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Mike Graves

Mike Graves

In this week’s Meat and Poultry, Dr. Temple Grandin states, “We need to start breeding animals for optimum production, instead of maximum production.”
This statement was made at an animal industry conference in regard to the challenges of feeding the planet amidst a growing populace who can’t grow a bean, tell which end a cow eats out of or know the difference between a rooster and a hen.
It’s probably for the best that most of us are too selfish to care to learn about the growing challenges farmers and ranchers face today, or else they would leave the riots in Baltimore and loot our grocery stores – and someday, God forbid, come out to the country.
If you think times are bad now, wait until the food fight starts.
Poultry farmers are destroying flocks of turkey and laying hens infected with Avian Flu, a disease carried by migratory birds that has claimed 20 million birds. The cost will be higher eggs and foodstuffs made with eggs.
Pork producers have lost thousands of baby pigs to Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea. The cost will be higher bacon, ribs, footballs and everything made from a hog.
Ranchers are rescuing momma cows out of the Red River that will take a $2000/head to replace. The cost will be an even greater hesitation amongst our youth to attempt ranching.
Back to our subject: Dr. Grandin knows that farm animals will spend less time in confinement with less available antibiotics and that means we may have to give up maximum production to achieve optimum production.
In layman’s terms, it means more Brahman blood in our cowherd and less fixation on black hides. It means selecting a chicken with a will to live over a bird that will convert two pounds of feed into one pound of meat.
I’ve made more money in the cow business with ugly, multi-colored crossbred cows than I ever did with fancy black cows that limped through a wet spring, stood in the creek all summer and got culled as broke mouthed by age seven.
That’s all I’ve got for this week. Thanks for joining me.
And speaking of ugly, broke mouthed cows, James Reed, you owe me and Gary Funderburk breakfast at The Hickory House.

“As the swift bird flies over the grasses, dipping now and then to take his breakfast, I come and go, and I travel, but I can watch that bird and unravel.”
-Johnny’s Garden
Stephen Stills
Prov. 8:17