Americans love their barbeque. Johnny Fugitt quit his job to travel the country and write the book “The 100 Best Barbecue Restaurants in America.”

Kansas City, which boasts about its barbeque, annually hosts the American Royal World Series of Barbecue. Last year featured 618 teams from 39 states and three countries.

Then there’s Texas. The passion for barbeque in the Lone Star State is such that Texas A&M University launched Camp Brisket in 2013, where serious barbeque aficionados can spend two days and $495 for a crash course in cooking brisket. Think of it as “barbeque church camp.”

The class offers 60 lucky students (chosen by lottery) the chance to learn the art from some of the world’s best and brightest brisket cooks like Russell Roegels, owner of the new Roegels Barbecue Co. in Houston; Daniel Vaughn, barbecue editor of Texas Monthly; and the biggest celebrity of them all, Aaron Franklin, owner of Franklin Barbecue in Austin, sometimes called “barbeque Jesus.” So why the fuss over brisket? “If we had chicken fried steak camp, no one would come,” jokes Jeff Savell, Texas A&M meat science professor.

 

Stop Drinking Milk? No Way, Leonor

If you drink milk in the morning, “you’re drinking pus.” That’s what Leonor Martins, a lifestyle writer for The Odyssey, tells her readers. Martins insists milk is not intended for humans, health benefits being misleading, and cows living nightmare lives on dairies.

AgWeb’s Anna-Lisa Laca wrote Ms. Martins a letter to get the facts straight. “By all appearances, you have a broad perspective on a great number of things. Unfortunately, somewhere along the line you seem to have been misinformed about the dairy industry. Your ignorance seems to have surpassed your intelligence in the article ‘Why You Should Stop Drinking Milk’,” Laca writes. She disproves Martins’ claims using sound science and linking the lifestyle writer up with real dairy farmers.

 

Castro’s Ranching Brother Dies

Ramon Castro, the oldest brother of Cuba’s president, passed away Tuesday at the age of 91. Ramon didn’t make headlines like his brothers Fidel and Raul, who helped lead the communist revolution in Cuba. Instead, Ramon busied himself as a farmer and rancher, following in the footsteps of his father.

Ramon oversaw sugar production in Cuba during the 1960s helping increase output and he served as an agricultural adviser to the government.

The late Castro also worked to bring U.S. cattle genetics to Cuba with the assistance of John Parke Wright IV, a Florida cattleman. “Ramón Castro represents individual agricultural excellence,” Wright says.

 

Beef Prices Down in 2016

Cattle prices have dropped more than 32% during the last 16 months, but beef prices haven’t seen the same dramatic decline.

According to QSR Magazine, restaurants are expecting prices for primal cuts of beef to drop another 10-17% in 2016. It is “the biggest story of the year” says DeWayne Dove, vice president of risk management for supply chain management firm SpenDifference.