My Ozark’s & Harvest Time

24 Oct

Fall TreeIt is finally cooling off here in my Ozark hills. And I am actually thankful. I am ready to curl up under blankets, bundle up in warm sweaters and even see a little snow on the ground. But soon we will all be wishing for green grass, blooming flowers and a warm breeze. It is harvest time throughout the country and I recently came across this writing from my Great Grandma Helen. Her favorite time of the year was Spring, but she always honored the farmers who worked tireless hours bringing in the crops before winter hit.

As far as I know these are her original words, but she often quoted her favorite authors. Remember these are unedited. But as you read you can see her passion for the land, farmers, nature and her relentless faith.

Yes deep in the heart of the Ozarks, life is real and beautiful, we worship God in our little country churches by the side of the roads our voices mingle together in song and in prayer. “Farmers,” “Ozarks Farmers,” God bless them. We come to the close of another harvest with Thanksgiving in our hearts.

If last year we toiled long and hard in our fields, drought and insects overwhelmed our efforts with failure of a good crop. Does not the kindly springtime seem to say to each of us “forget the heartaches of yesterday, and with joy and hope in your heart, roll up your sleeves and try again.”

To me there is something holy about the springtime, and the return of the birds with their songs, and the eternal grass and the wild flowers that grow up on the hillside and in our fields and meadows. How dreary life would be without them.

In all nature there is nothing more mysterious remarkly then the coming and going of our birds, and how these lovely little creatures know that winter and blizzards are in the offering and it is time to seek a warmer climate, and later when spring is on the way, these things are secrets, known only to God and themselves.

Out in California, there is an old mission that was built by the Spandard’s of long ago. At a given day on a given hour back fall time the 100 of swallows that make their home in that centuries old structure suddenly depart and on a certain day and hour, in the springtime they as suddenly reappear, and who shall say that life ends at the grave when we are surrounded by forces that are thus beautiful, and as mysterious as they are beautiful when the frost of Oct. comes the leaves of the trees turn sear and yellow.

The autumn winds blow them hither and you and the trees upon which they grow stand stark and bare, and yet comes the spring. The leaves return in all their glory, dull lifeless bark opens to let pink-white blossoms push their way to the sun. This is how we know life does not end suddenly with the words – dust to dust.

The roots bid their time in the frozen earth and quicken into life with the April shoulder. But root or seed they unite in proclaiming to all the world that God intended that they shall live forever. And if this is true of the wild rose and the little brown seed why should it not be a thousand times more so of a human soul.

This is the message of our harvest and springtime, when God strives to give us new courage and also it is life, for just as drought’s insects or flood would soon bring us face to face with starvation, so would not our muscles grow soft if all our harvest were golden. Always we must take the bitter with the sweet it is God’s way, it is life.

It is no trouble for us who life in the country to believe in the resurrection, we know full well that nothing in nature is ever completely destroyed. At this harvest season we give out thanks and know it is sleeping for awhile our nature, then in a few weeks the whole countryside will echo. I am the resurrection and the life.

1st Project is a Wrap

16 Oct

My grandma Charlotte taught me how to knit when I was young. I understood the concept, but never was able to make something that would actually serve a purpose. I guess it was something with using two needles. I could never get the tension right. My rows were either too tight or way too loose.  A2Z-2

Fast forward 20 years or so… Last year before Christmas I got it in my head I wanted to learn how to crochet. I guess I was feeling a little domestic. I found a book online called A to Z Crochet and added it to my Christmas wish list. It teaches you step-by-step in pictures. I am a visual learner and it was great to actually see what each step is suppose to look like. Luckily, my mother-in-law drew my name and I was more excited about that gift then any of the others.

I quickly bought some yarn and started to learn the basic stitches. Over the course of the last 8 months I have mastered the concept of crochet, but have yet to actually finish a project. I love making granny squares, but haven’t put them together to make anything. But once I found out we were having a little girl, I retreated to the closest Hobby Lobby and bought a bunch of yarn. I knew I wanted to make a baby blanket, but had no plan in mind. I soon found a pin on Pinterest I thought I could complete, but like I do with recipes, I made a few changes.

My hands seem to always need to be busy. So, crocheting in the evening while watching TV works great for me. My project soon started looking like something and I have finally finished it. I am defiantly hooked on crocheting. I can’t wait to start another project soon.Rainbow Crocket Blanket 1

In this picture I actually still need to add white to the other side of the pink. I ran out of white at the very end. I am not big on pastel colors and wanted something bright and colorful for the nursery. I chained 110, but in the future I will probably do 125-150. As you can tell I believe my tension still isn’t perfect. As I went my stitches got a little looser.

Rainbow Crochet Blanket 2

I used I Love This Yarn brand of yarn. I am sure there are better yarns out there, but this can be found in many different colors and is really soft. Throughout the entire project I did a single stitch (sc). It gives you a fairly tight stitch and a very warm blanket. I thought it was perfect since I am due in February. However, it does use quite a bit of yarn. In the future I will probably change it up a bit.

Drum Roll Please…

24 Sep

It’s a….

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The #FoodD Conversation

20 Sep

food-dialogues-como-13-16U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) & Missouri Farmers Care brought the Food Dialogues to Columbia, Missouri. Expert panelists discussed animal welfare, livestock handling, conventional vs. non-conventional farming and much more. The purpose was to simply start conversations with consumers about where their food comes from and how it is produced.

Dan Kleinsorge, Executive Director for Missouri Farmers Care, spoke with me after the event and shared that the goal was to bring the consumer and the farmer closer together. That goal was met and the hope is consumers will have a better understanding of the food system. Dan also shared that they are working on some exciting things that will be unveiled in the upcoming year.

“I think there are two take home messages from the food dialogues. One is we’ve got to keep having these dialogues. We’ve got to keep promoting ourselves and keep talking about what we are doing, why we are doing it and how we are doing it. And do a better job explaining agriculture to the public. The other take away is that the conversation is not going away. This is something that people have really keyed in to these days and it’s going to be a big issue from years to come.”

Listen to my complete interview with Dan here.

Don’t worry if you missed the live stream of the event. The archived videos can soon be found on Missouri Farmers Care & USFRA’s YouTube Channels. You can also search the hashtag #FoodD to find out what those who watched it live had to say.

Crow Foods: Unethical Marketing by Chipotle

18 Sep

The Scarecrow

I have felt compelled to post something about the recent marketing scheme by the popular fast-food chain Chipotle for the past week. But just haven’t had the chance to sit down and get my thoughts together. Thankfully I know a few great agricultural bloggers from across the United States that have taken the words right out of my mouth. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, take a look at Chipotle’s recent campaign to sell burrito’s called, The Scarecrow.  Here I would like to share their educated and informative posts so you can understand the unethical marketing that has gone on behind Chipotle’s advertising.

Must Read Blog Posts:

Farming America by David Hayden – Hey Chipotle

Righteous Bacon by Diana Prichard – Chipotle’s Scarecrow Part One: Lessons in Corporate Greed

Righteous Bacon By Diana Prichard – Chipotle’s Scarecrow Part Two: A World of Pure Imagination, Indeed

Country Night, City Lights by Kelly M. Rivard – Integrity in Advertising, and Chipotle’s “Scarecrow”

Agriculture Proud by Ryan Goodman – Chipotle Takes on Big Food with Animated Scarecrow

Black Gold Farms  – The B Word

Buzzard’s Beats by Brandi Buzzard – Chipotle: A World of Pure Imagination

 

And there are more I’m sure. If you have five minutes, read just one of these and ask yourself if it’s okay to lie to consumers to simply sell a burrito.

 

Hello again…

6 Sep
Here is an early ultrasound picture taken at about 10 weeks. During this Dr.'s visit we got to hear the heart beat for the first time.

Here is an early ultrasound picture taken at about 10 weeks. During this Dr.’s visit we got to hear the heart beat for the first time.

I am utterly embarrassed with my lack of posting. Things have been kind of crazy with my life since early spring. But I am done using that as an excuse and want to update everyone on my life in the hills.

The biggest news is after almost four years of unsuccessful attempts in trying to start a family we are excited to announce our first child is due February 1st, 2014. Thanks to lots of prayers, a strong faith and science I get to start decorating a nursery very soon. I believe it is finally settling in that I am pregnant. After so many years of never thinking it would happen, it is hard to fathom it’s actually truth. But over my busy summer of camps and cattle shows, the morning/all day sickness was a constant reminder. Still it wasn’t until recently that I let myself truly believe I am going to be a mom. Clothes are starting to get smaller and finding a comfortable position to sleep in is getting annoying.

The moment of truth will come on September 24th. The day we find out if we are having a boy or a girl. I honestly don’t care either way. But part of me really wants a girl…why? If you show cattle you are aware of all the bling, bling out there for show sticks, show halters and everything comes is lots of bright colors. My husband’s stance is the use of anything other than a black or silver show stick and a black or brown show halter is a big no, no. He strongly feels even his own future daughter (who I know will have him completely wrapped around her little finger) will have none of that bling, bling crap. I am betting he caves. Anyone want to place your bets?

Cattle Commentary

25 Feb

Stock Exchange Logo EditedThe Stock Exchange, powered by DV Auction, works hard to bring you news about the beef industry each month and recently launched a new weekly beef news show, Cattle Commentary. Each week we hope to share industry news, as well as, address issues facing cattlemen and women across the country.

After getting the first one under our belts, we are really excited about what the show can bring to breeders. My husband and I have been part of the DV Auction crew for over three years now and are true proponents of what the company can offer. When asked to host the Cattle Commentary, I jumped at the opportunity to dive into beef news and share the story of producers nation wide.

This week’s beef headlines include:
–Stanley Stout Livestock Marketing Center to be Dedicated at KSU’s 100th Cattlemen’s Day
–Cast your votes for the Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame
–Sec. Tom Vilsack warns of posssible fifteen day furlough of all Food Safety Inspectors

Check out the first edition of Cattle Commentary below.

They also met up with attendees and exhibitors at the 2013 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show. Companies shared new products and experts gave insight into the future of the beef industry. You can find these interviews at here.

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