National Geographic : 1952 Jan
39 National Geographic photographer B. Anthony Stewart Catering to the Housewife's Taste: Prime Aim of a 10-Billion-Dollar Industry The American housewife sets livestock fashions, for cattlemen breed animals to yield the cuts that appeal to her (page 33). At 7:30 a. m . meat cutters in this supermarket began to trim, package, and price meats for the refrigerated display counters. By 9 a. m . opening, customers could help themselves without standing in line. This purchaser, who wanted an extra-thick steak, rang a bell to get special service. ceeds more slowly. Sheep produce only one or two young at a time instead of litters, reach sexual maturity later, and breed once a year compared to twice for swine. This last, factor has been the subject of experimentation sponsored by Armour and Company. Hormone injections have been given to ewes in an effort to force them to breed twice a year. Results thus far, the experimenters report, have been extremely promising. With Fargo, North Dakota, as headquar ters, we set out on a tour of farms in the rich Red River Valley to study trends toward balanced farming in that area. North Dakota farmers are not large livestock operators (grain still is the foremost crop), but on the great majority of farms animals are raised.* Small herds are not unusual. In Iowa, largest feeder cattle State, few farmers fatten more than 70 head of cattle, but there are 200,000 thus engaged. Each year some 300,000 feeder cattle go from North Dakota to markets where they are bought by Corn Belt cattlemen for fur ther fattening in their feed lots. Roland and Charles Brandt operate a typi cal Red River Valley farm of 1,040 acres near Fargo. They escorted us about the broad * See "North Dakota Comes into Its Own," by Leo A. Borah, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, Septem ber, 1951.