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Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday

With Plant 13 finish, the farm crew moved onto the first cutting of grass hay

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2013 in Life on the Cattle Farm

 

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Thank You Consumers

Today (March 19) is National Ag Day, a day to celebrate the wonderful world of Agriculture.  As a farmer, I cannot imagine a day when I do not get my hands dirty or welcome a brand new calf into the world or discuss agriculture.

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No one on this planet could go a day without Agriculture. You are part of Agriculture from the food you eat to the clothes you wear. Agriculture is everywhere. Beyond the plate, farmers and ranchers produce items you use every day.

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On National Ag Day, we need to celebrate AGRICULTURE and the abundance, variety food choices that U.S. Farmers and Ranchers provide for the World. Whether your food choice is conventional, organic, all natural, local, gluten-free, vegetarian, or all animal protein; we need to be thankful for the affordable choices available to us as consumers in this nation. Despite the rising food costs in the grocery store, the U.S. still has the cheapest and more food choices for its citizens. Read More

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2013 in food

 

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Taking the First Step

The winter months are Calving Season for Day Cattle Farm.  Despite the cold temperatures and unpredictable Illinois weather, I personally enjoy calving season. The miracle of birth can provide a whole new perspective to your life.  However, I will not lie monitoring the labor process of an animal is quite stressful.  Knowing when to step in assist or just wait it out is difficult when the mom can only communicate with you through nonverbal cues.

This year we added new technology to our maternity ward – a barn cam.  The camera has allowed us to watch the first part of labor without making the mom nervous.

A photo taken of the tv feed from our ranch cam

A photo of the TV screen in the house from ranch cam feed

During the calving season, we place females in the maternity ward pens if they are in close to  their birthing date.  Although newborns can come anytime during the day, the night seems to be a very popular time and sport the most extreme temperatures.  In the morning we let the cows out to exercise and fill up on nutritional items unless they show signs of calving.  The cows still have access to warm barn.

On a rare day during lunchtime, my husband noticed that my daughter’s heifer, Champion, was embarking on her first calving. Fortunate for us, she chosen to come into the barn and was in full view of the barn cam.  Since this calf actually came without intervention and during the day , it was a wonder opportunity for me to share the first hour of calf’s life with the world.

An Angus heifer (female) just seconds after she is born.

An Angus heifer (female) just seconds after she is born.

Each mother cow have different personality.  It is natural for them to be extremely protective of the newborn calf.  After all designed by nature the cow will protect its calf from any dangers. So unless you are trained in handling cattle, it is highly advised not to approach any cow with a calf.

Now, I will admit I have all degree of protective moms in my herd.  In fact, I have cows that break the norm for allowing my family including my children to be in the pen during the birthing process and the first  hours of life.  Since my herd is small, it is easier for my family to build trust with each cow.

As soon as calf is born, a cow will begin cleaning and removing the birthing sack.  Since the majority of our calves are born during cold months, I will assist in cleaning process in order to avoid frostbite to set in.

After we are certain the bond between mom and baby have been formed, we will perform several tasks to keep the newborn calf healthy. Depending on the mom’s degree of protectiveness, we will either administrate newborn vaccination in the pen with the mom present or move her to a separate pen. In this particular case, Champion allowed us to coat the umbilical cord with iodine, measure for birth weight, and administrate newborn vaccination (just vitamins) while she licked her calf and us.

Champion takes a rest while she waits for her calf to take her first steps.

Champion takes a rest while she waits for her calf to take her first steps.

So in grand fashion let me introduce you to Champion’s first heifer calf, Daiquiri. She weighed 74lbs.  The next step in this healthy calf’s live is to take her first steps.  For me this is the most rewarding part of the birthing process. It always takes my breath away while I watch the first steps and wait to for the calf to take its first drink of milk.

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2013 in Life on the Cattle Farm

 

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Beef, largest single segment

Agfact Day #30

Cattle and beef production represent the largest single segment of American agriculture. In fact according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) more farms are classified as beef cattle operations (31%) than any other type of farm. Grant most cattle operation are small, 90% of cow herds are less than 100 with average about 44 animals.

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In 2011, 742,000 herds of cattle (farms) existed in the United States, the home of 30.9 million  beef cows and 26.7 million feeder calves.

 

 
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Posted by on November 30, 2012 in Ag Facts

 

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McDonald’s Top Pork Buyer

Agfact #29

McDonald’s, with its Sausage McMuffin, McRib sandwich and breakfast platters, is one of the nation’s largest buyer of pork products, consuming about 1% of the nation’s total production.

More Facts about Pork

  • The U.S. pork industry generates sales of about $21 billion a year, according to National Pork Producers Council.
  • 21 billion pounds of pork were processed from about 110 million hogs in 2011.
  • A total of 2.3 million metric tons of pork valued at more than $6.1 billion was exported in 2011.
 
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Posted by on November 29, 2012 in Ag Facts

 

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Shrinking Carbon Footprint of Beef

Agfact Day #26:  

The carbon footprint of beef was reduced by more than 16% from 1977 to 2007. U.S. cattlemen raise 20% of the world’s beef with 7% of the world’s cattle, making the United States a leader in raising sustainable beef.

 
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Posted by on November 26, 2012 in Ag Facts

 

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You are a Part of Agriculture

Agfact #20  Agriculture is everywhere.  Farmers and Ranchers provide more items in your life than the food you eat and feed for livestock.

Agriculture products are often grouped into Food, Fiber and Fuel. However, every day you utilize items made from raw materials produced on farm or ranch. Test your knowledge.  I have gather graphics and list of non-food products from livestock and crops.  This just some of the items.

It takes all U.S. Farmers and Ranchers to produce the items you use every day. The important thing to remember is YOU are part of agriculture from the food you eat to insulation in your house to biofuel in your car.  Agriculture is important part of your life and important part of U.S. Economy.

Animal Uses beyond the plate

Everything but the Oink

Non-Products from Sheep

Wool – Clothing, yarn, blankets, carpets; Skin is used for leather, coats, triming
Lanolin – adhesive tape, printing ink, motor oils, auto lubrication, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals

Products made from Corn provide by the National Corn Growers Association

 

Non-Food Products made from Soybeans

Adhesives, Anti-corrosive agents, Anti-static agents, Asphalt emulsions, Caulking compounds, Core oils, Cleansing Materials, Cosmetics, Diesel fuel, Disinfectants, Dust control agent, Electrical insulation, Epoxies, Films for Packaging, Fungicides, Herbicides, Inks-printing, Insecticides, Leather substitutes, Linoleum backing, Metal-casting/working, Medicine, Oiled fabrics, Paints, Particle Board, Pesticides, Pigments, Plastics, Plywood, Polyesters, Protective coatings, Putty, Rubber Manufacture, Soaps/shampoo/detergents, Textiles, Texture Paints, Vinyl plastics, Waterproof cement, Wallboard, Wetting Agent.

See the Complete List

Touch of Cotton

One bale of cotton can make:

215 Jeans
249 Bed Sheets
409 Men’s Sport Shirts
690 Terry Bath Towels
765 Men’s Dress Shirts
1,217 Men’s T-Shirts
1,256 Pillowcases
2,104 Boxer Shorts
2,419 Men’s Briefs
3,085 Diapers
4,321 Mid-Calf Socks
6,436 Women’s Knit Briefs
21,960 Women’s Handkerchiefs
313,600 $100 Bills*


 
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Posted by on November 20, 2012 in Ag Facts

 

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