Archive for April 2013

Instagram AGvocate

April 23, 2013

Like many people I use various types of social media including Facebook and Instagram.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with Instagram, it is a way to connect with people all around the world who also have Instagram accounts by the use of posting pictures and art that people can comment on.   Yesterday, I had an interesting conversation with a girl from back home in Virginia who is a member of my 4-H club. She too has an Instagram account with over 1600 followers and she posts multiple pictures a day. She shows her own sheep and dairy goats and owns a variety of other animals. She uses her Instagram account to be an advocate for agriculture and I think that it is great; however we have different views on many hot topics in agriculture such as GMOs (genetically modified organisms) and the use of implants in beef.

Yesterday, I decided that after days of seeing pictures about her personal opinions and what I saw to be misconceptions about agriculture, I would stand up for what I believe in and try to be an AGvocate.  She posted a picture of a steer that was standing between two trees and left a comment with the picture talking about how her family had gotten a few steers and said “Apparently they are of show quality. Oh if only my county 4-H didn’t allow steroids & hormones in the cattle, I would show them.” One of her followers commented afterwards, asking why farmers use steroids and hormones in cattle so she replied by saying “It’s to make them grow larger, faster and at times have more marbling (the white bits in a steak) it’s really not good and I think that if people get disqualified in the Olympics for them then people at 4-H shows should as well. We don’t use any hormones or steroids on our animals and that’s why I won’t show them.”

Here is the picture:

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After her comment I decided I needed to try to set the situation straight so I left a comment stating “Cattle that have been implanted that are used for meat consumption offer far less hormones when compared to many other types of food such as cabbage where estrogen is thousands of times more ppm than a regular serving of beef. I challenge you to do more research about this subject. Eating beef that hasn’t been implanted is a choice and I respect that but in order to meet the growing needs of the world’s population while doing it in the most efficient way, we will have to involve the use of implants, as well as many other technologies.”

There were over 25 comments to follow my comment all continuing to get deeper into the subject and by the end of the day, while I knew I had probably not changed the mind of the girl from back home, I was proud of myself. Not only did I, by the end of the conversation, have three other people from accross the country who agreed with my comments, back up my argument; but I had been able to exchange information in a polite manner and felt I was able to get my point across. This was an advocating experience like no other for me as it was with someone on a one on one basis. It was not in a classroom, it was not on an airplane, but it was on Instagram: a social networking site for mobile phone users that over 1600 of her followers could read. I was glad that I finally stepped up to the plate and gave the true facts about the situation and I deeply encourage everyone else out there who might be self-conscious or nervous to do the same thing because at the end of the day it is an extremely rewarding feeling!

Share the Love, Even If Only For a Day!

April 11, 2013

April 10, aka yesterday. Anyone know what makes this day so stinking special?…. If you don’t, shame on you (especially if you have siblings!!) but no worries, that is why I am here. April 10 is known nationally as National Siblings Day. That’s right. For all of you that had no idea you had a day where you were nationally recognized, guess what?!? You have to wait a whole 364 more days to have it again. Those of us who are lucky enough (some days are questionable!) to have siblings would not be the same person we are today without ’em. Think about it…wether you want to admit it or not, there is SOMETHING that you can tell your sibling(s) thank you for.

As I was avoiding studying for a test by scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed yesterday, I began to notice how many people were recognizing their siblings and posting pictures of them together! Of course I joined in on the fun as well. Here is the picture I posted…

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The caption: “Happy National Siblings Day! Y’all are the best… Well most of the time anyway!”

While it may seem silly that it takes a “special day” to show siblings love, it really got me to thinking… “Hmmmm… I wonder where I would be today if Flinton, Ethan, and Hannah weren’t there with me..?” While there is no possible way to answer this question, I think back to the time, especially the summers that we have spent together and how even on the days when we didn’t always see eye to eye, we still were able to accomplish tasks around the farm. Want to see a little “day in the life of…?” Of course you do. The American Angus Association, I am Angus did a story on our family! That’s right, we were on TV! Check it out for yourself: McCabe I am Angus

With there being four of us with about a 10 year age range, we each have different areas where we succeed and areas where as much as I don’t want to say this, Hannah might be better than the rest of us. (Just kidding, we love Hannah. But seriously…) Growing up on a family farm makes everyone pull together just a little more especially through the hard times and cold winters. While my dad taught us almost everything we learned growing up (from castrating and feeding pigs to assisting heifers calving and everything in-between) each one of us found the areas that we liked the most. It just so happens to be that it was a little different for each of us.

Flinton has started to become the brains behind McCabe Genetics (feel free to check our website out!). Of course dad is still the man in charge and tells Flinton when his ideas could be better. While Flinton is gone for a couple weeks at a time visiting customers someone has to be at home to help my dad! This is where the cool brother comes in… But first a couple of pictures of Flinton “in action.”

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Looks like a pretty tough job, don’t ya think??? Don’t worry. I have a couple pictures to save the lad. He really does occasionally work believe it or not.

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Now back to the cool brother, Ethan. Ethan is more behind the scenes when it comes to daily work. He can do anything if you ask him nice enough. This includes changing brake pads when he pretends he sometimes can’t even air a tire at home. Bless his heart. He loves to travel with a couple families and go to cattle shows to help them “fit” their cattle. Don’t know what that means, check this out!: Fitting Show Cattle. Want to see him in action? (I couldn’t find any pictures of him sitting around by the way!)

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Except for one time, but I have to give him credit. He did some creative thinking to be able to operate the hydraulic chute without ever having to move.

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Like I said, bless his heart.

My sister Hannah is the shortest sibling we have. Even though she pretends to be helpless from time to time (but come on, who doesn’t right?) but she is the hardest working girl I know. She does things that no one ever thinks about doing around the farm but need to be done to make everything run properly. On sale day at our farm, she operates the computer system that tells who bought which lot. She is the best sister anyone could ask for!

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It takes every person in a family to make what they do a success and ours is not any different. Even though sometimes the road gets a little rocky and you may not always like your siblings, I bet your parents have the same thoughts as my dad. He has said time and time again, “I am the happiest when all my kids are getting along.” Dad doesn’t always have the same image of his kids getting along as we do. Not sure what I mean? Check out these two links. Don’t have time? Seriously, take a peak at them! They will make your day so much better with a laugh!!

Flinton and Hannah (Do keep in mind, she was willing to let him do this and laughing!!)

Ethan and Flinton

Here is a couple of pictures to show my families National Siblings Day love!

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Even Ethan gets scared sometimes! Good thing Hannah is there to keep him safe.

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