Dirt Road Charm

Motherhood, Agriculture, and everything in between

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!