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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

David Yurman Likes Turquoise

And so do I....

This week Turquoise Thursday is coming a littler earlier in the week, due to a special holiday tomorrow. A few years ago I discovered David Yurman, and I have been dreaming ever since. Last year, on my sister's and I's trip to to Vegas, I got to go to the David Yurman store and try on some of their bracelets and rings - heaven. I love their unique design, and this style of bracelet actually fits my little wrists. One day I will own one of their signature cable bracelets, but for today I share this one with you.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

LIvestock Judging Score Card Calculator

Helpful tip of the day

I am not sure how many of my followers are livestock judgers or maybe your kids are, but it's certainly a passion of mine. It took me all the way from a little town in Alberta, Canada, and landed me in Missouri, and along the way I learn more life lessons and made more friends than I can count.

I sometimes struggled to calculate my score, especially when I had busted the class. However, thanks to www.cattle.com they have a very handy new tool for you.

Just plug in the official placing, your placing and the cuts (or splits as they are called in Canada) and wham bam there is your score. Click here to check it out for yourself. Might be a good website to bookmark on your smartphone.

And if you are involved in livestock judging I would love to hear from you!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Giving gratitude... I have got good friends.

Taking on the world. 


I have got some really good friends. Which is great, because I live pretty far away from home. These people have become more than good friends, they are my family.

This weekend Miss Fabulous came down for a visit. Not only was the fun/laugh level pretty high, we also dominated Kansas City shopping. From South to North we covered it. I was no help to Miss Fabulous's shopping habit, and we decided that this could be her farewell weekend. One last shopping hurrah. We'll see how long that lasts ;). I have pictures to come so stayed tuned this week.

I am grateful to have friends that don't mind traveling a couple hours for a get together. Although, we can't get together for lunch a couple times a week, or be there for all the important events, we know we can always pick up where we left off.


Me and Miss Fabulous last Halloween

Sunday, June 27, 2010

On our farm we care

Speaking to the public

I came across these billboards that have been put in place by the Farm Animal Council of Saskatchewan (FACS). I have talked a lot about what U.S. agriculture groups are doing to tell agriculture's story. Sometimes I feel like Canadians aren't as aware of what animal rights groups are capable of, and where our industry may be headed. I really commend the FACS and the livestock associations they have worked with, in being proactive.

We need consumers to know what a farmer and rancher looks like. They trust us, we just have to talk to them.




The FACS has a lot of good resources on their website that I would encourage you to check out.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Turquoise Thursday

I think this sounds like a great idea.

It doesn't hurt to look good while agvocating or have a nice home to come back to after a tough day on the farm.


I thought this was pretty, and it goes nicely with these.


And you can find them here and here.


Or if you just want a little bit of turquoise, how about this headboard. Which you can find here. They also have lots of cowhide and western furniture. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Brining the Poke Back

Few things stay the same.

It's interesting how much facebook has changed. And every time there is a change we gripe and moan, and then eventually it becomes apart of our daily routine, just like all those other features we once disliked. Remember when there wasn't a mini-feed. I think most of us were a little freaked out about it at first, but now that it makes facebook stalking so much easier that we enjoy it. Oh, come on don't kid yourself, everyone has done a little facebook stalking before.

Not too long ago I was reminded about a popular feature on facebook, that I had actually forgotten that it even existed. The facebook poke. Yup there is was starring at me - So and So has poke you. Would you like to poke back?

Well folks I am bringing back the poke, I'll get you. And feel free to poke me.

That's all for now.

YouTube sensors agriculture videos

This scary, and not right - there has been an update so read all the way through

Yesterday CattleNetwork.com reported on something scary. I had heard about it potentially happening before, but now it's reality. Awhile about Chris Chin made a video about her family's pork farm called "The Truth About Modern Pork Production," and posted it on YouTube. Chris is a Missouri pork farmer and wanted to show consumers the truth about what goes on in a pork barn. Animal rights groups and activists have produced numerous videos themselves, however they show the few bad apples in our industry, and try to paint all of us with those same colors. Chris was telling agriculture story - and good for her.

However as CattleNetwork.com reports...
If you head over to YouTube to check it out today, you’ll get the following message:

“This video or group may contain content that is inappropriate for some users, as flagged by the YouTube community.” It goes on to tell you that in order to view the video, you have to verify that you’re over 18 years old.

What? You can’t be serious. What inappropriate content? 
My thoughts exactly. See if enough people flag a video as "inappropriate" content, then they put that disclaimer on your video. And when you have thousands of activist trying to put us out of business they will stoop to any level. You also have to be over the age of 18 to watch the video as well. Chris has tried to connect YouTube, but only receives a computer generated response.

This is scary. Through the American Angus Association we have posted hundred of videos to YouTube. What if some activists groups don't want you to see them? Then they will probably shut them down. Chris's video used to generate a 1,000 views in a month and now it gets about 100 views.

What's the answer? I am not sure. But I do know more than ever we have to tell agriculture's story and not let these bullies push us around.

Great News!


YouTube has taken off the restriction on this video. One for us, now let's show these activists that they can't keep on doing this.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Last American Cowboy

Best Television Show Ever

Last night I was working on my computer, while keeping an eye on my Twitter feed, when @cwbieroth tweeted that he would be watching the Last American Cowboy on Animal Planet. I had heard so much about the show, but wasn't sure if we had Animal Planet in our TV package. Well guess what we do!

I was able to watch two episodes last night and I felt like I was right back at home. The episodes are a real, daily account of what happens on a cattle ranch or farm. In these episodes families (the Hughes Ranch, Galt Ranch, and Stucky Ranch) were in calving season, in the middle of one of the worst blizzard they had ever seen. Cows calving, calves needing to be pulled, calves frozen dead in snowbanks, they show it all.

The show reminded me so much of how I grew up. Holding cows' tails while dad pulled a calf or was A.I.ing, holidays going wrong because one parent gets worked up, the other parent starts yelling, kids are crying, and Easter is ruined - yes that happened last night and maybe once or twice in my life time.

The thing is every time something went wrong or right on our farm there was a lesson to be learned from it.

Physicians Mutual sponsors the show, and I am definitely going to be writing a letter thanking them for their commitment to agriculture. We as farmers and ranchers can talk about what we do all day long, but until the consumer sees what our day is like, and they see how passionate we are about caring for our livestock they won't understand.

I would encourage you to watch, and spread the word. Hopefully, these guys won't be the Last American Cowboys.

Monday, June 21, 2010

I like to win

Fore! 

It's not much of a secret among those that know me, but I don't like standing behind the champion. I remember my mom trying to lift my spirits up after a junior cattle show. I ended up third or something like that in the overall aggregate point contest. She was telling me what a great job I did, and I simply replied, "No one remembers anything but first." I am a highly competitive person, and falling behind only makes me want to work harder.

If you have been keeping up with my 101 in 1001 goals you will have seen I have taken up golf. I have always like golf, and spent many afternoons watching it with my dad. The funny thing with golf is I want to be good, but despite the number of strokes I have on my score card I still have a really good time playing. This is probably a positive thing. Well, this theory and feelings kind of went out the door when The Boy and I were playing a round this weekend. On about the 6th hole or so he announced that I we were really close in score, and I might beat him. And then it was on.



The only problem was is that I had a really bad 9th hole - into the swamp, wet shoes, a bad shot with my wedge, ugh, and that led to me The Boy walking away with a win by one. He was kind and marked my score as 6ish, when it should have probably been closer to nine. I may have stomped my feet a little bit, over the lost, and told him that I should be rewarded for my honestly when she said he would let me cheat on an earlier hole, but didn't. No matter how you looked at it he beat me, and now he is fully aware of my competitiveness. Here is to the next nine holes.

Disclosure statement: The Boy didn't have either of his wedges to use on this short course, and he says this would have dramatically helped his game. 

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Standing up for agriculture with a shotgun!

This politician means business. 

I think Dale Peterson is awesome. Search his name on YouTube and check out all of his campaign videos, on becoming Alabama's Agriculture Commissioner.

Friday, June 18, 2010

One hungry planet - farmers are feeding the world

Did you eat today?

I know it is cliche, but if you ate today you better than a farmer. And if you still think your food comes from a grocery store you better watch this video.



A couple of the facts that I liked the movie were...

From 1987 to 2007 farmers have produced 40% more corn, 30% more beans and 19% more wheat all on the same amount of land.

In 1940 1 farmer produced enough food to feed 19 people, in 1970 enough to feed 73 and in 2010 enough to feed 155.

Farmers have to be part agronomist, conservationist, meteorologist, economist, and all optimist.

I think they everyone that ate today needs to watch this video. Pass it on.

Rev Run and Me See Eye to Eye

It's going to be a great day.

It's been an awesome week. It started on Sunday with me getting all my laundry done and put away, big round of applause! The work week was off to a great start with a group of dynamic people coming into the office. I always love touring groups and sharing with them the successes of my team. The week continued with getting what kind of felt like caught up. Wednesday, I headed out to the Downey Ranch, in the Flint Hills of Kansas. Can I just say that I love good people, black cows and those Flint Hills. More about the Downey's story will be posted in the future. I also got in my fill of conversation with Tawnya, Emilie, Austin and Chelsea and an order of fried pickles. Can't be that. I have an awesome new haircut, much shorter to start summer, and now it's Friday morning and I have someone on the way to see me.

And I plan on next week being just as great.

So back to Rev Run. I love following him on twitter @RevRunWisdom, and these are some of his tweets that caught my eye this week.





Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Alphabet Crayons and Soybeans

An educational experience 

I came across this awesome DIY project on spearmint baby. Don't raise your eyebrow as to why I was on a baby blog, I actually found it through a wedding blog, and no hmm about that either, the point is I am glad I found it because...

Look at these! Alphabet crayons!
How fun are these. The wedding blog suggested that you spell out words and give them to your little guests. I think coloring outside of the lines would be more fun if you could use the letter C. 


And they are really easy to make. Click here for the full directions. 

And lastly, did you know that lots of crayons are made with soybeans. The petroleum oil used in crayons  can be replaced with soybean oil and waxes, and that means they are safer for us to use, and gives you another reason to supporter farmers. 

Did you know this is what soybeans look like when it is time to harvest them?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

101 in 1001 - update

Getting there.

So I don't have anything to completely scratch off my list this time, but I do have an update. And updates are on of the goals.

Recipes - just made a new one last night - Mimosa Fruit Salad. It hasn't been eaten yet because I am saving it for tomorrow's work party, but it look great sitting in my fridge. And it only has 25 calories, so as our intern roommate and I put it, you could pretty much eat the whole thing and not feel guilty. That is my kind of dessert. ps. Did anyone else know that club soda has 0 calories. That's a fun fact for the day.

I read another book. Yup, didn't get stalled out in the middle like I do most of the time. I am pretty sure my friends are tried of hearing me talk about Chelsea Handler, but I think she is a genius. Her book - "Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea"is hilarious and definitely worth the read. Now I need to go buy her other two books.

I love golf. Actually, I have always loved golf. I even like watching it on TV, I know strange. However, I have actually been playing it. I am still taking lessons and have played three weekends in a row now. Only have done nine holes though, need to complete 18 before it comes off the list.

Also, I bought a journal. Remember how I am supposed to write in it ten day in a row. Yeah it has one post. Need to work on that.

Finally, a quick shout out to Jenny, who started her own 1001 in 101 list.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The face's of farmers

Do you know who raises your food?
Today it's harder to know what a farmer looks like. That's because most people are now removed two or more generations from a farm. I showed you how a field of barley turns into a product that you can consumer, but who are the people behind that product?

This is what a farmer looks like.

He is a farmer, he owns this field and crop. 

He is a farmer. He is a customer combine driver. Not only does he work on his own fields, but helps other farmers. 

He is a farmer. Remember the grain truck from the other post. That is what he is driving.

He is a farmer. His son is the very first guy. He comes to the farm as often as possible to help.

Not all farmers like their pictures taken. So they pull their hats down and try and hide from my camera.

He is a farmer, and a rancher. When he isn't helping with harvest, he's back in the feedlot tending to the cattle that will eventually eat those crops.


And hopefully, one day, these two boys will become farmers themselves, but there is a chance neither will. Even though lots of kids grow up on farms and ranchers and have a fascination with agriculture, many leave to purse careers off the farm. This means that technology and efficiency is going to become more and more important so we can feed more people with less.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Angus Heritage

Sharing a piece of history

I grew up in the Simmental business, and still have Simmental cattle with my family in Canada. I am actually quite jealous because they are heading to the first cattle show of the year, and I won't be there. One of my bulls calves, and one of my heifer calves will be going. I have gave them all instructions to call as soon as they are done showing to let me know how things go, but we'll see if that happens. I'll probably be calling them!

Back to talking about history. The Simmental breed has a lot of history, but it is pretty small when you compare it to breeds like Angus and Hereford. I love looking at all the old pictures of Angus cattle. The were short, wide, fat and round. This week one of the American Angus Association board members brought a video to our attention called "What Am I Bid." This 1967 movie feature Leroy Van Dyke's hit single the Auctioneer. On the block is the famous auctioneer Ray Sims, who will be inducted into the Saddle and Sirloin Club this fall. Keith Evans, who is a past director of public relations for the American Angus Association, also makes a cameo appearance. It is amazing to think even back then what a reach Angus had. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The newest food craze...

The best stuff ever. 

A couple weekends ago I had a chance to meet up with one of my dear friends, formally called Miss Blue, now I'm changing that to Miss Pink. Now that we got that out of the way, Miss Pink invited me to have supper with some of her friends in Bricktown, Oklahoma City. It was a awesome night of conversation, networking, and teaching the girls a little bit about steak (I know, I know, it's just the agvocate in me).

During supper the girls were also going on about the latest craze in Oklahoma - Frozen Yogurt. Think Coldstone or Marble Slab only a trillion times better. I actually don't really like ice cream, so this was right up my alley. The place we went to was called Peach Wave, and I am told it is one of the better chains to get your frozen yogurt fix from.


The frozen yogurt is all self serve. I would recommend Blueberry, Peach and Pomegranate. And they have little cups so you can try it before you buy it.

Miss Pink going for some pineapple. 

All their fruit is fresh, not frozen, and they have all the good stuff too, like chocolate and gummy bears.

I like it because you can add as much or as little as you want. 


At the end you take your cup and the weigh it for you. It really wasn't that expensive. I think for my small cup is was somewhere between $3 and $4 and it definitely filled me up. 


I can't wait to go to the one in Kansas City. Plus, don't forget that June is National Dairy Month, and this is a great way to get your 3-a-day servings in. More frozen yogurt please. 

Monday, June 7, 2010

You're a real farm girl when you are excited about the World's Biggest Tractor

The things you'll see in Iowa

So it seems like there has been a reoccurring them to my posts, the things you'll see in blankety, blankety state. First Oklahoma and now Iowa.

This weekend I headed back up to Iowa. Yes, there is a person I like to visit up there, but that really isn't the point of this post. The point is this big guy.

The World's Biggest Tractor - Big Bud

I had a chance to see this piece of equipment at Heartland Acres, an agriculture learning center located in Independence, IA, and Big Bud is currently on display there. It was actually pretty cute to see all these farmers flocking to this tractor. You could see their eyes light up.

Quick Facts:
It is a custom built tractor, that was constructed in Montana, in 1977 for a cost of $300,000
It was a 1,000 gallon diesel tank 
Big Bud 28.5 feet long, 14 feet high, 21 feet wide, and has a wheel base of 16.5 feet

The whole museum is actually worth seeing. It does a great job of documenting the history of agriculture, and of showing how technology has improved the efficiency of how we produce food to feed the world

It was also amazing to see how fast the corn is growing in Iowa. This is the field behind the Boy's house. Two weeks ago it was only poking out of the ground, and he says that by July 4th it'll be waste high. 

I am told the corn is bent over a little because of a combination of lots of moisture and wind. Hopefully, I can keep you updated on its progress this summer. 

Friday, June 4, 2010

Cows like riding in cars too.

The things you'll see in Oklahoma. 

I also wanted to share this picture with you from my Memorial Day Weekend trip to Oklahoma. This was the scene in the Hobart parade.


Supposedly, there is a YouTube video of this steer and his convertible. You'll have to let me know if you find anything. I am off to Iowa for the weekend. I might be saying the things you see in Iowa when I return. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

This is how we feed the world

The story I have been waiting to share. 

Over the Memorial Day weekend I had the opportunity to travel to Hobart, Oklahoma, and work with C.R. Freeman and Kirk Duff, the two men behind Premium Natural Beef. In coming posts I will talk more about PNB and their philosophies, but in the meantime I want to talk about grain, barley specifically, and how it goes from the field to your dinner plate.

And this is the quick and dirty of how it works.

This crop is called barley. Lots of it is grown in Canada. It is very similar nutritionally to corn.

 
This is a combine. It cuts the Barley. 

This is the view from the cab of the combine. The grain is shaken loose from rest of the plant. 

This is what Barley looks like. 

The grain is stored in a compartment in the combine, and once it becomes full the grain is moved in a grain truck.


The grain truck then moves it into a truck that can haul it to an elevator or where ever the farmer will be storing it. 

 
The rest of the plant is blown out the back of the combine.


Usually in rows like this, so the straw can be baled. 

Here is the baler. It will go over the tops of those rows, pick up the straw and make these...

Big Square Bales. There are also little Square Bales and Round Bales.


That Barley and some of the straw is then fed to cattle. 

Usually steers or heifers in a feedlot. 

So we can produce these. 

That Barley plant at the beginning turns into a nutritional product that you and your family can consume. 

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