5 Wisdoms that Rule the Herd

Farm Journal logo

It’s been a long few months of contention—the country, the checkoff and the weather. It’s time to get back to what we all love—watching new calves born, feeding the first few loads of corn silage, and seeing your kids racing to pull on muck boots to help with the chores.

Raising cattle can happen in many different ways. But here are five rules of wisdom we all need to be reminded of:

1. Work with a good veterinarian and be fanatic about animal health.

Good Fences Make Better Neighbors (5)Evaluate your operations for any lack in animal health—from scours to anaplasmosis to pasture health. Concerns about antibiotic use world-wide will continue—having a good veterinarian-client relationship is key to getting medications responsibility and quickly.

Investors Call on Sanderson, Denny's, McDonald's to Cut Antibiotics

What’s Next for Antibiotics in Agriculture?

2. You get what you pay for.

Good Fences Make Better Neighbors (4)Pay the extra money for a good bull and build a reputation for quality cattle. It will come back ten-fold when its time to market your calves. Regardless of the breed you choose, understand the EPD and genetic evaluations of your options. If there is additional data to be had—have it!

3. Cull out the crazy cows.

Good Fences Make Better Neighbors (3)If she’s running, she’s not eating or milking her calf. There’s no argument you can make to not send her to market. Wild cattle put your safety, employees and entire herd at risk. The moment she is gone, take a gut check—do you need to work cattle in a lower stress manner? Invest in the animal handling training to have a calmer, more productive herd.

How to Properly Gather Cattle, And How Not To

Four Ways To Gather Cattle In A Pasture And Start Good Movement

4. Good fences make better neighbors.

Good Fences Make Better Neighbors (1)You’ve likely heard the story of a prized genomic cow getting accidentally bred by the neighbor’s bull. Have you ever weaned calves and woke up the next morning with them all mixed together? Key cause is your fence.

Fenceline Low Stress Weaning

Electric Fence Roundup: Choose your energizer

Nebraska: Property Owners Required to Keep Trees Out of Division Fences

Many states have differing fence and liability laws. This could also be a year to consider corn stalk grazing. Make sure your fence strategy is ready and have accessible water sources.

5. Plan for tomorrow today.

Good Fences Make Better Neighbors (2)The unthinkable is only seconds away—accidents are never planned. What would happen to the farm or ranch, if you have an unexpected death or debilitating accident?

Do you want to pass the farm to the next generation, now or some point in the future? Succession planning is a hard, complicated process, but farmers and ranchers can create a successful transition of the business to another party—without losing a production step.

Drovers and our media partner, the Farm Journal Legacy Project, have a collection of succession planning resources—from planning family meetings, creating buy/sell agreements to tax planning. Let us help you get started.

Succession Planning Action Guide

Fair Versus Equal Exercise

Retirement Income and Expenses

 

Have more ranch-tested advice for other cattlemen and women? Email sbrown@farmjournal.com.

 

Latest News

.
Program Helps Give Calves A Healthy Edge

Purina Animal Nutrition introduces Purina® Plus, an innovative feeder calf program, which aims to help cattle producers supply high-value, low-risk feeder calves to the marketplace.

.
Adding Up Pennies

The “Discovering True Carcass Value Webinar” sponsored by Certified Angus Beef will explore cutout values and how CAB carcasses add value beyond Choice.

Rana Creek Ranch
Glenn Selk: Riding Off Into The Sunset

Oklahoma State University Emeritus Extension Animal Scientist Glenn Selk announces he is handing over publication of future Cow-Calf Newsletters to other OSU beef specialists.

Gearhart Ranch
NCBA Delivers State of the Industry Address

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association spokesmen gave an update on the state of the industry and priority issues in Washington, D.C. that may affect cattlemen during the group’s virtual Winter Reboot conference.

Pilgrim’s Pride Agrees To Price-Fixing Fine

Pilgrim's Pride, the nation's second-largest poultry processor, entered a guilty plea to federal charges of price-fixing and bid-rigging, the Department of Justice said on Tuesday.

Setting Expectations Smooths the Path for Succession Planning with Off-Farm Heirs

At this year’s Top Producer Online Summit, Rena Striegel shared her key tips to make this transition easier for all involved.