If We’ve Won a Battle, Shouldn’t We Continue to Fight the War?

Leave a comment

If We’ve Won a Battle, Shouldn’t We Continue to Fight the War?

Recently the Department of Labor proposed for the outlawing of children to work on farms, including family farms. Within twelve hours, the story was changed to the outlawing children to work on non-family farms. After another twelve hours, the proposition was dropped, no more comments, no more issues.

Was anyone else amazed at the urgency to drop this proposition? The government received so much resistance that they dropped the issue within twenty four hours. One controversial subject came up that was going to hurt everyone in the family ranching/farming business and all of them came together and fought. Incredible.

Here was the issue with the proposition. Many of the family owned and operated agricultural businesses depend heavily on the involvement of the children. Chores such as rounding up cattle, baling hay, harvesting wheat, cleaning stalls, and fixing fence are chores children have done for years. To the outside world (citizens not associated with such agricultural businesses and families), such hard work may seem harsh but the truth is, many of us who worked with our parents growing up, enjoyed it and wouldn’t replace our experiences if we had the chance. Raising kids to have a hard work ethic and to get jobs done teaches them that hard work pays off. We were raised as “do-ers” and even though some of us go back the agricultural industry, we are successful even though we don’t make six figures. This new proposed labor law would keep parents from raising their children to work hard or to help neighbors, would this have contributed to child obesity or raising a generation even more dependent on TV and video games?  Next, co-curricular agricultural programs such as FFA and 4-H would have been improvised by getting rid of animal raising and business programs such as Supervised Agricultural Experiences which teaches students to be effective business people in their field of interest. Students go through these programs and go to college with an experience that cannot be taught by textbooks. If this new law had passed, how would our students learn to understand business, agriculture, or life skills?

The government was not aware of not only how important children are important to agriculture, but also how important agriculture is important to our children. In a society where the local McDonalds is replacing their playgrounds with video games in the restaurant, our children need all of the stability and hard work ethic that they can get. The agricultural industry spoke up. We not only spoke up where the government could hear us, but we spoke up enough for them to drop a proposal in twenty four hours. We are large and we can be heard, so why are we only speaking up when the government jeopardizes our culture? Our industry, our families, and our businesses are always being tried by the government, we need to speak up more and educate our country about agriculture. It has been proved that we can, but now, we just need to apply ourselves more often.

I spent this summer working on our family ranch. In this picture I was replacing old net wire with panels in order to make our shipping pens safer and more efficient


Tasty Meat with Societal Benefits?

Leave a comment

Tasty Meat with societal benefits?

The impossibility of veganism in today’s society

All throughout high school and walking through the Texas A&M campus, students raise awareness about moral veganism. What I understand about “moral veganism” is that the person is a vegan by choice for the benefit of animals which brings up the difference between veganism and vegetarianism (as I’m sure you all already know), vegans refuse to buy or use anything made from animal by products even if the by products are acquired from live animals in a humane way (milk, eggs, ect.). It’s very interesting to talk to some of these citizens and look at some of their pamphlets as they try to bring people to the good side. I talked about some of the fallacies in their arguments in “Animal Rights and Agriculturalists” but they do in fact have disturbing pictures that is a good persuasive technique to promote moral veganism. So how exactly are these vegans successful in their moral veganism? If they live in Western society, they’re probably not real vegans by their own definition.

“A vegan (pronounced VEE-gun) is someone who, for various reasons, chooses to avoid using or consuming animal products. While vegetarians choose not to use flesh foods, vegans also avoid dairy and eggs, as well as fur, leather, wool, down, and cosmetics or chemical products tested on animals. Why VEGAN? Veganism, the natural extension of vegetarianism, is an integral component of a cruelty-free lifestyle. Living vegan provides numerous benefits to animals’ lives, to the environment, and to our own health–through a healthy diet and lifestyle,” (vegan.org).This seems like a good, thorough definition and someone who wanted to go vegan could follow this definition well if they followed the correct diet. Not exactly, this western, American society does not support veganism, citizens may, but society doesn’t. I don’t mean this by “no one likes veganism” but I mean it by the fact that one cannot run from animal by-products since they are so vital to human health and technology.

Let’s start with the term “zoo-therapy”. Zoo-therapy has two definitions, one is the use of living animals/pets as therapy, the second is the use of by-products for medicinal purposes. For this blog, the second definition is being used. “Wild and domestic animals and their by-products (e.g., hooves, skins, bones, feathers, tusks) form important ingredients in the preparation of curative, protective and preventive medicine,”(Alves, Rosa). The most popular use of by-products in everyday medicine- gelatin, made from bones, is used most commonly in gel-caps for pain killers and other pills. Next, insulin, a very important medicine for diabetic patients comes from the pancreas of livestock. The glands of livestock also provide adrenaline, heparin, thyroid tables, and hormones for certain medications and supplements. (agriscience.msu.edu) Porcine and bovine (pig and cow) heart valves are also used for human heart transplants. This is just the tip of the iceberg for animal by products in medication.  As western medication becomes more advanced and the world population continues growing, the demand for better and more accessible medicine will increase greatly.

Now for all the other categories of animal by-product usage… I’m not going to list all of these uses so instead, I am going to make a table derived from various sources.

Raw Product/Processed product Uses
Hide/Leather/Glue/Hair Leather goods, paper boxes, sandpaper, plywood, plaster, upholstery, ointments (lanoline), sporting goods, bread, paint brushes
Fats Soap, candles, fertilizers, animal feed, industrial oils, lubricants, glycerin, fabric softener, shampoo, washing powder, paint, crayons, toothpaste
Bones/ Gelatin Refining Sugar, case hardening steel, crochet needles, bone china, film for photography, x-ray, T.Vs, computers, phones, carpets, low fat butter, beer, fruit juice, bullets, wine, train brakes, cream cheese, whipped cream, corks, yogurt, paper
Body Chemicals Detergents, pesticides, industrial oils, coolant for tires, foam for use on runways, cigarettes
Blood Cancer research, shoe polish

So with some of this information, we can imagine a world without the use of animals. Expensive clothing (clothing that is affordable today), limited construction, limited personal hygiene, little to no advancement in medicine, lower life expectancies, limited steel production, limited production of goods, little technological advancement, little to no art, dull shoes and most importantly, starvation from the lack of proper nutrition and lack of food. Always keep in mind that the world population is growing and without animals, many would die. Also, humans are in fact omnivores, meaning we are created to eat meat (whether it is religious or scientific), meat is essential to our diet. I found an interesting article that discussed the importance of proper human nutrition during a pregnancy (sounds a little obvious), however, it stresses the importance of meat in a newborn/toddler’s diet, (Planck).  So a moral consumer, would be one to look after themselves, their children, and just through proper diets, the world. Support nutrition, support agriculture, and support animal respect and animal producers.

Note: Rephrases and quotes have been cited in this blog. If you would like to follow these links please see the work’s cited below.

Works Cited

Alves, Romulu, and Ierece Rosa. “Why Study the Use of Animal Products in Traditional Medicines.” Journal of  

        Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine. Biomed Central, 2005. Web. 01 May 2012.


“Animal Products in Everyday Life.” MSU.edu. Web. 01 May 2012


“By-Products of the Meat Industry.” Tamu.edu. Texas A&M University. Web. 01 May 2012. <http://savell


Dunk, Marcus. “Bullets, Bread and Beer, Tambourines and Toothpaste… and the 180 Other Things You Can to Do

with a PIG.” Daily Mail. 3 Oct. 2009. Web. 01 May 2012. <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-


“Learn.” Vegan Action. Web. 01 May 2012. <http://vegan.org/learn/&gt;.

Lev, Efraim. “Traditional Healing with Animals (Zootherapy) Medieval to Present Day Levantine Practice.” Journal of

              Ethnopharmacology. Science Direct, 27 Nov. 2002. Web. 01 May 2012.



Planck, Nina. “Death By Veganism.” New York Times. 21 May 2007. Web. 01 May 2012.



due to editing difficulties, some citations are not in the correct format

Texas State Fair Internship

Leave a comment


Last fall I had the fantastic opportunity to be an intern for the Texas State Fair in Dallas. It was only a four day internship working with Big Tex’s Barnyard where fairgoers can learn about the show animals and agriculture in general. On our first day I was was re-assigned to work with the Southwest Dairy Farmers representative. All of my previous cattle experience was with beef cows and so I was extremely thrilled to learn to work with the dairy cows. Since there were several milking demonstrations a day, there were three dairy cows that we rotated for the demonstrations. One old Holstein Cow, a Brown Swiss, and a Jersey Cow. The demonstration stall had machine milker that I became a pro at. The audience could see how the milkers worked and how much milk a cow could give. We had our routine: as the audience started to arrive, the cow was taken from her stall into the demonstration stall. As the Southwest Dairy Farmer began his presnetation, the cow was given a scoop of feed and once the rep started to explain the process, I dipped the cows teats in iodine dip, wiped clean, and the milking suction device was placed on the four teats. It was always pointed out that if the suction hurt the cow, she would stop eating, kick off the machine and probably kick me in the process. That didn’t happen so it was evident she was comfortable, especially since the pressure of the milk was being relieved. After she gave us a certain amount of milk (we pre-determined the amount in order to allow her to give milk each time) the machine would be taken off and she would be cleaned again. Once the presentation was over, we put her back in her stall where she would lie down comfortably and chew her cud. (Cattle are ruminant animals meaning that they have a four compartment stomach so in between switching compartments, their “cud”, or already chewed food is regergetated, and chewed on some more in order to continue the digestion process, usually this is a sign of relaxation) We usually only used two cows a day and rotated them, that way a cow got a day off but still had to get milked. It was interesting talking to some of the fair goers and one of the most popular questions/subjects was drinking raw milk. We couldn’t give any raw milk because of liablility reasons but a lot of people were very interested in it. At the end of the day we took all three cows to the milking room of the fair and milked the cows out, in order to relieve the pressure, and placed them in their little paddock. I was so amazed by the machinery and the milking process. The suction on the milking part didn’t need any sort of attachment to keep it attached. the suction enough kept it on while still keeping comfort for the cow. The iodine dip keeps the milk and machine as clean as possible and the milk never is never touched by the human. Since we weren’t keeping the milk, we simply discarded it but the cleaning process of the machine is extremely important as well. The whole process just blew my mind. Of course I have to report on the three cows themselves, the old Holstein was known as pokey because she had no hurry to get anywhere. She took her time and loved attention. The Brown Swiss cow was the exact opposite, she was in a hurry and if you were in her way, she ran you over but she was still sweet and did what you wanted her to without any hesitation. My favorite, the Jersey Cow, was the cutest little cow and loved to play. She would playfully nudge you when you went to put her halter on and was just a sweet heart. Just a little tip, don’t lead dairy cows like you lead show cattle, they don’t like being on a short lead, they like a little slack (no pun intended).

Even though I mainly worked with the dairy cows, they were put up before the barn yard closed so I worked a little at the barn yard. Another tip: If you are going to a fair and not showing an animal, please do NOT pet the animals or ask to pet the animals if you are not in a petting zoo. Even though most of these animals are friendly for liability purposes they can not let you pet them… but there are unfriendly animals that will bite you. We had a longhorn steer on display and dispite the “Do Not Pet Me” signs every six inches, it seemed like one in every three people tried to grab his horn. He was not a mean steer but it would be so easy for the steer to simply move his head and break someones hand in between his horn and the gate. The sad part was that most of the people trying to grab his horns were over the age of 25, english speaking, and litterate so there was no excuse… Other than that it was a blast talking to some of these people and engaging them on animal industry discussions.

If you ever get a chance to work with the state fair or even just go visit it, go for it, you just may learn a thing or two without even realizing it.   

Animal Rights and Agriculturalists

1 Comment

This type of subject deserves a story….


When I was 17, the cattle market was booming. Good rainfalls brought good calves and good grass, which good grass is quite rare in my part of the state. Well, that year seemed like the perfect year to start a cattle business, so I did what every other teenage girl strives to do, I decided to start my own cattle herd. My father was running 900 head and had 20 perfect 2 year old heifers and a pair of bulls to go along with them so he offered to sell me his heifers at market price. So I came up with a business deal, I would buy 18 heifers clean and clear, finance the other two (with interest) as well as the two bulls. I would lease the land per acre, each month and I would compensate my father for the feed at the end of the year. I was ecstatic the minute I signed that check. I immediately went on-line and purchased hot pink ear tags (the neighbor already had blue) as well as the other necessities needed for raising cattle and created an excel spreadsheet compatible with my computer and my iPad for record keeping. Every time that I could go and check on them, I would bring a sack of cotton seed cake (a pelleted feed that is like candy to them) and the minute I started honking my horn, they would start running and bellering (an excited moo) towards the truck to be first in line for the cake. Looking at my pretty ladies with their pink ear tags I would swell up with pride especially when calving season began. I think that I can speak for most ranchers and farmers when I say that there is a sense of pride when they look over their thriving herd or good crop, a sense of accomplishment after hard work. Now when it comes down to business, I believe in one thing; a quality product starts with quality care. That is a saying that I take to heart. During my first semester of college, I became Beef Quality Assured certified (I will have a blog about that in the future) and managed my herd away from home. I am continuing my animal productio education by going to seminars and speeches for livestock producers. Keep in mind that I was raised and taught throughout my life to have the highest respect for animals. However, there is a fine line between what has been known of as animal rights, and animal respect. The way animal rights activists are going now, is that they will not be satisfied with animal producers until all of us give our cattle individual temper-pedic beds and we keep our calves in our rooms as we cuddle with them. I can not fit that many calves in my room, nor can I afford to buy them all temper-pedic beds but I can work with them calmly and with the best, most humane livestock handling equipment avaliable. Through safe handling and a good enivrionment, well tempered cattle and on overall good product will be the result.

Now I want to get to the point of this blog… when someone accuses me of being cruel to my animals, my feelings get hurt. Plain and simple. Someone who believes that they know my story and think that they know how I feel about my cattle (cattle in general) and tells me that I don’t care for the well being of my animals, it breaks my heart… PETA finds the very few animal producers that are inhumane and video tapes/takes pictures and claims that every animal producer treats their animals that way. I’m not going to defend inhumane producers because sadly, there are very few, however, I’m defending the most of us who are honorable and who treat every animal with respect. Here’s my argument, if animal activists can use circular reasoning to sling mud on the agricultural industry, I can use circular reasoning to sling mud on them. For instance, A PETA woman is an animal activist, she posed naked on a grill, family friendly people do not pose naked on grills at a public event, therefore, every animal activist is not a family friendly person. A little ridiculous isn’t it, I don’t know these people and I’m making false assumptions about them. Is that fair? How about this one- A man was caught shoplifting from a convenient store, the man was associated with PETA, therefore, all people associated with PETA shoplift. Once again, it’s not fair to make these false assumptions about people I do not know. So why is it accepted for these people to do that to us animal producers? Even more puzzling, how are they becoming influential with these false accusations? I honestly believe that the root of all this, is the lack of agricultural education in today’s society. There are plenty of agriculture education classes in small rural towns and you if you pay attention, it’s rare that you see an animal rights activist that was in FFA or 4-H. These programs need to be expanded in to more urban areas to students that do not have experience with livestock or any other agricultural industry. There is an FFA program in Chicago where public school students are chosen by lottery to attend and learn about agriculture. These student didn’t all grow up with agriculture experience and with this educational experience, they were exposed to the industry and a lot of them enjoyed it. http://ilfbpartners.com/chicago-ag-sciences-high-school/

I started to ramble a little but I honestly think that education for our students in public schools and engagement of the community will help strengthen the support for agriculture. We need agricultural advocates, we need a community who understands not only the industry but the good, honest people behind that industry as well.Those of you reading that may be animal rights activists or PETA members, I ask only that you have an open mind and walk in our shoes a little bit. You may just find that we’re not that bad, just misunderstood

Where I’m From, We Say Howdy

Leave a comment

To all of those people who may stumble upon this blog, I welcome you and invite you to stay a while. I am new to blogging but a mentor once told me that in the midst of college chaos, blogging may help keep my sanity. I will update y’all on if it’s working or not. Since this is a public blog, I am going to tell all of you a little about myself. Now to break the ice and be truthful to all of you, I am an agricultural advocate, animal science major, Native to West Texas, and I am a huge meat eater. My hopes for this blog is to educate the public on agriculture as well as inform fellow agriculturalists about new and upcoming products or programs (I may also throw in a few rants) I grew up on a beef cattle ranch in west Texas and ran 20 head of black baldies myself and I am always looking for things to improve my production. Now for a heads up, some of my blogs will be controversial, so I invite anyone to comment with opinions or if I get something wrong, correct me and I will do a little more research to see where I got the information wrong. I do ask that if you do comment, which ever side you’re on, please be respectful and careful with your words, because once it’s on the Internet, you’re words will stay on the Internet. Once again welcome and I wish you all will have a fantastic day.
Hanah Georges

West Texas Tough

%d bloggers like this: