Thursday, July 20, 2017

Metcalfe County Farmers Market



Every Tuesday afternoon 2-6 and Friday morning 8-1 the Metcalfe County Farmers Market is held across from the Extension Office. I finally had the chance to go check it out and talk to a few farmers about their produce and why they love the farmers market.

Susie and Chloe White of Susie's Berry Farm 
What do you sell?
We sell a variety of produce we grow at home and in the fall we usually will sell crafts.

How long have you been selling your product?
I've been here since the very beginning! This will be my fourth year with the farmers market.

What's your favorite part of working at the farmers market?
I just love getting to interact with all the people that come through. That's truly the best part.

Rita and Erik Brown of East Fork Goat Milk Soaps and Lotions
What do you sell?
We sell soaps, lotions, and bath bombs all made from goat milk.

How long have you been selling your product?
Our items "made their debut" in October of last year.

What's your favorite part of working at the farmer's market?
Meeting new people from the area that you normally wouldn't see and getting to put our product out there for others to enjoy.
***Check out their Facebook page!! East Fork Goat Milk Soaps & Lotions***

I also got to enjoy the company of Miss Kentucky 2017, Molly Matney, who stopped by for a few hours that day!

Molly spent the day talking to local farmers about their products
and getting to meet some of the younger farmers! Keep up with Miss Kentucky by
 liking her Facebook Page: Miss Kentucky Molly Matney!
To stay up to date with the farmers market, check them out on Facebook! 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Chris Young, Rodeos and an Autonomous Tractor

During the third week of October the streets of Indianapolis were flooded with blue corduroy jackets. Around 60,000 jackets to be exact and I got to be one of them! I met kids from Oklahoma, Indiana, and my favorite, the North Pole! Convention was one of the best times of my life. I got to see Chris Young and Cole Swindell in concert, attend Cinch's "World's Toughest Rodeo", shop everything FFA and visit a ton of college representatives I wouldn't get to meet at home. The concert and rodeo were cool but one thing I'm still pretty excited about getting to see in person was a Case IH Autonomous Concept Vehicle (aka the self-driving tractor)!

The system in this tractor allows the farmer to monitor operations and assign a path to follow via GPS. A farmer can then watch or change directions of the tractor from his computer or smart phone. Since this tractor has radars and built in cameras, it can sense when something is in it's way, like another piece of equipment working in the same field. The tractor will come to a complete stop until it's path is changed or the obstruction is out of the way. Now you might be wondering why someone would go through all of this trouble when they can just drive a tractor their self?

Case IH's tagline through this whole autonomous tractor project was "Rethink Productivity" and that's exactly what they did. This piece of equipment can be added into another fleet of equipment with just a few adjustments. Since the tractor can sense what's around it, a farmer can have two or three of these self driving machines running when there's only one of him and no employees. But don't get too excited and fire everyone just yet, when the tractor becomes available it's going to cost a pretty penny.

So as far as cost efficient and time saving goes, this tractor is just what you make of it. Maybe it's only beneficiary to a bigger farm or maybe the small farmers will try their hand at it. Either way, the future of agriculture is advancing pretty quick. Before you know it, pigs really will be flying.

               


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

10 Things You Probably Do When NOT at World Dairy Expo


When you're a dairy enthusiast, October only means one thing. Not football, not Halloween, not cute flannels and riding boots... but World Dairy Expo. Many refer to it as "the greatest time of the year". Since I am one of those people who haven't yet got the experience of World Dairy Expo, there are a few things I catch myself doing quiet often and maybe those of you who are stuck at home on your computer like me can relate.

  1. Anxiously check any of World Dairy Expo's social media to figure out what color the shavings are this year. Blue? Purple? Red? You never know!
  2. Count how many "Madison bound!" captioned pictures of cattle trailers you can count in one scroll through Facebook. Probably only like ten or twelve.
  3. Get your priorities straight and put World Dairy Expo Show Results, Show Schedule and Live Stream in your favorites. The greatest time of the year just one click away.
  4. Go through albums on Facebook titled something like, "Around the Barns at WDE". Because these pictures make you feel like you're somewhat there if you look at them long enough.. right?
  5. Figure out who is showing what. That way you never miss a thing, thanks to live streaming!
  6. Constantly looking at your phone. Your notifications probably look a little something like this: 3 text messages from 727-4-WDEXPO, 2 YouTube notifications about a live stream and about 10 snapchats from your friends that are in Madison making you jealous, one snap at a time.
  7. You make www.worlddairyexpo.com your top visited webpage. Whether it's to view the live stream or check results, the majority of your free time during the day is spent here.
  8. Repetitively check social media. You know there's nothing new but in fear of missing something you just have to check it every two minutes. Just to make sure you don't miss out on your friend winning blue.
  9. Refresh the results page when your live stream buffers. "Are you kidding me?!" This is the closest thing to being there and with out it you're just out of the loop.
  10. Make plans to attend the World Dairy Expo next year. Admit it, you've probably already said it... "I will definitely be there next year."

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Pros and Cons of Show Whites


Every dairy kid, cow or goat, knows the struggle of showing in white jeans. They have their
downfalls for sure but you can also take away some positives from those long time tradition pants.

CONS:

1. White doesn't hide dirt.
White is pretty and all but that walk from the show barn to the show ring always includes a few mysterious stains popping up. Show morning is always hectic so trying to get your heifer ready AND keep clean is always a hard task. (Tip: Invest in some windbreaker pants or bibs to wear over your whites until show time!)

2. Walmart doesn't carry white boot cut jeans.
Finding white jeans is like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.. until you can't find your size. It always happens. So we resort to eBay, Poshmark, painter's pants, and the occasional hand-me-downs. (Tip: Host a jean swap at your local county fair or even state fair to give your old jeans to younger showmen and maybe find some for yourself!)

3. Forgetting white underwear.
Admit it, it's happened to every single one of us at least once. When packing for a show the color of underwear you pack is the last thing on your mind. So you just pray no one notices your hot pink undies. (Tip: ... write it on your forehead? Face it, they'll always be forgotten.)

4. The famous "Louisville green stains".
You know you've shown in Louisville when the bottom of your whites are stained a bright green color. But on the plus side, if you don't come home with hardware at least you come home with a stain to show you were there.. right? (Tip: Sorry... there's no getting out of this either!)

PROS:

1. Matching looks professional.
Whether it's black, blue, pink, green, or white, when everyone matches it just looks better. Also when everyone wears the same color it puts more emphasis on the animals and that's what really matters.

2. Any color matches white.
This mostly pertains to girls but it works for guys too. In today's open show most people wear white pants but the color of their shirt is usually whatever they're feeling. Lucky for us, white goes with anything, even your farm colors! So you never have to worry about matching your shirt to your pants on show day.

3. We stand aside from other livestock species.
If you show beef, hogs, sheep or goats, what you wear in the show ring is pretty much up to you so all those showmen blend together. But when you see someone wearing all white you better look out because it's for sure a dairy kid. Some find it ridiculous and are jealous but try taking pride in being different.

4. TRADITION.
Every time you put on those whites at a county fair, state fair or national show, you may not realize it but you're putting on a long time tradition. White has been in the show ring as long as anyone can remember. You've worked way too hard for way too long just to put on some blue jeans and show off your year round dedication. So be proud of those white pants, even though we're all still going to complain about them, because there's no better feeling that putting on those white jeans on show day!


Friday, July 8, 2016

National Ice Cream Month!


July is National Ice Cream Month!! Here are a few facts that you might not have known about ice cream:
- 90% of America's population enjoys Ice Cream
- One dairy cow can produce enough milk in her life time for 9,000 gallons of ice cream
- One cone of ice cream can be finished in 50 licks (is it actually true? Try it for yourself ;))
- Vanilla is the #1 flavor choice in the US
- 9% of all milk produced in the US is used for ice cream
- "Brain freezes" occur when ice cream touches the roof of your mouth
- California produces the most ice cream in America
- Chocolate syrup is the world's most popular topping
- The ice cream sundae was born in the 1880's
- June is the month in which the most ice cream is produced (also June Dairy Month)

Thursday, July 7, 2016

"What they don't know won't hurt them."

The saying, "What they don't know won't hurt them", has more than likely been used by every single one of us. But have you ever stopped to think about how it isn't true? Especially when it comes to agriculture.

Scrolling through Facebook like I do every day, I see posts of all kinds; family vacations, fun times with friends, show cows, people showing cows and people selling cows. Unfortunately, every now and then I run across a post from PETA. All of my farm friends already know what was in that post; twisted truth and misinterpreted information. But what really got my attention wasn't the misleading video, it was the comments below it. People from all around the world saying things like, "This is why I'm vegan!" or "Those poor mistreated animals!" And I thought to myself, "People really believe those things?" Yes! They do! But why??

This where the phrase comes in. In this situation what they don't know actually does hurt them and the people that care for those "poor animals". Every time PETA publishes an article or video more and more people are convinced that the livestock industry is cruel and evil so they should just go vegan. Then they tell their friends and the fire spreads from there. I believe people are so easily convinced because possibly, they've never been on a farm, they've never seen a cow, they don't personally know a farmer and think that food just appears in the grocery store.

Now I'm not saying there is anything wrong with being a vegan because there's not. It's your choice after all. But there is something wrong with false accusations and turning someone away from a hard working family business. What do we as farmers and agriculturists do?

We answer questions, offer information, politely inform others about your job and why you do what you do. It cannot be just a handful of people trying to make the difference. So, I challenge anyone reading this to make a post, answer a question or even ask a question if you're unfamiliar with farming practices and teach maybe just one person, maybe a hundred people, that what they don't know.. well, ya know. ;)




Sunday, July 3, 2016

Cows can take prom pictures too!

Halfway into summer and here I am writing about prom that happened three months ago.. typical me. But first, let me apologize for slacking here lately. Between basketball, softball, FFA and church activities, I don't get much time to sit down at a computer! Anyway..

For the last couple of years I have been HOOKED on Pinterest but fortunately, I know I'm not the only one. Following some of my friends that show cattle with me I started repinning some of the cutest prom and wedding pictures that featured their show animals. So when I found out that I had time to make a quick, and I mean quick, stop at the barn for prom pictures this year I was ecstatic! My mom took some of the best pictures that I still gawk over two months later so of course I have to share with everyone else.

This one is by far my favorite. All of my favorite things in one picture! Cows, softball, basketball, and my boots.

This is Shiloh, my big sweet girl.

She's really fooling you here.. she could care less about this photo shoot.

Yes, I wore my boots to prom.. no shame.

All of my cow pictures turned out perfect! However, my actual date wasn't too bad either. ;)