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Farm & Ranch

Let your babies grow up the be cowboys

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By contributing writer Krista Lucas
People have heard the popular Winston Churchill saying, “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.” Horses and ranch life can shape a child in more positive ways than one.
Being involved with agriculture in any form can help the development of a child physically, emotionally and socially. Maturity can be gained through learning how to work with animals, as well as people.
Horses are used daily on a ranch, and many little boys and girls dream of having their own. An equine friend can be an instrumental tool in the development of a young child.
Jex Taylor, a four-year-old boy from Celina, Texas, has been around ranch life and horses his entire life by visiting his grandparents’ ranch.
He has learned how to brush, saddle and even ride a horse. His mom, Lindee Taylor, said his improvement in cognitive abilities such as language development was due to his involvement with horses.
“A speech therapist would constantly drill him with different labeled objects, but he wouldn’t interact,” Taylor said. “But when he started going to the barn, he was really interested every time.”
Horses helped Jex express himself. As a toddler, he rarely made any sounds, until he became involved with the horses and tractors on the ranch. He soon learned to make tractor noises and could name several horse breeds. To read more pick up the April 2014 issue of North Texas Farm & Ranch.

 

 
“He went from being almost nonverbal,” Taylor said, “to driving down the road and pointing out different types of horses.”
Jex became more observant by looking at horses and cattle, as well as wanting to communicate and be active on the ranch.
“He used to always want to sit in my lap everywhere,” Taylor said. “Now he wants to go to the barn.” When asked which horse is his favorite on the ranch, Jex replied, “Ace!”
“When he was three, every time I would ask, ‘What do you want for Christmas?’ he would say a horse,” Taylor said.
Ranch activities such as feeding cattle, including a 26-year-old longhorn, gave Jex the freedom to interact with others. Taylor said her son was excited to take a picture of the cow to show at his daycare.
Jex is just one of many boys and girls who have benefited from agriculture. Now there are even camps offered for children to participate in the rural way of life. There are therapeutic camps, riding lesson camps, and competitive rodeo camps.

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Farm & Ranch

Ranch Biosecurity

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By Barry Whitworth, DVM

With beef, pork, and poultry exports playing a vital role in the economic health of livestock operations, producers need to understand the dangers that foreign animal diseases and other diseases may have on the viability of their operations.

The recent discovery of Influenza A H5N1 virus in dairy cattle demonstrates the vulnerability of livestock operations to disease events. Sick animals are not the only consequence of a disease outbreak. The economic cost associated with disease can be high. Also, in foreign animal disease outbreaks, export markets can be temporarily lost. Currently, Columbia has restricted fresh/frozen beef and beef products from states with dairy herds testing positive for Avian Influenza. The best defense against these threats is a good biosecurity plan.

To read more, pick up a copy of the June issue of NTFR magazine. To subscribe by mail, call 940-872-5922.

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Farm & Ranch

Ag Elsewhere: Montana

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In Montana, June brings irrigating, brandings, and some wondrous sights from Mother Nature.

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Farm & Ranch

Ag Elsewhere: Wyoming

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By Tressa Lawrence

Happy June from the lands of Wyoming!

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