Monday, February 28, 2011

My life….ROCKS!

My final semester of undergraduate work at KSU has been somewhat “untraditional” but I am loving every minute of it! At the beginning of the semester, I was working on completing a research project on using different methods for analyzing bull semen quality. The second half of the semester, I will be at Heartland Cattle Co. working as an intern! In the meantime, I have been at home being Dad’s little helper. Basically I feed the cows, haul water, and work on other odds and ends around the ranch.  As a result, you will be seeing lots of pictures and hopefully videos (that’s my goal!) of cows over the next couple of weeks!

To give you a little taste of my day, here are some pics!


My morning started out by “caking” the cows. To our family, the term “caking” means feeding the cows. The cows are fed large pellets that are full of different grains, protein, and some molasses…the slang name for the feed is cake! The cows love it as much as I love cake (the real kind of cake with lots of frosting!)…they run across the field when they see the cake truck coming!


This picture is actually from two days ago. After I feed the cows I go over to the bulls to make sure the ice is broke on their water tank. We don’t have to haul cake to the bulls because they are grazing on a wheat field and have bales of hay that we bring for them to eat when it snows. The black hose in the bottom right hand side of the pictures is the hose that is used to put water in their tank from the water trailer.  Since there are no water wells at most of the locations we have our cows, we haul water to them using a 1,000 gallon trailer. I will try to get a better picture of hauling water sometime this week!


This afternoon, I hauled water to the bulls and cows. It’s important that we keep the tanks full so that the calves are able to reach the water to get a drink. Again, I will get more pictures of this soon!

IMAG0084Here are the cows eating sunflower flakes from the feed bunk! These are the cows that recently calved and they will be kept at the house for a few more days before transferring them over to the stalks with the other pairs (cows and calves). Sunflower chips are crushed sunflower seeds and the shells. They crush the seeds to extract the oil to use in making diesel.  The sunflower flakes are high in protein and fat. The cows also really like these! I guess you could say they are kind of like potato chips for cows…

That was my day! May not sound exciting to everyone but I love every minute of it! 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The REAL story is YOUR story - learn how to start sharing!

Before I started my blog, the whole idea of sharing my story seemed extremely overwhelming. I didn’t know where to start and with all the social media options, I wasn’t sure which was the best for me. While attending my first KLA (Kansas Livestock Association) Conference in December of 2009, I heard a lot of talk about beef advocacy, which was also overwhelming to me, and those conversations lead to the Master’s of Beef Advocacy program. I signed up for the program online and began watching short tutorial videos about modern beef production, the environment, animal care, beef nutrition, beef safety, and the Beef Checkoff. At the conclusion of each video, there are short assignments designed to help you “get your feet wet” such as writing a letter to the editor about a certain topic. Each session (there are 6 total) takes about 30-45 minutes to complete.

This program is free and you can work at your own pace. After you “graduate” it would be well worth your time to look for a MBA Commencement in your area. At the MBA Commencement you will have the opportunity to listen to several speakers from the industry, have “mock” conversations with consumers about the beef industry, learn how to respond to web comments (from articles, blogs, etc.), and write a letter to the editor to be published in your local newspaper! This program is also a great way to network with other producers from around the area.

As you can tell, I HIGHLY recommend this program and would encourage all producers, young and old, to participate! If you are interested you can go to or call the Kansas Beef Council at (785) 273-5225. They would be more than willing to help you enroll in the program and answer any questions you might have. As always, comments are welcome and I will try to help in any way that I can!


Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Tough Guys…

Today Dad and I went out to take pictures of the bulls; a.k.a. the male cattle that are intact, meaning they have the ability to mate with a cow and produce offspring.  It always makes me laugh when we go check the bulls because they all think they are “boss”, and have that tough, studly look about them.

IMG_2673 See what I mean???IMG_2690

Sometimes they fight, butting heads to determine who will be the “head honcho”…typical males!

IMG_2737 Right now the bulls are on wheat pasture. They will stay there until March 15.  It’s important that they are off at that particular time to ensure that none of the wheat is damaged and it can be harvested for feed.


Some of the bulls hanging out and enjoying the warm sunshine!


This Spring, my family will sell these bulls to other cattleman in the area to use in their herds. But before the bulls can be sold, they will all have to pass a Breeding Soundness Exam. In order to pass this physical exam, they must be healthy and their semen must be of high quality and pass certain parameters. Once this exam is passed, they can be sold and the buyer can feel confident that the bull will be able to generate offspring in his herd.  Purchasing the right bulls and making sure they are healthy is one of the steps that cattleman take to be sure that consumers receive a wholesome, safe, and nutritious product at the grocery store! 

Do you have questions about bulls, cattle, or agriculture in general?? Feel free to post a comment!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Have you thanked a farmer???

Today I had the opportunity to mingle with some great folks that feed our cows and the world…grain producers! Every year, these producers get together to learn about how they can insure their crops and also to visit and eat a great meal! On the menu today was chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes & gravy, green beans, rolls, and cobbler!
I have a great appreciation for these producers because without them, we wouldn’t be able to feed our cows and we also wouldn’t have food on our table! Without them, there would be no bread, corn, beans, steak, and the list goes on! Not only do they feed cows and us, but also chickens, pigs, sheep, goats, horses…. Are you starting to get the picture that without these hard working farmers our food supply as we know it would not exist?!?
So, this is my challenge to you: Thank at least one farmer this week for the food you eat!
IMG_2503  IMG_2505 IMG_2517 IMG_2523 IMG_2528
Signature Graphics

Monday, February 14, 2011

Home Sweet Home…

This is one of my favorite times of the year for a few reasons: calving season is wrapping up, the baby calves are growing and the weather is finally starting to warm up! I had the privilege of coming home this week and I am really looking forward to getting out and seeing all the calves!  I had a few minutes to make my way out to the maternity pens tonight and got some great pics! (Okay, I may be a little biased…) 


Bath time!!


Lovin’ on her baby…  


Look at that tongue! Now that’s a bath… 


This picture made my laugh…I guess the mama has to groom herself too! In case you haven’t figured it out by now, cows have very long tongues!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

My visit to Meemaw and Grandpa’s…

It always amazes me how much we, as humans, plan and plan.  We plan even though sometimes those plans are interrupted.  I think the reality is some of us, me included, have trouble letting go of being in control of our lives. This past week I had plans of attacking my to do list and none of that happened. I received a phone call Tuesday morning that my Grandpa was having a pace maker put in his chest. He hadn’t felt very good for awhile and they finally figured out what the problem was and how to fix it. As a result, I have had the opportunity to spend the majority of my week with my grandparents visiting, playing games, and recalling memories from over the years. My Grandpa is now “A new man” and I am so thankful for that!

Today my Dad and I visited them, and of course, I had to bring my camera!

IMG_1555-1 Grandpa in his woodshop….his favorite place to hang out!



Reflections on the pond…


Gorgeous sunsets…



Thursday, February 10, 2011

ATTN: Camera Lovers & Addicts…

Okay, I think I found the absolute coolest camera accessory!! It is camera straps designed and created by *Shey*[B]. I am in love with this straps…I am going to have to add this to my birthday list! The trouble is picking your favorite…I like them all! Image of Black & White Damask w/ Flowers

Camera slip covers…

Image of Black & White Damask w/ Flowers

Image of Wild Thang!

Image of The Couture!

Image of Ruffle Your Fancy {WITH MINKY}

Image of Ruffled Black And White Damask

Full camera strap…

Image of Wrist Strap {Pick Your Fabric}

The wristlet…

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday...

Hey everyone! I am trying something new - Wordless Wednesday. We will see how this goes! Let me know what you think...I am always open to comments!
All these pictures were taken during the snow storm was very cold, windy, and snowy! We got a total of 12". The entire day was spent breaking ice, feeding, rolling hay out for the cows and calves to lay on, and checking the heifers that are due to calve!
The cows and calves standing behind the wind break.

Breaking ice...the cows are thirsty!

Lots of snow and drifts!
Maybe this wasn't so wordless after all....I may have to give Short Saturdays a try!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Hooters beefs it up with “Burger Monday’s”

Many of you have probably heard of the “Meatless Monday’s” being implemented in a variety of settings from school lunchrooms to restaurants across the United States. As a cattle producer, Ag. girl and beef lover, the thought of having a meatless day of the week is like “Greek to me”!  I have been raised on beef from the time I old enough to eat solid foods. As I have grown older and learned about the nutritional benefits that beef has to offer, I appreciate it even more.  I know when I have a family of my own someday, beef will be a part of our everyday diets!

When I read the about Hooter’s (the link is at the bottom of the post), I became an instant fan! What a great idea?!? On these “Burger Monday’s” the restaurant offers a wide variety of burgers with fries for starting at a low price of $5.99. Of the burgers offered, I would definitely choose the Western Burger, topped with bacon, cheddar cheese, BBQ sauce and crispy onion tanglers!  

Does your family have any beef or meat traditions? I can remember being a little girl and my Mom asking what I wanted for my birthday dinner. Every year I would have the same response, T-Bone steak! Yum! I would love to hear your stories about beef!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Here lately… (an update of the happenings on the ranch)

Mom and Dad have been experiencing typical Kansas weather back home – it snows one day and is 60 degrees two days later.  When we had our big winter storm come through a week ago, Dad called and told me they had brown snow there. If you are from SW Kansas, you know the wind blows all the time. A day with 20 mph winds is a “nice” day back home. They had gotten a little bit of snow with a whole lot of wind and from all the dirt blowing around, they had brown snow. With all the dirt and snow, there was also below zero temps and the wind chill was nearly unbearable. When the weather is below freezing Dad has to break ice at least twice a day; but when it’s really cold several times a day. When the cold winter storms pass, Dad will spend time cleaning the ice out of the tanks.

DSC01725 The huge pile of ice after cleaning out the water tank. Some of those chunks are 6” thick!

When Dad is out doing chores his cow dog, Sport, always gets to go along. Sport is a 6 month old Border Collie and absolutely loves the cows and calves. When Dad isn’t watching him, he tries to sneak into the pens where the baby calves are. He isn’t harming them, he just wants to play! The calves aren’t scared and are used to him now, they will lick each others noses and play. Hopefully someday Sport will grow out of the puppy stage and be a cow herder…until then, he tries to do his best.

DSC01718 The cows aren’t convinced that he is in charge yet. Sport tries hard to be in control…

For the most part, we are done with calving on the ranch! We have a few heifers that should have their calf any day now.  Dad is hoping that with the little snow storm that is headed in tomorrow, they will go ahead and have their babies! If not, they will spend the night in the calving barn so if any babies are born they can keep warm in the hay piles. 

DSC01737 Here is one of the newest additions to the herd…a little heifer calf!

Hope everyone had a great Monday! Stay warm if winter weather is headed your way… Look for more blog posts later this week!


heifer (ˈhɛfə) — n     "a female that has not yet calved," as opposed to a cow, which has calved, and a calf, which is an animal of either sex not more than a year old.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Rocky Mountain Round-up...

As most of you know, the KSU CCW girls finally made it to Denver Wednesday evening despite all the winter weather and flight cancellations! I have never been so glad to see Denver...when we got off our plane and headed to baggage pick-up,I had to take a picture of this sign!

Since we arrived, we have had a great time! Yesterday morning we had the chance to listen to speaker Carl Rove in the opening session. Carl worked with President George W. Bush and shared with us his viewpoints on the state of the economy, the health care bill, and what he thought it meant to be an American. He also told some great stories of his experiences and by the end of his speech had us all standing in appreciation.

Yesterday afternoon I attended a Tweet-up session at the Certified Angus Beef/Angus Productions Inc./American Angus Association booth. At the Tweet-up,I had the opportunity to meet Miss Crystal Young from Crystal Cattle. Crystal and I follow each other's blogs but had never had the opportunity to meet in person. I was also able to meet many other "Tweeters" and will begin following them on Twitter and their blogs! Twitter is a simple and fast tool to spread the news about BEEF to consumers and share ideas with fellow producers. You can follow me on Twitter @TiltheCowsCome or Lyndi Jury. Also, check out Crystal's blog at She does a fabulous job!

Last night we had a blast at the NCBA Tailgate Party at Invesco Field - home of the Denver Broncos! The event was complete with a live band, half-time show, tasty appetizers, and drinks! Our girls even got out on the dance floor a few times along with many other cattlemen and women. It was a great opportunity for everyone to network and visit with new and old friends in a fun environment!
This morning we attended the CattleFax meeting. At this event we were all updated on weather reports and predictions, the markets, beef exports, cow numbers, etc. I learned what La Nina means this morning,which explains why we have had such a cold winter! This meeting was a great opportunity for us to learn about all the different aspects of the cattle industry.

Tonight we will go out for a group steak dinner with our CCW girls. I think we are all very excited to have a big, juicy steak after all the "cow talk" this week! So, if any of my followers are from the Denver area and know of any great steak places downtown, reply to my post and maybe we can check it out!

Hope everyone is staying warm back home and for those of you at NCBA, safe travels!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Lean BEEF is a healthy solution for any diet…

I am sure many of my readers tuned into the Oprah show this afternoon where the vegan diet was discussed in extent.  Also featured on the show was Cargill Meat Solutions who gave Oprah full access into their meat processing plant! I unfortunately missed this part of the show due to weather interruptions but understand that they deserve a BIG pat on the back!  If you would like a deeper overview of what happened on the Oprah show you can visit the Food for Thought Blog.  It is an excellent source for topics in Agriculture…

Everyone has the right to choose their own diets and should able to eat whatever they please. I do think that people should be provided with facts from credible sources while making those decisions.  The USDA just came out with new dietary guidelines.  They pointed out that American’s should be trimming their waistlines in order to reduce the risk of diet-related chronic disease. They recommended consumers do this by cutting back on fats, salts, added sugars and refined grains and eat more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, lean meats, poultry and seafood.

Did you know that Lean Beef is one of the most flavorful and efficient ways to meet the daily value for essential nutrients such as zinc, iron, protein and B-vitamins? A 3 oz. serving provides all those nutrients for an average 154 calories! Because it offers so many nutrients per calorie its easier on the waistline than empty-calorie foods. There are 29 cuts of beef that meet the government guidelines for “lean” such as Tenderloin, T-Bone steak, Sirloin, Flank Steak, and 95% Lean Ground Beef. So, next time you head to the grocery store in search of a healthy meal to prepare for yourself or your family consider the nutritional benefits of Lean Beef. 

If any of you are from the Manhattan area you should check out the new Certified Angus Beef meat counter at the West Ray’s Apple Market.  The personnel at the meat counter are very knowledgeable and would be more than happy to assist you in your beef selection or answer any questions you might have!

If you like to hunt for information on your own, check out my favorite websites on the right column of this blog. Their is a Beef, It’s What’s for Dinner link that is a great source!

lean beef