Tag Archives: humane

Why I Use Antibiotics

Antibiotics are amazing. They can do so much, so quickly! I want to tell you a story about one calf and one shot of antibiotics.


We found this little calf in the morning. Her mom gave birth to her in water during the night and left her. She was very ill. Very cold, very close to death. In fact, when we first saw her, we thought she was already dead. We loaded her in the back of the polaris and took her to the hospital pen. We dried her off, treated her with antibiotics, electrolytes, fluids, iodine on her naval, and some vitamins. We followed the label on the antibiotics and the advice of our veterinarian to the letter.  A few hours later,  she was able to stand up by herself. She was ready to go back to her mom in about a day.

Before and after, in just a matter of hours.

Before and after, in just a matter of hours.

My point here is, despite what Subway would have you think, antibiotics are not always bad when used in animal agriculture. They actually save a lot of lives and a lot of suffering. By the time this calf hits the market, no residue will be left. So please think about that next time food marketers talk about antibiotic free.

Antibiotics are a hot button issue within agriculture right now. Farmers and ranchers are working very hard to fight antibiotic resistance, because we realize how this can and will impact us. Personally, our ranch uses superior genetics, nutrition and vaccines to prevent illness. But as I showed here, sometimes we still have problems and we need to be able to do the humane thing and treat our animals. It’s the right this to do.

I urge you to talk to other farmers,  ranchers and veterinarians to learn how and why they use antibiotics on their ranches. Coming from agriculture and seeing how we have changed our protocols, I feel like our general public might not know what we have changed and why, in regards to this topic. Fear and half-truths have been used often to promote “antibiotic free” meat marketing agenda.

I even got the opportunity to learn more about antibiotics at the Alltech convention I attended last May. Meat scientist Dr. Yancey wrote a nice recap about it, you can read here.

Is antibiotic resistance a problem? Absolutely. Do we know for certain what is causing it? Kinda. Is agriculture doing something about it? Yes.  It is a complex issue. But,  friends and readers, feel safe about the meat your are eating. Trust that your friendly neighborhood ranchers are aware of this problem and we are working hard to continue to keep our food supply safe and affordable. 

If you have more questions or would like a list of more experts, veterinarians, farmers or ranchers to talk to please leave me a comment below and I will do my best to accommodate you. Thank you.


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Filed under Ag, agriculture, animals, Beef, Know a California Farmer, Ranch life, Rants, Uncategorized

Like a Fat Kid in a Candy Store

I feel like a fat kid in a candy store right now. My idol. My hero. Dr. Temple  Grandin is coming to speak in Chico tomorrow. AND I GET TO GO. Dr. Grandin is pretty much the reason why I am here, that this blog is here. Her work changed my life, my Ranch, and my point of view about animal agriculture. Because of her, our cattle have a better life and death. Because of her I have a better understanding of what my animals need to thrive. I’ve been looking forward to this day for YEARS!

I first learned about Dr. Grandin in college. Her books touched me deeply, I even started to get a masters in a field where I could work with people living with Autism. I made every member of my family read her books, I gave her books away as Christmas gifts. We re-designed our corrals based on her teachings. I started “opening my barn doors”, like Dr. Grandin advocated farmers and ranchers to do.

I really hope I get to meet her. I would just die. Meeting Dr. Grandin is in the top 10 on my bucket list.

This opportunity means so much to me. I can’t wait to share with the Beef Jar Readers!!!



Filed under Ag, Video