Kansas

Beef Chat

Aug202015

Time Well Spent

Published by Heath Larson at 5:34 AM under Coffee Shop Talk | General | Nutrition

We are beginning our favorite time of the whole year in the Larson household.  For us, the months of September and October not only mean relief from the summer heat, but they also mean much more.  Fall is Church picnics, planting flowers and grass for spring, and football tailgates.  Fall is the State Fair, the first day of school, and carving pumpkins.  Fall is cross country running, our wedding anniversary, and honey crisp apples.  Each year we seem to get a little busier during this season, but each year, we look forward to it even more.  With all this fun and tradition wrapped up into just a few short weeks, our time is a very valuable commodity.

 

My favorite 10k race of the entire year is held in the middle of September.  The awards are handmade, the mountains of post-race cookies are homemade, and you can even bet a six-pack of your favorite beverage against the race director on how fast you finish the brutally tough course.  Much of the race is run in deep sand, and what isn't sandy is usually steep and rocky!  In between the sand and rocks are 4 water crossings, two of which are deep enough to swim in.  This is not a course where you go to set records!  But afterward, sharing "war stories" from the course over a cookie or two with the other finishers, you realize that you enjoyed every brutal minute in a way that's completely different from your plain old road race.  It's a truly eclectic, yet competitive group of runners that shows up to this race, so you never know who you're going to meet or what story you will hear!  Time well spent.

 

While we grill at least once per week year round, we especially love grilling during the fall.  Growing up, one of the reasons I loved seeing my father fire up his black Weber charcoal grill was that it took a while to get the coals started and the cooking done.  Why?  Because in those minutes, a game of catch in the yard was easy to squeeze in.  Today, we try to do the same thing with our children while heating up the grill.  There's bubbles to be blown, tag to be played, and some late tomatoes to be picked.  Those precious few minutes of truly slowing down and connecting are what make us who we are as a family.  And the food can't be beat, either!

 

It takes a great deal of time and sacrifice to train for my favorite race of the year, and there are easier, more accessible races out there, but the reward of camaraderie and challenge is too much to pass up.  On a similar note, it would be easier for us to look for a quick, less healthy, more processed food option for our family meals...but it wouldn't be any tastier, nor would it bring us together in the same way.  Lean beef on the grill is a guaranteed crowd pleaser, a welcome reward after a hard day of over seeding the lawn, and a satisfying, nutrient packed recovery meal after a brutal 10k run.  Now that's what I call quality time.



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Jul272015

Beef Production, More than Just Steak

Published by Robin Kleine at 8:21 AM under Agriculture | Coffee Shop Talk | General

Often when we speak of cattle production we only think about the meat we get from these animals. A juicy rib-eye is certainly a good supper (or breakfast or lunch for that matter), but sometimes we over look the MANY other products we get from cattle. These are called by-products, or secondary items that are produced in addition to the principal product.

 

Image courtesy of the Florida Beef Council

 

Obviously leather is a by-product, as it is made from the hide of animals. Therefore, items like car upholstery, wallets, purses, coats and footballs. Did you know that you can make 20 footballs with just one cowhide?

 

From the glands and organs of cattle, we get ingredients for making asphalt, plastic, insulation, medicines and soap. FUN FACT: Insulin is perhaps the best-known pharmaceutical derived from cattle. There are 5 million diabetics in the United States, and 1.25 million of them require insulin daily. It takes the pancreases from 26 cattle to provide enough insulin to keep one diabetic person alive for a year

 

Additionally, items like piano keys, chewing gum, knife handles and other candies are made from the bones and horns of cattle.

 

For more information regarding beef cattle and beef by-products, check out this handout from the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service -- http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/outreach-extension/uploaded_files/4-h-files/files/beef-handouts/beef%20byproducts.pdf.

 

Besides beef, which cattle by-products did you use today?

 

Until next time,

Robin



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Jul032015

Celebrate Our Freedoms

Published by Kassie Curran at 4:51 AM under Coffee Shop Talk | General

With the 4th of July this week, many of us are gearing up to celebrate our country’s independence with friends and family. We see lots of “Red, White, and Blue” foods, crafts, clothing, flags, and more whether on Pinterest, in our communities, or in our homes. While I am one of those preparing to celebrate our great country with all the patriotic décor and fun foods, it is especially important for us to remember to celebrate more than just the commercial aspect of the 4th of July.

As Americans, we are lucky to have many freedoms that others around the world do not get to enjoy. This 4th of July I challenge you to be more aware of those freedoms and celebrate what they provide for us when you gather with friends and family.

Under the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights of the Declaration of Independence we have the following freedoms:

Freedom of Religion – All Americans have the right to practice any religion they choose or to practice no religion at all. Congress is forbidden to establish any religion as our nation’s official religion and cannot favor one over others.

Freedom of Speech – All Americans have the right to express our thoughts, ideas and opinions (without hurting others). We also have the right to listen to the thoughts and opinions of others.

Freedom of the Press – All Americans have the right to freely express our ideas and opinions in writing. We also have the right to freely read what others write, which allows us to become better-informed.

Freedom of Assembly – All Americans are free to peacefully hold meetings where we can discuss problems and plans of action.

Freedom of Petition – As Americans, we have the right to petition our government to do something or refrain from doing something. We are able to write to our Congressmen and women to ask them to work on our behalf towards passage or changes in laws.

These freedoms allow us to live our own lives the way we choose every day. I believe we get to choose to make our lives better because of these freedoms and am incredibly grateful for them. I hope you will take time to think about these blessings of freedom that so many Americans have and continue to fight for so that we may enjoy them each day.

And of course, I hope you will enjoy some delicious beef as you celebrate America and our freedoms!   

Eat Beef and God Bless America!

Kassie



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Jun252015

Healthy Grilling & Sides for Fourth of July

Published by Amber Groeling RD LD at 3:04 AM under Coffee Shop Talk | General | Nutrition | Recipe

The Fourth of July is a great time to fire up the grill and enjoy delicious lean beef.  If you are watching your waistline, follow these simple tips to make your cookout tasty and nutritious.

 

Marinade – Lean cuts like sirloin and round are usually less tender and flavorful than a ribeye.  So, to boost flavor and tenderness try a marinade.  It is recommended to marinate in the refrigerator, not at room temperature, to avoid the growth of harmful bacteria. Marinades only penetrate the surface of the meat; therefore, flat cuts of meat such as steaks will benefit more from marinades than large cuts such as roasts. 

 

Build a better Burger – if you are going the burger route make sure to choose 90% lean or leaner ground beef.  Many companies offer low-calorie bun choices that are 80-100 calories.  Toppings can make or break your burger.  Try choosing lower fat cheeses like provolone or mozzarella.  Better yet, Sargento® makes an Ultra-thin cheese slice to help with portion control.  Load up with veggies like lettuce, tomato, onions, mushrooms, peppers and pickles.  For condiments mustard is the best choice.  If choosing ketchup or BBQ, make sure to watch the sugar.  If you must have mayo or salad dressing, choose the olive or canola based ones, or a light option.

 

Slim up your Sides

 

Go Greek - Swap half or all of the mayo in your salad recipes for plain Greek yogurt.  Make sure to use a good quality brand like Fage® to avoid it being overly tangy. 

 

Watch the Sugar – Canned baked beans, and many recipes for baked beans have a ton of sugar.  Try making your own using a lower sugar BBQ sauce like Bigg’s or Jack Stack. 

 

Choose Whole Grains – If making a pasta salad, try swapping the enriched pasta for a less processed product like quinoa, millet or bulgur.  These grains will give your salad a fiber boost, plus they add a great texture and nutty flavor to your dish. 

 

Double the Veggies – Half of our plate should be fruits and vegetables.  Doubling the amount of vegetables in your sides will help you achieve this goal. 

 

 

Citrus-Marinated Beef & Fruit Kabobs

 

Makes 4 servings

 

Cubes of Top Sirloin are marinated for flavor in a mixture of fresh-squeezed orange juice, orange peel, cilantro and smoked paprika. They are then grilled alongside skewers of watermelon, peaches, and mango.

 

INGREDIENTS 1 pound beef Top Sirloin Steak Boneless, cut 1 inch thick 1 medium orange 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro 1 tablespoon smoked paprika 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (optional) 4 cups cubed mango, watermelon, peaches and/or plums Salt

Grate peel and squeeze 2 tablespoons juice from orange; reserve juice. Combine orange peel, cilantro, paprika, and ground red pepper, if desired, in small bowl. Cut beef Steak into 1-1/4-inch pieces. Place beef and 2-1/2 tablespoons cilantro mixture in food-safe plastic bag; turn to coat. Place remaining cilantro mixture and fruit in separate food-safe plastic bag; turn to coat. Close bags securely.Marinate beef and fruit in refrigerator 15 minutes to 2 hours. Soak eight 9-inch bamboo skewers in water 10 minutes; drain. Thread beef evenly onto four skewers leaving small space between pieces. Thread fruit onto remaining four separate skewers. Place kabobs on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill beef kabobs, covered, 8 to 10 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, 9 to 11 minutes) for medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F) doneness, turning occasionally. Grill fruit kabobs 5 to 7 minutes or until softened and beginning to brown, turning once. Season beef with salt, as desired. Drizzle reserved orange juice over fruit kabobs.

 

Ingredients:

1 pound beef Top Sirloin Steak Boneless, cut 1 inch thick

1 medium orange

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (optional)

4 cups cubed mango, watermelon, peaches and/or plums

Salt

Directions

1.       Grate peel and squeeze 2 tablespoons juice from orange; reserve juice. Combine orange peel, cilantro, paprika, and ground red pepper, if desired, in small bowl. Cut beef Steak into 1-1/4-inch pieces. Place beef and 2-1/2 tablespoons cilantro mixture in food-safe plastic bag; turn to coat. Place remaining cilantro mixture and fruit in separate food-safe plastic bag; turn to coat. Close bags securely.  Marinate beef and fruit in refrigerator 15 minutes to 2 hours.

2.       Soak eight 9-inch bamboo skewers in water 10 minutes; drain. Thread beef evenly onto four skewers leaving small space between pieces. Thread fruit onto remaining four separate skewers.

3.       Place kabobs on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill beef kabobs, covered, 8 to 10 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, 9 to 11 minutes) for medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F) doneness, turning occasionally. Grill fruit kabobs 5 to 7 minutes or until softened and beginning to brown, turning once.

4.       Season beef with salt, as desired. Drizzle reserved orange juice over fruit kabobs.

 

Nutrition information per serving: 239 calories; 6 g fat (2 g saturated fat; 2 g monounsaturated fat); 70 mg cholesterol; 57 mg sodium; 20 g carbohydrate; 2.4 g fiber; 27 g protein; 11.3 mg niacin; 0.7 mg vitamin B6; 1.5 mcg vitamin B12; 2.1 mg iron; 31.0 mcg selenium; 5.0 mg zinc; 107.1 mg choline.

This recipe is an excellent source of protein, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, selenium, zinc and choline; and a good source of iron.

 

Healthier Potato Salad

Serves: 5

Ingredients:


1 ½ lbs. red potatoes, cut into ¾ inch pieces

1 lb. radishes, cut into ¾ inch pieces

Salt and Pepper (can use celery salt)

2 Tablespoons white vinegar

1/4 cup light mayonnaise (I used Olive Oil Mayo)

1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt (I used Fage)

1 celery rib, chopped fine

1 1/2 Tablespoon sweet pickle relish

1 Tablespoon stone ground Dijon mustard

2 scallions, green parts only, sliced thin

Directions:

1.      Bring potato and radish pieces, 1 teaspoon salt, and enough water to cover potatoes and radishes by 1 inch to boil in large saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until just tender, about 10 minutes.

2.      Reserve 1/4 cup cooking water. Drain potatoes thoroughly, then transfer to large bowl. Drizzle vinegar over hot potatoes and gently toss until evenly coated. Transfer 3/4 cup potato/radish mixture to medium bowl; reserve. Refrigerate remaining potatoes/radishes until cooled, about 30 minutes.

3.      Using potato masher or fork, mash reserved hot potatoes/radishes with 3 tablespoons reserved cooking water until smooth, adding remaining cooking water as needed. Stir mayonnaise, yogurt, celery, relish, mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper into mashed potato. Refrigerate mixture until cooled, about 15 minutes.

4.      Add cooled potato dressing to cooed potatoes, stirring until evenly coated. Stir in scallions, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve. Salad can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.  Nutrition Facts: 110 calories, 1 g fat, 24 g carb, 3 g fiber, 5 g protein

 

Lower Sugar BBQ Baked Beans

Serves: 15

Ingredients:


2-3 slices bacon

1 cup yellow onion, diced

1 can pinto beans, no salt added

1 can navy beans

1 can black beans, no salt added

1 can kidney beans, no salt added

8 oz. can no salt added tomato sauce

1 ½ cups Biggs BBQ sauce, or another lower sugar BBQ

1 Tbsp. molasses

1-2 pkts of stevia

1 Tbsp. prepared mustard

1 Tbsp. adobo sauce

Directions:

Cook bacon in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until crisp.  Remove bacon from pan.  Add onion to drippings in pan; sauté 3 minutes.

Combine bacon, onion and remaining ingredients in a large bowl; toss well.  Spray a 2-qt. baking pan with nonstick spray and place the beans in the pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Note: this can be made in a slow cooker, just stir all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on low 4-6 hours. 

Nutrition Facts per serving: 115 calories, 3 g fat, 300 mg sodium, 17 g carb, 3 g fiber, 6 g protein



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Jun182015

Father’s Day Grilling Tips

Published by Katie Sawyer at 3:16 AM under Coffee Shop Talk | General

My father has always been the grill master in our house. My mom does the prep work; my father makes it great.

 

But my dad always operated the grill with a more-is-better attitude. More heat, more time, more done. I thought it was fine. I didn’t know any different. That is until my farmer/rancher husband came along. He had a whole different take on grilling and it was, well, delicious. Thankfully, my father was a willing student and quickly amended his grilling habits to create delicious medium-done steaks we all love.

 

As we approach Father’s Day this Sunday, I know I will find at least one of the men in my life – my father or my husband – behind the grill. When you raise beef, you tend to incorporate it into a lot of family meals. Plus, summer is the perfect time to enjoy a big, juicy steak.

 

It took my 30-something husband to teach my 60-something father the tips to perfect grilling. Thankfully, the Beef Checkoff (www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com) has simple, easy tips and recipes to make anyone a better griller. http://www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com/grilling.aspx A few tips to make your Father’s Day grilling adventure the best one yet . . .

  1. Marinate your steaks and let them rest at room temperature before cooking. Don’t take your steaks directly from the refrigerator to the grill.

  2. Make sure your grill is nice and hot before adding the steaks. You want the heat to get to work immediately.

  3. Leave the steaks alone – quick poking, checking or flipping your meat. Closing the lid on your grill will keep the heat in and your fingers out!

  4. Steaks will typically require 3-7 minutes of cooking on each side, depending on thickness. You can also add marinade or salt and pepper while on the grill.

  5. Make sure your steak reaches safe internal temperatures. That’s 145°F for medium rare and 160°F for medium doneness.

  6. Don’t be quick to cut your steak. Let the steak sit for a minute or two before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute and make every bit juicy and delicious.

     

 

While you are enjoying your steak, don’t forget to wish your father a Happy Father’s Day – a great dessert to accompany your steak might just do the trick!



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Jun102015

Grill Your Fruit & Eat it Too

Published by Robin Kleine at 8:34 AM under Coffee Shop Talk | General | Nutrition | Recipe

One of our favorite summer time meals is a grilled steak, accompanied by fruits and vegetables. Any time this office working girl gets outside is a plus … and around the grill is one of my places to be. As an added bonus, June is fresh fruit and vegetable month.

 

Watermelon is a summer staple at our house; there is always one in my fridge. But sometimes it can be monotonous, so I wanted to find a new way to eat the juicy red fruit.

 

I had heard good things about grilling watermelon and decided to try it myself. Result: it was delicious.

 

Plus, it’s easy to make and you probably have all the ingredients on hand.

 

Here’s how:

  • 8 slices seedless watermelon wedges, cut 1 ½ inches thick, no rind
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper

 

Lightly sprinkle the wedges on both sides with the salt. Stand the wedges on their edges on a rack over a sink or pan and let them drain for half an hour.

 

Preheat the grill to high.

 

After the watermelon has drained, rinse each piece under cold running water. Place each piece between two folded paper towels and gently but firmly press to remove excess water. You should stop just when you feel the watermelon begin to crunch.

 

Brush the watermelon lightly on both sides with the olive oil. Grill over high heat until grill marks have formed and the melon is slightly softened, about 5 minutes.

 

Remove from grill and sprinkle with sea salt and a little fresh ground pepper.

 

*Recipe courtesy of JanuaryBride on www.food.com [http://www.food.com/recipe/grilled-watermelon-317554]



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Jun052015

Perfect Summer Time Taco Salad

Published by Kiley DeDonder at 3:03 AM under Coffee Shop Talk | General | Nutrition | Recipe

Summer time seems to be a hectic time on our farm. With the warmer temperatures and longer daylight, we often end up pushing supper back until well after dark…just in time to hit the hay! For me, a hot, time-consuming meal to prep is the last thing I feel like fixing on a long summer day. Any opportunity I get to fix a quick salad is just fine by me. Plus, we always have beef in our freezer and for this particular recipe you can’t go wrong with lean ground beef for added protein!

Total Recipe Time: 30 minutes

Makes 4 servings

INGREDIENTS

1 pound Ground Beef

1 package (about 1.25 ounces) taco seasoning mix

3 cups coarsely crushed tortilla chips

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

1 medium tomato, chopped

1 package of salad greens (about 8 cups) I often have a head of iceberg on hand

Toppings:

Sliced ripe olives, sliced red onion, prepared ranch or French dressing

 

INSTRUCTIONS FOR BEEF TACO SALAD

Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add Ground Beef; cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking into 3/4-inch crumbles and stirring occasionally. Pour off drippings. Stir in taco seasoning mix according to package directions; remove seasoned beef from skillet with slotted spoon.

Combine seasoned beef, tortilla chips, cheese and tomato in large bowl. Line 4 plates with salad greens. Top with beef mixture. Top with olives, onion and dressing, if desired.

Ground Beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F. Color is not a reliable indicator of Ground Beef doneness.

Since I normally cook for two, I like to use this leftover seasoned ground beef for quick soft tacos or enchiladas for another meal. It’s a great option to have in my arsenal of quick, simple and nutritional recipes!

For more quick and delicious recipes, visit www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com

Enjoy, Eat Beef!

Kiley



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May202015

How Do You Celebrate Beef Month?

Published by Kassie Curran at 7:54 AM under Agriculture | Coffee Shop Talk | General

May is full of reasons to celebrate – finishing school, graduations, weddings, and rain. May is also Beef Month so there is even more to celebrate! I’ll share some of the ways I like to celebrate Beef Month and I hope you will celebrate it too.

 

Grill Out – Throw some burgers or steak on the grill, enjoy the beautiful weather and time with family and friends. There are plenty of great recipes here and here.

Enjoy the Scenery – Take a drive out to the country and take in the beautiful scenery. In Kansas, we’ve got lots of green grass at this time of year so I love to go out and enjoy the sights of cattle on grass.

Learn More About Beef – There is always more to learn about everything and many ways to do so. I like to ask questions of people who are more experienced than me in the beef industry. The Beef Council would be happy to get you connected to a rancher who you can talk to about raising beef or even going out to see how and where they raise beef. Another way to learn more about beef is by watching videos on the internet (from trusted sources of course!). This website has a great video on how beef gets from pasture to plate, as well as lots of other educational materials about beef.  

 

These are just a few ways I like to celebrate Beef Month, but there are so many more. I hope you enjoy these and will find your own ways to celebrate Beef Month. Feel free to share them with us in the comments below.

 

Happy Beef Month!

 

Kassie



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May072015

Beef: A Mom’s Secret Weapon

Published by Katie Sawyer at 2:58 AM under Agriculture | Coffee Shop Talk | General | Nutrition

By Katie Sawyer

I’m a runner, a professional, an advocate and a wife. But most importantly, I’m a mother. I have a two-year-old son and he keeps me on my toes. In any given day I balance work, graduate school assignments, household duties, mom responsibilities and other odds-and-ends. I need energy to keep me going and meal options that keep me full without expanding my waistline.  

This Sunday, I will celebrate my mom and all of the moms who carry the weight of their kids, spouses and jobs on their shoulders; women who hit the ground running and don’t stop until the work is done and find the time and energy to fit 25 hours of work into a 24 hour day. For those mothers, time is at a premium and nutrition is everything.

In addition to celebrating mothers this weekend, the entire month of May is dedicated to celebrating beef. So it only makes sense to treat mom to a great, lean cut of beef.  Beef is a great protein source for busy mothers and the variety of cuts and preparation options means there is a beef option for every taste and budget. 

The Cattlemen’s Beef Board provides a guide to 29 cuts of beef classified as lean, meaning a single serving has less than 10 grams of fat and 4.5 grams of saturated fat. That’s important for those moms watching their waistlines.

And for those moms who need energy, all day every day, quality, low-calorie protein is essential. Every single cut of beef is loaded with protein. A single, three-ounce serving contributes less than 10 percent of calories but more than half of the daily value of protein and more than 10 percent of eight additional vitamins and minerals. Protein is vital to staying full and satisfied throughout the day and providing the energy moms need to tackle those tough, and sticky, jobs.

Beef is packed with 10 essential vitamins and nutrients and research shows that about 50 percent of women aged 20 years and older are not meeting their daily recommended intake of iron or protein. Sounds like it should be steaks for all. Women are often so busy taking care of others they forget to care for themselves and quick nutrient boost and well-rounded diet can go a long way in improving women’s health and well-being.

Every mom has one eye on the clock and the other on the family budget which means food choices must be efficient and cost-effective. Beef offers a variety of options, from steaks, to hamburger to roasts and ribs. The variety allows for beef at every meal and for any occasion.

Enjoy your mother this Mother’s Day, treat her to a quality beef meal and let her know how much you appreciate all she does.

101613Nutrient Power Fact Sheet.pdf (524.71 kb)



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Apr302015

The Babysitter Cow

Published by Robin Kleine at 10:49 AM under Agriculture | Coffee Shop Talk | General

Right now on our farm, the calves (born earlier this spring) are in a really fun stage. They are still totally dependent on their moms for milk (their food source), but they are discovering new things every day.

 

Right now, I can sit in my home office and watch the calves alternately sleeping under a shade tree and running, playing and bucking with their buddies all across the pasture. Don’t worry though, the cows band together in order to keep a watchful eye over them.

 

I read an article from Northern Ag News (http://northernag.net/AGNews/AgNewsStories/TabId/657/ArtMID/2927/ArticleID/4382/The-%E2%80%9CBabysitter-Cow%E2%80%9D-Theory.aspx) recently about a theory that farmers and ranchers have – the babysitter cow. This event is one that I’ve witnessed many times. One cow is left to “babysit” the calves as the rest of the cows head to get water or mineral, leaving the babysitter cow is watch over the rest of the calves.

 

 

One Montana rancher, Nancy Okerman weighs in on the subject, ““It just seems like the last one left there nursing her calf, just by default is the one that ends up being the babysitter cow.”  Okerman has spent several decades observing the phenomena.

 

Some believe it is the cow’s natural instinct to not leave their offspring vulnerable to predators, so the last one left in the area will serve as the babysitter.

 

Whatever the theory, I think this one of the many amazing things about cattle. It seems that every farm or ranch also includes a calf daycare as well!

 

Best,

Robin



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