Archive for May 2011

4 cows + 1 bull = $20?

May 20, 2011

For anyone in the cattle business, we KNOW cattle are not cheap. And friends, cattle prices are rising every year!!! But boy….has the Brangus association got a deal for you!!!

The International Junior Brangus Breeders are raffling off a “herd” of cattle. Four commercial Brangus heifers and one registered Brangus bull are going to the person with the winning ticket! Raffle tickets are $20 and the drawing will be held July 16th in Louisiana (need not be present to win!).

So, whether you are an experienced cattleman looking to expand your herd or a first-timer interested in trying out the cattle business, you might consider putting your 20 bucks in for a chance at 5 high quality Brangus cattle!

If interested, or if you’d like more information, contact:

Emily Jackson – International Junior Brangus Director

254-230-8444

emily_jackson18@yahoo.com

Happy Summer Days!

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Happy Farm Animals 101: Vaccinations

May 9, 2011

Farmers and ranchers often get a lot of attention from activists about vaccinations, shots and anything that deals with needles and cattle in the same sentence! But, I’m here to set the record straight – sometimes shots are what it takes to make happy farm animals.

On our farm back home in Texas, our land is known for having a disease commonly called “Black leg”. The symptoms are rare, and the indicator of black leg is mainly a pasture full of dead cattle! The prevention however is simple, one shot once a year keeps cattlemen in the clear! Other vaccinations we often give our calves are preventative shots to keep away pneumonia and scours.

By having these vaccines, cattle can stay healthy and happy! And to prove the dedication of farmers and ranchers, just think how many Americans regularly go to the doctor to get preventative vaccines? Even the flu shot once a year? Do you? Cattlemen are sure to follow the guidelines on the medicine bottle, and if a label says “give every 6 weeks”, you better believe that every 6 weeks the farm is in motion giving shots!

Here are a few pictures from my families recent “cattle working day”:

The first step in working cow/calf pairs is to seperate the mommas and babies. And no, this is not cruelty. The pairs are only seperated for a few hours and if they were to stay together during the working process, it would be far to easy for a momma to accidentally step on a baby while going through the chute. Through seperation, the babies are sure to stay safe.

After seperation of mommas and babies, it's important to make sure there is a constant supply of calves coming through the chute. Ensuring the line never stops makes the process go faster and ultimately puts less stress on all cattle involved. If you notice, the walls leading up to the chute are solid metal, with no bars or chains. This is an animal welfare technique suggested by Dr. Temple Grandin. The solid sides make for less distraction and stress on the cattle.

This action would go as follows: the calf (or cow) would come through the chute, one man would "catch the head" or slip a device over the calf's head to make it hold still long enough for the other two people to give the shots! Shots are administered in the neck region where it will cause no harm to the meat, one of two ways: under the skin or in the muscle. The label on the medicine bottle will specify which administering technique is recommended. All of our workers are specifically trained to give the most pain -free, welfare-happy shot possible.

Farmers and ranchers are sure to draw out the exact amount of medicine needed! An overdose could be lethal, while to little medicine would not offer the protection from diseases!

We tag all of our calves when they are a couple months old so we know who has been sick, what medicines they've recieved, who their mother is and for pure record keeping purposes!

And finally, record keeping! It is vital for farmers and ranchers to keep records to know what cows have produced calves, recieved shots, moved pastures, anything! On our farm, we make sure every cow is accounted for in nearly every action she does!

Hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s “Happy Farm Animal” info, be sure to check back for more!

No one said it would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.

May 9, 2011

Usually I’m completely stoked for the end of the school year. I simply can’t wait to feel the freedom summer has to offer and spend countless hours on our farm working in the hay field and with cattle, going to shows and seeing old friends and making new ones.

But this year, it is a teensy bit bittersweet.

Saturday night was the Butler Livestock Judging banquet. No, I’m not a judger, but I’m the most loyal tag-a-long/groupie/roomie/friend those guys have ever had I’m sure! So of course I was in attendance.

And naturally, I got to thinking about my time here. How I was this close to going to the community college 15 minutes from home because I had no reason to do anything different. But then Chris Mullinix said he could give me an ag scholarship, and I thought “Hey, what do I have to lose?” At the time, I had no idea that I had a whole new set of adventures and ‘family’ waiting for me that I would never trade for anything. I don’t think I will ever be able to fully thank Chris for giving me all that through a simple scholarship.

Butler and the instructors here have opened countless doors for me. Not only do I have a few more bridesmaids for my wedding, but the professional people I have met is unbelievable. One of those happens to be the former CEO of Tyson Foods, Greg Lee, who came to speak at the Ag Department’s open house. The Ag Ambassadors has been a tremendous organization to be apart of. Together, our group has not only educated the public about the school’s ag program, where their food comes from and agriculture in general, but we have accomplished our purposes while making memories we will never forget.

Never for one minute have I regretted my decision to attend Butler. I fully believe it has prepared me for my next steps in life. I am looking forward to interning with Osborne & Barr, an agricultural advertising agency, this summer in Kansas City. This fall, I will become a Wildcat at Kansas State University to major in Animal Science and minor in Spanish.

If there is one thing life has given me a first hand account of during my two years at Butler, it is that sometimes plans will change. But everything and everyone come into your life for a reason. So take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. Always look for the silver lining in the cloud. I’ll leave you with a quote that a dear friend told me one time, and I think it fits perfectly:

“If you get a chance- TAKE IT!
If it changes your life-LET IT!
No one ever said it would be easy, they only promised it would be worth it.”

Put me in coach, I’m ready to play!

May 5, 2011

Newsflash: The Ag Ambassadors are not only the coolest things since fruit snacks, but basically pretty much amazing at everything we do.

A little intramural softball fever hit us Tuesday night, and let me tell ya, it was very impressive for the multitude of crowds gathered around. If you want to be us, it’s okay. We totally understand.

Check out a few of our favorite pics below and enjoy a slideshow made just for you! 🙂

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Pick Up Your Crazy Heart It’s Gonna Be A Barefoot Blue Jean Night

May 2, 2011

Today I bring to you 2 songs of the week (please contain your excitement)

1st is “Barefoot Blue Jean Night” by Jake Owen

2nd is “Weary Kind” by Ryan Bingham, the theme song of the movie Crazy Heart (it’s different but awesome!)

Also provided are photo updates of Butler Ag Ambassador’s as some of us make travels to Nebraska, Elk City Kansas & Stillwater Oklahoma (for Easter and concerts). Enjoy!

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