The soaring temperatures, high humidity, lack of wind, and no cloud cover created a weather event specific to a region in Southwest Kansas. The numbers are still coming in but heat stress deaths of at least 2,000 cattle in feedlots were reported by the Kansas Department of Health.
Summer mitigation protocols were put in place but the sudden weather change didn’t allow the cattle to acclimate. Heat stress deaths are rare as precautions provide ample drinking water and sprinklers cool the air. Altered feeding schedules are implemented so animals don’t generate extra heat digesting during the middle of the day. Put quite simply the protocols put in place didn’t work, “Mother Nature” won.
The life lived in a concentrated animal feed operation (CAFO) is unnatural and puts cattle in a constant state of stress.
- Bare dirt absorbs the sun
- Competition for feed trough access
- Unnatural weight gain leads to incredible obesity
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Air quality, Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD)
- Mud and Manure – Foot Rot or Lameness
The photos of rows of carcasses lined up along a farm field are terrible. How do industrial agricultural companies believe eating a stressed animal is good for us? Millions more cattle are fat right now in feedlots……suffering from heat stress that is completely preventable with grass finished beef.
Imagine……trees and grass absorbing the sun’s radiation, reducing the ground air temperature 20+ degrees. The herd can eat where they roam, getting their exercise and fresh air as they move across the landscape. Their natural diets of grasses and forbs doesn’t lead to excessive back fat or associated morbidity from obese animals.
Cattle allowed to express their instinctive behaviors on pasture do not suffer from the extra stressors. Cattle graze early and late in the day, when the sun is most intense they can retreat to the shade and ruminate, cooling their core temperature. The cow’s life expectancy grows to 20+ years while most causes of disease disappear.
Controlled animal impact cycles nutrients from the soil profile and allows the land to recover before repeat grazing. Manure is distributed across the landscape fueling the next generation of grasses. When nature’s cycles are functioning the ecosystem is in balance.
Cattle dotted across the local landscapes spread the impact on the environment. When production stays regional the carbon footprint is reduced and the local community thrives. These are some of the many reasons we believe consumers need to know their farmers.
Do you know the name of Your Farmer?
Taste the Difference!
Derek and Catherine, Grace’s Grass Fed