Tag Archives: Fly Over State

Proving That We Care…

Just a couple of weeks ago, a social media friend forwarded me an email that she had received from a reader.  The email was a cry for help from a fellow mom.  It seems that her daughter, after repeatedly watching horrific videos of animal abuse on the internet, had refused to eat any animal products.

I do not have that added challenge with my daughters because they help to raise the beef that we eat.

I do not have that added parenting challenge with my daughters because they help to raise the beef that we eat.

Concerned about both her daughter’s nutritional needs and the abusive videos, the mom was reaching out to online farmer bloggers in an attempt to find out the truth.  When I sent a link to several videos of my farm to the mom, she responded “Why can’t I find these when I search on YouTube?  These are the types of videos that we need to see!”

The short answer to that question is that search results on YouTube are ranked according to number of views.  This means that the more views a video has, the more likely that it will show up when you search a topic.  I have uploaded four “home-made” videos to YouTube over the last year—they have a total of only 1500 views.

This one is my favorite–it is my 10 year old cowgirl/chef exercising cattle at the feed yard to the tune of her favorite song “Fly Over States”.

  • I love this video because I am proud of my daughter and what a great cattle caregiver she is becoming.
  • I love this video because it shows the simplicity of good cattle handling.
  • I love this video because of the calf with the white spot on his head that kept asking Megan “do I have to” when she asked him to move.  Megan frequently looks at me asking the same question…

    Where did the trust go?

    Where did the trust go?

Twenty years ago, trust existed throughout the food production system.  Farmers were viewed positively, and those outside of the farm believed that farmers had integrity.  Today, that trust is gone.  I believe that this loss of trust is one of the biggest travesties currently affecting our great country.  Quite simply, it hurts my heart to know that many people do not trust that I care.

ProgressiveBeefLogoGreen

My brain recognizes that it is my duty to not only care, but also to document that care in an attempt to rebuild that trust.  The daily care that I offer to my animals is now accompanied by record keeping and documentation that will verify that I not only care, but that I am competent in that care.

My other job---paper work!

My other job—paper work!

Animal Care is the second pillar of the Progressive Beef program.  It is one that I believe in with every fiber of my being.  Outstanding animal care is a trademark of my feed yard.  Progressive Beef has provided me with both a documentation trail, and also a third party independent audit to bring additional integrity to my promise of high quality animal care.

Rest assured that you can feel good about feeding my beef to your family—it came from healthy and humanely raised animals.  You don’t have to just take my word for it!

I feel the capacity to care is the thing which gives life its deepest significance.

Pablo Casals

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Filed under Animal Welfare, CAFO, General, Progressive Beef QSA Program

Megan’s Dirt and Fun Before the Sun…

After almost three months of summer vacation, my three girls went back to school yesterday.  While we are all looking forward to having more of a routine to our days, I have to admit that I will miss not having them around as much.  My two favorite blondes spent quite a bit of time with me this summer at the feed yard and it will be a bit quiet with them back at school!

Enjoying a beautiful dawn at the feed yard…

One of my “summer” goals was to engage my girls and encourage them to continue learning through the summer months.  Below is a video of my favorite 10 year old emptying a pen of cattle at the feed yard at the beginning of an exercising session.  In addition to starring in the video, Megan also edited the video to include music for your entertainment.  Many of you will remember that Jason Aldean’s hit “Fly Over States” is one of my favorite songs—well, Megan likes it too!  I think that the combination of the song and her video shows clearly what happens in a “Fly Over State”.  Happy watching 🙂

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Filed under Cattle Handling Videos starring Feed Yard Foodie!, General

Life in a “Fly Over” State…

I was born and raised in a “destination” state…

I live and will grow old in a “fly over” state…

For those of you that are Country Western music fans, Jason Aldean has a new song out.  It is entitled “Fly Over States”.  My girls and I heard it on the radio last weekend, and I loved it.  It talks about the Great Plains region of the United States—at first from the perspective of someone flying over at 30,000 feet from New York to LA, and then later from someone who actually lives in a fly over state.

From the city to the farm…

My middle daughter indignantly pointed out that Nebraska did not make the song (apparently, even as fly over states go, Nebraska does not rank high enough in popularity to be mentioned).  My oldest daughter (a dedicated college football fan) just plain sputtered as the song ended having talked about Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas (home to our biggest rivals during the years of the Big Twelve) but no mention was made of Nebraska.  As my oldest continued to dramatically expound on the unfairness of being forgotten, her littlest sister, stated “Its ok, Ashley, WE know how important we are!”

The perspective of a “farm kid”…Tractors and barn cats!

I simply stood there, laughed, and marveled at the pride that my children have in their home state.  They, quite honestly, cannot fathom that anyone would think that their beloved state was simply:

Just a bunch of square cornfields and wheat farms,
Man it all looks the same,
Miles and miles of back roads and highways,
Connecting little towns with funny names,
Who’d want to live down there in the middle of nowhere…

To them the middle of nowhere is home—and the town of Cozad most certainly does not have a funny name!

Home to about 4000 people, and proudly marked on a local grain elevator…

The gravel roads that we drive on…

Our house is down this road and behind the trees…

The fields tended by their daddy and his crew…

The rural version of a “Jaguar”…

The cattle that they learned to care for long before they had ever ridden in an elevator…

A view that greets us every morning…

The small town where they go to school…

Learning life lessons on teamwork and community pride from teacher and coach mentors…

The sunrises and sunsets that will literally take your breath away…

God’s paintbrush…

The view out their bedroom windows of sky and fields, and the vast expansiveness of the Platte River Valley…

Our valley, aglow with life under the summer sun…

Home is a place where cattle out number people 4 to 1, and 93% of the state’s land (45.6 million acres) is utilized by farms and ranches.  Home is a place where natural resources and Mother Nature determine the realities of life.  Home is a place where heart and soul and pride are all rolled up into one expression:

The Cornhuskers

We all define “home” in different ways, just as we all search for something unique as we journey through life.

I remember telling friends at Dartmouth that Matt and I were moving “home” to Nebraska after graduation.  Amidst a sea of surprised faces came the comment, “Nebraska, that’s right next to Kentucky isn’t it?”.  My favorite wedding gift was a map of the United States where my friends marked the routes “out of Nebraska” and back to their homes on either coast…

I am captivated by ranch windmills…They are so simple, yet so beautiful and functional…

My life is no longer full of traffic and beaches and shopping malls and movie theaters.  I traded those for tractors, cattle, corn, alfalfa, horses and prairies. Although Nebraska has never been termed a destination state, it is my final destination.

**Your homework this weekend is to look at the map of the United States and find Nebraska!  It should be easy to note that it is NOT right next to Kentucky..

 

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Filed under Family, Foodie Fun!, General