Happy Labor Day!

Labor Day Weekend is officially here and families across America will be trying to squeeze out one last Summer hurrah! We all have our own unique traditions for the holiday but one that seems to be shared by a majority of us is grilling! In fact, Labor Day is the third most popular grilling weekend of the year, and marks the end of the “official” grilling season. Binge watching sports is another popular American tradition over the three day weekend. Labor Day marks the beginning of what many consider to be the absolute best time of year – football season! The NCAA College season officially kicked off yesterday and the NFL season opener is next Thursday, September 10. The holiday first came about as a way to honor workers and is actually sometimes called the “workingman’s holiday.” It began in Canada way back in 1872 as a way to support striking workers. The idea spread to the U.S. where we had our own labor disputes. The first Labor Day in the U.S. happened in New York in 1882 where over 10,000 workers marched from City Hall to Elm Park, where the day ended with a picnic and “an abundance of cigars and Lager beer kegs.” From there the first Monday of every September became an official National Holiday. Below are a few additional bits of interesting info about the end-of-summer holiday:

  • Labor Day often marks the “unofficial” end of Summer here in the U.S.. But technically, Autumn doesn’t begin until September, 23. For most of us though, the kids are back in school and adding their activities to our already busy schedules that we have to pack into ever shortening hours of daylight. So long leisurely days of Summer!

  • Labor Day is of course synonymous with food! On average, these holiday meals of bbq, coleslaw, burgers and chips will add up to 1,800 calories, about triple a normal weeknight meal.

  • Labor Day is tied with the Fourth of July as the second highest beef consumption holiday, falling behind number one, Memorial Day.

  • Hot Dog season officially ends on Labor Day. Didn’t know there was an official hot dog season? Yes, it’s a real thing that begins on Memorial Day, during which time Americans consume over 7 billion hot dogs every year!

  • America’s many lakes are always a top holiday weekend destination for families. There are thousands upon thousands of US lakes, covering approximately 39.9 million acres! Our lakes and reservoirs actually provide the country with approximately 70% of its fresh water supply.

  • NASCAR traditionalists will be celebrating the return of their beloved Southern 500 to Darlington Raceway this weekend.The Labor Day weekend race was a tradition for 53 years before NASCAR moved it to Southern California’s Auto Club Speedway in 2003, which was blasphemy to many racing fans. This Sunday, it’s back where it belongs in Darlington, South Carolina.

  • Labor Day weekend is all about actual labor for many homeowners. Nearly 60% of Americans do some sort of house work, and 40% do yard work! Click the image below for a larger viewunnamed (3)

  • Labor Day travelers are expected to spend an estimated $13.5 billion over the holiday weekend, about 2% more than last year. An estimated 35.5 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles for the holiday weekend, with each traveler forecast to spend an average of $380

  • Remember, Labor Day weekend is one of the most dangerous weekends on US highways, so be safe out there and have a great holiday!

This is only an excerpt of the 9/4/15 Van Trump Report. Do you want all the best ag and market headlines in you inbox each morning? Sign up for a Free Trial.

Unemployment Varies Widely Across The U.S.

Wells Fargo senior economist Sam Bullard compiled this interesting map showing how varied the unemployment rate is from state to state. You can clearly see that employment runs much higher than the national rate of 5.3% across a majority of the South. Something I’ve seen a lot of economists mention lately is how the big hit the energy sector has taken hasn’t necessarily been reflected in the unemployment numbers. Since June of last year, when oil prices started to tank, over 100,000 American workers have lost their jobs in the oil and gas industry – and those are just the jobs directly related to oil companies. This week, ConocoPhillips just announced that they are laying off 10% of their workforce and with oil prices below $50, more are likely to come. That’s going to be especially hard felt in big oil-producing states like North Dakota, Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma.

This is only an excerpt of the 9/4/15 Van Trump Report. Sign up for a Free Trial.

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How Do You Cut Your Steak and Are You Doing It Right?

Many Americans would passionately argue that there is nothing in this world more delicious than a juicy, tender steak. Cuts like KC Strip and filet mignon come from weak muscles and with little to no help, are almost always going to be tender. That’s because the muscle fiber bundles are very thin. Cheaper cuts though like flank and skirt steak come from harder working muscles, giving them more dense fiber bundles and forming what you’ve likely heard referred to as the “grain”.While these more economical cuts tend to be tougher than their pricey counterparts, there’s a trick that can make them much more tasty. Butcher, chefs and other food savvy types always say the secret to a delicious steak is to cut against the grain. The folks over at America’s Test Kitchen recently set out to prove that this isn’t just a foodie thing, using science to show that how you slice a steak really can make all the difference. Cutting against the grain means cutting perpendicular to the muscle fibers, which are clearly visible on cheaper steak cuts. In their experiment, they cook a flank steak and strip loin exactly the same. They then used a piece of equipment called a “texture analyzer” to determine how much force was required to bite into the meat. When the flank was cut against the grain, it required 383 grams of pressure to bite into the meat. On the other hand, when cut with the grain it required 1,729 grams of force! They also compared these results to strip and found that the lowly flank steak can stand its ground against premium steaks that cost significantly more. Cut with the grain, flank was about 193% tougher than the strip, but cut against the grain it was just 16% harder to bite through! America’s Test Kitchen has a great video explaining all of this below.

This is only an excerpt of the 9/1/15 Van Trump Report. Sign up for a Free Trial.

Some Of The Best Investment Wisdom I’ve Ever Received

This is clearly a market where investors are shooting first and asking questions later. In a firestorm like this, we as good investors need to be searching for good “value”… not exclusively looking at “price”. This has been one of the most important pieces of investment wisdom I’ve ever received. In simple terms, we need to believe we’re going to receive good “cash flow” in exchange for the real money we are willing to exchange for it. Too often however investors, much like myself elect to focus on the “story” and the “price” rather than the “cash” and this is when we get ourselves in big trouble. Remember we are exchanging our hard earned money today for what we believe is a fair “value” on a “business” that is going to generate greater value in the near future. It’s not the “story” but rather the “value” compared to the “cash” that the company can generate that makes it a good investment. I’ve found too often in life that I’ve been willing to pay too much simply based on a sexy “story”. I was not basing my investment decision on a bargain valuation compared to the cash it could generate, but rather the “price” being cheap in comparison to the “story” that was being told. Once again, some of the best advice I’ve ever been given… look to invest and buy “value,” not “price” and not the “story”.

This is only an excerpt of the 9/3/15 Van Trump Report. Sign up for a Free Trial.

Watch as Farmer Catches a Fish With His Drone

Derek Klingenberg is at it again! Affectionately known as “Farmer Derek”, this Kansas farmer has risen to fame through his funny and informative parodies about the life of a farmer. If you remember, back in 2014 he posted a video parody of that bizarre “What Does the Fox Say?” song that blew up a couple years ago. He called his parody, “What Does the Farmer Say?” It was an instant hit and as it stands right now has been viewed over 6 million times. You can check out his YouTube Channel HERE. However, just the other day, Farmer Derek posted a new video, showing him catching a fish with his drone! There’s not much to say about the whole situation – the video has all you need, which you can watch it below. It’s pretty awesome! The video and story has already been picked up by news outlets as big as TIME and the UKDailyMail and many others.

This is only an excerpt of the 9/2/15 Van Trump Report. Sign up for a Free Trial.

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