Oct 2, 2014
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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.

Silly Rabbit, Candy's for COWS!

Oct 02, 2012

Silly Rabbit, Candy’s for COWS!

I recently read an article that was quite disturbing. It dealt with how cattle producers are feeding their beef and dairy cattle "alternative" feedstuffs to help them get through the lack of forages and hay due to this past year's drought.

As reported on MSN Healthy Living, "Candy for breakfast, lunch and dinner might be a five-year-old’s dream, but it’s the new reality for dairy cows in some parts of the country.  This summer’s drought has driven up the cost of corn feed, forcing farmers to look for cheaper and more plentiful alternatives.  And they’ve found them in the form of gummy bears, marshmallows and even cookies.  It’s Halloween every day on Mike Yoder’s farm in northern Indiana, where his herd of 450 cows feasts on a colorful mix of candy sprinkles—the kind usually seen atop birthday cakes and ice cream sundaes.  These treats provide an adequate substitute for the starchy sugar content cows usually get from corn."

I’m not kidding, folks! This is seen as a reasonable alternative for grass, hay and, yes, even the "C" word, CORN. I’d feed $12 corn to my animals before I’d feed candy! If this garbage isn’t fit for human consumption, why would you feed it to animals that will be processed for HUMAN CONSUMPTION?

Kentucky rancher Joseph Watson mixes candy with ethanol byproducts and a mineral supplement, according to KLTV.com.

Kansas dairy farmer Orville Miller is replacing 5% of his cattle feed with chocolate. However, there are many who think this feed additive is not only wacky, but also wrong. An article published on American Public Media's Marketplace website says, "Some groups criticize farmers and ranchers for feeding livestock chocolate and the like. Marilyn Noble at the American Grassfed Association says, 'Cows were meant to eat grass, not candy.'"

Amen, sister! Grass is more natural for any animal, including humans, when candy is the alternative.

I really should end this blog at this point. It’s probably the shortest one I’ve ever written. But if I continue, I’m sure I’ll end up ticking off quite a few people/producers who think candy and Mountain Dew is an acceptable feed source for cattle.

God help us if this is an acceptable way to raise "Quality" beef and dairy products. Let’s hope there aren’t any diabetic consequences as the meat and dairy products from these animals enter the world's food supply! I’m glad my family and I raise all our own meat on GRASS pastures, not concrete and candy.


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COMMENTS (1 Comments)

Ric Ohge - Belmond, IA
This Column is a "Breath of Fresh Air" in an Industry still mostly focused on an Industrial approach to Farming and Livestock Production. I'll bet your out put is worth the few extra bucks to get...then as the Industrial Costs keep skyrocketing and more people turn to Farm-To-Local Sources, your methodology not only looks more sensible, but PROFITABLE, as well. Re-posted lot's of places.
11:09 AM Oct 3rd

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