I already miss these beautiful scenes from home! The top picture is at a place that may look familiar to some of you reading this. It is at a place we call the West Place around the farm. The West Place is where we wean the calves off their moms when they are 8 to 9 months old, and put them in the feed lot. We feed them until they are about a year old, then we take them to Fort Scott, Kansas to sell them. This year there were 235 steers and heifers divided in these lots. We try to get the steers to weigh about 800 pounds before we sell, and this year we kept about 60 of the heifers for the farm. We just took them to Fort Scott last weekend. The second picture is a view of what you would see if you looked out of the window at my boyfriend’s house. I took this picture one night when we were getting ready to check cows.
I just got back to Springfield, and Spring Break is officially over. I came from a bunch of muddy gravel roads just a few hours ago, and I couldn’t help but get irritated when I had to stop at twenty stoplights as soon as I entered town. This doesn’t happen where I’m from! You don’t have to plan for traffic and stoplights every day. I’m going to miss the muddy back roads that make my car look far from the color black. Another great part about the country is these sunsets. They are hard to beat and I miss them throughout the week, along with the stars in the sky as far as you can see. It’s all these little things that really add up. I have always loved all of these things, but in this past year I have come to really appreciate them more.
Everyone survived a week of midterms, and now Missouri State University is out for a week of spring break. It is always great to be back at my country home, and I know the week is going to fly by. Above is a picture of what I came home to. When you think about farm animals, you generally think about cows, pigs, sheep, horses, and well you know what I mean, but you can’t forget about the cats! They play a big part around here too. Although when you think about it they don’t really do much besides catch mice, and I must say that in the sixteen years I have lived in this house, I have never seen a mouse anywhere around the house. They are just good animals to have around. It’s always fun to have a cat lying on your lap when you watch TV at night. They also have quite the personality. These two cats shown in the picture especially. Their names are Clyde and Tom, and they are spoiled rotten. I’m pretty sure they are smiling in this picture. These two are definitely entertaining.
Also everyone reading this would definately like my good friend Mallory Early’s blog at: http://photographicfarmgirl.wordpress.com
Last week I talked about snow and how this affects farmers. Well now here in Midwest Missouri the snow is starting to melt, and the newest conflict is going to be mud, and a lot of it. This morning I went out to go check all the cattle with my dad and grandma, and it was quite a ride. There is mud everywhere, and where there isn’t, there is still a bunch of snow. Mud is a problem for many different reasons. First of all, it makes it very difficult to get around. When we go out in the pastures to check the calves, we have to really fight to get through all the mud in order to do that, especially around the hay bell rings. Not only is it muddy in the pastures, but people everywhere are fighting it on the back roads that they live on.
One of the bad parts of mud that connects with the traveling in the pastures is how much it can tear a pasture up. Going through with the trucks leaves a lot of tracks and ruts in the pastures, so that when everything dries up, it’s going to be a bumpy ride. This damage we do is completely necessary though. We have to check the calves and check for new babies. We also need to go through the pastures to feed them hay. We have to feed more hay during this time to make up for what they waste, whether it’s because the hay is just getting muddy, or they aren’t eating it because they are laying on it. We lay it out so that the cattle can have a dry spot for them and their babies to lie.
Even though mud can be a mess, there is a positive side to it. Having all of this mud means there is a lot of moisture, and moisture is definitely something that this area needs. So even though it can make things a little difficult at times, it was good to see a good snow for that purpose.
Recently, one of the popular topics around Missouri has been the weather. It has been snowing in Ballard, Missouri. The first snow hit last Wednesday night and now a second snow is hitting as I type tonight. For many, this is exciting news. Everyone loves a snow day right? For others, it is stressful knowing that they won’t be able to travel to where they need to be. For farmers, snow causes a little extra work and concern.
It is calving season right now. Calves are being born, and it isn’t very easy coming into this world when it is freezing out. They are coming out of their mommy’s stomach at 98 degrees and hitting the ground at 10 degrees. See why this is a problem? Farmers do everything they can to help their cattle though. We unroll bales of hale so they have a warm place to lie, and when babies are being born in the snow and freezing weather, we try our best to get them in the barn. Sometimes the babies even end up in our basement so we can dry the snow off of them and warm them up. If they are a twin or something goes wrong with the mom, we end up bottle feeding the baby for a while.
Farmers will do a lot for their calves, and do everything they can to make sure they are taking as good of care of them as possible. We keep a good eye on them and check them multiple times during calving season. My dad says it seems like the worst the weather is, the more calves we have sometimes. Even when there is snow covering the ground, eventually the day warms up and the calf is able to lay and happily soak up the sun.
This is a video we came up with for our Agriculture Public Relations Class about why farming is important.
For this week’s blog, I have an assignment to make a top five list of fun facts I took away from this week’s speakers. There were two speakers that visited our public relations class this week. The first speaker, Lindsey Glass, works for Ozark Farm and Neighbor. She talked about how she keeps the social media up, and the fact that I got out of it was you have to keep it interesting and consistent if you want people to pay attention. She showed us how she does the Facebook page for the magazine as an example. She also taught us that if you want people to look at your company’s Facebook page you have to direct them to it. She does this by adding the link of the magazine’s Facebook page to the magazine’s main website. Another random fact that she mentioned was there is a high demand for graphic designers right now. So, those of you that know me know that this is what I love and what I’m aiming for. To hear this news was very reassuring.
The second speaker’s name is Christy Diebold. She does the marketing at The Springfield Leather Company. One fact I learned from her was how to approach your boss about new ideas that you may have for their company. She said you have to be prepared and confident in what you are presenting to them. I also learned about what Springfield leather is and what they do. I had never heard about it before. It definitely sounds like a neat place, and I would recommend stopping by sometime and checking it out. I learned that when you stop by, you may be running into a few Chiwawas!
So, overall the top five facts I learned was you have to keep social media for your company consistent and interesting, you have to direct them to your social media pages, there is a high demand for graphic designers right now, how to approach your boss about new ideas, and what Springfield Leather Company is. These are all pretty random, but I definitely got something out of it.
Sunday night I sat down with good friends to watch the Super Bowl. This is also what millions of people all around our country were doing last night. Now, we all know one of the best parts of the Super Bowl is the advertisements. This is the only night that we will find ourselves actually looking forward to the show we are watching being interrupted. People don’t fast forward through Super Bowl ads, they actually watch. In fact, my group of friends and I were actually fast forwarding to the commercials! That never happens. None of the commercials were really sticking out as being “great” to me until the one came on that everyone is talking about, and believe me there is always that one or two that stick out in people’s minds that they find their selves discussing with their friends the next day. This year I would definitely say that this was the Ram Trucks “Farmer” commercial featuring Paul Harvey.
This was a very moving commercial, and it really got the word across about farmers, and what they do. It showed that farming isn’t just an occupation, it’s a way of life. I logged on to Facebook today and anyone that mentioned that commercial in their post got at least 60 likes. To think about the millions of people that also saw this commercial blows my mind. Where I come from, everyone understands this commercial because they have had the experiences mentioned, but to people who haven’t really heard too much about the farm life, I think this was a great way to show them, and also a great night to pick to do that when so many people are tuning in. I have talked to two of my friends today that are from the city and they both mentioned this commercial to me and how it really tugged at their heart. If you haven’t seen it yet, definitely look it up on YouTube! It’s nice to see that our farmers are understood and not forgotten for everything that they do every day.