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History: Reflections from a California Feedlot

Reprinted from the October 1950 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Reflections from a California Feedlot
By Mary Terrill, Medicine Hat, Alta.

‘From a low hill at Collinsville, California, I gazed with mixed feelings on the biggest feed-yards in the West. It was built on the delta of the river, across the Bay from San Francisco, where the mighty Sacramento holds back the sea. It was a sight which played on many strings for it represented the final stage of the North American cattle industry – a beef factory, high pressured, scientific, concentrated… And the “end of the trail” for the colorful, open range ranching venture from which it had sprung.

It was the brainchild, I was told, of a young business man from east of the Alleghanies. A man with vision, who took the basic factors in the cycle of the cow – from soil, through feed, to beef – and built them into this gigantic, self-contained project which he brought to its highest point of efficiency before he died in 1941 “when his hair had started to grey at his temples.”

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