Sometimes it seems like farmers might be speaking a different language when they are telling you about their operation. They use terms like “feeder cattle,” “forages,” and “drain tile.” While those might be common terms to other people in the ag industry, your average consumer might not understand the actual definitions of these terms. We hope by creating this agriculture term glossary, folks can understand the ag world event better.

Let us know if you have a term you think we should add!

Agronomist: a crop scientist who monitors plant health and assists farmers in growing crops in the safest and most efficient way possible.

Akaushi (Red Wagyu): a red breed of cattle from Japan known for high quality beef and excellent fertility.

Artificial insemination: a modern livestock breeding practice that uses safe and humane techniques to place fresh or thawed semen directly into the receiving female reproductive tract.

Cow/Calf operation: a farm or ranch that raises cattle from the time they’re born as calves until weaning.

CRP: The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) provides a yearly rental payment to farmers who remove environmentally sensitive land from agricultural production and plant species that will improve environmental health and quality.

Dry Lots/Feedlot: a lot with packed dirt and bedding where livestock can be closely monitored and fed grain or forage-based diets.

Embryo transfer: a scientific advancement that allows newly formed embryos to be collected from a donor female and placed in a recipient female where the embryo will grow to term.

Feeder Cattle/Pigs/Sheep: the stage in an animal’s life after weaning where they can continue growing on a high energy diet.

Forages: hay and grass-based feeds.

Marbling: the small flecks of fat within a meat product that add flavor and result in a higher quality grade.

Pour-On: a liquid dewormer applied to the backs of livestock to treat parasites (i.e. internal worms, flies, lice) [poured: dewormer has been applied]

Processing: the cutting of meat into desired portions, inspecting product for food safety, and packaging before being sold.

Quality grade: a Federal evaluation that uses measurements like marbling and animal’s age to determine the eating experience (flavor, tenderness, juiciness) for a cut of meat, ranking of commonly used grades highest to lowest is prime, choice, select, standard.

Row Crop: plants that can be grown in rows (i.e. corn, soybeans, wheat).

Steer: a castrated male bovine

Varieties: different types of grain that can be planted for specific desired traits (insect resistance, higher yields, etc)

Wean/weaning/weaned: the process of removing nursing calves from their mothers.