Got a casserole to bake? Or maybe you’re in charge of bringing the meat for your next barbeque. Whatever the occasion, one quick stop to the grocery store can get you everything you need. Getting those delicious meats, cheeses, and eggs into the aisles of our groceries stores though, is a lot longer process. The hours upon hours of work our South Dakota farmers put into the care of the animals that provide these goods, is called Animal Husbandry.
It’s so valuable to understand our connection to the land where our food comes from. With the United States being the world’s largest beef producer and second-largest pork producer, the health and care for livestock animals are more important than ever. Those health and care practices include providing the best nutrition possible. That’s where soybeans step in! Livestock animals like pigs, cattle, and chickens rely on nutrient-dense soybean meal to thrive.
There is so much planning that goes into caring for domestic and livestock animals. Animal husbandry includes day-to-day care, shelter, breeding, health, and disease control of livestock. South Dakota livestock producers take great responsibility in caring for their animals. They utilize livestock specialists like Amanda Eben to make sure their animals are getting the best care possible.
Farmers have made many changes throughout the years to better care for their animals. Today’s cattle ranchers work with nutritionists to make sure the cattle are receiving the right balance of nutrition to keep them healthy. They also work with veterinarians to minimize the risks of diseases.
The care of pigs has changed as well. Unlike in the past, today’s pigs are now raised in comfortable, climate-controlled barns. These shelters help them stay cleaner and keep them away from predators. Farmers also work with animal nutritionists to set up their diets, which are high in soybean meal, the number one source of protein for hogs in South Dakota.
“The ultimate goal of any livestock producer is to provide great care for their animals and provide safe, healthy food for others and modern changes in livestock practices have helped achieve those goals.”
Brent Greenway – South Dakota Farmer
As our world’s population continues to grow, you can count on South Dakota ranchers and farmers to keep up with the demand for animal products. You can also rest assured that they are continuously working on ways to utilize animal husbandry best practices.