Dirt Road Charm

Motherhood, Agriculture, and everything in between

Thursday, January 22, 2015

From Chris Kyle to Temple Grandin and the controversies in between

Sometimes I like to sit back and just read my facebook and twitter feeds without getting involved, posting, or commenting.  I just sit there and read.  Read what people like, what people share, what people post.  It is very astounding to me at times.  I sometimes worry about the future of america after doing this.  I mean there is a lot of crazy out there.

This week has been quite the week of controversy in the social media outlets.  The hottest subjects scrolling down the media pipelines in my small world have been about Chris Kyle with the movie American Sniper coming out and Temple Grandin receiving the Distinguished Service to Agriculture award from the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Both of these are quite interesting to me in the controversy they are creating.  First of all lets start with Chris Kyle.  A couple hollywood celebs voiced their opinions of the movie American Sniper in a not so favorable fashion.  I don't even know how one begins to slam a veteran and then is able to sleep at night?  I truly feel that if you don't respect those fighting for your freedom oversees then the gates are open for you to kindly leave.  Unless you have actually spent some time in the battle fields you really have no ground to even start to disrespect anyone in the military.  That's just my opinion......

You can get a lil idea of the comments made here.  Some other celebs quickly took to social media to defend those serving......like one of my favorite country music stars mostly for his lack of a filter

 Next up in the ole interwebs controversy is Temple Grandin.  I've always been inspired by her work in the cattle industry and was fortunate enough to listen to her speak a couple of times.  I think that she is a very honest lady that brings tough issues to the forefront and isn't afraid to speak her mind. She is well known for her cattle handling systems and designing slaughter house facilities.  It was mentioned by some in the Ag industry that she is our own worst enemy and doesn't use scientific evidence to support some of her claims but uses emotion instead.

One of those claims being that in "dairy cattle we are breeding for production and compromising feet and legs and animals are getting too big.  Too many lame cows entering slaughter houses."  First I don't think this is just a dairy issue.  I think all species are bred for production....right?   I also don't think production breeding is 100% correlated to feet and leg problems.  I think that is also a management issue.  You need to evaluate the animal as a whole and while your emphasis may be on production, you need to correct feet and leg issues as well.  Obviously if you want a cow to milk it needs to make it to the parlor.  You can have high production cows that have great feet and legs.  The question is how do you get all producers to equally focus on feet and legs as well as production?

Not to stir up a big debate here but I think a lot of issues come from the show ring.  For dairy they want huge open ribbed cows.  That is not economical for a production facility.  Look at the club calf industry.....Who Made Who....hello?  That bull had the worst feet and legs but was used because 1 out of 25 calves was kickass.  I see so many steers come out of the club calf program post legged and hardly able to walk.  You don't see many people breeding for good females out of club calf bulls do you?  These animals will not survive in a production environment.

One of the important things I think we need to remember is that she is well respected by the large slaughter and packer facilities and the USDA. While some claim not all of her statements are scientific base but emotion based is this really hurting the industry?  With a society that is very emotionally based when it comes to food choices, isn't this something we should embrace instead of attack?  I mean if you can't connect with people on a scientific level but you have someone in the industry that can connect on an emotional level are we really that bad off?  Livestock don't lead their lives by what is scientifically correct.....they do what is comfortable.   I mean lets be real....a woman that can rock those awesome outfits can't be so bad in my book. :)

What are your thoughts on these matters?  I would love to hear!!

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