* A demonstration of the power of reducing cost of production in a pasture-based dairy
* Grain-feeding is not the cause, nor grass-feeding the cure, for E. coli O157:H7
* A Nutrition and Metabolism Society get together in the Pacific Northwest
* A hammered dulcimer gathering
All in one post!
On April 9th I spoke to the Douglas County Livestock Association's Spring Livestock Conference. The audience was an engaged one, and I enjoyed some wonderful interaction with several attendees. One of them was Craig Reed, a reporter for the Capital Press. He wrote an article about my presentation, which was posted on the 21st. If I could make a change, it would be in the title, “Expert sees protein as balm for obesity woes.” I’d replace “protein” with “meat” or “fat.” Despite that, I think it’s a pretty good article in a widely distributed agricultural publication. It was also a great exercise in “sharpening-up” the message.
The Power of Reducing Cost of ProductionAmerican agriculture has been thoroughly infected with the “more-and-bigger’s-better” virus that seems endemic to the rest of American culture. The focus of American agriculture has been on increasing production per head or per acre, rather than on the cost of that increase production. There’s an old joke about a rancher lamenting the fact that he was losing one dollar for every calf he sold. His solution was “I’d better sell more calves!” Humor only works when there’s truth in it, today’s high prices for cattle and sheep notwithstanding.
There are three economic levers a farmer or rancher can manipulate to influence the profitability of their farm or ranch: the amount of products they produce, the price they get for their products, and what it costs to produce those products. The cost of production may be the most powerful of these levers.
|Concrete pathways, sound fences,|
water in each paddock,
pasture renovation. Essential expenses!
|Central Oregon pasture in April|
|Steve Schneider, Dee Dee Tibbits, Yours Truly, Lawrence Huntley,|
Mick Doherty (my teacher), Rick Fogel (made my dulcimer)