Putting One Foot In Front of the Other…

While the fall months are my favorite weather months of the year, my life is so busy that I often find myself one step short of frazzled.  I often need to remind myself to take one day at a time while putting one foot in front of the other.

We move large numbers of cattle off of grass pastures and into the feed yard in September, October and November as the temperatures cool and the growing season in Nebraska comes to an end.  Cattle are typically transported via a semi-truck where you can move 40-100 animals at a time depending on both the size of the trailer and the animals being transported.

Cattle are typically transported via semi truck where you can move anywhere from 40-100 animals at one time depending on both truck and animal size...

Here, Archie and I are loading our cattle onto the truck to move them from our grass pasture to the feed yard…

In addition to bringing our own cattle from our grass pasture to the feed yard, we also receive thousands of other animals from neighboring ranches.  These are animals that will not become part of a breeding herd, but rather cattle that are raised with the direct purpose of making beef.  I work as my own cattle buyer, and negotiate all of the logistics for cattle movement into the feed yard myself.

Here is their new home pen after arrival at the feed yard...

Here is their new home pen after arrival at the feed yard…

I became my own cattle buyer more than 10 years ago because I believe that vertical collaboration along the beef cycle leads to improved cattle welfare and beef quality.  I trace almost all of the cattle that are in the feed yard from birth all the way to harvest in collaboration with the ranches where our animals are born.   I love having the ability to influence welfare and beef quality throughout the entire growing cycle of cattle; and I enjoy the challenge of measuring improvement year after year.

Cattle spend the majority of their lives living on grass pastures--moving into the feed yard for only the last few months prior to becoming beef...

Cattle spend the majority of their lives living on grass pastures–moving into the feed yard for only the last few months prior to becoming beef…

While adding cattle buyer to the variety of hats that I wear adds significantly to my work load, I believe that it is well worth the effort.  Not only do I enjoy working with my rancher partners, but I am also able to see the incredible improvement in cattle care and beef quality due to my efforts.july 25 2013 052Annehorse

No matter how good I am, I know that I can always get better.  That drives me to continue to search for greatness while at the same time putting one foot in front of the other…

4 Comments

Filed under CAFO, General

4 responses to “Putting One Foot In Front of the Other…

  1. so much for all those uproar over factory farming of cattle, showing videos of cattle crammed together eating only corn to fatten them up, it is good that the beef (angus)I eat spent most of it’s life on grass. I hope it did. they make it sound like they are born in cages and raised that way. humm, maybe those videos are of places in third world nations maybe? the harsh treatments and all are not in the usa but videoed taped in foreign lands and passed off as usa? what say you?

    • Roberta,

      I have never understood the term “factory farm”—I cannot speak for how beef is raised in other countries first hand, but in the United States beef comes from cattle that spend the majority of their lives living on grass pastures. Grain fed beef (like mine), comes from cattle that spend their last few months in a feed yard after spending the bulk of their lives on grass pastures.

      As for videos, I honestly don’t know the answer to your question. I focus on good animal care on my farm and I believe that most other farmers share a like minded dedication to welfare. I cannot explain the videos, and am opposed to any sort of animal mistreatment.

      Thanks for the comment!
      Anne

  2. It is a busy time for you… I hope you can find a moment to relax this weekend 🙂

    • Thank you, Kim. It is good to hear from you. My life is crazy right now—I seem to be juggling many balls and working very hard to keep them all in the air and going the right direction! After a few more weeks (about Thanksgiving), thing should settle down a bit. Until then, I am taking it one day at a time 🙂

      I hope that you are well,
      Anne

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