Category Archives: Environment

Monday Morning Photo: Grazing, U.N. reports, and what makes the world go round

This is a video my daughter sent me and it shows exactly what we can do with grazing animals all over the world.  Grazing animals guts are the original recyclers.  It is a good thing to graze properly, our world depends on it.

The Patagonia video along with the recent United Nations report (see U.N. says animal handling key to cutting emissions on the farm, Drovers Cattlenetwork, 9.26.2013) are two contrasting but positive views to livestock production.  I feel the report released is much more positive than the one titled, Livestock’s Long Shadow, and goes right along with the science-based solutions I hear at seminars all the time.  The natural nutrient recycling through grazing is also needed to make this world work.  We need both technology and Mother Nature’s natural system in this world to progress.  Is it not an amazing time we live in?

Curt Pate

This is the stuff that makes the world go round, and it might be B.S.

This is the stuff that makes the world go round, and it might be B.S.

Sex, nutrition, and electric fence

This may be a shocking title to some.  Sex is not a bad word or a bad subject, but it sure makes me nervous even mentioning it.

Sex has a purpose.  It is to create life, maintain and increase the species that performed the act, and ensure the species does not become extinct.  If there was not pleasure in this act, it would be kind of like oiling your saddle.  You know you should do it but you just don’t get it done as often as you should.

The good and the bad of it is, sex is pleasure. Anything that creates pleasure or satisfaction can loose sight of the main reason for doing it. So humans exploit it. We focus on the pleasure and forget the real reason for sex, the survival of humans.  If you don’t use self discipline it can create real problems in life.

Nutrition has a purpose.  It is to maintain life and create a healthy environment in the community of cells that make up the human being and hopefully create enough energy to make you desire sex.

As the human being has become more sophisticated, life has gotten pretty easy compared to our ancestors. Food has become more of a focus of pleasure and social status than a means to sustaining life. It may be evolving into the opposite of its purpose and actually killing us rather than helping us to live.

We need to take nutrition seriously and learn to eat the right stuff, in the right amount, at the right time.

There happens to be many different opinions on the right stuff.  If we get down to the basics, we need certain vitamins and minerals in the proper balance and amount, along with energy and protein in the correct amounts.

The things I know are really important in all of this is sunshine and soil nutrients.  Sunshine is the only ingredient in the nutrition puzzle that is free for anyone to absorb.  Everything else has a cost to it.  The soil is easy to take the nutrition out of and when depleted difficult to put the nutrients back in.  If we eat foods that are lacking in minerals and vitamins our body needs, it will create the desire for more, leading to over consumption and obesity.

When nutrients are harvested from the land it is like mining the soil.  If you mine the soil you must put back the stuff you took out or the soil will not be as healthy as before you harvested.

Conventional farming practices have replaced soil nutrition with nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, also know as NPK.  This leads to good growth of a crop, but I wonder about the true nutrition that comes out of the soil.  I wonder if this is why we have so much obesity in our country.  We have plenty to eat but always crave more.

Lets look at haying.  When you harvest a hay crop and sell it, you mined the soil and sold it to someone else.  If you make a hay crop and feed it to animals in a different location on your operation you transferred the nutrients away from the hay field.  If you take you must give back or sacrifice quality.  Putting back nutrition takes energy, energy costs money, and it is difficult to put it back as well as you took it away.  I have read that the Amish farmers always rotate grazing into the farm system.

So lets graze that same field.  When a grazing animals eats forage the body absorbs what it needs after its digestive system has broken the cellulose down and passes the rest through. This seems to me the quickest way to start recycling the nutrients that there is.  A very small amount of the minerals and vitamins were absorbed by the animals, the excess goes through and it goes back on the soil it came from to be recycled the way it has done for thousands of years.

I have been told goat meat is the most nutritious meat of the domesticated animals we eat. This is because of the varietyof grass and brush they eat.  You are what you eat, they say. And goats know how and are athletic enough to get the good stuff.  We need to provide our beef with a highly nutritious diet so they will provide us with a highly nutritious diet.

Farming seems to be difficult to do without depleting the soil of valuable nutrients.
As we go along here it looks like we will have to come up with ways to put proper nutrition back in the soil.

In some parts of the U.S. the wheat is grazed for some time before the cattle are pulled off and the wheat makes a crop.  This looks to be a great way to increase profit and nutrient density.

Thousands of head of cows are grazed on corn stocks in the winter as a cheap source of feed.  It looks to me like this is a great system to add nutrients back into the soil.

This is all done because of electric fence.  Power fence is the technology that has the potential to help us graze animals for better sustainability of resources, graze areas that were impossible to graze without it, increase profit with more effective grazing, and control animals in a safe and effective manner.

The energizers of today are so much more reliable than in the past (30 years ago). Along with this, the components it takes to make an electric fencing system work such as the grounding methods, wire, insulators, posts, and all the other components are better too.

Buy high quality products and they will last longer with less problems.  Learn how to put the fence up correctly. You must also learn how to train animals to power fence.

I keep hearing how we are going to have to increase production to feed the world as the population  increases.  As I drive around the country and other parts of the world I see so much wasted or unused feed that cattle could utilize, then naturally fertilize, then be used for highly nutritious protein to help feed the world.

This looks to me like a great opportunity for young or newcomers to agriculture to get started in the business when they have not much capital.  It also looks like a great way for operations that don’t have the time or the energy to utilize these areas of production to get them used and create more profit, as well as creating a more healthy environment through proper grazing.

To get this to work we need to learn to use the technology of power fence and water systems, plus the skill of animal handling, and use proper grazing methods that ensure sustainability.

It is so exiting and encouraging to look to the future and see the possibilities that beef production has for helping the world solve some of the challenges it faces.

The use of the technology of electric fence will help make this possible.  I encourage you to use it.

Don’t forget nutrition.  We need to eat a good balance of foods that nourish and satisfy our body’s.  I believe beef can play a big part in this.  I also know that by eating it I am helping create balance in nature.

Eating a good steak is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Well almost …

~ Curt Pate


Eat Steak

As Curt said in his latest blog post, we all need to do our part to make this environment work. Climate change and other environmental issues have a real effect on our industry. It’s up to us to be the best stewards we can be of the land and livestock under our care in the ranching way of life. So in the spirit of Curt’s latest blog post, I propose we all do like Reverend Horton Heat says and “Eat Steak. Let’s do our best to contribute some positive energy towards the balance of things.

~ Jesse Bussard