BSE 10 Years Later — Perspective, Perseverance and Prices

For many in the agriculture industry and especially the beef industry, the announcement that BSE had been found in the Canadian cattle herd was one of those moments where you’ll likely always remember where you were when you first heard it.

I was at work, my first job in publishing, and the news came over the fax machine. Yes, really. The mood immediately changed in the office. I picked up the phone to call a few friends who likely had not heard. Silence greeted me. Then expletives. All this from people who didn’t own one cow. That’s how massive we all knew this finding was. Just how massive had yet to be determined.

Yesterday marked 10 years since the announcement. I asked (via Twitter) if others remembered where they were when they heard. Most did. Some were loading cattle and immediately turned them around to unload again. One rancher shared that they had bought 100 cows just days before. One person said they will never, ever forget $0.25 fats.

I spoke with Anne Wasko, of Gateway Livestock, for a Beef Market Update of a different sort. Instead of looking forward, I wanted to look back at how monumental this event was to the beef industry, the cow herd and the countless ranchers and farmers impacted by our biggest market slamming shut to our cattle. In this audio interview, Wasko shares where we’ve come from and the lasting impact the event had, even a decade since that first case was found.


Lyndsey Smith

Lyndsey Smith is a field editor for RealAgriculture. A self-proclaimed agnerd, Lyndsey is passionate about all things farming but is especially thrilled by agronomy and livestock production.


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