Letters to the Editor
For some reason, the cattle industry tends to take a hit when it comes to misconceptions, so this letter wishes to set three of these falsehoods straight.
1) Cattle are not major producers of greenhouse gases. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the economic sectors that produce the most greenhouse gases are electricity and transportation at 28%. Industry/manufacturing closely follows at 22%, while residential greenhouse gas production is 11%. Agriculture produces 9%, the least of all economic sectors observed.
2) Antibiotics are not routinely overused in the beef industry. Ranchers work extensively with their veterinarians to appropriately treat sick animals and develop routine vaccination protocols. Further more the FDA has installed withdrawal periods on antibiotics that regulates when the animal can be sent to slaughter after an antibiotic treatment. This ensures that no antibiotic residues are present in any meat.
3) Consumers often hear that beef is full of hormones which is simply not true. All living things contain some hormones because hormones are chemical messengers that regulate body function. To put this idea in perspective, here are some comparisons done by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. A birth control pill contains 35,000 nanograms of estrogen. Three ounces of cabbage contains 2,000 nanograms of estrogen while three ounces of implanted beef contains 1.9 nanograms. Implanted beef is a term that refers to the practice of supplementing the natural found hormones in cattle to increase feed efficiency, growth rate, and protein deposition.
In conclusion, cattle help maintain healthy rangelands, provide an abundance of byproducts that consumers use every day, and are a source of safe and nutritious protein. Beef contains zinc, iron, B vitamins, and all 8 essential amino acids needed for body growth and maintenance. 97% of cattle ranchers are family owned and 54% percent have been in the same family for more than three generations according to the Beef Checkoff. This means that people who care for the land, the livestock, their families, and the world are producing your beef and eating it to, along with preserving the wide-open spaces of the Madison Valley.
Grateful. That is the best word to describe my run for the US Senate. Grateful for the thousands of Montanans who donated to my campaign. Grateful for the people who hosted me in their homes, put up yard signs, volunteered, and have encouraged me since coming up short in the race.
I am disappointed in the results, but do not regret running. The generous and gracious nature of Montanans was the highlight of my race.
This wonderful state and country are worth fighting for. We are headed in the wrong direction in so many ways, starting with our national debt, but our people are the best.
I am grateful. Thank you to all of you who supported me.
Thanks, and God Bless,