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!!) 

Day 25 – Perfect Transformation

I can slightly remember from my first years of showing dad bringing a “feedbox”, feed shovel, and feed scoop so that he could hand mix the feed while we were exhibiting cattle at a show. Luckily, we no longer have to pack those added items and we use the dump and eyeball method. However, I do still see feed scoops around today while at the shows. Most of them now though are pretty bright colors and are made of plastic and would not work for today’s DIY ideas. But, if you are lucky enough to come across some old school or metal feed scoops “scoop” them up to make these really cool lighted wall scones. Perfect for any country themed home. These may be an essential in my future home!

We only have 5 days left of 30 Days of Agriculture and 5 more days of Farm – Related DIY so don’t miss out!

feedscoop2 feedscoop

Day 15- Chicken, Chicken

chicken1Personally, I don’t think I will find any of today’s farm item on our farm. I don’t recall ever hearing about Chickens roaming the Moore Farm, and I imagine they never will. (At least not while  I have a say). Regardless for those of you that had chickens on our farm today’s DIY revolves around chicken feeders. If you are like me, I never would have thought you could make something creative out of a chicken feeder. I imagine there are a lot more ideas out there that could be cute as well but I like to two I found. One used it as a shelf/hold all in what appears to be a shed or garden area. You can hang and clip stuff for the wire on the top and then use the feed holding area to set stuff in like a shelf. Pretty cool. The other turned their chicken feeder into a planter for their flowers. Have you every used chicken feeders in a creative way before?chicken2

 

 

Be sure to check out others blogging 30 Days of Agriculture with me and tune in tomorrow for another day of Farm Related DIY.

Day 13 – What does your toolbox hold?

Nothing says working man to me than a guy with a toolbox. At our house the toolbox is an important piece in many operations. First off, a toolbox is mounted upon almost every tractor on the farm in some way. Whether it holds pins to hook up wagons, has vital wrenches for minor breakdowns or a grease can the toolbox holds the things one might otherwise forget or be in a bind without. Secondly, there is a tool box in our stock show truck. When we are on the road showing cattle all over the United States you never can guess what crazy adventure might come up the requires some tools. No matter is we are ten or 600 miles away from home the tool box accompanies us in the truck. The last place the tool box is vital is in our show box or in the show barn. Instead of a clipper box Big Ron houses his clippers and clipper accessories in two red toolboxes. Although, the toolboxes have changed over the years they are consistently red. If we forget the red clipper boxes someone is in a lot of trouble. So when I think of a toolbox I think of these things. However, when I saw this awesome DIY idea that incorporated a toolbox, I thought it would be a great way to restore Big Ron’s beat up clipper toolbox into something lovely and unique. I think this is on my list of crafts for next spring. Check it out a toolbox that doubles as a flower pot! Nifty, eh!

toolbox

Check out other blogging 30 Days of Agriculture with me and tune in tomorrow for Day 14 of 30 Days of Farm Related DIY.

Day 5 – Ribbons and Banners

I realize that the majority of farm related households may not have boxes and boxes of ribbons and banners lying around but if your family has been showing cattle for over 60 years , like mine, it becomes a real problem. As a child I saved every ribbon we ever received from the local level all the way up to the national level. As I got older I was more willing to part with ribbons and only save what I deemed the “important ones”. Nevertheless, my family and I have quit the collection. At one point I wanted to make a quilt/bedspread out of these beautiful ribbons, but have since realized I possess little sewing skills and “ain’t nobody got time for that”, so I have been looking for other creative ways to hold on to these precious memories. So below is a a mod podge of ideas I have found, including one that my crafty little sissy made.  **Disclaimer: Some of these require sewing talents way above my knowledge.

Be sure to check out others participating in 30 Days of Agriculture blogging. Also join us for Day 6 of 30 Days of Farm Related DIY.

Day 4 – Milk Cans and MooChews

As promised day 4 of 30 Days of Farm Related DIY is dedicated to all of my dairy farmers out there, although others may have some of these around their farms as well. The first craft revolves around the milk can. Although these are large and sometimes can take up a lot of space they can also make a beautiful focus point in a room. Remove the lid, arrange with sunflowers, lighted branches, and other foliage, tie a ribbon around it and wah-la! If you have issues getting the lid off I have been told google provides some great solutions revolving around WD-40 for removal. If you don’t know what WD-40 is ask you husband or local farm friends!

This is one my mother-in-law made.

This is one my mother-in-law made.

milkcan1milkcan2

 

The other awesome DIY project for today is going to leave a lot of dairy producers wishing they would have thought of this genius idea for up-cycling. Have you ever wondered what to do with old inflations once they are no longer in use? For you non-farmers, inflations are the rubber tubes that attach to cows’ teats when the cow is being milked. Inflations are only used for a short period of time to ensure milk quality and for the safety of the cow. Most likely these are just tossed into the trash once used, but the inventors of MooChews saw the perfect opportunity to up-cycle these old inflations to create the perfect dog toys. Don’t worry the inflations are properly sanitized before the transformation to dog toy happens but according to the creators of MooChews that dairy farm smell makes them even more desirable to dogs. To learn more or to find out about donating your used inflations check out the MooChews website.

One of the MooChew tugs made out of used inflations.

One of the MooChew tugs made out of used inflations.

Be sure to check out others participating in 30 Days of Agriculture Related Blogging Topics.

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

Till We Meet Again

As I jumped up in the truck on Saturday morning to help my dad do chores, I was a little taken a back when he suddenly said, “Well you can tell your getting older and getting some age on you.” Kinda puzzled by this comment I replied, ” What do you mean dad?”. He said, “Well your show heifers are starting to show some age around here.” As we pulled into the farm that we keep cows that need extra feed before going to market I realized the reasons for his comments. In the pen were two of my show heifers from when I was about 13 years old. It was pretty obvious that their best days were behind them.

One of the heifers in the "pen" is Luella who was featured on the cover of Prairie Farmer when I was 13 and wrote about my experience at the IL State Fair.

One of the heifers in the “pen” is Luella who was featured on the cover of Prairie Farmer when I was 13 and wrote about my experience at the IL State Fair.

No matter how old I get, losing a show heifer or a favorite animal will never get any easier for me. It is just something about that special bond between a person and their livestock that grips my heart strings in a special way. The countless hours in the barn getting ready, standing in the chute and make-up ring, and then the time in ring just makes the bond grow and grow. The heifer develops a trust in you to care for her, and lead her into the right direction. In turn she listen and obeys what you want her to do while in the ring. Now, I am not going to lie there a few heifers I have shown who have tried my patience and their extra personality was by no means appreciated and may have gotten a few come to Jesus meetings, but in the end we had an unbreakable bond between us. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the circle of life and how things work, but it still leaves a little mark on my heart.

Another one of these show heifers was Pearl, who was in all of my senior pictures and is the only cow/calf pair my dad ever allowed me to exhibit as a junior.

Another one of these show heifers was Pearl, who was in all of my senior pictures and is the only cow/calf pair my dad ever allowed me to exhibit as a junior.

Some may say it is just because I am a sissy girl, but it has nothing to do with it. Rather, it is how much we care for our animals. They are a part of our family like a dog or cat might be in yours. We care for them 365 days a year, 24/7 and because of that they become pets. Each one has a different personality. I was just a lucky girl to have over 200 pets at any given time. You will notice my dad didn’t want to out right tell me the unfortunate news about my show heifers because he too hates to see them go. Especially when it is a herd bull that was a past show bull. That’s my daddy’s favorite thing to show is yearling and two year old bulls and the hardest for him to let go.

But enough of my sob story. My girls have lived a long life, and I get by hoping there is show heifer/cow heaven. So here is to my show heifers past and those soon to pass a tribute to each of you. 

 

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.