9th Way and Beyond – Jacob Ranson’s Story

Our first 9th Way and Beyond story features Jacob Ranson, a 9th Way developer and technical lead, who shares insights into his family’s long-standing tradition of cattle farming.

Jacob’s farm has been in his family since 1843, passed down through six generations. He states, “Every day while I’m working, I pass old barns, farmhouses, and even a blacksmith shop built by my distant ancestors.” In recent years, Jacob has expanded his family’s farming operations to two additional locations.

Jacob started working on the farm at a very young age, learning the ropes quickly. “It’s standard to start working alongside your dad at least by the time you are 4 years old,” Jacob explained. He has dedicated most weekends and evenings to the farm, building a rock-solid work ethic that has also benefited his professional career.

Farming allows Jacob to be outdoors, which he loves. He feels a great sense of accomplishment in caring for the cattle and improving their lives. “Whether that be fly control, giving fresh salt and mineral, feeding a bale of hay, or opening them up to a new pasture, seeing the cows happy makes me happy,” he says.

Jacob also addresses some common misconceptions about cattle farming. Regarding the use of antibiotics, he states, “It would be irrational to use more antibiotics than necessary. They are not cheap and administering them is a challenge. When a cow or calf legitimately needs antibiotics for something like pinkeye or an infection, it is a last resort but necessary to keep the animal alive.”

On the issue of methane production and climate change, Jacob points out, “Cattle account for 4% of our nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. If we were to remove all cattle and poultry from the US food system, the global reduction would be a mere 0.36%.” These misconceptions can lead to serious misinformation about the trade.

Thank you, Jacob, for sharing your insights and knowledge with us!

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