Call Me Crazy

Where does U.S. ground beef…

come from?  According to USA Today and other web resources our beef comes from the U.S., Canada, Australia,  New Zealand, Brazil and Mexico.
A lot of the U.S. sourced ground beef comes from “old” dairy cows.  A U.S. dairy cow’s average life span is 4-6 years( The natural life expectancy for a non-dairy cow in good condition is 15-20 years (  Ground beef also comes from bull’s which are no longer needed.
So where am I going with all these facts?  No matter how old or how “used up” a cow is- it is still worth money in most beef markets.

Here on the farm we will also sometimes use an older cow for ground beef.  Usually those that can’t conceive any more or for some unusual reason can’t be kept any longer.  All of our cow’s are in good condition and are never thin such as in the commercial market.  And financially…we could definitely use the income from a cow used for ground beef!
But last week we made an exception.  We did the unheard of(for most farmers and in the commercial market) and had the vet come to put our old cow “Ruby” down peacefully. Ruby had been with us for about ten years and came to us at approximately age eight or ten.  She birthed many nice calves while here on the farm.  She was one of those cows that you could walk up and scratch.  She was also a “lead” cow and was usually the first out of the gate when you called her.  She’d follow me anywhere for good grass! When we first got “Ruby” my son said she was so tame you could climb on her back…and he did!
One of Ruby’s calves
So the veterinarian came about a week ago to do what vet’s do.  It was a tough day.  And the vet asked, “she’s a nice fat cow why didn’t you turn her into ground beef”?  I know I said,…”call me crazy”.  “No”, the vet said, “I don’t think you’re crazy”