Busy Times…

Over the past two weeks, I have failed at blogging.  The days passed in a hurry and my tired voice found little strength to share.  Thus, I put Feed Yard Foodie aside, pausing to put my thoughts together and hopefully find inspiration.

I plan to spend the rest of the summer figuring out the future of Feed Yard Foodie — whether to continue as it has been, modify it going into the future, or retire from social media for a indefinite period of time.  After 4 and a half years, I think that it is time to reassess and figure out a vision for the future.  I am open to all of your thoughts, so please feel free to share your opinions regarding the blog site in the comment section below.

In the meantime, I figured that I would update you all on the happenings of the farm.  About ten days ago, the feed yard had its annual third party audit.  June and July are also filled with maintenance work, and my guys taking turns being on vacation.  When you have a “4 man crew”, it is always a bit hectic when you run short on help.  My blonde cowgirl has stepped up to help fill in the gaps, and I have been glad to have her smiling face around.

Here are a few family tidbits from the last few weeks:

Our family adopted a student from Spain for the summer.  Carlos arrived just over a week ago.  My mom lived with his grandmother’s family in Spain more than 50 years ago, and our families have gone back and forth across the ocean visiting periodically for more than half a century.  My favorite farmer is very excited to have a boy living in the house and we look forward to the next month that he will share with us!

In addition to working on improving his English, Carlos has already learned to water ski and also been introduced to various farm chores🙂

CarlosGirls1.jpg

The end of June brings the harvesting of prairie hay to the Feed Yard Foodie farm.  Some of this hay is baled in large round bales to be fed to our cattle, and some is put up in small (60#) square bales to be fed to both our cattle and horses. The small square bales require some good old fashioned labor to transport them to the barn where they are stored.  I always view this as a great project for the kids to help with — They likely disagree, but I see it as a character building experience.  My favorite farmer still slings small squares like a teenager.  He commented after we finished the project that even though the girls are bigger than me, that I still unload and stack bales faster and better than they do.  I guess that means that I am not finished parenting them yet🙂

Good life lessons are often taught amidst a robust session of manual labor...

Good life lessons are often taught amidst a robust session of manual labor…

balesa4.jpg

June also brings on the main season for the Haymaker Swim Team.  I am proud to report that our team finished the regular season with an undefeated record!  Over the next three weeks, we will head to the Qualifying Meet and ultimately the Championship Meet the third weekend in July.  I have a great group of swimmers this year and we are well positioned for some awesome performances in the latter part of the season.  In addition to coaching, this year I am competing in the 19 and Over age group to celebrate my 40th birthday — I suppose that this is my “mid-life crisis”.  Thankfully, my body still remembers how to compete in the pool🙂

This picture was taken about a month ago -- since then, my favorite 10 year old has passed me by and I am now the shortest two-legged member of the household!

This picture was taken about a month ago — since then, my favorite 10 year old has passed me by and I am now the shortest two-legged member of the household!

I hope that this summer finds you all making great memories.  Happy 4th of July to each and everyone of you!

37 Comments

Filed under Family, General

37 responses to “Busy Times…

  1. Paige

    I do hope you continue your blog. You have such a wonderful voice for the Livestock community. Consumers and producers both still need educating and your blog provides a great realistic approach. It’s also great to show my kids there are other kids out there living the same kind of lifestyle(they sometimes think they are the only ones).

    • Thank you, Paige. My girls also sometimes think that they are the only ones with “long chore” lists🙂 and all of the things that come with being on a farm.

      I appreciate your kinds words and support. I am glad that you think what I share is meaningful.

      Best,
      Anne

  2. Wendell Davis

    Please keep up the good work. We need your voice out there.

    • Thanks for your encouragement, Wendell. I have to find a way to maintain balance so that I can continue to live my life in a positive and meaningful way. I have thought about this for a long while and I just can’t allocate as many hours to the blog and the outreach that comes from it. I am going to have to make some modifications in order for the blog to be sustainable. I think that it is safe to say that Feed Yard Foodie will continue, but there will be fewer posts. I hope to have a new plan and set of goals by the end of the summer.

      I appreciate you being such a loyal reader.

      Best,
      Anne

  3. Ann Smith

    Ann, you fairly address a lot of tough issues. I feel it helps give us perspective and a voice. I hope you keep writing even if less often.

    • Thank you, Ann. I appreciate the support and encouragement. The tough issues are hard to address and it wears on me at times. I am trying to find some balance. The summer is especially tough because I coach the swim team. I have about 10-15 hours of volunteer work with the team each week in addition to my job at the feed yard — it doesn’t leave much time to write. I love coaching the swim team, so the blog just has to take a back seat sometimes.

      Thanks for leaving a note–
      Anne

  4. You need to pace yourself, and setup your editorial calendar to ease the writing burden, especially with the continual ‘What do I write today’ challenge. This tool will also increase your blog’s effectiveness, and your subject material will be much more thought out.

    Writing two times per week is probably to much, too. You were excited 4+ years ago, and I seemed to remember cautioning you on that. Once per week or twice per month is probably a much better pace for your busy Nebraska lifestyle.

    You can also get an app or a recorder to ‘write’ content on your famous long drives. Then, it is only transcription and editing when you get to the desk.

    Whatever you do, don’t kill the blog and take it down. It can still be searched and referenced.

    Bill

    • Thanks for the ideas, Bill. I promise that I won’t “kill it” — I just need to find some balance.

      By the way, I am ready to race you in a 200 freestyle🙂
      Anne

  5. Carol Ingram

    I agree with the previous comments. You probably don’t need to blog as often, but I sure would hate to see you stop altogether. I’ve learned so much from the blog and you always have such a good perspective on things. Of course, I love seeing what you’re doing as a family as well.

    • Thank you, Carol. You and Jim have always been such great supporters! I’ll get it figured out — just need some time to set some new parameters and goals. Stay tuned🙂

      Hope that the summer is going well!
      Anne

  6. Great memories of summer hayfield. Picking up the bales will get easier as the girls get in high school, the football team will volunteer to pick up the bales while your girls drive the flatbed. At least that’s the way it used to work when dad needed help.

    Love your blog, Anne. You speak in a way that reaches people who are not familiar with ag and rural living (and help the rest of us in how to express it). Everyone needs a respite from work to replenish the energy at the heart of one’s work. However you revision, we’ll when be here to see what you have to say. -Suzy

    • I love your input relative to hay bales — gave me a good laugh! Thank you🙂

      Thank you for always being so supportive. I really appreciate you reading and sharing.

      Best,
      Anne

  7. Dawn Craumer

    I was just thinking about you this morning as I was driving to PA to pick up some architectural elements/future art projects; “Where is Anne? I haven’t seen the blog for a while.” I know life gets busy and throws us curveballs, but selfishly, I would miss your blog terribly if you stopped writing altogether. Reading it is like stopping by and having a chat with a friend. It is a pleasant update of what is happening on your farm, with your family, and thought provoking in addressing the issues of farming and raising livestock. I hope you can continue, even in a less frequent capacity.

    • Thank you — Thank you, Dawn. You picked good words to share. I was just thinking the other day “Does anyone miss the fact that I haven’t written in a couple of weeks? I wonder if they notice or miss my ramblings?” I am glad to know that you do and appreciate your kind words.

      Best,
      Anne

      • Carol Ingram

        Just so you know, I missed you as well. In fact, I was on the verge of calling to find out what had happened, especially in light of having also sent a personal e-mail that was never answered. Tehya saw on face book that you had an additional family member for the summer, so we were hoping that you were just even more busy than usual. I was glad to see that was the case when we received this latest post. You give so much, so I’m glad to see that you’re taking care of yourself as well.

  8. SF Ferguson

    Anne, I agree with Bill. Perhaps if you set a goal of once a month you won’t feel so overwhelmed. Then, if you find you have more to say do twice a month but don’t always expect that of yourself. Taking care of yourself will enable your voice to continue and what you have to say is important. I’m sure at times it seems futile but just remember you have no idea the impact you might have on the future. Everything happens slowly and in its own time.
    Love you, girl!
    Your godmother

    • Good thoughts and advice, Sue Fan. I just need to find some balance. As you know, patience was always one of my best traits…:) Ha Ha

      Thank you for everything. I hope that all is well in FL!
      Anne

  9. R Kepler

    Anne, I can tell you I don’t ALWAYS read everything…life is busy here too. BUT please don’t stop doing what you do so well. Limit yourself as suggested above, but don’t stop being a top notch agvocate. I love your style of writing, simplifying and explaining to those who might not be familiar with our way of life. When challenged, you never get combative. You are very calm, fair and educational. I can’t imagine how many people you have benefitted and helped learn. Thanks for all you’ve done, and I hope to read you once a month.🙂

    • Thank you for your kind words. Glad that you think that I have something meaningful to share. Good luck with the chores! Stay tuned…

      Best,
      Anne

  10. lindsaychichester

    Hi Anne – I enjoy your blog, reference it when needed, and provide the link to people who misunderstand how cattle are raised in a feedlot. I agree with the comment above about loosening the demands of blogging, but perhaps you could also open up a couple blogging spots each month to other feedyard owner/operators (aka guest bloggers) to share what they do on their yard? It would still keep the same theme, but would perhaps take some of the work load off of you.

    Lindsay

    • Thank you, Lindsay. Good ideas. Unfortunately, the list of feed yards interested in blogging is pretty short, but that is a good place to look for help. That may lead to some interesting discussions with other feed yard owners🙂

      I always appreciate you reading and sharing so faithfully. Your support really means a lot to me.

      Best,
      Anne

  11. Dustin Favinger

    Anne,

    I encourage you to keep it up. I love reading your blog and seeing you living your passion. I think the best way to help you understand what it means to me is quote the opening line from ‘THE EMAIL’ you sent me this spring:

    “You opened the door with this one, so I am going to walk through it. I am purposely writing it all down so that you can read my words – stew about them – and then read them again. ”

    You are always free to take a break, but you have a gift and to not share that would be a loss to all of us!

    • Glad to hear that you read the EMAIL, Dustin🙂 I actually have thought about the words that I shared with you in that message often over the past few weeks. There’s been plenty of “stewing”.

      I need to find some balance so that I can remain healthy as a person. I am sure that there is a way to do that while also blogging, but I need to redefine the amount of pressure that I put on myself relative to Feed Yard Foodie. You will understand this and I believe that you are just as “driven” a person as I am.

      Love your recent blogs on education and sharing. I look forward to continuing to read.

      Anne

  12. Dennis Hesse

    As a faithful reader I would really miss your blog if you retire it. Your messages are important. They help our increasingly urban society learn the truth about where their food really comes from.

    • Thank you for both your kind words and your support as a reader, Dennis. I know that reading my ramblings takes up time out of your day and I appreciate your loyalty.

      We have a lot of work ahead of us in agriculture trying to fill that gap and answer the questions that our customers have of us. I hope that as a group farmers can come together in a meaningful way to make a difference. Some days it seems that the task is insurmountable.

      Best,
      Anne

  13. This blog is perhaps my favorite. You have a gift for analogies that help folks understand farming and beef production. I agree with all who say please don’t stop, but slowing down to less frequent may meet your time budget and give you more intervals for new inspiration from daily life and current issues. You can also recycle and I would encourage you to do that. You have some terrific pieces here that could definitely enjoy encores!

    • Thank you, Sherry. That means a lot as you are a professional writer! I am so glad that you came by the farm this summer. Recycling is a good thought and an idea that I have never really tried. I guess that I need to look into the logistics of that.

      I’ll get it figured out. I just need some time to figure out a new set of goals and find some balance. I appreciate your loyalty!

      Best,
      Anne

  14. Larry DeShon

    Please continue your blog! I use some of your thoughts on occasion on farming because you have a interesting, positive perspective about our lifestyle!! KEEP UP YOUR GOOD WORK!!

    • Thank you, Larry. I appreciate your kind words. Positive feedback is nice to have. I really appreciate everyone taking the time to read and comment. I know that each of you is just as busy as I am!

      Best,
      Anne

  15. Rex

    Anne,
    I missed your blog and found myself hoping all was well with your family and you were off adventuring.
    The way you have written the blog with links to other blog entrees makes it something that can take a reader deeper to easily gain more perspective. The way media seems to work, you probably need to keep writing to keep your wonderful archive accessible.
    You do a wonderful job.
    Rex

    • Thank you, Rex. I am going to try to continue without putting as much pressure on myself to post as frequently. I agree with your summation of social media. I have so many hours in wrapped up in the blog that is would be hard to simply walk away; but, I need to find some balance in order to continue.

      Best,
      Anne

  16. I would miss your blog, so many of them are full of new info, watching the girls grow, hearing abut that great guy you married and just plain fun to read. Maybe you could try one a week or eery other week. One of your girls might like to take it over with info you give her or things she sees at the feed lot.

    • I had that thought too, Ellie! I have talked to the girls about writing more so we’ll see if I can encourage them to pick up a little bit of the work load🙂 The posts that I write about my family are by far the easiest and most enjoyable ones for me to write. As I try to figure out how to continue I would assume that you all will see more of those family/farm posts and fewer of the ones that require so much research for me to write. I am glad that you enjoy them. I think that my family is awesome and it’s always fun to hear that someone else agrees!

      I appreciate all of your support over the years.
      Best,
      Anne

  17. Anne,
    I have always enjoyed your page especially the personal information it has been very useful. I trust you will find time, even on a limited basis. You are a tremendous asset to the agriculture business. Thanks for all those useful post.

    • Thank you, Michael. I appreciate your kind words and you taking the time to read. Positive feedback is always a good boost of confidence!

      Best,
      Anne

  18. I look very forward to reading your blog each time I get an email notification that you have published a new one. You bring a unique perspective to the beef conversation because you were raised in an urban environment and then adopted the rural, ag production lifestyle after college. Your message and voice needs to be heard not only in the ag community, but even more so in the urban community; one that has become increasingly detached from the knowledge of where their food comes from and what goes into producing it. Those urban-ites are much more apt to listen to someone who has lived on both sides of the fence.

    Thank you for the work you have done the last few years. I find your content very valuable and I hope you can continue to find a way to produce it and disseminate it to the eyes and ears of those who most need to hear it.

    • Thank you, Doak for all of your kind words. One of my greatest frustrations with blogging has been my inability to effectively reach the audience that you mention on a large enough scale to really make a difference. Grass roots growth is slow, and since my blog is a volunteer effort I do not pay to advertise it. I hope that I have reached enough people to start to make a difference. Sometimes it seems that the hill is a very long and steep one and I wonder if I make any progress on the journey.

      I appreciate you reading my posts. It is easier to write if I know that someone is reading!

      Best,
      Anne

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