Monday, August 27, 2012

Being Transparent

In a country where fewer than 2% of people farm for a living and only 17% of people live in rural areas there seems to be a large disconnect between the farm where food is raised and the table where it's eaten. Because of this, it's not becoming more important than ever for my generation to serve as that link between the farm and table and let people know where their food comes from.
This morning I stumbled upon this video on Facebook that does a great job of modeling the transparency that is needed in Agriculture to share our story. There are many discrepancies around the web including videos and stories about everything from how livestock are handled to welfare during transport and at the harvest facilities. Which is why it's even more important that we share the "true" story on what happens on a farm on a day-to-day basis. Who better to tell the story of agriculture than the people producing food?
U.S. cattle producers do their best to provide the best care possible to their cattle in order to ensure a safe and wholesome product for the consumer.  The Beef Quality Assurance program educates people on how to provide optimal care for cattle at every stage in the production process. In addition to guidelines that ensure proper care for cattle on the farm, there are also guidelines and checkpoints in place at harvest facilities to make sure each animal is handled properly so that stress is reduced and the well-fare of animals are not compromised.
Take a look at the video below that was directed by the American Meat Institute and narrated by Temple Grandin. Temple is well-known for her work with animals and her ability to connect and relate with them to keep them calm and minimize stress. She has spent a lot of career developing guidelines for humane livestock handling and standards for humane harvest of animals in harvest facilities.
There are a few graphic scenes in this video, but it is an honest look at how things are done RIGHT in a harvest facility. For more information on this video and the American Meat Institute visit

Sunday, August 19, 2012

2012 Beefin' up the Bulldogs

Beefin' up the Bulldogs is an annual event hosted by the Mississippi Cattleman's Association and the MSU Animal and Dairy Sciences Department. The MSU football team comes to a location on campus where they are fed a steak dinner and have the opportunity to learn a little about agriculture. Following the dinner, which by the way consisted of 230 steaks (that's a lot of beef!), the players enjoyed some MSU ice cream and went outdoors for a hay bale toss competition and an opportunity to meet a cow from the MSU dairy. I think the dairy cow was by far the biggest hit! Here are some pictures from tonight...
President and Vice President of the MSU Collegiate Cattleman

Players enjoying their steak dinner with Coach Mullens.

Volunteers from MSU ADS department...

Hay bale toss!

The milk cow from MSU dairy...

The two cutest little girls talking to the milk cow!

I think it's safe to say everyone enjoyed meeting the cow!

Thanks to Finley White for taking pictures tonight!