Dirt Road Charm

Motherhood, Agriculture, and everything in between

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Yellowtail is back in fridge!.....following withdraw from HSUS support:)

Well Christmas is over and a new year is about to be among us.  I find it so interesting that all the work and stress and running around and last minute shopping is all over in a matter of hours.  The family time is well worth it as well as the delicious food but I am coming to realize that perhaps I should not worry so much about the little details because I'm pretty sure no one will even notice.  Next year I'm thinking it would be fun to make home made gifts for everyone.  This year my husband and I made homemade boot racks for my sisters and they were a hit!

Now on to the important issues.  I get so annoyed with the commercials for support of HSUS and as i was going through the archives of one of my favorite beef blogs: Beef Daily Blog I was so happy to see that Pilot and yellowtail have withdrawn from supporting HSUS after realizing their true antics.  I had stopped drinking yellowtail wine for the mere fact that they supported HSUS and they have delicious moscato so now I will go back to enjoying it.  Nice work Pilot and Yellowtail!

The Beef Daily Blog also posted many of the companies that support HSUS and if at all possible you should avoid!  I was very surprised and not at the same time to see Bank of America because they do a ton of business with the livestock industry and we in the livestock industry all know the truth behind HSUS.  It was also sad to see that Microsoft supports them.   If they only knew the truth!  Find the list here: HSUS list of supporters.

Just for fun I'm going to now share with you some of my favorite gifts received this Christmas!
My new purse from Southern Jewlz.  If you have never visited this site it is a MUST!! You will be addicted!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Gift Ideas.....Give Beef!!!

Christmas is just around the corner and there is still a little time left to order gifts and go out and make those purchases.  While their are many different ideas for christmas gifts one of my favorites that i purchased this year was an Omaha Steak package that I took to a christmas gift exchange. 

Omaha Steaks has a ton of options for gift ideas from steak to chicken or pork and even side dishes and desserts.   They always have a deal of the day which is a great value.  I got the bacon wrapped filets and they were an absolute hit!

This season think outside the box and support your livestock producers and #GiveBeef!!!!!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The advantages that FFA and 4H give youth

Tuesday I joined in on #agchat twitter discussion that is held every Tuesday. It was about the involvement of youth in the agriculture industry. It is very interesting seeing the point of view from people all over the country. But most everyone had the same thoughts.......youth involvement is CRITICAL!!!!!

One of the questions was "do you think being involved in 4H and FFA gives youth an advantage for their future?". Having been involved in FFA I can easily say yes to that question. FFA shows you so much responsibility and shares a wealth of knowledge you won't learn in any other high school course. I feel employers do find it impressive to see when these youth receive their state and American degrees. It shows that they know the meaning of hard work, dedication, and responsibility.

It is frustrating to see that with so many states cutting funding to the schools and education many of the VoAg classes are being cut as well. This is very sad and we should do our part to keep the administration informed of how important this course is. So to all you parents out there encourage your children to take this course and if you are a student try the course and you will not be disappointed!!!

Well that's my thoughts for the night. Be sure to joint the #agchat discussions on Tuesday nights! If you have a twitter account add them @agchat. I'm off to ice my foot....fell in a hole and did something to it. No bueno!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Child Labor Law changes will not benefit farmers!

If any of you have been following the changes that are attempting to be made to the child labor law you probably already know that they are not in favor of farmers at all.  Currently farmers are the exception to the rule in the current law; for many obvious reasons.  Now I realize that the law has not been updated in quite some time and perhaps some things should be updated but not to the extremes that they are requesting. 

This is very frustrating for me because growing up on a farm it showed me an extreme amount of responsibility.  At a young age you are expected to help out and pull your weight.  My parents did an excellent job at keeping us safe around equipment and animals and making us aware of dangers. 

With the new law it would almost abolish 4-H.  If you are under 18 you are not allowed to help with any acts of animal husbandry.  Herding animals, branding, breeding, treating of animals is all prohibited.  Another rule would require everyone under the age of 16 to take a 90 hour course to be able to run any type of equipment that can only be taken at a vocational or secondary school.  This is an interesting rule because with funding at many state levels being cut many schools are having to cut Vo-Ag which would be providing the class.  It is going to be a utter burden for most if not all farming families.

With all this being said it is very important for all of us to voice our opinions.  Many people think that their opinion doesn't matter or that it doesn't really make a difference.  That is completely not true.  Most of the people making these rules for the law I'm sure are not from a farm or have no idea what the day to day activities are that make up a day on a farm.  We need to let them know!  Speak out!  Every opinion counts!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Buy American made!!!!

As I was watching the news tonight they brought up a very interesting fact.....if everyone spent $64 on products made in the USA it would create 200,000 jobs! I try as often as possible to purchase American made products. It can get difficult at times but every little item counts. There are many websites that list American made products to help you with your Christmas list this year, for example www.americansworking.com lists the item such as boots and then gives you a list of companies that produce the item in America!!

Just to share with you my favorite American made product it would have to be my Anderson Bean Boots! All Anderson Bean Boots are handcrafted in Texas and they are by far the most comfortable and durable boot I've ever owned!! So for all you cowboy boots lovers like myself try a pair of Anderson Beans and you will never own a different brand......guaranteed!!!

Go out and buy American!!!!!!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Naile, Thanksgiving, and everything in between!

Alright so here is a quick wrap up of the last couple of weeks.....

NAILE was a huge success and a ton of fun!  ABS had some great success in the ring with some of our bulls offspring making it to the top.  Just to name a few for all of you Angus breeders these are a couple bulls you will want to keep your eye on or maybe add to your breeding program: Brilliance and Brave!!!

In addition to the great shows the shopping at the country store was amazing as well!  The best part of all I would have to say was the Hot Beef Sundae!!!

I know your mouth is salivating as you look at this!!

Another highlight of the last couple weeks would have to be that my trunk show boots finally arrived!!!  This is one of the coolest opportunities of any boot lover out there.  The Mule Barn down in Madisonville Texas has a trunk show every year and it allows you to create your very own boot!  Anderson Bean and Rios of Mercedes bring in all of their leather options and you literally pick your sole, foot leather, and color leather for shaft.  You can also put any inlay or design on them that you wish.  These are my latest creation.....

They are caimen horn back alligator boot with green leather and S inlay for State!!!  Go Spartans!!!  Pretty amazing huh?!!

Last but not least Thanksgiving was great.  Busy as usual but great to see all the family and eat the delicious foods that everyone made!  Now it is time to prepare for Christmas!

Have a great week!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

It's that time of year again.....NAILE!

Hello again! So it has definitely been a while since my last blog and I apologize for that. Life in general has been crazy busy and it's time to get back to the grind! For all of you livestock enthusiasts you probably already know that NAILE is well underway! For those of you that don't know NAILE is the North American International Livestock Exposition. It is where people are able to come show off their hard work and compete for the purple ribbon!!!!

The dairy division just completed and the supreme champion went to a jersey cow! Beef cattle start the 12 and go through the 18. It is very educational and exciting to see what bulls are leading the ring. There is also a huge country store where the shopping is superb! If you are in need of cowboy boots this is the place to go! They have excellent sales and and tons of options! Not only are their boots but there is everything from clothes, jewelry, boots, home decor, trailers, gates, all you show supplies, etc. There is also a trade show where your feed, Bull stud, pharmaceutical companies have booths set up so you can get information and ask questions. Obviously there are more companies than just those 3 but you get the idea.

For more information and to take look at the show schedule visit their webpage . They also have a live stream video of the show ring so you arable to see the action right from your home if you're notable to make it. So check it out and enjoy! I will be heading down there next Wednesday so be expecting pictures and a full report!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Technology has become a farmer/ranchers best friend

I am a total ag nerd when it comes to reading and subscribing to articles and blogs about agriculture.  Technology has totally become a source of information and sharing for people to learn about the ag industry.  For example on twitter I follow @animalag, @agchat, and @beefmagazine.  Multiple times a day you get updated on current issues.  Some of them like agchat also have weekly discussions so that anyone can put their two cents in on how they feel about the issues.

Recently there have been many discussions about how farmers and ranchers are using technology to share info about production and welfare of animals and crops on their farms for the world to see.  This is an awesome idea because so many people have preconceived ideas of what goes on on a working facility.  It is always brought to the public attention when something negative goes on but rarely do we see all the good and positive that is being done.  The more people that speak out and share the activities of their working farms perhaps the pressure from activists will start to lessen.......we can only hope!

One article that stuck out to me today was a Kansas farmer that takes time out of his day to tweet.  It may be just to boast about the benefits of a new fertilizer he used or photos of a newborn calf.  He feels strongly that most people don't understand where their food comes from and if we start to inform those that don't know we may be able to correct the perceptions that are false that people tend to have.  I totally agree with this.

So for all of you readers out there I challenge you to start to learn about where your food comes from and who the people are that are making this food. You never know, you may learn a few things and if you have negative perceptions they may just be reversed!

Here are a couple really good websites that share a wealth of knowledge about the foods you eat and the people that grow them.....check them out:

beef magazine

Since today was rainy and dreary up here in the Midwest I wanted to share my current purchase....

Go Spartans!!!!!!!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday's Favorite Things!!

Pardon my absence this week on blogging.  Work has consumed my life lately but I made sure to post tonight because I know you all want to see another of my favorite things.....right?  So my favorite thing this Friday I would like to share with you is my very sheltered, uninformed of the world around her, my personal trainer Michele!  Not only is she a complete genius when it comes to nutrition and working out but she absolutely cracks me up with her lack of knowing what is going on around her......for example:  We were working out this afternoon and my sister brings up Sweetest Day and she has never heard of it!!!

Naturally I was not surprised because she amazes me with things she has never heard of but really.....sweetest day?  So she says....."you Midwesterners and your crazy things".  I found that funny because she did live in Missouri for 3 years....just saying.  So I had all these funny things I was gonna write about and then thought to myself......perhaps I should look this up and see where Sweetest Day came from.   Sure enough it is really only celebrated in the Great Lakes region.  Who knew?!

Apparently a guy in Cleveland started it by giving gifts to orphans or homeless or something like that and so then it spread and every year on the 3rd Saturday in October people would give little gifts like cards, candy, etc. to loved ones.  Now it is spreading like wildfire and considered a Hallmark Holiday!

Tomorrow is Sweetest Day so if any of you have forgotten here is your reminder.  I love Sweetest Day because normally my husband forgets and so I get him a card and tell him I clearly love him more since I remembered.....works every time!

Back to my Friday's favorite thing.....Michele....she is the shit!!  She does in home training and nutrition counseling.  So any of you near the Fort Wayne area hit her up and she will whip you into shape!  I have been training with her for over a year and absolutely love it!  I have become so strong and much more confident!  Hit her up on facebook via her page LivingIt.....you won't be disappointed!

Happy Sweetest Day All!!!!!!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Where's the beef?!

Recently I was at a friends house for a gathering and one of the women that was there came up to talk to me and in casual conversation she asked me what I did for a living.  I told her I worked in the cattle industry and she was just amazed that there were jobs like that out there.  I was so confused as to why she was so surprised.  It then dawned on me that growing up in the agricultural community I sometimes take for granted the knowledge that I have of the industry.  I mean if someone was talking about the IT world I probably would have the same look of confusion and surprise on my face as well.

I thought I will share some beef facts for all you out there that may not know that much about the cattle industry:
  • Nationally as of January 1, 2011 there are 92,582,000 head of cattle
  • Carcass weights have increased from 550 lbs to 825 lbs.  This is due to better genetics, nutrition, and management
  • With increased carcass weights we are able to feed more people per animal than before
  • Texas currently has the most cattle and calves than any other state with 13,300,000 head
  • 2.35 billion pounds of beef were shipped overseas in 2010
  • http://www.bamabeef.org/pdf/CattleFacts.pdf

Not only have we been able to produce more meat per animal with better genetics, nutrition, and management but we are also making the meat leaner with these improvements!  So go out and support your local farmers and ranchers and eat beef!  We LOVE BEEF!!!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday's Favorite Things!!

So I have decided that every Friday I will share some of my favorite things, addictions, obsessions, etc.  If you know me already you probably know that I am obsessed with music.  I am an itunes junkie and have thousands of songs on my ipod!  Not only do I love music but I absolutely love Texas country music.  It is way better than mainstream country!  So for today's favorite thing I am going to share one of my favorite bands with you and their new single!!! 

The Casey Donahew Band is definitely one of my top 10 favorite Texas country bands!  They have a new single out called Double-Wide Dream and it is fabulous.  I have been fortunate enough to see them in concert both in Chicago and down in Fort Worth.  If any of you get the chance to see them you will not regret it.

So to explain a little why I love Texas country so much I will start out with saying the sound is totally different from those of you who love mainstream country.  Texas country is a little more rough and uncensored per say.  Most if not all of these artists write their own songs for the whole album which is very unique.  The songs most often tell a story and have a meaning behind them. 

All of you go out and buy the single or listen to some tracks on their website and maybe you will want to buy a whole album.  I may have them all and let me tell ya there isn't a bad song on a single album!  Enjoy!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

It's Harvest Time

Harvest is in full swing in the Midwest!  We are having clear skies and 70 degree days to really let these farmers hit the fields!  I thought I would share the current crop report so that if you do not really follow current coditions you will be up to date.  As for soybeans they are 35% complete which is up from last year at this time which was only 26% complete.  Moisture is averaging 13%.  Also, corn being chopped for silage is 96% complete.

Harvest was one of my favorite times of year for many reasons but mostly because my dad would get us girls out of school to help him in the fields.  Who doesn't love a reason to get out of school?  Well that's all for tonight.....enjoy!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Greatest season of all.....FALL!!!!

There are a million reasons why fall is the greatest season of them all and one of them would be craft shows and festivals.  This past weekend my younger sister and I attended the Kendalville Apple Festival.  It was a whole fairgrounds full of crafts, food, and entertainment.  There were over one hundred vendors that had hand made crafts.  There were millions of things to buy but lets be real.....we went for the food!

Since it is the Apple festival you could find unique combinations with apple in the ingredients.  For example the apple burger.  This was phenomenal to say the least.  It had hamburger, applesauce, cinnamon, and onion powder.  Holy Yum!!!!  There was so much delicious food like haystack potatoes, chili, potato soup, elephant ears, apple fritters, and the best of them all......apple dumplings!!!

Makes your mouth salivate just looking at it doesn't it!

Since it was the apple festival I thought it would be fun to share some interesting apple facts that I found:
  • 7,500 varieties of apples are grown throughout the world
  • Apple trees take 4 to 5 years to produce their first fruit
  • It takes the energy from 50 leaves to produce 1 apple
  • Apples are grown in all 50 states
  • The average size of a United States orchard is 50 acres
  • Apples are the second most valuable fruit grown in the United States.  Oranges are first
  • Apples ripen 6 to 10 times faster at room temperature than if they were refrigerated
If you loved all these facts and are dying for more visit:

Go visit your local apple orchard for the opportunity to pick your own apples and watch them make cider.  Many of them have weekend festivals where they have hayrides and games for kids.  Well thats all for now.....go support your local farmers!!!!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Welcome to Dirt Road Charm

I grew up in the agricultural community and it has been in my blood ever since.  My father was blessed with three daughters so we were the boys he never had.  We did it all....from planting corn and beans in the spring to combining the crops in the fall.  The many trips to the elevator with grain and hearing how things were going from the other farmers was always a good time.

It didn't really interest me to blog until i was standing in line at the grocery store and the girl behind me, who couldn't have been much older than 15, asked her mom if chocolate milk really came from brown cows.  I was floored!  I then realized I must do my part to get the word out to all the uninformed people where their food comes from. 

Through this blog i hope to share my story and information of what agriculture is about.  Through my travels and just everyday life I hope that you gain an understanding of what it takes for farmers and ranchers to create the product that most of us take for granted......food.  You will also get to see some of the things i love and am obsessed with along the way!  Enojoy!

Just to share a few things i am obsessed with.  Cowboy boots.....I may own 15 pair but you can never have too many!