boondocks wrote:inyati13 wrote:Excellent topic and a great post to begin it. mm, I ask you this question in a Private Message. I will state it again as your post immediately above this raises the issue of what the producer can do.
As a producer and a person who believes that higher life has intrinsic value; they are aware of their existence. Therefore, I adhere to a set of self-imposed standards for the preparation of my feeder calves. I do not concern myself with what other producers are doing other than participation in organizations like the Kentucky Cattleman Association which strives to improve the husbandry of cattle. I don't spend my time pondering the "rights and wrongs" that occur on this planet. But there are people who do and more power to them.
Above you stated, "The question is: what does the cow-calf producer need to do differently to move their calves from high risk to low risk?"
My question: Do the feedlots track the source of their livestock so they can reward those who are putting an effort into proper preparation. If I remember, you answered that question in a PM. Going a little further: I wean my calves, I convert them to high carbohydrate feed, I vaccinate them, I adapt them to direct human intervention, etc. I hope that results in less stress when they start the journey from my farm to the slaughter house. I hope my preparations provide them with a higher quality of life. I don't worry about the end of their life. Death is a tranquill state of non-existence. I want them to "enjoy" their state of existence.
Now my issue: The producers that have good protocols and prepare their products for the "feedlot" should get a reward in the form of higher prices. That does not happen here. My neighbor jerks his calves straight off the cow and ships them. He never puts a needle in a calf unless the vet comes to treat one that is sick. His calves sell for the same amount as mine do. So the average guy who does not prepare his calves in the proper manner has no incentive other than his personal values and standards.
Do you have the option to sell directly? We are still growing our herd and won't be doing much selling for awhile but already get asked several times a month whether and when we will have anything for sale. When we do, the price will reflect that they are well-cared for, natural, grass-fed (yeah, and we'll still probably be in the hole). Anyone hoping our plan is to sell beef cheaper than the walmart down the street can just keep drivin'.
Do you have restauranteurs who would like a source of high-quality beef that they can advertise in their menu is locally-sourced, hand-petted etc?
I need to check that.