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Monday, February 28, 2011

Hello from Down Unda!

We have safely arrived in Australia after a glorious honeymoon in Fiji – it was tough to leave. I mean, seriously who would want to leave this?


We spent a lot of time our first two days grocery shopping.  There is some amazing agvocacy for meat and dairy here. Funny and thought provoking – check it out.


Our first meal in Australia? McDonald’s of course…. Look what I found in the ¼ pounder box!


All good stuff.

If you’re interested in our Australian adventures head on over to From Oz to Aus – that’s where all the funny/satirical stuff will be posted.

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~


Monday, February 21, 2011

For those of you who are interested....

in keeping up with what will be going on in Australia, I have created another blog to document our adventures and what is sure to be the experience of a life time.


will be where you can read all about our new life in Australia. I thought long and hard about whether or not to post the updates here on Buzzard's Beat, but I realize that there are some readers who dont' give a flip about my personal life and therefore, to be fair to them I have funneled all personal life posts to a new blog.

No doubt, the posts will be more often and hopefully funnier.  Buzzard's Beat will continue to have agricultural news, science based stories and be full of my opinion :)

I'd love to hear your feedback on this!  Still on the honeymoon right now...in Fiji. Be jealous

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Give it a rest

I've been trying to think about how to convey to society that in the food vs. fuel battle that is corn and ethanol - FOOD WILL WIN! I learned this as a junior at Kansas State in Dr. Barry Flinchbaugh's Ag Policy course.  The demand for food will always prevail over the demand for alternative energy sources. Instead of attacking corn, corn syrup and ethanol as the source of all evil and the reason for all the pain and suffering in the world, let's look past the smoke and mirrors that sensationalist journalism creates and jointly realize that agriculture and corn producers are not evil.

I'll let my good friend, Baxter Black, take center stage on this one - he puts it just right.

 On the Edge of Common Sense - THE CORN ATTACK - Baxter Black, DVM

In the last few years we have watched an increasing attack on corn. The skewed reasoning is: corn syrup is available, reasonably priced, and good for the average person, therefore; it must be bad! This is the kind of logic that has been applied to farmed salmon, Big Macs, lower taxes, capitalism and pasteurized milk.


I’m sure this same kind of reasoning was applied to earlier “civilizing” discoveries such as air conditioning, the steam engine and fire. In the book The Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Michael Pollan, © 2006 it was noted that “too much” corn syrup can make you fat, reduce the popularity of competing vegetables like beets and wheat straw, AND someone can make a profit on it!

In the book FIRE, © 5286 BC, the author noted that “too much” fire could cause global warming, reduce your ability to withstand the cold, and someone could likely invent matches and make a profit!

Too often, in the long-established profession of the Luddites, Nay-Sayers, and, otherwise unemployed columnists, their motives can be found by “following the money.” To sell a book or theory, wacko as it may be, you must first find a trend, discovery, or product that is well-known and well-liked. Then you make a persuasive observation casting doubt on the safety, ecological impact, availability and/or the morality of its use. The purpose is to create a problem where none exists; i.e., wild horses, hormone implants, preservatives, oil drilling the tundra, pesticides, irradiation of food, hog confinement sheds, Alar in apples and antibiotics in cattle. Look at what a waste of common sense and money has resulted from the discovery of BSE…in one cow in the United States! It was a fear monger’s feast!

So while lettered experts, authorized “mullers”, activists, and writers are trying to portray corn syrup as some evil substance, others of their kind are searching for easy prey so they can be the “nay-sayer de jour”…Potential headlines:


“Burnt toast, a carcinogen suspect!” “People who lean have a tendency to fall over!” “Carrots used as weapons in Arctic battle!” “Could bovine dewlap be related to snood shrinking in turkeys?” “Should Holsteins sue the Dairy Improvement Association for the Chick-Fil-A ads?” “Is Tractor Fantasy Dangerous?” “Can Tolstoy save your Marriage?” “Packers blame the tennis ball shortage in New Zealand for the drop in the beef market!”


The corn attack has stimulated discourse on why we eat so good, have so much cheap food, and can feed the world’s hungry if need be. The majority of this discussion has been among non-producers, non-scientist and journalists, wherein common sense, economic impact, scientific validity, and overwhelming acceptance are not on the table.

Michael Pollan in his book The Omnivore’s Dilemma caused a ripple. He put corn syrup on the stage for its fifteen minutes of fame. But, as Lincoln said when his dog swallowed an Indian head penny, “This too shall pass.”

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

and the FroBuzz honeymoon is in...........

FIJI

I love my husband.  It wasn't until we were looking for our gate in LA (after a 5 hour flight from Detroit) that I found out where we're headed.  WOW - freakin' Fiji.  As you read this post (which I wrote while excitedly waiting for our flight to paradise) I'm on a plane headed to palm trees and warm water. Jealous?

I have a few blog posts that will go up between now and our arrival to Australia, but not many. Sorry folks - paradise is calling my name  :)

I love my husband.

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

Monday, February 14, 2011

38 points? Seriously?

We beat KU -- I don't even know what to say.

I wish I was in Manhattan right now - rushing the court, going to Aggieville, screaming at the top of my lungs.

Proud to be a Wildcat, proud to be a native Kansan, proud to bleed purple. K-STATE PROUD

It takes a tremendous amount of talent, composure and courage to go into this game the way the Cats did. Jacob Pullen -- 38 points, 3 rebounds and 5 assists. Backed up by Kelly, McGruder and Samuels there was no way we were going down.



Bravo, boys.  Pat yourself on the back and get ready for the next one. Don't get hung up on this -- be cognizant of the game against Oklahoma on Saturday.

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

p.s.  I won't talk trash on KU -- they're a great team but tonight, we were better.

I Heart My Husband....

Because he buys me beef!

It's Valentine's Day and whether you're spending it with that special someone or you're celebrating your freedom with a group of friends, be sure to indulge in a ceremonious beef dinner. Today is Hyatt and I's first V-Day as husband and wife (mushy, I know).  He's taking me to dinner and I'm hoping for one of these....
A delicious filet mignon would hit the spot...


but a porterhouse steak would be just about perfect!

The best way to show your loved one how much they mean to you this year is to buy them a steak! Beef is chock full of ZIP: zinc, iron and protein and it's a good source of niacin, Vitamin B6 and riboflavin. Additionally, there are 29 cuts of beef that meet government guidelines for lean. Hint: look for cuts from the loin.


Here's to heart healthy beef and a Happy Valentine's Day to all!

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

Friday, February 11, 2011

Short, Sweet and Loud


No, I'm not describing myself.  Haha

I'm talking about a letter to the editor that Randy Spronk, Chairman of the Environmental Committee for the National Pork Producer's Council (NPPC), recently submitted to the New York Times. Spronk was writing in reply to another outlandish article by anti-meat columnist Mark Bittman. Although Spronk's letter was only 153 words long he pointed out the falsehoods in Bittman's article and corrected them with facts about modern pork production in the United States.  Take for example this exerpt:
Modern livestock housing is temperature-controlled, well lighted and well ventilated. It keeps animals safe and comfortable and protects them from predators and disease. That’s why the incidence of key food-borne illnesses in this country is going down, not up.
Bravo, Randy.  Heard you loud and clear.

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Science + Emotion = Effective

Many scientists, including myself, often struggle with the fact that research and sound scientific method are not sufficient evidence that agriculture and producers are doing the right thing.  In fact, some may claim that emotions and moral drives play a larger part in consumer education than science and research.  Be that as it may, producers, scientists, agvocates and the media must work together to tell ag's story.  Troy Marshall explains that idea much more convincingly, not to mention eloquently, in this recent BEEF Daily article. A bit of reading for you to ruminate.

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Crooning Cowboy

I don't know how many of my readers indulge themselves with American Idol as I do, but you all should definitely grab the remote and tune in. When I get the chance to watch, I am always thoroughly pleased with the true talent and entertainment that the show draws. Last week the show made its final audition stop in Austin, TX. As expected, thousands of people showed up to audition and start their star studded career in the music biz. There were failures (some of which were hilarious) and then there were some inspiring ones. Enter John Wayne Schulz - a good looking Texas rancher who can croon with the best of them.



I was grinning ear to ear by the time John Wayne was done because not only does he have a great voice but America got to see a little bit of Texas ranching in the midst of a singing contest. Double whammy!

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

Monday, February 7, 2011

Superbowl Snackdown

(No, this wasn't served at any party I attended. Dang it)

FroBuzz attended a nearby Superbowl party and didn't want to show up empty handed so 'we' (meaning 'I') had to drum something up.  Hyatt suggested these but I thought they sounded kind of plain so I gave them my own twist. Below is the recipe I concocted (warning: Buzzard's don't measure anything so don't be upset at some of my measurments).

What you'll need:
1 lb. hamburger
1 lb. pork sausage
Salt & pepper
Italian seasoning
Garlic salt
Hot, pepper cheese - enough to melt and hold meat together
Colby - Jack cheese - enough to melt and hold meat together
Cracked Pepper and Olive Oil Triscuits
Original Triscuits

Directions:
1. In one skillet brown hamburger; in another skillet brown sausage. Season each with salt, pepper and italian seasoning to taste. Drain.
2. Combine 1/2 of each meat with 1/2 of the other so that you have two pans with 1 lb of meat in each.
3. While on medium heat, in one pan add enough Colby-Jack cheese to bind all the meat together.  I used ~ 3/4 of a regular sized block of cheese. Allow cheese to melt and keep stirring meat until it creates a hot, melty mess.  Sprinkle with garlic salt to taste.  Spoon  ~ 1" meat clump on to Original Triscuits while warm.
4. Repeat step 3 for the other meat mixture, except using hot pepper cheese and the Cracked Pepper and Olive Oil Triscuits.  Do not use garlic salt in this mixture, the pepper cheese and fancy triscuits are plenty of flavor.
Refrigerate until time to eat. To rewarm (because you can't eat them cold, duh) place in 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes OR microwave a plate of 10 for about 30 seconds. Your choice.

Makes about 80 snacks.

They aren't fancy to look at, so I don't have a picture but they sure disappeared quick! Not only were they delicious but they were made with wholesome beef, pork and cheese produced right here in the good ole U.S. of A.  Thanks to America's farmers and ranchers for providing such tasty ingredients!

I also made a football cake but due to the fact that I didn't have enough red food coloring, the cake looked pea green. I do NOT have a picture of that, sorry.

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

Saturday, February 5, 2011

What has FroBuzz been up to?

2 weeks -- that's how long we've been Mr. and Mrs. (although I am unable to change my name until after we return from AUS, if I decide to at all) and the question of the day is "How is married life?"  Allow me to expound on the  post wedding day happenings:

- We packed up the FroBuzz trailer to depart for SEK, then OH and we'll finally head to the honeymoon and AUS in about 10 days.
- We go about our daily activities - paying bills, cooking dinner, watching Family Guy - same ole same ole.
- We continue to argue about stupid things - whether or not 'broach' is an appropriate word, who has to make the bed (see? I told you they were stupid things)

Are you seeing the pattern yet? NOTHING HAS CHANGED -- MARRIED LIFE IS NO DIFFERENT.  Are we sad? Not at all - because we are the same people post wedding as we were pre wedding and that's who we fell in love with :)

The wedding was magical and the party was phenomenal.  Ask anyone who went, they'll probably tell you they had a blast.  Here are a few pictures of our awesome day.

Oh so formal

The ring got stuck

 Cutting our awesome cake (thanks @t_roon)!

Dancing the night away

and the kiss!

As I said, we leave for Australia (honeymoon on the way) on February 15. I'll probably be MIA on the blog until we arrive but *hopefully* I can crack out a few posts to release during that time. Don't hold me to it though.

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

post script - STILL don't know the destination of the honeymoon. Just in case you were wondering.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Cold Weather Warms My Heart

This week in Denver, cattle producers are gathering to discuss the political, environmental, animal welfare and economic issues of the cattle industry.  That's right -- today marks the first day of Cattle Industry Annual Convention & NCBA Trade Show.  Also happening in the midwest this week is an extremely large blizzard that prevent many ranchers from making the journey to Colorado in order to stay home and care for their cattle. Hopefully, for their ranchers and cattle's sake, there won't be as much snow as there was a few years ago in Western Kansas, where they had to air drop hay to their cattle.


You see, it's calving season. And nothing is harder on a new baby calf than two feet of snow and 35 mph winds.  Farmers and ranchers have a moral obligation to give their animals the utmost care, rain or shine, sleet or snow. So, while convention attendees numbers may decline a bit this year, you can rest assure that's it's not due to lack of interest in the industry.  It's because those dedicated farmers and ranchers have made the welfare of their cattle their top priority.  And that's the way it should be.

Kind of warms my heart....

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Higher yielding alfalfa - thanks to technology

Here are the facts:
 The current world population is 6.8 billion.  By 2050, the population will have skyrocketed to 9 billion. Over the past 50 years, farmers and ranchers have been able to meet the ever growing demand for food by utilizing new technology. Technology will feed the world, if we let it.

Enter GMO's - I have already touched on GMO's in my Frankenfish post.  But GMO's are also used in crop production.  Most recently, they've been approved for unrestricted use in the form of alfalfa. Alfalfa is primarily used to feed cattle and proponents of the new strain say that crop yields are increased which in turn decreases prices handed down to producers. Another positive aspect of the GMO alfalfa is its resistance to Roundup, thereby enabling Roundup to be used to fight weeds in alfalfa fields. This is obviously a great development- more yields, herbicide resistance and lower prices. That all equates to feeding more people economically and efficiently. Eveyone's happy right?

Not necessarily - organic producers are in outcry because they're afraid that the unrestricted use of GMO alfalfa will allow inadvertent pollinatination of their organic crops thereby rendering their crop conventional and causing them to lose their premium for the niche market.

Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack, claimed that the USDA has not politicized the issue and is simply trying to allow both markets, modern and organic, to coexist peacefully.  Vilsack also stated that soon to come on the GMO table are sugar beets and corn amylase, which is made to produce ethanol fuel.

Be that as it may, U.S. consumers need to think hard about their priorities -- do you want safe food produced on a small scale that will be more expensive?  Or would you rather have safe food that is efficiently produced with the most modern technology that is also cheaper?  Think about it.

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

Click here to read more about GMO alfalfa