Monday, August 29, 2011

I do. Do you?

Now I know that I will likely ruffle some feathers here but..... I'm fed up with all the buzz wordy, make em look good crap floating around the internet about Grass based production.
 If you grow it, Talk about it. If you Live it. Talk about it. If you get it from somewhere else, Give that grower credit where it's due!  (ex; our Berkshire pork comes from the Phillips Family near Santa Rosa, Our Farm pigs came from Big Dave down the road.) If you don’t have video or photo’s of you yourself with the animals you claim to raise, don’t post them. Or if you do, say who they came from and where.(it's really easy to find the originals)
Those of us that really work at farming and ranching, whether it be small or large scale, work darned hard every day.
If you've never raised any cattle or sheep on grassland and worked those herds and flocks, don't you DARE try to tell us how it's done! If the only Quarter Horse you've thrown a leg over is the one in front of the grocery store, and you don't know a Go-bye from a Walk up you have no business judging what you don't practice. If you’ve never had to pull a calf or a lamb, If you claim to never have had to doctor one, and brag about not doing things like castrating,  you’re doing an injustice to the industry and treating your customers like fools.
Farmers and Ranchers don’t get a day off, unless there is someone there capable of taking on any emergency that may arise. Our days usually start about 4am. You put on the coffee, suit up and get to work. A typical day usually involves checking fences, forage conditions, water tanks, livestock health and conditions, and then there are the babies to check, feed the bucket calves and lambs, turn out the oldsters that can’t run the fields and make sure everyone is fat and happy. What if you come across a youngster that got separated from it mother? Or stuck in the brush? How about those lambs that the ewe walked away from 10 miles from home? Or you find the old gal didn’t bag up and her calf is hungry? What are you going to do?
As a grass feeder I work differently than those that run stockyards. That doesn’t make my protocols better, just different. Some folks like grain fed beef. That’s fine. It isn’t my job to judge. It is my job to ensure that my stock live the best life possible prior to slaughter, That they are gaining on living feed and if I have to feed baled hay it is the best available. What they eat is as important as how much. Ruminants convert grasses, forbs, brasiccas etc. into fats and proteins for growth and gain. If they aren’t gaining I’m losing money. Cattle should never finish on hay in my opinion. Live feed converts better and I can see the bloom on those steers. I don’t have dull coats or under developed calves. Why? Because My pastures are healthy and my livestock MOVES. Come spend a day working the pastures with us. How is that forage growing? Does it have enough food value to carry the stock that are on it? When do you have to go to baleage? Is there going to be enough hay to put up to carry through the dry season or winter snows depending on where you live? Do you know what to plant in finishing fields or are you just pulling old bossie off scrub and calling her grass fed beef? There is a lot of science that goes along with raising stock and Stock Sense is a must. Not this Nonsense we see so much today. Grass feeders are closing ranks and sharing knowledge to ensure that the best product possible reaches your table. Grain feeders are paying attention and doing what is necessary to improve conditions. . One of my pet peeves is those folks that raise animals in pens and because they feed hay they think it’s a grass fed and finished animal. NOT! Another is those folks that keep a few ‘pets’ around for folks to see but they never go in to production channels. If you see the same non breeding animals for years and continue to buy meat from that farm you are deluding yourself. Learn about the nutritional requirements of the animals you eat, and if you come across someone selling you grass fed pork or poultry turn around and leave! What prompted me to rant yet again is the fact that I saw an advertisement that used no less than 30 buzz words in 1 paragraph and it just tripped my trigger!

No comments:

Post a Comment