Perspectives of farming.

May 9, 2020
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Clark County, KY
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I am a 7th generation farmer, here in east central Ky, my wife is originally from southeast Oklahoma. We currently raise beef cattle and garden as well as chickens. There is an ongoing struggle that farmers and ranchers face that most people don’t understand. We are very passionate about our livestock in the same fashion that folks folks that have backyard chickens have about their birds. For instance most of our cattle are Hereford or Hereford crosses which would kind of be the bovine equivalent to the Buff Orpington of the chicken world due to their mostly docile disposition and maternal calf raising ability as well as good meat quality of market animals. We also have some Angus which I reckon would be like the New Hampshire breed of chicken, good all around animals with good reliable meat quality. Farmers take pride in their work and care for their animals is taken very seriously. Most farms today are fairly small cattle grazing in the pastures and receiving needed mineral and feed supplements depending on season and need. On the farms cattle are treated with antibiotics only if needed and most likely a one time treatment is sufficient. Most cattle change ownership several times after they leave the family farms. The prices of meat in the grocery stores and restaurants is definitely not reflected in what the cow/calf producing family farms receive when we sell our animals. Most years profits if there is any is slim. Expense of production is ever increasing and our market prices are easily affected by weather, stock market fluctuations, and even events around the world. We are having to compete with importation of beef from foreign countries, and unfortunately a lot of the consumers don’t realize what is happening to the agriculture industry. It is all becoming centralized and monopolized by large conglomerate corporations. I have been very glad to see the movement of folks getting involved with raising chickens in their back yards. We hear a lot about sustainable practices and I truly believe that individuals raising some of their own food and preservation of family farms is the only true sustainable path.
 

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