Joan Ruskamp, Nebraska
"I’m Joan Ruskamp from Dodge, Neb. My husband and I have J&S feedlot: it’s a cattle-feeding business and a farm. We started this farm in 1981 when we got married.
Steve and I take a great deal of energy and time in to providing good feed for our cattle. Before our cattle arrive, we’ve worked with a nutritionist to help us formulate a ration that will meet the needs of that animal. For example, when cattle first arrive at our yard, they weigh about 600 pounds. They’re going to need some time to grow their frame so their ration will include more hay and less corn. All of our cattle receive corn, alfalfa hay, corn stalks and a by-product of ethanol which is called distiller’s grain.
One of my jobs on our feedlot is to walk pens every morning. Every feedlot across the country has people either walking or riding horses and what we’re doing is looking at every animal, getting them up and making sure that they’re healthy.
The beef checkoff is more important than ever right now. We have consumers who are questioning our practices and even if beef is necessary in the diet."