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What’s the measure of an efficient cow?

Efficient cows on an efficiently run operation are capable of making good profits.

It was many years ago I first heard the claim we have the "most efficient cow herd" ever in the United States, and I remember it struck me as queer even then.

I've since seen it repeated many times, often by economists, and I've come to blame them, generally, for this largely inaccurate statement.

It took me some time to decipher why these folks think this is true. Often the claim was and is repeated mindlessly, as with many other "truisms." At some point, however, I saw the claim explained. Many of you readers know the answer.

It goes like this: "We now produce more pounds of beef with fewer cows than ever before." On the face of it, that is a true statement. But that does not mean we have efficient cows. Efficiency requires a much longer yardstick and a broader mind to measure.

To read the entire article, click here.


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