Subway – Please Listen to America’s Farmers and Ranchers

Subway has a huge presence in many farming and ranching communities, many with few fast-food options. I have been a huge supporter of Subway over the years. Since I do some traveling for work, they have always been a healthy, convenient eating choice for me. Many utilize Subway for lunches after long mornings working cattle or doing field work, days which begin long before the sun rises in the morning.

Harvest time is blessed with a rainbow in Nebraska

Harvest time is blessed with a rainbow in Nebraska

On Tuesday, October 20, Subway made the following statement. Which of course was extremely frustrating for myself and many others who raise the food we eat on a daily basis. We take great pride in taking care of our animals and ensuring they live a healthy life.

 

The health of cattle is the main concern of Americas farmers and ranchers

The health of cattle is the main concern of Americas farmers and ranchers

“Tuesday, Subway restaurants made the announcement that beginning in March 2016 it will serve chicken raised without antibiotics. Further, the company will source turkey, pork and beef in the same manner within a 10 year period. A spokesman for Subway stated that company’s goal is “eliminating antibiotics from all of its meat supplies within 10 years”.

 

I could spend a long time writing about this subject, and it is an emotionally driven one. But the one thing I want the American consumer to understand, is we take great pride in our animals and providing you a safe, tasty, wholesome product. Our farm animals are usually healthy, but there are occasions they require antibiotics. The only other option is to let them suffer and eventually die a painful death. Yes, I will say it like it is on the farm or ranch.

 

Cattle enjoy their morning meal on a farm in rural Nebraska

Cattle enjoy their morning meal on a farm in rural Nebraska

On our ranch, we treat each animal with respect and want them to live healthy lives. Farm animals can become sick with cold and flu like illnesses, just like us. And when they become sick we doctor our cattle with antibiotics to get them feeling better quickly. Many people have companion animals (dogs or cats). When they become sick, they take them to their veterinarian. Farmers and ranchers are no different with their cattle. We have close relationships with our veterinarians.  The antibiotics we use are under strict supervision of a licensed veterinarian and there are protocols in place for using them.

A large misconception, which is spread by mainstream media, is meat animals are pumped full of antibiotics.  This is simply a false statement. One of the drugs we treat sick cattle with is called Draxxin. A 500ml bottle cost farmers and ranchers over $2000 dollars.  Yes, dropping a bottle is simply not an option! And neither is allowing our cattle to suffer with illness. We use these antibiotics in small levels to help sick animals feel better quickly.

As farm animal caretakers, we want our animals to live a healthy life. When they become sick, we doctor them. This calf isn't feeling good, and we gave it antibiotics to get it feeling better quickly

As farm animal caretakers, we want our animals to live a healthy life. When they become sick, we doctor them. This calf isn’t feeling good, and we gave it antibiotics to get it feeling better quickly. Photo credit Elysabeth Kierl, Guide Rock, NE

There is no option once an animal gets an illness. We treat them. The fall months are a common time for cattle to become sick. The weather plays a large part of this. Large swings in temperatures is one possible factor in cattle catching an illness.  90 degrees during the day, then cooling down into the 40s at night can trigger illnesses in cattle. Wet, damp weather can cause them to get sick as well. These factors cause us as humans to not feel well also. My son had bad bronchitis last week. Of course after I realized he couldn’t fight the infection on his own, my husband and I took him to the doctor. It’s the same for cattle. Just a little veterinarian visit and they feel much better quickly.

A sick calf comes to the hospital to get treated. It had a fever and required a small dose of antibiotic to feel better

A sick calf comes to the hospital to get treated. It had a fever and required a small dose of antibiotic to feel better

Once the animal is doctored with an antibiotic, farmers and ranchers follow strict withdrawal protocols. This means the animal is not allowed to enter the food chain until the withdrawal period is finished. The meat packing plants have steps in place, including testing, to ensure withdrawal periods are followed.

A calf was limping and needed to visit the hospital. It had a foot infection and required a small dose of antibiotic to feel better.

A calf was limping and needed to visit the hospital. Troy decided she had a foot infection and required a small dose of antibiotic to feel better.

As Americans, we are blessed with the safest food supply around the globe. We have protocols in place to ensure animals which have been treated with antibiotics don’t enter the food supply. Farmers and ranchers follow their veterinarians treatment regime to help animals feel better quickly.

I am blessed to have a wonderful way of life. I enjoy every day of it. It breaks my heart to see a sick animal. So just like when we as humans have an infection, Im going to make sure my animals feel better quickly. It makes perfect sense. Why would we allow our farm animals to suffer?

Calves in a family owned feedlot in Nebraska

Calves in a family owned feedlot in Nebraska

To end this post I have a few requests. The first is for Subway  –  please take time to listen to Americas farmers and ranchers and understand farm animal antibiotic use.  Also, our supply is antibiotic free. The second request is to those who enjoy Subway restaurants as much as I do. Take the time and visit your local franchise, most likely, locally owned. Let them know your feelings toward Subways corporate decision to purchase “antibiotic free’ meat. Many local franchise owners don’t know about this decision or why it is an issue in their communities. Be polite and kindly let them know Americas meat supply is antibiotic free.

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About Husker Cowgirl

I am a ranchers wife, regional sales manager for Turnkey Computer Systems feedyard accounting software and an avid Husker fan. I am passionate about agriculture and especially beef cattle. My husband and I do things on our ranch the old fashioned way - using horses. I also enjoy taking my horses to town and competing with them at local, state and national events on the weekends.
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4 Responses to Subway – Please Listen to America’s Farmers and Ranchers

  1. ekierl says:

    Do I get some photo credits. Lol. Just joking. But loved your article!!! I’m very worried about the future of livestock production.

  2. Mollie says:

    Well said! We proudly support local farmers and ranchers and the products the produce for us!

  3. Seasonsgirl says:

    You might be interested in my bloging friends post: https://feedyardfoodie.wordpress.com/2015/10/23/following-up-on-subway/
    Its on the same subject and she had one before this as well 🙂
    I am so proud of you ladies for standing up for the truth and not letting big business run with half-truths, lies, and feeding America with things that are unrealistic or even more cruel to animals then using antibiotics.
    Keep up the good work 🙂

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