3 ways to educate kids about where their food comes from

Today’s youth are four and five generations removed from the family farm; here are three ways ranchers can get involved in educating our nation’s youth about where their food comes from.

by Amanda Radke  via Beef Daily

Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference ManualChildren have an insatiable curiosity to learn about the world around them. My daughter is 10 months old and is already incredibly interested in exploring the ranch and seems to really enjoy looking at the cattle. I’m looking forward to the thousands of questions she will ask about the farm in the future. Of course, her first-hand experience of growing up on the farm will give her a A Handbook for Ranch Managersclear understanding of how her food gets to the dinner table, but what about her future classmates? How and where will they learn about where their food comes from?

As beef producers, a great place to focus our advocacy efforts should be with young people. After all, most kids learn about farm Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian Viewlife from caricatures of talking barnyard animals in Disney-style movies. What’s more, today’s babies are now 4-5 generations removed from the family farm; that leaves a wide gap of knowledge and understanding for food producers to bridge with these future consumers.

The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other MisfitsIn 2011, I wrote a children’s book entitled, “Levi’s Lost Calf,” and since then, I’ve read my ranching story to many elementary students across the nation. It’s amazing to me to see how excited these kids become when they get to meet a “real” rancher, and they have so many questions about life on the farm. From my experiences in the classroom, I’ve rounded up three ways to get started in reaching out to youth and sharing your agriculture story.

1. Agriculture belongs in the classroom.

Reconnaissance Marine MCI 03.32f: Marine Corps InstituteDue to the challenges of meeting standardized testing scores, many teachers have little flexibility to add unique lesson planning to their day. That’s why I was excited to see this testimony featuring agriculture in the classroom from an elementary student on the popular photography page, “Humans of New York.” Here is what students in New York are learning about farming, according to one Combat Shooter's Handbookyoung student: “I’m going to be a farmer,” he says. “I know how to grow two types of crops. One crop is the normal kind. The other kind uses aquaponic systems. We have an aquaponic system in our classroom. It has a 1-ton tank with nine tilapia fish in it. At the end of the year, we are going to harvest everything that we grew. Then we’re going to make fish tacos.” Read their full story here. 

The Essence of Liberty: Volume I: Liberty and History: The Rise and Fall of the Noble Experiment with Constitutionally Limited Government (Liberty and ... Limited Government) (Volume 1)  The Essence of Liberty: Volume II: The Economics of Liberty (Volume 2) The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3) Agriculture can be the focus in any subject — from history, to science, to math, and reading. To connect youth to rural America, it would be great to see more lesson planning featuring real-life examples like the one listed above to teach the subject as well as educate students about food.

2. Volunteers are always needed.

According to the National Agriculture In The Classroom website, “An agriculturally literate person would understand the food and fiber system and this would include its history and its current economic, social and environmental significance to all Americans.”

To bring this level of understanding to children, volunteers are needed to present information in schools and during summer library reading programs. Most states have their own programs, where the coordinators can assist volunteers in getting into schools, providing lesson plans and offering the tools needed to keep the students engaged during your visit.

Check out the National Ag In The Classroom website for your state’s program.

Also, if volunteering at a county fair or local ag day, check out these “Learn about livestock” banners from the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture, which can easily be hung up around the barns.

3. Donate books to local libraries.

In church, we are always reminded to donate our time, talent and treasure to help the parish. The same goes for being an advocate. If you can’t spare the time to be in the classroom, or don’t feel confident in presenting a lesson, consider donating agriculturally accurate books for kids to read on their own time. Libraries always welcome donations, and there are some great books out there that portray farming and ranching in a realistic way. Check out these best-selling farm animal books on Amazon to get ideas for books geared toward young readers.

Learning about farming and ranching can be fun for kids. With a little time and effort on our part, we can make a difference in educating our nation’s youth to become agriculturally literate and have a firm grasp on where their food comes from. This is the best place to start, so what are you waiting for?

The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of Beefmagazine.com or the Penton Farm Progress Group.

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Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference ManualPlanned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual. This is the ideal squeal to A Handbook for Ranch Managers.  Although the ecological principles remain the same, what was originally known as “The Savory Grazing Method” now answers to a multitude of different names: ranching for profit, holistic management, managed grazing, mob grazing, management intensive grazing, etc. Land & Livestock International, Inc. uses “Restoration Grazing” under its “Managing the Ranch as a Business” program.” No mater what you call it, this summary and synopsis will guide you step by step through the process and teach you how to use it as it was originally intended. No more excuses for failing to complete your grazing plans.

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Most Common Errors In Livestock Fencing & How To Avoid Them

“Putting a steel post anywhere into an electric fence is a big mistake, because you are then relying on the insulator to keep your fence from shorting out.”

Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian ViewYep, I learned that one the hard way. — jtl

by Alaina Burt via Beef Magazine

Whether you’re an experienced hand or just learning the basics of wood, wire and tape, there’s always something more to learn when A Handbook for Ranch Managersit comes to livestock fencing. Jim Gerrish, of American GrazingLands Services LLC, in May, Idaho, and Kevin Derynck, Gallagher territory manager based in Keystone, S.D., shared their thoughts on the seven most common fencing mistakes.

1. Corner posts

Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference ManualThis ranks as the top mistake in fencing, be it barbed, high-tensile or woven wire. The main issues are undersized posts and corner posts not set deeply enough, particularly in sandy or soft soils. Gerrish, who has clients in 43 states, says, “the depth in the ground should be equal to, or greater than, the height of the top wire.”

The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other MisfitsPost diameter depends on the strength of the fence. Gerrish says the lightest-duty fence, such as a 1- or 2-wire, high-tensile pasture subdivision fence, only requires a 4- to 5-inch-diameter post. A 5-strand barbed wire fence, or 5- or 6-strand high-tensile fence, requires a 6- to 7-inch-diameter post. For net wire fences, Gerrish recommends an 8-inch-diameter post.

Combat Shooter's HandbookReconnaissance Marine MCI 03.32f: Marine Corps InstituteKeeping corner posts in the ground is Derynck’s chief concern. He says a 10-foot brace is the ultimate, and he favors a “floating diagonal” bracing system, in which the angle brace is a 4-inch by 10-foot post notched a half-inch into the main corner post. The other end is set on top of The Essence of Liberty: Volume I: Liberty and History: The Rise and Fall of the Noble Experiment with Constitutionally Limited Government (Liberty and ... Limited Government) (Volume 1)  The Essence of Liberty: Volume II: The Economics of Liberty (Volume 2) The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3) the ground opposite the corner post.

And he cautions against using drill stem – the metal pipe byproduct of oil wells – for corner bracing an electric fence. Unlike wood, it can conduct electricity and lessen the efficiency of the fence.

2. Post spacing

Fencers tend to use too many posts, which likely stems from people’s experience with barbed wire, where the rule of thumb was 1 post every rod length (16.5 feet). In an electric-fencing system, Derynck spaces posts 80-100 feet apart, or about 50 posts per mile.

He suggests using a “stay” – a shorter post that sits on top of the ground and holds wires up – if posts are spaced 100 ft. apart. Gerrish prefers his posts closer together, at 50-70 feet.

3. Correctly Sized Energizer

 Gerrish recommends 1 joule of output per mile of fence, regardless of how many strands of wire. If there’s a total of six miles of fence, it requires a minimum of a 6-joule energizer.

Derynck, who represents Gallagher in Nebraska and the Dakotas, recommends a low-impedance energizer, with a low-amp fuse. “The larger the energizer, the smaller the voltage,” he says, because larger energizers are apt to power through more vegetation and short out. He considers 7,000-8,000 volts high for an energizer.

Gerrish recommends 1 joule of output per mile of fence, regardless of how many strands of wire. If there’s a total of six miles of fence, it requires a minimum of a 6-joule energizer.

Derynck, who represents Gallagher in Nebraska and the Dakotas, recommends a low-impedance energizer, with a low-amp fuse. “The larger the energizer, the smaller the voltage,” he says, because larger energizers are apt to power through more vegetation and short out. He considers 7,000-8,000 volts high for an energizer.

4. Grounding

Grounding is 99% of the electric fence, the specialists explain. Gerrish uses this rule of thumb: 3 feet of ground rods per joule of energizer output. So if the fence is using a 6-joule energizer, 18 feet of ground rods are called for. “Typically this would be three, 6-foot ground rods, spaced at least 10 feet apart,” Gerrish explains.

Gerrish says spacing is key, as a ground rod is essentially an antenna receiving electrons flowing through the soil and back to the energizer, completing the circuit. Ground rods can also interact with a given volume of soil. If three ground rods are driven into the ground 6 inches apart, in essence, they act as one ground rod because of the volume of soil they interact with.

Derynck says most people insert three ground rods near the energizer. He encourages people to space ground rods throughout the whole network of fencing, particularly if the average rainfall of the fenced area is less than ideal for proper grounding.

Galvanized rod is the best for ground rod, and most fencing companies use an insulated galvanized lead-out wire on energizers. “Galvanized isn’t as expensive as copper and you don’t ever have to worry about corrosion,” Derynck says. If there’s galvanized wire in the electric fence system, keep everything galvanized. Derynck strictly recommends 12.5-gauge galvanized wire, galvanized ground rods and galvanized connections.

“The most effective place for the ground system is in continuously damp, high-mineral soil,” he adds.

5. Wildlife friendly

Rather than strive for a fence that’s elk and moose-proof, Gerrish suggests a flexible fence. When he moved to Idaho from Missouri, the fencing was high-tensile electric on T-posts, but the T-posts were being bent and insulators broken off due to wildlife. He replaced T-posts with PowerFlex fence posts and has had few problems since, he says.

Another consideration is building a low-profile fence. On Gerrish’s 2-wire range fences, the top wire is at 30 inches and the second wire is at 20 inches. It’s designed to allow antelope to go under the wires at a dead run, but low enough that elk will hit the fence with their legs and not the heaviest part of their body.

6. Gate openings

In an electric-fencing system, creating a gate system that conducts current is a challenge. Derynck recommends placing a floating diagonal brace on either side of the gate opening.

To keep the fence “hot,” trench both insulated hot and cold galvanized wires 1- foot deep under the opening (perhaps deeper in high-traffic areas or low-lying wet spots, or shallower in less-used pasture settings). “The gate no longer needs to carry current, because you have your current going underneath the ground,” he says.

7. Insulators

“Putting a steel post anywhere into an electric fence is a big mistake, because you are then relying on the insulator to keep your fence from shorting out,” Gerrish says. He prefers highly flexible plastic or wood-plastic composite posts, “No matter how good an insulator you get, eventually something’s going to break or pop off, and you have the potential for dead-shorting.”

 Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in BEEF in March 2009. It has been updated to reflect changes in fence technology and use since then.

Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View

edited by

Dr Jimmy T (Gunny) LaBaume

Is now available in both PAPERBACK and Kindle

BookCoverImageMurray N. Rothbard was the father of what some call Radical Libertarianism or Anarcho-Capitalism which Hans-Hermann Hoppe described as “Rothbard’s unique contribution to the rediscovery of property and property rights as the common foundation of both economics and political philosophy, and the systematic reconstruction and conceptual integration of modern, marginalist economics and natural-law political philosophy into a unified moral science: libertarianism.”

This book applies the principles of this “unified moral science” to environmental and natural resource management issues.

The book started out life as an assigned reading list for a university level course entitled Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View.

As I began to prepare to teach the course, I quickly saw that there was a plethora of textbooks suitable for universal level courses dealing with environmental and natural resource economics. The only problem was that they were all based in mainstream neo-classical (or Keynesian) theory. I could find no single collection of material comprising a comprehensive treatment of environmental and natural resource economics based on Austrian Economic Theory.

However, I was able to find a large number of essays, monographs, papers delivered at professional meetings and published from a multitude of sources. This book is the result. It is composed of a collection of research reports and essays by reputable scientists, economists, and legal experts as well as private property and free market activists.

The book is organized into seven parts: I. Environmentalism: The New State Religion; II. The New State Religion Debunked; III. Introduction to Environmental and Natural Resource Economics; IV. Interventionism: Law and Regulation; V. Pollution and Recycling; VI. Property Rights: Planning, Zoning and Eminent Domain; and VII. Free Market Conservation. It also includes an elaborate Bibliography, References and Recommended Reading section including an extensive Annotated Bibliography of related and works on the subject.

The intellectual level of the individual works ranges from quite scholarly to informed editorial opinion.

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Looking for ways to manage the pain

A Handbook for Ranch Managers Back in the Go-Go days of the Tax Shelter Cowboy (early 70s) the “thing to do” was buy light cattle in the deep South and truck them to California to winter grass and feedlots.

These cattle were spindly, sickly and tick infested when they got on the truck. By the time they made it to CA death losses were beyond Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manualtolerable. An old friend of mine saw a market niche and filled it.

He built a small (10,000 head or so) “warm-up” feedlot at Pecos, TX–about half way from Dixie to CA–where the cattle could be dropped off for a few weeks.

Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian ViewThe first thing they got when they got off of the truck was a drench (tube injected into the throat) of urea, molasses and anti-biotics. You could see the difference within hours. Then they put them on a good ration and after a few days worked them for whatever they needed.

The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other MisfitsThey put a couple of hundred on them and sent them on their way to CA. Death losses dropped drastically and my buddy laughed all the way to the bank–until the market broke. Overnight he found himself out of the very romantic cattle business and in the very unromantic manure business. — jtl

by Heather Smith Thomas via the Canadian Cattlemen

calves in a stable

 

Photo: Dr. Eugene Janzen

 

  Combat Shooter's HandbookReconnaissance Marine MCI 03.32f: Marine Corps InstituteThe cattle industry is moving toward low stress handling, better ways to manage cattle, etc., but one issue that still needs to be addressed is pain management for routine procedures such as branding, castrating and dehorning.

The Essence of Liberty: Volume I: Liberty and History: The Rise and Fall of the Noble Experiment with Constitutionally Limited Government (Liberty and ... Limited Government) (Volume 1)  The Essence of Liberty: Volume II: The Economics of Liberty (Volume 2) The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3) Dr. Eugene Janzen at the University of Calgary says the veterinary profession is rapidly changing its attitude to pain management in food animal production. “If a veterinarian in Alberta castrates a cat or horse without using anaesthetic and pain mitigation, that veterinarian would be at risk of losing his/her license. Yet if we are castrating a calf or bull, no one notices,” he says.

The cattle industry has a long tradition of having to do routine surgical tasks without the means for pain suppression. We’ve streamlined and adjusted some of the ways we handle cattle so it’s easier on them, but are still not addressing pain.

“As veterinarians we have not sufficiently investigated pain mitigation methods for food animals. When ranchers ask me what to do, there’s not much I can tell them. This forces a sense of urgency to keep looking for ways to address this.” There will be increasing pressure on the livestock industry to use more humane methods because some surgical procedures are a necessary part of animal husbandry.

Studies on pain management

“One of the things that concerned me some years back was having to castrate mature bulls in a feed yard. This is why we did one of our first studies, using an epidural anaesthesia when castrating bulls, and it worked very well. The main drawback was that it had to be given 20 minutes before the surgery. The animal has to have it on board before you initiate a painful procedure.” When the dentist blocks your jaw, for instance, he does not immediately began to drill.

“There are many injectable products and we looked at three — ketoprofen, flunixen, and eloxicam. We do have some of them available in Canada for use in food animals,” says Janzen.

“These injectable drugs work well and are simple to administer. They can be given subcutaneously, but you need to inject them 20 to 30 minutes before you do anything painful to that animal. They will not eliminate pain completely. To do that, you’d need anaesthesia, like you would get with an epidural. For dehorning, you could use a cornual nerve block for pain elimination. I have been at brandings and blocked the horns for pain elimination, and asked the cowboys to leave the animals lying there for three minutes before we burn the horns off — to give it time to be effective,” says Janzen.

calf being treated with an injection

Effective injectable products need to be given up to 30 minutes before processing the calf. photo: Dr. Eugene Janzen

“For a couple of years I’ve used meloxicam for pain on a certain ranch, and last year we medicated a subset of calves three hours ahead of time. Even the ropers who dragged the calves to the fire could tell there was a big difference. The calves did not vocalize and didn’t struggle as much. They were almost sedated. This demonstrated that a person could mitigate pain on a ranch if you just changed the production practices a little bit.”

In another experiment during the summer of 2014 he divided a group of 150 cow-calf pairs to try to determine the best time to castrate bull calves. “We did some at birth, some at two months, some at four months, and some at seven to eight months. If we didn’t medicate them, it didn’t matter which age; we could easily measure a significant difference between the medicated ones and non-medicated ones,” he explains.

“We used a number of behavioural measurements, including stride length. We walked them through a narrow chute and focused a camera on them as they walked away from the calf table or chute. Stride length becomes measurably stilted, and hence a reasonably good indicator of pain. This is a complicated measurement, however, because someone has to sit at a computer and look at all those videos and measure stride length.”

Cortisol is another good measure of pain and stress. “We took saliva samples and measured salivary cortisol levels. You can block that cortisol response with an analgesic like meloxicam if you are castrating them. There is good evidence that pain medication helps,” he says.

“We also looked for a product in the bloodstream, a biomarker for pain called substance P. Some of the preliminary results are very encouraging. They mimic the salivary cortisol results,” he explains.

Castration pain

“It didn’t matter whether you did that to a baby calf (a day old) or to a post-pubertal bull. It was painful at first at any age — and we could easily measure that,” Janzen says.

“If we did them surgically, all we could tell, within the first 36 hours, was that they lay around more. After that, their appetite began to increase and they moved around. Within a week it was difficult to tell anything from their behaviour, except if we palpated the surgical sites. When I ran them through the chute on a weekly basis, I could tell that the healing was varied; some didn’t heal as quickly as others. This was in contrast to the ones that were banded. The banded calves, once they got past the first 24 to 36 hours, did pretty well for the next two weeks —until about day 17 to 21. By then the band breaks through the skin,” says Janzen.

That’s when the area becomes inflamed/infected above the band. “Day 28 is the worst time. We can measure the inflammation with an infrared camera or by doing a simple complete blood count.”

The calves’ feed intake was significantly reduced during that time. They were uncomfortable, and not eating as much. “Average daily gain goes down, but what was very interesting is that the average daily gain goes down more than the intake goes down. That tells me there is a metabolic cost; the calf is using up energy trying to fight the inflammation and pain,” he explains.

“Twenty-five years ago, when we started using the Callicrate bands, I was an advocate for this method. It was easier on the feedlot cowboys and the complications were less than with surgical castration. But if we are looking exclusively at pain, to do it surgically it is probably more painful for the first three days and then the calves gradually do better (unless there are complications),” he says. They don’t suddenly become more painful three weeks later as they do when banded.

“We still are not sure about the best time to castrate, looking at the four times we did it. Should we concentrate our efforts on baby calves or two-month-old calves? When can we scientifically say this is the best time to castrate a calf, and then spend our efforts on pain mitigation on that class of animal?”

“The weaned post-pubertal calves that come into a feed yard at eight to 10 months of age can be castrated using the xylazine epidural for pain management. I’ve seen feed yards run 10 of them through the chute and a veterinarian gives them the epidural ahead of time. The first three go into one pen, the second three into another pen, etc., and then they run them through again and castrate them, and get excellent pain control,” says Janzen. “I’d like to find an oral medication. If you need to castrate a group of weaned calves, you could top-dress their feed bunk with medication. If a feed yard received a load of calves and there are 15 bulls in the group, they could be sorted off, put in a separate pen, and you could manage their castration according to a pain mitigation protocol,” he suggests. The oral medication might work nicely, if they are accustomed to eating from a bunk, and they all eat the medicated feed.

“If a person is going to band calves rather than cut them, the banded calves probably need pain management between days 17 and 30. You are not going to run them through the chute for this on a daily basis and inject them. If there was a way to do it orally, with their feed, it would preferable. This might work well for feedlot cattle, but would not for baby calves at pasture with their mothers.”

Castration by vaccination

This was used experimentally some years ago, but the project was dropped because it was considered too dangerous to humans. “If you accidentally injected yourself or the cowboy next to you, it would not be good!”

“We did a trial in which we vaccinated post-pubertal weaned bull calves in January and again in March. We harvested that group the end of July when they were ready for slaughter. From the time of their first injections we bled them every two weeks to check hormone levels. The vaccination obliterated serum testosterone for 60 days. Thus if you wanted to effectively castrate them, you’d have to revaccinate them every two months — a series of vaccinations until they were nearing the time of harvest.”

The volume/size of testicles in vaccinated bulls was only 30 to 50 per cent of the size of the intact bulls of their age. The testicles didn’t develop; they stayed the same size they were at a younger age.

Janzen wants to do an experiment vaccinating calves at branding, again at weaning, and again upon arrival at the feed yard. “The calves could be revaccinated in the feed yard when we reimplant them or rehandle them for whatever purpose,” he says. We already give calves various vaccines and boosters, and it would be feasible to revaccinate male calves with the anti-hormone product at those times.

“I found two ranches that retain ownership of their calves and would be willing to try this, and not have to worry about the discount that might accrue if they went through an auction yard. The testicles would still be there (inactive, smaller than normal, but still there) and buyers might not believe that they were not bulls,” he says.

“I am not sure if this anti-development vaccine will work on a baby calf that doesn’t have much male development yet, not being triggered by hormones at that stage of life. They have to reach puberty before much development begins. But if this would work, we could diffuse a lot of the negative connotations about castration,” he says.

Pain mitigation can be a plus

“So I asked Grandpa Watson why he liked it,” recalls Janzen. “He told me that through all the years of traditional castration, he noticed that the day after branding, cows that had heifer calves would be two miles away from the branding corral, and cows with bull calves would be within half a mile because their calves were lying around, uncomfortable, and didn’t want to travel. Then the years that he used ChemCast, the cows with bull calves and heifer calves were evenly distributed on the range. It was not as painful for bull calves as traditional castration.”

“One of the things we’ve done for several years is give half the bull calves meloxicam and nothing to the other half. We painted these two groups different colours. I had the students go out on horseback to see where those calves were. Grandpa Watson’s observations were accurate. The calves we gave pain medication were out with their mothers travelling and grazing, like the heifer calves,” he says.

“One of our large ranchers in Western Canada tried this. I asked him later if he could tell whether it controlled the pain. He said his crew of 10 people got home for lunch an hour and a half sooner. The way they brand and castrate calves is to go out in the morning and select about 200 pairs from the mountain and bring them to the branding trap. After the procedure they turn the calves out and let them mother up, and then move them out of that field, along a three-mile trail. The calves with pain medication mothered up quicker and travelled better.”

Even if the meloxicam was given at the time of branding and castration (rather than ahead of it), the calves mothered up afterward more quickly, the calves nursed their mothers quicker, and trailed easier. They weren’t trying to flop down somewhere along the way getting left behind.

“He told me that traditionally after they took cattle back to the mountain, they’d go out the next day and there would be several cows coming back through the fence to look for their calves that got left along the way. Or there might be a calf fall in the creek. After they started controlling pain, these problems didn’t happen and the ranch crew had an easier day.”

Change from within

“I think the kids will help facilitate change. They wonder why calves have to experience so much pain, and if they know there’s a way to mitigate the pain they will probably say, ‘Gee Grandpa, why aren’t you doing that?’ This could have a huge effect.”

Our industry will come a lot further, faster, if people want to change something for the better, rather than being forced to do it because of a requirement. “We keep doing some things because it’s the way we always did it, or because we had to do it that way, but then the kids come along and say ‘why?’ It makes people think.”

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A Handbook for Ranch ManagersA Handbook for Ranch Managers.  In keeping with the “holistic” idea that the land, the livestock, the people and the money should be viewed as a single integrated whole: Part I deals with the management of the natural resources. Part II covers livestock production and Part III deals with the people and the money. Not only would this book make an excellent basic text for a university program in Ranch Management, no professional ranch manager’s reference bookshelf should be without it. It is a comprehensive reference manual for managing the working ranch. The information in the appendices and extensive bibliography alone is worth the price of the book.

You might be interested in this books supplement: Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual.

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Study claims red meat triggers cancer; 5 resources say otherwise

A Handbook for Ranch ManagersThe first four words should be a heavy hint as to what is in store.

A University of California study claims red meat causes a toxic immune reaction that eventually leads to cancer. Here are five resources that say otherwise. Share these on social media today, and let’s start a grassroots conversation about how red meat is part Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manualof a healthy diet.

A few weeks ago, I shared news about an upcoming meeting of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) aimed at determining whether or not red meat and processed meats should be labeled as carcinogens. IARC says it will review scientific Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian Viewevidence before making this determination, and the meat industry is organizing information to defend animal proteins as part of a healthy diet.

While public opinion and testimonies won’t help win that particular battle, a grassroots effort is needed to debunk the misinformation The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other Misfitsthat continues to be presented to consumers by the mainstream media. For example, a recent Telegraph article, entitled “The body views red meat as a foreign invader which must be stamped out,” suggests red meat is a direct cause of cancer.

In a nutshell, the article details research that claims red meat   Combat Shooter's HandbookReconnaissance Marine MCI 03.32f: Marine Corps Institutetriggers a toxic immune reaction that causes cancer, according to a University of California-San Diego study. Here is an excerpt:

“Red meat has been linked to cancer for decades, with research suggesting that eating large The Essence of Liberty: Volume I: Liberty and History: The Rise and Fall of the Noble Experiment with Constitutionally Limited Government (Liberty and ... Limited Government) (Volume 1)  The Essence of Liberty: Volume II: The Economics of Liberty (Volume 2) The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3) amounts of pork, beef or lamb raises the risk of deadly tumors. But, for the first time, scientists think they know what is causing the effect. The body, it seems, views red meat as a foreign invader and sparks a toxic immune response. They have discovered that pork, beef and lamb contains a sugar which is naturally produced by other carnivores but not humans. It means that when humans eat red meat, the body triggers an immune response to the foreign sugar, producing antibodies which spark inflammation, and eventually cancer.”

This is a new take on the red meat and cancer link that I haven’t heard before, and I don’t know of any currently available science to refute these claims. However, there are plenty of information and resources to share regarding the healthfulness and importance of red meat in the diet.

The truth is, consumers are worried about cancer, and articles like the Telegraph article above help sow confusion about cancer and its causes. Cancer is not one disease but a complex group of hundreds of diseases with many possible causes. Simple genetics, lifestyle choices and various exposures are thought to play a role. In actuality, Americans are eating less red meat than ever before, so increased rates of cancer in the face of less beef consumption doesn’t track for me as a causal link.

And even the researcher who led the University of California-San Diego study, Ajit Varki, a professor of medicine and cellular and molecular medicine, does not advise cutting red meat out of the diet, saying: “moderate amounts of red meat can be a source of good nutrition for young people.”

Let’s be proactive and share the facts. How do you think we should work to debunk the red meat and cancer link?

The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of Beefmagazine.com or the Penton Farm Progress Group.

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Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference ManualPlanned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual. This is the ideal squeal to A Handbook for Ranch Managers.  Although the ecological principles remain the same, what was originally known as “The Savory Grazing Method” now answers to a multitude of different names: ranching for profit, holistic management, managed grazing, mob grazing, management intensive grazing, etc. Land & Livestock International, Inc. uses “Restoration Grazing” under its “Managing the Ranch as a Business” program.” No mater what you call it, this summary and synopsis will guide you step by step through the process and teach you how to use it as it was originally intended. No more excuses for failing to complete your grazing plans.

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Ranch Diaries: Ways to reduce the inevitable risks

On cattle futures, planning for potential drought, and grazing cows to encourage forage growth.

Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual

Some of you may have already seen this, but it was such a great example of exactly what we’ve been talking about I wanted to make sure no one got left out.Thanks to Pat Maas for the “heads up” via FaceBook.

Why do the non-believers want to continue to self-flagellate? It reminds me of an old WWII Marine Corps saying — green side out, brown side out, rush about, scream and shout. 

And there ain’t a bit of it necessary. — jtl

Laura Jean Schneider Essay March 24, 2015 Web Exclusive

A Handbook for Ranch ManagersRanch Diaries is an hcn.org series highlighting the experiences of Laura Jean Schneider, who gives us a peek into daily life during the first year of Triangle P Cattle Company, a new LLC in southcentral New Mexico. Installments are every second and fourth Tuesdays of the month.

Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian ViewSince we unloaded our first steers in November, we’ve built our herd to about 600 animals. They’ve ranged all over the 30-square-mile Number 5 pasture, utilizing it well. Now we’re getting ready to move them to the south end of the ranch, where the other part of our lease is. After gathering the steers into a smaller fenced trap, we’ll take two days to drive them 20 miles The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other Misfitsacross the ranch to another pasture. We’ll have good help­—several of our partners and their families are coming­—and whomever else we can recruit. Once the steers are settled, we’ll hire a few local cowboys to ride through them while we check in weekly, which will free Sam and me up to focus on the cows and calves­, whose numbers are growing daily.

  Combat Shooter's HandbookReconnaissance Marine MCI 03.32f: Marine Corps InstituteSam and I consider grazing management to be risk management. Keeping our cattle contained in one area at a time, rather than allowing access to all of the pastures at once, means recently grazed areas get a chance to rest and recover after the animals move on. Especially in brittle landscapes The Essence of Liberty: Volume I: Liberty and History: The Rise and Fall of the Noble Experiment with Constitutionally Limited Government (Liberty and ... Limited Government) (Volume 1)  The Essence of Liberty: Volume II: The Economics of Liberty (Volume 2) The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3) with low rainfall, we think it’s crucial to plan for a potential drought by reserving adequate forage. Since ranchers make their living from either selling forage as pasture (leasing) or harvesting grass with livestock, taking care of the land is really a way of maximizing resource productivity. We also like to leave adequate residual feed for the wild populations of antelope, mule deer, elk and other creatures to maintain ecological balance. After the good moisture we’ve had, grasses and forbs are already sprouting all over our lease country. Giving these seedlings a chance to mature without being grazed allows for the plant reproduction we depend on and ensures a stronger plant base for the next grazing period.

In addition to planned grazing, we manage risk with the Triangle P steers by hedging them to protect against a drop in the cattle market. While hedging effectively locks in a price for the steers regardless of a fluctuating market, we still face some risk: The cattle still need to make their expected weight gain in order to fill our contracts. (If you’re interested in further reading on the hedging process, here’s a helpful article from South Dakota State University.)

I’ve mentioned in previous essays that economies of scale help improve efficiency by lowering overhead costs per cow unit. From our past experience, we’ve learned forming a partnership or LLC like the Triangle P isn’t the only way to reduce risk in ranching. In the past, Sam worked for a grazing association in Montana where 20 members pooled their resources to cut costs and purchased a ranch to collectively run 4,000 cows in the summer months. The Montana outfit Sam and I met on didn’t own a single cow but had thousands of yearling cattle on their ranch every summer: Their business strategy included providing full care for the cattle owners who leased their pastures, in addition to running a flourishing guest program. Many smaller operations we’ve worked for in various capacities, from direct sales to herd management, add value to their products by catering to niche markets, raising specialty breeds of cattle or obtaining organic or grass-fed certifications. They sell their product for a premium price to make a higher return.

We’ve also worked on cattle ranches that offered lodging, hunting and outfitting packages. These enterprises seemed to be a solid source of revenue when the cattle market fell or if herd numbers were cut during droughts. While we sold our mares before moving here, in the past Sam and I, like many other ranchers, have diversified by incorporating a horse breeding and training enterprise in our ranch operations. We’re still training several of our own young horses, to keep or to sell, and occasionally earn some extra income riding outside colts too.

We’ve found that flexibility is another way to manage risk. Right now, we’re not set on any particular class or breed of cattle. We’ll see what works best given the pasture conditions and the cattle market, and adapt as the situation changes. One possibility is to adjust the timing of our marketing. We might choose to wean our calves here and keep them on pasture this fall, instead of selling them immediately after weaning in order to maximize the company’s returns.

Hedging, grazing management, and resource conservation can help ranchers like us offset the challenges of making ranching viable. We’ll always be at the mercy of the weather, but maintaining a flexible outlook can help us navigate the markets and maximize the resources under our management. Maybe it’s a fundamental Western ideal, getting creative about problem-solving and making a living. Perhaps in many ways, times haven’t changed that much. We’re still trying to do that same thing.

Photographs at Triangle P, by Laura Jean Schneider.

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Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference ManualPlanned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual. This is the ideal squeal to A Handbook for Ranch Managers.  Although the ecological principles remain the same, what was originally known as “The Savory Grazing Method” now answers to a multitude of different names: ranching for profit, holistic management, managed grazing, mob grazing, management intensive grazing, etc. Land & Livestock International, Inc. uses “Restoration Grazing” under its “Managing the Ranch as a Business” program.” No mater what you call it, this summary and synopsis will guide you step by step through the process and teach you how to use it as it was originally intended. No more excuses for failing to complete your grazing plans.

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SUPPORT NEVADA BILL AB408 – THE BILL IS THE #1 MOST PUBLICLY SUPPORTED BILL IN THE NEVADA Legislature, BUT THE OPPOSITION IS INCREASING. 

A Handbook for Ranch ManagersYep, it is pretty simple. Property rights originate when an individual finds a previously unclaimed natural resource, mixes his labor (sweat) with it and thus makes the product an extension of himself and therefore his property.  After that, he is free to sell, bequeath, give away or even destroy it should he so choose. 

Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference ManualIt is impossible for government to “ethically” own anything because everything it has, it previously took from someone else at the point of a gun. And speaking of which, they are able to claim title and maintain possession of it simply because their guns are bigger than ours. 

Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian ViewYou Nevada (and neighboring) cowboys and girls ought to make this little get together. It is in the best interest of America as a whole–return these lands to their rightful owners and all those Easterners wouldn’t have to pay out the nose to support inept and incompetent government land management. — jtl, 419

The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other MisfitsMy Friends,

It is simple, the land belongs to the people.

The natural resources of America are being stolen from the people and claimed by the federal government. Everything we eat, wear, live in,  Combat Shooter's HandbookReconnaissance Marine MCI 03.32f: Marine Corps Instituteuse and so on comes from the earth. If we lose access to the land and natural resources we become beggars to those who control access. Without doubt this is the greatest immediate threat to the individual person and people as a whole. More lives, liberties and property can be taken under this threat than any other we see.

 

The Essence of Liberty: Volume I: Liberty and History: The Rise and Fall of the Noble Experiment with Constitutionally Limited Government (Liberty and ... Limited Government) (Volume 1)  The Essence of Liberty: Volume II: The Economics of Liberty (Volume 2) The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3)  The Nevadan’s Resource Rights Bill (NRR) AB408  has only had a number for five days and it is already the most publicly supported bill in the session, out of nearly a thousand. However, we are starting to see opposition to the bill mount by those that want the federal government to own and control all the land and resources. We need to make sure we are louder than them. If you have not already done it, please go to the link below and show your support for the bill. If you can come to Carson City to support the bill on March 31st, please clink on that link and let us know.

You do NOT need to be a Nevada resident to show your support for this bill.  In fact, legislators pay special attention to bills that are receiving national support simply because those bills are likely to end up on national news.

We sincerely hope this bill will be picked up by other states, your state, so that you will be protected as well.

Here are the links

 

  • Go this link to show support for the bill, https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/Opinions/78th2015/A/   select bill numberAB408, select FOR, and put in your name and address. This is the official website for the Nevada Legislature and legislators use it to determine public support. If you are a citizen of Nevada it is a bonus, but it does not matter where you live, we need the support of all the States around us including those out east. Please click on the link and fill in the form to show your support for the bill.

 

  • Show up in Carson City, March 31st at 9 am. Over 15 Nevada State Legislators sponsored the NRR bill and have asked that we fill the house during the committee hearing. We must show up in person and make our presence known. If we fill the house, the committee will pass it and the talk of the 2015 session will be the NRR bill (AB408). With enough of your physical support in Carson City the committee will pass the NRR bill and it will have a substantial chance of becoming Nevada law soon after. We have many rooms booked and buses chartered from Las Vegas and Phoenix. If you plan on coming to Carson City click on this link to receive further information. https://docs.google.com/a/valetfleet.com/forms/d/1PqDPvH7FKhsYrgmZlBRSYrpW62kKv4yvpikA4Qwun1I/viewform

 

  • Send this email to your family and friends and ask them to support as well. 

 

 

Thank you,

 

Ammon Bundy

Nevadans’ Resource Rights Bill (NRR) – AB408

 

“It is simple, the land belongs to the people”

 

AN ACT relating to the right of an individual to beneficially use the natural resources on public land, the right of private property owners to beneficially use the natural recourses on deeded property, the right of the public to access public land; prohibiting the Federal Government from owning or regulating certain lands or other natural resource including minerals and the right to use public waters without proper cession from the state as set forth in the U.S. Constitution; requiring the State Land Registrar to adopt regulations that provide for the appropriation and registration of grazing, logging, mineral development or other beneficial use rights on public lands; requiring the State Land Registrar to sell permits for grazing, logging, mineral development or other beneficial uses on public lands for which such rights are not registered and appropriated; requiring the Board of County Commissioners of each county to impose a tax on unit product sold from the beneficial use of public lands or other natural resource including minerals; providing for the administration and defense of the peoples right to the land and resources.

 

Link to the NRR AB408, http://1drv.ms/1xyphWe

Bundy Ranch

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A Handbook for Ranch ManagersA Handbook for Ranch Managers.  In keeping with the “holistic” idea that the land, the livestock, the people and the money should be viewed as a single integrated whole: Part I deals with the management of the natural resources. Part II covers livestock production and Part III deals with the people and the money. Not only would this book make an excellent basic text for a university program in Ranch Management, no professional ranch manager’s reference bookshelf should be without it. It is a comprehensive reference manual for managing the working ranch. The information in the appendices and extensive bibliography alone is worth the price of the book.

You might be interested in this books supplement: Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual.

Posted in Private Property Rights, Private Property Rights on the "Public" Domain, Public Domain, Public Lands, Public Lands Ranching | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Marketing versus production risk in your cattle operation

Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian ViewOne reason I publish articles like this is to give me something to talk about. 

Anytime two ranchers get together the discussion will almost always turn to the weather and/or cattle prices. Then they will generally conclude that, they have no control over either of them. That is dead A Handbook for Ranch Managerswrong. They, to some degree, can control both.

You control drought by planning for it (including a drought reserve in your grazing plan). You control your market risk by using the futures and options markets. 

Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference ManualAnd, way too much emphasis is put (and time wasted) on worrying about individual animal performance–calf crops, weaning weights, average daily gains, etc. when the emphasis should be on “turn off”–lbs of beef produced per unit land area (acre, section, etc). That it what makes the mortgage payment. 

Combat Shooter's HandbookYou do that by using high stock density, short graze periods and allowing time for the plants to fully recover before they are grazed a second time. (During the growing season, the goal is to not allow a single plant to receive a second bite. ) — jtl

By  via Canadian Cattlemen

cows at a mineral feeding trough

 

   Reconnaissance Marine MCI 03.32f: Marine Corps InstituteLast month, the 17th Western Canadian Feedlot Management School was held in Saskatoon and covered a wide range of topics from health and nutrition to issues like labour shortages. The school finished off with a session on economic conditions facing the industry. While nobody was complaining about current prices, there was an underlying feeling of caution, as the steam in fat cattle markets The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other Misfitsseemed to have disappeared and coupled with the recent drop in the Canadian dollar, attendees were reminded that markets are both cyclical and volatile and that one cannot always count on prices staying at record highs.

The last speaker was Joe Jackson with JGL Livestock of Moose Jaw, The Essence of Liberty: Volume I: Liberty and History: The Rise and Fall of the Noble Experiment with Constitutionally Limited Government (Liberty and ... Limited Government) (Volume 1)  The Essence of Liberty: Volume II: The Economics of Liberty (Volume 2) The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3) Sask. Mr. Jackson is a cattle buyer and risk management specialist with many years of experience in North American cattle markets. His message focused on market versus production risk and struck a chord with me. While not downplaying market risk, he essentially indicated that other than taking a position in the market (i.e. price insurance, hedging, forward contracting) to minimize your risk, markets are markets and that as an individual you don’t have a great deal of influence on current or future prices. On the other hand, he stressed that you do have a great deal of influence on production risk and whether you are a cattle feeder or cow-calf operator, beating the average will increase the economic return to the operation.

In thinking about his message, it seems to me that it carries more weight today with current economic conditions than ever before. Take for example the cow-calf sector. If we look at even the best operations we are hard pressed to find one with a weaning percentage greater than 90 per cent. Now I know that many of you reading this will argue that you can’t afford the extra costs associated with maximizing your calf crop and that you would rather be a profitable low-cost producer than accept the costs associated with a higher weaning percentage. I understand this argument, particularly when returns are low, but does it hold water at today’s prices? Consider the case of adopting a mineral feeding program.

Too often I encounter producers who are reluctant to feed mineral due to cost. Never mind that by not feeding a mineral they are inviting a major wreck. Let’s consider the cost argument by looking at a 300-head cow herd that weans 255 calves (85 per cent) at 475 pounds versus the same herd weaning 270 calves (90 per cent) at the same weight. A six-month mineral feeding program covering the last trimester of pregnancy and the breeding season would run approximately $6,750 with the mineral at $1,500 per tonne. If we run two scenarios, one at a calf sale weight of $1.50 per pound and the second at $2.50 per pound, the extra five per cent calf crop, if achieved, would return approximately $11,000 above the cost of the mineral at the higher sale price and $4,000 at the lower value. In both situations the mineral program pays for itself, however, the returns are that much greater under today’s market conditions.

Now mineral feeding or lack of it may not be an issue in your herd but I am sure there are numerous areas where you could look to determine if you are operating at full efficiency including your calving, vaccination and feeding programs, your haying operation, pregnancy checking, culling, breeding soundness exams for bulls, etc. The list can go on and on; suffice it to say that now is as good a time as any to review your herd management practices and look for areas to make improvements as the value of both the 2015 and 2016 calf crop are at stake.

Similar logic applies in the feedlot. Cattle feeders are well aware of the importance of feed conversion in determining the cost of gain, however, to emphasize Joe’s point, consider a pen of 300 steers that weigh 1,000 pounds and are consuming 23.5 pounds of dry matter (DM) and gaining 3.5 pounds per day. At $200 per tonne for a finishing ration (DM basis), feed costs are approximately $2.15 per day. In this situation, the feed conversion ratio is 6.7:1 and the feed cost per pound of gain is approximately $0.61. If we can drop the feed-to-gain ratio by 10 per cent to 6:1, either by decreasing DM intake or increasing daily gain or a combination of the two, we drop the cost of gain to $0.55, a difference of $0.06 per pound of gain.

Now, you do the math over 100 days for 300 or 3,000 or 30,000 steers and it quickly becomes evident that focusing on production risk pays big dividends. How realistic is it to improve feed conversions by 10 per cent? As with the cow-calf operator, there is a long list of management practices ranging from ration formulation, silage quality, bunk management, grain processing, implants, feed additives and pen conditions (crowding, mud, etc.) all of which individually or combined can add to or rob you of production efficiency. As per the speaker’s message, the ball is in your court when it comes to managing production risk!

Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View

edited by

Dr Jimmy T (Gunny) LaBaume

Is now available in both PAPERBACK and Kindle

BookCoverImageMurray N. Rothbard was the father of what some call Radical Libertarianism or Anarcho-Capitalism which Hans-Hermann Hoppe described as “Rothbard’s unique contribution to the rediscovery of property and property rights as the common foundation of both economics and political philosophy, and the systematic reconstruction and conceptual integration of modern, marginalist economics and natural-law political philosophy into a unified moral science: libertarianism.”

This book applies the principles of this “unified moral science” to environmental and natural resource management issues.

The book started out life as an assigned reading list for a university level course entitled Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View.

As I began to prepare to teach the course, I quickly saw that there was a plethora of textbooks suitable for universal level courses dealing with environmental and natural resource economics. The only problem was that they were all based in mainstream neo-classical (or Keynesian) theory. I could find no single collection of material comprising a comprehensive treatment of environmental and natural resource economics based on Austrian Economic Theory.

However, I was able to find a large number of essays, monographs, papers delivered at professional meetings and published from a multitude of sources. This book is the result. It is composed of a collection of research reports and essays by reputable scientists, economists, and legal experts as well as private property and free market activists.

The book is organized into seven parts: I. Environmentalism: The New State Religion; II. The New State Religion Debunked; III. Introduction to Environmental and Natural Resource Economics; IV. Interventionism: Law and Regulation; V. Pollution and Recycling; VI. Property Rights: Planning, Zoning and Eminent Domain; and VII. Free Market Conservation. It also includes an elaborate Bibliography, References and Recommended Reading section including an extensive Annotated Bibliography of related and works on the subject.

The intellectual level of the individual works ranges from quite scholarly to informed editorial opinion.

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5 questions ranch families should ask before adding the next generation to the business

Ranching is a family business, but it isn’t always easy being in business with multiple generations and in-laws. Here are five questions ranching families should ask before inviting another generation into the business.

Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference ManualSomething comes to mind that (I seem to recall??) came from Stan Parsons. “The only thing harder than managing a small business is managing a small FAMILY business.” — jtl, 419

by Amanda Radke in BEEF Daily

A Handbook for Ranch ManagersWhen I was growing up, my parents were realistic with me regarding my aspiration to run cattle with them someday. They encouraged me to explore the world outside of the ranch, which I did during my college years by living and working in places like Washington, D.C., Minneapolis, and even Argentina. Those experiences helped show me that urban living wasn’t for me, and I set my sights on returning to the ranch.

Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian ViewAs my college graduation drew closer, my parents told me that the ranch’s current level of production couldn’t support my addition to the family operation, so I explored ways to diversify the operation to enable me to return home. After Tyler and I were married, we were able to invest in an operation neighboring my parents’, which allowed us to add to the family business in different ways. However, the road The Essence of Liberty: Volume I: Liberty and History: The Rise and Fall of the Noble Experiment with Constitutionally Limited Government (Liberty and ... Limited Government) (Volume 1)  The Essence of Liberty: Volume II: The Economics of Liberty (Volume 2) The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3) in making our own way hasn’t been easy, and working with multiple generations and a spouse presents its own set of challenges.

According to a recent article written The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other Misfitsby BEEF contributor Wes Ishmael, “Two-thirds of family-owned agricultural businesses never make it past the second generation.”

I think this statistic could be reduced if ranching families did a little soul-searching and developed realistic expectations of the profitability of the ranch, and then all family members communicated and reached   Combat Shooter's HandbookReconnaissance Marine MCI 03.32f: Marine Corps Instituteagreement regarding the goals of the operation.

Here are five questions families should ask before adding more family members to the payroll:

  1. Can the ranch support another family?

This is a simple question, but the answer is often complex with many variables to consider. At its current level of production, can the ranch support another member, or members, and enable all parties to pay their bills, support their families, and save for the future?

  1. If not, how can the operation diversify to increase income?

If the answer to question one is no, is there potential to expand or diversify the operation to support more family members? When my husband and I returned to the ranch, we purchased and rented our own pasture, which allowed us to expand the herd without placing a squeeze on the stocking rate of my dad’s ground. We also started our own heifer and steer sale in the fall to increase cash flow and augment the income from Dad’s bull sale. We were also willing to take jobs off the farm. I speak and blog, while my husband is a hog buyer for a pork company. Both are flexible jobs that allow us to be home to calve cows and do chores, but the income helps pay the feed and vet bills, too.

  1. If yes, is everyone on the same page for the expected standard of living?

I’ll admit that the millennial generation, of which I am a member, can be guilty at times of wanting today what our parents and grandparents worked a lifetime to achieve. It’s natural to desire the big house, nice car, fancy truck and trailer, and lots of cattle, too. However, we also need to appreciate that it takes decades of hard work and wise investments to amass wealth. If multiple generations are part of the ranch, it’s important to make sure that every member is on the same page as to each member’s expectations and responsibilities, and how expenses will be handled and income shared.

  1. How long is the next generation willing to wait?

In some families, a role on the ranch is assured from birth; for others, it takes time, sometimes a lifetime. The average age of U.S. ranchers is 58 years old, and typically ranchers don’t retire until health forces them to do so. This means the next generation often doesn’t attain a managerial position until their 40s, 50s and 60s. The younger generation needs to be patient and learn the ropes and skills that will lead to eventual leadership, but the older generation must responsibly plan the transition that will ensure the ranch can stay intact as the business succeeds to the next generation.

  1. Is labor a good trade for use of equipment, facilities and pasture?

As the younger generation on our family operation, my husband and I are willing to put in long hours and provide our blood, sweat and tears to be a part of the business. As the older generation ages, youth becomes valuable, and it’s a great way for the next generation to contribute. In our business, we trade labor and long days of work in return for using my some of my parents’ facilities and equipment. We don’t have the capital to invest in everything on our own, and this is what works for us. However, for some families, this might not be considered fair. The trick is to find what works for all parties as the younger generation transitions and invests in the operation.

I recently read an article entitled, “Being a young farmer — is it worth it?” When considering all of the challenges of being involved in the ranching business, I think this blog sums it up best with this excerpt, “Being a young rancher is hard, but it’s worth every penny. It’s worth it to have something to pass down to our children, and our children’s children. Being a young farmer is worth every tear, penny, and 15-hour day. It’s worth it all.”

Do you have multiple generations involved in your ranching business? If so, how do you make it work? If looking to invite another family into the business, what hesitations do you have, and how do you communicate those challenges to all parties? Share your suggestions in the comments section below.

The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of Beefmagazine.com or the Penton Farm Progress Group.

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Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference ManualPlanned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual. This is the ideal squeal to A Handbook for Ranch Managers.  Although the ecological principles remain the same, what was originally known as “The Savory Grazing Method” now answers to a multitude of different names: ranching for profit, holistic management, managed grazing, mob grazing, management intensive grazing, etc. Land & Livestock International, Inc. uses “Restoration Grazing” under its “Managing the Ranch as a Business” program.” No mater what you call it, this summary and synopsis will guide you step by step through the process and teach you how to use it as it was originally intended. No more excuses for failing to complete your grazing plans.

Posted in Estate Plannning, Managing the Ranch as a Business, Succession planning | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

3 ways to balance out the Meat Free Week conversations

 “If the population of Portland skipped meat for a day, not only would more than 300,000 animals be saved, but more than 90 million square feet of rainforest and 2.2 billion gallons of water would be preserved.”

Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian ViewWhere on earth do they come up with this nonsense? Or maybe a better question would be “why?” – jtl, 419

By Amanda Radke in BEEF Daily

Vegan activists are promoting a “Meat Free Week” March 23-29, A Handbook for Ranch Managers2015. Here are three ways to balance out the conversation.

Spring officially started on March 20, and with it, the vegan crowd also proposed that date, “The Great American Meatout Day.” Meatout Day is a national movement that calls on people to eat vegan on the first day of every spring. Folks are encouraged to Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manualavoid all meat products for a full week from March 23-29, in what activist groups are calling “Meat Free Week.”

According to an article on Oregonlive.com, Portland Mayor Charlie Hales encouraged his city to go meatless last week. Hales said that, “If the population of Portland skipped meat for a day, not only would The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other Misfitsmore than 300,000 animals be saved, but more than 90 million square feet of rainforest and 2.2 billion gallons of water would be preserved.”

Meanwhile, Moorhead (Minn.) Mayor Del Rae Williams proclaimed Friday “Great American Meatout Day in the city of Moorhead,” and  Combat Shooter's HandbookReconnaissance Marine MCI 03.32f: Marine Corps Institutealthough Williams is neither vegan nor vegetarian, she is sympathetic to the cause, she said in a recent interview.

In her proclamation, Williams wrote that “a wholesome diet of vegetables, fresh fruits, and The Essence of Liberty: Volume I: Liberty and History: The Rise and Fall of the Noble Experiment with Constitutionally Limited Government (Liberty and ... Limited Government) (Volume 1)  The Essence of Liberty: Volume II: The Economics of Liberty (Volume 2) The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3) whole grains promotes health and reduces the risk” of many illnesses. The vegan dietalso reduces pollution, the suffering of animals, and the greenhouse gases that lead to global warming.”

Social media is already buzzing with talk about the benefits of a meat-free diet. You can see for yourself by checking out the hashtag #MeatFreeWeek

However, there are plenty of ways we can reverse the trend. Here are three suggestions:

First, we need to debunk the misconceptions that are being talked about this week. I’ve included several links in this blog that explain why beef is good for our health, how ranching is good for the environment, and ways producers are excellent animal stewards. Share these links with your friends and family on social media.

Second, we need to share our personal testimonies, beef recipes, beef photos and ranching stories. A picture is worth a thousand words. Let’s keep folks craving for beef by showing pictures of steaks sizzling on the grill. Use the hashtags #eatbeef #foodchat and even #meatfreeweek with your photos.

Third, know that the vast majority of people probably won’t participate in this movement that agweb.com calls “utterly pointless yet mildly annoying.” However, we can still be proactive in promoting our industry, correcting the misinformation and being advocates for healthy, delicious beef.

What do you think about this Meat Free Week promotion? Will it find much participation? What should livestock producers do to stand up for their livelihood? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of Beefmagazine.com or the Penton Farm Progress Group.

Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View

edited by

Dr Jimmy T (Gunny) LaBaume

Is now available in both PAPERBACK and Kindle

BookCoverImageMurray N. Rothbard was the father of what some call Radical Libertarianism or Anarcho-Capitalism which Hans-Hermann Hoppe described as “Rothbard’s unique contribution to the rediscovery of property and property rights as the common foundation of both economics and political philosophy, and the systematic reconstruction and conceptual integration of modern, marginalist economics and natural-law political philosophy into a unified moral science: libertarianism.”

This book applies the principles of this “unified moral science” to environmental and natural resource management issues.

The book started out life as an assigned reading list for a university level course entitled Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View.

As I began to prepare to teach the course, I quickly saw that there was a plethora of textbooks suitable for universal level courses dealing with environmental and natural resource economics. The only problem was that they were all based in mainstream neo-classical (or Keynesian) theory. I could find no single collection of material comprising a comprehensive treatment of environmental and natural resource economics based on Austrian Economic Theory.

However, I was able to find a large number of essays, monographs, papers delivered at professional meetings and published from a multitude of sources. This book is the result. It is composed of a collection of research reports and essays by reputable scientists, economists, and legal experts as well as private property and free market activists.

The book is organized into seven parts: I. Environmentalism: The New State Religion; II. The New State Religion Debunked; III. Introduction to Environmental and Natural Resource Economics; IV. Interventionism: Law and Regulation; V. Pollution and Recycling; VI. Property Rights: Planning, Zoning and Eminent Domain; and VII. Free Market Conservation. It also includes an elaborate Bibliography, References and Recommended Reading section including an extensive Annotated Bibliography of related and works on the subject.

The intellectual level of the individual works ranges from quite scholarly to informed editorial opinion.

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Weak El Niño arrives

“Based on the persistent observations of above-average sea surface temperatures across the western and central equatorial Pacific Ocean and consistent pattern of sea level pressure, we can now say that El Niño is here,” explains Mike Halpert,  deputy director of the Climate Prediction Center.

NA Handbook for Ranch Managersow this is “change you can believe in.”

In case you didn’t notice, that was sarcasm directed at Dear Leader and his “anthropological climate change” mouth breathers. – jtl, 419

By Wes Ishmael via Beef Magazine

EPlanned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manuall Niño—long predicted and longer anticipated by many—is officially here, according to forecasters with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC).

“Based on the persistent observations of above-average sea surface temperatures across the western and central equatorial Pacific Ocean and cEnvironmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian Viewonsistent pattern of sea level pressure, we can now say that El Niño is here,” explains Mike Halpert, CPC deputy director.

This El Niño is considered weak, though. Although forecasters say impacts associated with it could surface in parts of the Northern Hemisphere this spring—such as wetter-than-normal conditions along the Gulf Coast—they don’t expect widespread or significant global weather pattern impacts.

Combat Shooter's Handbook“This El Niño is likely too late and too weak to provide much relief for drought-stricken California,” Halpert says.

The last El Niño, in 2009-2010, was a moderate to strong event. Other recent El Niños took place from 2002-2003 (moderate), 2004-2005 (weak), and 2006-2007 (weak to moderate). The last very strong El Niño in 1997-1998 provided heavy rainfall in the West, especially California.

The Essence of Liberty: Volume I: Liberty and History: The Rise and Fall of the Noble Experiment with Constitutionally Limited Government (Liberty and ... Limited Government) (Volume 1)  The Essence of Liberty: Volume II: The Economics of Liberty (Volume 2) The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3)

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A Handbook for Ranch ManagersA Handbook for Ranch Managers.  In keeping with the “holistic” idea that the land, the livestock, the people and the money should be viewed as a single integrated whole: Part I deals with the management of the natural resources. Part II covers livestock production and Part III deals with the people and the money. Not only would this book make an excellent basic text for a university program in Ranch Management, no professional ranch manager’s reference bookshelf should be without it. It is a comprehensive reference manual for managing the working ranch. The information in the appendices and extensive bibliography alone is worth the price of the book.

You might be interested in this books supplement: Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual.

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