A Quick Trip He Says…

Nothing says family bonding than taking a trip in a vehicle for an unimaginable amount of hours. It’s even more so when you are three deep in the back seat of a dually truck and you have just spent numerous days at a cattle show with little sleep and tempers are high. 

But I digress… I knew when I got the text from dad on Thursday what my weekend was going to consist of… Would you want to go to Kansas with me on Saturday to look at a bull?…

I just stared at the text for a bit and then I decided I would call him. I was trapped, I didn’t want him to go alone, but I also had other plans for the weekend but I also wanted to make sure if he was buying something as important as a herd sire for our cattle operation that he made the right decision. 

So fast forward to right now, Big Ron, mom and I are in the truck and trailer cruising down the interstate on this “quick trip” as Big Ron keeps phrasing it. Family bonding to the extreme. 

 

Just recently I was reading some blog posts on Confessions of a Farm Wife. While reading I starting pondering on How Emily and her family are adjusting now that her husband has taken a job as a teacher and is no longer an active member on the farm. She is now struggling with finding her place. This struck me because Big Ron and I have had several conversations this past winter of what our lives would be like without livestock. He told me he could be on the beach right now instead of unthawing water hydrants in negative weather. I reminded him how easily he burned and that it wouldn’t be enjoyable to be on the beach as a fried lobster. 

But many times I have wondered what would we do if we didn’t have livestock and farm. What is a vacation without a cattl show, or stopping to look at cattle, deliver cattle, or worrying about cattle and checking the barn cameras. What do “normal” people do on the weekends when there aren’t chores to be done twice a day and a to do list a mile long.

And I imagine “normal” people wouldn’t call this a “quick trip” to Kansas but more or less a vacation. I know some days life on th farm has more downs than ups and Mother Nature can really get you down but it’s those times that are positive, those ups that remind us why we bust our butts. And you know what family bonding isn’t always so bad if it includes a stop at Kleinschmidts (large western store on interstate 70 just outside of Kansas City!!) 

What A Weirdo?

10527295_10152845571273628_3033307792034216986_nWell I am literally blowing dust of my blog as I write this today. I know it’s almost been a year since I posted last but life has just been full of wonderful events that have prevented me from taking a moment to sit down and write..I promise to do better in the future! I have had a thought rolling around in my head all week and I finally said hey, that would be a great thing to write about. So here it goes…For me living on a farm, raising livestock and all the crazy things that go along with it have been a way of life. I talk about it so matter of factually, always have, always will because I love to agvocate agriculture, but as I have gotten older and held jobs with those not from an agriculture background I realize how different my “normal” is to everyone else. And sometimes I just wonder if people leave a conversation with me and automatically think, WOW, THAT GIRL IS A WEIRDO!

For example, at the age of 5 I matter of factually explained to my entire class how a c-section on a cow works because the night before I had sat on the showbox at 10 pm and watched the whole thing from start to finish and the only time I spoke was to ask if the calf was alive. Because at age 5, the blood and everything that was going on didn’t bother me and it was normal to see babies born. Luckily, my kindergarten teacher’s family had cattle so she didn’t completely freak out but I remember a talk from my parents afterwards about how I don’t need to share everything I see at the farm. WEIRDO!

Flash forward to middle school and high school when I quit playing sports because I wanted to show cattle. Or when I broke up with all of my boyfriends over the summer because I didn’t have time for them in the summer. I didn’t have time to go on vacations with their family, or just layout by the pool, or be lazy and sleep till 10 all day. Several of them didn’t believe me when I said I will be lucky to sleep in my own bed 20 days the whole summer break. No, I couldn’t hang out with and no I didn’t get a day off when I was home. I had responsibilities and they all revolved around my show cattle. “You have to give your cows a bath every day twice a day?!?!?!?  YES….WEIRDO!425649_10150713831983628_422521790_n

In college I was fortunate to endure dorm life and sorority life with a fellow Shorthorn girl who at the time was serving as the National Lassie Queen. I can remember several “agriculture learning moments” taking place in our room and in the Delta Zeta kitchen. “You guys are going where, to do WHAT?” I am sure when she was rocking her Lassie Plaid and I was covered in glue, paint and cow shit when we returned in the wee hours of the night several muttered under their breath…WEIRDOs.

And since graduating college my weirdo status has followed me around. I can vividly remember the reaction of my former employer when I was watching a calf being born on the barn cams on the app on my phone and telling her that cows eat their afterbirth…HAHA..I still laugh at her reaction today! People are blown away when I tell them about what my weekend job is and how much harder my weekend job is than my real job! The hubby and I load up every Friday night and head to Adcock Land and Livestock or Moore Shorthorns, where the weekend list are long and the hours in the day seem short. It’s not a social gathering, its a there is too much to do and not enough people to do it. Since both of our families have livestock and grain farm vacations are slim to none and something always needs to be done. I am sure I get weird stares when I take random one or two day vacations and still have glue or paint on my fingers when I return the next day, or when I am checking the barn camera all day watching for babies, or when I show off new babies from the barn cam, or when I watch a show online during the work day. The list goes on and on….but you know what, call me Weirdo all you want, because I love my weirdo life. I love not being normal!

Yes, it is hard work and yes my family doesn’t get to go on week long vacations out of the country on the beach, but what we are doing we are doing as a family. The long hours we put in we do together and when we have success we all get to share in that success because we all had some part to play in it. The last few winters have been long and dad has said to me several times “sometimes I wonder what it would be like if we didn’t have livestock…I could be on a beach right now you know.” My reply is always the same ” Dad you love the livestock you wouldn’t be happy without them…and you sunburn way to easy to lay on the beach!”

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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

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.

When Life Gets You Down

When life gets you down… How many times a day, a week, or a month do you get to feeling down on life? For me, I always try to find a positive in every situation and look at those moments as challenges or obstacles to pick my self up by my boot straps and go at it again. But sometimes something occurs that leaves what I like to call a scar.

Occasionally something that I have been working for or towards my whole life shatters into a million pieces and falls deep into the hole of no return. It’s at these moments that I find myself letting life get me down. Recently, I went through one of these moments and I am still working on picking myself back up. I have a friend that always says,

Tell God your plans and he will laugh in your face.

My current obstacle isn’t life threatening or the worst thing that could happen so its time to start back over at square one.

With current illnesses and issues taking place in some dear family and friends I am reminded just how precious life is. In an effort to help out some of these individuals I began a small fundraising campaign to generate a little token of faith and strength. To my amazement my little “idea” grew with the love and support of great people. I am still shell shocked at the gratitude people have for someone in a time of crisis. In a world where negativity and wrongdoings seem to make the headlines while honesty and good deeds are thrown under the carpet for lack of reader appeal there still shines a light at the end of the tunnel.

So I guess for me it’s time to get back to the drawing board and start at square one.

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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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Heat Advisory…I SAID IT’s TOO HOT!

For many of you it may be nothing, but a sign that you won’t be mowing your yard tonight and the kids will be playing inside as you head to your office job where you can soak in the a/c all day. This summer I haved joined that crew as I finish my summer internship, but to livestock producers across the country the words HEAT ADVISORY, RECORD HIGHs and anything else involving hot weather means one thing….LOTS OF SWEATING! For my grandpa, dad and uncle it means that our cattle need to be checked on more than once and a sure bet that some calves are probably going to need doctored.

My family raises purebred Shorthorn cattle, its our livelihood, and to make it such our number one priority has to be the health and well-being of our animals. In reality our animals get better treatment than our own bodies do at times. When battling the heat, my family works twice as hard at keeping everything cool by being sure the have shade, water, and the proper diets to keep them healthy. Extreme heat most likely will result in doctoring several calves that develop breathing problems and treating for external parasites that will most likely flock all of the herd. trust me its not fun.

On top of that during this EXTREME HEAT, we are smack dab in the middle of show season, so my sister is getting up early to put our show calves under fans and rinse them to help cool them off and keep the hair she has worked so hard to grow. Along with that she is getting up early to drive the truck and trailer to the next show so they are done traveling before it gets too hot! She will unload the cattle and quickly set up the stalls so she can get the cattle under fans, provide them with water and get them a bath before they bake from the heat. All the while she will sit with them all day long to clean up after them and be sure the don’t become overheated.

So for any of you sitting in your office job in the A/C who think that farmers and livestock producers don’t properly care for their animals, go sit outside for awhile and for every drop of sweat you feel triple that for the sweat coming from my dad and sister while caring for our animals in conditions where everyone is warned to “stay inside”!

Going to sweat my @$$ off at state fair!!

Emily

Check out this link to a great article about heat and showing livestock: http://www.gosanangelo.com/news/2011/jul/23/livestock-relies-on-humans-during-heat/

Everything Happens For A Reason

The rind of a lemon is exceptionally bitter, w...

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Just a quick post today, but about something that I am a firm believer in. Recently, through my travels I watched as several juniors dreams may have been crushed, or they were put in a situation they weren’t prepared to face. From a father having a heart issues and being in the hospital during Jr Nationals, to not making the junior board, to not being named a a national breed queen, to just simply not placing as well with a heifer. I watched the tears and the broken dreams scatter across the paths of my journies, however instead of feeling sorry for those individuals I choose a different path. To those I knew, I said a comforting word and reminded them that : Everything Happens for a Reason”. I am and always have been a firm believer in this saying. We may not understand why at that moment, tomorrow or the next day, but someday we will be thankful that things turned out like they did. There have been many times I have worked my butt off for things I wanted, and didn’t get anything for my work. Eventually, it became clearer why those things didn’t work out and some things I still don’t understand; however I realize that God has a plan for me and he has provided me with so many things that I should be thankful for such as: a loving family, a healthy family, great friends, a home, food, and a life of showing cattle.  I am writing all of this to remind everyone to be thankful for what we have, pray everytime you get a change, and the next time things don’t work out just the way you had hoped, remember that EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON and look ahed to the positives that are waiting for you. I challenge each and everyone of you to wake up everyday and write down 3 things you are thankful for, without repeating, so that you start each day off in a positive light and are reminded to be thankful for all that you have.

“When Life Hands You Lemons, Make Lemonade”-

Emily

My Little Sister

Through thick and thin we will be sisters until the end- Tomorrow my little (but taller) sissy will graduate from high school. This thought has left me in a confused emotional state. I am so happy and proud of all of her accomplishments as well as the young woman that she has developed in to. I am excited as she prepares for the next chapter in her life and continues to develop as a beautiful, talented and intelligent individual. I am thankful for all the lessons she has taught me along the path of life so far , including but not limited to: how to live and laugh during life, how to tell a joke, dance/cheerleading moves and cheers, alot about sheep, organization, how to cook, how to clean, that I need to save money better like her, and so much more. I appreciate her letting me borrow her shoes, clothes, jewelry, and the many countless other things I have probably taken without asking. But with all the happy thoughts I am mostly filled with sadness…I am not prepared for my little sister to grow up. In reality, I think her growing up makes me realize that I AM GROWING UP! I too will be starting a new chapter in my life in one more year. All I can think about is memories of my sister and I in our childhood and the many laughs we have had together and how I am not ready for those to end. (Sarah I will try my best not to cry tomorrow,but if mom starts crying I will too, you know how we are). I think of all the times Kelsey and I terrorized our poor little Sarah and she did whatever we said because she wanted to fit in. I think of the many times we did talent shows, fashion shows, queen pageants, puppet shows, and so much more. I think of more recent times like killing the Ford truck and smashing dad’s chips, getting stuck in a revolving door, laughing at mom for countless things, chasing around Dr. Pepper in the yard, and I most definitely remember when I used to sneak in the house as soon as we got home and hide in the hallway and scare you. (I did this so much that Sarah refused to come into the house before mom and dad and was scared to walk down the hallway…too funny, I am somewhat sorry). I came across a story I wrote about my little sister when I was going through things in my room. In it I talk about how my sister is the most generous person in the world that I know. She is generous because she gets me kleenexs when I ask for them and shares her Rugrat gum with me. It is hysterical..I will have to share it later..My point is that I knew from the beginning that you were GREAT and even though I always thought I wanted a baby brother I am much happier that I had a sister.  I am also sad that while being away at college I didn’t always get to be there to support my sister in some of her important high school events..and for that I AM SORRY SARAH!!!

No matter where life leads us in the future Sarah, I want you to know that I am always here for you and will always support you! You are the best sister anyone could ask for and I am so proud of your accomplishments! I love you!

Sisters don’t need words.  They have perfected a language of snarls and smiles and frowns and winks – expressions of shocked surprise and incredulity and disbelief.  Sniffs and snorts and gasps and sighs – that can undermine any tale you’re telling.  ~Pam Brown

Sister to sister we will always be,
A couple of nuts off the family tree.
~Author Unknown

Taking Care of My Little Sister

Showstoppin'

Goofy Girls

Cheesy Smile Days

Where Is the Love?

LOL Just divorced. And no, that's not my car.

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Haven’t posted in awhile so thought I better get busy…This isn’t my typical post but with things I have seen going on in the news and in the lives of those around me my mind has been spinning around one question…Where Is The Love? Everyday there is another murder, divorce, or something else that happens between people who “loved” one another. I guess I just don’t understand it.

When you get married you take these things called vows. In them you make a PROMISE to do the things you say. Where has the value of these vows went? I am beginning to wonder if anyone remembers what a marriage is. Do we need to print out everyone’s vows and make them recite them every day or tattoo it on their arm? I don’t understand how all the sudden you “lose” love? I guess I should be counting my blessing every single day that both of my grandparent’s have been married for over 50 years and my parents over 25 years, apparently that is not a common thing in this day of age. No offense to those who have had a divorce sometimes things don’t work and I understand, but I am appalled more so by the fact that there are individuals out there in their 30s who are already on their 3rd marriages or more.

Is this the fault of celebrities who jump in and out of marriages like it is a game  or have we truly lost the values behind love and marriage. Maybe we should issue a maturity and compatibility test before we allow individuals to get married.

Maybe this is just me rambling on and on, but it just breaks my heart to watch the true victims of these homes suffer (the children) and many of them will continue to suffer their entire lives. Stability is one of the most important things a child can have.

I suppose I will continue to thank GOD for everything he has provided me with and my stable and loving family.

http://youtu.be/WpYeekQkAdc – the Black Eyed Peas explain it all.

Also Check out the new pictures on the Photography page!!!