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Friday, April 27, 2012

Dr. Upson Speaks on Sustainability in Beef Production

Dr. Dan Upson, Miss America 2011 Teresa Scanlan, Dr. Dan Thomson
Picture taken by: Wrenn Pacheco at our Fall Upson Lecture Series given by Teresa Scanlan

It was my pleasure to sit through another lecture given by Dr. Dan Upson, Professor Emeritus at Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, tonight when a group of food animal veterinarians, veterinary students and college professors got together to learn more about the industry we love to work in - the beef industry.
Dr. Dan Upson lecturing to a group of Bovine Practitioners, future veterinarians and Professors at Kansas State University.


Dr. Upson's talk centered on how we utilize beef cattle to sustainably produce food for the world's people. I summarized a few facts that he brought up and I thought you, as a consumer, would find interesting: 
  • Beef has the ability to provide a very high biological and nutritional protein from the world's most abundant natural resource, grass.
    • grass --> cattle --> people
  • 70% of the Earth’s surface is water
    • Of the 30% of land, only 9% of that land is used for food production
  • This is how many acres of land, on average, it takes to raise 1 beef cow: 
    • In New Mexico – arid land – 160 acres per head
    • In the Kansas Flint Hills – during warm weather – 6-8 acres per head
Veterinarians are dedicated to a lifetime of education and part of that education is how we can help producers of beef cattle provide a safe, nutritious and economically sustainable product for future generations of beef consumers. If you would like to learn more about the veterinarians role in raising animals for food, please comment!

Best,

Tera Rooney

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Confirmed Case of BSE: Why our Food is still SAFE!

Please see this video put out by the USDA today:


There has been a confirmed case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy in a California dairy cow. While this may scare some of you, there are reasons you should have faith in US beef and dairy producers and I wanted to let you know why.

What is important to know as a consumer of beef and dairy products?


  1. The animal NEVER entered the food supply at any time. Our food supply has not been compromised.
  2. The measures we go to protect our food supply is top notch in the US and has not failed in this case. 
  3. An atypical form of BSE is what we are dealing with here. The most common method for BSE spread between cows is in the feed they eat if it becomes infected. In the current case, the cow was not infected by a feed source. 
  4. Since 1997 we have banned mammalian products to be fed to animals and this has helped us to decrease the incidence of BSE in cattle.
  5. The USDA will continue to investigate this case to make sure our regulations and safeguards are up to standards in continuing to protect public health as well as animal health.

For more information about BSE, please visit:  http://bseinfo.org/default.aspx

Please comment below with any questions about this case that you might have. We have a veterinarian who has been trained in animal health who has agreed to answer any questions or concerns you present.We want consumers to be informed about what is going on and get correct information regarding this topic.

Best,

Tera

Sunday, April 22, 2012

High grocery prices mean farmers and ranchers are rich, correct?


Not quite so fast. While it is logical to think that the higher prices the consumers are paying at the checkout register means the farmers and ranchers are just lining their pockets with all the profit they are making. However, it is not quite that simple due to a lot of other factors that play into profit for the producers.

The producer is receiving more for the product they produce, but at the same time they are spending more producing the safe, wholesome food we all enjoy. For the farmers, cost of inputs has been rising according to a report from the Economic Research Service (ERS). Input costs of seed, fertilizer, pesticides and fuel are all higher than they were in 2002, and all of these inputs are needed for the producers to be able to produce enough wholesome food.

As you can see in the following graph, producers are receiving more income but compared to the cost of production it is basically the same profit margin as it has been in the past. The farmers have more invested while their goal is to receive the same profit each year resulting in more risks for the producers. Full report can be found here.


Another reason that producers are not making more profit from these higher grocery bills is the small percentage of a food dollar that actually goes back to the producer. The ERS performed another economic analysis back in 2011 that examined where each dollar spent in the grocery store was distributed. Only 11.6 cents of every dollar spent in the grocery store actually went back to the farmer. The rest of spilt between processing and food services. Full report can be found here.

Overall, we need to thank the producers daily for providing the consumers with wholesome food for as cheap as they do with their increasing input costs.

Miles Theurer

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A picture of agriculture...

This talented lady is making a difference by simply pairing breathtaking photographs that depict production agriculture with a fact or figure from the industry. Check it out and let me know what you think of her work. I love it!

Find her on pinterest:

http://pinterest.com/erin_ehnle/keeping-it-real-through-the-lens-of-a-farm-girl/

Or on facebook:

Keeping it Real: Through the Lens of a Farm Girl

This is one of her recent pieces that is a favorite of mine in honor of planting season. Right now we are planting corn that will continue to grow throughout the summer and be harvested in the fall. Corn is an important crop to the economy not only because we can feed people with it, but we feed a lot of animals as well. America's corn farmers have an amazing website for information about where a lot of food comes from. Check that out here: CommonGround



Enjoy!

tera

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Hands that Farm our Food

This week I am sending you to some of my favorite blogs about agriculture, and here's another winner! If you are interested in personal stories about people who farm our food, you will not want to miss this blog. I love the photographs, as well as the personal accounts. Check it out and let me know what you think!


Hands of a Farmer

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Almond Farming

I am sending you to one of my favorite blogs to read today for a post about an almond farmer. Check it out and browse the other posts The Farm Vet has! My favorites are the Face of a Farmer series.

Face of a Farmer: Almond Farming

What'd you think? Comment below!

Tera

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