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Watch the 3:09 video interview here with Joan Ruskamp and Carter King HERE.

Nothing to Hide
Real cattle feeders explain how antibiotics are used.

Before Joan Ruskamp became a Nebraska cattle feeder, she was first a consumer with little knowledge of the feeding business.

"I didn't understand a lot of the 'why behind the what' that was going on, and living as a farmer for 37 years, as a cattle feeder, I have had my eyes opened and so I understand why consumers don't know, when they haven't been exposed to it and they haven't lived it," Ruskamp says.

One of the biggest misperceptions, Ruskamp says, is that farmers and ranchers have something to hide.

"We invite people to come onto our farms, and when they can say 'you act like you have nothing to hide,' that says a lot to me that they do trust me when they see what I'm doing," she says.

"I don't have anything to hide. "We are keeping records. We are being good stewards. We're seeking to be as responsible as possible. We're counting on good research, good solid research, to help us be better stewards, be better advocates of what we are doing."

The family–run business maintains a commitment to keeping cattle calm, comfortable and thriving through low–stress handling, proper nutrition – and, when needed, the responsible use of antibiotics.

Five hundred miles to the south, Carter King also makes a living ensuring cattle stay healthy. He oversees millions of head in the Texas panhandle and trains workers to distinguish sick cattle from healthy ones.

""Antibiotics, just as they're required in humans, they're also going to be required in anything with a beating heart that has the ability to contract an infectious disease. And it's our job. It's our oath that we took as veterinarians to care for those animals because they can't care for themselves in that situation," says King, who's also a veterinarian.

"We don't want these animals to get sick. We do everything in our power, whether it be welfare–wise, cattle movement–wise, cattle handling–wise, to decrease the incidence of those cattle that do get sick," he says. "The antimicrobials that are administered today are for prevention, treatment and control of disease."

Read more HERE.

For more information about antibiotic resistance,
attend the 9th Annual NIAA Antibiotics Symposium:
Communicating the Science of Responsible Use in Animal Agriculture
October 15-17 at Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.

Previous One Health Antibiotics Videos:

  1. Solving the Global Challenge of Antibiotic Stewardship with Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef Executive Director Ruaraidh Petre
  2. McDonald’s Works with Ranchers to Reduce Antibiotics Use with Ernie Meier, McDonald's Director of Quality Systems
  3. What to Expect from FDA's Plan to Curb Antibiotic Resistance, with Bill Flynn, FDA

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