We as beef producers fight a lot of misconceptions and incorrect information when talking to consumers and members of the media about our animals. Grass-fed, hormone-free, grain-finished and organic are all buzz words that have done nothing but muddle the waters and confuse consumers about the safety, nutritional value and reliability of the country’s beef supply.
For anyone that has questions about feeding cattle and what goes into feeding livestock, I encourage you to take this quiz put together by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. It may look elementary but this quiz is for kids and adults a like. It has great information that will explain nearly every part of feeding cattle. http://www.explorebeef.org/CowChow.aspx
You would never trust your medical decisions to a mechanic so why would you look to a chef for answers on the livestock industry? Go to the source! The beef industry is working very hard to put out information about beef and livestock care. Consumers are inundated with incorrect information and we, as cattle owners, want to make sure you know the truth.
My husband and I proudly raise grain-feed Angus cattle. The animals graze on Flint Hills grass during the spring and summer months but are fed a diet of grains – all grown on our farm – during the winter when grass is simply not available. We supplement their diets with vitamins – just like humans when they take their daily multi-vitamin.
Every element of our cows’ feed is grown locally and safe for human consumption. I have heard that cattlemen feed their animals antibiotics to help with the digestion process because cattle cannot naturally digest corn. That is simply not true. A cow has a very complex digestions system – they have four stomachs and re-chew their food as it moves from one stomach to another – which allows them to digest grains and grasses.
I know I have only covered a portion of the issues that arise when discussing cattle and beef. If you ever have questions about what goes into feeding cattle or the nutritional value of your beef, please ask a farmer or rancher. They will be happy to answer any and all of your questions!