Current Cattle Market Daily Headlines for December 30, 2020

by | Dec 30, 2020 | 0 comments

Fired Tyson boss says COVID-19 office pool was a ‘morale boost’

  • Tyson Foods fired seven plant managers on Dec. 16 for betting on how many workers would get sick with COVID-19 at their Waterloo, Iowa pork processing plant.
  • One of those managers is now coming forward claiming that the office pool was spontaneous fun and intended to boost morale.
  • Don Merschbrock, a former night manager at the plant said he is speaking out in hopes of letting the public know that the seven fired supervisors are not the evil people that Tyson portrayed them to be.
    • Merschbrock stated that the managers would like their names cleared because they worked incredibly hard and took care of their team members.
  • An investigation led by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder found sufficient evidence to terminate those involved in the betting ring, according to Tyson.
  • Tyson did not release Holder’s findings in the investigation and the fired managers assert that they were let go without any explanation.
  • According to Merschbrock, managers were given the impossible task of maintaining production while also implementing virus safety protocols.
    • After working 12-hour days for six or seven days a week, the managers were tired, he said.
  • The office betting pool consisted of approximately $50 cash, which went to the manager who picked the correct percentage of workers testing positive for the virus.
    • Those who participated in the pool didn’t think their actions violated company policy.
      • The pool was conducted within minutes following the mass testing of the plant’s 2,800 workers last spring.
    • The exhausted supervisors that had worked so smart to solve so many unsolvable problems were just taking part in a fun activity, said Merschbrock.
      • The group never meant to disparage anyone.
    • An attorney representing families of deceased employees, Mel Orchard, said that protecting the plant workers from the virus was not an unsolvable problem.
      • He went on to say that the issue was a corporate culture where executives focused on production and sales and treated line workers as dispensable items.


Government’s new dietary guidelines suggest seafood over hot dogs

  • On Tuesday, the government’s 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans were released with the theme “Make Every Bite Count.”
    • According to the guidelines, those bites should include more lean meat and fewer foods that contain animal protein that come in the form of a burger or a sandwich.
  • Sixty percent of American adults have one or more diet-related chronic diseases, according to a video outlining the new guidelines.
    • To counteract this, the guidelines offer a framework that puts emphasis on nutrient dense foods that provide vitamins, minerals and other health promoting components with little to no added sugar, fat or sodium.
  • The guidelines reiterate that Americans usually consume way too many saturated fats, sodium and added sugars, all the while not eating enough fruits, vegetable and whole grains.
  • The guidelines state that Americans meet or exceed the recommendation for meats, poultry and eggs, but almost 90% of Americans do not consume the recommended amount of seafood and almost half of the population doesn’t eat the recommended amount of nuts, seeds and soy products.
  • Forty-three percent of all proteins are consumed as a separate item, such as a steak, an egg or a fish filet.
    • Forty-eight percent of proteins consumed by Americans involve a mixed dish; the biggest amount coming in the form of a sandwich, such as a burger or a taco.
      • These mixed dishes often contain other ingredients that are not nutrient-dense and are often high in saturated fats and sodium.
    • The guidelines recommend replacing high-fat meats like hot dogs and bacon with seafood to help Americans eat less saturated fat and sodium.
      • They also advocate for replacing processed meats with beans, peas and lentils.


Boxed beef prices

  • Choice boxed beef: $210.30 (+2.48)
  • Select boxed beef: $195.48 (-1.17)


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How did we get here?

From the Holcomb Tyson fire to COVID-19;
Click to see a timeline of events that have brought to light the profit and pricing disparity in cattle markets.


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