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COOL - Country Of Origin Labeling - its here?. Yes, there will be some concerns as in any new program. Yes, it involves our government reaching further into the beef industry. But it doesn’t take too much reading to understand that John Q and Susie Public are becoming more aware and more interested in their food’s safety. Go to Japan or Korea and you will see the front end of this wave.  It doesn’t appear the cattle industry itself is interested in pursuing this so it provides an opening for a “government program”.

It will provide customers choice. Do they want American born, raised and processed meat?  COOL can  also provide accountability to the meat industry potentially allowing any bad actors to be kept from harming the rest of the industry. It can help keep our country’s quality non-imported food supply free from negative publicity. Dysentery is a leading cause of malaise and lack of productivity in many countries. Dysentery, cholera and other infectious diseases many times are passed along the food chain. An advantage of USA born and raised is it is less prone to warmer climate bacterial diseases. But America also has other advantages such as refrigeration, clean water and modern sanitary systems for handling foods. COOL can help insure the safety of our product.

Tracking foods is not unusual in the world. Japan and countries in Europe already are tracking from the farm to the retail establishment. 

After all, if it makes sense for a business to put a barcode on a 5 cent Tootsie Roll doesn’t it make sense to know the origin of a $1200.00 steer?  Why should the entire industry – because they can’t identify their livestock - be held accountable for one producer who fed contaminated feed?  Why should the public’s lack of accurate perception of cattle industry (to them a big black hole) be allowed to bring down everyone who treats their livestock humanely?  Yes, like in every office building, like on every highway, like in every suburb there are bad actors.  As an industry we need to police ourselves, tell our own story and help the majority of the population (read: urbanites) that we (the cattle industry) are NOT that person they have in their minds who doesn’t know or care about the product being sold.

Moderation in all things.

Choose what fits your state of health, age, lifestyle and genetic make-up.




There seems to be a lot of city folks who are a first and second generation removed from the "country" wanting to move back to the "country"…….At the same time there are a lot of "country" folks who want to remain removed from the city. All of this seems to make the word "country" a moving target. What does living in the "country" mean? Here are a few cream of the crop "country definitions" if you have others please share………….

You know you are in the country when:

  • …it’s too far to drive to have a meal out...
    (the corollary is when taking your wife to dinner means to the church “pot-luck”)
  • ...the neighbors are too far away to hear your dogs barking
  • ...you can drive all the way home at night without having to dim your lights
  • ...everyone you pass on the road waves
  • …the ditches are clean because all the city collected plastic wrappers/cups have been thrown out before your place.

and NOW for the main event:

What a conversation starter. Whether you are city or country, the subject of cow tipping starts conversations. In researching this subject it has been a great ice-breaker and a great opportunity to introduce people to the "country".

Before we get into the ever popular parsing of words (exactly what is the definition of the word "is"?) let’s lay-out a common definition of what is meant by cow tipping:

DEFINITION: Cow tipping is when a cow is toppled (tipped over) by a person. (The popular thought is that this happens when cows are sleeping.)

If you will allow me to introduce you to some cows I know of it might lend to your understanding of their natural abilities:

  • Cows from the mountains able to defend their baby calves against predators such as mountain lions, timber wolves and bears.
  • Cows who are able to run 30 miles per hour.
  • Cows weighing more than 1500 pounds (equivalent to five NFL linemen!)
  • Cows whose owners take extreme care and pride to ensure their cow’s ability to produce at their maximum (keep their baby happy).

Don't mess with me!The cows I am familiar with mostly sleep lying down. They spend their time free roaming large pastures (large enough to run ME down if I messed with her mind). Why would I even think of tipping a cow who is nursing our end product, a calf. After all, we get paid by pounds we’ve produced. We want that calf to be as large as she can raise it to be. A falling 1500 pound cow could get injured (or injure me). If she gets injured what about her ability to raise next year’s calf? We have a major investment in her. She is our factory.

Could you sneak up on a cow? Possibly. But there are too many reasons not to do it (see above).

Could you tip her over? Possibly. It would be an act like vandalism.

As I already said cow-tipping is a great conversation piece. I have not talked to anyone in the cattle business admitting to having tipped a cow. So I guess that does leave the window (or for the cow: gate) open that it may occur somewhere, someplace and sometime.

Soli Deo Gloria


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