Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Farming Isn't (Always) Fun

J-Loppy in the back and a new bull calf in the front---one is dying and the other is thriving 
     

    I was finishing up sowing wheat in the field when dad called me about a new heifer.  I had worked for many years to get this heifer on the ground.  She was bred with old "throwback" genetics.
 I came across this bull many times.  I first saw him on my cows pedigrees and then again in our semen tank.  I eventually looked him up, boy was he ugly and word on the street was his daughters had attitudes. This didn't stop me from falling in love with PVF Black Joker.  Fast-forward many years to a couple days ago, dad had called me about a heifer calf.  She was black, spunky, and a looker!  I was excited.  Two days went by and she came up to the barn while I was feeding.  She was hunched over, like she was cold but that didn't register to me.  She got worse as the day went by so we fed her some extra energy (colostrum.)  The next morning I was leaving the barn but I thought twice about it because her mom wouldn't stop bawling and good thing I had. J-Loppy, we had already named her, was laying in the back of the pen we put her and her mother in.  I immediately called Dad and he called the vet.  This calf was only a week old but she was so much more than a calf.  We got the vet and she did all she could do.  She had merely walked away and J-Loppy twitched, jerked, and spasmed out.  I had never seen anything like this and I still won't admit to myself I saw her die.  We couldn't accept it and even left the heat lamps her for 12 or so hours.  Farming isn't fun and this was just another insistence when it wasn't

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

PSA: Getting Re-Certified

"Get that Certification Farmer Madison"

I understand the importance of being educated.  I have been looking high and low for master beef advocacy, and (advanced) master beef producer courses.  ANIMALCARETRAINING.ORG is offering a free BQA certification.  Being in college, I can never find a course that doesn't conflict with my schedule but Animal Care Training understands that so now I am on my way to re-certifying my BQA! Yahh!  Now I can feel better about the signs posted on the farm about being BQA certified.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Throwback Tuesday

"Dreamy" "Ears" "64Y"

Some cows are mean/protective.  Dad walked in front of her to get her into the barn because her calf wasn't nursing.  

I had to BEG Pop to buy this marked up heifer.  

Monday, October 3, 2016

Death Tax Increase...

   An increase in taxes. This issue hits close to home.  The death tax is a thought always in the back of my mind, with my grandfathering passing away so recently.  I am not in on our finances but my grandmother is always uttering the word 'budget'.  I am a 4th generation farmer but the death tax could take it all away.  We have barns my great-grandfather built, plows my grandfather bought and over all these years we have paid taxes after taxes and now Hillary is talking about raising the death tax 65% which will be the highest it has been since 1981, another reason she is not right for this country or for farmers and ranchers (among others.)  I am a farmer born and bred but will my family be able to continue what we have done for centuries.   Even though my grandfather died the cows are still calving and we need diesel to sow seed and money to buy feed but there is a certain way we have to pay for things and receive money for cattle.  It is a confusing process, one that I think should be so simple.

Friday, September 30, 2016

College is a Union card

 



"It's just a Union Card." 

My Role models, whom didn't finish college, and I'm proud to say that
   I was sitting waiting for my next class when a girl sat down beside me a couple seconds later a college tour came thru.  Boys in there best frat attire, girls in dresses in heels, moms and dads in their sunday best and then a me pops up, a kid who could care less.   I said to this girl how much I love this part of college.  How I want to tell them to run!!! As soon as these words left my mouth she retorted how college is almost required to be anything, to do anything.  I tried to keep calm, because I was raised to respect others opinions.  I said, neither of mine finished college and they are down right successful. And, then I had to hear about her mom being a pharmacist and her dad going back to school because he couldn't make it without a degree, so he became an accountant.  Now I love my accountant, love love love him, he filled out my FAFSA! But I am going to school as a back up plan, my real goals are being a mother, wife, and running a successful farm and selling show cattle.  These are my goals and I will be rich.   I don't need a degree, and neither did my parents.  Both my parents own their own businesses.  My dad works all over the southeast and my mom is known all over the southeast.  I was at a loss for words when she said success required a degree, because lately I have been wanting to leave school and take over the farm (because my grandfather, the 3rd gen, passed away recently.) 

Monday, September 26, 2016

Fat is Flat

Another FDST 269 blog!  I love this class.  
  We were talking about carcasses and live cattle.  My professor, Dr. Loveday, said "Fat is Flat and Muscle is Round."  This got me to thinking about my entire life from body issues within my friend group to picking out show heifers!  It really got me to thinking about when I was talking to the Meier family.  Lydell said he liked a round muscle and Holly liked a flatter muscle.   My mother, because every good thought is from your mothers mouth, said how runners have long stretchy muscles and sprinters have short quick response muscles.  All of this brought me back to what Loveday said to begin with.  The consumer perception of what a good cut is, is so perceived as a bland cut with no fat!  Fat is good, specks of fat in the meat (marbling is good.)  The fat and marbling helps make your steak juicy and flavorful.  Loveday said fat is flat and muscle is round, so how I interrupt this is we need both.  Body issues and good beef relate in so many positive ways, I will address the nutritional qualities another day.  

Thursday, September 22, 2016

It's the PURGE

      I have one class this semester that made me declare a minor but also made me second guess all my career decisions...Food Science Technology 269, meat science evaluation.  I went into this class having 4H meat judging experience but was going straight into a 200 level course.  Normally you start with a 100 and then work your way up, not me!  I knew the professor from my 4H days and have learned meats under him but having him as a professor and just sitting through an optional instructional to pass the time before a contest were two different things.  But its AG, we are all family.  So here I am 6 weeks later, I have declared a minor in food science technology and am in love with meat and the meat industry.  So back to what the article title is about..the red stuff in meat is NOT BLOOD, IT IS PURGE.  It is a combination of water and meat proteins.  Meat is 75% water and one of the proteins in the PURGE is a water-soluble myoglobin hence the red water!  The stuff on the bottom of your plate (if you eat it medium rare) or the package is just broken apart beef proteins.  

 My favorite part of being on the Ag campus is learning new things I can share with y'all, much more to come.  

Monday, August 29, 2016

Farm Emergencies/Sorority Life

I want to say before that I know what I signed up for when I accepted my bid.  I realize there are rules and regulations.  But I don't think they were designed for a farm girl, who actually has a farm. 
   One of our neighbors has a dairy and does it all by himself.  Now I have a lot of respect for this man and want to help him in any way I can because I know it is hard running a beef farm let alone a dairy with ONE person.  He is night and day milker, feed mixer, stall cleaner, mechanic, and breeder. Well,  his sugar dropped through the floor over the weekend and he was admitted to the ICU.  He is very picky on who helps him around the farm so there were few people who could run things while he was away.  I was one of those people and like I said I would do anything for him so I worked my schedule so I could milk day and night.  Now a normal week for me includes sorority life, school, and work.  I could swing my class and work schedule but my sorority was a whole 'nother big deal.  I emailed the right people and I got the "you didn't ask 72 hours prior to meeting."  My temper started rising a little, due to the fact this was an emergency and I can't see the future.  Needless to say I am going to miss chapter and I could care less.  I told them I had an emergency and if they don't classify that as one well, maybe our values don't align like I thought they should. 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Leaving a Leggacy-- Mean Gene


Mean Gene
    I realize I haven't blogged in a long time but things have been busy around our parts.  My grandfather, "Mean Gene", passed away August 13.  We buried him on a Sunday, Ashton left for PA that night and I went back to UT Wednesday. And, not only that but we sold the last calves he helped feed the Tuesday following.  It has been a hard, of a different kind, being so far away.  When I go out to the pasture I am always reminded of Pop and all he did.  Although it was hard to go to the field and get back into the show barn, I have to realize how proud he would be of me.  So, now both my sister and I are away out school.  We left our dad, grandmother, mom, and youngest sister to hold down the farm. 
(And the Leggacy is a cow on our farms' name and its just spelt differently)

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Artificial Insemination...in Pigs

National Pig Day- March 1
     I'm back, I probably shouldn't be (I'm in class) but we are talking about swine today.  I know cattle like the back of my hand but swine on the other hand are a whole different ball game.  I learned something very interesting, how to breed a sow (female pig).  I am the primary breeder on our farm.  A cow's cervix can vary in size or where it is in the cow, it is long and usually straight, sometimes they will fall off the pelvic bone which happens a lot in mature cows.  However a pig has a corkscrew cervix, a neat fit for both the male/artificial gun and the female.  From only breeding, my mouth hit the floor because breeding a cow can be difficult but breeding a sow is easy, more so than breeding a cow.  There's my interesting fact of the day!  I want to breed pigs now.