Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Pep Talk from Kid President!

I just saw this video yesterday and I absolutely LOVE IT! It has nothing to do with Ag but this kid has a good point, what will you create to make the world awesome?!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Some days on the farm are just rough.. 
especially when you slip on the ice.. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


We all know that Nebraska had one of the driest years it’s seen in a while, even comparable to the 1930’s. But I bet you didn’t know that Nebraska farmers still harvested 1.29 billion bushels of corn this summer. Or that Nebraska’s feedlots contained 5% more cattle than as the same time last year even though the drought affected their feed supplies? As a farmer or rancher you come to understand that Mother Nature is one crafty lady! She has no end of tricks up her sleeves to try and throw us off our game. Luckily we have one tool to trump that, experience. Our farmers and ranchers have been doing their job for decades, even centuries. Learning from their fathers, mothers, uncles, grandparents, or even friends. Teaching it to future generations.  

Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted. And experience is often the most valuable thing you have to offer.” ― Randy Pausch 

When people try to discredit our farmers and ranchers it makes me wonder if they even realize what they’re saying? How many professionals have studied their profession before kindergarten even started? Or would go home on nights and weekends during high school and/ or college to get some hands on experience in that field? Or have their families available to help answer questions and give insight? Where fathers and mothers want their kids with them while they’re doing their job, even if it is just riding along? Yeah, I can’t think of many.

It always just amazes me watching my parents, how they know the best ways to make a fence or which acres of land will be planted with which seed. They know when a storm is coming in or the best way to take care of their animals so their healthy, happy and productive. How they seem to always know when a cow is about to calve or how they seem to always know what's wrong with the cow before the vet even gets there. I’ve come to realize it’s all just life experience, watching their parents and asking questions, I’ve even picked up a few things in my 21 years.

Pairing that experience with today’s technology and you have a combination that can’t be beat. Each generation of farmer and rancher has had some changes to make, they weren’t always easy but they figured it out. You think going from using horses to tractors to do farm work would be an easy transition? I would think it would’ve been one of the hardest, but because they made those sacrifices we now are producing more food with fewer resources.

This industry is very important, always changing but has little room for error. It is an industry that is driven by experience and without that experience would be nowhere near where it's at today. What our farmers and ranchers are offering us is far more than what's just learned at school, it's generation's worth of knowledge on feeding the world!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Newest addition to the farm and family... Benji! 
He was a Christmas present for my youngest brother. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A Winter What?!

If I gave you one word to describe Nebraska weather I can assure you that list woudln't include; consistent, lovely, or stable. I don't know if there even is one right word. This makes dairy farming in Nebraska quite interesting!

Last week on Wednesday afternoon it started snowing here (Thank God!). It snowed all through evening chores and I thought nothing special of it. About 10:45 pm on Wednesday we lost power at our house and farm. Now this really an uncommon occurance, usually it goes back on by morning. However Thursday morning us kids got a wake up call from dad to get our butts to the farm. I walked over eyeing a few of the big drifts in front of our house,they were only about 3.5 ft tall (we only got about a 1 ft total), and I didn't think too much of that. But that wasn't the problem, the electricity wasn't back on yet!

The heifers do like to frolic in the snow

That doesn't seem like a big deal but on a dairy farm the electricity plays a very important role. When there is no electricity our milk parlor, the bulk tank (where the milk is cooled and stored), the heat lamps that keep the cow waters from freezing,  and the tractors that are plugged into outlets so they stay warm to start in the morning, all those don't work! But of course we're prepared for that, dad had the generator started by 6 am Thursday morning.

 But unfortunately that didn't solve all of our problems. My family spent the about 6 hours that morning doing chores, thawing waters, scooping snow off the drive ways , feed bunks, and  calf hutches, also bedding down cows/calves with straw and sand

All the snow in front of the hutch calves had to be scooped out  
This little heifer decided to brave the snow outside her hutch
before we cleaned it out

Bedding down one of the heifer barns with a cornstalk bale

We know that when dad calls with orders to get to the farm you dress quick, giving no thought to breakfast or yourself,  COWS COME FIRST! It's just the way it is and we all agree on that.

Thawing the cow water with the Knipco.

Unfortunately this wasn't a quickly fixed problem, we were without electricity for about 48 hours. Life at the farm went on as normal but our house (not powered by the generator) was not real lovely. It was cold and and dark. We all agreed that it was nicer at the farm with the cows than it was in our house!

We spent a lot of our free time in the milk barn because it was a nice 65 degrees in there
It was a long two days but it all worked out and we were happy to know that our cows were comfortable and taken care of!