cattle

Todd Johnson / Oklahoma State University Agricultural Communications Services

The cold weather gripping Oklahoma and a large swath of the United States is creating headaches for farmers who are working day and night to keep their livestock alive. The subzero temperatures are causing oil in tractors to gel and stop working, and water tanks to freeze over.

Todd Johnson / OSU Agricultural Communications Services

As most Oklahomans are being told to stay home and avoid being on the roads during record cold temperatures and back to back winter storms, the state’s farmers and ranchers don’t have a choice.

Seth Bodine / KOSU

On the 49th floor of the Devon Tower in Oklahoma City, a chef walked a cutting board with a large steak to a table where Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt was sitting. But this wasn’t just a regular steak — it was the first Oklahoma Certified Beef steak.

Chelsea Stanfield / KOSU

When the pandemic disrupted supply chains across the country, many grocery store meat shelves were empty. Now, Oklahoma ranchers are finding more ways to sell local beef straight to consumers.

To the human eye, a herd of cows look almost identical. But new technology is being developed to identify cattle through facial recognition and this research may lead to a faster way to track cattle in the event of a disease outbreak.

Seth Bodine / KOSU

Oklahoma is in another flash drought — a drought that appears and spreads rapidly like a flood. This could affect farmers trying to plant crops, ranchers trying to feed cattle and increase wildfire danger across the state.

Allison Herrera

When I visited Quapaw Nation's beef processing plant in 2018, it was less than a year old. The building was still pretty shiny and cattle and bison grazed on a vast field. They had a dozen or so employees and were in the process of getting one of the first Native Americans ⁠— a young Quapaw man ⁠— to be trained as a USDA meat inspector. Today, a lot has changed.

It turns out, cows may play an important role in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

SAB Biotherapeutics is in the business of making what are known as polyclonal antibodies. These are a collection of different antibodies that a body makes to ward off a specific invading organism.

The company has made polyclonal antibodies to treat influenza and MERS. Now it's making them with the aim of treating or even preventing COVID-19. To make them, SAB uses cows.

Glenn Carstens-Peters / Unsplash

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Purdue recently announced that $545 million in aid has been approved for farmers who have been affected by COVID-19.

Chelsea Stanfield

A growing demand for more locally-sourced food options has been highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on large meat processing hubs throughout the country. Oklahoma ranchers want to increase the state’s cattle processing and packing capacity to provide more local beef options for Oklahoma consumers. 

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