Doug Parrett>LPL Interviews N-Z>LPL Interviews K-Z, Segment 3


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Father had beef cattle, pigs, raised grain. Corn sold for $2/bushel after WWII. Then you could feed corn to animals and gain with their sale more than selling the grain. Had about 50 cows. Rotate corn, soybeans, corn, hay crop. By 1960s, improved fertilizer, rotated corn and soy. By 1969, when he went to college, sold the pigs because there was one less person to do chores. Cows have lower labor needs; eat in pastures and drink water, winter hay. Hogs need feeding twice a day, process pigs. Needed to have a large operation, too. Beef cattle was usually a second or third source of income. Use hilly or treed acres for pasture, rest for grain. Lifestyle enterprise. Currently 700,000 beef producers in US. Eight per cent of them raise 60 per cent of cows. Most of Illinois beef raisers are in western Illinois in timber lands, not in grain soils.
Found that people from other places had different ideas and how interesting people were. Learned about nuts and bolts of agriculture. Worked in the Meat Science Lab. Harvested animals from research projects. Studied impact of diet on fat, muscle. "Harvest" here means butchering the animal. Many people do not understand where meat comes from. Became intrigued with the processes. As a senior, his father told him to work for someone else for five years. Coming back home might not be good. He was asked if he wanted to be meat manager and pay for his M.A. So he did; stipend of $6000/year. Then he was asked to get a PhD and work with animal competition - $10,000 stipend. Did that for five years. By then he knew he would never go home again to farm. He helped his father, though.