Now leaving Stucky Ranch. Had a great lunch (courtesy of Fence Post Catering)! Guess what? It was beef! It was really good BBQ beef, beans, spicy chips, and ranch pasta salad with veggies.
During lunch, Gordon Stucky spoke about calf weaning (getting a calf off milk) and how to do it as stress-free as possible. It’s kind of touchy subject because it sounds kind of cruel, but at the same, every calf has to be weaned. For his part, Gordon does everything to make it as stress free as possible and to be as considerate of the calf as possible. He is about as far from the evil villian rancher as you can get. He’s much closer to the “Aw shucks” good ‘ol boy cowboy you might find in a romance novel. Not that he’ll ever talk to me again for saying so. And I’m kind of going off general impression here…can’t say I’ve ever read a cowboy romance novel…
But I digress.
Dr. Dan Thomson also gave a very forceful talk on the public impression of agriculture. As a vet and a policymaker, he feels criticized by certain groups and responded to some of the arguments. Without going point by point, his response generally can be summed with two of his statements.
Do cows get mistreated in the beef industry? Yes.
Is it common? No.
He was very clear that no one gets sicker over videos of cattle abuse than the industry. In general, he feels that perceptions of the industry overall is driven by the actions of a small few. He points to numerous standards, laws, and training that has come from the industry to prevent poor animal welfare.
It was a good presentation that supplied food for thought.