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  2. Table of Contents Introduction Beef Production Pork Production Sheep Production Dairy Production Poultry Production Seafood Vegetables, Fruits, & Nuts Cereal Grains and Other Crops

  3. Introduction American agriculture is the world’s largest commercial industry and America’s largest employer.

  4. Americans spend less than 11% of their disposable income on food compared to many other countries whose citizens spend 60% to 70% of their disposable income on food. Photo by Ken Hammond courtesy of USDA Online Photography Center

  5. Because of the efficiency of American agricultural industry, consumers have a choice of more than 12,000 food items when shopping in local supermarkets. Photo by Ken Hammond courtesy of USDA Online Photography Center

  6. Beef Production The U. S. cattle industry is comprised of more than 1 million individual farms and ranches. Texas leads the nation with over 14 million head of cattle.

  7. Beef cattle, like dairy cattle and sheep, are ruminants, which allows them to eat large amounts of hay and grass and convert the cellulose in those plants into beef. Beef is the primary source of protein for the consumers in the U. S.

  8. From Pasture to Plate: It takes 1 ½ to 2 years time to produce beef for processing. A calf is born and lives primarily off of its mother’s milk. Photo by Lynn Betts courtesy of USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

  9. At 7 to 8 months of age, the calf is weaned and put on pasture where it will graze until it weighs approximately 700 pounds. Photo by Jeff Vanuga courtesy of USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

  10. At about 1 year old, the calf will be placed in a feedlot where it will be fed grain (corn, barley, oats), along with protein, vitamins and minerals. Photo by M. Jasek

  11. In addition to continued muscle growth, the grain-fed calf will start putting on desirable intramuscular fat (marbling), which improves the tenderness and flavor of beef. Photo by M. Jasek

  12. When the calf reaches the desired weight, it is sent to a processing or packing plant where it is slaughtered and dressed. Photo courtesy of the USDA Online Photography Center.

  13. The USDA inspects carcasses for any problems that would make them unfit for consumption. The USDA grades the carcasses (utility to prime) based on the age of the carcass and the marbling in the meat. Photo courtesy of USDA Online Photography Center.

  14. The carcasses are also yield graded (1, 2, 3, 4, or 5) based on the fat to muscle ratio.

  15. After chilling (1 to 2 days) the carcasses are cut into wholesale cuts and sent by refrigerated trucks to supermarkets.

  16. The butcher then cuts the wholesale cuts up into retail cuts (steaks, roasts, etc.) which are wrapped in plastic and displayed for the customers. Ground beef is the most popular form of beef.

  17. By-products of the beef animal include: • Leather (hide) • Brushes (hair) • Buttons, glue, gelatin, toothbrushes (bones & horns) • Variety meats (liver, heart, kidneys, tongue, & brains)

  18. Other food by-products such as marshmallows, chewing gum, and sausage casings) • Other by-products such as hand creams, animal feeds, soap, and drugs (insulin, rennet, epinephrine, and thrombin).

  19. Cattle Products

  20. It takes about 35 million cattle to provide consumers with 29 billion pounds of beef that is consumed each year. In the U. S., this amounts to more than 67 pounds of beef per person.

  21. Pork Production U. S. pork producers market over 99 million market hogs each year. Pigs were once raised on nearly every farm for food and additional income. Photo by Jack Delano courtesy of USDA Online Photography Center.

  22. Today about 114,000 farms are actually considered commercial pork production units. More than 80% of hogs produced each year are grown on farms that produce 1,000 or more hogs annually. Photo by Lynn Betts courtesy of USDA Online Photography Center.

  23. Pigs are born in litters (average 9 to 10 pigs) in a farrowing house and usually stay with the sow for 3 to 4 weeks. Photo by Keith Weller courtesy of USDA Agricultural Research Service.

  24. When pigs reach a weight of 10 to 15 pounds, they are weaned and moved to a nursery where pigs are fed a complex diet. Photo by Tim McCabe courtesy of USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

  25. When pigs reach 8 to 10 weeks of age and weigh about 40 to 60 pounds, they are moved to another barn, known as the growing-finishing barn. Photo by Lynn Betts courtesy of USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

  26. In the growing-finishing barn, pigs are fed all they can consume until they weigh about 250 pounds, at which time they are marketed. Photo by Bob Nichols courtesy of USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

  27. Market pigs are sold to packing plants, where they are slaughtered and some processing may occur.

  28. Pigs, at 72%, have the highest dressing percentage of slaughter animals (cattle 60%). Photo courtesy of USDA Online Photography Center.

  29. The packing plant sells the whole carcasses or the wholesale cuts to supermarkets, which cut up the pork into retail cuts, package it, and display it for the consumer.

  30. Pig by-products include: • lard, • hair for bushes, • glue, • leather, • soap, and • Nearly 40 drugs & pharmaceuticals.

  31. Also, heart valves of pigs are transplanted into the hearts of humans and the skin of pigs may be used on people who have been badly burned.

  32. The per capita consumption of pork in the U. S. in 2000 was 57.7 pounds.

  33. Sheep Production Sheep are raised in every state of the Union, but most are raised in the West and Midwest.

  34. Texas produces 17% of the total U. S. products for the sheep and wool industry (1 out of 5 sheep in U. S. raised in Texas).

  35. Sheep are ruminants and feed on grasses, forbs, and wood plants. Sheep can be raised on land unsuitable for cultivation. Photo by Jeff Vanuga courtesy of USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

  36. Sheep raised for meat fall into two categories, lamb and mutton, which are based on age of the animal and joints in the forelegs at the lower end of the metacarpals. Photo by Tim McCabe courtesy of USDA Natural Resources and Conservation Service.

  37. Lambs are under one year of age and have a cartilaginous structure that “breaks” at this joint. Mutton comes from sheep that are yearlings or older and have an ossified joint, called a spool joint, that will not break. Lamb meat is more tender and has a milder flavor.

  38. A ewe will give birth to one, two, or sometimes three lambs during the spring. Lambs are nursed by their mothers for 4 to 5 months. Photo by Ron Nichols courtesy of USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

  39. They are then weaned and may go directly to the packing plant for slaughter. If not taken to slaughter, they will go to a feedlot where they are fed grain (corn, milo, oats, or barley) until they reach a weight of 90 to 110 pounds (2 or 3 months).

  40. Like cattle and pigs, sheep are slaughtered and processed. The meat is sent to supermarkets where the retail cuts are made, packaged and displayed for customers.

  41. By-products of sheep include: * cosmetics, * insulin & other medicines, * glue, * fertilizers, * felt, * sheepskin (rugs & diplomas), * catgut (tennis rackets), * waxes for candles, * fats for soaps, * wool, * bone for china, * leather, * musical strings, and * stearin (gum & candy).

  42. America’s ethnic diversity has helped increase the consumption of lamb.

  43. Dairy Production Dairy cattle are the most efficient protein converters and the second most efficient energy converters among domestic livestock. Photo by Keith Weller courtesy of USDA Agricultural Research Service.

  44. Dairy cattle provide us with milk and other dairy products, such as butter, cheese, cottage cheese, ice cream, yogurt, powdered milk, and evaporated milk. USDA photo by Ken Hammond

  45. Many dairy cattle are fed a complete ration, also known as a total mixed ration (TMR), meaning that concentrates, roughages, and by-products are all mixed together and fed at one time. Dairy cattle require different amounts of nutrients, depending on their stage of growth or lactation.

  46. The average dairy farm milks twice a day, every day of the year. The first milking usually takes place from 4:00 a.m. to 700 a.m. and the second milking takes place from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

  47. Mechanical milking machines are used to milk the cows because they are quicker, easier, and more sanitary than hand milking.

  48. Milk leaves the cow through the milking machine and is pipelined into a storage tank, where it is chilled and stored until it is picked up in bulk by stainless steel, refrigerated trucks.

  49. Milk is trucked to processing plants and pumped into refrigerated bulk tanks. Photo by Ken Hammond courtesy of USDA Online Photography Center.

  50. At the processing plant, milk is clarified, pasteurized, homogenized and then packaged in sterile paper, glass, or plastic containers.