Friday, May 30, 2014


       May 19th was a big day on the farm this year. That day we loaded our beef cattle for the year onto 3 semi trucks and sent them off to market. On our farm we feed out only the calves that were born on our farm the year before. This year that was about 100 head. We feed out all the steers and any heifers that we do not want to keep for replacement breading stock. The animals that we shipped off to market were born March/April 2013, so they are just over 1 year old at this time. The average steer weighed a little over 1300 lbs.

    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.
       We are proud of the beef that we raise. We feel that they are healthy animals that will provide high quality food for people all over the world. (We were told that these animals are being shipped over to Europe.) As a farmer our whole purpose is to produce the food, fiber, and fuel that the world needs. As a farmer we also need to listen and be aware of what the consumers are asking for so that we can best serve them. All of this together causes us to ever strive to produce food in the best, most efficient way we can and be conscious stewards of resources in the process.
    Rose saying goodbye to the beef cattle. Even she knows that these animals purpose is to make meat to help feed others.

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1 comment:

  1. Beautiful photos, Rose looks ADORABLE :)

    Cathy Vargas
    Vintage Girls