Grazing the Net
Greg Henderson and Friends
Our editors spend some time roaming the web looking for stuff cattle people and others in agriculture might find useful or entertaining.
Washington's Cat Management Plan
Feb 12, 2014
If you were a homeless cat and you could choose anywhere in America to be homeless, Washington, D.C., might be the best place to roam. There’re plenty of rats in Washington, to be sure, but homeless cats in our nation’s capital are also offered unique care and support that lawmakers often deny the city’s less fortunate citizens. The Washington Humane Society has started an ambitious plan to end cat euthanasia by capturing cats, neutering them and then releasing them back into the wild, as it were. WHS says it relies on volunteers to trap the cats, bring them to a monthly spay-and-neuter clinic, then release them—vaccinated and unable to breed. Last year WHS performed 1,651 free surgeries, estimated to cost $38,800, or about $24 per cat. If this trapping-vaccinating-neutering plan works, we think it’s worth a try on lawmakers, too.
A City Boy's Dilemma
There’s an old expression that you can take the boy out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy. Bob Comis is an example that the reverse is also true. He’s a city boy now making a life raising grass-fed pigs on a small farm in New York. But self-doubt is creeping into Comis’ consciousness, and he posted a blog titled, "It Might Be Wrong To Eat Meat." Comis tells Modern Farmer magazine his "feelings about the ethics of livestock farming ebb and flow," though he says he failed to convert to a vegan lifestyle. Then he says, "livestock farmers lie to their animals. We’re kind to them and take good care of them....But in the end, we...dupe them into being led to their own deaths." We think Comis’ problem is that he singularly focuses on the animal’s death rather than the cycle of life. Comis’ pigs turn photosynthesis into protein that provides sustenance for humans. There’s nothing unethical about that.
Beef: It's What's Fueling These Olympians
A speed skater, snowboarder and a skeleton racer at this year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi all have ties to America’s cattle industry. Katie Uhlaender, a member of the U.S. skeleton team, lives on a ranch near Atwood in northwest Kansas.
Kaitlyn Farrington, competing this week in the halfpipe, grew up on a ranch in Idaho.
And Olympic speed skater Emily Scott, Springfield, Mo., is the 2014 Olympic Beef Ambassador of Missouri. Emily was chosen as this year’s first-ever Beef Ambassador for the Missouri Beef Industry Council because of her strong advocacy as using beef as her main source of protein and the importance it plays in her everyday training regimen.
Cloning Could Produce More Prime Beef
Scientists at West Texas A&M say a new cloning methodology has the potential to increase the amount of prime beef carcasses produced by American ranchers and feedlots. The method is similar to the technique used to clone Dolly the ewe in 1996, but with modifications regarding the primary source of DNA. The new method starts with the end product—Prime Yield Grade 1 carcasses—and collects muscle tissue samples to extract the DNA.