When I made the difficult decision to close down my feed yard, I knew that I did not want to completely leave the beef industry. A couple of things have allowed me to continue to find my way, and it brings me a lot of pride to be able to blend them together to tell a true story of beef production.
Cal, Tim and Jeff Miller live near Maxwell, Nebraska and we have worked together to grow cattle and make beef for about a decade. I was able to continue purchasing some of their animals to graze my grass pastures this spring and summer thus remaining an “active beef farmer”. This not only fuels my love for cattle, but it also provides great family times as my girls and I work together to take care of the animals.
My job at the Beef Marketing Group opened the door to creating a new partnership this year with Roberts Cattle Company in Lexington, Nebraska. The Roberts Crew does a great job as cattle caregivers, and I know that they share my commitment to high quality animal welfare. Recently, the Lazy YN yearling steers moved off of my grass pastures and into the feed yard.
The following two videos tell the story of the cattle and their caretakers.
- It is a story of integrity and dedication.
- It is an example of the real beef story.
I have shared both of these videos already on Facebook and Twitter, but I know that some of you rely only on this WordPress site for a connection to our farm. For that reason, I am sharing the videos here as well. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for sticking with me during my life transition. I am learning new things and trying to build meaningful skills; and I very much appreciate all of the support and feedback that I received as I started this new adventure.
Thank you 🙂
The Feed Yard Foodie family is one short this week as my favorite brunette is competing in an Extemporaneous Speaking competition at the National Forensics League finals in Alabama; but my favorite farmer and I headed down to the pasture with our blondes yesterday morning to do a few chores.
My favorite 12 year old did an awesome job taking video and pictures that I was able to use to make the below video 🙂
Happy Father’s Day!
I remember twenty years ago when a mentor told me, “Anne — your animals don’t care how much you know until they understand how much you care.” While cattle are unable to think like humans, they do have the capacity to learn and I believe that they also have an innate sense which helps them to figure out when a caregiver can be trusted.
The capacity to care is what sets an excellent caregiver apart from everyone else. This person not only provides feed, water and basic daily care to his/her animals; but also brings a sense of security to the animal. While survival provides the innate goal for the animal, the ability to thrive is what creates a higher quality of life that results in an increased ability to convert resources into food.
The secret to thriving finds its root in a caregiver’s capacity to care.
We moved the Lazy YN yearling steers off of grass this week. Having gained 135# and weighing in at 785#, the cattle were ready to move into the feed yard for the final phase of the growth cycle. As we gathered them and then waited in the corral for the trucks to arrive to load, I watched my favorite blonde cowgirl interact with the cattle and I just had to smile. Not only does she get it, calf #963 gets it too. How else can you explain this video demonstrating the bovine boogie?
While I am certainly not proclaiming that everyone needs to teach their cattle to dance, I do think that Megan does a nice job demonstrating that bovine curiosity and the capacity to learn finds its root in the ability of the leader to create trust through a high level of understanding and care.
The main video for Feed Yard Foodie this week appears on the Innovative Livestock Services, Inc. facebook page and twitter feed; so you all will have to head on over there to check it out as it gives a comprehensive look at the Lazy YN cattle — where they came from, how we cared for them on our farm, and where they head to next 🙂
In the meantime, take a few minutes this week to think about how you can increase your capacity to care. Whether it is in your relationships with animals or with humans, the more you care — the better the quality of life.
We took our second set of cattle to pasture last week before heading to the Nebraska State Track Championships. We’ve received plentiful rain this spring so the grass is lush and ready for cattle! I took the opportunity to create a new video and continue to develop my skills.
With school out and two different sets of cattle down at the grass pasture, my favorite blonde cowgirl has plenty of ranch chores. She is currently doing some fence work in addition to checking cattle. Between work, swim team, basketball practice and pole vault camp she should stay plenty busy during the month of June 🙂
I am looking for ideas to continue to building my video making skills, so if you have topics that you would like to see covered please leave them in the comment section. Thank you!
Sometimes Plan A doesn’t work, so smart people have a Plan B.
Saturday morning we headed down to our pasture to move the Lazy YN steers to new grass. I decided that this was a perfect opportunity for video #3.
I *think* I’m getting better — Please let me know your thoughts!
Many thanks to everyone who offered feedback on my first attempt at producing a short video. Below find Take Two which hopefully you all will find to be an improvement over Take One 🙂 I have used some of the same picture footage from Video 1, trying to add some needed length to it as well as putting it together in a more professional way. The script is all new.
Video 3 (to come up next week) will have all new picture footage as well as a unique script. Recently, I promised myself that I would create a video a week this spring because we all know that the road to excellence isn’t comfortable and the only way that I will get better is to practice.
I am archiving all of these videos under the “Video fun on the farm” category as I am sure that it will be entertaining someday to go back and watch them all with my girls! At this time, the most comfortable part of the process for me is writing the script — the remainder of the creative journey is a stretch. However, it is needed growth so I am pursuing it with dedication 🙂
The month of May always makes me think of being a mom. With Mother’s Day just about 10 days away and my greatest joy being my girls, I went with that theme for the script. Please let me know what you think!
Even in the land of crazy weather it is not often that we celebrate the 1st of May with a power outage due to a winter storm. My favorite blonde cowgirl and I checked cattle Saturday late morning amidst a few snow flurries, still a bit in disbelief of the weather man’s report of a winter storm for Sunday.
Regardless of my desires to see sunshine and warmth, Sunday afternoon brought 8 inches of wet snow, a mean north wind, and fairly widespread power outages in rural Dawson County.
We lost power at our house. We lost power at Will Feed. We lost power at our pasture ground.
It’s amazing how different things can look in a short period of time.
After being out of power for 24 hours, things have returned to a more normal state.
We are hoping for sunshine and warmer temperatures this week as our second set of cattle from the Lazy YN Ranch are scheduled to come in today.
*Stay tuned for Video #2 which will be up on Thursday 🙂
Last weekend, I decided that I needed to learn how to use iMovie to create short videos to share. Fortunately for this old dog, I have technologically savvy teenagers to teach me new tricks.
My favorite pole vaulting blonde cowgirl and I loaded up the horses Sunday morning to go to check our grass pasture cattle. While there, we used our iPhone 6’s to shoot short videos and take a few still pictures. Megan then packed her patience and taught me how to edit, string video together, and incorporate some still pictures to add variety. Finally, I drafted a script to record and add to the visuals.
Below find my official 1st video shot via horseback and edited via cowgirl tech savvy 😉 I kept it short — 37 seconds — as starting short seemed to be the intelligent thing to do. I would ask that you all please offer feedback for me in the comment section. The video is a bit bouncy (due to being shot on horseback), and the editing is a bit raw (due to my lack of expertise). But, the good news is that I am sure that I have lots of room for improvement — so please help me to sharpen my skills!
Thank you for taking the time to watch, offer feedback, and share if the quality warrants it!