bumpy pickup ride to see a spring called St. Jacob’s Well and we got to talking about the former owner of some of his ranchland.

Pike has been out on his ranch for a while and he told me the former owner started ranching in western Kansas before 1900.

“He was a fine old gentleman and one of the toughest old men I ever knew,” Pike told me, his gravelly voice carrying over the pickup truck’s rambles.

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Economy & Enterprise
8:01 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

High Plains Ranchers are Grass-Fed Cattle Innovators for Discriminating Palates

Family members moved bulls on the Lasater Ranch in Matheson, Colo. The family markets much of its beef to retailers like Whole Foods and Natural Grocers.
Credit Matthew Staver for The New York Times

Prescott Frost, the great grandson of poet Robert Frost, is a maverick who sees the Sandhills of Nebraska as the Napa Valley of ranchland.  On his 7,000 acre ranch there he’s dedicated himself to raising and marketing his own brand of artisanal beef, as detailed in a New York Times profile by Kathryn Shattuck.

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