Dirt Road Charm

Motherhood, Agriculture, and everything in between

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lab Grown Beef?.....I'll take mine on the hoof please!

There have been many reports in the news lately about lab grown beef.  Some scientist over in the Netherlands is attempting to grow a hamburger in a petri dish from the stem cells of cattle.  He claims that it will be beneficial because it will save animals.  I don't know about you but I enjoy a delicious burger that is grown safely, naturally, and nutritiously. 

He claims that he will have a full hamburger grown by this fall with a price tag of already over $330,000 invested.  I feel that this will not be a very cheap hamburger.  What is wrong with raising cattle for human consumption anyway?  Not only does it provide a valuable protein for a balanced diet but it also provides many important and essential by products.

I personally feel that beef should be grown naturally and I don't believe growing a hamburger in a petri dish is very natural.  Whether you agree or disagree I would love to hear your thoughts!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Guest Post: FFA....Through the Eyes of an Ag Teacher

For all of you who may not know, this week is National FFA Week.  This was one of my favorite times during school because the Vo-Ag class would have a ton of activities going on throughout the week: such as an FFA spirit week, small animal petting zoo, we would serve breakfast for the faculty and staff, and many other exciting activities.  In honor of this wonderful week I thought it would be a great idea to have a guest post from an Ag teacher and I found Ohio's finest to share her thoughts!  Meet Jessica Tracey from North Central FFA

"With FFA Week upon us, I find it essential to do a little “public education” on the organization itself, and why this week is celebrated nationally. As an agriculture instructor, I commonly find myself engaging in conversations with student’s parents where they recall their fond memories of “Vo Ag” and FFA. Usually the stories are of setting things on fire in the ag shop, or doing something mischievous on a FFA trip that I would no doubt kick my students out of my program for. I usually just laugh and explain how much has changed since their days in the program.
In 1988, the Future Farmers of America changed their name to the National FFA Organization to reflect the growing diversity among FFA members as well as the agriculture industry itself. There are FFA chapters in each of the 50 states, as well as Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Yes, there are FFA chapters in Chicago, New York City, and various other large cities where one would not think an agricultural organization would be found. The National FFA is home to over 500,000 members, making it the largest youth organization in the world! We see ourselves less as of a group, or “club,” and more of a family with one common goal: to spread the word about the amazing industry that is agriculture, and why it’s so important to us, and should be important to everyone.
Now in my sixth year of teaching, I entered into this profession to share my passion for agriculture with others, and to show students that it does indeed impact every aspect of their life. Also, FFA was what occupied most of my time in high school; I was by no means athletic, and I worked at a local veterinary clinic after school, so what extra time I did have was limited. I guess you could say that FFA broke me out of my “shell.” I was pretty quite and very focused on academics in high school...and probably borderline social phobic. By competing if judging contests, and being a part of something bigger, I began to develop leadership skills and was no longer afraid to make myself heard. I chose this occupation to provide students the opportunity to experience what I did, and develop a love and appreciation for agriculture.
I could go on for hours about how teachers are taken for granted and people view them as “glorified babysitters,” and how that’s wrong; but I won’t. Teacher’s shouldn’t be chastised for getting the summer off...anyone else could have gotten their degree in education, and besides, ag teachers DON’T get summers off! Most ag teachers work on what is called “extended time,” I have 25 extended days each school year, I probably work 60 or more extra days each year. People, students especially, have no idea how much extra time is put into being a FFA advisor. I spend numerous amounts of my personal time and money ensuring that my students are given the best FFA experiences I can offer them.
The most common thing I hear from students that are contemplating taking an ag class is “But I don’t want to be a farmer” and I say “Great, becasuse I’m not going to teach you to be a farmer!” Agriculture has become so much more than farming, and the diversity in our ag classes is a reflection of that. Don’t be afraid of the unknown, talk to your local FFA advisor if you have questions and sign up for an ag class, you won’t regret it!"

                               A full house at National FFA Convention held in Indianapolis, IN
Some of the greatest parts of being in FFA is getting to attend judging contests. Here are a couple  
students during the Soils Judging.
And you cannot forget the Corduroy Jacket!!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Chipotle it's not wise to upset and industry as large as agriculture.....we retaliate with passion

Alright for all of you that watched the Grammy's I'm sure that you saw the Chipotle commercial and if you didn't watch the Grammy's I'm sure you have heard the chatter about the commercial.  If there is a slight chance that you have not seen this commercial here is your chance.

There are many and i mean MANY parts, if not all of this video that I do not agree with and feel it has depicted a very false view of "factory farming".  Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to criticize how farming was done back in the 1950's but without modern technology it would be very difficult if not impossible to feed the world. Also, as much as you would like to see pigs running around out on pasture under the elements they would have a very hard time surviving these negative degree winters.

While I could ramble on and on about what is not correct about this video some other bloggers have pretty much nailed it in response to this commercial so I will share with you their views and thoughts and save my fingers from writing a book :)

Crystal Cattle is a blog that I follow and she is very good at commentating on issues in the agricultural industry and advocating the industry as well.  You can read her response here.  Also the National Cattlemen's Beef Association has a blog that responded to this when the commercial actually came out last September and you can read their response here.

Instead of listening to a marketing gimmick I would suggest talking to your local farmers and ranchers about how food is made.....just sayin

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Favorite Things Friday (on saturday).....Turquoise

 Since life has been pretty busy and I didn't get this posted yesterday we will let it slide a day and share my favorite things Saturday!!! So as many of you may know my favorite color would have to be turquoise. If I could paint everything a different shade of turquoise my life would be complete!  It goes with absolutely EVERYTHING!!  No matter if you are going out on the town or in the barn working cattle, it is your go to color!  Here are a few of my favorite turquoise pieces......

You can never have too many turquoise cowboy boots or even purses!!  If you are looking for boots or purses you need to definitely check out The Mule Barn for the best boot selection EVER!!!!  If you are looking for accessories and clothing then Southern Jewlz is your go to store!!!
Love turquoise jewelry and the belt is another Southern Jewlz specialty!  If any of you are living in the Midwest like myself and the temps are pretty cold this weekend what better way to enjoy the negative degree temps than staying inside and doing some shopping!!!!  Enjoy!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Favorite Things Friday....Beef!! (Duh!)

I haven't done a favorite things Friday in quite some time so I thought today we will get back at it!!!  So for this favorite thing Friday you guessed it.....BEEF!!!!!  Is anyone sick of hearing me talk about beef yet?  I didn't think so!  This is my grill this evening.....

I know your mouth is salivating!  Dinner consisted of burgers, sirloin steak, and Filet Mignon.  With a side of acorn squash.  Might I say that it was so delicious!!

Since it is I Heart Beef month I thought i would share some fun and interesting facts about beef that I found on Purdue University's website.  Did you know........
  • 1904 was the year that the hamburger debuted at the World's Fair in St. Louis
  • Memorial Day is the most popular day for beef consumption
  • 1000 quarter pound burgers could be made from one steer!!
  • 11 basketballs can be made from one beef hide
  • ground beef is the most popular cut of beef in the United States (I found this interesting)
  • White Castle was the first hamburger chain and it opened in 1921
With that I hope everyone enjoys I Heart Beef month and go out and support the beef industry!!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

YAY for "I Heart Beef" Month!!

This is definitely my favorite specialty month because February is I Heart Beef month!!  I absolutely love beef and the whole cattle industry so it makes sense this is one of my favorite months! I get the pleasure (some days better than others) to work with cattle on a daily basis so it is one of my deepest passions.
In honor of I Heart Beef month I will be eating beef everyday for the next 29 days.  This is not unusual because beef is normally incorporated in my diet but will be a fun adventure to come up with different recipes to incorporate beef everyday.   So to start off day one we had tacos for dinner tonight!
I challenge everyone to enjoy the month of beef and make an attempt to support the industry in any way you can think!!!  I will be posting my month of beef recipes so stay tuned and enjoy!!!!