The Big Sandy Mountaineer -

New Year Resolutions for Farmers and Ranchers


January 16, 2019

January of every year has lots of farm forums around the state of Montana. Except for delivery of grain and feeding livestock agriculture farmers and ranchers are finding time to attend.

I heard the other day that there is still a need for health insurance for farmers and ranchers, but no one seems to be visiting about that.

Speakers are discussing with attendees that they need to write a business plan every year. Revisit your skills to determine training you may need to learn, i.e. agricultural forums.

What three basic business skills do you need? Financial? Production? What new products can we grow? How do we market better? What is your tolerance for risk? What is your capacity to deal with ambiguity? What does it mean to be successful? Spend time defining success. Is it the number of acres you manage, the tractors you own, the Cow/Calf operation, or gross sales? Is your definition different from your partner or family members? How much cash flow do you need? How do we make money in this business? Why are we in this business? Is the land your legacy?

As mentioned last week USDA has loans and grants available to help add value to your operation. It also has a mentorship, SCORE. To visit with them you have to wait till the government is no longer shut down.

"Don't get mad get involved," was spoken at one of the forums and it's no truer then with the development of FAKE MEAT. If you haven't heard of fake meat, it's here. I'm not talking about "meat" made from soy beans or vegetables. I'm talking about meat created in a lab from calf fetuses.

The blood is drawn from calf fetus, is called fetal Bovine Serum. It is the most popular methods for cell collection. The cells are put into a growth compound composed of gases, sugars, fats, minerals, acid, vitamins, hormones, cytokins, and signaling modecules.

The cells grow in their mother on the skeleton of the calf, put when you are producing beef in the science lab the meat of the cultured cells grow on scaffoids. According to Doug Somkey, "The cells can also be grown in bioreactors, but they must be stretched to mimic muscle movements". After they are grown they are "harvested" and sold as meat. This approach to meat seems farfetched, but it is already being sold in grocery stores.

According to Pat Brown, CEO, Impossible Foods "Today's Impossible Burger requires 75% less water and 95% less land and generates about 87% lower greenhouse emissions than a conventional from cows. "


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