Monday, January 31, 2011

Goodbye January!

How are your new year's resolutions coming along? I was able to fufill part of mine this past week. As I was getting a pop at the gas station this past week, I had the attendant comment on how he likes my column in the local newspaper. I could have just said "Thank you" and hurried out the door like I probably would have prior. But, I seize the opportunity and the poor guy was wishing I would have just said "Thank you" and walked out the door.

I told him about growing up on ranches and taking care of cattle. He said he didn't believe I had actually had some of the experience I talked about. I laughed and explained to him I had a young start.

He asked about factory farming and recieved an earful about why I hate those words and believe they should be stricken from the vocabulary.

I guess my point is- I stepped out of my comfort zone and hopefully he will pass on some tidbit of information to someone else. Even if it is "That columnist speaks of life and is passionate about raising cattle."

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Funny how things can change

I was listening to the radio this morning as some regular contributor was ecstatic about a couple leaving their ranch to the state as a wildlife refuge. The commentor was quoting how exciting this was and the habitat that ranchers are able to provide for wildlife.

The unfortunate part, it didn't mention if this place would still be managed as a ranch, as in still have grazing and haying- you know, the reason it is good habitat in the first place. In the past, these ranches have been stripped of livestock. This leads to infestation of weeds, wolfy growth of plants, and degradation of habitat.

I hope they remember why this made such good habitat in the first place and keep cattle on the land.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Preaching to the Choir

Along with all my other sources of information I also Facebook. It is a great social media tool in which I can keep in touch with friends, family, and spread the word. I am "friends" with Trent Loos on the site. Trent is a very vocal advocate for agriculture in general speaking at all types of functions. Whether you agree with Trent or not, I saw an interesting comment posted on his page. "Too bad you can't get this information out to more Ag people."

This got me thinking- what the heck is the point of talking to more ag people. They know what they are doing, that they do it well and how much effort goes into caring for animals that you know the end point is an early death. We really need people that garner as much attention as Trent to speak to people at University of Oregon in Eugene or at Berkely. It doesn't help to keep preaching to the choir.

It is time for the choir to start preaching to another congregation!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I just recieved a phone call from a reporter in the local newspaper. They wanted my opinion on the wild horses in the area. I really I hope I got my point acrossed without sticking my foot in my mouth. This women has been know to write stories akin to "Spirit". Except it was about Blade the poor mustang that was disposed of because he had a confirmation problem in his front end that she attributed to gathering as a foal.

I tried to make the point- Horses are good if managed. Horses are bad if left to reproduce willy nilly. They do not belong in long-term holding. Herds need to be sustainable- large enough to be genetically viable but small enough to not trash riparian areas, be a detriment to wildlife, cause havoc on range conditions and animals sorted be adoptable.

I also attempted to explain, herd management area populations are fluid. Horses are able to roam for 200 miles without encountering a fence. Thus, making concrete population estimates difficult to determine. In this area, herds intermingle and may not have the issues of genetic diversity associated with more isolated populations.

I will let you know how the article goes.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Trying to stay positive

Washington is the next on the list of states to be hit with HSUS legislation. The cage free vs cage laying systems are being put up for emotional sabotage. The media reports are dim, the egg farmers are trying to speak up. Is it too late? I hope not.

In other news, In the next couple of weeks, HSUS is heading to South Dakota. I hope they give Wayne and his followers the same welcome that Nebraska did. Thank you and don't come again.

Lastly, I am flagging. I keep trying to stay positive but seems like everything is piling up. If I get too negative make sure you call me out! :)

Thursday, January 20, 2011 discussion


For what started as a customer annoyed by HSUS's commercials, this little thread has been diverted to tangential discussions on grass finished vs. grain finished, horse slaughter, and other topics of interest to agriculture. I am amazed at the amount of hypocrisy and mistruths that is spewed by trolls. It is quite interesting.

Many HSUS supporters only use HSUS information, websites, and directives as gospel truth. No science involved. Only the emotions used to get votes.

One of my favorites is the continual use of "factory farms". When are we ever going to get that term out of vocabularies? It was first used in a book in the 60's and has plauged the livestock industry since. The rebirth of this derogatory term needs to be stopped.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Why is everyone trying to save us?

I don't understand why everyone is trying to save us from ourselves. In San Fransico, there is a lawsuit aimed at stopping McDonald's use of toys to market directly to young children. This is spear headed by The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). In November, the San Fransico Board of Supervisors voted to ban McDonald's and all fast-food restaurants from giving away free toys in kids' meals.

The CSPI stated "The use of toys undercuts parental authority and exploits young children's developmental immaturity. Regardless of the nutritional quality of what's being sold, the practice of tempting kids with toys is deceptive."

My parents said NO thousands if not millions of times during our growing up. We respected their authority, for the most part. If parents cannot make healthful decisions for the kids with or without toys who is CSPI to come in and ban them?

Though, the interesting part is when you get to delving into CSPI's true mission. On CSPI's Form 990 its program is described as "improving both human health and the environment by promoting the consumption of a more PLANT-based diet and reducing the consumption of meat, milk fat and other products that have been linked to cancer, heart disease, and other health problem."

So, the vegetarian agenda strikes again in the form of a deceptive lawsuit and bullying activist group trying to impose its thoughts on the American people. So, who is exploiting who now?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Our weekend and holiday.

Nothing like a brisk foggy morning to get you going. Here is our little helper, helping finish off the last of the load. The heifers were sure glad to see us. They are getting trained up fairly well and come running to a whistle now, or maybe the sound of the pickup.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Why we need to educate the public!

Wow! This article is worth a read. It is titled "Does your fast food hamburger come from steroid-pumped, caged cattle, knee-deep in urine soaked manure?"

The authors go on to expound on the issues of "factory farming". I think the main point is they are mad at Monsanto and GMO corn but they use many lies, mistruths, and unsubstantiated claims to get there.

Things I learned from this article:
1. GMO crops cause BSE. Bet you had no clue.
2. Cattle can pass on cancer to humans like a cold. Just through contact.
3. Cattle in feedlots are force-fed corn. They have to be locked in a small pen with corn only to eat for them to eat it. I could see if it was brussel sprouts but corn?
4. Cattle do not have the genetic ability to digest corn. It is fermented in one of the four stomachs.
5. Micheal Pollan and Paul Schossler (sp) are leading scientists on cattle feeding.

Amazing what you can learn on the internet. :)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Feral Horses... GRRR!

Sorry for the repeat for many of my cyber friends but I am still a bit agitated. I was in a public meeting today about county business- board of supervisors. The agenda item was on a letter of support for a feral horse gather to take place. A lady in the audience, stated that horse gathers were cruel and they should use alternative means of controlling populations. I am not against using alternative means. It was her suggested way of doing it that was asnine. She wanted to geld all the stallions.

I calmly, tried to explain that gelding all the stallions would require 50% of the herd to be handled. To which she replied- Anyone with commonsense would know that there is only one stallion per herd! I couldn't help it- I became emotional. I told her anyone with commonsense would know that a foal crop is 50/50 male and female. Making half the herd in the area males. That is when the chairmen stopped the conversation.

I was dissappointed because I didn't even get to delve into the science of reproduction. How actually, when they do sex ratios to decrease the amount of reproduction it is the females they put out in lower numbers. I didn't get a chance to explain that it is only the females who bear young. I also didn't get a chance to explain one stallion can breed 25-50 mares per year but a mare can only have one colt... Along with other things. :)

Oh well, hindsight is 20/20. Hopefully, she will do some research and find out how WRONG her basic assumptions are.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Next Generation

I should have taken pictures but I was so overjoyed, I forgot. My daughter who is about 17 months helped my husband and I feed on Saturday. This her helping last spring. She was up at 5 AM, as usual, but when asked if she wanted to go feed cows. She went into a little tornado. She gathered up her hat, coat, mittens, and shoes. She was ready to go.

The next morning she was awake at 5 again and was trying to take off her sleeper and put on shoes, at the same time. She was on the back of the pickup, grabbing handfuls of hay and throwing it off. She also kicked off the leftovers. All with a huge smile on her face.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Summit of the Horse

The Summit of the Horse in Las Vegas, NV has been going on all week. It is a group of ranchers, animal activists, and others discussing the need or not of horse slaughter in the United States. It has even recieved recognition from the Wall Street Journal.

In 2007, before horse slaughter was made illegal about 100,000 unwanted, untrainable, or otherwise useless horses were harvested, in the US and about 7,000 went to Mexico. Most of the meat was exported overseas for human consumption. By-products were used in the US for pet foods and zoos.

When the ban was enacted, about 54,000 horses with the number still rising, have been sent to Mexico. Unfortunately, our neighbor to the South does not have the same laws and regulations about humane slaughter as we do. Videos from Mexican facilities are unnerving to say the least and down right sickening in many senses.

The timing of the ban has created issues for many people. In 2007, was the start of the recession and many horse owners were and are unable to care for their animals adequately. Incidences of malnutrition and neglect have significantly increased since the ban. In addition to, horses being turned out on public and tribal lands to fend for themselves when owners are unable to properly care for them.

It is time to reenact horse slaughter in the US. It gives owners a humane, legal, outlet for unwanted animals. It allows for an exported product to help the economy. It also gives the horses a death with a purpose.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Is corn the root of all evil?

Think about it... Is corn the root of all evil in the modern world? We have obesity that is blamed on high fructose corn syrup, easy access to fast foods which use corn as a filler, and fat beef many of which have been fed diets containing corn. I am not going to even mention- corn whiskey, ethanol, and other uses. Or is it just our consumption and lack of activity?

I am as guilty as the next person about eating foods in excess. This is especially true this time of year. It is cold and I crave chocolate and caramel and well, really anything with a high carbohydrate component. Not exactly what a dietician would reccommend but it is winter and sweaters are a godsend. Most of these foods contain some form of corn in them. If you look at the label of almost all candy- HFCS is in the top 5 ingredients.

So why are people attacking the beef industry about their use of corn? It doesn't take away from other human uses. It adds to the CHEAP food supply. You know the one where we only spend about 10% of disposable income on food.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

How time flies!

I have been working on my New Year's Resolution for several years now- to be more outspoken about Agriculture. So, this month I am celebrating my one year anniversary as a columnist in the local liberal rag. I write articles about misnomers in Ag. I have written on horse slaughter, feral horses, myths about red meat, "factory farms" and cutting of junipers. It started out very hard. What am I going to write about every month? Do I have enough information and time to keep up a column and a newsletter and now a blog? Seems I do. If you don't mind my erratic blogging, some grammar issues and a few nonsensical sentences.

In my column, I tend to incorporate some of our everyday life into it. For me, I think it helps bring to life the trials and tribulations of trying to raise livestock in an everchanging and increasing more regulated and scrutinzed world. It also reminds me that I didn't always have a job that included a computer. I used to spend hours in the pasture doing what I enjoy most. Now, I enjoy that time even more because I don't get the opportunity day in day out. I mean, I have a confession, I haven't been on a horse in over a month. Something a few years ago would have been a depressing sad day.

Back to the topic. Happy anniversary to the printed Corner Post. May the word continue.

Monday, January 3, 2011


I was sent an article by my sister. The link seems to be taken down now to the article but it was written from the perspective of a "ranch" wife. The grammar was poor, the punctuation was atrocious, and the story line was filled with false information and generally poor practices.

This "ranch" wife was attacked by a 35 lb rooster that had 5 inch spurs!? She discusses overflowing the water tank to the point it flows through the corrals into the creek. A bronc ride where she subdues her horse by whip and spur is included and finally, she ropes a cow and ties it to a tree until they can return with pickup and trailer.

Obviously this person, took all the wild stories she had heard and combined them into her own little fantasy. Not great! But for an industry trade magazine to publish it on the INTERNET. Shame on them.

This was obviously an opinion piece. They could have decided whether or not to publish it. But one look would show you, it was not true and could do harm to the industry. From the tailwater in the creek, to the animal welfare issues- what a mess.
Shame shame.