MU Extension project helps 93-year-old farmer – Houston Herald

Farmers like 93-year-old Harry Keutzer don’t quit just because their body parts slow down.

His hens, cows and pets depend on him. So do customers at the Kansas City-area farmers markets where he sells produce, eggs and hand-loomed rugs.

The Missouri AgrAbility Project, through University of Missouri Extension, Lincoln University Cooperative Extension and the Brain Injury Association of Missouri, provides aging farmers with information, referrals and a variety of resources to keep working.

Lincoln University Extension farm and AgrAbility outreach worker Susan Jaster carried out an assessment of accessibility at Keutzer’s Lafayette County farm and made recommendations on how to make the home safer and more accessible.

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Harry Keutzer

HARRY KEUTZER

MU Extension state health and safety specialist Karen Funkenbusch said AgrAbility helps farmers with disabilities caused by age, injury or illness to keep farming. The program provides research-based information and appropriate referrals to other agencies as needed.

America’s farm population has been aging rapidly over the last 30 years. According to the USDA’s 2012 Census of Agriculture, released in 2014, the average age of U.S. farmers is 58.3 years. There are now more farmers over 75 than between the ages of 35 and 44, Funkenbusch said.

Keutzer and his daughter-in-law, Stacy, grew 3,000 tomato plants in a high tunnel last year. They also planted a three-acre garden and put in a large plot of potatoes on a neighbor’s garden spot. Stacy picks all of the produce and Harry sorts it. Both wash and pack it.

Mobility is a challenge. When it rains, Keutzer has to stay inside and can’t work. But Keutzer’s energy level and stamina during the three-hour farm assessment surprised Jaster.

“He has the energy and deserves to be able to carry on his active life,” she said.

AgrAbility recommended a different type of scooter to reduce fatigue and help him maneuver around the farm over muddy and rough ground. The program also recommended a hydraulic lift to move pallets from the ground to make it easier to load produce onto the enclosed truck the Keutzers take to farmers markets.

Harry’s weathered hands are rarely idle and his mind remains active with farmer ingenuity. He finds it increasingly difficult to plant, so he and his son, Virgil, built a transplanter for their small tractor. It plants and waters the plant plug and lays weed-barrier plastic.

He uses his scooter to check on 100 chickens and takes buckets of water to livestock. He milks a three-teated cow that provides milk for two calves and a gallon a day for milk, butter, homemade ice cream and tapioca for the Keutzers.

He still enjoys cutting wood. He makes wine and helps his daughter-in-law cut fabric strips to make into loomed rugs. In October, he assisted a calving cow with a difficult birth.

Keutzer grew up working with his brothers on his father’s 500-acre farm at Creighton, Mo. He was so small when he started milking cows that his father had a special milking stool made for him.

He went to a country school until eighth grade. He said boys carried .22-caliber single-shot rifles to school, shooting rabbits and squirrels along the way to feed their families. And all boys had a two-bladed pocketknife, he says, to skin wild game and play “mumblepeg” at recess.

After school each day, he listened to 15 minutes of the Tom Mix cowboy show on the radio before starting chores. The radio wasn’t turned on again until 9:30 p.m., when the family listened to “Amos ’n’ Andy” and the news.

He farmed with a team of horses before buying his first tractor, a Farmall F-20. In 1942, Harry bought his second tractor, an Allis-Chalmers WC, at auction for $870.

He and other farmers anxiously awaited electrification through REA. On Jan. 7, 1945, he and his wife, Johnnie, celebrated her birthday in nearby Clinton. They returned home to a house lit with electricity, and their new Montgomery Ward refrigerator was plugged in and running.

He, his wife and a hired hand traveled the area baling hay from spring to fall. His wife drove the tractor as he put the 8 ½-foot wires into the baler. The hired hand tied the bales. It was hard work, but Keutzer and his wife made enough money to buy a new Kaiser automobile with cash.

In 1952, the Keutzers moved to southern Minnesota, where his uncles lived. He rented 320 acres on shares and was one of the first to plant soybean. Corn was selling for $1.25 a bushel under a government price-protection system.

Times were different then, Harry recalls. Farm implement dealers and oil companies helped young farmers get started by extending credit until crops were sold. He bought a four-row cultivator, planter, disk, a new corn picker and two new tractors – a John Deere 720 diesel and an IH Farmall 400 – on credit.

He and Johnnie also opened their home to 50 foster children during their time in Minnesota. The dinner table was often set for more than 20. He taught the children the value of rural life, hard work and being self-sufficient.

In 1959, his father quit farming and he returned to Missouri. Harry rented the farm next to his father’s and had 1,000 acres of South Grand River bottomland.

They farmed the home place until 1972, when Truman Reservoir took much of their land. They sold out and returned to Minnesota to a 45-head dairy farm.

His son met Stacy and married. She wasn’t a farm girl but quickly learned how to care for 45 bucket calves. They farmed there until Harry’s wife died, then moved to Iowa. He worked until he was 81 as a night watchman for Spee-Dee Delivery Services before moving to Napoleon.

Keutzer’s farming practices and lifestyle evolved as times and technology changed. He keeps current with technology by following farm auctions and news online.

Just as he learned to incorporate new farming methods throughout his life, he has learned to adjust as a farming nonagenarian.

AgrAbility gives him the resources to continue doing what he loves to do-provide food to feed America.

National Institute of Food and Agriculture, an agency of USDA, administers the AgrAbility Project.

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Brighten up your home – Waterbury Republican American

Gorgeous Bull Skull by Aureus Arts

CHICAGO TRIBUNENo need to break out the crayons. Beat the winter grays with bright stuff for your home. Here are some products to get you started.

1. Scottish designer Jonathan Saunders’ cheeky designs make clashing colors harmonious. His Herringbone carpet for The Rug Company is a case in point. $129 per square foot at The Rug Company, Chicago.

2. Primary colors and simple organic shapes mark the chairs from the Swedish design trio Claesson Koivisto Rune for Tacchini. The Kelly E Chair is $2,300, at Orange Skin, Chicago.

3. The Lindona Necklace from Songa Designs, an eco-friendly accessories line made by women in Rwanda as a way to establish their economic independence. Each handmade piece is made of repurposed natural materials such as banana leaf fiber, sisal plant, and cow horn. $48 at songadesigns. com.

4. Improve your mood by upholstering Vitra’s Mariposa sofa in a bold hue. Pick from dozens of colors including poppy red, grass green, magenta and lemon, pictured. $7,520 at hivemodern.com.

5. Four shades in different hues give the Tam Tam suspension lamp by Design Fabien Dumas a colorful personality. $1,093 at hivemodern.com.

6. Give time the attention it deserves with a clock that steals the proverbial show. Normann Copenhagen’s Watch Me Wall Clock is $50 at normann-copenhagen.com

7. Studio Job’s paper lamp for Moooi is inspired by classic lamps but draws on a crafty material. $1,703.00 at moooi.com.

8. Warm up any seat in the room with Maharam’s Millerstripe Pillow with fabric designed by famed 20th-century industrial designer Alexander Girard. The 17-inch pillow is 92 percent wool and 8 percent nylon and sports a cotton insert with a duck feather fill. $175 at maharam.com.

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Parks Give Cambridge a Rural Vibe. 'But Cows Do It Better.' – New York Times

Cambridge Dispatch

Parks Give Cambridge a Rural Vibe. ‘But Cows Do It Better.’

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Cows enjoying the grass in front of King’s College in Cambridge, England.CreditAndrew Testa for The New York Times

By David D. Kirkpatrick

  • July 15, 2018

CAMBRIDGE, England — Some residents of Cambridge are so fond of their local cattle that only Latin can do justice to their feelings.

“It gives a sense of rus in urbe, which means rusticity in town,” mused Alex Perkins, a Cambridge University librarian, as a dark red steer meandered across his evening commute.

About 120 cattle roam amid the city parks and Gothic towers of this medieval university town and, stepping over the cow pies, the human residents profess an improbable pride in their bovine neighbors.

“Seeing a cow gives a kind of rural feeling, the momentary illusion of being out in the country,” added Mr. Perkins, who works in the university’s Jesus College. “Parks do that to a certain extent, too, of course. But cows do it better.”

The earliest settlers in what is now Cambridge built on a kind of gravelly island in a marshland about 50 miles northeast of London. In areas too low and soggy for construction or farming, they set aside fields for shared use by locals, known as commoners, to graze livestock. Cattle grazed similar commons in towns across England, including in London.

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The cattle that roam through Cambridge’s parks and Gothic towers are an emblem of the city’s distinction.CreditAndrew Testa for The New York Times

But such commons began to come under siege about 400 years ago, as the gentry pushed to enclose more land into private properties. In the area around Cambridge, wealthy landowners hired a Dutch engineer to drain the marshland for arable farmland, arousing violent resistance from locals who had depended on the wetlands for fishing, fowling and hunting.

In London and other towns, urbanization and industrialization eventually squeezed out the cattle.

In Cambridge, the business of scholarship applied no such pressures and the cows held their ground. The urban herds became yet another emblem of the city’s distinction, like the white-robed boys’ choirs singing in the college chapels or the flat-bottomed boats of boozy picnickers crowding the river.

Oxford has nice gardens and meadows, too, Cantabrigians often note. But only Cambridge has so many cattle wandering in the middle of downtown.

“The cows provide a connection through the centuries to the ancient uses of this land, which is as pasture,” reflected Jon Sanders, a recent graduate working in university administration, as he walked home through the city’s Midsummer Common.

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“The countryside penetrates right into the middle of the city,” he said, and most resident are happy to overlook the inconvenience of asphalt paths that become “slippery and excremental.”

The fellows of King’s College voted in 1772 to let sheep munch down the grassy yard by the chapel, to maintain its “good and ornamental condition,” according to an official history on its website.

But sheep lack the gravitas of cattle, and “today, the cows carry out a similar function in a rather more decorous manner,” the same history concludes.

As the human population has grown to 130,000 with an influx of drug and technology companies as well as affluent commuters, the cattle have taken on “this iconic status now,” said Susan Oosthuizen, a Cambridge historian who has studied the commons. “Because seeing cows is certainly not what we expect in a 21st-century urban environment.”

Some environmentalists complain that common use rights are a scourge on the British countryside.

While Americans usually draw bright lines between their public and private spaces, the tradition of common use rights that keeps cows in Cambridge also allows British farmers to graze their herds — typically sheep — across vast rural parklands that might otherwise be forests or wild.

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Stephen Wright was a medical research technician at the university who started raising livestock on the side 44 years ago before devoting his life to it.CreditAndrew Testa for The New York Times

“Our national parks, which are supposed to be the equivalent to American national parks, are ranches,” said George Monbiot, a writer leading a crusade against the grazing of British hillsides by what he calls “Mesopotamian ruminants.” (The ancestors of modern sheep were Middle Eastern migrants.)

“The cow is at least descendant from an animal that was once native here,” Mr. Monbiot conceded. “But having cows instead of sheep does not mean you are anywhere closer to nature.”

Still, Anthony French, who manages the city parks, insisted that over all the cattle and Cantabrigians live in a happy symbiosis.

The cattle save the cost of lawn-mowing. They munch the grass to varying heights — a pattern known to horticulturalists as a diversity of sward — which fosters biodiversity.

And the beetles that feast on the cow dung are a treat of birds, bats and other animals.

“Shopping in the city center, you are a quarter of a mile away from grazing cattle,” Mr. French marveled. “It is the uniqueness of Cambridge.”

When livestock roamed other cities, governments employed an officer to apprehend animals that wandered off or created a nuisance. The officer, who was known as the pinder, pinned or penned the strays in a central location until their owners paid to reclaim them.

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After an epidemic of foot-and-mouth disease about a decade ago, the British authorities imposed new paperwork requirements for tracking cattle.CreditAndrew Testa for The New York Times

The pinder in Cambridge refers to a city employee who looks after the cows; three are trained to handle and herd them.

“The Cambridge cattle are quite clever,” Mr. French noted, with only a hint of local vanity. “If there is any little gap in the fence, they will find it and be out on the roads or into the river.”

As many as 10 cows a year tumble into the river that winds through the town. A full-grown steer can weigh about 450 pounds, so retrieval can require a crane and a harness.

Five local farmers pay 38.98 pounds a head for a herd to graze on designated parklands from the beginning of April to the end of October.

One of them, Stephen Wright, 66, was a medical research technician at the university who started raising livestock on the side 44 years ago before devoting his life to it.

“An itinerant Anglo-Saxon farmer is all I ever wanted to be,” he said, at the kitchen table of his farmhouse a few miles outside Cambridge. “Did not want to be anything else.”

“I don’t do the internet, want to live in the 19th century,” he added. “Somebody told me we are actually in the 21st now.”

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Angelika von Heimendahl with some of the cows she grazes on common land in Cambridge.CreditAndrew Testa for The New York Times

A vegan stopped him on a city green last fall and wanted to know if his cattle were headed to a sanctuary, he said. So he explained that he was raising a historical breed, English Longhorns, which would have gone extinct a few years ago if farmers like him had not raised them for the flavor of their meat.

“To which she gave me her side of the story,” he recalled. “So I said, ‘In natural fact, they are going to a sanctuary, good afternoon, have a nice day.’ ”

In truth, “they were going to the abattoir,” Mr. Wright admitted cheerfully. “But it is still a sanctuary for some!”

After an epidemic of foot-and-mouth disease about a decade ago, the British authorities imposed new paperwork requirements for tracking cattle and a farmer whose cattle had grazed the Midsummer Common quit in frustration.

The City Council was flooded with complaints from neighbors who missed the cows.

So Angelika von Heimendahl, an entrepreneurial veterinarian, bought eight Red Poll, a distinctively ruddy breed native to the region. She now keeps about 80 on Midsummer Common and another meadow, putting some of them up for the winter on Mr. Wright’s farm.

Her income barely covers her expenses, she said. But she has made the best of it by selling her Red Poll beef in local markets under the brand CamCattle, for Cantabrigians who enjoy dining on meat that they may have passed in the park not so long before.

“The commons are my shop window,” she said.

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Longhorn cattle on Mr. Wright’s farm.CreditAndrew Testa for The New York Times
A version of this article appears in print on , on Page A4 of the New York edition with the headline: Pastoral England, in the Middle of a City and Campus. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe

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Now That's What I Call a cash cow – Financial Times

The name “Now That’s What I Call Music” was pinched from a 1936 poster of a cartoon pig advertising Danish bacon that Richard Branson had bought for a Virgin Records colleague because he had taken a fancy to the woman selling it in Portobello Road antiques market.

From this start in 1983, the compilation album that rounds up the biggest hits of the day, has grown to become one of the music industry’s biggest and most resilient cash cows.

According to its management, Now, as it is usually called, has generated almost £1bn in revenue for record labels and has racked up a staggering 120m album sales in the UK alone. It has been the top-selling CD every year since 2010, apart from in 2015 when Adele stole its crown, and 98 of the 99 albums released so far have topped the charts. The 100th album in the series will be released next week.

Such is its importance to the sector, that the sale of a stake in Now to Sony Music was one of the main remedies required by regulators when Universal Music bought EMI in 2013.

The resilience of the format in the age of streaming is no surprise to Steve Pritchard who jointly manages the compilation. “We’ve survived all format changes,” he said, noting that it has thrived despite the death of the cassette and the decline of the CD, a format that still accounts for a large portion of sales.

He admits that the teenagers that tend to be the biggest consumers of chart hits do not buy CDs any more or even “pester their parents” to do so. Yet there remains a healthy market for music compilations for parties, to listen to in the car and as gifts. Woolworths, historically one of the biggest sellers of music in the UK, may be long gone but consumers are as likely to pick up the latest Now album in Sainsbury’s or Primark he said.

Jon Webster, one of the Virgin Records staff that pioneered the launch of the first edition thinks it remarkable that the format worked. Labels including K-Tel and Dino Entertainment released compilation records in the 1980s that were known as cheap albums of old hits.

Virgin gave it a go anyway and, after forming a joint venture with EMI, went “hell for leather” by advertising it in a prime-time slot during the soap opera Coronation Street, rather than opting for low-cost late night advertising associated with cheap compilations.

“Expectations weren’t that high,” he said of the 1983 launch but it went on to sell 1.1m copies.

The success of the first edition, which included hits by Men Without Hats, Mike Oldfield, Culture Club and Kajagoogoo, meant that Paul McCartney and Queen fought for the opening slot on the second album.

The slow decline of the CD remains a concern, as more teenagers discover and listen to hits on YouTube and Spotify. Now 44, released late in 1999, was the biggest selling in the series — 2.3m albums compared to more modest sales of 850,000 to 900,000 for the most recent release, according to Mr Pritchard.

Yet he is confident the brand will survive the “major sea change” of streaming as a way of finding music. The brand also has an app that he believes will help it keep up with casual music fans looking for playlists for a party or a car journey.

Sir Richard married the woman, Joan, who sold him the “Now That’s What I Call Music” pig poster that inspired a brand that has brought home the bacon for the music industry ever since.

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Did You Know Cows Have Close Friendships? Let's Celebrate Cow … – Good News Network

three-cows-Dave_A-CC-Flickr
Photo by Dave A, CC

It’s easy to forget how important they are to our food chain, so July 11th was christened as Cow Appreciation Day. Here are some great ways to say “Moo-chas grasses” to bovines everywhere:

– Learn about cows

Did you know that cows form close friendships, with at least two preferred pals? They also hold grudges – for years. They are emotional creatures and they will produce more milk when treated better as individuals.

They get excited if given the chance to solve problems: When challenged to figure out how to open a door or get to food, their heartbeat increases, their brainwaves show excitement, and some even jump into the air.

Cows benefit from almost 360-degree vision, with the ability to see predators coming from any direction. They also have an excellent sense of smell and are able to detect odors from up to 5 miles away. Their hearing is also beyond human capacity, with both low and high frequency sounds.

– Have a glass of ethically sourced milk.

Or better yet, make it a milk punch, a sweet, cold, elegant blend of dairy and liquor that dates back centuries, which is enjoying a revival these days.

fearrington-belted-galloway-cow-with-family

– Visit a working farm and hug a cow.

If you don’t live near a local farm, you can go on a vacation to Fearrington Village, a resort and spa on a historic dairy farm in North Carolina. Or if you’re really into cows, you can even host your wedding there.

The farm is home to these Belted Galloway cows (above), which are reminiscent of an Oreo cookie. (Milk, please!) This striking breed of cow, which originated in Galloway, Scotland over a century ago, now adorn many fields in the USA today.

– Donate a cow to end hunger for a family.

Heifer International is famous for its program that lets you buy a cow and donate it to a family, helping lift them out of poverty.

For the last 70 years, the organization has donated thousands of dairy animals to communities in need across Asia, Africa, and the Americas.

RELATED: Trouble Sleeping? The ‘Dullest Movie Ever Made’ was Filmed to be a Perfect Cure For Insomnia

In addition to being able to buy a heifer, water ox, or goat for a faraway family, you can also make a difference by sending girls to school or helping to jumpstart a local business.

– Take a local cheese making class and learn the difference between cow, sheep and goat’s milk cheeses.

This tip may not be applicable for vegans, so here’s a recipe for a substitute cheese sauce that I primarily use for mac and cheese and lasagna. I know that there is plenty of vegan food that misses the mark, but I have yet to host a dinner guest who has not gone back for seconds when using this recipe.

Photo by Martin Abegglen, CC

– Fun stories about cows:

If these tips didn’t moootivate you, check out these articles…

How about an 11-year-old girl who learned to ride her pet dairy cow after she was denied a horse? Or, check out the heart-melting photos of a toddler who started caring for a 3-day-old calf after its mother died.

Also, watch this video of a bewildered beaver who accidentally got a job herding cows. Oh, and don’t forget about the little girl who causes mini-stampedes whenever she whips out her concertina.

Be Sure And Share This Udderly Delightful Article With Your Friends

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Guest Opinion: Stand up for the Beef Checkoff – Tri-State Livestock News

I sincerely believe the Beef Checkoff does a great job promoting beef day in and day out for ALL beef producers and at a reasonable cost with great returns. I wouldn’t stand behind one thing I didn’t believe in or witness first hand doing good things for the beef industry.

I think of the beef checkoff as having our back and defending beef every day because believe it or not there are those that don’t want beef to exist or be for human consumption and they will try anything to make others agree with them and see it their way. It is impossible for us producers to combat this type of campaign and funding by ourselves. The checkoff allows for a unified message to be sent and shared with the truth about the nutrition and benefits of beef. The checkoff also develops fresh, new recipes and different ways to cook and cut beef all to make consumers want to purchase, order and cook it more often. All of which builds demand and keeps us in business. It is so important to be aware of and on top of the new trends and what consumers want in a rapidly changing retail environment. The checkoff does this for us. It collects, interprets and uses this data for their advertising campaigns and recipe concepts. Again, this is not something us as producers can do on our own and especially not every hour of every day.

One of the best parts of the beef checkoff is the producer control and input on how the dollars are spent. The beef checkoff is not controlled by one group or only big producers! All producers can have a say and the opportunity to get involved with their checkoff because the direction starts at the local, state level. Every states’ beef council is set up differently but with the same intent, which is to give local beef producers the opportunity to be involved in their checkoff and discuss and give input as to how they think their beef checkoff dollars are best spent.

I think many of you are aware but RCALF filed a lawsuit against USDA naming the Montana Beef Council in the suit. The case is going to go to court and we hope to get our chance to explain how the beef council operates because there were many non truths given in the lawsuit but for now the Montana Beef Council remains on unstable ground. In the mean time the beef council is in the process of getting consent forms signed by all Montana producers so their $.50 can stay in state and work on programs here. However the most important reason to sign the consent form is to keep the control in the hands of Montana producers. It is important to have that local neighbor, friend, colleague on the board to discuss and make decisions and then talk about it in their coffee shop. If you’re going to pay into something it’s best to understand it and keep up to date with it. This input and discussion is crucial to the success of the checkoff.

Let’s not let a few producers who are unhappy with some of the programs the checkoff funds, and yet refuse to get involved or provide solutions or input to the boards already set up for that very discussion, take away the checkoff that is helping promote beef to many consumers every day! The checkoff has already been upheld by the courts years ago so they are not getting out of paying the checkoff, they are just taking away local producer control and input.

I’m asking you to please sign the consent form and make sure your family members and neighbors do too. It is time we get serious and stand up for the beef checkoff that works so hard on our behalf!!

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Let’s work hard to save the checkoff that allows for local input from producers and gives us control to make the decisions on how our dollars will most efficiently and effectively sell more beef!!

If you have questions, concerns, comments please email me. I’m happy to discuss any questions or issues you may have. kslarson6@gmail.com

The forms are online montanabeefcouncil.org

Thank you,

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Is This an Image of a 'Cow Crusher' Device Designed to Crush Cows? – Snopes.com

CLAIM

A photograph shows a “cow crusher,” a device designed to literally crush cows.


RATING

ORIGIN

An image showing a cow inside of a strange metal device was shared online in July 2018 along with a caption saying it depicts a “cow crusher” — a device designed to crush cows:

Cow crushers designed to crush cows to death is one horrid thing but this is a whole new level or cow torture! This device gives farmers a kick from LITERALLY crushes the poor animal whilst rotating it up, down, side to side in a rapid movement controlled by a big tractor machine, shaking it around in HORROR! This is NOT a theme park!

This poor cow had no hope, the blood would have rushed to her head until she passed out and who knows what the “farmers” did to the poor animal after that. All I know is that she is dead now and is probably covered in urine.

I found this photo on google, which I thought was a G rates site. I WILL find the cowards who did this to poor Stephanie (my children named her that out of respect) and let it be known that my eldest son is in the group ANTIFA, so let that be a warning to anyone else who takes sexual pride in torturing poor animals.

Have a great day, Sam 💋💄

The photograph is real and this device is sometimes referred to as a “livestock crush,” “cow crush,” or a “cattle crush.” However, it was not designed to “LITERALLY” crush cows. 

These enclosures are used to restrain livestock in order to give farmers and veterinarians the opportunity to safely administer various types of care to the animal. Also known as “squeeze chutes,” the devices can be a customized in different ways to accomplish specific tasks, but are most commonly used to perform routine operations such as tagging, weighing, and vaccinating large animals. 

The research and marketing company Meat & Livestock Australia explained in a 2016 paper: 

Cattle have to be constrained during routine operations, such as recording, vaccinating, ear tagging, weighing and animal health tasks (and possibly veterinary procedures). A cattle crush holds the animal immobilised to minimise the risk of injury to both the animal and the handler.

An effective livestock handling system requires a suitable choice from a wide range of commercially available cattle crushes. The operations to be performed will determine what features the crush will need, including veterinary sections, baulk gates, a squeeze mechanism or split side gates. Crushes to be used in the processing facility usually have more functions than those needed for hospital facilities.

Functionality and ease of use by handlers should be prime considerations. Operator safety may be improved if the squeeze section of the crush is operated hydraulically or pneumatically rather than manually. All crushes should be made according to good manufacturing standards using quality materials.

Cattle crushes can be equipped with ancillary equipment, such as chin bars and automated drafting systems. Electronic scales and a National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) identification reader are now standard in most feedlot cattle crushes.

Here’s a video of a similar hydraulic cattle crush in action:

 
The viral photograph originated on the web site of Glendale Engineering, a company in the United Kingdom that specializes in the manufacture of livestock equipment. The accompanying description of this specific cow crush (which the company calls a “cattle turnover crate”) focuses on the mechanics of the device:

This safe and stressless, easy to operate crate can be controlled using electro-hydraulics or by using the tractor spool valves. It is easy to transport and is galvanised for instant cleaning and longevity. 

Photographs and videos of farming equipment are often met with incredulity by those unfamiliar with farm life. In April 2016, for instance, a video of a Fistulated Cow caused consternation as it was shared along with the largely inaccurate accusation that it showed a form of animal abuse. 

Davis, Rod.   “Feedlot Design and Construction.”
    Meat and Livestock Australia.   1 April 2016.

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10 "Udderly" Fascinating Facts About Cows – Mental Floss

Red pandas have always lived in the shadow of the other, more famous panda. But now it’s time to give the little guy its due.

1. THEY HAVE TWO EXTINCT RELATIVES.

Red panda in a tree.

iStock

Currently, red pandas live in the Eastern Himalayas. But the first red panda fossil was found a little bit further afield than that—in the United Kingdom. In 1888, a fossil molar and lower jaw of a cougar-sized animal called the Giant Panda (unrelated to the modern giant panda) were discovered. More fossils have been found in Spain, Eastern Europe, and even the United States. Around 5 million years ago, Tennessee was home to a giant red panda that probably went extinct with the arrival of raccoons.

2. THEY’RE VEGETARIAN CARNIVORES.

Red panda eating bamboo.

iStock

It might seem like an oxymoron, but carnivore in this case doesn’t mean meat eater. Carnivore is a biological order that includes groups like bears, dogs, and cats, and while these animals are generally carnivores, some are omnivores, and some are vegetarians. Red pandas are classified as carnivores because they’re descended from the same ancestors as the other carnivores, but they rarely eat anything other than bamboo and a few insects. And while giant pandas eat all of a bamboo plant, red pandas eat only the young leaves. Because this is such a nutritionally poor food source, they need to spend 13 hours a day eating and looking for food and can lose upwards of 15 percent of their body weight in winter.

3. THEY’RE SLIGHTLY BIGGER THAN A DOMESTIC CAT.

Red panda sleeping on a branch.

iStock

But their tails add as much as 18 inches to their length. Red pandas live solitary lives in trees, high up in the mountains, so they wrap those big, bushy tails around themselves to keep warm. (They also use them for balance.)

4. THEY HAVE A FALSE THUMB.

Red panda perched on a log.

iStock

This is another feature (along with diet) that red pandas and giant pandas share. Because both pandas have false thumbs—which is actually an extended wrist bone—it was thought that it must be an adaption to eating bamboo. But the red panda’s more carnivorous ancestors had this feature as well. According to a 2006 study, what happened was “one of the most dramatic cases of convergence among vertebrates.” Convergent evolution is when two unrelated animals faced with similar circumstances evolve to look similar. In this case, the red panda’s false thumb evolved to help it climb trees, and only later became adapted for the bamboo diet, while giant pandas evolved this virtually identical feature because of their bamboo diet.

5. THEY’RE ESCAPE ARTISTS.

Red panda climbing across a tree.

iStock

Rusty the red panda had been at the Smithsonian National Zoo for just three weeks when he made a break for it in June 2013. His method of escape? A tree branch that was pushed down over his enclosure’s electric fence by heavy rains. The ensuing panda hunt (and endless bad jokes about panda-monium) captivated Twitter (tweeters used the hashtag #findrusty) until he was found in a nearby neighborhood. Soon after his daring escape, Rusty became a father, forcing him to put his wild youth behind him and settle down. But it could have been worse. After a similar escape in Dresden, Germany, the authorities got another red panda down from a tree by using a fire hose to spray it with water. The panda fell 30 feet to the ground, giving it a concussion. (Ultimately, the animal was OK.)

Red pandas have also escaped from zoos in London, Birmingham, and Rotterdam. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums even warn in their official care manual “beware: red pandas are escape artists” [PDF].

6. ONE ESCAPE LED TO SOMETHING CALLED THE RED PANDA EFFECT.

Red panda peeking out from behind some tree branches.

iStock

Sadly, the red panda involved in the 1978 Rotterdam escape was found dead not long after the search for it began. But the event led to a very peculiar psychological observation. Even after the body of the panda was found, more than 100 people reported seeing it, very much alive. These sightings were clearly mistaken; there’s no reason to think that multiple red pandas were loose in Rotterdam, and red pandas are distinctive enough that mistaking them for a dog or cat was unlikely. It’s believed that people expected to see a red panda, so they saw one, even though there wasn’t one there; researchers called it the Red Panda Effect.

7. THERE’S AN INTERNET BROWSER NAMED AFTER THEM.

The Mozilla Firefox logo.

LEON NEAL, AFP/Getty Images

Mozilla’s flagship browser, Firefox, means red panda. Originally, Mozilla wanted to name the browser Firebird, but found that another open source project was using that name. Not wanting to upset anyone, they decided to go with Firefox, another name for the red panda. And in a true example of adorableness, in 2010 Mozilla adopted two baby red pandas that had been born at Tennessee’s Knoxville Zoo.

8. THERE IS ONLY ONE TRUE PANDA—AND YOU CAN PROBABLY GUESS WHICH ONE IT IS.

Engraving of a parti-colored bear.

After the red panda was discovered in the 1820s, it was just called the panda (the origin of the name is controversial, but it probably comes from the Nepali word ponya, meaning “bamboo or plant eating animal”). Forty years later, Europeans found a new animal in China and called it the Parti-Colored bear—because unlike polar bears, black bears, or brown bears it was multi-colored.

9. THERE HAS BEEN A 140-YEAR TAXONOMIC MIX-UP.

A red panda walking toward the camera.

iStock

Prepare to be confused: In the late 19th century, scientists noticed that the parti-colored bear and the (red) panda were very similar. Their jaws were more like each other than they were like any other animal, they lived near each other, they both had false thumbs, and their diets were similar. The decision was made to officially consider the (red) panda as a type of bear.

By the early 20th century, that decision was reversed: Parti-colored bears were declared bears, and (red) pandas were classified as cousins of the raccoon.

Then, in the 1910s, it was decided that parti-colored bears weren’t actually bears at all, but were actually large pandas, and also distant relatives of the raccoon. But because parti-colored bears weren’t classed as bears anymore, they had to have a name change. They became giant pandas, while the one true panda was renamed the red or lesser panda (to quote a 1920 issue of Popular Science: “Zoologists reverently refer to this rare beast as the “giant panda.” Its more popular cognomen is the ‘bear-raccoon'”).

10. BUT RED PANDAS ARE THEIR OWN THING.

Two red pandas touch noses.

iStock

By the 1980s, genetic evidence indicated that giant pandas actually were a type of bear, and red pandas belonged in their own family, the Ailuridae. They might seem similar, but they’re not related.

All of this means that if you’re the type of person who rolls their eyes when someone calls a bison a buffalo, or a koala a bear, you need to stop calling the bear a panda and instead refer to it as a “parti-colored bear,” the original English name (but if you wanted to call it the bear-raccoon, no one would stop you). Giant pandas are not pandas. There is only one true panda.

11. BUT THIS DOESN’T AFFECT KUNG FU PANDA 3.

Red panda with teeth bared.

iStock

There’s still a kung fu panda in the series: Shifu, a red panda.

12. THEY’RE ENDANGERED.

Red panda laying down and sticking his tongue out.

iStock

According to the World Wildlife Fund, there are fewer than 10,000 red pandas left in the wild. Habitat destruction increases the species’ chances of extinction.

This story originally ran in 2015.

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CMO Momentum: 4 marketing chiefs reveal how to weave 'culture' into the marketing mix – CMO

Building a modern-marketing function – and injecting and maintaining ‘cultural’ elements like back-end collaboration  – is easier said than done, according to a group of marketing chiefs speaking at the second annual CMO Momentum.

Former Jurlique CMO, Andrea Martens; National Heart Foundation CMO, Chris Taylor; director of marketing and communications at the University of Sydney, Johanna Lowe; and Xero Australia small business director, Penny Elmslie, all spoke during a panel discussion on the power of culture in building the right team for their organisations.

During the panel, the marketing chiefs suggested manoeuvres on the cultural front include a focus on building the right teams, perseverance when changing the way in which people work to achieve greater agility and functional excellence, and adopting a host of structural and procedural changes to achieve cross-collaboration.

For example, Heart Foundation’s Chris Taylor has had his hands full getting the marketing team right. Staff assessment and team building has already been one of his biggest challenges as the foundation undergoes ‘historic’ structural changes.

Taylor, who joined the foundation 12 weeks ago, is tasked with developing a single marketing function for the national body for the first time. As of 1 July, the foundation became one organisation.

“In Australia, not-for-profits tend to be structured in a federated way, which means that, in our case, there are eight state and territory bodies, each with their own CMO and each with their own board,” Taylor told attendees.

“For an organisation that’s been around for almost 60 years, you can imagine how difficult it is, from a marketing point of view, how difficult it is to have any brand consistency or consistent approach to strategy when it comes to marketing or digital-led customer experience.

“That changed about 18 months ago,” he said, explaining a new national CEO came onboard. The unified organisation will now be led by the national CEO, adjunct professor John Kelly. 

In that vein, Taylor has been busy developing the marketing structure and accessing the overall marketing staff and placing them into appropriate roles. He is also on the hunt for 15 people in the marketing team across brand management, direct marketing, SEO/SEM, marketing insights and social media.

“I had to quickly assess people, and then place them into the structure to basically match the skills that they had,” he said. 

But in making the initial assessments, Taylor unearthed both challenges and opportunities, which only “came to light” once he started the restructuring process and determined people’s capability and suitability for the roles. A big hurdle has been dealing with how to shift people’s traditional way of working and method of operation.

“Working for a brand like the national heart foundation, which has got incredibly deep purpose, means you’ve got people who are deeply committed to the cause – and that’s good and bad,” Taylor commented. “Good in that you have incredibly committed people who believe in what they do. Bad in that they are loath to give up the way that they’ve always done it and their pet projects because their pet projects contribute to saving lives… Culturally, a change like that for them is actually quite a big deal.”

Creating a culture of collaboration 

Like Taylor, getting the “right team in place” was the first port of call for University of Sydney director of marketing and communications, Johanna Lowe.

“I was fortunate I was able to build my own team, pretty much from the ground up. There was about 20 per cent of people who had been at the university for awhile, and the rest I was able to recruit. But that meant we had no corporate knowledge or history, and I needed people to really get under the skin of the brand,” she explained.

“The university has been around for 167 years – we’ve been there two minutes and we need to run it like we know and love the brand from the inside out, in a way that a lot of our academics do. So how we did well quickly was a real challenge for us.”

As part of the strategy, Lowe centralised functions – a move that involved shifting people’s traditional ways of working. She has physically grouped teams next to each other, including the student function next to the social media function, in a bid to inspire collaboration.

“There were people who were used to belonging to their faculty, so they only looked after engineering or science. But bringing people together into one team we had to do some complicated things like putting in a new CMS and making that digital shift, to simple things like bringing people together and making them collaborate.”

Every week, Lowe chairs a meeting where every channel owner, audience owner and stakeholder manager comes together and recites what’s happening in their respective spaces, which reveals the news and issues of the week.

“It is that culture of collaboration and sharing and reaching out to others that we needed to formalise in a meeting so that it could become organic,” she said. 

Lowe has also created a Yammer group in order to create social connections, as well as a networking group. “We are not all collocated and we are spread right across the campus. Some of us are still thinking in our siloes, as opposed to a whole, so Yammer is the place where we can talk about projects that you have, and seek input. That has increased the social connection and collaboration that’s been so helpful for our team.”

Lowe, who comes from a corporate background, started building a modern marketing function when she joined five years ago by weaving the cultural aspects into the University of Sydney.

“The pace, the cadence, the kind of professional function I was used to was quite new to the university. The lessons I learned would be ‘go hard early’ because you get one chance to go and own it all – and set what the table looks like for what you’re going to do in the future,” she said. 

The strategy involved determining the way in which people liked to work, their likes and dislikes in terms of process and even their personality type and how it related to the work environment. It was so important given marketers and academics can often be on the opposite end of the scale.

“People wanted to know what their make-up was, because we’re not all the same. We’re not all creative thinkers,” Lowe said. “Some of us don’t like to talk about our weekends for example. So everyone is a little different and the way we’ve made that okay to know that about each other is by having a label on our desk with a diagram of what our personality type is.”

Moving to a consumer-centric model

For former Jurlique CMO, Andrea Martens, the first step was taking a “step back” and evaluating the overall marketing strategy as it related to culture.

“This was a brand and a business distributed across 23 markets. It had nine CMOs in as many years, so you can imagine the change that this team, and this brand, had been through.”

At the time, Jurlique was a product-centric organisation that needed to shift to a consumer-centric organisation and Martens said she helped build a structure and approach that would bring the consumer to life in every single decision-making process.

“My role was one very much of organisational structure, but then secondly it involved investing a lot of time in the coaching and development of teams. Because ultimately it was a very new way of working, starting from the old structure where our marketing talent were based on innovation or on communication, to then move to a consumer-centric model where they would do the whole process.

“They would own the consumer, and they would see that consumer all the way through in their execution. And that meant for a lot of these marketers, that they would then be undertaking areas of marketing that they just hadn’t done before. So as important as the restructure and getting the right team is in place, it was really about putting that development in place for them, and continuing to build that so we ended up with a very high calibre marketing team.”

Additionally, Martens said cross-functional engagement was vital to the success of the company given the 23 markets. “It was definitely a challenge and one that along the way we had to take steps to make sure we adapted and flexed in terms of our style.”

As an example, the team implemented the centralisation of the business model. “It was a global brand that had been run locally, which we took into being a global brand. With that comes some loss of responsibility for some people, and then obviously a lot of responsibility and a lot of expectations for the central global team.”

Brand health, as an example, was run out across all of its markets. “Rather than doing the brand health centrally and issuing that out to the markets and saying ‘here’s the information and go and work with it,’ we actually brought all of the markets together,” Martens said.

“We worked together with the global team and local markets. We workshopped over the space of a week the data that came in. The data was the richness of their consumer, their market, that showed the problems and issues within their funnels, as well as the strategies and tactics that needed to be developed in order to resolve some of the challenges.

“That collaboration ultimately builds the trust.”

Restructuring has also been a central focal point for Penny Elmslie at Xero Australia, who said she’s had to restructure the marketing team three times due to rapid growth.

Penny Elmslie
Penny Elmslie

“I learned I had to adjust and massage our team constantly. I have done three restructures in five years. Restructure is sometimes a scary word, but certainly in a fast-paced environment it’s an opportunity,” she said.

“When I first started our team was very tactical. Our roles were like an event manager, a PR manager, and so on, and I recognised our teams, our strategy, was being determined by those tactics. So I literally threw those names out and said, ‘Now we have a head of customer, customer marketers, and partner marketers and you work on strategies for those people’.”

Elmslie said collaboration with the global team – particularly given she has a small marketing team of 20 – has been vital to her local success. She aims to have her marketing team complement the global marketing team.

“We recognise they [global product marketing] don’t need to make the cake and then our job is to sell it. They need to give the regional teams the ingredients, and then we need to go in and pick and choose what’s required, time for our market, the competition, what’s going on in our place, and then the most important thing is that we close the loop,” she said.

“We all whinge and complain that global doesn’t understand us, but how can they, unless we feed it back to them, and take them on the journey.”  

While collaboration is the ultimate end game, Lowe said someone needs to step up and take charge. It needs to be clear who’s running the show.

“One of the things we figured out pretty early on is that collaboration is all very well, but someone’s  got to be in charge. When we put projects together we expected the head of the student marketing people would talk to the alumni people and everyone would just get along and stuff would just happen. But actually you need to say, ‘I’m looking at you and I need it next Friday.’

“It needs to be very clear who’s running the show and what the deliverable is. And it has to be more than just wearing the t-shirt on the day.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu

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Beef Prices: Cull cow numbers up as squeeze continues – Independent.ie





Martin Coughlan

The pressure on factory cattle prices continues to mount. Figures from Bord Bia show that at 9,038 for the week ending June 30, the number of cull cows going into the food chain are up almost 20pc on the same week in 2017.

The irony is bullock numbers for the same week were back 11pc, and while heifer numbers were back just 213, they were still back. Bulls on the other hand saw their number surpass their kill for the last week of June 2017 by 526 at 4,302.

Overall, however, when you roll the numbers of bullocks, heifers, bulls and cows together, you find that at a kill of 33,332, you are only 348 ahead of the kill for the last week of June 2017.

I deliberately put these figures up before quoting prices this week because I believe it is important that we have some yardstick to measure exactly where we’re at.

You could argue that in some ways we are in a false market because of the distortion caused to the supply chain by those extra cows.

I spoke to some in the mart and fattening business over the weekend who maintain that it’s important to look at the long game.

Their point being that a lot of those extra cows would have come into the system at the end of the year anyway, and all that’s happened is they are being got rid of earlier. I don’t disagree, but if it was all about logic, this would be a simple game.

Moving from speculation on how the trade maybe in three to four months, and back to the reality of the here and now, yesterday morning saw quotes for both bullocks and heifer fall another 5c/kg while cows fell 10c/kg.

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Cow Appreciation Day: Five Reasons Why SA Loves Cows – HuffPost South Africa

“Mo-o-o-o-o-o..!”

If you probably didn’t know, we Earthlings have World International Days for basically anything and everything. July the 10th is celebrated as World Cow Appreciation Day.

Now as the self-explanatory day describes itself, we decided to take a South African twist to it, and here are five reasons why South Africans appreciate cows.

1. Shisanyama

Our beloved shisanyama, also known as braai, is arguably South Africa’s favourite food and social event, where meat, beers and socializing bring people together. Which begs the question? What would our shisanyama’s be without cows?

2. Dairy products

From chocolates to cheese to milkshakes and everything dairy thing you can think about, most of our deserty and milky treats wouldn’t be indulged if it weren’t for our cows. Except for the lactose intolerant, there is more that the cows give us to enjoy besides the beef.

3. Lobola

One of the reasons why cultural practices are so important and the reason why the lobola negotiations are taken so seriously in African practices is that of the cows. There is a saying in isiZulu that goes: “ubuhle bendoda ku senkomeni zakhe”, which translates to the beauty and wealth of a man is in his cows.

4. Wealth

When slaughtering a cow, it is an invitation to the community that it is time to celebrate and feast. Having a lot of cows is also a sign of wealth and a price for a cow can go for thousands. That in itself shows the value of a cow in SA.

5. Beef

From burgers to steaks to everything meaty. Arguably the reason why most meat lovers love cows is beef and the meat that comes with it.

Happy World Cow Appreciation Day!

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New Kansas Initiative Looks To Track Cattle Diseases – KUNC

Kansas is taking the lead on a project aimed at tracking cattle disease with the hopes of protecting the U.S. beef industry.

Cattle Trace is a public-private partnership that will develop infrastructure to try out a disease-tracking system. It was announced late last month in Ellinwood, Kansas, by Gov. Jeff Colyer, Agriculture Secretary Jackie McClaskey and Kansas livestock industry officials.

“Kansas is home to the finest beef producers and operations in the nation,” Colyer said June 30. “We are proud that the Kansas beef industry has taken the lead in this important project that will enhance our ability to protect cattle health here and across the nation.”

According to the Kansas Department of Agriculture, tracing cattle disease is key for biosecurity of the U.S. beef cattle industry, which has about 94 million head and tens of billions of dollars. Plus, Kansas is the site of the National Bio-and Agro-defense Facility, which is being constructed on the Kansas State University campus and is expected to open by 2022.

Quickly identifying and locating at risk-cattle will be paramount in minimizing damage to the cattle industry as a whole, said Brandon Depenbusch, who is vice president of cattle operations for Innovative Livestock Services and a member of the Cattle Trace steering committee.

“We have the opportunity to develop a cattle disease traceability system on our terms. The capabilities of Cattle Trace will enable us to do the right thing for animal health and biosecurity, and for the entire U.S. beef cattle industry,” Depenbusch said.

Another important part of the Cattle Trace program is to build infrastructure that allows the industry to communicate data easily and effectively, according to K-State’s Beef Cattle Institute Director Brad White.

He said that infrastructure will first involve tagging calves and collecting data to determine which calf is sick and where it’s located. And the third objective is to ensure that the project works for all segments of the industry, such as cow-calf operations, auction markets, feedlots and packers.

Cattle Trace will begin enrolling cattle this fall and that the goal is to tag 55,000 calves, White said. At least 10 feed yards, as well as cow-calf ranches and beef processors will participate in the pilot project.

But for the U.S. beef industry to adopt the system on a broader scale, it will need to be simple, fast and affordable.

“We are working to build a system to test today and one that will serve the U.S. beef cattle industry in the future,” he said.

Cattle Trace is a collaborative partnership between Kansas State University, the Kansas Livestock Association, the Kansas Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture and individual producer stakeholders.  

Angie Haflich is the director of regional content at High Plains Public Radio, based in Garden City, Kansas. 

 

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