Dirt Road Charm

Motherhood, Agriculture, and everything in between

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Temple Grandin and the first day of SPRING!

Yesterday being the first day of spring was definitely not a spring day most of us in the Midwest would imagine.  It was cold, windy, and 24 degrees.  While meeting with my financial planner the other day he told me that we saw 80 degree days at the end of march last year but for some reason I have no recollection of this.  My memory sometimes leaves me hanging and while a 60 year old man is remembering the weather from a year ago I just nod my head in agreeance because admitting my memory is worse than his didn't seem like the action I wanted to take at that moment.  However I'm hopefull he is correct and warmer weather is quickly approaching!

I am extremely ready for spring weather, you know the 50-60 degree days with sunshine and warm enough to wear a hoodie or light jacket and not be cold (mind you it is snowing as I'm writing this.....)  While yesterday was the first day of spring it was also a day that I was looking forward to since January when I signed up to attend the Animals for Life Foundation Summit.  The main reason I signed up was because i saw that THEE Temple Grandin was going to be speaking.

I was asked on facebook what about hearing Dr. Grandin speak interested me?  Well I find this woman to be quite admirable!  She is one of the people that I look up to and inspire me.  If I can do 1/4 of what she has done and impact my favorite industry in a postive way, I will have a fulfilled life!  Throughout high school and especially in college we were taught of her amazing discoveries through research of cattle handling and behaviour of cattle in particular (cattle was my focus in college if you couldn't tell).  Working in the cattle industry it is just amazing to be implementing her findings and research by using working cattle chutes that she designed and to get to meet in person the lady behind it all was quite an opportunity and honor for me!

Now onto the important part, as I was sitting in the room listening to one of the speakers on the line up the door behind me opens and in walks Dr. Grandin.  My heart started racing and it was like the deer in the headlights kind of moment.  As she took the stage utter excitement grew inside me.  This is a no BS type of lady.  She will explain to you exactly why something should happen and will explain to you why she thinks something is completely idiotic!  One of the most profound statements I heard her say was "We've got to show them everything we do.  Period.  We've got to open the doors electronically".  She nailed it!  She gave great examples of how she has videos on what exactly goes on in a slaughterhouse and commended the Peterson Farm Bros for telling their story through YouTube.  I think she made a great point when she said Fair Oaks Farms did a great job creating the Pig Adventure but then screwed it up by making it illegal to take pictures.  If we are going to have transparency then have transparency!

What I also found interesting was that she said companies that have main headquarters or people running the companies interacting with non rural citizens understand the impacts of animal welfare better than the companies that only surround themselves with rural people like themselves.  That is a great point to sit and think about!

Some other great things that happened that day was the people that I got to meet and interact with.  I sat beside a newly acclaimed vegan that decided to go that lifestyle because she didn't like the way animals were treated and cared for from videos she had seen.  This statement instantly makes my blood pressure rise.  I kindly told here that most videos depicting horrific images have an agenda.  No industry is perfect but the majority do truly care about the animals.  I encouraged her to actually go and visit some farms (surprise surprise she has never been on one....).  She was very receptive!  My favorite part I would have to say was when she came in for lunch with cheese filled pasta I looked at her and said maybe you ought to try vegetarianism because I don't think the eggs and cheese are allowed in veganism.  She just looked at me and said "I'm still learning"! Ha!
Also, while standing in line to meet Dr Grandin we all were wearing name tags and under our name had our company.  Mine happened to say Stewart Seeds Monsanto....dun dun dun!  So while talking to this nice lady about blogging she kindly turned to the man behind us who happened to have just started an organic cattle farm and said "This is Taysha, she works for Monsanto".  He quickly looked at me and said "well you won't like me then."  Confused I asked him why and he returned with well because I am organic.  I said and why would that make me hate you?  I sell seed to organic farmers.  We have a conventional lineup.  He was shocked!  His response was "Well I HEARD you guys hated Organic."  Here again with that "heard" word.  I told him not to always believe what he hears.
All in all it was a great day!  Not only did I get to meet the most inspiring lady in my eyes but I also got to have so great conversations with some people that had some misconceptions and hopefully I was able to clear some of the confusion up for them!

 Dr. Temple Grandin is an amazing speaker and I feel we as an industry have a lot to learn from her still!  If any of you get the chance to hear her speak Do It!!!


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

It's National Ag Day Y'all!

You read correct!  Today, March 19, 2013 is National Ag Day.  National Ag Day is a day that is dedicated to recognizing and celebrating agriculture!  If you haven't realized already I'm pretty much in love with agriculture and everything about it so this is definitely a day that I will be celebrating!

There are some great events happening that you yourself can get involved with as well to celebrate this great day and be involved!
I will be starting off National Ag Day in the morning by attending the Williams County Farm Bureau monthly meeting and meeting the board members.  How will you be joining in the special day?

Monday, March 11, 2013

It's Ohio Agriculture Week!!

The second full week in March is always used to celebrate agriculture in Ohio.  We have a $105 billion food and agriculture industry here in the buckeye state!  Since we are celebrating this fine time of Agriculture I thought it was appropriate to share with you some great statistics about the state and the Ag industry.  I found these great facts from Ag In the Classroom.

Did You Know......
  • Ohio is #1 in the US for Swiss cheese production
  • Corn and Soybeans are the top Ohio crops
  • Ohio has 3,400 beekeepers containing 29,900 bee colonies
  • Ohio is ranked 5th for fresh tomato production and 3rd for processing tomatoes
  • There are 1,470,000 cattle, 2,000,000 hogs, and 115,000 sheep in Ohio
  • Dairy cattle produce over 5.13 billion pounds of milk each year
  • Ohio ranks 16th in beef production with 15,000 beef farms with 292,000 cows
  • Ohio's Ag industry contributes 93 billion to the states economic growth
  • 1 in 7 Ohioans are employed in agriculture!
  • Ohio is one of only 4 states in which over 50% of its land is classified as "prime farmland"
As you can see in these fun facts, agriculture is a pretty big and important industry here in Ohio! I now challenge you to go out and participate in Ag week by supporting the industry!  Do It!

                                               Photo courtesy of Google

Monday, March 4, 2013

King George....The Cowboy Rides Away

35 years in the music business with 59 number 1's and about to make it 60; I would say makes for a pretty amazing career as a country artist.  George Strait is quite the legend in my eyes.  He ranks right up there with Chris Ledoux.  For someone that has been making hits since before I was born it is easy to find a memory in almost every song he plays!  You can almost remember an exact location or event that you were at or attending when hearing a certain song.  That is one of the many things I love about music....the fact that it can take you back be it good or bad.

I had the amazing opportunity to attend one of his final concerts this past weekend down in Lexington KY.  It is one of those moments that you will remember for years to come.  That moment that he comes out on stage and you instantly have goosebumps and your heart starts racing......  Yeah that moment.

 I feel with my generation we just aren't creating legends like they used to.  Many new artists are a couple album wonders and then are gone and forgotten.  Where are the artists that stick around for 30+ years like George Strait?  They are few and far between that is for sure!  For any of you George Strait fans out there I would highly recommend snagging tickets to his final tour if he comes near you.  You will not be disappointed!

One of my favorite all time songs of his would have to be Amarillo by morning.  Anytime this song comes on I have no control and belt it out at the top of my lungs!  I snagged a clip to share!

His new song is also becoming a favorite for me.  I don't know what it is but this mans voice can melt a heart that is for sure!   Don't judge my video quality :)

For any of you visiting down in Lexington I have a few touristy suggestions for you! If you are looking for a good bourbon distillery definitely visit Woodford Reserve Distillery.  The drive up is quite breathtaking!  I'm fairly certain the horses barns are nicer than the house I live in!  If you are looking for a good brewery then make sure to stop at West Sixth Brewery.  I am a huge fan of Shiner beer so their Smithtown Brown was quite tasty!!  Last but not least you have to eat at Ramsey's Diner.  This place was amazing!  I had a Kentucky Hot Brown for the first time.....holy heart attack in your mouth but it was amazing!

I hope you all have a fantastic start to your week!