Beef Up

We were talking about breeds of beef cattle in one of my classes and I thought I would spread the knowledge of the Charolais breed of cattle. They are well-known group of animals among farmers.  This breed is known for that pure size they will bring to a herd. I will briefly cover the origin, disadvantage, and advantage of this specific animal.

The Charolais were originally from the French area. These cattle were first known as “Charolais” in the 16th and 17th century. These animals were initially used for draft, milk, and Charolais Bullmeat. In the early years breeders were selective towards the size and muscling genetics. They also stressed the rapid growth so they would reach a large size; enabling them to be used for draft power.  They were kept in Europe until 1930 where they traveled to Mexico.  Then they were introduced into the American markets around 1960’s. These animals were selected to bring heavier muscling and a larger frame to a heard.  For a heard to qualify to as pure breed they have to be 31/32.

This breed has very few disadvantages recorded against them.  One of the few is that they are temperament. This means that they do not like as much human contact as other breeds might. Another down fall to this breed is that their large frame prevents judging at less than 1000 Charolais Cow-Calfpounds. The biggest problem that I have found on the breed is dystocia. This means Charolais have been known to have trouble calving.  Those were the only three problems I could find with the breed.

On the other side of the argument there are many advantages to the breed. One of the most renowned advantages is heavy muscling. They are also recognized for their large frame and learn body. This breed is acknowledged for rapid growth on their calves.  Charolais are also notorious for their aggressive grazing in high temperatures

As you can see these animals have a very rich history on farms. The Charolais breed has very many advantages to the few disadvantages. Overall these animals can bring a high reward for introducing them to your heard.

Let me know your knowledge of this breed or other interesting facts in the comments below!

Learning Competition

          Today, I helped my adviser with the Southwest Missouri district judging contest. These are some of the busiest and most rewarding times for agriculture teachers all over the state. There is so much time that is put in by both the advisers and students. Between countless hours in the classroom and practice contest these students gain a new and more enhanced look at their perspective contest.  There are twenty five contests that students can compete in, in Missouri.
25 Contests:
Parliamentary Procedure
Agriculture sales
Agriculture issues
Job interviewing
FFA knowledge contest
Sophomore speaking
Creed Speaking
Public speaking
Freshmen speaking
Dairy foods
Agriculture Mechanics
Dairy cattle
Dairy showmen
Nursery and landscaping
Judging Dairy Cattle          My time as a high school FFA student I only participated in two contests but I made it to state level in both. The first contest that I participated in was dairy cattle judging. This was an eye opening experience because I had only been around our beef cattle herd. There was a whole new way of looking at livestock that I had never thought about. My dad as the adviser gave me all the pointers and knowledge he could but my team did not qualify until my junior year.
          The next team he set me up on was dairy food judging. My team and I took to this contest like cows to cud. (pun intended) As we attended the practice contest we got the hang of it, and took second in the central district. This was not a huge deal because the year before my dad coached the team to first.DF16
          But since I had only been a part of those two I thought it would be a good idea to get familiar with a few more contests since one day I hope to advise my students to winning as well. So this year I volunteered for helping with the agriculture mechanics contests. This was another good experience; it reminded me of everything we covered in my constructions and agriculture science 2 classes in high school.
          Overall, I believe these contest help students learn about different subject areas and then apply that knowledge to compete against other students on a higher level. The contests help bring a competitive vibe to learning, which will help some students excel.
          Let me know what you think about contest, or if you competed in any in high school or college.

Weaning the Herd

They say you learn something new every day; and, if you listen to what people say I believe this to be true.  For example in my veterinarian science class, this is a discussion based class. We came across a topic that is relative to my home operation of beef cattle.  It was on the basis of a newer type of weaning calves. A nose guard that restricts calves from sucking on the udder of their mother, but does not inhibit them from eating grass, hay, or drinking water.

This is a great invention because the weaning process in the past has been very stressful for the farmer. The farmer has to worry about getting the herd up and then separating the cows from the calves. This may sound easy; however, the mothers do not like to leave their baby calves. Then once the farmer has separated the mothers and baby calves they like to test the fences of the corral that you have dividing them.  This new process of weaning would eliminate the separation process.


The old way of weaning is not only hard on the farmer; but, it is also hard on the herd as well. The cows would be poor eaters for the first part of weaning, because they would want to stand by the fence instead of being out and grazing in the pasture like they should. Then the calves would be on the other side and be doing relatively the same thing. They would bawl for their mothers to come help them even though the separation is inevitable.


I have only found two cons for this new process of weaning. The first one being that you have to get the cows up twice. You have to get them up the first time to insert the nose guard into the calves’ nose and the second time to remove the guards. The other con which is probably the biggest factor for most farmers is this new method requires you buy the nose guards. This is the biggest because most farmers won’t want to spend more money; they typically like to have a more conservative approach.

As you can see this new way of weaning calves has many pros and not many cons. There are always hybrids of this process too, because you can do it the old way by separation. Then if you have a calf that is still sucking, you can put one of these guards on to keep them from being able to suck. This was just a new and interesting idea that I heard about this past week.

Let me know if you have any tips or feedback on this process of weaning!