Farmer Focus: Our cattle could answer Clarkson’s dilemma

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Last month, we were preparing for another bull sale, and my article was about how things are cyclical. This month’s article has real change, as it is my last one for Farmers Weekly.

I have enjoyed taking the time to explain US livestock issues and I believe writing has forced me to slow down and think about them in more detail.

See also: Bridgette Baker: Clarkson’s capers raise serious farm safety concerns

About the author

Daniel Mushrush
Livestock Farmer Focus writer
Daniel Mushrush is a third-generation Red Angus breeder in the Flint Hills in Kansas, US. The Mushrush family runs 800 pedigree registered Red Angus Cattle and 600 commercials across 4,856ha, selling 200 bulls a year and beef through Mushrush Family Meats.
Read more articles by Daniel Mushrush

I was always surprised by, and truly enjoyed, the many interactions with readers over the years. It feels as though things are starting to change and get interesting too.

For starters, Jeremy Clarkson just got cows (red ones!). He has a problem with dystocia, coupled with the need for high-quality meat for his restaurant – my goodness!

Solving this situation is basically my business model in Kansas. Another year or two of writing and we could have worked out a semen/embryo deal and celebrated (definitely not by shooting badgers).

Speaking of not shooting badgers, I am in the middle of another British interaction. Our work with The Nature Conservancy prompted reporters from the Wall Street Journal and BBC to get in touch about doing stories. 

The difference in talking to the two of them is proving to be a fascinating cultural experience. The Wall Street Journal reporter wants to ride horses, do a cattle drive, work calves and so on.

The BBC email chain has so far focused on a safety officer on site for a controlled burn (or lack thereof), copies of our utility vehicle insurance (or lack thereof), and worries about written plans and procedures (or lack thereof). 

My outsider’s opinion is there will be some growing pains coming for British agriculture, and society in general.

It seems farm subsidy has bribed compliance with needless rules, introduced soul-crushing bureaucracy, and has done little to push people’s comfort zones.

To keep your rules, but play with contemporary economics while the southern hemisphere cranks out food products after consuming all the inputs, is going to require a paradigm shift. 

To sign off, I still would not touch Belgian Blues with a barge pole (just my opinion).

For the love of all things Royal Family and baked beans for breakfast – please use the fantastic “British” breeds you gave to the rest of the world.