Dirt Road Charm

Motherhood, Agriculture, and everything in between

Sunday, December 15, 2013

M.A.C. Makeup must have review

For all of you lip loving makeup fanatics out there I have found the perfect lip bundle you must have this holiday season.  

This past week I found myself looking at lipsticks at the MAC counter.  I have gone from the bright red to the cute pink and was looking at getting a wine colored lipstick for the holidays. While I did find what I was looking for I couldn't help but notice the amazing lip color that the lady helping me at the counter was wearing. Well lucky for us all it was this amazing nude color. 

I quickly agreed to trying it on and instantly fell in love!  The best part is it is currently in a bundle pack that includes...

This wonderful bag, lipstick in Creme D'Nude, gloss in softly lit, and lip pencil in barely bold. All for only $39.50.  They are sold out online but your local Macy's should have it. 

One more item that is a must have this winter season is the MAC lip conditioner. I use this all the time and is better than Chapstick.  It will get rid of dry lips instantly!  

So go out and get ya some while your finishing up your Christmas shopping. I mean there is no shame in rewarding yourself while our there fighting the crowds and finishing your lists like a hero!  


Monday, November 25, 2013

And the Cookie Winner Is.....

I know you have all been waiting patiently to find out who gets to sink their teeth into the delicious cookies!  Our winner is:

David with the comment "I'm thankful for, farmers, ranchers and bacon!" 

If this is you please email me your address to dirtroadcharm@gmail.com and I will get them shipped out to you!!!  I must agree that those are some pretty amazing things to be thankful for!

I hope you all have a great start to a short work week!


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Giveaway: Cookies for Foodthanks!

Since it is November and everyone gets extra thankful this month I felt it was the perfect opportunity to do a little giving myself in honor of #foodthanks.  I am a huge fan of small town businesses and feel that they are the secret treasures of any small town.  Where I live is no different.  We are lucky enough to have the best cookie maker of all time (and I am serious when I say this.....she is unbeatable). 

Cookies on Demand is our small town secret treasure.  It is also my secret weapon to win over the hearts of my farmer customers and prospects.  You show up with a dozen cookies that are out of this world delicious and it is hook line sinker!

With that being said I am giving away a dozen of these amazing cookies to one lucky winner!!  They will be shipped to you next day air if you are not close enough to pick them up just so you can taste the freshness!
All you have to do is go and like her page on facebook by clicking here and then come back and comment on this post of what you are thankful for! The winner will be drawn on Monday!

Now if you can't wait that long to get your hands on some of these cookies no fear.  She ships all over!  Just give her a call! 

Good Luck!!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Men....The Perfect Gift For The Woman in Your Life!!

If she is a coffee drinker....if not then your out of luck and this post will help you none.

But for real.....I have found the most incredible gift that every woman (or man) that drinks coffee must have.  A FRENCH PRESS!!  People, call me crazy if you have had one for years but this is the most simple and amazing invention ever!  The first time I had french press coffee was in Chicago at my cousin's apt.  It was delish.  However when I left Chicago I clearly forgot how amazing it was. 

Recently a group of friends and myself went to the newly opened Father Johns Brewery and we had french pressed coffee.  My taste buds were in over drive heaven.  It makes coffee so creamy and so rich and smooth.  Just incredible.  It puts my keurig to shame.

So to help make Christmas shopping super easy for all you men out there because I know you normally wait until the last minute, get your woman a french press.  She will love it and you will be a hero. 

And to make it even easier you can order one from Amazon right HERE.

Now you can relax having one less thing on your Christmas list....you can thank me later.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Picture Day!

Yes it is that time of year again......to renew your license.   Which means you get a new shot at attempting to take a half reasonable picture.  Never works well for me. 

4 years ago I was working breeding cows so I swung into the license bureau quick to get it over with.  Epic fail. I had on an under armour cold gear shirt which seemed to push ALL of my chins up in visible view and then they decide to zoom in on my face.  Gross. 

Just to reassure me that my picture was that bad, a group of us stayed in a hotel after one of Michigan States football games and since the reservation was under my name I went through the classic line of events.  License and card you would like to put the room on.....says the college student behind the desk.  I hand him my license and say don't judge. It's a bad pic. The kid looks at me, then at the pic and says yeah you could've done better.  Well thanks!

So again this year I get up with anticipation of doing my hair looking all fancy. In my head this is what I imagine my pic to look like.
Photo courtesy of google images

But then I get busy and run out of time and this is what it will most likely end up looking like.
Photo courtesy of google images

So with my hair thrown up in a ponytail here is to 4 more years of looking like a boy!  Happy Tuesday y'all!!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

A harvest in pictures

I don't claim or attempt to consider myself a photographer in any way.  I shoot with an iPhone and thanks to some apps my photos look slightly better than a toddlers. However I do love getting action shots of agriculture as I travel the countryside. 

Harvest has really picked up pace here the last couple days after a wonderful 4+ inches of rain and I wanted to share some of my wonderful better than a toddlers photos of the harvest happenings....Enjoy!

I might add according to all these photos we really like the green and yellow up here!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Fall Favorites......HELP!!!

Paleo friends, primal friends, healthy friends in general........I need your help!!!

So I have these cravings come fall that consists of pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice latte, apple crisp, apple cobbler, hot caramel apple cider......pretty much everything loaded with sugar.  Which is great and normal right?  Minus one glitch........apparently my thyroid has went on strike.

I know right?  What a useless piece of machinery up there.  How does it just stop working?  So with that comes a big problem.....fat.  Within the last year I have been working out multiple times a week even multiple times a day and.......nothing, like havent lost a pound or an inch. Ridiculous.  So I made an appt with an integrative doctor thanks to the advice of my badass trainer.  Apparently they are pretty legit and help to heal you as a whole instead of just the issue at hand like a regular doctor?  I don't know but I'm about to find out.....minus the fact that she is such a big deal she is booked out through October so I'm on a waiting list.

In the mean time I am on a paleo diet to help keep me from gaining 500 pounds until we figure out this thyroid thing.  I am supposed to limit sugars but fall and winter are the WORST times of the year!  So this is where all you foodies come in!

I need recipes!!!  I need good paleo healthy yummy recipes to curb these cravings of fall I'm having!!  I need tried and true recipes.  I have found some and tried them and they have tasted like ass so I want some that you all have tried and know are delicious!!!  Also what are some go to things that you eat when you are craving sweets that are a healthier alternative?

Any and all thoughts and recipes are greatly appreciated! 

Thanks friends!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Chipotle Ad Controversy.....the Parody is Spot On!!

I'm sure that many of you by now have seen or heard about the recent release of the "Scarecrow" ad by Chipotle.  This ad which is accompanied by a "cute"  (insert sarcasm and eye roll) little game that they created as well does a great job of sharing lies and false images of what the food industry is like today.  I'm not a fan of  the video nor would I want to send any more views their way so I will not be sharing the video.  I'm sure most of you are very capable of finding it yourselves.

However......I will share this video!  Funny or Die made this parody of the Chipotle ad and it couldn't have made me happier!  Check it out and I will explain why.


I love this because it shows that the audience isn't as naive as Chipotle would like to think they are.  The Huffington Post even wrote an article stating that this parody almost makes you feel guilty for believing their marketing gimmicks.  I love that they are bringing this to the attention of everyone and it's not only farmers and ranchers out there standing up it is the general public realizing this video just doesn't seem right!! That makes me smile and warms my heart!!

 My frustration arises when Chipotle tries to get away with bashing big Ag and make you believe that they bring you natural, antibiotic and hormone free meat; (Which might I add all meat is antibiotic free when it reaches the slaughter house, we were all born with hormones so it's hard to get rid of a naturally occurring thing), but with the size of the corporation we all know that just isn't possible.  They have even put out statements saying that they can not supply it all the time because of demand.  Now if you have to supplement with conventionally raised meat why in the world would you try to bash it?  You are willing to feed it to your customers so it must not be that bad right?  These are just my thoughts.

Have a great Friday and a great start to your weekend!!

Friday, August 30, 2013

AgChat, Youtility, and a lil Flatryan

This is what you come across when you get a group of agnerds together...epic genius my friends

This creative genius is compliments of my friend Nicole Small (Tales of a Kansas Farm Mom)  She told her husband she needed a portable phone charger so she can stay charged while out in the tractor working in the fields.......obviously this is what a man thinks of when you ask for a portable charger.  I feel Milwaukee's sales are going to increase quite substantially after this!

A couple weeks ago I had the amazing opportunity to again attend the great AgChat Foundation's annual conference in Charlotte, NC.  I wasn't initially going to attend this year but after being told to do so by the great Dairy Carrie and Ryan Goodman I obliged and am glad I did. 

For any of you that have never been it is a must do conference.  The first time I went last year I was just getting started on my agvocating adventure and this conference really got me to the next level.. Not only technology wise but the networking is bar none.  These are some of the best in the industry and to be able to learn one on one and ask questions is pretty much a great opportunity.

This year we got to hear from the great Jay Bear.  Pretty much a social media and marketing genius....hes pretty legit.

Everything that he said really hit home for me especially because I am in sales and the marketing advice he gave was dead on.  We need to quit selling our product and be more of a source of information.......nailed it!
I encourage all of you to check out his book youtility.  I mean he is a NY Times best selling author so you know it will be good!

One of the other perks of attending the conference is it is normally in a place where you can get bangin food. Last year it was in Kansas City and we had some of the best BBQ around and this year Charlotte didn't disappoint!
I am a sucker for BBQ and would eat it everyday.  If you are in Charlotte I would suggest McKoy's BBQ It was bangin!

On a side note.....while in NC at the Agchat conference the unveiling of #flatryan took place. Have you heard of the flatstanley series that went around many classrooms across the country last year?  If you haven't no worries....you can learn all about it HERE!  FlatRyan was lucky enough to come home with me and right when we got home we had to go breed some cows.....he was nothing but thrilled

So stay tuned for more adventures that #flatryan will be on.....he is pretty pumped that Michigan State kicks off the football season tonight!  Go Green!!!

Friday, July 12, 2013

And the winner is......

The winner of the painted leather cuff from the fabulous HD West is......

Courtney Bauer!!

Congrats!!  Email me your shipping address to dirtroadcharm@gmail.com!

I hope you all have a great Friday and if you didn't already know its National Cow Appreciation Day!!  If you are near a chick-fil-a and you dress up as a cow you get a free meal!!  Do it!


Monday, July 8, 2013

Cowboy boot transformation + a Giveaway!!!!

Calling all boot fashionistas, boot obsessors, boot collectors, or anyone else out there that has a love for cowboy boots as big as I do!!  I am beyond excited to share this post with you because it is about one thing I am completely infatuated with......boots.  I had an old pair of boots sitting in my closet that I have only worn a handful of times but for some reason couldn't get rid of......well lets just say they got a face lift!!!

I have been following HD West for quite some time on facebook and even purchased a cuff from her and had a sign painted.  She recently was taking new orders to paint boots and I thought hey that would be the perfect thing for those old boots collecting dust in my closet!!  I cannot begin to explain how talented this lady is.  Words don't describe so take a look for yourself at my boot transformation!

 My boots before


And After!! 
Pretty amazing yeah?  Now for the best part.....A GIVEAWAY!!  Since I feel this lady is pretty legit I think it is only right to give you all a chance at a piece of her artwork!  I will be giving away one of her painted leather cuffs!  All you have to do is go like her page on facebook (click here) and then comment on this post that you liked her page and be sure to include your name!  I will draw a winner on Friday morning!!
This could be yours!!
Good luck and I hope you all have a great week!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

No organic, grassfed, or gmo free?

This past weekend the Ohio Farm Bureau put on a summer tour for the Young Ag Professionals.  This event really intrigued me because they had many tour options and I felt it would be a great way to network with other members of farm bureau in the state as well as learn about some great places within the state.  Our tour stopped at Scioto Downs, North Market, and Watershed Distillery.

Our first stop was Scioto Downs race park.  This was pretty interesting to me as I really know little about horses, especially race horses but know a couple people that actually raise harness racing horses so it was neat to make the connection.  This is a very busy and dedicated sport.  It was very evident that these horses are treated like royalty.  Speaking with the trainers and Farrier they take great pride in the horses and the jobs that they do.

We also stopped at Watershed Distillery which is a craft distillery which makes vodka, gin, and bourbon.  It is neat to see these little craft distilleries in your home state that make their main focus to stay and support the state they originated.  These guys purchase all of their grains from within the state and do not push to sell a ton outside of the state as Ohio is their main focus. They have sold to markets in New York City and Chicago but only because they came to them!  That's pretty cool for a small operation!  They have unique tasting spirits and you all need to give them a try!!

My favorite stop of the day was at Columbus North Market.  This market is in the heart of Columbus and provides fresh local foods to the city and surrounding areas.  We had the opportunity to sit down with the owners of Bluescreek Farm Meats

Cheryl and David Smith
Photo courtesy of bluescreekfarmmeats.com
They’re a farm-raised, hardworking couple who have been selling their locally raised meats since 1993. They opened their mom-and-pop shop so they could sell directly to the consumer "because their meat is too good to sell any other way."  As you can tell they are very passionate about the meat that they are providing to their customers.  They raise their animals the "old fashioned way, like it should be" as they stated.  Their animals are raised on a rationed grain diet along with hay. This got the wheels turning in my head and made me wonder.....Do they get many people that come to them looking for organic, grassfed, or gmo free and walk away when they say no? 
I was surprised by her answer.  She said that over the last 3 years they have really seen an increase in the gmo free, organic, and grassfed question but 90%-95% will still purchase from them even though they don't carry those niche meats.  She said that most people just want to know how the animals are raised and that they care about the animals.  She commented that they looked into organic a few years ago and the price of grain and then the price they would have to charge their customers just wasn't worth it.  Plus the fact that they already feel they have a pretty superior product.  If it ain't broke why fix it?
I found this quite interesting.  I feel it goes to show that many people may have concerns because they read it on the Internet and hear all this negative info about conventionally raised animals but when it comes down to it, just being able to talk to the people that raise the animals and hearing about the operation is all that the consumer is really after.  This is why putting yourself out there for people to talk to you about why you do things they way you do and letting them see into your operation is crucial. 
There is a small but very vocal sector out there that is doing its best at fear mongering but I think this just shows that when you are willing to open your doors and show transparency and show you really are just wanting to provide the best quality product out there like the Smith's, people will trust you and your product and keep coming back for more!
Be sure to check out Bluescreeek Farms Meats both on facebook and their website as they offer classes to help you better understand cuts of meats and sharpen up on your meat knowledge!!
Have a safe and fun 4th of July holiday!!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Secrets Revealed on a Factory Dairy Farm!

Don't you just love catchy titles?  I sure do!  With June being dairy month and I sure love me some dairy, I thought it would be a great opportunity to go and interview Bridgewater Dairy that is located only miles from my house.  This isn't just any dairy, this is a large dairy of around 5300 cows when including all three locations.

Now to everyone's disbelief yes if you are cordial and polite these dairy owners are very willing to discuss the operation with you and even let you take some pictures.  This is one of the misconceptions that annoys me.  Everyone thinks that these dairies put up huge walls and no one is even allowed to pull in the drive.  That is not the case.  Now granted for biosecurity reasons they probably don't want you trampling around with the cows but if you are polite and respectful it isn't hard to get a tour of these farms.

Bridgewater dairy is a family run dairy.  Yes you heard me correct.  They milk around 5300 cows and most of the family members are very much involved.  So this idea that a large dairy is a "factory farm" run by large corporations or robots just doesn't fit the bill here.

 Now lets meet the family:
Dr. Leon and Nancy Weaver

Dr. Weaver grew up on a beef, hog, and tobacco farm while his wife Nancy was raised on a small dairy in PA.  Dr. Weaver practiced dairy veterinary medicine for 11 years in California and later served 15 years on the clinical and research faculty of the University of California's Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center in Tulare, CA.  Nancy has a degree in accounting (Fresno State University) and is a Certified Public Accountant.  She heads up all of Bridgewater's human resource, financial, insurance and accounting functions and is an active member of the Bridgewater management team.

Chris Weaver
Chris Weaver is the one that I interviewed.  He is responsible for all farm and dairy personnel, equipment, and operations.  This is what he had to say about himself "I grew up as a city kid, with close ties to the dairy industry.  I rode along on a lot of calls with my father and really enjoyed the farm families he worked with. After I graduated college I began working on dairy farms in many different states (California, New Mexico, and Michigan) for about 5 years before we started BWD."  Check out the website Bridgewater Dairy to meet some of the other staff!
I thought it would be good to ask Chris some questions that many people have concerning the diary industry and larger dairies specifically.  Here is what he had to say......
Many people see large farms as factory farms and not family run. How do you respond to this?
         "We don't particularly like the verbiage factory farms, because well large dairies are not factories.  The ownership is personally involved and passionate about what we do.  Any one that works with us or any large dairy operation knows its hard work.  We recently hired a new maintenance supervisor, and in the hiring process a friend told me he knew a great candidate that he would talk to,  later that friend said he had talked to his acquaintance and he said "I've seen how hard those guys work, I don't want to work that hard".
        Seriously, we must love what we do.  It's hard work and I know a few factory owners or managers and they don't work nearly as hard as we do.
       Dairy farming is a 24 hr 7 day a week 365 days a year job, sure we have lots of employees, but we are all in constant communication about the health and welfare of the cows.  A cow is a living being, there is no one size fits all answer we are continually giving personal attention to animals in different periods of their lives.  From trimming their toenails, to making their beds comfortable, to preparing them for the maternity ward."
How long is the average lactation for a dairy cow and how is this beneficial for a cow and not just the dairy?
          "The average lactation of a dairy cow is about 13.5-14 months, with an average lifespan of 3 lactations.  Just to clarify after a calf is born we raise that calf for 24-26 months before she gives birth to her first calf.  Once the first calf is born her first lactation can begin.  I'm always amazed how many people don't recognize that a cow has to give birth before they can produce milk.  Any way a cow that completed 3 lactations is usually almost 6 years old.   We have cows that have had 9 lactations and some that have less than 3 lactations for a variety of reasons.
           I always think we all want animals to live forever and I certainly do as well.  So I like to put it into perspective for the non-animal people out there.  Small dogs like poodles or terriers can live 15-20 years, and then 12 years is really old for a Golden Retriever, and 8 is ancient for a Great Dane.  It seems the larger the animal the shorter the lifespan.  So 6-10 years is pretty reasonable for a cow as well. Actually a 10 year old cow is ancient."
What do you feel the industry should do to help with transparency and have you implemented any steps to help with this on your farm?
          "I think the industry has gone great lengths to create transparency, but we tend to be afraid of the people that are out looking for the mistakes we make.  And we definitely need to be cautious.
          There are different routes of transparency. Fair Oaks Farms is part of the milk marketing cooperative we belong to.  Our coop has set up this large scale dairy with a full tour and visitor center so that anyone can see everything that occurs on a large dairy. Our protocols are essentially identical to this visitor farm.
          We recognize that it is not feasible from a liability standpoint, or for the health of the cows to have tours wandering through all of our dairies all the time and Fair Oaks is our solution for the industry.  But then to bring the solution to a more local level we do host some specific tour groups, but most importantly we have recently added an individual that specializes in quality control, and protocol management.    Her goal is to ensure the employees are trained to do the best for our animals and given the best resources to complete their task.  While she is still learning the ropes our goal is that anyone can challenge her or us and we can give a protocol that answers a specific question or problem in the industry and scientific research that stands behind the protocol (actually we already have that it just resides in my dad's head or in his computer, we just need to get it written down) or we can take them out to the animals and show them how it is done. Granted we are not likely to do this for everyone in the county.  We found this with tours and other things we have done.  The tours take so much personal time of ourselves or our managers that it becomes hard to focus on the animals and manage a tour."
How do you feel about your cows?
         "How do I feel about our cows.  I love  them. My house sits 500 feet away from one if the barns in Lyons, Ohio and we regularly take walks with the kids to see the cows.  I should say this is where we succeed as a family not close family but a family of employee's.  I only hire managers into the Bridgewater Dairy entity that love animals.  It's not hard to tell the difference between someone that loves cows and someone that doesn't.  If they don't obviously love working with cows, they won't survive as an employee.  Our employee's are part of our family, and so are the cows."
I feel that it is very important for people to go out and meet the faces behind these farms.  You can learn a lot from just a few minutes of talking with these folks and even put some of your fears and concerns to rest.   Want to know what else is cool about this farm?  Even though they milk around 5300 cows they still let them out to pasture when conditions are right!
Yes you are seeing correctly!  So many have this horrible image of large farms locking animals in stalls with nowhere to move or roam.  That is not always the case.  Now don't get me wrong some facilities may not have the land or in certain instances like the dairies in West Texas, pasture just isn't as easy to grow or come by.  Like Chris mentioned dairying is not a cookie cutter operation.  Many people have different practices for the resources that they have available.  At the end of the day these cattle are the most important factor to the operation.  Don't let one bad seed in the industry tarnish your vision of the industry as a whole because their are good, honest, hardworking people like the Weaver's that are doing what is right and putting the cows and their needs first!
Happy cow's don't only come from California but Ohio too!
Enjoy the rest of dairy month and go out and meet the people behind the milk!! (And cheese of course!)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Corn Update: The life of a corn seed part 2

We are coming up on a solid month since the corn was planted.  We finally got some rain which is a bonus seems as how everyone around us was getting it except us.  We also lucked out on the terrential downpour of 6+ inches that many areas received and came out with a lovely 2 inches of rain a couple weeks ago.  After the rains the corn has really taken off and greened up around the area.

While the corn has been basking in the sun and soaking up moisture an application of herbicide was sprayed on the corn to get rid of the weeds.  This is done so that the weeds don't over grow the corn because at that point the corn becomes the weed and the weeds uptake all the water.  If all goes well this will hopefully be the only application of herbicide needed.  Once the corn gets taller and leafs out it will keep the weeds from growing becuase the leaves keep sunlight from getting to the ground.

So just to refresh from the begining.......there has only been one application of herbicide applied to the corn and hopefully will be the only application.  Stay tuned to see what happens next as we get closer and closer to tassle!!!

Have a great week!!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Cows before Cancer

While I have taken a new job outside of the cattle industry I still have quite a few past customers contact me to breed their cows.  Finding AI technicians around these parts can get difficult so many weekends this past month and into June I have found myself breeding cows.  I'm not complaining at all because cattle is truly my passion so its nice to stay in the industry and keep connected with past customers.

Last week I got a call from a gentleman whom I had bred cows for in the past and he was looking to get his cows bred again.  The routine normally goes as such:

"How many are you looking to breed and when would you like them bred?"

His answer was nothing out of the ordinary with "Whenever works for you.  I will work around your schedule."

Naturally I tell him I will check my schedule and get back to him because I have some stuff for work coming up and will be gone for a week at a sales meeting.  He calmly says "no problem, just let me know so I can make my doctors appt for after we breed them.  My cancer came back but I told the doc I'm not doing anything until my cows get bred."


I asked him "are you sure you don't want to get that taken care of first?  These cows will be here when you get back."

He quickly replied, "nope, these cows are what keeps me going. They are all I have."

Enough said!

At that moment all the things I had on my to do list seemed less important. It really struck me and made me think. While I started thinking I just got more frustrated with all those people out there that think these animals are just money makers for producers and they don't care about the welfare of  their animals.  Clearly these skeptics have no idea. Here is a man that is willing to put his cancer aside and make sure his cows get bred before he gets surgery and begins treatment.  That is truly a passion that has no boundaries.

Do you have a passion that you would put above all things, even cancer?

Have a great start to your week and don't forget: June is DAIRY Month!!!!  Go out and spoil yourself with some delicious ice cream and support your local dairy farmer!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Beer, Blogs, and AgNerds

So last week I got the honor of being a guest blogger to cover the events at the 29th Annual Alltech Symposium.  For those of you who have never heard of Alltech check them out!  They have some great products for both the livestock and crop industries.  I was way excited for this opportunity for many reasons.....1. it was in Lexington KY, home of green grass, white picket fences, horses galore, bourbon and beer. 2. Alltech owns a brewery...after attending this conference I don't feel the need to attend any conference ever again unless they own a brewery.... You get a bucket of beer placed in front of you at every sitting.....amazing! 3. I got to meet up with some of my favorite social media friends....some I had yet to meet in person!

Most of the group: L-R Nicole Small-Tales of a kansas farm mom, me, Ryan Goodman-Agriculture Proud (Also Ag's most eligible bachelor), Carrie Mess-Dairy Carrie, and Jenn Zeller-The South Dakota Cowgirl, Missing: Janeal Yancey-Mom at the meat counter
So as we are sitting waiting on the opening ceremonies to begin we hear a hello from behind us.....you'll never guess who it is!  None other than thee Ganaderia Mexico (@GanaderiaMex on twitter)!!!!  This guy is a celebrity in Mexico twitterverse. 


As the opening ceremonies began we had the opportunity to hear from the president of Alltech, Dr. Pearse Lyons.  Listening to this guy speak it didn't take you long to realize that he is legit.  This man is a successful businessman for many reasons and I will just quote a few.....
Dr. Pearse Lyons
"A leader’s job is to awaken a person’s greatness”
“What is greatness?  Greatness is going the extra mile.  Greatness is being out front.  Greatness is the guy who lets the others take the credit.” 
“Leaders create a space to flourish and remove the nay sayers. Put your best people in the opportunity not the problems.”

 “Our industry is our own worst enemy. We run from our story. We are the world’s worst marketing people.”
 “There is no greater group of entrepreneurship than farmers”. 
His statements were short but powerful and he pretty much hit the nail on the head with all of them!  It was with these statements I realized that many a company could learn quite a bit from this man.  He came out with intense energy and it followed throughout the whole symposium...(or the thought of beer kept us going).
One of the unique things that they did during every session was have someone doing a character sketch.  This was awesome.  One of the many things that set this symposium high above the rest!
These people have mad talent!
While this symposium has honestly been one of the best I have ever been to, mostly for the high energy, amazing speakers, and copious amounts of beer, the highlight of the whole thing was snagging this amazing serape in trade for an orange scarf.  Yes it is a serape, not a poncho!

 Stay tuned for a corn growing update later this week.....I know the suspense is killing you!



Monday, May 20, 2013

Corn Update: Whats going on your food?

It has been a little over 2 weeks since we planted our corn and with the sunny hot days we have been having and the moisture that is still in the soil this corn is growing like hotcakes!
 Meet Stewie the corn
Onto the great question at hand.....What has been applied or sprayed to our corn?  Nothing!  It has just been spending it's time growing and soaking up the sun and some moisture!

In other news......
I was given the amazing opportunity to be a guest blogger and cover the events at the 29th Annual International Alltech Symposium. It is discussing the future of food and how we are going to feed a growing population with a look at the future of 2020.  There are approximatly 2700 people from 76 different countries attending.  Feel free to follow along on twitter with #glimpse and also through my Facebook I will be posting updates.

Have a great start to the week friends!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The life of a corn seed: Part 1

It has been a little while since I got to blog, mostly due to the fact the it is prime planting time and for someone that sells seed this is quite a busy time to say the least.  Driving around dropping off seed to customers and putting in test plots takes up quite a bit of time.  While putting in a test plot last week I thought it was the perfect opportunity to start a series of what all phases a corn seed goes through from start to finish and all the different things applied to it to help it grow. 

Many people have preconceived ideas about certain companies forcing people to do certain things and farmers just spray chemicals on seed all year round.  Why not show exactly what DOES happen to a corn seed?  Now granted this may not be what all farmers practice but I have chosen one of my customers and you will get a first hand look at what all is applied and why!

First they work the ground to make sure it is all nice and smooth and the big clumps of dirt are broken up.  It also helps with weed control by ripping up the weeds and killing them.  Now like stated not all farmers work ground.  Many farmers practice no-till in which they don't work the ground.

Next we put the seed into the planter.  This farmer chose a seed that is corn borer, earworm, armyworm, and cutworm protected as well as rootworm protected.  That makes this seed genetically modified to protect against these insects.  The reason this farmer chose those protections was because he has had these insects cause a problem in the past.  A farmer could easily lose a whole crop to an insect so to have this protection in the seed is insurance for the farmer.  It is like having a tomato plant and coming out and seeing a bunch of tomato worms have eaten the whole plant and ruined the tomatoes.....not a good day.  Being able to protect these plants from those insects is huge for farmers.  Granted not all farmers have these insects present and therefor do not need to use the technology.

You will also notice that there are 2 different colors of seed.  There are green and some small amounts of purple.  The purple seed is what we call refuge seed.  Refuge seed is not genetically modified with Bt traits which are the insect protection.  The purpose of the refuge is prevent pests from becoming resistant to the technology. 
Before heading off to plant the farmer added talc to the bins of seed to act as a lubricant.  As the temp warms up along with humidity the chance for seeds to stick together and bridge up increases.  When that happens seeds can fall inconsistently which then can effect yields come harvest.  This keeps that from happening!
Last but not least we head to the field and plant the corn seeds into the ground!  Nothing like some sunshine and 75 degrees to get the corn growing.  We also made sure the soil temp was at least 55 degrees to ensure the corn seed would grow.

Stay tuned to watch the different stages of growth and to see what gets applied to help this corn grow. 


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Texas you have my heart

Recently I took a little vacation time to attend my cousins wedding in North Carolina.  While the mountains of NC are enticing.....they have nothing on the red dirt of Texas.  My sister and I thought it made nothing but perfect sense to make a quick trip to Texas on our way to NC.  For many this did not make sense in the least to go all the way south to go all the way east but if you have ever been to Texas you understand that it really can never be out of the way.

We decided to detour to Texas first to attend the Mule Barn trunk show with Anderson Bean and Rios of Mercedes.  First if none of you have been to the Mule Barn it is a must the next time you are in Texas!  The owner Nancy is pretty much the most amazing business woman ever!!!!  They have some of the most unique boots around!  Anyway the trunk show is pretty much the greatest thing ever!  You actually get to design and create your very own personalized cowboy boots!!!  For me (a boot addict) this is pretty much the closest thing to heaven and I find Anderson Bean and Rios of Mercedes boots the most comfortable boots hands down!  While this may have been the biggest reason for the trip south there were many other events of the trip to share so here you go!!

Here are the events of the great trip:

 We first headed up into Oklahoma to visit some of the great boutiques that we can only shop at online because we are clearly too far up in the Midwest to get to personally shop these great stores.  The first stop was at Unbridled in Ada, OK.  Not only amazing clothes but amazing home decor!  Be sure to ask for Dawn, she will take care of you!  However after coming out of the store we saw we had a flat tire.....not how we wanted to start the trip.  We limped into a tire repair shop and for $15 we got a great patch.....cheapest repair ever!!!

Next was the Pink Pistol which is owned by the Famous Miranda Lambert.  It is more of a trinket shop instead of clothing but also has a soda bar!!  Definitely a must stop if you are close!!

Rob Baird
 As we headed back to Texas we went to a concert in the evening....obviously.  Texas has the best music hands down!  Texas country/red dirt is the greatest thing to come out of the south since BBQ!!!  We got to listen to Rob Baird and Reckless Kelly that night!  Two solid bands that all of you need to check out!!
Reckless Kelly

One of the highlights of the evening was sitting next to the cutest couple ever.  They were in their late 60's and had a passion for music as deep as myself!  While talking to the husband he shared that his wife has Alzheimer's and has had it for 6 years.  Surprisingly she was quite aware of her surroundings.  He told me that he brings her to listen to music because it keeps her engaged instead of sitting her in front of a television.  They go listen to live music every week!  I thought that was a very interesting little tid bit to share!  He also had Rob sign a CD for me and I convinced him we came all the way to Texas just to listen to him in concert.........
 The next day we went to the Stockyards and found some great little treasures and if you know me at all you know I love bacon!!

While in the stockyards we ate at H3 Ranch.....holy amazing steak!  This place is legit.  Also if you are in the Ft Worth area you have to eat at Railhead Smokehouse.  Best BBQ in Texas in my opinion!!

One of my favorite parts of the trip was while we were sitting in a traffic jam.  If any of you are from the Midwest you know that any freeway is fenced off on the outside so people can't just come on and off through the ditch i suppose?  Well not in Texas......we were sitting in stopped traffic and kept seeing these trucks jump this ditch to get on the side road.  We opted out because we didn't feel the little car we rented would make it but it was quite comical to watch.
After our short stint in Texas we made it to NC for a fabulous wedding in the mountains!
 Also a little side note if you are sitting up in the mountains and there is a breeze you should probably realize there is a chance of sunburn even though you do not feel the sun beating down because the breeze is blowing......epic fail

 And that folks is a quick synopsis of our trip and a little travel guide to Texas!  Nothing gets much better than the south!

Monday, April 15, 2013

One thing I struggle with.....emotion

I have never been that girl that showed a ton of emotion.  Few have seen me cry however many have seen me laugh. I mean just for instance when my husband proposed to me I laughed. (don't most cry?)   I never really would get attached to things that would make me break down or bawl my eyes out.  I remember distinctly while showing cattle at the fair that on sale day all the kids would be crying their eyes out while they loaded their steers up on the trailer.  I never cried.  I guess I never saw them as my best friend even though I spent many hours with them getting them to walk and stand for me.  My mom would always look at me and be like "aren't you sad to see it go?"  My reply "nope".  Perhaps my understanding of the food system was too high so I was excited for the hamburgers and steak.  Not sure.

While dating my husband back in the day we had 2 dogs.  One was a border collie that I purchased and for having no training in herding cattle it was like natural instinct.  He would run out and just run circles around the cattle or sit at the fence and taunt them.  However his downfall was that he liked to chase vehicles down the drive.  Well needless to say one day he went to chase the truck down the drive and didn't see the goose neck trailer connected.  My husband called me at work to tell me that Bear had passed away and what had happened and all I could think was "well he should have known better."  At that point everyone was just telling me I was heartless with no emotion.  Could it be?

Our next dog was a chocolate lab with a ton of energy that my husband brought home.  I was never a fan of this dog.  He was into everything and dug up my plants and always jumped on you.  He also learned that if he ran really fast through the electric fence it wouldn't hurt as bad.  However he wasn't as eager so run back.  He would sit on the other side of the fence looking at us like "could you turn it off so i can come back now?"  Well he also liked to chase things and was not happy when the guys were baling hay behind the house and he couldn't help.  So like normal he ran through the fence except when they left to take the hay to the barn he followed.  I got the call the Buster passed away and what happened and my thoughts were "well he should've known better."  Again, I was told I was heartless and emotionless.  At this point I was beginning to believe it.  Why do I not get attached to animals?

After a year or so we had the opportunity to bring our latest dog Bella home.  She was perfect.  She was about 6 years old and had quite a few litters of pups so she was just ready to retire. 

She didn't jump.  She didn't dig up my flower bed.  She didn't run off.  She just layed around and soaked up the sun.  In the beginning she would go on walks and runs with me.  However later on you could tell her age was catching up with her and she had a hard time keeping up.  She made great company when Joe would go on his week long snowmobile trips.......Not sure if you can see where this is going.

Last week Bella had come down with pancreatitis.  We took her into the emergency vet and due to her age and the fact that they also found a tumor on her bladder she was not able to pull out of it.  We had to put her down.  I bawled my eyes out.  I have never cried over an animal in my life.  I may actually be crying as I write this....(you'll never know)!  It felt like I was losing a family member.  I almost had a sense of being cured.  Like I was relieved that I could have emotion!  I suppose it isn't a bad thing right?  It only makes us human.  I learned that it's ok to cry and you don't always have to be the strong one.

RIP Bella.  We loved you to pieces!