“Why do you feed your cattle corn?” Glad you asked! There are a lot of reasons we feed corn, and not just because we are the “cornhuskers!” (#GBR)
Our cattle spend the majority of their life kicking up their heels in green pastures, and they continue kicking up their heels when they reach adolescence and switch to eating a corn diet with free choice hay for dessert.
As an animal science major, I have taken many classes focusing on animal nutrition, animal care, and learning from the experts about why ranchers do what they do. In my animal nutrition class, we learned corns abundance of protein, energy, and how easy corn is to digest in the stomach systems of cattle. The way it affects the cattle’s body is to provide them with all their essential nutrients and more to help deposit fat inside of their muscles (also known as marbling). It makes tremendous beef through this process, and especially healthy cattle, which is what happens when you meet all nutritional requirements in a diet.
As for sustainability, corn is one of the best thing we can feed in Nebraska. With the abundance of the corn crop on our property, across the road, and all around us, it doesn’t require much more transportation to get it from the field to the feed bunk! We use what the land in our area provides for us. Plus, in the winter when grass isn’t available ( ❄️) we are able to use the corn that wasn’t picked up by the combine for the cattle to graze on.
I can go on all day about how great corn is for cattle and so fitting for our Nebraska Raised Beef! What questions do you have about corn-fed cattle vs. other feeding programs?
Have you ever noticed that in most beef recipes, you are told to cut your meat “against the grain”? Have you ever wondered why this step is so important? Do you wonder what the grain is and how to cut against it? And what are the best tools to do so?
The experiences she had through the Engler Program and as a Nebraska Beef Ambassador revealed an opportunity in the beef industry. Esch, a senior animal science major, realized there was a disconnect between many producers and their consumers, and she decided to start her own farm-to-table beef supplier: Oak Barn Beef. It officially became a limited liability company in 2018.