Change inconvenient but necessary (commentary)

By: Dr. Neville Speer Originally published on: July 29, 2014 – Feedstuffs FoodLink Blog CHANGE is difficult. Deep down, we’re all inherently reluctant to embrace any type of shift and tend to regress back to our established habits and behavioral patterns. Nobody describes that better than Walter Bagehot — who often wrote about the importance of “breaking the cake of custom” — when he said: “One of the greatest pains to human nature is the
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Mowing the Grass

  You probably mow your grass every week or so in the summer, but have you ever thought of harvesting a corn field as mowing grass?  That’s exactly what it is because CORN IS A GRASS.  A member of the grass family, corn is the largest grass plant grown for food production and the most efficient.  It produces more nutritional energy per acre than any other cultivated crop or native pasture.  When someone says cattle
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Do Cattlemen Have a Magic Needle?

  Perception is a problem when it becomes someone’s reality.  In this case, we’re talking about the public’s perception that beef producers and their veterinarians rely heavily on the use of antibiotics to keep their cattle healthy.  It’s a problem because consumers are worried about the safety and nutritional value of the meat they buy and often envision cattlemen spending their day injecting all their cattle with “something that must be bad!”   We would
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HORMONES & BEEF CATTLE: When, Where, Why, and What?

This issue of our newsletter/blog deals with the use of the hormone estrogen in beef cattle production.  In keeping with our mission, we want to discuss why and how the practice of supplementing estrogen in beef production is used and, of course, is the meat from implanted cattle safe to eat.  As consumers or beef producers, we want to be comfortable and confident that we can answer the questions to our own satisfaction.  The following
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What’s Really in that Hotdog?

  “You wouldn’t eat that hotdog if you knew what was in it”.  Have you ever had someone tell you that?  Only a few hundred times?  You’d probably be rich if they’d paid you $10 every time, or, perhaps you are one of the people who believe the stories of tails, lips, ears, eyeballs, hooves, and even squeals as being the parts from which hotdogs are made. Every semester I ask my students to read a similar article I wrote
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Vaccines and Organic Beef

When raising cattle to meet the necessary requirements qualifying beef as Organically raised, both consumers and producers often ask if the cattle can legally be given vaccines ?  The answer is yes.  The National Organic Program standards set by the USDA state: The producer must establish and maintain preventive livestock health care practices, including…administration of vaccines and other veterinary biologics.” Vaccination is done for one purpose and that is to stimulate immunity in the animal,
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Antibiotic Use or Misuse: What We All Need To Know

“Bridging the Gap Between Animal Health and Human Health” was the title of a symposium held in Kansas City, Mo.,  earlier this month.  Sponsored by the National Institute for Animal Agriculture, it brought together scientists from the human and animal disciplines, media, and consumer advocacy groups, to discuss the role of antibiotics based on sound scientific information. Antibiotic resistance has been called the single most complex problem in public health.” – Dr. Nevil Speer Antibiotics
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