Friday, May 30, 2014
We made the decision to raise this years beef hormone free. The green tag in their ear signifies that they are hormone free. What this means is that they never received a small implant in their ear, about the size of a grain of rice, which increases their weight gain. The implants are not harmful to the animal but help increase their conversion of feed energy into muscle.
Since hormone free is seen as a specialty classification there is a slightly higher premium for hormone free beef. After looking through the numbers and knowing that we have good breeding in our animals that gain weight well we decided to raise our cattle this way.
After all the information came back from the market, this years animals were lighter than last years group but with the premium the payout came out about the same. My husbands tells me they are unsure if they will raise next years group hormone free but will have to see what the market does. Farming is a business and we have to be fiscally responsible, watching what the trends are and how we can best capitalize on the products we have. It is a wonderful thing that there is so much diversity in agriculture, with hormone free, organic, grass feed, and conventional. Different farmers are able to produce products with different resources and it allows for diversity that the public can choose from. I have no problem with consumers wanting their meat a certain way, that is why there are so many choices. I do have a problem when it is thought that all meat needs to be raised a certain way. In order to maintain a reasonably priced product at the grocery store for the population to buy the meat need to be produced in an efficient method and implanted beef is often the most efficient means.