Monday, June 8, 2015

Monday Inspiration for this Frizz Hair Filled Day

The title of this couldn't be more fitting as I have had little to no inspiration to write lately........don't judge.  Planting has drug on forever and with rain in the forecast every other day I feel the end isn't as close as I would hope.  Plus I am getting pretty close to calving out this child that's brewing inside of me, so as you can imagine that has added some extra things to get finished up.  But enough with the excuses......IT'S MONDAY!

Monday is really the bastard day of the week.  Nobody likes Monday.  It reminds you that you have 5 days until the weekend. To top it off it's grey and gloomy outside with drizzle that does nothing but make my already frizzy hair into a Brillo pad.  Legit what I look like today:

Thank you google search

In other news.....I recently attended Alltech's Rebelation Conference in Lexington Ky and I cannot begin to explain how amazing this conference is.  It seriously is the best conference/symposium I have ever been to.   I feel that says a lot because I have been to my fair share of conferences.  Alltech really knows what they are doing and leave you blown away with inspiration and that feeling of wanting to take over the world when you leave.

This year was my third year attending and it only gets better and better.  So what that means, you really need to plan to attend next year.  Bottom line.  During the conference, so many amazing speakers say so many amazing things that I just have to share them with you.  Hopefully it will turn this Monday into a Friday (yeah right) and you will be just as inspired or it will get your thinking cap going.  

 I can't agree with this more!  I feel a good leader is someone that isn't afraid to put their neck out on the line for the greater of the team instead of following all others and just going through the motions.

 This is huge.....all of you leaders/managers/bosses/CEO's.......ask this to yourself honestly


I leave you with the last question from Dr Lyons.  I think this is an excellent question we should all ask ourselves.  I hope that in some small way I am impacting the world.  Are you?

Happy dreary, cloudy, frizz hair filled Monday friends!!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Spring has Sprung!

It is officially spring!  The weather is finally nice out which means outside work has officially begun.    This past weekend my boo and I spent a lot of time outside cleaning up the landscape, rolling the yard, and cleaning up the mess that was created from the kitchen remodel.  I'm pretty sure I even got my first suntan of the year.......or wind burn, but I'm gonna go with tan.  One of the best parts of the weekend was building a raised bed for my garden!

So to be completely honest, my husband has me on garden probation.  A couple 6 years ago I had a garden at the old house. It was huge and I had big plans for it.  I planted everything and anything.  Needless to got away from me and might have been overgrown with weeds.  It kind of all started with the appearance of a tomato worm.   I can handle a lot of things........tomato worms aren't one of them.  Anything that big with horns is not ok.

So because of that he agreed to give me another "chance" at a garden with this much smaller raised bed.  I'm so excited!  My mom does all the canning for me (don't judge), so this year I'm going to raise my own green beans and tomatoes for salsa and sauce. I will also learn how to can!  Mom, I promise!

What are some other garden plants that are a must have?

Happy Spring friends!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

It all starts with a conversation.......

I have this horrible habit of getting the local newspaper out of the mailbox, scanning the front page for anything that looks interesting, and then throwing it away.  Rarely do i move past the front page.  I love the nostalgia of getting the paper in print and cant come to terms with switching to an online subscription.   A couple weeks ago I called my dad to ask him a quick question and at the end of our conversation he quickly threw in "hey be sure to look at the newspaper tonight in the page of opinion section."  My instant response is.......why?  He chuckles and says "oh it will just get your blood boiling."

I went home that evening, grabbed the newspaper, and quickly turned to the public forum section.  Inside was an article from a local lady with a clear passion and concern for food.  With the title of her article being "Avoid GMO's: Choose organic, chemical-free foods."  While I didn't allow myself to get worked up, I more so just felt bad that this lady had been clearly filled with false information.  Many of her claims and concerns were just not the truth.

While I sat there going over my options of rebuttal it quickly dawned on me that writing an article in the paper to clear up her claims wasn't really getting to the root of the issue.  I quickly turned to social media to seek out this lady.  I sometimes forget that not everyone in rural america understands agriculture and all that is entailed.  I sink into the thought of the "city people" are the only ones that don't get it.  But here is a lady that lives out in god's country of rural america.   I went to Facebook first and quickly found her and sent her a message.  It went like this.....

To my excitement she responded!  We set up a time to chat and I waited.....patiently......  While trying to decide my plan of attack I quickly realized I needed to go into this convo with no agenda to shove research at her.  For all she knew, her info was the correct info.  Their is no good ending to a research war.  

As I spoke to the woman that following Saturday I opened the conversation by saying that I grew up in Ag, currently work in the seed industry, and would love to be a local resource for her to ask questions if she had any concerns.  While their was hesitation at first it didn't take long for her to open up and the questions just started flowing.  We discussed everything from gmos's, organic, spraying roundup on wheat, farm subsidies, and health issues.   She was shocked to hear that organic used pesticides and wasn't "chemical free".  She didn't realize that 80% of the farm budget went to food stamps and that every farmer didn't receive over $500,000 in subsidies.  (Wouldn't that be nice though!)  She was also surprised to learn that not all wheat in the US, actually very little, is sprayed with glyphosate pre harvest.

After over an hour of talking we found that we are both very interested in learning more about canning and she gave me tips on dealing with renters (as we now have a rental house) because she currently works in that area.  She even asked me to send her articles on the studies of gmo's because she said she clearly isn't able to find enough credible information.

I was extremely pleased with our conversation and we will be staying in touch and sharing information.  It quickly made me realize how far I have come in my agvocacy journey.  At the beginning I used to get so mad and quickly lash back with research and information instead of listening to the real concerns.  We are all human and sometimes all it takes is finding common interests that builds a little bit of trust and people will open up and actually listen to what you have to say.

Happy National Ag Day friends!!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The #Underdog

If you have followed along here for any period of time, you have probably noticed my dislike for mainstream country radio.  All (or most I should say) artists sound the same on the radio these days.  The men of country music or "bro country" as it's called, sure don't do it like Willie, Waylon, or Johnny used to, that's for sure!  It is hard to find a song on the radio that tells a story outside of chicks on a tailgate in shorts drinking beer.  Sad.

That is why many years ago I started listening to Texas Country, (also referred to as red dirt music).  I was instantly hooked!  They all have such a unique voice and most of them write their own music.  That is definitely a rarity in mainstream country music anymore.  One of my favorite artists is the extremely talented Aaron Watson.  He is a man that definitely sticks to his roots and beliefs and you can hear it in his music.  If you follow him for even a short period of time, you can tell instantly that his faith and his family are most important to him.

A couple weeks ago Aaron's latest album The Underdog debuted.  To everyone, except his fans, surprise it quickly rose to the top of the country music charts.  Like the charts that Jason Aldean and that boy band Florida Georgia Line are a part of.  Their is no better way to describe it than how Rolling Stone put it:

 "For the second week in a row, America's top-selling country record isn't a big budget release by Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line, Miranda Lambert or any of the usual suspects. It's Aaron Watson's The Underdog, an independent album released without the help of a traditional record label or a national radio campaign."

His album title and the outcome are so fitting.  The Underdog.  It got me thinking a lot about the Ag industry and how their is a crazy correlation between the two.  Many times I feel like Ag is the underdog even though our time and effort is spent trying to feed the millions and billions of people around this world.......irony?  We have so many groups and activists that want to shut us down or end our practices, but we keep trudging along with our heads high because we love what we do and understand the importance.

What do you feel like the underdog in but your passion just won't let you give up?  Aaron Watson is the perfect example of why you should never give up and keep following your goals and dreams.  You have got to check out this album and take a listen.  You won't be disappointed!   

Good Day!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Breaking up with the Nutritionist

My thyroid doctor thought it would be a good idea to have me sit down with the nutritionist in the office.  She said it was just to get some ideas about what is good for the thyroid and what is bad for the thyroid.  I hesitantly agreed and off to group nutrition class I went.

As we sat down in the group setting, with other people experiencing thyroid issues just as myself, this nutritionist began to tell her story.  In the middle of her "speech" I noticed her quote the book The Wheat Belly.  In my daze of boredom I quickly perked up to catcher telling the group that the wheat we eat has been genetically modified and that is why our bodies do not accept it like it used to......

Hold it right there!  As my face turned red and my heartbeat started going faster and faster I kindly raised my hand and asked her to please share her source for genetically modified wheat.   She looked at me dumbfounded.  I kindly explained to her that there is no genetically modified wheat being sold in the United States.  For some reason she had a hard time believing me until another farm woman spoke up and said "no she is right".  The nutritionist then went on to ask well why doesn't wheat look the same as it did 100 years ago........

Head to desk.  Myself and the other woman explained that with breeding we are able to control height and other features that work with the different environments and equipment being used today.  I asked her to please stop saying that it was genetically modified as she is putting a bad perception into the minds of these people she is talking it is just not the truth.  Her answer: "well I will have to look into it."    Classic.

Next on our list was meat.  Of course she tells us that we should really chose Organic meat as it is a healthier choice to make.  That is when I about walked out and she lost all credibility with me.  How do you sit and tell a group of women that they should choose organic because it is healthier without sourcing your claim.  Also, is that fair to the other women?  If I were a mom on a budget and just couldn't afford organic, that may make me feel as though I am supplying an inferior product to my children.   That is not ok!  Show the choices and leave your fear mongering out of it!!!!!!!

 I left that day angry, confused, and disappointed.  It quickly made me realize how so many people become so misinformed.  These people came to this group meeting to gain information from someone that is looked at as a professional in her field.   This is the kind of information they are walking away with.  Sad.........

We walk into a meeting expecting to hear factual information from someone that many may see as an "expert".  Instead we get very biased and false information.  I would expect professionals to show the choices out there and let the consumer do the choosing instead of fearing them into a choice.  If I wouldn't have known better, there would have been no reason why I wouldn't have taken what she said as the truth and made those lifestyle changes.

It really made me realize the importance of not taking everything at face value.  While we may be seeing experts in a certain profession it is always important to keep asking questions and maybe get a second opinion.

And that my friends is why I broke up with the nutritionist

Good Day!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

From Chris Kyle to Temple Grandin and the controversies in between

Sometimes I like to sit back and just read my facebook and twitter feeds without getting involved, posting, or commenting.  I just sit there and read.  Read what people like, what people share, what people post.  It is very astounding to me at times.  I sometimes worry about the future of america after doing this.  I mean there is a lot of crazy out there.

This week has been quite the week of controversy in the social media outlets.  The hottest subjects scrolling down the media pipelines in my small world have been about Chris Kyle with the movie American Sniper coming out and Temple Grandin receiving the Distinguished Service to Agriculture award from the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Both of these are quite interesting to me in the controversy they are creating.  First of all lets start with Chris Kyle.  A couple hollywood celebs voiced their opinions of the movie American Sniper in a not so favorable fashion.  I don't even know how one begins to slam a veteran and then is able to sleep at night?  I truly feel that if you don't respect those fighting for your freedom oversees then the gates are open for you to kindly leave.  Unless you have actually spent some time in the battle fields you really have no ground to even start to disrespect anyone in the military.  That's just my opinion......

You can get a lil idea of the comments made here.  Some other celebs quickly took to social media to defend those one of my favorite country music stars mostly for his lack of a filter

 Next up in the ole interwebs controversy is Temple Grandin.  I've always been inspired by her work in the cattle industry and was fortunate enough to listen to her speak a couple of times.  I think that she is a very honest lady that brings tough issues to the forefront and isn't afraid to speak her mind. She is well known for her cattle handling systems and designing slaughter house facilities.  It was mentioned by some in the Ag industry that she is our own worst enemy and doesn't use scientific evidence to support some of her claims but uses emotion instead.

One of those claims being that in "dairy cattle we are breeding for production and compromising feet and legs and animals are getting too big.  Too many lame cows entering slaughter houses."  First I don't think this is just a dairy issue.  I think all species are bred for production....right?   I also don't think production breeding is 100% correlated to feet and leg problems.  I think that is also a management issue.  You need to evaluate the animal as a whole and while your emphasis may be on production, you need to correct feet and leg issues as well.  Obviously if you want a cow to milk it needs to make it to the parlor.  You can have high production cows that have great feet and legs.  The question is how do you get all producers to equally focus on feet and legs as well as production?

Not to stir up a big debate here but I think a lot of issues come from the show ring.  For dairy they want huge open ribbed cows.  That is not economical for a production facility.  Look at the club calf industry.....Who Made Who....hello?  That bull had the worst feet and legs but was used because 1 out of 25 calves was kickass.  I see so many steers come out of the club calf program post legged and hardly able to walk.  You don't see many people breeding for good females out of club calf bulls do you?  These animals will not survive in a production environment.

One of the important things I think we need to remember is that she is well respected by the large slaughter and packer facilities and the USDA. While some claim not all of her statements are scientific base but emotion based is this really hurting the industry?  With a society that is very emotionally based when it comes to food choices, isn't this something we should embrace instead of attack?  I mean if you can't connect with people on a scientific level but you have someone in the industry that can connect on an emotional level are we really that bad off?  Livestock don't lead their lives by what is scientifically correct.....they do what is comfortable.   I mean lets be real....a woman that can rock those awesome outfits can't be so bad in my book. :)

What are your thoughts on these matters?  I would love to hear!!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Christmas Beauty Swap

I don't know about you but I feel the week of Christmas through the New Year is pretty much a marathon.  You split your time between your 10 family gatherings all while trying to not gain 15 pounds.  I mean you have to at least eat something at every gathering right? I tend to always end up at the desert

In all of the hustle and bustle of the holidays I totally forgot to share my post of one of my favorite parties in the social media world.  Crystal Cattle has a beauty swap multiple times a year and they are pretty much the greatest thing ever.   You get to meet new ladies and try out new makeup.  What really could be better than that?  Nothing!

This time I was paired up with the lovely Jill Harvie.  She is an awesome cattle woman from Canada.

Jill sent me an item that was tried and true, one she just started using, and one she was going to try new with me also!  Such a great idea!

1.  Her tried and true: Maybelline Colorsensation Lip Liner Clear  For you women out there that wear bright lipsticks this is your saving grace!  It keeps your color form smearing all over your face.  You know what I'm talking about!

2. Her recently started: Loreal Linear Intense Felt Tip Liquid Eyeliner  I love liquid eye liners and have used the one from MAC for many years.  This one has great reviews and I can't wait to give it a try!

3. New to us both: Covergirl Blastflipstick Lipstick in Smooch  This color is amazing.  It has a dark and light to give and ombre effect.  If you put the lighter in the middle and darker on the sides it makes your lips look fuller.

Follow the links to get these great items for yourself.  You won't be disappointed!

I hope you all had a great holiday and your new year is starting off with a bang!!