Saturday, July 30, 2011

In a beat up Chevy Truck...hauling hay

Over yonder coming down the road in a beat-up Chevy truck....

I can remember riding down the road singing this song at the top of my lungs as an 8 year old proud that we had an old Chevy Truck. I loved the song and the fact that the singer Trisha Yearwood had grown up just a few counties away.

Nowdays this song takes on a whole new idea for me because no longer is the boyfriend coming down the road but my husband. But his beat up Chevy only does one thing...haul hay. It has hauled hay and other farm products for his family for generations. William's grandfather, PawPaw purchased this truck new, William's mom, Jane or Nana learned to drive in this truck as did William. The truck has a purpose but it also has a special place on our family farm.

As I said we use this truck for one thing now to haul hay from the field to the barns. Its not the most dependable truck or the nicest looking nor does it have power steering or air but its our hay truck. We hook a four wheeled wagon to it and drive carefully down the road to the hay field. We load it up and chug slowly back, over and over again until the fields are empty. It's a great place to spend quality family time, listening to the same stories we've heard a million times...but that is perfectly ok!

Like I said this truck has been used by 3 generations and we hope to one day teach the 4th generation how to drive using this old truck. Wyatt already loves this truck and its connection to PawPaw (who is his favorite person in the world). He likes to walk around it and kick the tires, complete inspections and count how many hay bales it can haul...but most of all he loves to listen to it fire up!

Farm equipment isn't always pretty but it always works hard to see more blogs about farm equipment check out Farmnwife's blog.!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Brain dead

Apparently I have been brain dead this week. I haven't had much to say or write about which if you know me personally you know that is a shocker! I am a talker...i mean really my nickname at work is Mouth.

As I struggle to come up with a topic all I can think about is how hot it is here and sadly all across the country. Last week I got the chance to attend a CommonGround Conference in St. Louis thinking it would be cooler but I was WRONG!! It was hot there and more humid...really I live in the South didn't think that was possible. But we did get to visit the Budweiser Brewery and the zoo which both were wonderful.

Around here things heated up while I was away. We are checking water troughs 3 to 4 times a day as the horses, calves, and sheep at our home don't have automatic waterers. Even at the other farms where we have automatics we are checking troughs daily to ensure they are working properly and keeping up with demand. I've caught more than one wild animal sneaking up to take a sip.

Below is a video of what farm boys do when it gets hot...enjoy!!!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Moving the bull!

Below is a quick clip of one of the things we do on our farm.

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Farm Wife daily newspaper

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Our first Farm Video

Welcome to our farm...i hope you enjoy the video!

Wrangler Wednesday

Here is another installment of Wrangler Wednesday!

I hope you enjoy our littlest Wrangler wearing cowboy.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Questions Answered

Amanda from Beef Daily wrote a post last week about a city boy visiting their farm and asking tons of questions.  She listed 20 of them and I thought I would take a moment and answer some of them from my perspective….as a farm wife.

1. Are farmers rich? Is it easy to make a living off ranching? Or, do you just like the lifestyle?
There is an old saying “Farmers are land rich and money poor.”  Farmers like the rest of the country do their best to make ends meet.  We put up with high risk, low returns, and a very volatile market.  People see farmers & ranchers and assume because of the amount of land, equipment, and possibly livestock that they have lots of money; however most of their money is tied into that operation.  You don’t see many farmers/ranchers out shopping each week for new clothes or electronics.  Farmers have to work hard for their money; it’s not easy to make your living off a farm or ranch.  Most farm families have at least one person that works off farm to supply a steady income just in case prices drop, a drought happens, or your crop is destroyed.  To be a farmer or a rancher you have to enjoy the lifestyle.

2. Why do ranchers feed corn?
Ranchers feed corn to help cattle grow and develop just like parents feed their children nourishing food to help them grow and develop.  Corn is a wonderful source of protein and many other nutrients that cattle need. 

3. Doesn’t beef make you fat?
Beef doesn’t make you fat it is actually a naturally-nutrient rich food that is an important part of a well balanced diet.  There are 29 cuts of beef that meet government labeling guidelines for lean!  The nutrients in beef help you maintain a healthy metabolism, which helps maintain a healthy weight, build muscle and gives fuel for physical activity.

4. Do you keep the cows inside during the winter?
We live in South Carolina so our winters aren’t very cold.  Actually many people come to vacation in our area in the winter because of our climate.  So no our cows are not kept inside during the winter, but at all times our cattle have access to shelter, clean water, and hay during the winter months. 

8. Why aren’t you an organic farm?
We chose not to be an organic farm.  Studies have shown there is no nutritional benefit to organics.  We chose to raise our livestock in the way we feel is the safest and healthiest for them and us.  My son receives vaccines against harmful diseases and antibiotics when he is sick so I feel that we should treat our cattle with the same respect.  We give them vaccines to protect from harmful diseases and antibiotics when needed if they are sick.   

18. Why do ranchers give cattle antibiotics?
We give our cattle antibiotics when they are sick just like we give our son antibiotics when he is sick.  To keep our cattle healthy we must care for them in the best possible way. 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Farm Follies

Each blog i write shares bits & pieces of our family farm lief.  Even though many topics are serious we have lots of fun on the farm.  Plus it never hurts to have a good laugh even if it is at yourself.  So here are couple of recent happenings that just might make you giggle!
some of our cattle

Watch your step! That is a common phrase around the farm especially since our farm includes livestock.  A good cowgirl learns this at an early age but apparently in the hustle and bustle of things we soon forget that cow pies can be dangerous and don't have cute little signs warning the pasture, barn or elsewhere might be slick.  Just a few weeks ago I was walking into the barn to halter a few show heifers when I reached out to catch one just as my foot landed into a cow biggie..but the calf moved quickly to the left and i attempted to do the same and down I went!!  My entire leg landed in the cow pie, ankle to knee!!!  By the way since this was suppose to be a quick trip to the barn I was wearing flip flops and shorts!  I don't recommend this look.
Wyatt & Aunt Rachel

My hubby William and his lil' sister Rachel plus my lil' cowboy Wyatt had just finished morning chores and decided to take the bush hog to a pasture that needed some TLC.  (For those of you who don't know a bush hog is like a giant lawn mower that attaches to a tractor).  Wyatt watched as William backed up the flatbed and Rach hooked up the bush hog for road travel.  Once they were ready Wyatt walked over to Rach and gave her a big high five and said "Rachel you're a great HOOKER!"

What wonderful family bonding moments!  There are 100's more stories similar to these that I could share but that's it for today!  Perhaps I can make this a regular feature Friday Farm Follies!  What do ya think?  Would you like to hear more about the crazy happenings around the family farm???  Let me know!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Wrangler Wednesday

So below you will find various people all representing what it means to me to wear a pair of Wranglers with pride.
My hubby w/ Forcin' Two Drifters July 2010

Emmanuel Bankston congratulates Rachel Nance on winning SC Jr. Beef Ambassador

Rachel waiting to show her spring heifers at the 2010 SC Jr. Beef Round-up

Emmanuel Bankston 2010 SC Beef Ambassador with Agvocates Stacey & Troy Hadrick

2010 National Beef Ambassador Contestants

My hubby and son

2009 Miss York County Livestock

Friday, July 1, 2011

What will you feed your family?

Fourth of July means many things to me.  I celebrate our freedoms and the men and women who fought for those freedoms and the ones still fighting.  This time of year also brings something else to mind...grilling!  There is nothing better than grilling up a wonderful steak or a tasty hamburger.

Red meat, particularly beef, is a staple on my family's menu.  We enjoy hamburger steak, meatloaf, spaghetti, fajitas, chuck roast and yes the occasional ribeye.  This is the way I know my family is getting enough Z.I.P- zinc, iron, and protein that is!  However, with the price of beef increasing will consumers like myself be able to afford to put beef on the table?

I know some of you are thinking she doesn't get it....her backyard is full of beef!
But that's not entirely correct...yes we do raise cattle and we do harvest some of our own for meat however the majority of our meat (excluding ground beef) comes from the grocery store.  So when beef prices go up it affects my pocketbook as well.  And I know when prices go up you (and me) start looking for cheaper ways to provide for your family.

But before you walk past the meat counter keep- reading...
there are many reasons you should
continue purchasing beef as a protein source for your family here are 4!

1) A 3 oz serving of lean beef provides 10 nutrients your body needs such as protein, iron, zinc and B-vitamins for an average of 154 calories. In fact, it takes two to three times more calories to get the same amount of protein from many plant-based alternatives than from lean beef.

2) The surprising fact is that Americans, on average, eat 1.7 oz of beef every day, well within the 5-7 oz recommended from this Group for a healthy diet. Americans can feel good about choosing lean beef because the science shows beef's high-quality protein and essential nutrients make good diets better - improving overall nutrient intake and diet quality, and contributing to positive health outcomes like weight management.

3) Because of the commitment of America's cattle farmers and ranchers, many popular beef cuts meet government guidelines for lean, including favorites such as Sirloin, Flank steak, Tenderloin, T-Bone steak and 95 percent lean Ground Beef. With more than 29 lean beef cuts, it's easy to build great-tasting and healthy meals that include America's favorite protein - beef - with vegetables, fruits and whole grains.

4) Given today's focus on obesity, the Committee uncovered a striking finding: Over the last four decades, Americans have consumed nearly 200 calories more each day from flour and cereal products while calories from meat, eggs and nuts have remained virtually unchanged.  At a time when calories really matter, lean beef is a solution that satisfies our appetites and provides more nutrients for fewer calories than many other foods.

So there you go...4 simple reasons why beef will remain on my family's menu.   But let's not forget that Americans the safest and cheapest food supply in the world, thanks to farmers and ranchers who have done their best to improve farming & ranching practices!!

I hope everyone has a wonderful 4th of July weekend and God Bless!