Saturday, February 19, 2011

You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers!

One of the best ways to find out the answers to your questions is to go to an authority on the topic.  If I have a question about cattle I go to Glen or his dad O.D.  If I want to know how much medicine to give O when he has a bad cough, I ask his doctor, or call my dad the pharmacist.  When I do this I sometimes get a straight forward answer, like one teaspoonful.  However, sometimes I not only get answers to my questions, but I also gain a practitioner’s perspective.  I learn how they do it, why they do it, and why it’s important.

Over the last nine years I feel like I’ve learned quite a bit about the cattle industry.  I am in no way an expert or authority, but I have a good foundation from which to work from.  It is a completely different story when it comes to crops.  Thankfully I have friends in the industry that are more than happy to answer any question I throw at them, whether they are tough questions or something they’ve known since birth. 

Glen’s time spent serving on the MFA, Inc. board of directors has helped with my education.  Each year the board spends a couple of days touring different parts of the state so that they may visit their different locations and see the “lay of the land.”  Last week they went to New Orleans and visited some companies that MFA does business with so that they have a better understanding of what all goes into, for instance, fertilizer manufacturing.  They got to see how product is moved up, down, and around the mighty Mississippi before it is sent out on ships like this one.    

They gained a better understanding of the immense size and operation it takes to unload a river barge of soybeans to be shipped overseas.  (Do you see the bobcat in the top right corner?  That gives you an idea of how big this barge is!)

You see, even those who have a great understanding of their own industry need to be constantly deepening their understanding of the ones they interact with.  This is something I try to instill in my students.  Education doesn’t stop when the bell rings at the end of the day, or the last strains of pomp and circumstance are played.  You have to be willing to make yourself better and learn, even after you leave school. 

So here’s my point.  Do you want to know where your food comes from?  What is involved in the raising of our cattle?  What they eat, where they live?  Do you have questions about some of the things you may have seen floating around the internet or heard about?  Be a lifelong learner.  Ask an expert.  Ask an authority on the issue, someone who is out there every day taking care of their animals.  Ask someone who makes sacrifices for their animals and who understand the sacrifices those same animals make so that we can have food on our tables and our children can afford to go to college.  Ask a farmer! 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Worn out?

Sometimes you just have one of those days.  You know, the ones where you just want to come home and crash?  Maybe you had a bad day at work or school.  Maybe you've worked super hard, or couldn't get a good night's rest.  Maybe you're 37 weeks pregnant!!!

For me the best cure for days like these is to come home, rest a while, and spend time with these guys...

It is the fastest way to put a smile on my face!

Monday, February 14, 2011

A break!

This weekend Glen, O and I traveled to Tan-Tar-A for the Missouri Young Farmer and Rancher’s annual leadership conference.  One might considered our baby-moon before the little one arrives and we had a blast!  Now, it may be surprising that one could consider attending a conference for farmers interesting and fun, but that is exactly how I’d describe it.  

This weekend we got a chance to see old friends and make new ones.  We attended meetings about issues that are pressing in our industry right now, such as the market outlook for different commodities, and ones that might be important to growing farms and families like estate planning.  O got to attend what he called the Farm Bureau School.  This was where the FB promotion and education committee had “ag accurate” books and activities set up for kids attending the conference.  Friday night he got to try his hand at playing BINGO, he made it through three rounds before he decided it was boring.  The indoor water park did not strike him as nearly so boring!  He spent three hours playing there with friends and we’ve heard about how much fun it was ever since! 

We got the chance to hear from Blake Hurst, Wes Jamison, and Bruce Vincent.  They reminded us how important it is to remain involved in your industry, taught us how to confront people who might try to rob us out of our livelihood, and the importance of working together towards common sense goals. 

All in all it was a great weekend.  Not only did I have a chance to relax with my own family, but I also had a great time with our Farm Bureau family and friends!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Snow Days

We got the phone call at 5:30 this morning.  O and I get to enjoy another snow day at home!  While we are both still lounging around the living room in our pajamas, Glen is outside in the wind and snow feeding not only these ladies, but a whole lot more! 

Why, you might ask, would someone voluntarily do such a thing?!  And the answer is…

It has to be done. 

Does he prefer stomping around in the snow, getting wet and cold?  Absolutely not!  He’d rather be inside where it’s warm, trying to talk me into making him some cinnamon rolls.  These cattle, our livelihood, need to have full bellies, water to drink, and a dry bed so that they can be healthy and survive.  

That is why Glen rolled out of bed this morning, put on layers of clothes and Carhart’s, and went out to chop ponds, feed, and unroll hay.  

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Here we go!

I've been thinking about starting this blog for sometime now and since I am in day 5 of being snowed in I figured there was no time like the present!

So...goals.  Mom taught us to set goals while growing up.  It helps to give you focus as you move forward.  Here are the three main goals I have in mind as I write this blog.

1.  Our family.  This is my brag board where you will hear stories and/or see pictures of my family.  I love them, therefore, you should love them too.  Sounds logical, right?

2.  Our farm.  On the day of our wedding, I gained not only the best husband ever and expanded my great family, but also joined a large family farming operation.  Now I grew up in a small town surrounded by "aggies".  I had spent time on my grandpa's farm.  However, I never expected to become a member of a large farm.  It wasn't included in my future plans.  I also never expected to love it as much as I do.  This is where you find out what's happening on the farm.

3.  Your food.  This is where I plan to post links, articles, recipes about how your food gets to your plate.  It's important to be an informed consumer and I want to make sure you get information "straight from the farm" so to speak.

I think we're off to a good start!  Here...we...go!!!