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December 2010 Archive for 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.

Merry Christmas

Dec 23, 2010

Christmas gives us the opportunity to do things for people we might otherwise neglect, and we must take advantage of every opportunity.

 

   December 25th isn’t about presents but about Christ presence in our lives.  The angels had been overjoyed once before when the Son of God, through whom all things were created, laid the foundations of the earth (Job 38:1-7).  But now the same Son was coming to dwell upon the earth He created!  The joy only the angels had known would now be a joy spread throughout the earth to all people.   Have you experienced the peace of which the angels spoke?

 

   Imagine how excited you’d be (or are), if your loved one were returning home after a tour of duty.  You would be (or are), giddy with excitement, straightening the house, planning a menu, calling friends, and preparing for the long-awaited reunion.  This is the same excitement we should be experiencing and preparing for in the coming week as we get ready for Christmas.  The Celebration of Jesus Christ.  Think of why he came, and what he did for us.

 

This Christmas, remind yourself of why it is more blessed to give than to receive.

And as this year is coming to an end, it’s a good time to leave behind some old habits. 

Perhaps you need to bring your temper under Christ’s control.  

Perhaps you need to change your vocabulary.  Maybe God is nudging us to forgive an offense or overlook an insult.

 

As we celebrate Christmas with friends and family, and prepare to end one year and begin a new one, let’s determine to start it with passion.  To press on with a desire to succeed in how we live our lives and how we choose to raise our cattle!

 

Celebrate Christmas this year with both a backward glance

and a forward look!  Rejoice!  God is with us!

 

Merry Christmas,

From all of us at:

The Kuhn Family Farm

& Old Country Store

BQA Part 6

Dec 14, 2010

It’s time for part 6 in a 6 part series.  We’ve been looking at how the BQA (Beef Quality Assurance), program could help you streamline your cattle operation and increase the sustainability of your herds health.

This week we will be looking at Safe Handling of your cattle both on the farm, ranch or feedlot as well as at your destination when delivering cattle.  For those of you who have attended NCBA’s "Stockman & Stewardship" class at a BQA event near you, some of the following information will be a good refresher.

 

Cattle Vision

   Cattle have a wide area of peripheral vision, with only a small blind spot immediately behind the animal.

 

Do not approach cattle from directly behind.

 

* Flight Zone

   The flight zone is the distance that the cattle can be from you and still feel comfortable. You can use the flight zone to quietly move cattle.

 

* Point of Balance and Movement

   - There is a place on the shoulder of the animal called the point of balance.

   - You can use this point to encourage the animal to go forward and backward.

   - You should move cattle calmly and slowly.

   - Quick movements and loud noises will make moving cattle more difficult.

 

* Moving Aids

   "Persuaders" such as flags, plastic paddles, and a stick with plastic ribbons should replace electric prods     as much as possible.

   An electric prod should NOT be a person’s primary driving tool. It should only be picked up and used when    absolutely required to move a stubborn animal and then should be put back down.

   "Persuaders" are the best tools for moving cattle. These devices can be used to turn cattle by blocking their    vision on one side of their head.

 

 

Checklist: PRIOR TO LOADING

 

* Clean truck:

   - Between species

   - Between changes from feeders to fat cattle

   - Once a day

   - Clean top to bottom, front to back, inside to outside

 

* Driver’s schedule for the day – needs to know:

   - Specific locations of load pickups and drop offs

   - Phone numbers of producers at pickup and drop off

   - Approximate loading time

   - Other relevant information about the shipment

   - Correct pen number

   - Correct lot number

   - Sale barn buyer number

   - Head count and loading instruction

 

Checklist: FOR UNLOADING

  

   - Determine if you are at the correct facility before unloading.

   - Weigh truck if cattle are to be weighed on the truck.

   - Back the trailer up to unloading chute squarely and evenly.

   - Determine if unloading chute is in good repair (if portable, it must be properly anchored to truck).

   - Make sure the gates to the destination pen are open and the path is clear, then unload cattle from the truck.

   - Use good, low stress handling procedures.

   - Be sure the holding pen gate is shut for the cattle before pulling away from the chute.

   - Weigh truck empty, unless cattle are weighed on the ground.

   - Give all documents to the recipient of the cattle (health certificate, inspection papers, brand papers, etc.).

 

When we reconvene next week, we will be focusing on

"Properly preparing 100% Grass-fed BEEF"

It's what's for CHRISTMAS!!

BQA Part 5

Dec 11, 2010

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

BEEF QUALITY ASSURANCE

BQA Transportation Quality Assurance

Transportation quality assurance plays a critical role in the health and welfare of cattle.  The proper handling and transport of cattle can reduce sickness in calves, prevent bruises, and improve the quality of the meat from these animals.

If you’re a cattle transporter, you play a critical role in the health & 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 (which most if not all of our cattle are currently experiencing), 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 wind chill is below 0 degrees. 

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 degrees Fahrenheit, it will feel like -44 !!  Again if you cannot avoid transporting cattle is extremely cold conditions, the best/warmest time of the day should be between 11am & 4pm.  The same is true in a reverse kind of way when transporting cattle during extremely hot temperatures.  AVOID transporting cattle between 11am & 4pm.  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 5 weeks are general recommendations set forth by the BQA program to help you & 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 your doing.  If what your doing currently works for you and your cattle, and your conscious 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 and have been willing to share with all of you.  Next week we’ll be rounding out the BQA series of this blog focusing on loading and unloading guidelines.

BQA Part 4

Dec 04, 2010

This week is part 4 of 6 in a series as we take a look at BQA

Beef Quality Assurance

BQA can help make a positive public perception of your cattle operation

and the BEEF industry as a whole.

 

Feed Additives and Medications

  • Only FDA approved medicated feed additives will be used in rations.
  • Medicated feed additives will be used in accordance with the FDA Good Manufacturing
  • Practices (GMP) regulation.
  • Follow 'Judicious Antibiotic Use Guidelines'.
  • Extra-label use of feed additives is illegal and strictly prohibited.
  • To avoid violative residues: withdrawal times must be strictly adhered to.
  • Where applicable, complete records must be kept when formulating or feeding medicated feed rations.
  • Records are to be kept a minimum of two years.
  • The producer will assure that all additives are withdrawn at the proper time to avoid violative residues.

 

Feedstuffs

  • Maintain records of any pesticide/herbicide use on pasture or crops that could potentially lead to violative residues in grazing cattle or feedlot cattle.
  • Adequate quality control program(s) are in place for incoming feedstuffs. Program(s) should be designed to eliminate contamination from molds, mycotoxins or chemicals of incoming feed ingredients. Supplier assurance of feed ingredient quality is recommended.
  • Suspect feedstuffs should be analyzed prior to use.
  • Ruminant-derived protein sources cannot be fed per FDA regulations.
  • Feeding by-product ingredients such as DDG should be supported with sound science.

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