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Follow practical information for the beef producer on essential topics including management, reproduction and calving, new technology, facilities improvement, beef quality, and feed and nutrition.

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When it comes to tackling environmental issues in the cattle industry, Dave Petty of Iowa River Ranch near Eldora, Iowa, has always been one to grab the bull by the horns. Petty and his wife, Diane, are first generation farmers who founded their own ranch in 1987.  Primarily a cow-calf operation with a finishing feedlot, the Iowa River Ranch is a diversified farm encompassing cropland, pasture and hay land. Petty has demonstrated a lifetime commitment to being a good steward to the land and the environment while producing quality Angus cattle.

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Unlike the animated “Wile E. Coyote” who is often outsmarted by his target, the flesh-and-blood version is a real threat to vulnerable and weakened prey, including livestock.

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Farmer and rancher success is based on the extent to which they can maintain ecosystem balance on their properties. Plants, animals and soil microorganisms must perform in concert for each other’s benefit to obtain optimal production from the land.

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Editor’s note: This is the final article in a three-part series.

Stocker cattle operators have been described as the cattle industry’s shock absorber between cow-calf producers and feedlot managers.

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My entrance into the farm business world came by a rather unexpected job offer my senior year of college to work for our regional farm credit association.

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We encounter contracts on almost a daily basis. While handshakes and oral agreements are still very prevalent today, written contracts are an important way to memorialize agreements and hopefully help mitigate future conflicts.

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