A Different sort of Sunday

Many of you spent Sunday night either in service of our Lord or watching TV, while at my house we were out in field fighting the setting sun, working in mud, trying to help a baby calf that had gotten to ill to nurse her Momma Cow.

We had to eventually take the calf to the barn for IV fluids (yes, it helps to have a doctor on the farm) we tried to help her in the field with a bottle first. IMG_2647.JPG

That did not work so well, and off to the barn we went.

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So, after about 2 liters of lactated ringers, a type of IV fluids, given under her skin and some antibiotics she felt better and we tucked her in.

So, while we all hated missing service at church, our calf would have died without us.

Here’s hoping she make it till the morning.

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A sledding story

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Fathers and Sons

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words …

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Teaching by example

It’s been a very busy summer on our farm. With 4-H projects, cousins coming to stay, cattle shows, sheep shows, young Farmer conferences, Hay to cut, fences to check, fish to catch this summer has flown by. And in the … Continue reading

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Why agriculture is important…

If most of you have not figured out by now, I live and breath American agriculture. But it was not always so. I used to be one of those people who thought that organic was the way to go, that GMO’s were bad, and that farms in America were “factory farms”. Then I was blessed to marry a sixth generation farmer. My husband’s family have lived and worked the same land for over 150 years. And by loving him, meeting farmers, and opening my mind – I have learned that you cannot believe everything you see on TV or read on the internet.

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Here are a few things I have learned the hard way. For as long as human beings have been growing crops, we have been genetically modifying them. Just look at what we call a carrot verses what a carrot used to be. Ask anyone who had taken basic genetics about Mendel and his Pea crosses. The fact is we need to modify foods to make them grow in different environments, grow disease resistant, etc. So, as a physician, with friends in the GMO business – no I am not afraid of GMO crops at all. Matter of fact, I realize that to feed our growing population we need GMO crops with genetics like drought resistance, roundup resistance, and insect resistance.

As to my organic kick, my husband patiently waited for me to grow up about this too. If you can afford organically for your family and that is your choice, great, but I don’t think you should feel bad if you choose traditional agriculture products. American agriculture produces the safest food supply on the planet.

Now, to the factory farm myth. Less than 2% of American Family’s farm today, and the average American is 4-5 generations removed from the family farm. Over 95% of all farms in America are family owned operations. So, having traveled in many states, meeting many different producers, I have yet to meet a “factory farmer”. I have met many men and women dedicated to their land and animals. Raising food and grain that the eat themselves and feed their children.

It’s easy to sell fear and that is what a lot of people and groups love to do in this country. People like HSUS and PETA would like you to think that all farmers and ranchers keep their animals in terrible conditions. But the truth is far from that. Yes, there are bad apples in every job, but there are so many good men and women in agriculture trying desperately to keep their traditions and dreams alive.

So, I have done a complete 180 in my thoughts and spend my time talking, blogging, emailing legislators, tweeting about agriculture to engage/educate/and open a conversation with people who are the person I used to be. I want desperately to preserve this way of life.

I know there are those who will disagree but let’s talk, let me explain my views, and you can share yours for only thru discourse can we understand each other.

But without the American Farmer there is no food for our tables.

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Now a sheep showing we will go

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Pictures from the 4-H Beef Show

Well, we got a 5th and a 4th. Not to bad for our first state beef show.

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Ella did Great!!!

Got second place in the skillathon (a really hard test about her knowledge of beef) and got 3rd premier exhibitor in the state!!!

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A showing we will go…

I used to wonder why TN Farm Bureau had an “age out” limit for their Young Farmers and Ranchers program, now I know. As Brian and I have gotten older (he turned the big 40 last month), we find that we are teaching our kids to become the future leaders in agriculture by being active parents in their lives. As I write this, I am sitting in a cattle barn waiting to help in any way I can for my oldest with her first state cattle show. This has been a family affair as we are all proud of the cattle we raise. But, even I have to admit, my husband and my girls spoil these show heifers (a young female calf that has never had a calf before) more than anything else on the farm.

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These lovely cattle get walked like puppies on a lead, brushed/dried/conditioned at least once a day, and hand fed treats. I mean, we take good care of all our cattle, but these girls get two fans and their own radio too.

Having grown up “in the city” according to my husband, some things about being a farm wife and Mom are new to me. However, I thank God every night for being Brian, his family, and his farm into my life.

I have been blessed to meet so many people dedicated to the land and their farms to keep this great country going. But I admit, I face the same fears for our farms future as most people in agriculture. Less than 2% of Americans farm and the numbers are growing smaller, yet we are faced with countless oppositions and fears about the life I love. Yes, I can see that many common things on our farm could be taken as “harmful” or cruel, but I can honestly say that I have never met an American Farmer that set out to be cruel to their land or their animals. These cows are part of our business and just like any expensive investment we care about them.

I am glad to know that my kids are getting this life and guess I am gonna have to continue to engage with others to educate about why need farms and farmers. We need companies dedicated to research to improve agriculture yields. If you missed it farmers will have to produce more food in the next few years for the billions of people on our planet than has ever been produced.

Being a leader means being involved , and I hope leadership in our home starts now at a cattle show.

But more and more consumers fear American Agriculture due to miss information. More and more farms are lost to urban encroachment, Government laws, and the younger generations being unsure of their ability to make a go on the lands they grew up on. Farmers and ranchers are the only business men that I know that buy goods for use at retail then sell their products at wholesale.

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God Bless

Happy 4th if July to you all. Thanks to the men and women of our armed services for their sacrifice to serve. Thanks to the families who let them. Prayers for those fallen in fields of battle, and blessings and prayers to the families left behind.

For their can be no freedom without a terrible cost.

So in this time of turmoil, political unrest, lack of faith in our fellow man, and loss of unity in Faith/Country, I am blessed to be spending this 4th with all my family save one. My brother and his children are here balancing personal loss in this time of celebration of Freedom, my Mom is here too, and my beloved in-laws who love me as I am.

Happy 4th to all. May Freedom forever ring for you all.

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A summer day

It’s been a great day. We took a day off and took our three kids to Dale Hollow Lake. Oh, did I forget to mention we had to take my middle daughters Blue Healer.

So, now I am sunburnt ( yes, I know I should have put sunscreen on but I was too busy putting it on everyone else. ) and Happy.

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I hope Cord can forgive the pink life jacket someday but it fit. Also, I now am the proud owner of many pretty rocks thanks to my son.

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