We know more than just cattle, although we’re just cattle kids!

Hi everyone! Well, I got the inspiration for this blog at a recent sheep workout…somewhere in Kansas! Being on the Butler Livestock Judging team, we travel all over the state of Kansas, and many surrounding states to practice judging classes of cattle, sheep, pigs and now goats! Now, growing up I was raised strictly around cattle, meaning, the majority of my agricultural knowledge centers around cattle. But, when I got to thinking about it, how much help would I be able to provide the pondering average American (who is over three-generations removed from the family farm!) if my agriculture knowledge was solely cattle-based?

            Think back a couple generations. In my grandparents day, everyone had some association with agriculture, from a few chickens in the backyard, to a milk cow in the barn. Nowadays, that’s not so much the case. The wholesome picture of the days when grandma and grandpa planted their own food, and raised their own meat are over. Today, Americans don’t have chickens or a cow to milk. They depend on the grocery store to provide them food, and sadly, they depend on the media to provide them information.

            Say you were at the airport, waiting for your flight to leave, when you start a conversation with the man sitting next to you. He finds out you are involved in the agricultural industry, and having recently seen an internet video where chickens were being abused, begins asking you questions. Many of us are so absorbed in our OWN industry, whether it be cattle, swine or sheep, we fail to stop and take the time to educate ourselves on outside industries.

            As agricultural producers, we must become exactly that…agricultural producers. How many of you know the lawful regulations for chicken cages, and what poultry producers are required to abide by? How many of you can state the difference in gestation and farrowing crates, and what their importance is to the swine industry? How many of you know the difference in animal welfare and animal rights? Okay so, maybe you can answer one or two or possibly all of these questions. But, my point is, we as agricultural producers don’t spend enough time educating ourselves to educate the public.

            The average American is still going to ask you their questions over any industry whether you are a chicken producer, horse trainer or steer showman. So prepare yourselves, and learn to love all of agriculture no matter what your specialty is 🙂

-Emily Jackson

Kinzie (from Indiana) and myself (from Texas) were both raised around the beef industry, however, we are taking the initiative to educate ourselves about other industries...like sheep for example! 🙂

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One Comment on “We know more than just cattle, although we’re just cattle kids!”


  1. Very good point. We have the responsibility to represent the agriculture industry as a whole. The consumer doesn’t know the difference between a grain farmer, someone who raises chickens or a cattle rancher, they just want someone to be there to answer their questions.

    Crystal


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