Buzzard's Beat

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Dr. Grandin Visits NW Ohio

As you know, I'm a pretty big fan of Temple Grandin; evidenced here, here and here.

About 3 weeks ago, Temple visited Ohio for the Northwest Ohio Autism Summit in Bowling Green. The night before, she visited a farm in Cygnet, Ohio to talk to producers and consumers -- while there she held an animal handling demonstration and spoke about transparency in agriculture.

The event was sponsored by the Wood County Beef Producers, Farm Bureau, Great Lakes Family Farms, Ohio Cattlemen's Association, Ohio State University Extension and Bowling Green State University.

It's great to see producers reaching out to the community and opening up their farms for tours. Have you ever been on a farm tour or if you're a producer, have you ever held a farm tour? I hope that when hubsy and I finally have our own place, we will be able to open our doors to the community.

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

Fun factoid: the first interviewed speaker, Dan Frobose, is my father-in-law. He is one of many Wood Co. Beef Producers. Additionally, one of my sisters-in-law, Hannah, is seen stuffing her face with a bbq sandwich!

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Monday, June 27, 2011

101 Update

Ok, first off -- I've decided that this blog needs more personal info. So while most Australian/marriage/random posts will end up on my other blog, this one will start having more posts like this, this and this.

Now that I've scared you away from the blog for all eternity, it's time to get down to business. I started my 101 in 1001 on April 11, and since that was almost 3 months ago I've decided it's time to update you all on my progress. This also doubles as motivation for me to get my butt in gear on some of this stuff.

 Items Completed:
23. Don’t chew on fingernails for 1 whole month -- Actually, on July 1st it will be two whole months. See?

34. Publish an agriculture article in HPJ, KLA or publication/newspaper of similar demographic -- I am currently authoring a twice-monthly column in both Grass and Grain (Manhattan, KS) and Farm Talk (Parsons, KS).

I'm very excited and very blessed to have this opportunity -- look for me in your next issue!

37. Join Word of the Day to broaden my  vocabulary - DONE.

39. Post 3x/week for 1 month on Buzzard’s Beat -- I completed this one in April and May 2011. There was a lot going in agriculture in the states and luckily I was able to document a lot of it. Thanks to all my readers who commented posts.

92. Go see a sporting event that I've never watched before -- Completed on Easter Day when Ninja and I went to an AFL (Australian Footy League) game with our friends Dean, Maree and their daughters.

Items in progress:
12. Watch 5 movies that Ninja loves that don't interest me (Apocalypse Now)
25. Eat 5 exotic/uncommon foods (Thai seafood 4/12/2011, Tofu Steak 5/2011)
27.  Call my grandparents once/month for 12 months (2/12)
79. Donate 25,000 grains of free rice through (4010)
82. Start/keep journal for 12 months (1/12)
85. Say 'I love you' EVERY day for entirety of 1001 days
88. Attend church once/month for 12 months (3/12)
90. Read the books from this list

So what do you think? Do I need to step up my game and accomplish some more stuff? I think so - tapping into motivation pool. Now.

Do you have a 101 in 1001? What are some of your favorite goals? I want to hear your ideas!

Until next time,
~ Buzzard~

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Friday, June 24, 2011

Gaga's #MeatDress is Moving...

to Ohio.....

Remember the #meatdress craze last year at the VMA's? Well, Lady Gaga is in the news again for her infamous style. LG's meat dress is going to be on display in the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio as part of the "Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power'' exhibit. The exhibit started June 16 but I'm not sure when it concludes.

The dress that started it all....

Since LG broke out the stunning ensemble, similar dresses have been seen all over the world. Check these out! Some have even put a new spin on the meat dress.

Interesting accessories...
Image from here

It has a nice cut....
Image from here

and my personal favorite...
Image from here

The impact that one person can have on culture, fashion and society is absolutely astonishing and a little bit inspiring. 

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

No Cowboys without Kansas

I was born in raised in Colony, Kansas and if I have my say, I'll be buried in Anderson County Kansas. I'm exceptionally proud of my home, The Wheat State, and love coming across headlines that praise my great state. I love it even more when my rodeo and Western background are highlighted, which is exactly what I found in this article by Becky Tanner of the Wichita Eagle.

I've posted the whole article below -- I smiled most of the time I read it -- like I said, I'm very proud to be a cowgirl from Kansas :) I've highlighted my favorite parts below. Please, please, please read the whole thing, it's fantastic. Even if you're not from Kansas, it'll make any Westerner, cowboy or cowgirl puff up with pride.

Ideal of the Cowboy Lives on in Kansas
Becky Tanner

“The typical cowboy. . . . . . is a bad man to handle. Armed to the teeth, well mounted, and full of their favorite beverage, the cowboys will dash through the principal streets of a town, yelling. . . . This they call 'cleaning out a town.' " — Kansas newspaper, 1882

But Kansas gave the Old West everything iconic that westerners hold dear: The boot. The hat. The cowgirl.

The Marlboro Man, Matt Dillon, Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, Buffalo Bill, Billy the Kid.

Lee jeans. Sheplers. And songs.

But while the evolution of the West began from Kansas, it seldom draws the recognition of other states. “The challenge for Kansas is that we are not the only western state out there,” said Jay Price director of the public history program at Wichita State University.

“Texas can be western, New Mexico is western, Arizona, Nevada, Wyoming and Colorado — all these places claim to be western and in some ways pull it off better than we can and are certainly able to market it more,” Price said. “We are simply not the only jeans in town when it comes to being western.”

Perhaps, after nearly a century and a half, the Old West has become a state of mind.

“Anymore, Kansas seems to be like a border state. When people think of the Old West they think farther west,” said David Flask, director of Old Cowtown Museum in Wichita.

But, Flask said, there are people out there who know Kansas was the cradle of the Old West. “The international tourist knows exactly where we fit,” Flask said. “They are big Old West fans and have done their research and know we are the Old West.

Kansans? Not so much.

“The biggest population that we have the hardest time convincing is the people who live here,” he said. “For a long time, if you were western, it meant you were backward. The goal was to promote us as a big, modern place with airplanes as opposed to capitalizing on our history.”

Talk with enough rural Kansans, though, and chances are the Old West still resonates.

Jim Hoy, director of the Center for Great Plains Studies at Emporia State University, remembers the shock he had the first time he gazed at a map of the Old West and Kansas wasn’t included.

“They’d just wiped us out,” he said. Blame Hollywood. Blame marketing campaigns.

Think about all the old westerns: Dodge City’s Matt Dillon in “Gunsmoke” rode with mountains as his backdrop; Kevin Costner’s “Dances With Wolves” had Kansas fort names, and even the lead character, Lt. John Dunbar, was a real Kansan, but the movie was filmed in the Dakotas.
And, the Marlboro Man — Wayne Dunafon, from a ranch in northeast Kansas near Wamego and Westmoreland — became an American icon from 1964 to 1978 when he wore a long shearling duster, chaps and a Stetson hat.

“Those icons of the West wouldn’t be without Kansas,” Hoy said. “There wouldn’t be the cowboy, the boot or the hat. The cowboy was born on the dusty Chisholm Trail.”

The world is plenty full of faux and wannabe cowboys. The 1950s and 1960s brought with them TV shows such as “Gunsmoke,” “Bat Masterson” and “Wyatt Earp.” The 1970s brought in the “Urban Cowboy” look. For some Kansans in their 50s and 60s, that look took a permanent hold, Hoy said.

“There are pockets out there, like in Arizona and Utah, where every CPA and dentist wears a cowboy hat and boots but has never been close to a cow,” Hoy said. “But the Flint Hills, Smoky Hills and western cowboys of Kansas don’t make a splash.

“They are the real thing.”

Making legends
Perhaps no other figure in American history is as romanticized as the cowboy. Hero. Loner.

He and his trusty horse traversed a handful of trails from Texas to the Kansas prairies with cantankerous Longhorn cattle.

It wasn’t until after the Civil War that the East Coast in particular was demanding quality beef. With the advent of railroads, supplying it became easier.

In Kansas, the heyday of the long cattle drives was from the late 1860s to 1887. The first cattle traversed the Chisholm Trail into Kansas in 1867.

The cowtowns that developed — Abilene, Wichita, Caldwell, Newton, Ellsworth and Dodge City — had rough and rowdy reputations.

In these towns, men such as Bat Masterson, Jack Ledford, Mike and John Meagher and Wyatt Earp developed their reputations as gunmen.

But on the prairies, cowboys lived and breathed. They still do.

The cowboy way
Look almost anywhere in Kansas and the American cowboy is alive and well.

They wear the clothes. Their faces and necks are tanned and weathered, their hands callused and rough. They may hang out at livestock auctions, the local co-op, Tractor Supply and Orscheln, but more likely than not they are just out there doing their jobs.

John Schmidt of Pawnee Rock was 5 years old when he broke his first horse. “He was a colt. I was messing around with him, sitting on him, rode him in the creek without a bridle,” said Schmidt, now 57. “My folks saw that and decided it was time to break the horse. They brought out a cowboy. He saddled him up and rode him and said ‘this horse is already broke.”

When he was a kid, Schmidt outgrew plenty of cowboy hats and boots. Five decades later, his wardrobe hasn’t changed much. He wears the hat, the chaps, the spurs and boots with cow manure on the toes and heels. He drives a pickup truck whose front seat is so littered with the tools and medicines he needs to doctor cattle that no other human can fit in.

More often than not that mud-splattered pickup has a livestock trailer connected to it and his favorite horse, J Bar, saddled, waiting inside.

Schmidt farms, but his preference is being a cowboy.

“It’s just freedom,” he said. “People talk about when you are on the back of a Harley going out and riding as freedom; but for me, freedom comes when you are on the back of your horse and checking cattle. It’s early morning and the grass is still damp. It gives you a peace of mind. It’s a way of life.”

Any cowboy knows, there are different breeds of cowboys. There are feedyard cowboys — and cowboys that still ride the open range and are rodeo champions in their spare time.

Rodeo champion
By the time he was 6, Randy Peterson was herding cattle from the back of his horse. His daughter started going with him when she was 3.
He’s a third-generation Flint Hills cowboy. He runs several thousand cattle on the Buck Creek Ranch near Cottonwood Falls. This year, Peterson is once again vying to be the world champion in Ranch Rodeo events. His team has qualified the last eight years in a row.

Being a cowboy is what he knows. “That was just what we did,” said Peterson, 45. “The thing about it is you learn to be somebody who is going to get the job done with whatever it takes to do it. When we go doctor a calf, you don’t leave until it is doctored. I’ve seen some people go out and the calves will start running off — and they don’t get them. We’re not like that.

“There’s not enough hours in the day,” he said. “I always see these people who live in town, who always seem to got a lot more money than I do. They go to work at 8 and get off at 6. And we are always working from dark to dark. I never did think that part was very fair, but that’s life.”

On Thursday morning when rain clouds swept over parts of Kansas, Peterson was out moving hay. He was wearing wet clothes as he talked into his cellphone. He’d stayed up late the night before baling. His jeans, boots and hat were all drenched.

“I did take my spurs off to haul the hay,” he said. He got the job done.

Singing cowboy
What would the Old West be without music — without Roy Rogers, the Sons of the Pioneers and Gene Autry?

“Tennessee” Jim Farrell grew up in Tennessee, but moved to Kansas. He owns his own recording studio and is the harmony vocalist and rhythm guitarist for the Diamond W Wranglers.
He says the mystique and work ethic of the American cowboy started in the 1860s on the cattle trails to Kansas.

The cowboy way, Farrell said, was and still is all about integrity, doing your job and staying independent.

“It’s about doing the right thing when no one is looking, knowing what you are supposed to be doing and sacrificing your time, desires and goals to make it happen,” Farrell said. “The true cowboy code has to be that way or nothing would have gotten done.”

When the first cowboys traversed the trails, Farrell said, those virtues were quickly branded into their mindset.

“A lot of these kids had never been away from mom. Dad may have been killed in the (Civil) War and the boys had to be the breadwinners,” Farrell said.

“They saw that if you worked hard, you could be successful and you could make $50 to $75 when $200 would buy you a house and land. One of the things that freed the cowboy was that he could be on his own, away from society and still be okay.”

When he was growing up, Farrell said, he was drawn to the cowboy way first by its music, and then by its simple, philosophical code of conduct.

Every day he wears the clothes, hat and boots of a cowboy. He believes in the cowboy philosophy and way of life.

“The cowboy way is like a force of nature,” he said. “If you have integrity and do the right thing, treat people well and take care of your job to the best of your ability, then that is what I think the cowboy is still admired for.”

To me, being a Kansas cowgirl means being independent, determined and tough through hard times. Rodeo is a time honored tradition; one thats roots run deep and are based upon true American values like hard work, integrity, camaraderie and honesty. It is absolutely a way of life.

What does being a cowboy/cowgirl mean to you? What are some of the things you think of when you hear the word 'cowboy'?

Until next time,
~ Buzzard~

image from here

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Feedsack Giveaway

No, not here. I am not artsy craftsy in the least bit (well, I wish I was but God didn't bless me with sewing skills or patience) but my blogger friend and fellow agvocate Crystal Young, over at Crystal Cattle, is having a giveaway. Her friend, Sarah, from The House That Ag Built, has provided a feed sack bag to be given away! I used to have one of these and I absolutely loved it! They are really eye-catching and very durable. This isn't a picture of the exact bag but it gives you an idea of what one looks like. Great aren't they?!

Would you like to enter? I thought so - head on over to Crystal Cattle and check out the giveaway rules (the actual bag is pictured there). I would wish you all the good luck in the world but I'm hoping to win myself so..... I'll wish you a little bit of good luck.

Just out of curiosity - how many people out there would participate in the steps required to win a giveaway on Buzzard's Beat?

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

Image from here

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Fresh Markets

On my other blog, I posted about the Queen Victoria Market and how cool it is to buy all of our produce fresh. It's also a chance to get some good bargains - Hyatt and I have become first rate hagglers with the fruit vendors.

Look at all this great stuff we got a few days ago!

 - 1 HUGE butternut squash
 - 1 very large parsnip
 - 2 red peppers
 - 1/2 kilo of mushrooms
 - a whole bag of roasting potatoes
 - 1 medium pineapple
 - 1 kilo of pears
 - a punnett of GIGANTIC strawberries -- Look at the size of these things!

That is a normal sized sticky note. And that strawberry has since been demolished.

All of that great fresh produce cost us less that $14! It was a steal.

Are there fresh markets near your home? What's your favorite vendor with which to haggle?

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

Father's Day isn't celebrated in Australia until September, but being as how I'm a red-blooded American, I'll be 'celebrating' today. Obviously, I can't be there to spend time with Podge, but I sent him a card and hopefully he's received it.

This is the first time in 10 years I haven't been with my dad on Father's Day and it's pretty rough. To tell you the truth, most holidays are rough down here without my parents, friends and family. Anyways, I wanted to post a few of my favorite pictures of my dad and I (he'll probably never read this post because I don't think he even knows about this blog), but since most of my pictures are stored away in SEK, this one from the FroBuzz wedding will have to suffice.

He and my mom gave Hyatt and I a dream wedding - we had a blast. 

How are you celebrating Father's Day? Grilling out? Going fishing?

Miss you, Podge!

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

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Friday, June 17, 2011

$40 Million Dollars Has Vanished

Now that I have your attention....

Have you ever had the opportunity to sell your ranch for $40 million and then, overnight, that opportunity is gone, kaput, vanished? 

Cattle producers in Australia's Northern Territory know exactly what it feels like in light of the recent export ban resulting from a video of cattle being severely mistreated in and Indonesian abattoir. I highly suggest you read my post on NCBA's YPC blog, watch the video and then come back here - it will only take 10 minutes and I swear, it's worth it and so extremely relevant.

Now that you've read all that (seriously, if you haven't you NEED TO DO IT), let's get back on topic.

As I was saying, live exports to Indonesia (and only Indonesia) have been banned for at least six months but could last for a whole year. There are several cattle stations that had been in negotiations to sell for sometime and since the ban, those negotiations have stopped and all offers have ceased. There is even a case where one Australian company had completed several months due diligence on a property but, upon hearing of the export ban, backed out before submitting a final offer. Yet another station, worth approximately $40 million, was in the final stages of the sale only to have the bottom fall out.

The North Queensland Register's Matthew Cranston states that "A halt to live exports prevents owners from selling their cattle and generating cash. Without revenue the properties lose value in the same way office towers do when they have no tenants. They may also struggle to pay bank debt, raising the prospect of defaults." 

This is a serious issue affecting cattle ranchers not just in northern Australia but in the southern states as well. The market will likely be flooded with beef that had been destined for Indonesia and beef prices will fall. Of course, consumers will be happy but this comes at great detriment to producers all over Australia.

What's your take on this issue? Do you think government officials took the right steps or did they act in senseless haste? Would love to hear your feedback!

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~
photo from here

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Grillin ain't BBQ'in

It's summertime (at least it is in the States) and that means two things: hot weather and cooking outdoors. I've been jealous of the countless facebook statuses I've read that have been talking about BBQ'ing with friends, going fishing and having a good time. But did you know that most people are falsely claiming to be BBQ'ing? Yep, that's right - they're lying. Sort of.

The terms BBQ and grilling out are used synonymously to describe cooking food on a grill. However,  BBQ and grilling aren't the same thing. Technically, (according to this article by Troy Black, Big Book of BBQ) "BBQ'ing is long, low, and slow. The low temperature and the resulting length of time the meat is cooked allows for the food to soak up the smoke and rub flavors, and to become very tender and moist. Think ribs, pork shoulder, and brisket as barbecue."


My Uncle Jere, Aunt Daisy and their BBQ team, UFR Smoke, make a mean brisket. They slow BBQ'd the brisket and pork for our wedding and I think we got more compliments on the food than we did congrats on our big day! 
Grilling, on the other hand, is the method with which most people are familiar. Being able to cook a variety of food such as burgers, chicken, steaks, veggies, and seafood, hot and fast is what draws many people to the grilling arena.

More commonly practiced, grilling.
Regardless of what you're cooking this summer remember to observe proper cooking temps and have a meat thermometer handy! Burgers should be 'Safe and Savory at 160', steaks and pork chops should be cooked to 145 and chicken should be heated to a toasty 180 (all temperatures in Fahrenheit).
What are some of your favorite grilling or BBQ dishes? I'm pretty partial to Uncle Jere's brisket - it's hard to beat!
Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

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Friday, June 10, 2011

E6 Ranch Suffers the Consequences

Whether you care to admit it or not, we're all probably at least a little bit happy about this news update. Regardless of who committed the cruel acts at E6 Ranch, someone needed to be charged and punished for the inexecusable acts.

About two weeks ago (yes, I am this far behind on my blogging) Dairy Herd Network's email newsletter informed me that seven people, including ranch owner Kirt Espenson, had been charged in the E6 Ranch case. Bravo. Espenson was charged with Class A Misdemeanor animal cruelty (he wasn't engaged in the acts on video) and the six employees charged with felony animal cruelty. If found guilty, which in all actuality should and probably will happen, the felony charge carries a two year jail sentence and the misdemeanor charge is a one year jail stint.

Nathan Runkle, executive director of Mercy For Animals, said "We hope that this case and the action by law enforcement sends a strong message to the dairy industry that animal cruelty will not be tolerated." Espenson told officials that he had fired four employees over the horrible acts and hired a professional trainer to lead training programs in humane handling and proper euthanasia.

Thus far, I've been unsuccessful at finding out a court date, as dockets weren't available for most of July and August. But I'll be sure to keep the blogging world updated on the goings on of this case. It's essential that the world knows that farmers and ranchers don't tolerate or condone this type of behavior and that it is not the norm in our industry.

What are your thoughts? Do you think justice is being served appropriately? I'm anxious to hear feedback on this one.

Until next time (I promise it won't be another 8 days before my next post),
~ Buzzard ~

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

EPA's Over Regulation

I got this video from my Ohio Ag Net daily newsletter - and if you can't laugh at this then you're probably not a big fan of the normal content here on Buzzard's Beat.

It's hilarious and attention grabbing - perfect. I hope it inspires you to contact your Congressman/woman and let them know about your blues. This video came from the BeltwayBeef channel on YouTube - for more great stuff, head on over there and check it out.

Until next time,

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