We are in the middle of the Holiday Season with many gatherings of family and friends to celebrate Christmas and the New Year. The primary topics of conversation will involve family happenings and recent events. Since most of the population is at least a generation removed from production agriculture, these gatherings gives us an opportunity to educate our friends and extended family about raising cattle with why we manage cattle a particular way and current trends in beef production. Everyone will have some interest since the cost of beef has been noticed by most consumers. The two current topics below are what I consider to be important messages and many of the statistics are taken from Cattle Fax Updates. We have done more with fewer cows for several decades but we may be at the tipping point for the beef cow herd.
Technology is everywhere. Our homes are wireless, tractors all but drive themselves, and you can even get reminders on your phone to put out fresh barrels. As much as technology is readily accepted in other areas of everyday life, there is hesitation when it comes to technology and food production. Public concern over the use of feed additives in food animals is high with those outside the ag community. However, what would happen if the growth enhancing technology (GET) we take for granted in cattle production (ionophores, implants, etc.) where no longer available?
It is almost Christmas time. Before you know it, the holidays will be over, and some of you may actually be looking forward to this! You may also be wondering if we will go over the Fiscal Cliff. As I write this, no one seems to have any answers.
The holiday season is a good time to reflect upon the past year. We might ask ourselves, what went wrong, right, what we’d do again, and what we learned not to do. 2012 was a challenging year in many respects. No doubt the drought was the most challenging and a news making event. It will be a large factor in shaping our industry for the next several years.
As I sit writing this, multiple tornados have ripped through the Southeast and much of the Midwest is under a blizzard warning. Disasters come in many forms – hurricane, flood, tornado, fire, blizzard or ice storm, just to name a few. You will likely have to deal with one or more of these situations at some point. No matter where you live or what kind of livestock you raise, everyone can benefit from having a well-prepared disaster plan. As they say – failing to plan is the same as planning to fail. Here are a few tips on what you can do: