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The Five Freedoms of cattle

The Five Freedoms of cattle

By Dr. Ron Gill
Professor and Extension Livestock Specialist
Texas A&M University

Walmart recently released its expectations on animal welfare for its suppliers. They are adopting the “Five Freedoms,” which has been around for many years. On the surface, this may sound crazy since most of us do not think animals have rights or “freedoms.”

Before you form an opinion, try to understand what the Five Freedoms are and what is really expected from that approach to managing animal welfare.

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A walk through the birthing barn

A walk through the birthing barn

By Jessica Domel

I’m of the opinion that there’s nothing quite like a livestock show and rodeo. I’ve only been to a few in my life, but I have to say, there’s something about standing under the bright lights with my boots crunching fresh hay while the aroma of freshly cooked hot dogs fills the air. The sounds of children’s excitement as they crowd around a display of freshly-hatched chicks is just intoxicating.I forget how exciting it can be to see those first few moments of life, and I have to tell you, it’s something to behold.

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Animal care is my responsibility

Animal care is my responsibility

By Justin Dauer

I’m often puzzled by the notion that livestock are abused in pursuit of the almighty dollar.

I know some of that sentiment is generated by images seen on television or the internet of animal mistreatment. Just to set the record straight, I think anyone who abuses livestock should be out of the business. I do not condone abuse of any animal for any reason. Neither do the other farmers and ranchers I know.

But I can tell you about the welfare of my livestock.

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All vegetarian by 2050? Not so fast

All vegetarian by 2050? Not so fast

By Gene Hall

Bad news, meat lovers: We’ll all be vegetarians by the year 2050 because we’ll run out of water to produce livestock. That’s the theory in this article on Yahoo.

 These sweeping and absolute statements can be a lot more about someone’s agenda than futuristic forecasting. When you see something like this, you should ask, “Who doesn’t want anyone eating meat?” Or, “Who wants a grant to study livestock and water supplies?”

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Making up numbers–the stats of a sport called ‘Attack the Farmer’

Making up numbers–the stats of a sport called ‘Attack the Farmer’

By Gene Hall

I love baseball. Part of the fun is studying the numbers, the statistics of the game. I enjoy comparing the achievements of today’s players with those of decades ago. A few nights ago, the best player on my favorite team, Josh Hamilton, hit four home runs in a single game. He was only the 16th player in the more than a century old history of the game to do so. My grandchildren will marvel at that feat someday: “PawPaw saw that game!”

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