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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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.

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

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

A Never Ending Job

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Hey ya’ll!! Can you tell I just got back from the deep south? You will all be glad to know I survived gator country, in fact I didn’t even see one, so cheers to that. I survived Louisiana, what a wonderful time it was. For a brief synopsis: great food, friendly people, and air conditioning pretty much made me happy. Although, I thought I was never going to make it out of Atlanta, GA due to storms I finally arrived around 11:30pm on Thursday. Friday I helped with check-in and was also honored to be the photographer for the Queen’s Luncheon where I met a lovely bunch of young ladies and got to bond with the adorable Miss Keegan Cassady…For some reason Keegan’s father didn’t want to attend the Queen’s luncheon so she came with me. Following that we jumped right into Opening Ceremonies and making class breaks for the Showmanship Contest. I got the job of serving as announcer for showmanship, my Midwestern voice struggled with the Louisiana towns and names, but no one yelled at me, TOO BAD that is!! (Needless, to say by the end of the week I was very tired of being called “Yankee”!!) And I think I gave some people a few laughs! Friday was the Bred and Owned show where I lined up classes and then we held the Cajun Relay Races, where I served as judge for the junior division and got to be the guinea pig and demonstrate the obstacle course. Saturday was the Owned Female show and once again I served as announcer, still struggling with names and cities I made it through! All in all it was a wonderful weekend and I tried several new types of delicious foods and met many wonderful people!!

Madame Announcer

The real purpose to this blog however, is the lessons I learn as I go..While in Louisiana I was reminded of a very important aspect of being toward the end of my years as a junior, and what I love most about being on the junior board. What is that? Well that is serving the never ending role of serving as a mentor and a role model for youth across the nation. I think too many times we don’t realize or easily forget how many individuals look up to us and want to be just like us. Especially, when you are a junior board member!! During the Cajun relay races I watched as myself and the junior board members interacted with the kids and how much more enthusiastic they were as we too got more excited. It amazes me how many times I hear parents come up and say our kids adore you and I hardly even know them. But them I remember how much I looked up to those in the then maroon, now red jackets and how much they influenced me to participate and one day walk in their shoes. The thing they may not realize is that I still look up to many of those young adults today as they are carving their paths in the business world and beginning families and I still look to see if I am making them proud.

It reminds me of this little blonde haired girl back home who adores my sister and I. Until about a year ago she was the only girl in her family and loved when my sister and I played with her at the cattle shows. I remember one day in particular when we were coloring at a county fair on a summer day and she turned to me and said “Will you be my big sister?” It almost brought me to tears. Just by taking the time to interact with her, tell her hi, and give her a smile, I had made a major footprint in her life. I never knew she even remembered who I was all the time because I mostly only see her in the summer. This May, I was visiting with her mom, when she informed me that her daughter always talks about my sister and I and how she must wear makeup and look cute because Emily and Sarah do. It is things like that make you stop and think…Am I presenting myself in a manner that I would have approved of as a little girl and would I allow my children to be around me?

Well I am getting wordy and I HAVE SOOOOOOOO MUCH ON MY PLATE!!!! Surely you will here more from me soon!!!

Hopefully, I won’t need a boat to get home this weekend!!

My 'Other" Little Sister