Knowledge Center Blog

Welcome to the Farm Credit Knowledge Center Blog!  This blog is a combination of posts from industry experts, Knowledge Center staff and guest contributors covering all aspects of agriculture and life in the country.  We want you to participate in this blog, sharing your thoughts and comments about the topics posted here.

Posts

Fall Means...Cow Sales??

For most people, fall means cooler weather and changing leaves.  For cattle producers, fall is also one of the busy times for cattle sales, more specifically breeding cattle sales.  Not sure what those are?  They are an opportunity for cattle producers to purchase bulls or females that someone else has bred and raised to use in their own operations.
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Grass Fed Vs. Grain Fed Beef

We’ve all seen the labels in the grocery story, and have probably seen posts on social media and articles on grass fed beef versus grain fed beef.  A quick search today showed an abundance of articles on the subject (my favorite one was from a blogger who actually took a Farm to Fork tour, and she shares her entire experience – even when she was uncomfortable.  You can read it here.)  My husband sells beef in halves and quarters for the family farm, and one of the most frequent questions he receives is “Is this beef grass or grain fed?”  That seems like a fairly easy question to answer right?
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Beef Labels - Grass Fed vs. Grain Fed

Is it just me or are the enough labels in the grocery story today to make your head spin?  Natural, organic, antibiotic free, no (added) hormones, GMO, grass fed, grain fed, cage free…the list goes on and on.  Tackling all of these in one blog post would be overwhelming for you and for us…so we won’t do that.  We would like to share some information over several different blogs posts though, that might help you in deciphering at least a little bit of what you see at the store.
 
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Choices, Choices - Purebred vs. Commercial Cattle

One of the most incredible, wonderful, and sometimes frustrating parts of agriculture is how diverse it really is.  It encompasses so many different types of production, interests and passions – and yet everyone in agriculture feels connected.  When you think about the diversity in this industry, some of the differences are easy to spot – some farmers grow crops, while others raise livestock.  Some farm on a large scale while other grow product on a small scale to sell locally at farmers markets, etc.  But there are also differences that may not be so easy to spot from the outside looking in.
 
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Beef Cows vs. Dairy Cows - Get the "skinny"

We had steaks last night for dinner (happens a lot in our house, when you raise beef cattle, beef in some form tends to be on the menu a lot!), at the very specific request of our five year old.  Said five year old is currently very much in to associating where different things come from, so it was not a total surprise when he asked where the beef he was eating comes from.  Knowing my child, I knew this was not a question of where the specific animal had originated, but rather a more general question of where beef comes from.  While we have had this conversation several times, he likes to reaffirm what he already knows.  Upon reminding him that beef comes from beef cows like the ones we raise, he promptly responds with “and milk comes from dairy cows!” 
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