Category: Blog

Live Stock Shows in Miami

Most of you reading this blog have probably shown cattle that you raised or helped raise cattle at some point in your life. There are 4-H steers and heifers to raise and prepare for the summer show, and breaking bulls for consignment sales. Such a great way to learn responsibility as a kid, washing them bonding with them. We, at one point, fell in love with the beef cattle industry in spite of the hurt of being in last place and because of the pride of a championship.

No matter what you circuit you are part of, there are always a few competitors who don’t always follow the rules. It is never flattering when an industry or sport is highlighted in the media for performance-boosting drugs. The livestock-show circuit is no different than the rest.

Performance-boosting drugs are banned in most human competitions but generally allowed on the livestock-show circuit. Muscle-building livestock drugs are often added into animal feed. Beta-agonists, such as Zilmax, are approved by the feds and are allowed on the and generally allowed on the livestock-show circuit.

Regardless, there livestock shows are something that I love to attend and something fun to participate in or observe. You can find one in almost any city.

I flew to Miami to attend the Annual Miami International Agriculture, Horse & Cattle Show. It was so much fun – educational booths, life music, dog and horse shows, etc. We even found a limo service in Miami to take us there and back. What a blast. I bet you didn’t know that Florida’s cattle ranches is about a fifth of the state land. It helps to protect protects wildlife, but very few know much about it.

Florida’s cattle ranchers strong stewardship has preserved thousands of acres of pristine native range and pasture land across the state of Florida. Generations will benefit if the ranchlands remain.

Here is a list of a few:

  • 4G Ranch
  • Adams Ranch
  • The Andersons Inc.
  • Ard, Shirley & Rudolph
  • Babcock Ranch
  • The Balmoral Group
  • Blackbeard’s Ranch

List of a few Florida Livestock shows:

  • Baker County Fair September 30 – October 8, 2016 Macclenny
  • Northwest Florida Fair September 27 – October 1, 2016 Fort Walton Beach
  • Walton County Fair October 3-8, 2016 DeFuniak Springs (
  • Central Panhandle Fair October 3-8, 2016 Panama City Northeast Florida Fair October 13-23, 2016 Callahan
  • Pensacola Interstate Fair October 20-30, 2016 Pensacola (Greater Hillsborough County Fair October 20-30, 2016 Dover
  • Alachua County Fair October 21-29, 2016 Gainesville

Hope you enjoy the shows!

Myths About Hormones in Beef

 It seems like everyone is worried about the hormones associated with meat, especially beef.  Most of us would have to eat 5-10 entire cows to get as much hormone as we are already producing each day. And the truth is, hormones for cows have been around for more than 50 years.  Why the uproar all of a sudden?

They place hormone implants in the ear of the cattle and discard it when they are slaughtered so it isn’t in our food.  These implants have been tested thoroughly and continue to be tested to make sure they are safe for the cows and for us.As well, over 90 per cent of dietary hormones are broken down by the digestive tract and liver and have no effect on the body.

Over 90 percent of the hormones are broken down by the digestive tract or the liver and really have no effect at all.

It’s not hard to find headlines on the internet bashing hormones.  It is a topic like vaccinations, politic or religion – it’s news… and so the news runs with it… right wrong or indifferent.

You will find all kinds of studies that say that these hormones cause breast cancer or early puberty. But it’s simply not true and there are two sides to every story.

Both synthetic and natural hormones are used in implants. Synthetic hormones are exactly what they sound like – synthetic versions of the natural hormones. They need to be approved by the FDA just like the natural implants to make sure that there are no harmful effects on people.

Beef produced in the US live in pastures and then are finished in a feedlot with grain diet and growth hormones.  It’s less expensive than organic beef the require less pasture and crops to be fed.  This results in lower costs and that gets passed on to us.

Cattle produce their own hormone.  So even organic beef that are not implanted with hormones have naturally occurring hormones. So no beef it hormone free.  Any amount of beef or animal product will have some level of natural hormone.  I guess if you are totally against eating hormones you can become vegan.

When looking for meat that has not been given additional hormones (natural or synthetic) look for the label “naturally raised” or “organic.

There is also a concern about hormones in milk that cows produce.  FDA and other experts say that there is no evidence that any risk exists. Samples of store bought milk and organic milk were tested.  There were no difference in the amounts of hormones (IGF-1) between them.  As a matter of fact, our bodies make IGF-1 and you would have to drink about 100 quarts of milk to equal the amount of IGF-1 in your saliva. There is no evidence that there is an increase in IGF-1 levels from drinking milk and no evidence that drinking milk causes cancer.

Our environment is full of all kinds of things that could potentially harm us.  But it appears hormones in beef cattle and dairy cattle are not the culprits.

So go have a burger and a cold glass of milk!


A Study of Spacial Memory in Cattle

Recently, two studies were done to test the spatial memory of cattle. cow In one study, six heifers were trained in mazes.  The mazes were radial and parallel arm mazes in two levels of difficulty.  Grain was placed at the end of each maze then the heifers were individually released and allowed to choose their route freely until all the grain was gone.

When a heifer entered a previously entered arm, the choice was considered incorrect. When they tried the four arm level, the average of correct choices in the first four tries were 3.83 and 3.6 for the radial and parallel mazes, respectively. When they were put in at the eight arm level, the average correct choices in the first eight tries were 7.78 and 7.36, respectively. This shows that the heifers were a little more efficient in the radial maze where directional and distal cues were more pronounced.

In the second study, two sets of twin steers were trained in a radial-arm maze using similar procedures as the first study. The average number of correct choices in the first eight entrances was 7.68. A interval of delay was then placed between choices four and five.  The steers rarely made any errors when the delay was between five minutes and four hours.  After an eight hour delay, performance dropped slightly.  After a twelve hour delay, it dropped dramatically.  The average number of correct choices in the first eight entrances were 7.63, 7.29, and 5.8 for delays of four hours, eight hours, and twelve hours, respectively.  The study concludes that cattle have the ability to associate many locations with food resources and to remember those locations for periods of up to eight hours.

Labor Dept. Banning Farm Chores for Children

A proposal from the Obama administration to prevent kids from doing farm tasks has drawn lots of objection from rural-district members of Congress. Today it’s bring in barbs from farm kids themselves.

The Division of Labor is positioned to put the finishing touches on a rule that would apply child labor regulations to youngsters dealing with family farms, forbidding them from carrying out a checklist of works on their own families’ land.

Under the rules, the majority of kids under 18 can not work 62d6d3910dbf3f8f8038211beac1c061“in the storing, marketing and moving of farm product raw materials.”.

“Prohibited places of employment,” a Department press release read, “would include country grain elevators, grain bins, silos, feed lots, stockyards, livestock exchanges and livestock auctions.”

The new rules, initially suggested August 31 by Labor Assistant Hilda Solis, would also revoke the government’s approval of security training and qualification shown by independent groups like 4-H and FFA, replacing them instead with a 90-hour federal government training course.

Rossie Blinson, a 21-year-old college student from Buis Creek, N.C., informed The Daily Caller that the federal government’s plan will certainly do far more damage compared to good.

“The main concern I have is that it would keep kids from doing 4-H and FFA tasks if they’re not at their parents’ home,” claimed Blinson.

“I began showing sheep when I was four years old. I began with cattle around 8. It’s been extremely important. I learned a lot about responsibility being a farm kid.”.

In Kansas, Cherokee County Farm Bureau president Jeff Clark was out in the field– essentially on a tractor– when TheDC reached him. He claimed if Solis’s regulations are carried out, farming family members’ labor losses from their children will just be part of the trouble.

“What would be even more of an impact,” he said, “is not teaching our youngsters the values of dealing with a farm.”.

The Epa reports that the average age of the American farmer is currently over 50.

“Losing that work ethic — it’s so hard to pick this up later in life,” Clark said. “There’s other ways to learn how to farm, but it’s so hard. You can learn so much more working on the farm when you’re 12, 13, 14 years old.”

John Weber, 19, comprehends. The Minneapolis native grew up in the suburbs and learned about animals working summers on his loved ones’ farm.

He’s now an university Agriculture major.

“I started working on my grandparent’s and uncle’s farms for a couple of weeks in the summer when I was 12,” Weber told TheDC. “I started spending full summers there when I was 13.”

“The work ethic is a huge part of it. It gave me a lot of direction and opportunity in my life. If they do this it will prevent a lot of interest in agriculture. It’s harder to get a 16 year-old interested in farming than a 12 year old.”

Weber is additionally a little businessman. In secondary school, he claimed, he got a funding and acquired a few steers to raise for earnings. “Under these rules,” he described, “I would not be allowed to do that.”.

In February the Labor Department apparently backed away from what many called an unlikely grasp right into farmers’ households, resuming the public comment period on a section of the laws developed to provide parents an exception for their own children.

But the US farmers’ largest trade team is unimpressed.

“American Farm Bureau does not view that as a victory,” said Kristi Boswell, a labor specialist with the American Farm Bureau Federation. “It’s a misconception that they have backed off on the parental exemption.”

4-H Auctions: Teens Making Money

On the very first Saturday of the Minnesota State Fair, 18-year-old Tyler Otte’s champ Angus beef cattle made him $5,600.

That’s the price the Angus sold for in Saturday’s 4-H Purple Ribbon Auction, $1,400 more than the average in 2014’s public auction, according to fair authorities.

The mid-day prior to the public auction, Otte remained in the livestock barn brushing his Black Angus, and he was far from alone. Young adults from throughout the state were preparing their animals for the auction the following day.

The Purple Ribbon Auction occurs each year at the Minnesota State Exhibition. pix-0827ffaresultsjpg-ad5a9576513df593_large“It originated as an extra incentive for kids to participate in the fair activities”, stated 4-H volunteer Corky Modene, that raised animals for the 4-H auction himself in his more youthful years.

To get to the auction, young adults spend the year raising livestock and needs to win county fair competitions to get to the fair.

The auction makes big amounts of cash from purchasers. Kailey Davis of Freeborn County, who raised the champion of the 2010 Grand Champion Market Beef category– the one in which Otte competed– made $14,600. Eighty percent of auction profits go to the young people who raise the animals, while 20 percent, according to Modene, goes to 4-H scholarships and other curricula.

This will be Otte’s third year participating in the Purple Ribbon Auction, so he is no stranger to the process. Otte’s family has been raising cattle since he was in the second grade. “We keep buying them, so we keep raising them,” he claimed, casually.

Daily care throughout the year is the largest commitment when raising cattle for the public auction, Otte said. “You have to wash (bathe) them on a daily basis,” Otte claimed.

And the cattle call for unique, expensive feed, he said.

Bonnie Reed, a member of the 4-H Auction Committee whose kids used to join the auction too, claimed: “It takes hours a day to deal with them.”.

Another commitment in raising cattle is the issue of space to accommodate the animals; but Otte said that it wasn’t a problem for his family. “We live way in southern Dakota County, so it’s fine,” Otte said.

When asked about his feelings about raising cattle for massacre, Otte claimed that it’s not difficult to give them up at the end of the auction. “That could seem rough. But it’s what an animal is, I guess,” he stated, and also shrugged.

“It’s what it’s raised for,” added Reed.

Although Otte is not really connected to the cattle he raises, he is to the people he meets at the auction.

“You meet a lot of awesome individuals”, Otte stated. “You meet people from all over the state. We keep in touch.”

Otte considers visiting the University of Minnesota next year with a bunch of the people he has met via the 4-H auction.

Safety in Cattle Handling

Cattle handling is a dangerous task on milk farms, and cows are a significant reason for injuries to animal trainers. Even if milk cows are usually tranquil and docile, when situations happen that they perceive or remember as averse, they might come to be perturbed and harmful to take care of.

This research study intended to compare human-animal communications, cow habits, and trainer safety when relocating cows to day-to-day milking and relocating cows to much more seldom happenings, and also possibly hoof trimming. These procedures were noted on 12 Swedish commercial dairy ranches. The research study included behavioral observations of trainer and cows and cow heart rate recordings, along with tape-recording regularities of situations and also occurrences related to a boosted injury danger to the trainer.

cow-milkingWAt milking, cows were quite quickly moved making use of couple of communications. As anticipated, the cows showed no behavioral indicators of stress, anxiety, or resistance and their heart rate only rose somewhat from the baseline (i.e., the typical heart rate during an uninterrupted duration before managing). Moving cows to hoof trimming involved more strong and gentle interactions compared to relocating cows to milking. In addition, the cows showed considerably greater frequencies of actions a measure of hostility and worry (e.g., freezing, stopping, and also resistance), and a greater rise in heart rate.

The threat of injury to which handlers were subjected additionally boosted when relocating cows to hoof trimming as opposed to routine milking. Some interactions (such as strong tactile interactions with an item and pulling a neck strap or halter) appeared to be connected to possibly dangerous incidents where the handler was being kicked, head-butted, or run over by a cow.

To conclude, relocating cows to hoof cutting resulted in greater regularities of actions indicating fear, even more powerful communications, and also increased injury dangers to the handler than moving cows to milking. Improving possibly demanding handling treatments (e.g., by far better animal managing methods as well as prep work of cows to manage such procedures) can raise trainer safety, animal welfare, simplicity of handling, as well as performance.

Importance of Organic Vegetables

Organic-Vegetables-ImageOrganic veggie gardening appears to be the trend nowadays as even more people have become aware of exactly what they are consuming. This is because standard methods which entail using hazardous chemicals may enter our systems.

In order to regulate the problem, the US Department of Agriculture has issued a new directive. This urges farmers to change to chemical-free farming.

With chemical-free farming, farmers will no longer need to plant crops making use of genetic modification, irradiation and sewage sludge. Instead, this will be replaced with plant rotation.

Plant rotation is the technique of growing a various crop in the same location where another crop once occupied. This keeps the dirt’s nutrients abundant so it can be used once again in the next season.

If you think about it, this technique is much easier said than done as farmers are accustomed to the old ways of doing it. To help them change their minds, the government offers motivations and aids to farmers that determine to follow this practice.

Yet the main reason why organic veggie gardening is so crucial is the fact that the plants collected have 50 % more nutrients and vitamins compared with that of conventional farming methods.

This means the food they consume will decrease the danger of individuals experiencing a variety of conditions like diabetic issues, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and specific cancers cells.

Children who consume milk will be able to obtain even more anti-oxidants, CLA, Omega 3 and vitamins when this is removed from pastured foraged cows that will actually reinforce their bones and muscular tissues.

You can purchase organically grown vegetables from the grocery store. The depressing component is that almost everywhere you go, although the packaging originates from Department of Health, Quality Assurance International, California Certified Organic Farmers or the Oregon Tilth Farm Verified Organic, the majority of these are only 50 % to 70 % organic.

This is why residents that wish to consume 100 % organic vegetables are motivated to expand these themselves.

There are two means making this take place. First, you acquire the seeds and plant them, and care for them until harvest. Second, you buy them fully grown and after that merely plant it right into the ground.

Most people choose the very first since it makes them proud to know that what is offered on the table was done from scratch.

In both proceedings, you need to prepare the soil, use compost and see to it that these are secure from hazards such as pests, weeds and other animals that will eat just what you have planted.

You can fight these with other animals, bugs, natural fertilizers, antiperspirant soap and a couple of various other things which you could learn after doing some study.

For those who don’t have a big yard, they could attempt growing these organically grown veggies in containers. They require more water compared to those planted in the dirt so give doses regularly.

There is no question that organic vegetables and various other items are essential these days. If you value your health and wellness and those of your family you could buy these from the store or plant it on your own.

For those who decide to purchase organically grown vegetables, bear in mind to wash before cooking them. This will eliminate any sort of hazardous materials or deposit that could still be there which is unseen to the naked eye.

Should I Buy Organic?

Businesses such as GuideMeGreen and the co-op offer a genuine choice for people interested in these issues and with companies that incorporate a solid ethical measurement in tandem with making revenues.
Here are some of the main features of organic farming:

  • Organic farming significantly limits making use of synthetic chemical fertilisers and also      chemicals.
  • Rather, organic farmers rely on establishing a healthy, fertile soil as well as growing a combination of crops.
  • Animals are reared without the routine use of drugs, anti-biotics and wormers typical in extensive animals farming.

Artificial dyes and active ingredients such as Sudan1 were in the national news in February and can create cancer. See for more details. Genetically modified (GM) crops and ingredients are not permitted under organic specifications.

Agro-Tourism: A Farm Stay

Agro tourism isn’t for everybody, yet if you like country living, it could be an optimal vacation for you. Agro tourism is available worldwide, wherever there are farms. It’s a terrific method to learn about the country way of living and to assist neighborhood farmers.

There are numerous types of agro-tourism getaways. You could stay on a farm simply to delight in country life. You can take a functioning vacation, and try your hand at farm tasks. You can likewise take a learning vacation, where you find out specific agricultural techniques.

Delighting in the Country Life
Agro tourism is remarkable for household vacations. Kids enjoy seeing the animals and discovering where food comes from. You normally remain in a farm home or a bunk house and often take meals with the farm family. You normally have plenty of time for unwinding or sightseeing. Some farm getaways consist of unique tasks, such as horseback riding, hayrides, and bonfires.  Imagine looking out your windows to see the rolling hills with animals dotting the landscape.

It’s respectful to help out with jobs. You may not understand how you can milk a cow, but you can possibly make your personal bed or load the dishwasher.

Laws for Organic Products

The possibility of modern organic farming is largely unrealized, but organic and regional food markets are reaching an tipping point. The surge of organic farming has been driven by small, independent producers, and by customers. The organic motion has created in feedback to an expanding need for organic products.

In the 1980s all over the world, numerous farming and customerorganic groups started seriously pressuring for federal government regulation of organic production. The federal government started taking the first steps towards managing organic, and so-called health foods.

In late 1999, the USDA finally released an initial recommended draft of nationwide organic specifications. It was noticeable the fad was expanding in 2000 when, for the very first time, a lot more organic food was marketed in traditional supermarkets than in farmers markets or food cooperatives. The initial goal for regulation was to define organic and recommend specifications to define health foods. Unlike other types of sustainable farming, chemical-free farming has usual requirements which are legally applied and which guarantee ecological, animal welfare, and health benefits. Currently all food manufacturers, including natural farmers and processors, should adhere to county, state and federal health requirements.