surviving/ Mad Cow Disease

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by argo, Dec 25, 2003.

  1. argo

    argo Active Member

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    Dec 3, 2002
    With all the people on this board that have good safe clean cattle it should not be hard to group our calves in several locations and get a buyer for the meat. There are several feedlots where the feed is silage and grain or we could group and feed hay and grain have them killed and market the meat as a co-op. Retain ownership just as the smart producers have been doing and then just market it ourselves. With the scare consumers will be glad to pay a premium to be assured of a safe meat supply . This could be a cloud with a silver linning
     
  2. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    Aug 13, 2003
    I had thought of getting together with other local producers to do some kind of co-op, but then I remembered that they don't feed like I do.

    I, personally, have about 600 tons of silage, 18000 bushels of corn and plan on contracting enough soybean meal for the rest of the year tomorrow (if that is possible). I've heard SBM is going to become hard to find...and prices were already high.

    I am clueless about how one would organize such an effort, but I'd be a willing participant. I also have room for another 100 head of feeders in my lots and with some additional equipment (feed bunks mostly) I could take lots more.

    One problem with this is making sure that everyone who participates is in fact, doing what they should be. I have the feed records to back my claim, as well as my reputation around here. My feed man thinks I'm kind of nutty, but he knows what I do. The vet does as well.

    I had played with idea of selling my calves to city folks, but I keep and feed them to finish. Sort of retained ownership, but one at a time. I don't know if I'd find any takers, but it was an idea. My calves are only about 500-600 pounds right now. I have a long way to go to finished beef.

    Jena
     

  3. arnoldw

    arnoldw Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    57
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    May 22, 2003
    Jena I think its a good idea to Co-op cattle. It may take a year for the price of cows to reach 80 cent a pound and a long time to see $1:00 again. Our prices where that high on the misery of the Canadian beef Producers, I do think there will be a nitch market created here with not completely organic growers, but something close. Have you figured out what it will cost you to bring them through to 1100lbs. What little is on the internet yet on cattle futures with Chrismas here, Looks like feeder calves will hit somewhere around 60 cents a pound. I hope that is not going to be the high for the spring calves. I have been getting my place ready since this fall to run hopefully one or two dairy cows and something for the freezer. I am still going to do this because I do believe in the cattle in this country safe because of the pride that alot of our producers take in there heards. I am not going to the Auctions if I can help it. I would perfer to buy directly from the farmer thats raising them.
    Arnold
     
  4. PezzoNovante

    PezzoNovante Well-Known Member

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    Jun 10, 2002
    Location:
    Texas
    In Choctaw county, OK ranchers (ANB) are trying to raise the $25M in capital to construct a beef processing plant capable of processing 400 head per day. It ain't easy or cheap.
     
  5. Marilyn in CO

    Marilyn in CO Well-Known Member

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    May 12, 2002
    I think it would be very good if local cattle feeders could ban together and form a co-op. It would take money and time but in the long run...worth it. We have been feeding natural (hormone & antibiotic free) for 20 years and the last 10 we have contracted all our cattle to Coleman Natural (Denver). It has been our life saver because we can contract ahead and lock in a profit (sometimes a small profit..but always a profit). There is much paper work involved and very long paper trail from the rancher to the feed lot but it is well worth the effort to be certified. We have also had private customers for the past 15 years. We have sold anywhere from 12 to 24 hd. a year that way. We raise our own hay, silage and put up our own hi moisture corn ( we also supplement with soybean meal) This past year we ran out of shelled corn and bought some from the neighbor. We also custom feed for other people and that has proven to be very good also and they are all contracted to Coleman, as well. Perhaps if local growers could put together some kind of certification (such as tested BSE free) that could be a great selling point.

    I have a feeling(with this Mad Cow incident) that the beef industry has just turned a corner...and with a positive outcome. Americans love their beef and marketing it as a pure product whether it be farm-fed, antibiotic free, hormone-free, homegrown, grass fed or whatever appealing name and have the records to back you up, you will succeed. A previous long standing and good reputation in the community will be a huge asset.

    I was also encouraged and impressed by a story on the Denver news last night. There is a lab near Denver that is able to blood test for BSE, so killing an animal is no longer required. Marilyn, the farmer's wife.............