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Friday, January 2, 2015

Ag Talk..Q&A...

First off, I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year!  I hope you all had a great Christmas and enjoyed all the moments with your loved ones.  It went by way too fast, just like always.  Now, we are slowly trying to get our house back in order and soak up the last few days of freedom before the kids head back to school on Monday!

Once again, I am joining some of my fellow farmwives and answering a question about our farm.  Now, in case you are new to this blog or just stopping by, I will give you a little bit of background information about our farm.  We live on a beef and grain farm.  We purchase our calves when they weigh about 600-700 pounds.  We feed them out until they reach about 1200 pounds.  They are then sold and processed and the delicious meat can be found in groceries and restaurants.

 Now for the question part of this post: One morning, I logged into Facebook and noticed that I had a message.  I don't get messages very often on FB so I immediately opened it up.   The message was from a friend saying that she was watching a documentary about farming, I think it was mainly poultry farming, but I can't remember exactly, and said that she was disgusted by what she saw.  The farm that they were "documenting" pumped their chickens full of hormones.  So many that they chickens couldn't even walk.  She described it more in detail, but that is most of it. (I have to admit, I knew this documentary was airing, but I chose not to watch it because I feel they are false and don't depict what the world of ag is really like.)  She wanted to know if "all farms were like this.  If we gave our animals hormones."  She also said that she wanted to ask me because I was the only person who lived on a farm that she could think of at the moment and that she knew that I wouldn't be offended.

I could have been mad.  I could have completely ignored her, for questioning the farming industry and our livelihood, but I didn't.  Instead I was glad!  Yes, you read that right!  I was glad that she reached out to me, someone who actually lives on a farm and asked me those questions.

So, the answer to her question is No.  We don't use hormones on our farm.  We feed our animals a balanced diet of haylage, corn silage, corn, dry hay and supplements which are basically vitamins like we take every day to keep us healthy.  They aid in keeping the calves healthy.


I then explained to her that farming is our job.  We take great care of our cattle because if we don't take care of them, they don't take care of us.  There are a lot of days when Brad spends more time with the cattle then he does his family.  And I don't mean that in a bad way.  This past winter we experienced numerous days that reached subzero temps.  The weathermen advised people to "stay indoors."  Schools were cancelled, offices were closed, but the life of a farmer didn't stop.  Brad and his dad spent several hours braving the cold to make sure that the cattle had plenty of warm straw to lay on, plenty of food and water and that the water wasn't frozen.

Her next question was about the use of antibiotics.  I explained to her that antibiotics are very expensive and are only used when they are absolutely necessary under the supervision of a veterinarian.  Much like when  we take our kids to the doctor when they are sick and sometimes an antibiotic is prescribed.  All meat is inspected before it is processed.  If there are any traces of antibiotics, then the meat will not make it to store shelves!

We are fortunate enough to have the safest and most nutritious food supply in the world!  We work hard to ensure that consumers are satisfied.  We are not only farmers, but we are consumers as well because we eat the same food as everyone else.




If you would like to watch a documentary of farming, visit farmlandfilm.com and check out the documentary Farmland.  This documentary takes a look at the lives of farmers in their 20s who are responsible for running their family business.
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