MM Livestock Co

  (Wildomar, California)
It just makes sense.
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Testing Time

It's that time of year again. The state vet will be out in a few days to Bangs test the herd and Tric thest the bulls that are for sale, all the cattle that are breeders must be bangs tested annually. The testing is to make sure that they are free from brucellosis, tuberculosis, and johnes disease. We also do an Eliza test on the sheep to make sure the flock is free of CL and a variety of other potential problems. It's not a fun day but necessary. We have good handling systems so stress on the animals is minimal. I utilize the time that the animals are in close to check condition and body score, preg check any animals that I'm not sure of. We see our stock every day but don't put "hands" on them unless there is a need. They aren't pets and need to keep their instincts sharp in case of predators. The cows move willingly for horses and stock dogs as do the sheep. The critters at the home place are a little different, they need to be used to human interaction because they serve as a teaching tool. The only way people are truly going to learn about the importance of grass based livestock production is to get "close up" with some of the animals. I don't keep cattle at the home place for 2 reasons. 1 not enough pasture, and 2 they are big enough to REALLY hurt someone if they get spooked. A friend suggested a couple of miniature cows would be nice but I can't justify feeding something that for me, has no function other than being cute. Other people love the small breeds but I just can't see the logic. Our Belties are as small as I want to go. It's a personal preference and there is a niche for the smaller cattle. Banker, Gracie and I had better get busy, we have a long day ahead of us. Meg

New Labeling Law for 2012

Starting January 1, 2012 Nutritional labeling will be required on over 40 retail meat and poultry cuts packaged for retail sale. Small farms are exempt from the requirement but I don't think it is a bad idea to be prepared anyway. The labels are available free on the USDA website and what we have decided to do is use them in an approved method as follows: Rather than label each piece of meat we are making a folder to take to the Farmers Markets with the Nutritional information in it. People can flip through to the cut they are choosing and read the analysis. This way we only have to print the information once. We like to stay ahead of the curve, and since we already have to have USDA inspection information clearly visible, as well as source verification, heritage breed information etc. on the label, having the analysis data might be a good thing. We will see if people make use of the information or not. It's not that much more work to keep the officials happy. We are harvesting beef again in 2 weeks and I have room for 3 people in the truck if anyone wants to ride along to the plant. Give mea call and let me know. 951-805-7341. Meg
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