National Ag Day is a disgrace. No, not the celebration of agriculture and the farmers and ranchers who contributed $835 billion to the U.S. GDP in 2014. We refer to the fact that Ag Day too often is ignored. Go ahead, Google it. You’ll find lots of stories by farm media outlets preaching to the choir. New York Times? Nothing. Washington Post? Nada. Farm state papers like the Des Moines Register and the Minneapolis Star Tribune? Nothing there either. Wait! There’s a letter in the Kansas City Star from Cliff Becker, Chairman of the Kansas City Agribusiness Council – and our own Livestock Division V.P.
OK, a letter here and there is not success, and we shouldn’t expect the national media to embrace our manufactured holiday. (They have more important stuff to cover, like the season finale of “The Bachelor," who announced Monday he’s found his mate.) There are lots of folks that work to tell farming’s story, like Katie Hancock, who has “A Message To Consumers On National Ag Day.”
Twitter also provides an opportunity for folks with dirty boots to raise awareness and tell their story, as our own Jo Windmann reported.
Profit Tracker: Losses Under Triple Digits
For the first time in over a year, average cattle feeding losses are out of triple digits, according to the Sterling Beef Profit Tracker. Average closeouts last week revealed losses of $76 per head, which is a $65 improvement over the previous week, and a whopping $242 better than a month ago.
Chipotle: CEO Pay With Integrity
After a disastrous fourth quarter that saw Chipotle stock plunge 35%, the company announced a 50% reduction to compensation for co-CEOs Steve Ells and Monty Moran.
Hold the tears. The two will now “only” make $13.8 million and $13.6 million, respectively.
As CEOs, their compensation is complicated, but at least the company acknowledged it’s unseemly to pay exorbitant sums for poor performance. Still, $27 million appears, well…unseemly. That’s because the details of their compensation shows they received a raise in their base pay – Ells going from $1.4 million to $1.5 million, and Moran from $1.2 million to $1.3 million. The formula for the stock options the two received in past years has also been revised to align those bonuses with shareholder interests.
Drenched By “March Miracle”
California’s dire drought is improving. A series of storms over the past week has pushed the state’s biggest reservoir past its historical average for mid-March and put the second largest one close to the same level.
By Monday morning, according to the state Department of Water Resources, Lake Shasta and Lake Oroville were 79% and 70% full.