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Beefs and Beliefs

Weed-Eating Cows Have Dollar Value

New video details value of training cows to eat unconventional plants

Our friend Kathy Voth, who teaches cattle to eat normally "unpalatable" weeds, just released a new video outlining the economic value of the practice.

We featured Kathy's methods a couple years ago in Beef Producer. Her concept begins with teaching cows or replacement heifers to eat plants they normally don't. Once acclimated to the taste, feel and nutritional values of those plants, they teach their calves and even other cattle in the herd to eat them.

It's a concept well described and researched, especially at Utah State University where Fred Provenza's BEHAVE group has been examining animal food choices and grazing behavior for many years now.

Voth says the practice is so successful she can't believe more people aren't using it. But in our tradition-bound industry it's not always easy for people to move into new mental territory.

That's why Voth's new video focuses on the economics of the practice. If you want to watch it, go to

You can get Voth's recently released book on the topic at

She's also working on a written version of this for Beef Producer, which most likely will run in the January edition. Watch for it in your January edition of the Farm Progress publication to which you subscribe

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