Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Thursday, October 13, 2016
Old-time Florida cattle ranchers remember and fear the flesh-eating screwworm
Cattle ranchers can tell you all about the screwworm. They'll recall how their fathers and grandfathers spent their days wrangling newborn calves in the woods of Pasco and Polk counties, "doctoring" their open navels with pine tar before the flesh-eating maggots killed them. Earlow Costine, 69, of Lakeland, is one of the few cattlemen still in the business who remembers dealing with the screwworm.
"People today don't know how bad it was," Costine said at the Lakeland auction this week. He remembered as a 10 year-old boy going out into the woods and restraining the calves as his father scraped out the maggots and treated the wound.
"The navel was the worst place, though they'd get the teeth and the eyes," he said. "If you didn't get them out of the baby it was dead."...more
As a youngster that's how I saw my first dead calf. We always had screwworm medicine in our saddlebags. On this day we saw a cow with a full bag come into water and we followed her back to her calf. The little fellow had just died and it was a terrible sight, with worms coming out of its eyes and mouth. I don't remember how old I was, but I eventually had to leave my bunk that night and spend the rest of the night with Uncle Archie and Aunt Geraldine.