Jamie) Welcome back to Farm Factor! In Ag, as elsewhere, technology advances daily. See how information from carcass data collection pays off on a Kansas cattle ranch.
(Bob) Ken Stielow was adding value, before value-added was cool. Artificial insemination still hasn’t caught on in a big way among commercial cattlemen, but several decades ago the Kansas cattleman gave it try, on 400 Angus cows. (Stielow) I thought eventually we would be able to differentiate between cattle, that cattle weren’t just cattle. At that time even Angus cattle were considered to be a better commodity in terms of producing premium beef but that is about all we knew. But we were finding out that there were differences in Angus cattle and that intrigued me so we kind of got into a little carcass data collection. (Bob) That early interest in A-I opened the door for sire testing projects that in turn opened doors to lots of telling numbers. (Stielow) The first cattle that we sent to slaughter and got carcass data on, I was kind of shocked at, one, they didn’t grade as well as I thought they would and two, the variability within the herd that was relatively genetically closely bred. And with the data, we have been able to change that a lot. (Bob) Much has changed since those days, and it’s easier to get carcass data and apply it to make changes in a herd. (Stielow) I think mostly it is a mentality, packers understand that if they help you get better cattle, that they will get better cattle in the future and they are not as secretive as they used to be. I think it’s a broadening of the whole mind set of the industry. (Bob) Leadership roles in the beef industry over the years reinforced the importance of marbling and quality in driving beef value, a lesson Stielow acted on early to improve his herd. I’m Bob Cervera.
(Jamie) Stay with us after the break for this week’s Kansas Farm Bureau Update.