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BeefTalk: Remind Me Later

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BeefTalk: Are you an Animal Feeding Operation? BeefTalk: Are you an Animal Feeding Operation?
The days of ration balancing and breeding cows are still good topics for a winter meeting, but times are changing.

By Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist

NDSU Extension Service

In the world of livestock, a program titled "Livestock Management Strategies" could involve many topics and certainly would focus on timely inputs to appropriately manage livestock. Such was the case recently as local producers gathered to listen to presenters focused on answering the question, "Are you an animal feeding operation?"

The program, (I expect like many throughout the country), was sponsored by the Western and Central Stark Soil Conservation District, Dakota West RC and D, Natural Resources Conservation Service, North Dakota State Health Department and North Dakota State University Extension Service. The North Dakota Stockmen's Association also participated in the gathering.

As livestock producer meetings go, the information was good. The consortium of cooperating agencies involved with the meeting certainly indicated there is a new thinking and there are new players intensely interacting with the day-to-day operation of livestock facilities.

The days of ration balancing and breeding cows are still good topics for a winter meeting, but times are changing. The new topics at educational meetings are reflecting the changes.

As with any meeting, one's mind can wander while sitting and listening to presentations. For some reason, I got to thinking about the "remind me later" phrase.

The world of computers is changing every aspect of business. Agriculture is no exception. In the beef business, more and more producers are engaging computers in their recordkeeping and planning processes. This is a fact of life today.

The computer brought us the age of instantaneous information. Not just instantaneous information, but also the management and operation of the computer itself. An obvious case in point was the time shift when daylight-saving time went into effect.

Anything operated by computers had to make the shift. Literally, mega hours were spent preparing computers to instantaneously shift correctly. All seemed to go well and life went on.

Times change and we change with it, regardless of all the effort and associated turmoil. The only reason for these passing thoughts on the world of computers in the middle of a beef meeting was the fact that computers have the ability to remind us, the operator, what we should do.

Periodically, when one arrives at the computer, the computer has posted a reminder that something needs to be done. Perhaps a program needs to be updated or some response is needed to an incoming request. Perhaps the day's schedule has been changed. There are an infinite number of other possibilities as well. However, the acknowledgement of the change is real.

The request generally offers the opportunity to respond in three ways. I can acknowledge the change and enter a positive response, acknowledge the change and enter a negative response or remind me later. The livestock meeting was the perfect scenario for responses that certainly encompassed all three options.

For many beef producers, when asked, reminded or requested to answer the question on whether or not you are a feeding operation, the majority seem to still click on the "remind me later" response. For beef producers, the bottom line is to develop a response. The question continually is being asked and the "remind me later" response will some day need to be a yes or no.

The only way to answer that question is to get involved with the agencies that sponsored this meeting and many other meetings that involve animal waste and seek out an appropriate response. Denial is not an acceptable answer.

May you find all your ear tags.

Your comments are always welcome at http://www.BeefTalk.com. For more information, contact the NDBCIA Office, 1041 State Ave., Dickinson, ND 58601 or go to http://www.CHAPS2000.COM on the Internet.


NDSU Agriculture Communication

Source:Kris Ringwall, (701) 483-2348, ext. 103, kringwal@ndsuext.nodak.edu
Editor:Rich Mattern, (701) 231-6136, richard.mattern@ndsu.edu
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