Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Going home to the cows!

This weekend I will be going home for Easter weekend! I am so excited because I will get a chance to look through the cows and calves! The babies are about 2-3 months old now and are growing!  We have one set of twins, a heifer and bull calf (girl and boy), they were about 45 pounds when they were born.  An average calf is usually about 70 pounds, so they were very small at birth.  I will take pictures of the babies when I am at home and post them!

We will also be artificially inseminating the cows this weekend.  We do this because it gives us the opportunity to expand and improve our genetics by breeding to bulls that we would not be able to buy and use as natural service sires.  The process is very similar to in-vitro fertilization in humans.

Hope everyone has a great Easter and gets to spend some time with their family!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Beef producers care about the environment.

Consumers are growing more curious about how their food is produced and it seems that anti-agriculturist groups are taking full advantage of this by spreading negative, inaccurate information about agriculture.  I was browsing the web this afternoon and found a quote from a blog titled, Guide to Good Food: Factory Farming and Industrial Agriculture:

“Factory farming and industrial agriculture are unsustainable systems that produce large volumes of food but have little to no regard for the environment, animal welfare, soil and water quality, food safety, worker rights, farmers or local communities.  That focus is on maximizing profit and efficiency- but at great cost.”                            Source-–industrial-agriculture/

First of all, cattle producers have a deep respect for the land and want to make sure that their family farm and land is sustainable, so it can be passed to future generations. They do this by implementing practices such as soil nutrient management plans, using trees and fences to protect natural streams, planting trees, practicing rotational grazing, and enriching wildlife habitats.  Did you know that grazing area in the US more than doubles the area that could be used to produce food while limiting soil erosion, preserving wildlife habitat and reducing the risks of wildfires? Beef produced in the US is under strict compliance with federal, state, and local environmental regulations.  This includes the Clean Air and Water Acts.

You may be asking now, “So what about feedlots?”.  Most cattle in the US are finished in feedlots or concentrated animal feeding operations.  Feedlots have become the focus for many critics when they talk about “factory farming”.  Feedlots allow us to produce more pounds of beef using fewer resources like land, feed and water.    Large feedlots have Environmental Engineers on staff to make sure that the operation is under compliance with the EPA (environmental protection agency) who govern these types of operations.  Part of this persons job is to make sure that manure is managed correctly and water quality is protected.  All feedlots must submit an annual report and develop a plan for handling waste. 

This is the area most consumers fail to recognize, not because it is their fault, but because they haven’t been presented with the information. 

Remember, above all beef producers have the consumer in mind.  Our goal is to produce a safe, wholesome and nutritious product…for YOU!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Animals must be cared for…Rain or Shine!

Hello Readers! Welcome to the “ranch” thanks for popping in and reading my first post! I would encourage you to read the right hand side of the blog under, About the Ranch, so you can get some background info on me and the purpose of this blog! Throughout this blog, I will probably post a lot of articles that are found online.  I will try to make sure they are short and fast, easy reads…I know everyone is busy! I will also do my best to post pictures, it is said they speak a thousand words and will be much more effective than me rambling on and on to you!

Feel free to comment and please, please, please pass this on to your friends!

I stumbled across this blog post on Facebook today and it is very neat and excellent at showing the lengths ranchers go to to ensure their cattle are taken care of! It is a short read and has several pictures that will surprise you! Here it is…

Battling the elements to care for animals

Welcome to the maternity ward. It’s starting to get packed,” Tim Kaldenberg says with a smile as he guided a calf into a barn on his Albia farm last week. This spring Kaldenberg, like many cattlemen across the state, is literally knee deep in mud while trying to provide care for calves that are being born daily………

Read the rest of this article at: