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Beef cow/calf operation scenario

Type of operation
Awesome Angus is a family owned, pasture based, cow/calf and grass-finishing operation.

The farm, owned by the Murray Maine family is located at 4321 Highway AA, Bovine, Mo. 65444. Highway AA is a county-maintained blacktop and the farm is located 15 miles west of Highway 63 (main north/south connector in Missouri), and 30 miles south of Interstate 70 (main east/west connector in Missouri). The farm is eight miles east of Bovine, which is a town of 1,100 people. The farm has a small sign on Highway AA and is not well known inside or outside of Bovine. There is only one entrance to the farm which is a driveway. There is no gate at the entrance. There are four small beef producers within a six mile radius of the operation. Two of these have property bordering that of Awesome Angus. The third property which borders the farm is a row-crop operation. There is a regional airport 45 miles away and an international airport 175 miles away. There is a river terminal 25 miles away and a railway terminal 45 miles away. There are two man-made ponds on the farm which drain into a creek that runs through the property. The Maine family lives on the property.

Livestock inventory
The operation consists of approximately 100 fall-calving cows and their calves, 25 replacement heifers and 20 steers in a grass-finishing program. Replacement females are developed on the farm through retention of heifer calves from each year’s calf crop. Each year two virgin yearling bulls are purchased from reputable breeders in the area to replace older sires. The breeders they have used most recently are, Studs R Us (123 Bullock Lane, Fajita, Mo. 65790; 660-235-7890) and Beefmaster’s (67890 El Toro Road, Corriente, Mo. 65490; 660-765-9012).

Marketing strategy
Three quarters of the calves (approximately 65) are sold at auction, and one quarter are kept back for a premium quality grass-fed beef program, and are marketed at 18-20 months of age, supplying a niche market. Liability for security of calves while waiting for auction is not covered by a written agreement with the auction facility.

The farm is located on 440 acres. There are two pole barns located on the property. One is used for livestock shelter during extremely inclement weather and equipment storage. The other barn is a three-sided structure used for hay storage. The farm does not have security cameras and there are no employees present at night. There is dusk to dawn lighting installed on all of the barns and the primary farm entrance.

The perimeter of the farm is controlled by a three-and-a-half-foot woven wire fence with two strands of barbed wire along the top. All internal paddock fencing on the farm is two strand electric fencing. Paddocks are subdivided and back-fenced using temporary polywire fencing as the farm utilizes a management intensive grazing system. There are no access limiting signs on the perimeter (no trespassing etc.) and the perimeter is not regularly checked.

The farm receives electric power from the local rural electric cooperative, Angus Co Electric Cooperative, (422 Angushire Road, Barzona, Mo. 65047; 660-435-8910). Water is supplied via a well system. There is not a lock on the well head. The only landline phone is in the owner’s residence Decadetel (356 Heifer Ave., Barzona, Mo. 65047; 660-435-6879). The shop and home are heated with wood and have a 500 gallon propane tank for a back-up heat source, Gasses R Us (345 Flatulence Way, Barzona, Mo. 65047; 660-435-5678). Household and other trash is removed by GGG Hauling (403 Trash Compactor Circle, Barzona, Mo. 65102; 660-435-6666).

General storage
There are tanks for storage of gasoline and diesel fuel next to the equipment shed. There are chemical (pesticides, cleaning products, livestock insecticides and wormer, etc.) storage lockers in the equipment shed. The equipment shed also has a refrigerator/freezer for storage of livestock vaccines and medicines. None of these are locked or otherwise secured.

The farm utilizes some dry ethanol co-products from a nearby distillery Eddy’s Ethanol Inc. (1470 State Rd E, Stillwater, Mo. 65555; 660-645-1239). These dry co-products are purchased during the summer months with prices are lower. The feed is stored in a concrete bunker and covered with plastic. Cattle are supplemented with distiller’s co-products during winter months in feed bunks Drunks R US (23500 Whiskey River Road, Brandywine, Mo. 65102; 573-239-1105). Cattle graze stockpiled fescue during the winter and are supplemented with additional hay as weather/grazed forage supply requires. The farm has not requested a food defense plan from any of the feed suppliers.

Animal health management
The farm’s animal health program is conducted under the advisement of a local food animal veterinarian, Dr. I.M. Healthy (3579 Doctari Road, Bovine, Mo. 65444; 660-435-8888). Animal health products are purchased from the local veterinarian’s pharmacy or by mail order. These products are stored in an unsecured area in the shop. No inventory is kept on these health products. Calves are ear tagged before weaning and given initial vaccinations. Booster vaccinations are given at weaning. Few animals are purchased for the farm. However, when purchased animals are delivered to the farm, they are held in the corrals adjacent to the barn for 45 days before being comingled with other livestock. Animals that have been euthanized or died of natural causes are buried on site.

Waste management
Processing facility and holding pens are cleaned as needed. Manure and spoiled bedding are composted before being spread on pastures for fertilizer.

Labor for this operation is provided by the owners and their two teenage sons. The husband (Murray Maine) works at the local farmer’s cooperative where he’s the manager of feed sales. He occasionally delivers feedstuffs to other local beef cattle, swine and poultry producers. Charlois Maine is a registered nurse working part time at the local pediatric clinic. Both sons (Brangus and Angus) are active in 4-H and FFA. Their projects include livestock judging activities and each has several show steers, lambs and hogs. The sons have been trained in livestock care, but have not been trained in Food Defense. Family and neighbors provide all the labor used during ear tag, vaccination and other processing that needs to be done.

Care is taken to quarantine purchased livestock to limit exposure of the breeding herd to newly acquired animals that may transmit disease agents. The farm does not have a food defense plan.

Office procedures
Records for the farm are kept on a computer located in the home office. The mail is opened in the home office. Mail and other relatively small items are delivered to the home office.

Visitor policy
The local elementary school occasionally requests tours, which the farm accommodates. The farm does not maintain a visitor log.