Yesterday, a couple of van loads (including me) got up super early at the crack of dawn to go to Lubbock Feed Lot. Gross huh? I hate Lubbock. The roads are crazy, and lets just face it… it’s home of the Red Raiders and I’d rather not associate with such.
The feed lot was pretty standard, I believe. Lots of heifers and steers ranging from probably 500-600 pounds to 1300 pounds. What surprised me the most was that a good bit of the cattle there were from Mexico. The man giving us the tour told us that Mexican cattle generally fed out better (and they made more return off of them). Because of the laws though, they have to keep them separate on the feed lot AND in slaughter. There were thousands of Mexican cattle branded with either an “M” or an “MX” on their right hip (MX for heifer).
Tito, our guide, also told us that with the future food shortages, the grading system for beef will probably change (and that’s a great thing for cattle producers). No longer will cattle be graded and given a premium for Prime and Choice beef, but it will be on a red meat basis. The government will want producers to make more RED MEAT on the same land area. And there are not a lot of ways this can be done.
Fact — Did you know that to produce a prime or choice steer, the last 250(ish) pounds are the MOST expensive? Do you know why? Because all that the feed is adding to the steer is fat. Usually back fat, and as we have learned in school–back fat and marbling are not very correlated. So basically feed lots are paying way too much for the last few hundred pounds of FAT. As someone who likes MINIMAL fat on my steak, I don’t see why anyone would pay to add fat like that. But until something changes, things will remain the same.
Tito also said that a way to get more pounds of red meat out of our steers was to leave them as bulls and feed them out. They will put on less fat, and more red meat. Interesting.
After we got back home around 2, a group of us went to Walmart for some tie dying supplies and to Gebos for some COVERALLS! I got some coveralls for my AI class this fall and I am so excited. They are probably going to be my new favorites… what can I say? When we got back to the motel, we tie dyed!! Shay and I tie dyed Friday night and our shirts turned out awesome, so we peer pressured everyone into tie dying and it was so fun. I think we had 8 people here tie dying! After everyone had tie dyed, we ate dinner together downstairs in the break room. Dr. T went and bought steaks for everyone and one of the guys here grilled them. We had potatoes and salad, too. And of course… cheese. Gotta get that dairy in there somewhere. It was really great and so thoughtful of them to cook for us.
I’m beginning to get to know more people at the consortium and make some really great friends. I’m not going to want to leave them in a couple of weeks!