By Ana Kennedy, Arizona Farm Bureau: “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” I ran across this quote and it got me thinking… For farmers and ranchers animal care is their primary concern and responsibility. Regardless of how our animals are raised (conventionally or otherwise), their treatment is of significant importance.
The author, Ana Kennedy, will tell you that the majority of farms and ranches in America care for their animals using the most humane care and treatment. This is instilled in farm families from an early age. "You grow up with it and you see the changes in improved care," she says.
Many Americans enjoy eating healthy, nutritious meat and it is an important part of a balanced diet. We should be proud of modern farmers who have adopted a number technologies over the years that help them ensure the health and comfort of their livestock. Some people don’t think animals should be kept in individual pens or get medicine when they are sick. But having grown up on a Holstein calf feedlot, individual pens for young calves meant they received the proper amount of food. And if they got sick, we could monitor their health and ensure they received proper medical treatment.
Ana Kennedy's brother, Richie and his son, are carrying on the farming tradition keeping animal husbandry a key priority.
The debate will continue regarding modern farming practices as they relate to animals, but farmers should embrace the quote, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated,” as they have made great strides in animal care.