SEGMENT: LIVESTOCK, FARMING METHODS, & FARM-RELATED WORK

Dianna Hatfield>ISM Interviews A-L>ISM Interviews A-L, Segment 14

SEGMENT: LIVESTOCK, FARMING METHODS, & FARM-RELATED WORK,

duration 09:41
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FARM BUSINESS
Current market trends have caused a switch to livestock feed containing less corn versus other ingredients than in the past. Baling their own hay helps offset the higher cost of hay at the present time. Trend is for cattle raisers with smaller herds to go out of business.
FARMING METHODS
Soil samples are taken at various locations within a field. The samples are then sent to a lab, where PH levels and nutrient content are measured to determine how much and what type of fertilizer is needed on that particular field. Global Positioning System (GPS) technology is now being used in addition to traditional methods of charting locations within a field. As an example, using GPS allows fertilizer application equipment to be set so that fertilizer application rates are automatically adjusted, based on the earlier soil samples taken from the same field.
FARM-RELATED WORK
She currently has 2 jobs. One job is selling parts for 4R Equipment, a Case Tractor dealership. The second is working at a soil testing company. Higher input prices such as fuel are hurting farmers now. Cost of equipment parts is going up. Price for cattle is going down. Hopes that for farmers that have the desire to continue in the business, things will improve.
LIVESTOCK
When judging cattle, they should be wide in the back. Heifers should be wide enough to easily carry a calf. A Steer's width in back is an indication of the amount of meat. Heifers need to be proportional. To make cattle appear larger or smaller for showing purposes, their hair can be clipped to different lengths and made to stand up with the use of "show foam". In the show ring, the cattle can be made to appear longer or shorter by placing the back feet wider apart or closer together. Showing hogs is mainly following them around. They are different from cattle in regard to care. A scrub brush is usually all that is used to wash a pig prior to showing. Many people show more than one type of livestock since they usually have several kinds of animals on their farms. The most common example is showing both cattle and hogs.
FARM-RELATED WORK
She is working towards a career similar to a friend working for Cargill. The friend contacts farmers and determines how much grain will be available to the company. She is focusing on agriculture as a profession because she grew up in an agricultural community and "that is what I know". Feels that most of the jobs in her community are related to agriculture. She thinks that her sister will stay involved with agriculture, especially livestock. She currently works on a hog farm. Her brother is not interested in agriculture at this time. Her other sister does not know if she will pursue a career in agriculture.
HIRED HELP
There is not a lot of contact with workers that are helping her Dad manage the farm. They are usually out in the fields by themselves.