Stories, opinions, facts, convictions, and lessons learned from a small town farm girl.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Day in Agriculture - Sept. 29

What do 6.5 billion people have in common?


Tune into on September 29th as Farm Journal Media editors span the United States to delivery agriculture's story.  Ag Web, powered by Farm Journal, proclaims '...join in watching us capture a snapshot of one day in agriculture by providing cross-country coverage and focusing on how one day of agriculture impacts billions of people.'  

Follow this link to find out how you can participate and to watch a short video about the United States' ag industry!

From Ag Web:

Be a Part of AgWeb’s "A Day in Agriculture"

Farmers, ranchers and others who love agriculture are what make it such a great industry. Be proud of your agricultural contributions and be part of AgWeb’s coverage on Sept. 29.
Here’s how you can participate:
  • Send a video showing what you’re doing on the farm that day
  • Submit several photos with captions of your farm
  • Tweet live updates of what you are doing that day (#dayinag)
  • Call in to the AgWeb editors and provide an audio update
  • Post a status on Facebook as to how you are involved in agriculture
  • Provide a blog-like submission of your life on the farm

Thursday, September 15, 2011

So Long, Summer!

It has been chilly here in northwest Arkansas the past few days, which can only mean one thing - fall is knocking at the door!  And while fall is my favorite time of year (except for Christmastime, of course), I am a little sad that all the good things of summer are leaving us.

So, in bidding farewell to the hot months of the year, I thought I'd share some of my favorite things about those scorching summer days.

Pictures used from Google Images
Hope you've all had a wonderful summer and enjoyed every possible moment of it! Now, on to apples cider, fall festivals, pumpkins, beautiful leaves, fall-born calves, and cattle sales!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Bridging the Gap from Urban to Rural

I wrote about a neat booth at a county fair in my last post that's mission was to take a step towards "bridging the gap" from urban to rural and help show kids in a hands-on way some things that farmers do in their everyday life. 

Last weekend I went to Memphis, TN for the Delta Fair and stumbled across an educational booth there as well!  This one had some live animals and also a few facts about different segments of the agriculture industry.  Take a look!

 While nothing can replace learning about agriculture like a good ol' day on the farm, I find it wonderful that folks are taking small steps to help educate others on agricultural products and the benefits that ag brings to our lifestyle. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Bridging the Gap

I worked the Ozark Cattlemen's booth at the Washington County fair in Arkansas a few nights ago.  After my shift at the booth was done, I enjoyed walking around to the other exhibits and seeing what was going on with them.  I was so excited to see the Washington County Farm Bureau's booth - it was an interactive, educational activity for children (and for their parents to watch and learn) to have the opportunity to do and learn what goes on on any given farm.

The Farm Bureau members sitting at the booth interacted and helped to explain farm life to the children who may or may not have ever been exposed to the rural lifestyle, as well as explained where our food comes from.  I love the concept of 'bridging the gap' from the urban to the rural lifestyle - no matter where in the United States.  I am very passionate about sharing our farming way of life with others who live in urban areas and giving them a hands-on experience so they can see the daily life of a farmer in a very real way.

Although the exhibit was indoors and the "realism" of the activities were limited, children got to partake in:
Digging potatoes
Feeding pigs
Gathering eggs
Feeding sheep and learning about wool production
Picking apples
Picking corn
 And after all the fun, they got a sticker that proclaims, "I met a Farmer today!"
 Too often children, and even adults, do not know where their food comes from.  Small steps like this helps to educate consumers about the work of farmers and ranchers.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sharing our Story - Hormones (cont.)

What are the hormones we use in the cattle industry?
The hormones that are used are estrogen and testosterone, or are the synthetic versions of the hormone.  They are the same hormones as those naturally synthesized by the beef animal.  The deposition of estrogen to the animal only increase the amount of the hormone found in each pound of beef by .2 nanograms as compared with cattle that have not ever been implanted.  That's right - even the all-natural beef, organic beef, or non-implanted grass-fed cattle contains only .2 nanograms of estrogen less than implanted cattle.

A pound of soybean oil contains nearly 900,000 nanograms of estrogen compared to only 1.7-1.9 nanograms found in beef - either non-implanted or implanted!

What is a 'nanogram'?
A nanogram is one billionth of a gram.
Why do we use hormones in the cattle industry?
The use of hormones in the cattle industry has been scientifically proven to increase average daily gain, appetite, carcass weight, and the overall amount of red meat produced by the animal.  The 'days on feed' at the finishing stage could be reduced, significantly declining the amount of resource inputs needed for finishing the animal for harvest.  Bottom line - they save time, money, and put more food on the table, faster.

The use of hormones helps improve the sustainability of cattle production and will more efficiently feed the rapidly growing population.

Another thing to consider is farmers and ranchers care about the products they produce and the consumers they reach -  from tomatoes to poultry, wheat to milk - and cattle producers are no exception.  If we were troubled about our product being harmful to either the animal or the consumer, it wouldn't be on the market.  It is the goal of a producer - no matter the sort - to deliver the optimal product possible.  Hormones, in the cattle industry, help cattle farmers and ranchers to better deliver more meat to the consumer while optimizing efficiency on their operation.

For more information, I strongly encourage you to visit the American Meat Institute's Meat MythBusters for some quick facts on FAQ's in the meat industry.  It will be well worth your time and it has some useful information that can be easily shared with others!

Also, a big thank you to Amanda Radke of BEEF Magazine's BEEF Daily blog for sharing a link to this site in her Tuesday's post. Thank you for reading and especially sharing, Amanda! And thank you to all my new readers and followers - I appreciate your support! Feel free to stop by the 'Because the West Wasn't Won on Salad' Facebook page to see pictures, discussions, surveys, and upcoming topics.