cattle ranching

Fic Of The Day

Open Range Hearts by thewaywedo33


Cattle Ranch AU. Nicole Haught is happy to start a new job at Earp Ranch. But she soon learns it is not just any ranch, for oh so many reasons. Nicole knows developing feelings for one of her bosses is a terrible idea, but ignoring her heart proves more difficult than she thinks. Especially when it becomes clear her feelings may not be so one-side.


@countrypolitan’s Westward Odyssey from Casting Director to Cattle Rancher

To see more photos of Jean Laughton’s ranching life, follow @countrypolitan on Instagram.

Jean Laughton (@countrypolitan) is a full-time cattle rancher on the South Dakota prairie. She lives simply in a Scotty camper on her land and spends most of her days settled into stirrups and a leather saddle, astride her favorite horse, Beau. Her photographs of ranching life belie, however, how much her world has changed in the past decade. In her former life, Jean was a casting director living in New York City, who had a passion for westward excursions to photograph the eccentric characters of the American West. Now she’s living the life of the subjects she once documented. “I never really had a plan to ranch — it just kind of happened by chance and through my photography,” Jean says. “It is almost like I am not really a photographer but I use photography to lead me through life.”

Keep a Family Cow and Enjoy Delicious Milk, Cream, Cheese and More

Have a cow! Here’s what you need to know to buy and care for a family cow. You’ll have a blast, plus save money on dairy products (and even meat).

By Karen Keb


I've acquired an agonizing library of mental replays

For an activity supposedly beloved by so many libertarians, hunting is a minutely and skillfully regulated activity. You can’t shoot anything (except vermin) without a permit, and you also can’t shoot something and then get a permit, you sneaky bastard, because permits are sold before the hunting season begins.

When we parked on Thursday it was 5:30 AM and the temperature was in the single digits. I put some handwarmers in my socks and prowled around with Lily for a couple of hours while the sun rose, following tracks in the snow. It was getting easier. I could tell the difference between a random gully and an antelope game trail, and I could carry the gun so that it felt like a meaty hand resting on my shoulder.

By midmorning it was too cold to continue and Lily needed to pump breastmilk, so we got back in the car and started home. We’d been doing a lot of driving and I’d developed the habit of asking Lily questions about everything she knew. On Thursday the topic was cattle ranching, and I learned that it is rude to ask a rancher how many head of cattle he owns, even if you’re curious, because it’s basically like asking how much money is in his bank account. (Cows are publicly traded.)

I got the sense that Lily had learned this tidbit the hard way.

In general, though, she was a walking almanac of rural etiquette, and if I could commission any book in the world, it would be just such an almanac. For Americans in the 21st century, nothing could be more exotic than a strictly oral culture. And this particular culture—the modern Old West—really is that. It is un-Wikipediaed territory. In Central Oregon you can buy a yak, if you wish, or shoot a cougar for $14.50, or drive past sheds and fences left over from homesteaders of the 1880s.

You can find modern homesteaders in the unincorporated parts of South Deschutes and North Klamath counties, where unincorporated means few services, few taxes, and sometimes no electricity or running water. You can discover what elk tastes like (“superbeef”) and where to shoot a rabbit (in the head) and why people tend not to eat bears (they taste like rotten trash) and what “badlands” means (generic term for a place where nothing will grow).

Ideally, a person could compile a rural almanac just by going around and collecting lore. But this particular region, Lily points out, is one in which “You don’t go around knocking on people’s doors.”

Which gives it one thing in common with New York.

Grass-Fed Beef Health Benefits: A Meat Buyer’s Guide

By Kathleen Jade, ND

Beef that is truly 100 percent grass-fed comes from cows that have grazed in pasture year-round rather than being fed a processed diet for much of their life. Standards and labeling laws for grass-fed beef are controversial and confusing. The terms “grass-fed” or “pasture-raised” are allowed even if your beef really came from cows that spent little or no time outdoors in a pasture setting. U.S. beef labeled as “grass-fed” but not bearing USDA certification may be the result of various combinations of grass and grain feeding including grass finishing. If the label doesn’t specifically say “100 percent grass-fed,” or carry the USDA or similar certification, there’s no guarantee.

[Find out more!]

The whole "not enough land argument" is a huge fallacy if you ACTUALLY understand how beef cattle is already raised globally and in the US.

 First globally in Brazil, NZ, India, Australia and most other places in the world, cattle is already raised and finished on grass (in many areas on land not suitable for crop production. 2/3 of land on Earth is not suitable for crops).

Now in the US, current cattle inventory is approx 89 mill head including 9 dairy cows (which is the same amount as there was in the 1950’s). Of that 88 mill, 62 mill are calves and their moms (cows). Another 5 mill are replacement heifers. Now if you’d ever been on a cattle ranch, along with bulls, all of this cattle is ALREADY ON GRASS. Now the amount of beef cattle being finished on grains in lots annually is approx 14 mill. (16 mill total feedlot capacity) There are only 9 mill dairy cows most in confinement. So in summary 67 of the 80 mill beef cattle in the US are ALREADY ON GRASS.

This doesn’t even account for different grazing methods and management methods that allow for greater stock densities which vary from ranch to ranch. Though since you probably got your “facts” from an abolitionist vegan movie or some other equally uninformed source, may I suggest you actually visit a ranch and talk to a rancher rather than repeat more myths.

But you’ve never been on a cattle ranch, so like usual you have ZERO CLUE what you’re writing about. You seem to be under some gross mis-impression that beef cattle are raised like CAFO pigs and chickens. In confined animal operations (CAFO), pigs and chickens go from insemination to cellophane without ever stepping outdoors. In these types of factory operations, pigs and chickens spend their entire lives indoors. (This mis-impression is reinforced by the mocku-mentory Cowspiracy which is based on the book by Richard Oppenlander, a dentist and vegan food company owner, who wrote on page 123 of his book that there 1 billion head of cattle in feedlots. This number is not only false, it’s absurd for the reasons noted below. not even 100 million cattle have to accomadated. The number is more like 20 mill head, whch there is plenty of space for especially out West or on former grasslands that should be converted back) .

Beef cattle are different. Calves start their lives outdoor on grass on cow/calf operations. Here the calves nurse on cows until approx 6 to 8 months when they’re weaned off and start eating grass. With conventional operations, the calves either remain on cow calf farms or are sold to stocker operations where they continue to eat grass until approx 12 to 14 months of age. These yearlings are then transferred to outdoor feedlots where they are “grain finished” until 18 months of age when they are slaughtered. Grain finishing includes feeding grains, grain bye products, and antibiotics plus using hormone implants to expedite growth rates. So in this system beef cattle that are harvested at 18 months spend 2/3’s of their lives ON GRASS. Total feedlot capacity in the US is only 16 million head. (In 2014 the number finished this way was only 14 million head).

If the calves remain on grass, they are “grass finished” so they’re never transferred to feedlots. They spend their entire lives on grass outdoors. in the US, currently this form of grass only production accounts for only 6 or 7% of production. But only a few years back, it was only 1%. Plus as previously noted grass finishing is continuing to grow quickly since consumer demand exceeds supply. Note too in countries like Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, India grass finished is the norm with 98%+ production done this way.

And no, it doesn’t cost five times as much. CSA’s, “cow-sharing,” buying off cuts, and knowing how to cook all bring pricing down. Not too mention the growth of better burger chains like Burger 21, Farm Burger, Elevation burger all taking market share from large chains.It better food is also a lifestyle decision. Same is true with organic produce. It’s a matter of priorities. Plus spend more on food, and spend less on medical bills. Even Carl’s Jr introduced a grass fed burger. So yes, times are changing, and no the change isn’t occurring overnight. change is incremental. It takes time.