Throwing shade on your herd It pays to do something about heat stressby Morgan Boecker March...
Two fishing cabins stood on the edge of the San Marcos river in 1919. Sixty years later Bodey Langford connected the two, as brick-by-brick, he built a home where he and Kathy would raise daughters Anna and Callie. There on his late father’s ranch near Lockhart, Texas, he also built his herd with purpose.
The owner-managers of Morgan Ranches learn and teach through such wisdom gathered over decades. Every day is a choice, and they choose to make it good. That positive philosophy only begins to tell why Morgan Ranches earned the 2020 CAB Commercial Commitment to Excellence award.
Humans developed over millennia to hunt and herd. When it’s time to move animals, instincts send us out with a purpose but sometimes little thought to how our aggressive behavior affects what they do. Stepping into a cattle pen, we naturally act the predator, manipulating where animals go. But good handling practices should turn us into leaders, says Kip Lukasiewicz.
We know what keeps an animal healthy, but do we know what they want? Lily Edwards-Callaway, of Colorado State University, shared animal welfare research during Cattlemen’s College session at the 2020 Cattle Industry Convention that she tag-teamed with NCBA’s Shawn Darcy.
Technology has done a lot for making rancher jobs easier—like automatic waterers. But nothing can replace the human side of stockmanship.
“Continuous improvement,” it’s what the beef industries does to demonstrate to consumers we’re committed to getting better. It’s how we measure progress. For Cargill Protein, the packing company puts the same pressure on themselves.
Undetectable diseases are hard to cure. That’s why the industry is working to find new ways of treating liver abscesses. Tylan is effective, but as antibiotic-resistance concerns and conversations continue, its future is not assured.
The technology of today is rapidly advancing while also imagining what the future consumer wants. When you select for breed genetics, you’re imagining what the future of beef could look like.