Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Day at the Ranch, May 19, 2009

Yesterday, Larry and I spent the morning trying to get our new donkey, "Donkey" to either get caught or go out the gate so we could move him down the road to home. Yep, he visited the horses next door. He's now keeping our new senior bull Premier company until we get him gelded. Larry left for our Angleton home and work. I sat to cool off from the miles I walked behind "Donkey." Yep, his name is Donkey when we purchased him, so the name sticks. Thank you Natasha for such a rascal.

Then I dashed out the door to go see the cattle out back. Purpose other then to check and make sure everyone was there was to get a picture of "my" new bull calf. I claim one cow on the farm. PX 20L is my cow. I found her in the 2008 Get Back to Grass Sale Catalog and marked a big red star as the first one to look at. The picture was not of a cow of a particular great animal. Pictures are not what you will see in person. I marked her because she was a daughter of the great Lowline Bull Quartermaster. I'd been bugging Larry for Quartermaster semen for two years last fall. All falling on deaf ears. When I arrived at the sale, I headed in the barn looking for PX 45. I stood there looking at a seven year old cow, in the prime of her reproductive capacity. There was a lot to like about her and some I didn't. But then again I could pick apart any animal. I liked what I saw and had visions of her being bred to Tequila, Peyton, and Machine. I could probably think of a few other Lowline Bulls I could breed her to. I said to Larry I wanted that cow. He said there are better and she's older. "I want that cow!" He said I don't think we need her. "I want that cow." I think of the on going remarks prior to the sale about that cow. My reply kept being "I want that cow." Larry asked Lynn about that cow. She was positive. Then I happen to be in a group of individuals and asked Neil where Quartermaster worked the best in the breed. He said on the half-bloods and listed the whys. I happened to go outside about two cows before she was to sell. When I came back in she was selling. Then I spotted Larry and I saw his hand wave. I could barely contain my excitement. He was bidding on the cow I wanted. Of course you know the story, she came home with me.

She was exposed to two different bulls. I was excited when I looked at when she was palpated, Wow maybe she'll give me an Absolut calf. Yet when she calved and I took one look at my new bull calf it was obvious she was a Bruzer son. Mr. FJL11 V01 is a half blood lowline, a quarter Gelbvieh, a quarter shorthorn. He's been the best of the three percentage calves born on the farm this year. I had no doubt he would be. He's better then the Absolut heifer he had last year and she was a show quality 3/4 Lowline heifer. I'll see how he does when we wean him on his weight. Right now he's advertised for sale as a show steer or bull. He should easily make the lightweight class for a steer. Needless to say my husband is very pleased with my now eight year old cow.....who goes by the name of "Your cow."

I took alot of pictures this day and put two of my other favorites up on this post. The one at the top of the post is of the massive bloom all of the Prickly Pears are having. It's a larger bloom then I've ever seen before. All of the Prickly Pear large and small are blooming with a passion. Then there is the yard art to the left of this paragraph. I couldn't resist this shot after the photos I took of my calf. There was Chili Pepper
and my loyal "cow dog" Paige who is currently warming my feet. She long ago realized the safest place for her when the herd was around was in the mule. The cows don't pay any attention to her, she's just part of the crew to them. Paige loves to be in the mule while I'm wondering among the cattle. She's sooo cute watching her "Mommy".

May your day be as peaceful as mine! Kim

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Michigan Farm Bureau - Close Up on Farm Animal Welfare

How do I feel when I watch before my eyes the one thing I love second only to my family being attacked? What emotions do I feel? Anger, Extreme Sadness and Fear. We bought the ranch to sustain us through our retirement. It won't provide a great income but one we feel we can live on. How would you feel if someone threatened your right of choice on any matter? Any matter at all. I think HSUS is after ME and other animal livestock producers. This is what I wrote on another site about my feelings for what I love, my ranch. It's not just the livestock it everything which occurs around me at the ranch.

In this country, the greatest on earth we have so much freedom to choose which side we are on in any discussion. We truly are blessed. I choose to be a rancher, I choose a much smaller income when we sell our business on the coast. I do so because I love walking outside and seeing the cows with calves grazing. A blue bird landing on a fence post nearby. Sitting in our mule (motorized) watching my husband on the dozer clearing mesquite trees and having a 12 week old skunk walk by me within arms reach. I enjoy watching a pair of turkey buzzards raising a pair of chicks....did you know they are ground layers. I didn't until Larry found the nest. We have our second nest this spring on the ranch since we have purchased our property. I love walking quietly up to one of the stock tanks to see the turtles sunning themselves. I enjoy watching the interactions of the cows in the herd. And they have taught me so much about life just as my horses have. I love being covered with dirt, hot and sweaty. A shower and cool glass of tea on the porch in the evening is my reward for a wonderful day.

On occasion I spend time online searching for something that will alleviate the fear I have of someone taking my right to choose my rural ranching lifestyle away from me. As I was searching the web I ended up on Michigan Farm Bureau. I was thrilled to see a six part video announced to be added to You Tube this week. Videos that show researchers, farmers, and the truth about what farmers do. The title of this six part series is titled, Close Up on Farm Animal Welfare. I love the whole series, but I thought I'd leave you with a touch of what is talked about.

I love the introduction to each segment by Ernie Birchmeier but especially his introduction for Segment 3. He talks about the evolution of our confinement systems to be able to feed a hungry nation. He says this segment will show, 'How we do, Why we do, What we Do.' No truer words can be spoken. Listen closely to the President of Michigan Pork Producers and his experience of raising hogs outdoors. That would have been back when he was growing up. They talk in soft tones of Why we got to where we are. Sows eat, squash, and step on their babies causing death and injury. Inclement weather can take even more death loss. Pigs are happy when given a little to eat and their body is clean. They really hate being dirty. They roll in mud because they can not sweat, it keeps them cool and the bugs off.

Segment 6 starts by giving the statistics about where we were and where we are today as far as the number of people each farmer contributes to feeding meat to the consumer. Imagine taking my ability to feed 143 people away from me. 143 citizens of my country will not have the food I produce, will they be hungry. What if one plant farmer quit. 143 plus people will go hungry. No meat no plant food equals a minimum of 143 hungry people. Could you be one of those people? Why would an organization want that to happen to their fellow citizens? I have the ability to produce a minimum of 40,000 lbs of beef on the hoof each year right now. That equates to approximately almost 21,000 lbs of beef to the consumer. If you do the math I can contribute 1.5 lbs of beef per household of four 365 days a year for 38 families. That is 153 people. I have the capacity to produce more meat then the average family needs in a year.

My favorite Segment is number six, but if your unfamiliar with the discussions of the previous three you might not understand what is being said if you don't know about farming and ranching. I love hearing the personal understanding of the importance of agriculture to this country. Please hear the stories we tell, the love we have for our profession, and the dedication. If you learn about us, you will side with the producer who desires to provide the consumer with the safest, cheapest, and most abundant food in the world.

The half truths and downright lies of a lobbying organization declaring they are for animal rights. Versus the organizations who are for animal welfare and are doing front line work for the benefit of animals. Don't believe HSUS or PETA or AFL. These groups are dangerous to my lifestyle and yours. Don't give to them, your money is being used to lobby unjustly about my job, my life, and what I choose to do which under the Constitiution and the Declaration of Independance is a God given right of the American people.

The printed article can be found at the Michigan Farm Bureau their online You Tube page is at Michigan Farm Bureau


Friday, May 15, 2009

Atlanta Channel 2 News Reports on HSUS

I found it so refreshing to see this video on You Tube. Atlanta Channel 2 News reports on HSUS and their misconceptions in how they raise money. I'm delighted! All I can say is watch this video for yourself to see what this group is up to. They should be investigated by the US Congress instead of listening to their lobbyists! The piece was balanced towards pet welfare and what HSUS stands for. Wish they included the beliefs HSUS has about animal producers in agriculture. I'm so tired of being called a factory farm when I know of no "factory farm" anywhere in the US.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Hunger in America

We say not me! I'm won't go through that! Hunger only occurs with the homeless, and I won't be there! Really, you really think that way! Please, I've been homeless and couldn't put food on the table and now my income level is at what most people only dream of it being. I won't go hungry again, I can grow my own food on the land I own outright. That's a good thing. But what about you? Do you even know how to grow your own food. This is the picture we see on TV and the streets of what hunger looks like in America. You say they don't look hungry. Eventually it gets to looking like this.
Is it really what you want to see? I'm seeing the first signs! People with backpacks walking along the road in the rain and cold. I'm seeing the first signs with passage of Prop 2 in California. HSUS has gone into Ohio, Missouri, and North Carolina to try to pass similiar measures.

I had someone tell me today it would never happen, no one could stop the production of meat. Another wrote yesterday how stopping meat production could cause an increase in pollution. No leather for your baseball gloves or footballs they become vinyl. Vinyl is synthetic produced in a chemical plant. The result goes even further into our lifestyle then you think.

If you think it can't happen, guess again. Agriculture operates on a very small margin, people are only willing to pay a certain amount for chicken, pork and beef. These are the three meats that Americans eat the most. If the price goes up restraunts and manufactures will go out of business and grocery stores will carry less. Those who can't afford it won't buy the meat. If meat prices rise so high there will be a demand for more plant food production and we don't have enough land to feed our country on plant production alone never mind helping to feed the 6.7 billion and growing human population of the world. The number one cause of social and political instability in the world is hunger. Learn about Agriculture and your food systems in this country. Don't let hunger in this country become our legacy of my generation for not stopping left wing animal rights groups.


Saturday, May 2, 2009

NSD '09 ... ACOT

NSD or National Scrapbooking Day is really celebrated around the world. To be honest I think we need to change it to National Scrapbooking Weekend. There are all sorts of functions going on across the country in LSS, consultants with Creative Memories and other home businesses, and online. My cropping group this year will celebrate next Saturday with our monthly crop. This weekend though I spent time at A Cherry on Top or ACOT! They hosted a very fun online crop! This was a first for me and I am so HOOKED! Here are some of the pictures pulled from my picture library and projects I completed over the weekend. I would have gotten more done had it not been for doing some work around the ranch. The pictures and other items are in desending order.

I fell in love with Challenge #11! We had to list all of the STUFF in our bag (purse) on the thread. Then go back and read the rest of the post. Common items we choose to carry were matched with a product. Here's what I wrote with parenthesis the matching product I was allowed to use in our LO's. Cash (pattern paper), Debit Card (cardstock), receipts (die-cut), lipstick (glitter), coupons (stamp), hair brush (paper clip), car keys (flowers), mints (brads), cell phone (buttons). I also had business cards listed and since it wasn't given on the list I was allowed to choose an additional product and I chose alphas. I chose to do LO that reflected our lifestyle and work on the ranch.

Delta Zeta's rose, Killarney! How I love this rose! Used on the thread asking how we chose our nic on ACOT's message board. My nick killarney_rose!

My darling Paige asking my son James for some sprinklins'!
Posted this photo of my precious girl spending time with her James. The thread asked us to tell which breed of dog they would buy. Of course I would have another Cavalier. Small dog averaging twelve pounds bred to be a lap and foot warmer during the middle ages. Wonderful temperment not yappy and a real joy to have. Paige is currently warming my feet.

Talk about a scrap space during crop! We were asked for a photo of a messy scrap space. Mine was relatively clean compared to some, LOL!

Fast Scrap 13 was so fantastic! I didn't think I could do it but I did! I'm so excited! The challenge was to make an altered item or a card holder to hold a hand made card. I thought this was a neat way to dress up a present! I so love my Creative Memories Pattern. I could stick with a star theme with a star on the card I made. Then on top of it all I WON the challenge and received a $5 gift certificate to ACOT's store. So excited!

My Fast Scrap 12 entry for the birthday card. Thanks for getting me to move with lightening speed! Done in 10 minutes. Uploading it with a site I'm not familiar with was another story!!!!! LOL!

Me on the porch of our house at the ranch during ACOT NSD Crop! The thread asked for a picture of us during the crop. Well I love showing how I think when it comes to the ranch. I love using the cattle to mow our two acre lawn! A thread for a picture the morning after our first night. The crop was a 50 hour extravaganza!

There is nothing more fun then spending time sharing family, our stories and having a blast producing a item for others to enjoy! I AM ADDICTED TO SCRAPPING!