Karina Jones is a real-life ranch wife in the Nebraska Sandhills and one of the most highly sought-after speakers in the cattle industry nationwide!
More updates from the Jones Ponderosa today on Ranch Raised!
As combines are hitting the fields chasing this year’s corn and bean harvest, ranchers are seeking information on a harvest of their own. This time of year finds many ranches rounding up their herds of cows to pregnancy check them.
In dry years like this, it becomes a vital management tool to control costs and manage tight feed supplies. There are no cows getting a free ride to the next year. If they are not bringing in a live calf at weaning, they get wheels under them….also known as a trip to the sale barn. The first step in weaning a live calf is getting bred.
So that is the season of ranching we are in right now. Cull cow rates are the highest this nation has seen in decades. Because of the drought, shrinking returns, and an aging producer population, the domestic cowherd is on a fast decline. Until some significant moisture patterns return to the western US, I do not anticipate a rebuilding phase any time soon.
My fear is that our domestic cowherd will not be able to keep up with domestic demand. I mean, we are already there. 20% of the beef consumed in America is imported. Since there is no Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling laws on beef in America, the consumer is completely unassuming. This deception will continue to get deeper as we will have to import more beef to fill meat counters.
So, we went from pregnancy checking, to informing of a shrinking domestic cowherd and what that means for the American consumer. I think we will just end on that full circle lesson!
But come back tomorrow, because I want to tell you what I witnessed, looking out my front window, as my family preg checked this week’s group of heifers!
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Karina ranches with her husband, Marty, and 3 daughters near Broken Bow, NE. She grew up in western NE, with roots also in southwest SD. The cattle industry and raising kids is her passion.
Watching the cattle industry go the path that it has gone, she could no longer sit quietly at home checking cows, fixing fence, and doing all the everyday tasks wondering when some else was going to make it all better. As she became more active and outspoken on industry issues, she was asked to join the R-CALF USA staff in September 2020 as the Checkoff Petition Campaign manager. That position transcended into her current role as full time Field Director for R-CALF USA.
You can hear her almost every Friday on Your Ag Network’s Hot Barn Report that is broadcast on 60 radio stations with coverage in 9 states, where she deep dives into cattle industry issues and highlights R-CALF’s work on industry reforms. Listen to Ranch Raised on a Your Ag Network hometown station or www.youragnetwork.com where she talks about her daily life on the ranch.