Buzzard's Beat

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Kyla Clawson - KSU Agvocate in Action

About a month ago, the K-State Collegian printed an anti-meat article by none other than Beth Mendenhall.  If you must, you can read that piece of work here.  Most students would just grumble and say "that's a load of bologna" and go on about their day - forgetting about the attacks on the meat and agriculture industry.

Enter K-State jr. Kyla Clawson.  Kyla is an Animal Sciences & Industry major, is a member of the KSU Meats Judging team and a very active member in Collegiate Cattlewomen.  Like a good agvocate, Kyla didn't sit on her duff and allow her industry to be bashed without rebuttal.  You can ready Kyla's letter to the editor (which was published) here.

Kyla is a shining example of agvocacy on campus.  She very tactfully disputed Beth's claims against meat by citing results of a scientific study and highlighting the nutritional benefits of beef in order to back up her statements.  Kyla based her article on science and not ethical arguments.  Way to go Kyla!

Props also go out to the Collegian staff for printing Kyla's letter - my response to a previous, unfounded article of Mendenhall's were rejected.

Until next time,

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

GIPSA Time Running Out

Do you have concerns about the possible implementation of the GIPSA rules?  I hope so.  Next question: have you written them down and sent them to the proper representative?  You haven't!?!?! Shame on you.

The comment period for the GIPSA rules ends on November 22.  That's one month from tomorrow. Get on the ball.  Express your thoughts on how you think the GIPSA rules will affect the livestock industry.  Don't know how to get started or what to say?  The Kansas Livestock Association has a form letter that you can use.  Fill it in with your own information and send it to the address below or fax it.

Temple Grandin has expressed her concerns about the negative effects of the GIPSA rules on animal welfare.  Read her article to get some more ideas to fuel your fire.

The GIPSA rules issue is like most others -- policy gets put into action unless the public speaks up and is heard.  This is why we have reprentatives in our government - to express the needs and concerns of the citizens that elected them.  If you disagree (or agree) with GIPSA, take action and send in your comments before November 22.

Send your comments to:
Tess Butler, GIPSA, USDA,
1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Room 1643-S,
Washington, DC 20250-3604;
Fax to (202) 690-2173. 

Until next time,

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Real Survivors: America's Farmers and Ranchers

I heard a great song last night on the radio when I was driving back to MHK from beautiful SEK - it's called "Real" and it's sung by newcomer James Wesley.  Check it out here - SUCH  a good song!

I'm getting married in 3 months so the first chorus about a couple being married for 57 years tugs at my heart but the second verse and chorus are purely written in tribute to America's farmers and ranchers - specifically it calls them 'survivors'.  Today's reality shows don't depict the real American way of life.  In fact, reality TV shows couldn't be more far off from the daily grind of being a farmer.  Wesley sounds like he may have logged a few hours in a tractor.....
And the survivors are farmers in John Deere hats

Our amazin' race is beatin' the check
Prayin' that the bank ain't ran it through yet

Real, like too much rain fallin' from the sky
Real, like the drought that came around here last July
It's the damn boll weevils and the market and the weeds, the prayer they're sayin' when they plant the seeds
And the chance they take to bring us our next meal
          I call that real

I love it when celebrities recognize how hard farmers and ranchers work to put safe, affordable food on our tables.  I can't wait to see what Mr. Wesley releases next.

Until next time,

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Friday, October 15, 2010

In Honor of Pigs and Pork

Photo courtesy of Magnum Photo Agency

I keep reminding readers that October is National Pork Month and for good reason. I love pork - it's delicious, nutritious and is so versatile!  The Pork Checkoff provides a wealth of great pork information on their website.  Check it out -- especially the kids section  :)  Check out these facts that make learning about food safety and pork fun for kids.
  • Did you know that pork is now 16% leaner than it was 15 years ago?
  • Look for the word “loin” in the name for the leanest cuts of pork.
  • Pork is a great source of important nutrients, such as B-vitamins and protein.
  • Pork tenderloin is just as lean as a skinless chicken breast.
  • Pork’s mild flavor goes well with many ethnic seasonings, spice rubs and marinades.
  • It takes about eight minutes to broil, grill or sauté a pork chop.
  • Pork chops are America’s favorite cut of pork, and because they come from the pork loin, they are also a healthy choice.
  • Because pork is so lean, it is important not to overcook it.
The Checkoff also makes it easy to access information about animal well-being (that's right up my alley), animal science (that, too), the environment, swine health and pork safety.  Skim over these sheets and you're sure to learn a thing or two about the process of getting pork from the farm to the fork :)


p.s. is that picture up there not adorable?  I love it!

Until next time,

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Hollywood Scientist Set to Appear at Kansas State!

 Photo courtesy of

Sorry for my hiatus in blogging, dear friends.  Last week my project consumed my life and I just haven't gotten back into the swing of blogging regularly.  However, today I've got great news - which you may have already heard about but if not, check it out!

Temple Grandin, PhD, will be coming to K-State on November 9-10 to give two lectures.  The first will be on November 9th at 7pm in Forum Hall in the KSU Student Union.  The lecture is entitled, "The Emotional Lives of Animals: A Look at the Science".  On Wednesday, November 10, Temple will be speaking in the KSU College of Veterinary Medicine in Frick Auditorium and will be giving a lecture about dogs and cat health/welfare.  Both events will be very thought provoking and exciting!

Temple is probably the most functional autistic person in the world and has written several books about how her autism has helped give her insight to how animals behave and possibly, feel.  She has authored hundreds of journal articles and designed over half of the animal handling facilities at slaughter plants in the United States.  Recently, the movie about Temple's life, Temple Grandin, won 7 Emmy awards.  She is a truly amazing person and we're so excited to host her at KSU!

Temple's visit is co-sponsored by Food For Thought and KSU's University Programming Council.  Follow me on twitter for more Temple updates in the coming weeks!

Until next time,

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

A little funny while I'm working

Since I'm swamped this week with my thesis project, I don't have many spare brain cells to devote to original and creative posts.  I came across this joke tonight and couldn't help but share.  Gets me in the mood to keep planning for my 10 month vacay to Australia!

A Texan farmer goes to Australia for a vacation. There he meets an Aussie farmer and gets talking. The Aussie shows off his big wheat field and the Texan says, "Oh! We have wheat fields that are at least twice as large." Then they walk around the ranch a little, and the Aussie shows off his herd of cattle. The Texan immediately says, "We have longhorns that are at least twice as large as your cows." The conversation has, meanwhile, almost died when the Texan sees a herd of kangaroos hopping through the field. He asks, "And what are those?" The Aussie, fed up with the Texan's bragging replies with an incredulous look, "What, don't you have any grasshoppers in Texas?"
BAHAHAHAHAHAHA - funny wasn't it?

Until next time,

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Stolen Smells

So, this week Buzzard is swamped with my project, THE project.  From 4:30 am Tuesday to 8 p.m Friday my life will be consumed with pigs, blood, carbon dioxide and I think you can figure the rest out from there.  Since I don't have a ton of time to write you a truly original post (are mine ever really that original?), I am 'stealing' from a friend's blog.   Michael Lanzrath has a truly funny blog, Cud Chewin', that discusses everything going on in his life: drama about school decisions, marathon training, agriculture, photography, family - everything.  My post today is based off his post, Smell Bank.  You really should read it before or after you read this post.  It's great and my inspiration for today. So without further ado......Buzzard's smellbank.

A horse manure and dirt cocktail  - our new neighbors in the 'hood (the Trailerhood, pictures are coming, I promise), brought horses.  Since mine are at home and won't be with me again until I return from Australia in 2012, they are a welcome delight.  Everytime they get to running around and stirring up dust, I drift back to dusk in an arena where I'm roping, laughing and chasing my dreams with my brother and my dad.  I long for those days of coming home from basketball practice, saddling horses and roping until 9 or 10 at night.  I will soon be reunited with my rope and saddle -- only 14 more months......

Brut aftershave - Grandpa Ken used to wear this, God rest his soul.  I remember clinging to his neck when I was a little girl and was scared of the dark.  He always had a five o'clock shadow and smelled of sweet sweet Brut.  Strong and comforting, he would tell me not to be afraid because I was a big girl.  I may be a big girl now, but I'm certain there are still things that scare me.  A sniff of Brut takes me back.

The 'clean sheets and towels' smell- who doesn't love sheets and towels right out of the dryer that smell like Snuggle?

Pumpkin spice, apple cinnamon candles - because they set the mood for the entire fall season and shoot me right into winter and Christmas.  When I was little, our house always smelled like one of those scents (sometimes both) starting in October and going into February.  Reminds me of popcorn, family times and laying infront of the heater when it was -100 outside (not quite -100 but you get the point)!

Ok - so I hope this insight into my past will tide you over until my next post which will hopefully be Thursday or Friday.  Enjoy the smellbank of your lives! wow - corny.

Until next time,

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Friday, October 1, 2010

Pork Producer's -- Bare Your Soul!

Ok - so don't really bare your soul but tell your story!  The Pork Checkoff is sponsoring a "We Care Responsible Pork Production Video Contest" during the month of October (National Pork Month)!  The grand prize for each division (13-18 and 18+) is a UltraHD Camcorder!  I'd love to have that!

Just show how 'you care' for your pigs on a daily basis. Be creative - the sky is the limit!  Videos must be 3-5 minutes in length and should represent the Natioal Pork Checkoff's mantra "We Care".  For more contest details click HERE!

To see a prime example of agvocacy in action on swine farms, check out this great videos.

Good luck!

Until next time,