A couple of questions for you: What is involved in “prepping” the heifers? And another term you have used — What is meant by “sustainablity”?
<For us, prepping the heifers for calving season means worming them. Anything that grazes can get worms. Cattle wormer is applied to their backs. Thankfully, we don’t have to stick anything in their mouths like you do for dogs and horses! We also hope to help prevent scours, which is diarrhea in calves. By giving the moms a shot, we hope it carries onto the calf through the placenta, and keeps the babies healthy after they’re born. We also give a mineral shot… like a dose of vitamins.
Ah… sustainability… the current buzzword of agriculture. What does it mean? I guess it changes some with who is asking whom! For most people, it means meeting the needs of the present without compromising the future. So, are we doing anything now in our production that would adversely affect the future? In other words… are we, for instance, overgrazing our pastures? NO. That would be STUPID. Are we breeding to poor examples of bulls? NO. That would be STUPID. My general answer to this is that the Greet Family has been in this part of Wyoming since 1891. We’re still here. We’ve got some experience with sustainability!>
Although I live in middle England we do have cattle on nearby hills and a very good TV show called country file. Yesterday was all about farm vets and the stress on farmers when having the cattle tested for TB. If any are found to have TB they are taken away and the farmer cannot move/sell his cattle until more tests and negative results. So my question: do you have similar tests in the US. Info for UK can be found at: tbhub.co.uk.
<Joanne, I had to research this because I hadn’t heard of bovine TB. There has not been any in Wyoming, but there is some in Canada and South Dakota. Something else to worry about! Most of our neighbors don’t bring in that many cattle that they haven’t raised themselves. We are awfully grateful for that! Beef cattle don’t get it as badly as dairy, since ours are not so confined to the same areas. Our worries are more about brucellosis and trichomoniasis. >
Ok…when it comes to beef and antibiotics/hormones…what are your thoughts and what would you refuse to eat. What should a consumer look for that would be true labeling and not misleading?
<All antibiotics come with withdrawal warnings… which is to say, if you use this, don’t send this cow to slaughter within the next 60 days… or whatever. They have been tested to see how long the antibiotics stay in the system, and, yes, I trust that. We sell our cattle saying they are not treated with antibiotics, so if we have to doctor one, and why wouldn’t we if they are sick?, we pull it from the bunch and sell it apart from the big bunch. Hormones, we don’t use them; our calves grow into solid looking steers because they have good genetics behind them. Honestly, we will often eat a broken legged steer because his sale value will be nothing. I never even think about the fact that we might have given him antibiotics. I do realize some people have concerns in that way, and we are trying to meet that concern by selling our steers to that group through Global Animal Partnership. We have to be certified – we are GAP Level 4 – and our buyers pay up for that. If that is your concern, look for the GAP label on beef. The steers are also Verified Natural Beef (VNB) and Non-Hormone Treated Cattle (NHTC) through IMI Global. I’d really like for there to be Country of Origin labeling, as well. My personal belief is that the U.S. has the safest meat supply out there, but there isn’t COOL labeling by law. Ask your local store if they know where their meat comes from! Here’s my question back at you… What labels do you see on meat in your store? I’d really like to know because we don’t have any except for the price and weight! Misleading labels would be “non-GMO” and “gluten free”.>
Do you sell cattle based on your scale weight or haul’em to an electronic scale ? Or do all your calves,steers & bred heifers, go thru the sale barn-
<Our scale is a certified scale, tested by the state every year. We sell our yearling steers off of our scale and right onto the buyer’s trucks. We don’t sell any calves, they are at least yearlings when we sell. The bred heifers we don’t keep get hauled to a sale barn and sold there, same for the old broken mouthed cows and open cows (not pregnant) we get rid of.>
OK>>> still not finished! More to come!