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100% Grass-Fed

RSS By: Randy Kuhn, Beef Today

Our family farming history began with my great-great-... (nine generations ago) grandfather Johannes. He, his wife and three children left Saxony, Germany, on April 20, 1734, aboard the ship St. Andrew, mastered by Capt. John Stedman. They landed at Philadelphia on Sept. 22 and eventually settled our family’s first "New World" farm near Society Run in Frederick Township, Montgomery County, Pa., in 1743. Pig farming was our family’s specialty until the mid 1950s. A lot has changed since then. Our BQA cow–calf operation includes 100% grass-fed registered Red Angus, Hereford and purebred Beefalo; 30 to 35 pastured Duroc and Spot pigs; 100 Freedom Ranger broilers; and 90 Golden Comet and Buff Orpington layers. We organically maintain 80 acres, comprising 15 acres in rotational pastures, 15 acres in tillable cropland, and alfalfa/mixed grass hay on the balance. We have never used chemical pesticides or herbicides on our pastures or hay fields. We are not a "certified" organic farming operation, but we prefer the natural/organic approach to help promote sustainability.

BQA Part 5 of 6

Feb 02, 2012

Thank you all for returning for Part 5 of a 6 part series focusing on BQA.

I know what you're thinking: "I thought this was a 5-part series."

Surprise! I thought of some other issues to cover next week.

But for this week, we’ll be talking about…

BQA’s Transportation Quality Assurance

If you’re a cattle transporter, you play a critical role in the health and welfare of the cattle we all raise. The proper handling and transport of cattle can reduce sickness in calves, prevent bruises and improve the quality of the meat from all our animals. By utilizing BQA transport practices, you and other transporters literally save our beef cattle industry million$ of dollar$ a year! Participation in the BQA Master Cattle Transporter program is one way to show your customers that you are ready to take every step possible to keep their cattle healthy and safe as possible.

Extreme wind and cold conditions can have a drastic adverse effect on the health of cattle. Unprotected cattle hauled at highway speeds can be subject to dangerous wind chills. If cattle are wet, the danger is even greater. Extreme wind and cold conditions exist when the windchill is below 0°. 

If transporting cattle cannot be avoided during the above-mentioned conditions, avoid stopping if at all possible. You want to get the cattle to their/your destination as quickly as possible.

For example, even at slow speeds like 25 miles per hour when the outside temperature is 0°F, it will feel like -44°! Again, if you cannot avoid transporting cattle in extremely cold conditions, the best/warmest time of the day should be between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. The same is true in a reverse kind of way when transporting cattle during extremely hot temperatures: avoid transporting cattle between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. I understand most of you already know this, and there are a few of you who are strongly against being told how to do anything (and have stated that fact numerous times), but it can’t hurt to be reminded.

What I’ve been relaying via this blog over the last five weeks are general recommendations set forth by the BQA program to help you and I as cattle producers to think about what we do when handling our cattle. I’m not telling you that you need to change what you're doing. If what you're doing currently works for you and your cattle, and your conscience is clear about how you do it, keep it up! Share your experiences with other producers. I’m open to others' ideas, just as some of you are open-minded to the way I do things that I have been willing to share with all of you. Next week, we’ll be wrapping up the annual BQA series of this blog by focusing on the loading and unloading guidelines.

 

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