All too often, we focus on the negative things being said about our industry in the media. Today, I want to look at the bright side of things, so I have rounded up five positive news stories related to the beef cattle industry that are definitely worth sharing with friends and family. Here are five feel-good items you may have missed.
1. Beef is a superfood. Beef is among Cooking Light’s list of 10 surprisingly healthy foods. Although this isn’t surprising news to me, I’m glad that one of my favorite foods made this list (hello, 29 lean cuts of beef!)
Katherine Brookings, MS, RD, writes for the magazine, “Again, knowing the healthiest cuts is key. Ounce for ounce, beef tenderloin has about the same calorie and fat content as skinless chicken thighs. Rich in protein and vitamin B12, this cut is a good source of selenium, zinc, iron, phosphorus, and B Vitamins. Versatile and flavorful, tenderloin is a smart indulgence that can be paired with myriad sauces and sides for a healthful meal. Get to know less expensive lean cuts such as top sirloin (great in stir-fries), and flank steak, a great all-purpose cut that's cheaper than tenderloin and works in many recipes.”
2. Loving show cattle. Yahoo reports that Internet users are falling in love with “fluffy cows.” Yes, you read that right. The show stock business is gaining attention from the masses.
The Yahoo article reads, “Fluffy cows are becoming the new object of affection online. Well known to livestock aficionados for generations, these adorable cloud-like cattle became popular with internet users via Reddit. The cute cows are show cattle and are a cross between high-quality breeds. But, how do they get that luxurious look? Tony Bruguiere, a photojournalist based in Colorado reported that there are many different tools used to make a bovine look divine, including ‘an ergonomically-shaped squeegee to remove excess water after washing, a powered Roto Fluffer to lift leg hairs, high-velocity blowers for drying, chutes especially designed to hold the cattle during grooming, huge turbo fans to keep a constant flow of air moving through the animals' hair and more clipper and blade combinations than you can count.’ Bruguiere also indicated that groomers use a lot of product to get the cattle looking spiffy, listing ‘shampoos, conditioners, adhesives including a special one just for the tail, mousse, oil, dyes, paints in six different shades, hair builder, hair polish, sun screen, and removal products to get all this stuff off the hair.’”
“Paris-based Carmat has built the first implantable artificial heart that exists completely inside the chest cavity, with no external components. The device has two chambers, each divided by a membrane. On one side of the membrane is hydraulic fluid, while the other side faces the blood. A pump moves the fluid in and out of the chambers. The fluid moves the membrane, and that in turn pushes the blood in and out of a chamber, just like a real heart. The ‘blood’ side of the membrane is made of tissue from a cow’s heart. The valves in the device are also made of cow tissue. Using the animal tissue could, the designers say, make the patient less prone to blood clots, which cause strokes, among other problems, and reduce the need for anti-clotting medications.”
4. Be a rancher for a day. Make-A-Wish has done it again -- this time for 10-year old Haley Fulmer from Cape Girardeau, MO, who wanted to ride a horse on a real Montana cattle drive.
The Missoulian reports that, “Starting Saturday, Haley will hop into a western saddle at the Kombol family ranch 25 miles northwest of Roundup and help trail 400 cow-calf pairs to summer pastures in the foothills of the Little Snowy Mountains. Haley, who has leukemia, says her favorite color of horse is black with a white star, like Black Beauty, one of the many horse movies she loves to watch. After hearing that the Kombels were hosting their first Make-A-Wish rider, a neighbor offered to drive a horse-drawn wagon, so Haley or her parents can take a saddle break. When trailing cows, Haley will ride Reba, a do-anything bay mare favored by the Kombol grandkids.”
5. When city meets country. The American Society of Animal Science (ASAS) is bringing agriculture to city kids.
Madeline McCurry-Schmidt writes for ASAS, “John Bowne High School is the only New York City public school with row crops and a farm lab. You can hear clucking chickens, along with honking cars. You can spot shiny vegetables, next to gleaming skyscrapers. Every morning, students head to the Queens campus for agriculture and animal science classes. Students in the honors animal science tract devote their senior year to research methodology and experiment design.
“For these city kids, the ASAS publication Journal of Animal Science offers a window into agricultural research. Students learn how scientists improve animal health, well-being and food safety. Studying the publication has even helped John Bowne students earn recognition from the FFA. Using ASAS materials as resources, the FFA students entered research papers in the New York State FFA Agriscience Competition, winning in every category they entered. In the fall, the winners will travel to Louisville for the competition at the National FFA Convention. ASAS and AnimalSmart.org will help fund their travel. About 85% of the John Browne FFA students plan to go to college and major in animal science.”
Which of these feel-good stories is your favorite, and why? Leave your thoughts in our comments section. And, please share this post or these articles on your social media sites. Let’s make some of these feel-good stories go viral! Have a great day!