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Our editors spend some time roaming the web looking for stuff cattle people and others in agriculture might find useful or entertaining.
Did you ask yourself why you were battling zero temperatures and negative-ridiculous-something wind chills while you were feeding cattle last week? Did you consider selling them all and jumping on a plane to Cancun or Acapulco? Montana rancher Lisa Schmidt did ... but not for long. She admits the cattle she and her husband own could pay off the mortgage and send their kids to college, but then they wouldn't be ranchers, would they? If you have to ask why Lisa and other ranchers do it, you'll never understand. But Lisa does her best to explain why ranchers do what they do.
Cowboys are generally an independent bunch, and you can include Japanese cowboy Masami Yoshizawa. In fact, Yoshizawa is probably as cantankerous as any cowboy we can recall in our years of traveling cow country. That's because he's defying orders to abandon his cows around Japan's Fukishima nuclear plant that suffered major damage by a 9.0 earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011. The government wants to euthanize the cows, but Yoshizawa says he plans to stay in the radioactive wasteland and continue to care for the cattle. Kinda makes chopping ice on a cold day seem inconsequential.
Stop the money. That's apparently how Congress intends to deal with the mavericks in New Mexico who want to open a horse slaughter facility. It's legal to slaughter horses, but the proposed budget bill specifies that no money provided by the bill can be used for salaries or expenses of personnel performing inspections of horses intended for slaughter.
Growing cattle that are more efficient in converting feed to muscle is a main goal in the beef industry. Chris Reinhardt, feedlot specialist for Kansas State University, seeks to find solutions to improve efficiency in cattle production. Reinhardt has looked specifically at how beta-agonists improve the cattle's natural ability to convert feed into more lean muscle. This story is part 2 of a two-part series on how beta-agonists and environmental factors potentially play a role in cattle fatigue and feed efficiency.
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