Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Teach Me Tuesday: Antibiotic use in livestock

Recently it was brought to my attention that an ad has been making its ways through schools and to moms.  This ad encourages people to help end the misuse and overuse of antibiotics in food animal production.  Now I'm not exactly sure what they are campaigning for since the livestock industry has been regulating and decreasing the amount of antibiotics used since the mid-1980's.

I know on our farm, animals are given antibiotics in the same manner I would give them to my son...if they are sick and in the correct dosage and time frame...meaning if I am suppose to give 1 teaspoon for 5 days...I give 1 teaspoon for 5 days.  We don't routinely use antibiotics for no reason.  We follow the Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) guidelines:

  1. avoid using antibiotics that are important in human medicine
  2. use a narrow spectrum of antimicrobials whenever possible
  3. treat the fewest number of animals possible
  4. antibiotic use should be limited to prevent or control disease and should not be used if the primary intent is to improve performance 
( Learn more at ExploreBeef)



The ad accuses farmers of putting human health at risk however I strongly disagree...

the number one reason is multiple studies have been conducted and the has been no connection found between antibiotic use in cattle and increased risk to consumers by developing antibiotic-resistant foodborne or other pathogens.  (Journal of Food Protection, July 2004; Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, 2003).

There is also a monitoring system that was established in 1996 by USDA, FDA, and the CDC which provides and early warning system for detecting any change in pathogen resistance patterns (http://www.fda.gov/cvm/narms_pg.html)...

in addition our industry itself takes this seriously since we would be the first one's affect (we are the front line of food animal production).  Cattle farmers and ranchers have funded more than 13 research projects to enhance the understanding of resistance development you can check them out at www.beefresearch.org

And let's not forget that the U.S. government mandates that no beef with antibiotic residues be allowed in the food supply.

Many things have contributed to certain bacteria becoming antibiotic-resistant...over use by health professionals, misuse by human patients and more.  Here is an interesting paper to read on why antibiotic resistance spreads fast.  Also check out the CDC's website and the Get Smart: Know when Antibiotics Work program.

It is easy to point the finger of blame however as I have told my son and many of my students in the past when you are pointing your finger at someone...three are pointing back at you as well.  We must all take personal responsibility in our part in this issue, farmers and ranchers have stepped up to make a difference in how we use antibiotics on farm, by implementing many guidelines and regulations that we follow, by ensuring we use antibiotics properly and judiciously.  We are the experts on our livestock and what is best for them just as you are the experts on your own individual children.

Just as you know what’s best for your children, farmers know what is best for their livestock.  We have been blessed with this great task and we take the job of feeding our families – and YOURS – very seriously.  We are experts in our field and we will continue to provide you and your family the safest, most nutritious and affordable food supply in the world.

Until next time--

Caci

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wrangler Wednesday


Saturday afternoon fishing trip


My handsome hubby shooting marshmallows at lil' man's birthday party


again...he's just as big of a kid as the little ones!

Until next time-

Caci

Friday, February 17, 2012

Faith, Food, & Family Friday!

Wow it is hard to believe this work week is over.  
On Monday I always want the work week to hurry up and get over so I can spend more time with my family but then Friday seems to sneak up on me and my to-do list seems only half-way done.


This week has been a myriad of things...from the EPA sending us things to look into at work to new lambs and a new heifer, to birthdays.  There never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything done for work, the farm, our family in addition to doing Mommy School with lil' man and spending quiet time alone with God reflecting on his word.  


About a month ago I joined an online bible study...(you can here more about it here) from Good Morning Girls.org.  It was a great way for me to get motivated and have conversations with ladies studying the same verses (they have a Facebook page as well).  All was well until everything seemed to catch up with me and snowball all at one time.  This week I haven't read a single verse even though each day I intended to get caught up.  I have been distracted and unfocused and frustrated all week...you know why because I am not taking time to spend in God's word.  His word is what creates calm and order in my life not me.  I have to let go...hopefully next week will be better!

Well like I said we have been celebrating birthdays...yes days.  My husband, son and father-in-law all have birthdays in the month of February (the 5th, 7th, and 16th).  To make it more interesting the all share the same name (Sr., Jr., and III)...thank goodness we call them all something different or that would be confusing (Hubs-William, Son-Wyatt, FIL-Bill).  Each celebration comes with its own unique issues.  We celebrated William's birthday last night...at home with just Wyatt, William & I. 

Wyatt w/ William's cake

 It was wonderful to me however Wyatt was devastated that Daddy didn't have a BIG PARTY like he did...but he settled for the chance to pick out Daddy's cake.  Wyatt insisted on Lightening McQueen "because Daddy loves the movie Cars."  (I personally think that he is getting a little confused with the whole name thing).  

Lastly I had to go to the grocery store early in the week to buy meat...
yes pretty much just meat.
I purchase the majority of our meat in the grocery store usually with the expectation of sausage and ground beef.  However this week I had to purchase ground beef as well because we are out.  With homegrown our homegrown beef I don't have to drain the meat after browning it because there is very little fat however with the 75% ground beef from the grocery store I have to drain it or our food is swimming in fat.  Now with that being said realize this is still what I buy.
 I just make sure that I brown the meat alone first and then drain the meat in a strainer and run hot hot water over it to help wash away any excess fat.  If I needed to cook it with onions or seasonings or whatever I just wipe out my pan while washing the meat and throw everything back in the pan for a few more moments.  This gets you a leaner supper, cheaper.  

Beef is a regular part of our diet.  Most nights that is what we eat for supper.  Now I don't expect everyone to agree with that but my hubby isn't a chicken man and in our family pork is a mainly a breakfast meat.  Occasionally we will enjoy pork chops...oh how I love a good fried pork chop or chicken leg...or most anything fried (sorry just a ramble...almost lunch time)

There are many good lean, healthy beef cuts that you can enjoy.  I encourage all of you to hope over to Explore Beef and check it out.  To encourage you to try some beef I thought I would share one of my favorite recipes:  Country Fried Steak.  I use a recipe similar to the Pioneer Woman's seen here

Ingredients

  • Cube Steak 
  • 1 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Seasoned Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper 
  • a dash of Garlic salt or powder 
  • 3 teaspoons Ground Black Pepper, Or To Taste
  • Salt, For Seasoning Meat
  • 1/2 cup Oil (more If Needed)
  • milk
  • eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter

Preparation Instructions

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Mix together flour, seasoned salt, and pepper.
in another pan mix together milk and eggs (2 should be enough)
Season both sides of steaks with salt and pepper. Dredge each piece in milk mixture then then flour mixture, milk again and then flour one more time...coat with as much flour as possible.
Add butter to pan right before frying.
When butter is melted, fry pieces of steak in butter/oil mixture. Flip when sides are deep golden brown and cook about 1 minute on the other side.
Remove to a paper towel-lined plate. Serve immediately with mash potatoes and pan gravy. 

Ok now I have to go find some lunch!  
Until Next time-

Caci

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Monday, February 13, 2012

Mommy Monday: Cowboy Birthday Party

Today is the first of what I hope to become a new feature....

Mommy Monday!!

This feature will have a variety of postings about crafting things, recipes, and other mommy issues I face.  These mommy items won't be just farm related but I am sure some will be things   tagged "only on the farm."  

Today's Mommy Monday is focusing on birthday parties!  I rambled around on Pinterest for weeks prior to my lil' man's b-day party getting ideas and finding tuts on party favors.  Here is a link to Wyatt's Birthday Bash Board.  (FYI: I LOVE LOVE LOVE PINTEREST!!!)

Wyatt insisted on having a Cowboy Birthday Bash.  Of course since I plan events and such as part of my job...I insist on the party being perfect.  

Here are some pictures of 
Wyatt's Rodeo Roundup Party




Wyatt's cake made by a family friend





the food table





the blowers


sadly this is all I have right now from the party as I forgot my camera.  
Hopefully my sister-in-law will email more pictures later.  


But I do have a few pictures of my favorite gift Wyatt got...











Love the teachable toys!!


Until next time-


Caci

Friday, February 10, 2012

Milk...it does a body good

So each day we produce gallons of milk...I mean literally 
on an average day we produce about 805 gallons of milk a day!  


Needless to say we love milk in our house.  
We drink anywhere from 2-3 gallons of white milk and about a gallon of chocolate milk each week...
that's only between my husband, myself and our 4 year old.  
The milk we drink comes just like yours from a grocery store.  We typically purchase the store brand or PET (a division of Dean Foods).  Why?  Because that is where our milk goes and we like supporting family farmers like ourselves.  

The National Dairy Council says, “together, low-fat and fat-free milk, cheese, and yogurt provide a unique package of nine essential nutrients, including calcium, potassium, phosphorus, protein, vitamins A, D and B12, riboflavin, and niacin (niacin equivalents). Not to mention great taste.”  

For example:
  1. Milk contains proteins like casein & whey that can help muscles rebuild after physical activity
  2. Studies show that milk can help reduce PMS symptoms
  3. 3 glasses of milk a day may reduce your risk of bone disease and fractures

You can learn more at Got Milk

On the pricing side of things on average I pay $3-$4 for a gallon of milk 
depending on if its on sale or not.  
Let me break down for you how much of that we receive on farm...
we are not paid by the gallon...we are paid by the hundredweight (cwt).
A gallon of milk weighs roughly 8.6 pounds
so each day we produce about  6,923 pounds of milk.

According to an article on Progressive Dairy "in August 2011, 
on average, consumers paid $3.40 per gallon 
and producers received $1.53. 
In values per hundredweight, 
the numbers are $39.40 and $17.85, respectively."  
That's a pretty big difference in my book.  
So on those 805 gallons of milk we only got $1231.65 
but consumers paid $2,737.  
Now we all know and understand there are other cost associated with food
Hauling, marketing, bottling, etc.   

So there you have it...why milk is good for you and the cost break down.
I hope this helps you understand milk a little better...
if you have any questions please feel free to email them to me,
post them on my Facebook page SCFARMWIFE
or comment below.

Until next time--

Caci


Thursday, February 9, 2012

I have spoken with many people about the food we eat.  As a farmer many times it is fielding questions about how we grow the food or what's healthiest.  One question/comment that comes up frequently is "you don't understand...you don't buy your food from the grocery store like I do."


Well let me tell you that simply isn't true.  I  visit the local grocery store at least once a week...many times more.  I understand the price of food in the grocery store...even though we have a dairy I still purchase ALL yes ALL of our milk from the store.  Over the next few weeks we are going to discuss our Food Supply and the price of food.  If you have questions shoot them to me and I will do my best to answer them! 

Tomorrow's topic...MILK...supply/demand and price!

Until then--

Caci

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wrangler Wednesday



Wyatt enjoying a Bug Juice during early morning milkings.


Jolene Brown speaking at 2012 SC Young Farmer & Rancher Conference 


Wyatt, Bartow, and Millie heading out to check cows


William & I at Pearl Harbor during the AFBF Annual Meeting in Hawaii


My hubby, William taking in the view from our hotel room in Hawaii