Dirt Road Charm

Motherhood, Agriculture, and everything in between

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!