Saturday, November 26, 2011

Heifer International Project

During the Christmas season it is tradition for some families to give a gift a gift to someone in need whether it be through Angel Tree, Operation Christmas Child, or an organization like Heifer International. When I was younger, I remember mom loading up my brother and I and we would take a trip to the store to fill a shoe box for a little boy or girl in a different country. It was really neat knowing that my shoe box I filled would make a difference. For the recipient of the box, it may be their only Christmas present. We would also enclose a hand written note for the child.  I am sure many of you have similar stories and memories.
Heifer International is a project I stumbled upon a few years ago and I think it's really cool! When you give a monetary gift though heifer international you have the opportunity to supply a family with livestock so they are able to have food. Through this project, countries that were once in poverty are now able to grow their own vegetables, raise their own meat and milk, gather eggs... How cool is that? 

All you do is go to and view the gift catalog. You can purchase a heifer for $500 (share $50), a flock of geese ($20), honeybees ($30), and the list goes on! I particularly love this project because it's a way for the whole family to get involved. With gifts as low as $10, kids can collect coins over the course of a couple weeks, months, or the entire year; or even do chores for money that goes towards this project (hint, hint moms). I would have thought this was really neat when I was a kid because I would have known how much I enjoyed the luxury of having livestock and would have wanted to share it with others. My mom taught us to count by gathering the eggs, it went like this - "Okay Lyndi, we gathered 6 eggs but Beau (brother) dropped 2 eggs on the way to the house. Now how many eggs do we have?" I am being serious. We had a blast! 

If your family decides to give to this project or has in the past, I would love to hear your stories! 

Pictures of a mug that mom found for me. 
She bought it at a West Elm store in California.
The proceeds from the mug to towards Heifer International. 
Pretty cool! :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A day to be thankful...

Good morning everyone and Happy Thanksgiving! Today is a day for all of us to remember the things we are thankful for. I am in NE Kansas spending Thanksgiving with my grandparents an family. Here are some if the things I am thankful for:

- The free country we live in and the men and women who fight for our freedom everyday.
- My family and how they are always there for me and supportive, even when I am 15 hours away.
- My friends who help me get by day to day and those who I know would do anything for me even though I don't see them everyday.
- The boy and how he puts up with me
and even my "junk". He may never understand my love for the simple things in life like cheap antique mason jars. I guess that's okay!
- I am thankful for the farmers and ranchers that work 24/7 all year long to put food on America's table.

My family will be having turkey and ham along with lots of other yummy food for dinner today. We will spend the day playing games, watching football, and enjoying the time we have together! There is this new game called is too much fun! If you haven't heard of it I would highly suggest running to walmart and picking it up. Tons of fun and everyone can play!

What things are you thankful for today? What traditions do you and your family have? Will you eat beef, poultry, or pork for your Thanksgiving meal? I would love to hear from each of you so please comment!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

An update on my crazy, wonderful life!

Things have been crazy and time has been flying by! In 6 days I will be going home to Kansas for thanksgiving and I am very excited. I have been busy with classes (my least favorite part of grad school), helping Katie with her heifer projects (the fun part), and having a little fun. This afternoon I had the privilege of taking some engagement pictures for a fellow grad student and his fiancee. I am excited with how they turned out.

This week I will be helping Katie heat detect and collect blood samples for her project, work on developing a plan of attack for my project, and then I will be an exam, paper, and a presentation away from Kansas!

My brother has been traveling to Louisville, KY for the NAILE collegiate livestock judging contest. His team left Kansas last Thursday and they are slowly making their way southeast stopping at different ranches and farms along the way! I am VERY JEALOUS! I am sure I will get to hear all about his trip over Thanksgiving. 

Have a great week!

Monday, November 7, 2011

A train powered by cows??

I receive e-mails from the American Society of Animal Science and this story was under their animal headlines- I thought it was pretty cool, especially since it had to do with beef!

For the past year passengers riding on the Amtrak Heartland Flyer from Oklahoma to Texas have been fueled by a mix of beef tallow (fat) and diesel fuel. Beef tallow is also used in making soaps. During the year of testing officials discovered that the fuel blend met industry standards, engine wear was less than usually expected and emissions were below federal limits.

You can read the full article here

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What do lambs and babies have in common?

What do baby lambs 

have to do with

human babies??

It turns out, a whole lot! Researchers are studying Fetal Asphyxia, which is a lack of oxygen during birth that can cause suffocation and lead to severe brain damage and still birth. They are using sheep (ewes (the mamas) and lambs (the babies)) as a model to learn more about Fetal Asphyxia in human babies. The reason they are using sheep is human and sheep placentas are very similar.
Oxygen availability depends on oxygen transfer from the mothers blood supply through the placenta and umbilical cord. Researchers studied fetal bodyweight, birth order and duration of birth and concluded that the longer the birth, the greater the risk for asphyxia. They have discovered that the data in sheep is similar to that of human twins. This is why many times in human multiple births the babies are delivered by c-section and also why all babies are monitored for heart rate during birth. 
Now since they have linked multiple births and birth duration to asphyxia they want to study the factors that cause suffocation in ewes and lambs. This information would be beneficial to sheep producers as well as human medical doctors. 

I thought this article was a neat example to show the link between animal science research and it's impact on humans!