Cattlemen enter the fifth dimension

The fifth dimension is more than a musical group it is a new way of looking at the cattle industry. Mike Nichols, U.S. Cattle and Equine Technical Services for Zoetis and Robin Falkner, managing veterinarian for cattle and equine technical services for Zoetis explained this concept during their presentation at the 2014 Cattle Industry Convention Cattlemen’s College.

The first four dimensions as they impact decisions in the cattle business are cost, return on investment, efficiency and time. As described by Nichols and Falkner the fifth dimension is community. Specifically Nichols and Falkner wondered how do the actions of a single producer affect the larger beef community.

Nichols a story about a trip he tool recently with his family. As they were passing a large feedlot his daughter said, “if that is where our beef comes from I am not sure I want to eat beef”. He said her comment made him look at the feedlot in a new way, not just as a cattle feeding operation but as the place were his food was produced. The feedlot had a dust problem which at times caused traffic to slow down on the major highway next to the feedlot.

If his daughter, who has been exposed to the beef industry all her life, had a reaction like that Nichols wondered if other people, who have no connection to the beef industry, had the same reaction as they passed that feedlot. Nichols said nearly 73,000 cars a day passed by this feedlot. For many people in those cars this may be their one and only exposure to the cattle feeding industry.

Falkner said producers needs to think of their operations as a billborad advertising the beef industry and the impact it can have on people who drive by their farms, ranches, or feedlots. Producers need to think about their individual actions and how they might impact the beef community in general.

“People judge how much we care by what they see,” Falkner said.


Categories: Uncategorized


Senior Field Editor, High Plains/Midwest Ag Journal.


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