If you read my blog very much you know that I am a part of Team Beef Montana. They sponsor some of my race fees for the year and are also sponsoring my Hood to Coast Relay Team. In return I get to be an ambassador to promote the beef industry positively. This is easy since I grew up on a family cattle ranch in Montana and still live near it.
I have a deep love for rural America and the hard working farmers and ranchers that work year round and during busy times of the year may hardly get any sleep at all to make sure the crops get in, the hay out up or the new calves are born safely. They are extremely dependent on the fickleness of mother nature, droughts, floods, grasshoppers, fires, etc, but year after year they toil on so we can all continue to eat and enjoy and bounty of the harvest.
They often get a bad rap about being bad environmentalists and factory farming etc. Sure there are bad eggs in everything in life, but nobody cares more about the land than the people have to work on it. Why wouldn't you if your living depended on it
Here are some fun facts about cattlemen:
Approximately 85 percent of U.S. grazing lands are unsuitable for producing crops. Grazing animals on this land more than doubles the area that can be used to produce food. Cattle serve a valuable role in the ecosystem by converting the forages humans cannot consume into a nutrient-dense food.
A combination of livestock and wildlife management on grazing lands has resulted in better species
survival than when these activities are practiced separately.
In the Eastern and Central United States, wildlife is almost entirely dependent on ranch, farm
and other private lands; so, ranchers play an important role in the survival of native species.
A California-based study (Conservation Biology, Summer 2005) shows cattle grazing plays an
important role in maintaining the wetland habitat necessary for some endangered species.