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The Cattle Industry of the Great Plains:
An Annotated Bibliography
Chad Lattin
Academic affiliation: Oklahoma State University
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Couzin, Jennifer. "Cattle Diet Linked to Bacterial Growth." Science 281.5383 (Sept., 1998): 1578. It tries to show a link between the diets of the cattle and the bacteria Escherichia coli. Although there are standards in place to try and control the bacteria from reaching beef products that we consume, cases of it reaching food supply are still being reported. The bacteria naturally lives in the digestive track of the cattle, but around World War II, the diets of the beef cattle changed from hay to starchy grain feed, and the bacteria was able to survive at a higher rate. This e coli bacterium, from the grain fed cattle, is more resistant to acids and can survive in the stomachs of humans, causing infection and illness. It was found that the process of digestion in cattle leaves some if the grain undigested and allows it ferment, giving the bacteria food to grow, but in the hay fed cattle, this didn't happen and the bacteria's reproduction rate was lower. The solution is to switch the cattle to hay instead of grain five days before slaughter, thus reducing the bacteria count. However, it is difficult to get the industry to switch because of initial cost differences. The article is short, but provides a well developed article with enough support. It is a good starting point to research cattle disease.

Damhoueyeh, Said A. and David C. Hartnett. "Effects of Bison and Cattle on Growth, Reproduction, and Abundances of Five Tallgrass Prairie Forbs." American Journal of Botany 84.12 (Dec., 1997): 1719-28. Natural tall grass prairie ecosystems in Kansas are subject to different factors. Cattle and bison both graze the area naturally. Fires also occur affecting the vegetation. Bison do not affect the grass species as much as the cattle, because they are less selective and have a smaller dietary niche. Differences stem from morphology, social behavior, physiology, and environmental tolerance. Findings show that the animals' effects could not really measure changes in plant reproduction, but changes in plant growth were measured. The scientific evidence and data are shown well in graphical representations. This would be of help to someone studying plant reproduction and environmental effects, including indigenous animals.

Dennen, R. Taylor. "Cattle Trailing in the Nineteenth Century." The Journal of Economic History 35.2 (Jun., 1975): 458-60. The assumptions that Galenson makes in his article are incorrect. The prices of cattle had some influence, but problems with cattle from Texas, like disease, prompted Kansas to pass laws that prohibited them from being driven into Kansas, and this stopped the Chisholm Trail. Other states soon adopted similar quarantine laws, and this is the actual cause of Texas cattle being shipped and not driven, ending the trail. If Galenson had examined the price ratios he used, on a regional basis, rather than applying them only to Texas Cattle, there might have been more validity in that argument. It is a good argument against Galenson's article. Although the article might be outdated, it offers a good argument and a new perspective.

Diseases of Cattle. Cattle Today Inc. 21 Feb. 2003. http://www.cattletoday.info/. Common diseases of beef cattle including their symptoms, treatment and prevention are examined. There are many links for the different diseases with the specific information for each disease listed. Examples of some diseases include, anaplasmosis, anthrax, brucellosis, internal and external parasites, and trichomoniasis. It is very useful if researching a wide variety of cattle diseases. The information seems to be accurate and from a reliable source. The manner in which it is presented makes it easy to understand the differences among the diseases. The cattle today main site is an online newsletter that people in the industry can subscribe to and get related information periodically.

Doran, Michael F. "Antebellum Cattle Herding in the Indian Territory." Geographical Review 66.1 (Jan., 1976): 48-58. Native American tribes had actually begun herding cattle before the civil war. The herding of cattle has been viewed by historians as being invented by Texas ranchers and as part of their culture and heritage. The Five Civilized Tribes had control of the area in the West before the Civil War, and had herding and exporting of cattle in place; however, during the Civil War many of these herds were destroyed by the North and the South, and the tribes could not resume the herding with the same force, and their efforts were not recorded by historians. By looking at the past cattle herding of the tribes, a better understanding of open range ranching can better be understood. The information may be dated, but it is a different argument then what others have offered.

Galenson, David. "The End of the Chisholm Trail." The Journal of Economic History 34.2 (Jun., 1974): 350-64. The possible reasons for the end of the Chisholm Trail and the economic impact that it had are questioned. Details about the trail and the type of cattle that were used on the drives are examined. Three main reasons for its closure are suggested; barbed wire fences, railroad expansion and quarantine laws. These answers are troublesome because the trail ended abruptly in one year's time. In 1885, 350,000 cattle were driven across the trail in 1886 there were none driven. A combination of the above as well beef demand, cost efficiency, and the opening of the land for settlement are the reasons for closure of the trail. The article maybe outdated, but may still provide credible theories for the closure of the trail and statistical information about the trail.

Gray PhD, George, Silvia Kreindel and David Ropeik. "Made Cow Disease Risk in the United States; Does Perceived Threat Overshadow True Likelihood of Occurrence?" Postgraduate Medicine 111.2 (Feb., 2002): 13. The reason of why cattle developed mad cow disease and why it only occurred in cattle in the United Kingdom is analyzed. Because high protein pellets made from reused animal parts can allow the disease to survive and be passed on to the cattle that receive the pellets, the diet of the cattle is a probable cause. Dairy cows are the breed with the highest occurrence of mad cow disease and they were also the breed that was fed the most protein pellets in order in increase production. Ways to keep the disease out of the United States are explored and the processes evaluated. It is an up to date article that provides a good background for understanding the disease.

Patterson, Paul E. Great Plains Cattle Empire: Thatcher Brothers and Associates. Lubbock, Texas: Texas Tech U P, 2000. Three stages of the cattle industry are recognized; first, the "cowboy" stage, when times are tough and only the dedicated are around; second, the "trader" stage, this is when the profits start to rise; finally is the "drugstore cowboy" stage, this happens when urban entrepreneurs, like drugstore owners, become involved in the industry which leads to an inflation in the cattle, causing a bust, and then the cycle begins again with the "cowboy" stage. Some reasons for the bust include a declining price in the market, droughts and tough winters. The book closely follows the story of the Thatcher family. It reads more like a story rather than a factual account. It is helpful to get a feeling for the life of a rancher on the plains.

Perren, Richard. "The North American Beef and Cattle Trade with Great Britain, 1897-1914." The Economic History Review 24.3 (Aug., 1971): 430-44. Cattle trade with Britain and North America has a long history, but more attention has been given to South American trade or trade in frozen meat, and thus the quality of North American meat has been underrated. The meat arriving from South America is below the quality of North American meat, and different preservation techniques influence the meat as well. Freezing the meat increases the chance of disease spreading, but the cost efficiency of shipping the frozen meat is cheaper than other techniques. The British meat industry will change as to which type is accepted more often. The article is outdated but still examines the trade in detail.

Phillips, C. J. C. Principles of Cattle Production. New York, New York: CBI Publishing, 2001. It looks at cattle production and examines is a scientific approach. History of cattle production is given as a background to present situations. Cattle accommodations are considered and problems that might arise from inadequate environments are discussed. Cattle nutrition and reproduction are examined and explained. The health and diseases of cattle are explored in relation to its effect on production. Future trends in the industry are briefly explored, with special attention is paid to effects on the environment from production. It is a very factual book, containing many charts and graphs to illustrate data and to strengthen the arguments. It is well suited for students researching cattle production.

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