Monday, February 28, 2011


This picture is not from SATURDAY.

On Saturday as I was getting my long underwear, jeans, wool socks, sweater, sweatshirt, and the complete carhartt outer garment layer on, I thought to myself- WHY am I doing this? It was a measly 8 below zero, my kitchen water was frozen, and I was getting ready to go chop ice for the horses and cows. The house water could wait, I had made coffee the night before.

Off we went to feed cows and horses, on the way the car broke down~ Some bearing on the alternator went out. UGH! Talk about timing. So, once again~ WHY am I doing this? I could have stayed home, worked on the house water and made myself comfortable in front of the stove but... No, I was out feeding cows in a pick-up which only the defroster works, you have to roll down the window to open the door, and the passenger side door has no handle. Did I mention, all of this is with an 18 month old?

I could give you all the scientific reasons cows and horses need fed but it wouldn't make much difference would it. I do it because I love seeing baby calves bucking around in the snow once they get warmed up. I do it because I know, I can go to a neighbor to get water but the animals have to/should stay in the pasture they are in for their water. I do it because I love livestock. Even knowing the circle of life~ I feed you now, you feed me later.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cynical? Maybe.

Currently, there seems to be an upward trend of Ag people getting actively involved in legislation, advocacy, and technology. I hope a few minor victories will not let us feel like we can sit on our laurels. We need to keep submerged in issues that affect our livelihoods, traditions, and way of life.

Oregon SB613 is currently being laid to rest but legislators have until April 23 to make a final decision on the fate of the ill-written bill. People in Missouri are currently fighting their proposition dealing with dogs and breeding with increasing support. But I haven't heard much on from Washington State on the "egg legislation" nor has their been much about Nebraska lately.

Keep fighting the good fight. Educating legislators and the general masses alike about raising food and being stewards of the land!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Holiday Weekend

An old guy I used to work with always said "a change is as good as a vacation." I change "jobs" every Thursday night. I go from animal scientist to "cow dietcian and disturber". Not a huge change but it involves less indoor meetings and more physical labor. Something that suits me quite well. I had my normal feeding crew. One border collie to keep cattle from eating directly off the pick-up and one toddler to holler at cows, "drive" and entertain.
With the toddler, it has gotten to the point where I put on a hat, she is hollering about finding her shoes. She will hardly let me out the door to start a rig. She also knows about her own chores at home. It is her job to feed the cat- one painstaking handful at a time.

Friday, February 18, 2011

More on Idaho Bill

This bill from Idaho on animal cruelty, nope, animal welfare is crazy. It defines equines not used in food or fiber production as companion animals but stock dogs as livestock? It seems HSUS is at it again. Pushing really hard on defining horses as companion animals. I guess it is a backhanded way of ensuring slaughter plants are not re-opened anytime soon, or at all.

We need to fight this type of legislation. It is just one step closer to threatening the livelihoods of many ranchers and farmers alike. I hope the governor of Idaho is as strong as many people credit him with. If not, this could be disasterous.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Lookout Idaho

House bill 149 in Idaho is once again Disneyfying horses. They are taking the majestic livestock to the lowly staus of companion animal. This is a huge pet peeve of mine. Horses are livestock and should be treated, legislated, and managed as such.

They do not sell ponies in a pet store for a reason. They are big, they can be dangerous, and they require special care. They can not be placed in a backyard or cage and left. Quit trying to make them a dog. They do not do well with a walk a day. They require space, hay, and water along with their love.

Please write to these people and let them know. Even if you are not from the state. I think it is degrading to horses.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Eating Well- Post had a great article this morning about 5 foods you should eat that have gotten a bad reputation! Guess what! Beef, eggs, chocolate, potatoes, and peanut butter are the list. Finally someone in the mass media recognizes the benefits of these fine foods. It also sounds like a great meal to me. Steak, eggs, and hashbrowns followed by peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips! I would be in heaven.

I am glad research is finally disproving what agriculture has been saying for years. All things in moderation. Exercise more. Get outside. Mission of good health accomplished. Think of all the money spent on health foods, gym memberships, and exercise equipment.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Oregon Senate bill 613

Oregon Senate bill 613:

Senators in Oregon are trying to outlaw horse roping. Once again, people are legislating on something they do not understand with misinformation from the HSUS. This is getting to be enough! Please e-mail the above senators. They do not understand that roping horses is a part of heritage, training, and not an animal welfare issue!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Public Lands

BLM, Forest Service, Refuges, and State ground are all part of the Public Lands system that is rampant in the Western United States. I am as guilty as the next person of blaming the local office for the management of these lands in the area. But, when you really get to thinking about it, they are doing only what they have been directed to do by voters.

Voters? Yep, the ones who elect the officials who make decisions on appropriations, directives, and legislation. I harp on people to quit taking their frustrations out on the local level and go to where it counts. Send letters to legislators praising the programs that are necessary for the land to be sustainable and the small communities viable.

We really need to get out of our shells and educate John Q. Public about why such practices are necessary. Why timber needs to be harvested. Why cattle are beneficial. Why feral horses need to be managed. The big one- How all these effect the land, resources, and economy of areas with a public lands component.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


I was reading bits and pieces of the Micheal Vick drama and pit bull rescues etc. It is heart wrenching to think of the way people used and abused these dogs. One blogger commented on the scars, missing teeth, and limp ears. Called these dogs weapons and soldiers taught to fight not pets.

That got me to thinking about my own dogs. They have scars, missing teeth, one has a split tongue, and all the other various maladies and limps that come with being a tool, pet, and part of the family at our house.
So what is the difference? Someone could look at Pancho and be upset, but they would probably be more disturbed at his howls when it is not his day to work. We rotate our dogs so they all get used and have time off through out the week. But they hate their days off and live to work cows. Pancho has this stupid, goofy look on his face when he puts one back in the herd. You know " I did good huh, I showed that beast who is boss." Weapon? Maybe not. Tool? Definitely!
They are also part of our family.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Some People

We had a 4-H function this weekend. We were tagging steers when one escaped into our small town. It went through the high school lawn, across main street and was head out of town. As the tagging team hit main street they didn't know where the calf had went. A lady told them " the big dog headed that way."

The big dog? It was daylight, we live in an area where beef production is the number one economy. Ummm... and you don't know the difference. Wake up and smell the manure people.

Oh well, the calf was caught and returned to its rightful place. No harm, no foul. But a big dog? Could you imgaine the bite he could have taken out of someone?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Facebook Viral

BREAKING NEWS: No farms or ranches are closed due to the fridgid temperatures. Each and every rancher will be out in the blistery, cold, blowing wind tending to their livestock. They will be praying for machinery to work and non-frozen water pipes. If you know or love a rancher or farmer, say a prayer for him or her and repost so the prayer line may grow for our ranchers and farmers to be safe.

I have seen this message on the posts of many of my facebook friends. It is nice to see something supporting the ag industry going viral.

What a great way to get the message out to many people about what exactly is entailed in producing food. There are no snow days when animals are involved.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

February is Beef Month

A great opportunity to tell about the benefits of beef! February is beef month. Steaks for valentine's day are always a bonus at our house. What are you going to do to celebrate a lean source of protein?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Annoyed with Oprah

Not only is Oprah an annoying sensationalist who has made billions of dollars off of people but she seems determined to undermine the livestock industry. Today, Oprah will air a show entitled- Oprah and 378 Staffers Go Vegan- The One Week Challenge

The show will have special guest Micheal Pollan author of "The Ominvores Dilemna" and Kathy Freston a vegan author and spiritual advisor. Both of these will share their thoughts about what you should eat and what you should know about the foods you eat. Wow! Really? I am sure they have each taken a science class in high school and thus are able to tell how to eat. Or maybe they stayed at a Holiday Inn Express?

In addition, Lisa Ling, Oprah's investigative reporter, is taking a look inside a beef processing facility.

The comments are flying in. Maybe they should have Angelina Jolie on their to counter balance?