Buzzard's Beat

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Food For Thought

Hope all you area folk are planning on attending - will be a great lecture! His topic is
Kansas Agriculture in 2025

And don't forget - the giveaway of the gorgeous Silo Silver earrings is happening tomorrow - make sure you get entered!

Until next time (and Happy Halloween!),
~ Buzzard ~

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Blogiversary - The Big 3 and A Freebie!

Three years ago this coming Sunday, I started a blog with this post about one of my favorite agriculture traditions.

And boy oh boy, I had no idea the things that would come of this little ole blog.

Over the past 3 years and almost 300 posts, I have learned far more about blogging and social media than I ever imagined possible. I have gained followers from all walks of life and from all over the world. I have found friendships with people I have never met but feel like I've known a lifetime. This blog prompted my signing up for, and eventual addiction to, Twitter (@brandibuzzard). It has also sparked a journey that led me to my career today, so without any more insightful crap mushy memories, here's a list of things that have come of this blog:

- The development of my writing skills which led to freelancing opportunities with:
    -- Farm Talk
    -- Grass and Grain
    -- DRIVE magazine
- Master's of Beef Advocacy Blog of the Month - August 2010
- Blogging on these other sites - YPC Beef Blog, Food For Thought 
- Social Media Coordinator for NCBA's Young Producer's Council (which led to):
- Co-Chair Communications Committee NCBA YPC
- Featured twice in articles by Chuck Jolley in Drover's Cattle Network -- October 2009 and March 2012
- Featured in a BEEF Magazine article by Jamie Purfeest in the October 2011 issue
- Because of my vocal advocacy of agriculture on this blog and Twitter I was an invited to speak about agvocacy at the Australasian Pig Science Association (APSA) Conference in Adelaide, South Australia in November 2011. There were a lot of different demographics and ideals in the room but I think everyone benefited from the experience.
- The freelancing and blogging experience led to a job with K-State Research and Extension incorporating several of my favorite things into one amazing experience: K-State, agriculture, writing, social media - whammo. Perfect.

The Hardcore Stats

My top 5 all-time posts are:
1. Temple Grandin - HBO Biopic: 4570 views - A post announcing the release of the Emmy award winning film about Dr. Grandin's early years
2. Buzzard's fly, they don't ski: 3469 views - This post was about Ninja and I getting engaged so while I would like to think that 3500 people were concerned with our lives, I am assuming some other search term like "buzzards flying" brought them to that post.
3. Who Are We to Judge Horsemeat: 1791 views - A post about how American's don't set the tone for what other countries eat and we shouldn't condemn those that don't rely solely on beef, pork or chicken.
4. Grillin' Ain't BBQ'in: 1149 views - A surprisingly popular post about how the terms grilling and bbqing are often interchanged and misused.
5. In Honor of Pigs and Pork: 847 views - Again, a post which garnered a lot of attention for some unknown reason. This contains a lot of factual information about pork. It was written during Pork Month.

Where y'all be coming from?

The top ten countries that visit Buzzard's Beat are:
1. United States
2.  Russia (surprising)
3. Australia (not surprising)
4. Canada
5. United Kingdom
6. Germany
7. Netherlands
8. France
9. India
10. Brazil  

Whatcha lookin' for?

The 10 most popular search terms used to find this blog since its inception:
1. Temple Grandin
2. Buzzard
3. Turkey Buzzard (thanks Sharita)
4. Buzzards
5. Horse meat (which I'll not be eating)
6. Fiji (probably stems from posts of this nature)
7. BBQ
8. Buzzards Beat (hooray you remembered my url!)
9. Mini pigs (whaaat?)
10. Trevor Brazile (hahahaha - I love me some Trevor Brazile)
Those that didn't make the top 10 but are still funny were: vet (uh, no), great American desert, school lunch policy, 80s girl, article on global warming and my personal favorite: bone in cow heart (twice!).

Ok - so now to the part that you all really came to the blog for....

A friend of mine makes western jewelry with copper and silver. It's gorgeous - her company is called Silo Silver and you can find her on Facebook. She has generously helped me out with a pair of these gorgeous feather earrings with turquoise and copper to giveaway to one lucky reader. For the fellas, you may not think they'll look good on you but what about that lucky lady in your life???

Enter by following the instructions on the easy peasy Rafflecopter thing - (Sheridan introduced me to these and they make giveaways so much easier). Entries will close on Halloween - then I'll announce the winner the next day! It'll be a spooky surprise, but not really spooky.

****This giveaway is now closed - the Rafflecopter widget has been removed****

Thanks so much for your loyal readership over the past three years. It's been quite a journey and I've loved it and hope to be able to continue sharing my opinions, sarcasm and passion with you for years to come (did I say years? yikes).

Until next year (kidding, I'll post again before then),
~ Buzzard ~

p.s. the picture above is from my Instagram feed - here is my shameless plug. Follow me - @brandibuzzard!

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

World Food Day - Kansas Style

As you've probably read, today is World Food Day. While every day is important to people who eat, today we are mindful of celebrating healthy, affordable and sustainable agriculture. I am not a big fan of the tenets the Food Day organization is touting because they don't support all of agriculture and use misguided rhetoric but I am still a big fan of promoting food production, feeding the world, eating healthy and agricultural efficiency.

The Kansas Department of Agriculture has proposed their own Kansas Food Day and set forth their own priorities:

1)       Promote Well-Balanced, Nutrient Rich Eating Habits: Kansans of all ages should consume a healthful, well-balanced, nutrient-rich diet that includes fruits and vegetables, whole grains, high-quality lean protein and low fat dairy products. We should help children develop healthful eating habits today that they can carry with them from childhood into adolescence and adulthood. 
2)       Support All Kansas Farmers and Ranchers: Consumers lose when interest groups seek to pit farmer against farmer. In Kansas, we know that it will take contributions from all farmers and ranchers, regardless of size or the type of production practices utilized, to meet growing food demands in Kansas communities, across the United States and around the globe.
Whether you are a farmer who grows crops on thousands of acres, a rancher with 100 head of cattle or a vegetable farmer who grows produce and sells at local farmers markets, in Kansas, we support you. We are committed to assuring regulatory programs are reliable and workable and that all farmers and ranchers have the ability to market their products as they see fit.
3)       Continuously Improve Agricultural Production: Farmers and ranchers will have to double production in the next 20-30 years to meet food demands. Improvements in agriculture over the past 30 years have resulted in farmers and ranchers producing more safe, wholesome food using fewer resources.
For example, a study by Washington State University in 2007 found that today’s farmers and ranchers raise 13 percent more beef from 30 percent fewer cattle. When compared with beef production in 1977, each pound of beef produced today produces 16 percent less carbon emissions; takes 33 percent less land; and requires 12 percent less water.
Improvements in crop varieties and production have enabled Kansas farmers and ranchers to increase yield capabilities using fewer resources. In order to meet food demands, it will take cooperation among local, state and federal governments, universities, private entities, non-governmental organizations and farmers and ranchers. 
4)       Reduce Hunger in Our Kansas Communities: Reducing hunger and food insecurity rates in Kansas will take a cooperative effort to improve availability and access to food. Kansas Farm to School programs work to connect schools (K-12) and local farms and strives to serve healthful meals in school cafeterias, improve student nutrition, provide agricultural education opportunities and support local and regional farmers and ranchers.  

I think these are some pretty dang good goals and we should all strive to promote agriculture in these ways. These priorities can be applied to any state obviously, not just Kansas. I'll be tweeting Kansas agriculture facts with the #foodday2012 tag. I hope you'll do the same with your own state! 
Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

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Monday, October 22, 2012

All Things Encompassed

This post will boast of all my favorite things in life. Whoopa

This is what I did this weekend...

No, I'm not a big fan of running the chutes but Podge only has one useful wing right now due to shoulder surgery so I popped the gate for 7 hours to be helpful. and got sunburned. On a happier note, rode Friday/HB and she didn't buck and she also got two new pairs of shoes. Such a well-dressed lady.

And watched this guy coach the Cats to a 7-0 start and a #3 BCS ranking - I don't want to brag, but I've already put in my ticket request for the 'Ship. Snyder for President!

Also, this guy is unstoppable. He's gonna get the Heisman and be the first Wildcat ever to earn one. And the best part is that he doesn't do it for himself - he does it for Bill, Wildcat Nation and the K-State family.

Collin: "It's ok Geno - Oklahoma didn't think we'd win either. You should call Landry Jones and see if he has time for you to cry in each others beers."

It was a great weekend, as usual, to be a Wildcat. We've got Tech this weekend, at home - should be a good game.

What did you do this weekend?

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

p.s. I've got another giveaway in the making - stay tuned on Wednesday for the details!

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Thursday, October 18, 2012


If you've been involved at any level with ag policy or follow K-State media streams, you've no doubt heard of THE Dr. Barry Flinchbaugh. The man is a living legend - he's been an agriculture economics professor at Kansas State University for over 40 years and his ag policy class fills up within the first two days of enrollment every year. Like clockwork. He is also a long-time advisor on ag policy to politicians of both parties. There is an inelastic demand for his sarcasm, wit and no holds barred political ideas. You may not always agree with him but you will always maintain respect for him.

He also hates KU - a man after my own heart. Sigh.

Last week, Dr. Flinchbaugh was the chosen speaker for the Alpha Zeta Fall Event addressing the topic of economics and ag policy. This is not a summary of his speech (sorry) but simply me sharing some of my favorite anecdotes and one-liners that I've heard over the years from sitting in his class and attending other events.

- There isn't a problem in the world that a good dose of moderation wouldn't solve

- If you don't vote you don't have the right to [insert word for female dog]

- Don't ever write agriculture off for a lack of power

- What do you get if you drive through Lawrence really slow? -- A degree

- What they need is a good dose of horse sense

- If you are against bio-tech, you are in favor of starvation

- If I were a part of this Congress, I’d be too embarrassed to go home.

There are a ton more of these - if you are a K-State student and you haven't taken Ag Policy, you are most certainly missing out on one of the most pertinent, useful and interesting courses offered in any agriculture curriculum across the nation. Even if you aren't an ag person, this is definitely worth your time.

For those of you who have taken the class - what's your favorite Flinchbaugh-ism?

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Decorating the Blog with Diversity

I struggle to keep this blog ag, K-State and rodeo centered. Because I like random things like decorating and cooking (sometimes) and I always love clothes and would love to be able to do what Sheridan does over on Stitches Without Riches but I don't want to deter from my real purpose for the blog. So while I will probably start to put more random domesticated blogs in here, never fear because K-State, ag and rodeo will always reign supreme.

See how I put decorating in the title? I bet you didn't know this was going to be about decorating. I tricked ya.

I have put a lot of time into decorating our trailer house for fall, especially since it's the first house we've had room to decorate in since we've been married. So, today you're getting a splash of fall decorating in and around our trailer casa and also some excitement of DIY. Very domesticated I have become (that was Yoda speaking). Oy, marrying a nerd is rubbing off on me.

Ok let's kick start this with some DIY excitement - I have a lot of jewelry and nowhere to put it all so I can choose what to wear.
See this right here? That's a jewelry board with cool vintage-y knobs from Hob Lob that I made using a piece of barnwood from the old barn across the road. Total cost: $8 - I saw one on ebay selling for $40. I am such a saver.

And this?
Oh, just a burlap monogram letter of the family name. No biggie - knocked that DIY project out in one night. Easy peasy.

And this lampshade?
Purple spray paint is the bomb.
I made those things, folks. With my two hands. And some power tools. and a flame torch.  Also, I did some fall decorating on that table with the wooden duck and a pumpkin candle. Ba-zing.

And now for the decorating portion of today's random blog post:

This is in our living room - I found the barnwood shelf/cabinet on Craigslist and the framed copy of A Tribute to the Stockman by W.H. Mumford is a gift from my sister-in-law, Hallie. The wooden dish is made from eucalyptus wood that we bought it in Australia. Glammed up pumpkins are from Michaels, as is the hurricane jar and candle. Wine corks were already on hand ;)

Next up the mantel top of the entertainment center

 I don't like to buy a lot of things to decorate, because I'm cheap. So I use whatever I can find in our house or stuff we have purchased on different trips. I like to incorporate items from our international travels - like that bowl (which needs to be dusted) with the colorful orbs and string. Both the bowl and the orbs are from South Africa and so is the pronghorn horn. See the homemade monogram sign up there? Forgot to mention that cost me all of $3.50 to make since I only had to buy the spray paint. Which I also used to spray paint the lamp shade and a small ceramic dish that is hiding elsewhere in the house.

Oh and check out my friend Ernie, perched atop some fall colored books - all but two of the books are from international trips we have taken.

 These fall flowers are actually kind of recycled - I bought the orange and red one but the ceramic vase with raffia and the yellow flower are from my sweet friend Lindsay. In the spring, the whole thing is full of the yellow flowers that she gave me for my birthday a few years ago.

We live in a trailer modular home with an open floor plan so there isn't a lot of designated space for a big kitchen table or other shelves but this woven bowl from South Africa filled with gourds is doing a great job of looking fall-ish on table that we rarely eat at.

 And now we've come to the outdoors portion of the tour - from left to right: our front door with pumpkins, gourds and some corn stalks; close up of pumpkins (purchased from East Side Market); the porch at the back door (aren't my yellow mums pretty?). 

And if, for some reason, you all like this kind of stuff  please let me know. Maybe I'll do a 'house tour' or something. Or recipes I am going to use in my new crockpot that I finally got from Hyatt. Show me some comment love!

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

My Baby: Semi-Wordless Wednesday

Nope, I'm not pregnant.

Moving on - my children are much more expensive to feed and are considerably larger. My favorite child, my pride and joy, my baby - the superstar athlete, straight A student, cuddly cute one is Doc. You've seen him here.

 And there is the problem child - the one who sneaks out of the house to meet up with the punk rock boyfriend, the child who gets kicked out of prom and the one who doesn't care what I say because I'll never understand how hard her life is (*sigh*). Meet Friday, less affectionately known as HB. I'll let you figure that out for yourself. I bought her from my brother - she is a super nice heel horse and I am adding breakaway roping to her repertoire and she's not doing bad at all.

In all fairness, she isn't really mean or anything. She just isn't finished and I don't devote as much to her as I should. She's also not Doc, which unfortunately makes her #2 in my book even though she can't help it. Favorite child syndrome going on at the FroBuzz Ranch. That said, I have ridden three times this week and things are going well. I anticipate that by next spring, she'll be ready for a summer full of rodeos; once I get her to run through a barrier and some other minor stuff like that.

Sorry for all the words.

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

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