Dear Chipotlies

I started to record a video but I decided my words come out much better and more censored  when I write. So hear it goes.

Dear Chipotlies,

Your latest marketing scheme has left me full of disappointment and rage. I call it a scheme because that is exactly what it is. A marketing ploy full of fictitious information and lies to scare the public into purchasing what you deem as “safe” food products.

As a fourth generation farmer my family has dedicated our entire lives to ensuring the well-being and care of animals and tending to the land to deliver a safe product to our consumers. We do not get to take vacations, sleep in, or days off. Our animals need cared for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. It doesn’t matter if we are in the middle of a blizzard, a flood or if it is the hottest day of the year. Our priorities lie with the well-being of our animals and ensuring the have fresh water and food, a dry, warm and safe place to reside and free of illnesses. We are so confident in our products being safe that we too consume them and feed them to our family and friends.

Instead of bashing the hand that literally supplies your business with products to make a profit maybe you should take a step back and consult with a farmer before your next advertising campaign. If you keep up your current path of destruction you are going to find yourself out of business because you won’t be able to find a farmer in the United States that wants to supply you with food products.

Your “scarecrow” advertisement shows just how little you know about agriculture and how food comes from the farm to the plate of the consumer. IF food isn’t coming from the farmer where do you want it to come from? Thousands of people go hungry every day due to a shortage of food and instead of finding a way to help with this issue you are trying to make more people go hungry everyday by threatening their food source. This is due to the decrease in the number of farms and the rapidly increasing population. How can farmers produce enough food to feed the world using the same methods that were created 60 years ago? That’s like telling everyone we should go back to writing letters as our major form of communication and get rid of your iphones, wireless internet and email. Are you really that moronic? Along with that obesity is the leading disease in the United States and instead of encouraging people to eat local,fresh produce from the farmers that is actually healthy for them, you are encouraging them to come to Chipotle and eat your over-priced, out of control portion sized, calorie ridden food.

There is no factual information that organic and all-natural is better for human consumption and health. In fact their are LESS standards administered to control safety of food products in products labeled organic or all-natural than those that are not. The USDA and FDA have set high standards to ensure the safest quality product is delivered to the consumers. It is just a method to charge more money for the same product. My great-grandfather consumed lard, ate red meat everyday of his life and lived to almost be 100 years old with little health issues.

Your website is full of hypocritical statements with little to know factual information in them. And then you tell people that you can’t always assure this safe product in your disclaimer line because in some areas it is to hard to find, but you will let your consumers know! This is the biggest line of crap I have ever read. The reason you can’t ensure this product is because you have to pay extra money to find it and you want to advertise having it but actually sell the cheapest product you can find.

I hope you realize you have lost alot of consumers because you have directly threatened the livelihoods of thousands of people. The old saying “think before you speak” could be beneficial for your organization at a time like this. Enjoy your all-natural chicken and let me know when you find a better answer for supplying the world with food than from the farmers.

Sincerely,

One Pissed Off Farm Girl

Other references:

Hey Chipotle

Chipotle continues to use fear to sell its burritos

Chipotle changes its tune on beef

ChipotleDemonizes Agriculture

A Lesson to Carrie Underwood

After reading a post from Beef Magazines, Amanda Radke, my blood got to boiling enough to sit down and write about it myself. When most of you hear the name Carrie Underwood, the first words that come to your mind are blonde, bombshell, country music singer, and maybe even American Idol. However, when I hear the words Carrie Underwood, I grit my teeth and think of the words hypocrite  liar, going against her roots, etc. Why you may ask? Well let me explain…I pause for a moment to tell my family and friends to listen up as their lives depend on it, in a way of speaking.

You see Ms. Underwood is an active supporter of the Humane Society of the United States, otherwise known as HSUS. And contrary to popular belief HSUS in fact is not trying to help save the lives of animals, but in reality is destroying millions of animal shelters each year and is trying to gain power and membership. But that is another story, one that I bet Mrs. Radke would love to talk with you on. Let’s focus on Carrie. Yes,when I talk about Carrie Underwood supporting HSUS and being a vegetarian because she couldn’t possibly hurt animals she loves, I am referring to the same Carrie Underwood who clung to her farm girl, Oklahoma roots during American Idol. Audition video. In the video you see how Carrie portrays herself as just another backwoods farm girl living the dream. Then boom, she gets into fame, changes her look, and its amazing how quickly her story changes. I bet Oklahomans all over are proud of you for trying to ruin the livelihoods of most of the state, where agriculture is a very important industry.

Carrie says no to agriculture, I say no to her.

Carrie says no to agriculture, I say no to her.

So today I would like to give Ms. Underwood “protector of animals” a lesson in beef by-products. Just because you may not be physically eating them doesn’t mean you aren’t contributing to their harvest for other reasons. To start, has anyone ever noticed the amount of leather Ms. Underwood wears? When you search Carrie Underwood leather or wearing leather into Google Images the results are endless. News Flash leather comes from the hide of cattle and other animals. I wonder if Carrie has ever used a band-aid and if so did she realize that sticky part of that band-aid is made from animal fatty acids. And we all know that Underwood uses makeup, shampoo, deodorant, lotions, etc. which all contain animal by-products in them. The list goes on….

I could write for hours about this and rant about Ms. Underwood, but if your taking the time to read this then you have the time to click the links and find out more on your own. I encourage each and everyone of you to join the fight of agvocating and supporting agriculture and join myself and Amanda Radke in shutting Underwood out of our lives. One person can make a change.

On a side note, Carrie will be in Springfield, IL in May for a concert and if anyone happens to have backstage tickets and wants me to help them prepare a line of agriculture to throw into her face and maybe a contract to get her to donate all of her money to 4-H and FFA instead of HSUS I will be glad to help you out.

Forgotten Blessings

Between buying a house, getting a puppy, moving, getting a big kid job, and planning a wedding my life has been like a whirlwind since May (hence why this blog has been neglected). But in that time there has been a few moments when the storm has calmed and I have stopped for a breath and it is those moments that I need to speak about. See in these past few months the only thing that has seemed to catch my attention and make me pause has been at the moment of tragedy or sadness.

Within the past few months, I have had to say goodbye to three young, amazing, smart, hardworking, handsome cattlemen. Each time was a tragedy in itself and a moment of sadness. It seemed like every time I was talking to friends it was to tell them about another loss in our livestock family. However, it was in these moments of sadness and tragedy that I realized a bigger picture and a bigger lesson that we all forget just way to easily.

Just like I categorized my life as being a whirlwind, I think most others would as well, but we need calm the storm and pause at the beauty of life that is around is. I myself need to take more time just cuddling on the couch with my man and my puppy, watching the sunset, talking to my friends just to say hello, spend time at the farm just sitting the pasture, tell my family how much I love them, and spend more time talking to Big Man. I know you have heard it a million times before but each day we have is a blessing in itself and something to be thankful for. I know that I have taken advantage of this very thought until tragedy struck so close to me. My advice is to wear out the words I love you, never go to bed angry at loved ones, and go the extra mile to make yourself and others smile.

A wise person once challenged me to write down three things I am thankful for every day, no matter how big or how small they are. Do you think you could come up with three new things you are thankful for each day for a year? I challenge you, even if you don’t write them down, to take a moment either in the morning or at night to reflect upon your day and find your three Forgotten Blessings.

“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,
Love like you’ll never be hurt,
Sing like there’s nobody listening,
And live like it’s heaven on earth.”
William W. Purkey

In Memory of Justin, Jared, Nate, and the others we have laid to rest this past year.

Did I Get My Nails Done for This?

While my University of Illinois counterparts are migrating towards beaches, tans, water, and warmer places this farm girl is going home for a week and a half of hardwork and fun in 80 degree Illinois. And while I wouldn’t mind being at the beach, my heart is glad I’m right here at home. So what have I been up to you ask?
Yesterday I arrived home about 8 am after unloading my stuff I called dad to let him know I was home, he instantly told me to head to the farm to help wean some early fall calves. So I went to the farm we call the ranch and helped sort out 15 calves to wean. By weaning I mean that the calves had reached an age, usually 5-6months, we they need to be separated off of their mother to begin their “adult” life. The mother needs the time to “dry up” or quit milk production in order to maintain herself back to an appropriate body composition so she can be rebred and have another baby in 9 months. When a cow has a calf it will sacrifice its own health and nutrients to provide for a calf so she needs type to rebuild her nutrient stores.
Once we sorted off the calves we brought them home to process. Process means we run each one through a working chute were we poured them to prevent lice, gave them booster shots to prevent sickness and check tattoo numbers. When then look in our record books to make sure they were recorded and move them to the scale where a weight and hip height is recorded. They were then separated into pens depending on sex and will stay with that group until further notice.
After we finished with the calves I had to run home and do some homework and attend an online class. After lunch I helped dad fix a piece on his field cultivator and took a look inside the fancy new versatile tractor he had brought home. In the afternoon my mom and I had a much need girl pampering session. (yes, I know what your thinking, you just said u were working hard but you went and got pampered, just wait!)

Upon returning home from this dad told me I needed to go get Sarah’s old show heifer and take down to end pen in show barn as she was getting close to calving. Lucky for mom and I she was in the farthest corner of the corn stalk field. A two mile plus walk later her pregnant self was in the barn where I proceeded to put a halter on her and lead her down to the other barn.
Just when we thought our walking was done we had to go to another field to check on a cow dad thought was calving. Little did we realize how many different areas this group of 43 cows and 6 babies could cover. We finally found all the cows and babies however a cow different from what we were looking for was acting funny and most definitely in labor. I called sad and he came home and him and I set back out into the field. Mind you at this point it was starting to storm. Dad decided there was an issue and so I proceeded to walk this past show heifer up to the barn so we could get a better idea. Once dad was able to get a “hand on things” he realized the calf was upside down. After several minutes of working he got the calf flipped, my uncle brought the pulling equipment and the three of us assisted in a beautiful heifer calf.
Today is the second day of spring break and it has started off with morning chores, feeding of the cows, double checking the new born baby, doctoring to sick babies, and now on to the wonderful task of building fence. Who knows what else might happen…So back to an earlier statement… Yes, yes I did get my nails done for this!

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Playing Barber Shop

Yesterday my fiancé and I played barber shop with one type of haircut… Buzzed. Now relax I did not partake in this and shave my head nor did he rather his families show heifers were our subject. Each year about this time many show calves across the states are sheared out. Shearing is when we basically buzz their hair off leaving about half an inch to an inch. We do this for several reasons. First, the winter coat is too heavy now and they start rubbing and sweating leaving bald spots or scratching themselves. By shearing we get rid of this dead hair and allow them to be cooler which will allow a new coat of hair to grow. Second many parasites and fungus grow and thrive in the sweating dead coat of hair so by shearing the cattle we remove the likelihood of getting these fungus’. If the animal still get one of these you will be able to identify and treat it easier as you can visibly see it. After we were done yesterday the show heifers and replacement heifers were kicking up their heels as felt so good and so much lighter!

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The Time is Now!

I have held my tongue long enough but that time has come for me to once again speak out and continue speaking until my face is blue. Since my last post so much has happened to threaten the livelihood of my family and friends.

To start off this threat was a post by an uneducated and uninformed journalist for yahoo that chose to write the some of agriculture’s leading industries were the worst areas to major in.

This was followed by other small threats that lead up to the most recent volcanos eruption. As myself and millions of other people watched the Grammy’s the other night, it wasn’t anything about the awards show that left a lasting impression on me, or the fact the Whitney Houston has passed, it was a commercial that aired during the show that has me out of my wits. As I sat there and this commercial started to unfold I thought who is behind this, what are the portraying and what is going on and why is Willie Nelson singing. And then it hit me as the logo of Chipotle flashed across the screen. If you haven’t seen this commercial I encourage you to watch it, not because what they are depicting is right, but because you need to see what those not related to agriculture believe is right. This commercial has left thousands of Americans thinking that the farmer has shoved all of his animals in a barn, pumped them full of strange chemicals, and shipped them off all over the place while polluting the Earth. If you don’t know that all of these things are wrong then please send me a comment or email and I will explain to you the truth behind these pictures. Instead of Americans be appalled they are PRAISING Chipotle for taking a stand against the American Farmers and their cruelty towards animals. Check out these two blogs that show what is wrong with the commercial: Crystal Cattle, Beltway Beef

Folks related to agriculture, if this doesn’t get your blood boiling then what will. When will you finally find the need to act? When your farm is being taken away from you and everything you have known is now against the law? I just really dont understand why those related to agriculture are so reluctant to take part in advocating the truth. Every single one of you should be sharing how your family takes care of your animals and the environment to everyone who will listen. Whether it is having farm tour at your house, talking to someone on the street, posting a picture on social media, or blogging you should be sharing your story. Instead the vast majority of those related to agriculture sit around think, oh, NCBA and other organizations will handle it, I don’t need to worry about it. WRONG!!!! Do those who support PETA sit back and let someone else handle it? NO.

If you are not a member of all the local and national organizations that you can be a part of that support agriculture shame on you. If you are a beef producer or consumer and have not joined the Masters of Beef Advocacy (MBA) Program, shame on you. These should be effortless things that you should be doing without every thinking twice. The time to sit back and let is pass over is gone. Those organizations against us are way to powerful and have big agendas and a vast amount of supporters. We to have to join our forces and rally together to support all aspects of agriculture.

I hope that any of my friends or family that have any questions about agriculture or have heard something they would like verified would come talk to myself or my family before forming an opinion. The people out there to take us down aren’t even basing there information on factual information anymore. I honestly. don’t know what else to say to motivate someone to want to take action.

If you learn nothing else from this post I hope you will join me in boycotting this celebrities, stores, etc. that are trying to ruin the American Agriculture that we know of:

PETA, HSUS, Carrie Underwood, Willie Nelson, Chipotle, Rick Santorum, and a wide variety of other celebrities. Take a Stand and don’t support them either!

 

Check out this video by the Ohio Bacon Producers that shows how pork is grown from pasture to plate.

Accepting Imperfections

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This post comes as a result of a certain heifer in our shoestring this summer, known by my family as “red rose”, but for an outsider there is one thing they can’t get past when they look at her. It is her imperfection. See red rose got a stick stuck in her ear as a baby and as a result has a crinkled ear on her show side. Every single person livestock person that looks at my heifer instantly ask what happened to her ear. After having this question asked to me about 200 times I realized how much our society really cannot accept anything below perfect. I just want to point out that nothing but the man who walked on water and healed the blind to see is perfect. We all have a flaw(s) whether big and small. We need to look beyond the one flaw and find everything that is good in an individual. We need to reminded of the saying don’t judge a book by its cover.
As far as my heifer is concerned her ear is a long way from her heart and she will be a wonderful donor cow for my herd.

Why Agvocacy?

Well my summer journey is coming to a close, but before that happens I need to recap my latest journey to the L.E.A.D. conference with the Angus juniors in St. Louis, MO. During the conference the youth got to engage in some exciting opportunities from speakers to tours. My favorite tour was when we got to have an insider look at Busch Stadium!! However, during the conference many speakers talked about the importance of being an advocate for Ag. Since I have been wanting to do a post about this I think now is a perfect time. We as farmers, ranchers and those related to the livestock industry have not fully grasped how IMPORTANT it is to share our story. So many times we feel its not our job and rely on others to do this for us. FOLKS, THAT IS NOT GOING TO CUT IT!

With anti- production agriculture organizations recruiting funds and membership by the thousands daily we too must do the same to save our livelihood and our industries. I feel many people here this speech over and over, but don’t understand HOW to be an advocate. Here are a few simple things one can do.

  • Post ag-related facebook status
  • Link your facebook to great articles, videos and pictures showing what agriculture is about
  • Post videos of yourself or others caring for your animals in a humane way and show how much you love your animals. 
  • Post pictures of your interacting with your animals and cring for them
  • BECOME A MEMBER OF THE MASTERS of BEEF ADVOCACY PROGRAM- There is no reason that every single person who shows or raises cattle is not a member of this. Take the time to take the program so you can stay in touch with what is going on and get helpful talking points and fact sheets to make a difference.
  • Invite people out for tours of your farm and let them live a day in the life.
  • Tweet and retweet things related to agriculture
  • Start a blog and take about what is going on at your farm
  • Talk to kids at school, the bus, airplanes, lunch tables.
  • Help a consumer make a beef product selection in the grocery store. 
  • Hand out proper beef product handling and recipesI
It is really not that hard… we spend many of hours on social media everyday, just take a few seconds of that to dedicate a little time to an industry that has provided each and everyone of us with opportunities and a positive experience. It is only fair to the animals and the people that we love and care for.
Also Check Out Masters of Beef Advocacy Homepage: http://www.beef.org/mastersofbeefadvocacy.aspx
Check out the Drive Magazine for more tips about Advocacy! August 2011 Issue: http://www.drivebyev.com/magazine/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=61&Itemid=59

My Life Be Like…One Big Roadtrip

NJAS 2011

Hey everyone,

I am writing to you to assure you that I am still alive, I have been trapped in a tornado of traveling recently and just now have firmly planted my feet on the groud for more than 3 days. I have traveled to seven different states starting from the last week in June until yesterday.

We arrived safely to Pennsylvania where I attended my first National Junior Angus Show. It was a stressful week, but lots of memories were created and new friends were made. I was able to keep it all together and didn’t get shot in the ghetto when my stubborn male counterpart decided to run out of disel. It was a sigh of relief when I was sitting at the banquet (because at this point all the awards were being passed out which meant all of the contest were over and went smoothly) as that was my homestretch. It was wonderful to watch as a close friend and wonderful family won the owned heifer show and two of my closest friends made the top 4 for showmanship. After wearning my Shorthorn jacket through the barn I was quickly furnished with an Angus one..haha I appreciate that Pennsylvania Angus Association for all their help!

http://youtu.be/qnj-0k3kupY  Watch Kyle get picked on this video!!!

And Lauren and Ty on this link http://youtu.be/n9is1clY8k0

After 14 days of fun, Robin and I returned home just long enough for me to do laundry and pack again before heading out. On Thursday I headed to Ames, Iowa for Knowledge Empowers Youth (KEY) with the AJSA. It was a wonderful time and full of fun. We luckily had are largest number of kids yet and I even got to see my little sister; who by the way has been kicking butt on the show road this summer with both cattle and sheep. I am very proud of her. I finally have my feet on the ground for about a week and a half before I head to LEAD, which will be my last Angus event of the summer. I can’t believe that my time with the NJAA is almost complete as well as the summer. What a great time I have had!! When I get myself caught back up I will write some post on some insights I had while on the road.

Need to catch up on sleep….

Emily

The Beauty of Life

Yesterday I had the opportunity to go the Beef Facility at the University of Illinois campus to work on some promotional media for the college. While I was there I had the opportunity to take some snap shots of the spring cow/calf pairs who were just recently brought to pasture. There is nothing more beautiful to me than watching healthy cows and baby calves roaming in lush green grass. (No matter what color they are) If I was able I probably could have stayed out there all day long roaming around. It makes me miss home. 

From the time I could walk and before, I was all about cows. Visitors would be impressed as they toured the farm and 5-year old Emily could tell them the name of every cow in the pasture and sometimes part of the pedigree. Whenever dad couldn’t find me he would have to start searching in the pasture to see which baby calf I was trying to tame, or which cow pie I was putting my pink rubber boot footprint in. I guess what I am trying to say is that sitting out in the pasture and just watching cows graze and babies calves frolic about is one of life’s little beauties that is worth taking the time out of your day to pause and enjoy. So many times so many things are overlooked in our busy days and we blow on to the next thing. It’s when I have the opportunity to stand, sit or lay out in the pasture surrounded by healthy cows and baby calves that I remember the beauty of life and beauty of the earth in the small things. To help show what I am talking about here are some snapshots I took yesterday… Enjoy 🙂

Curious Babies

Fencepost View

Funny Faces

Hide and Seek