A group of Korean agriculture students visited a cattle ranch outside St. Louis to learn about the cattle and beef industry in the United States. All of the students are majoring in beef, chicken or grain farming in their home country.
Bill McLaren, a rancher who runs three beef herds, invited the students to tour his ranch after receiving a request from the Missouri Beef Industry Council.
During their stay in Missouri, the students were able to interact with the cattle and ask McLaren and Missouri Beef Council CFO, David Althoff, questions about the U.S. beef industry. The students were primarily interested in price stability and profitability in a declining market.
Through use of a translator, one student explained that Korea’s government is trying hard to improve the quality of beef produced. The student asked McLaren if more high-grade beef was on the market, wouldn’t prices for that grade drop? McLaren answered that this would be the case, but cows contain very little prime meat.
“It would be a long time before we flood the market with prime beef,” McLaren said.
Throughout the tour and Q&A, the students learned many differences about farming practices in Korea and in the U.S. The students watched the cattle in the field and noticed how relaxed the cattle were when going through chutes for insemination and vaccination.
“They were amazed at how calm the grass-fed cows are,” McLaren said. “In Korea, there is no pasture, all cows are fed in buildings. We explained that we work for low stress on the cows and on the farmhands.”