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Internet Resources for Cattle Ranching


     Anyone looking for information on cattle ranching in America, or elsewhere, need look no further than their home computer or their local library.

       Scattered across the World Wide Web is a host of resources—from how to books, photos, charts and graphs, articles and more—designed to provide the latest information on the industry, including news, trends and basic information.

     By harnessing the power of the Internet, even the layman can garner a basic understanding of the complexity of the cattle ranching industry, and can focus their search to match their particular needs.

     In just seconds and with the simple click of a mouse you can have millions of pieces of information at your fingertips, to get a general knowledge about cattle or study the specific of genetics.

     Anyone looking to enter into the ranching industry, be it a small, home-based operation or a larger ranch, should take advantage of the multitude of resources at their disposal. Prior to entering into any stage of the ranching process, you can become a quick study on the topic, and get a better handle on how to manage your ranch, your cattle and your time.

Google
     The search engine Google ™, ( www.google.com ) , has become the Sherlock Holmes of choice among Internet users looking to find information on a particular topic. It is quick, easy to use, and does not contain the flashy, commercialized feel of most search engines. Instead, by entering the correct keywords, Google takes you into the libraries, Internet sites and resource pages that line the information superhighway. For cattle ranchers, this provides a great opportunity.

     Simple key word searches are the best place to start. “Beef Cattle Ranching” will yield a huge number of results, and you can then pick and choose sites based on the desired information. Google also allows you to narrow down, so, if you would like information on mineral supplements, simply search “Mineral Supplements Cattle Beef” or some variation, and you will soon have hundreds of pages to choose from that can give you the most basic to the most advanced information. Google also allows you to locate specific product sites, so you can make purchases directly from providers.

Extensions, list sites and more…
     Agricultural Extensions and cooperatives are scattered across the United States to provide educational resources, information and more to anyone within the agricultural industry. Born out of agencies under the United States Department of Agriculture, the extension system is a vast network of universities and programs and other institutions all with a common goal of furthering the advancement of a particular industry. For cattle ranching, hundreds of programs exist, and it is most likely there is an extension in or near your community.

     Why wait? Type in variations of “Beef Cattle Extension (name of your city/state/town)” into Google and see what happens. Within seconds, you should have at least a listing of nearby extensions. Extension Web sites are usually loaded with information on various topics, and contain detailed and specific research reports and studies that can provide an intricate knowledge of the beef industry and specific topics.

     Extensions and other Web sites provide access to a host of different information. One site, www.cattlepages.com, provides a variety of resources, including frequently asked questions, tips for the beginning rancher, publications, classified ads, market information, latest news, and more. Similar sites dot the Internet. To find a listing of some of these sites and other beef resources, visit http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/library/cattbeef.html. This is just one of hundreds of similar sites available, but does provide a somewhat comprehensive list of extensions, beef alliances, resources, reports and publications, etc..

United States Department of Agriculture
     Any rancher raising any type of livestock needs to visit www.usda.gov and visit the “agriculture” section to learn about the government’s role in their operations and the numerous programs they provide for funding, education and information. Here, you can also find a number of industry tips, reports, statistics and studies. Learn about government programs, regulations and restrictions on cattle ranching. Also learn about environmental issues within the industry, registrations programs and much more.

     Remember, these are just a drop in the information bucket when it comes to the World Wide Web. If you wanted, you could spend hours upon hours combing Web site after Web site and, at the same time, get an in-depth understanding of the cattle industry, the ins and outs of ranching, and much, much more.

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