Baseball and grilling beef issues


There are still modern-day heroes among today’s million-dollar athletes. Consider the determination and self-discipline illustrated by New York Mets All-Star pitcher Al Leiter. Leiter earned an associate’s degree the hard way – on the road.

Leiter earned an associate’s degree in letters, arts, and sciences through Penn State’s Independent Learning program. He enrolled in Penn State’s Distance Education program in 1990 and took correspondence courses while traveling with the Toronto Blue Jays and the Florida Marlins. He earned his degree from Penn State in the summer of 1997.

Although he skipped college to play professional baseball, Leiter recognized the importance of an education. His actions fly in the face of the typical response by teens who grab a job right out of high school and think they can’t forsake the paycheck to get a college education.

Leiter’s actions also contradict, for that matter, Ohio basketball phenom LeBron “Show Me The Money” James, who is making noises about skipping his senior year of high school – not college eligibility – to turn pro. Who needs education when you can play ball?

Limited vision often gets you blindsided.

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We want our cake. Can you have your cake and eat it, too? The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association is taking credit for “successfully thwarting” an amendment to the new farm bill to require U.S. producers to utilize a federal mandatory livestock identification system.

But in the same breath, it vows it will “continue to pursue [country of origin] labeling initiatives, to provide consumers with the information they seek and U.S. producers with the market recognition they deserve.”

Can you truly verify a country-of-origin label without having a livestock identification system? A livestock identification system tracks animals from farm to farm, farm to market, and market to slaughter.

A mandatory livestock identification amendment (Rep. Cal Dooley, D-Calif.) supported by a majority of the House Ag Committee was tacked on to a country-of-origin labeling amendment (Rep. John Thune, R-S.D.) to the farm bill draft (follow all that?).

The cattlemen’s association pulled its support of the Thune amendment when it looked like the Dooley amendment would get added to it. The Thune amendment died last week, taking the Dooley amendment along with it.

If the cattlemen’s association is serious about wanting to give consumers the “information they seek,” tell them where their meat is coming from… precisely. They’ll buy their meat and eat it, too.


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