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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Why We Use Antibiotics on Our Farm

I've wrote about this subject before but I thought I would revisit it because I know antibiotics are a concern for consumers. Also, I feel the media doesn't quite give the whole story and instead tell us no antibiotic use in livestock is best. However, being a farmer I also know that antibiotics (also know as antimicrobials) can heal sick or hurting animals. Healthy cattle make healthy beef that my family and your family can enjoy.

This time, on our farm, the cow needing antibiotics was one of the Boy's favorite cows named Fantasy. About a week ago we notice that she had a serve limp and her foot was very swollen. Poor girl! This is one of the signs of foot rot. It is a very treatable aliment with an antimicrobial, and so Fantasy received a shot.

We work very closely with our vet for recommendations on the correct antibiotics to give to our cattle depending on the symptoms, and we always follow the dosing instruction on the bottle for the amount that should be given. In addition each antibiotic has a withdrawal time. This means that the animal can not be slaughtered and enter the food chain until the withdrawal period is over. As well, the United States government mandates that no beef with antibiotic residues that exceed FDA standards be allowed in the food supply; therefore, all beef sold in the United States is safe from antibiotics. 

We treated Fantasy, and then headed out to the Iowa State Fair the next day to exhibit our livestock. When we got home we noticed that Fantasy had not gotten any better. This time we decided to run her into the cattle chute for further examination, and we were very surprised to see what we found. 

Yes, that is a rock that was wedged up between her toes. Can you image how sore your foot and leg would be if you walked around with a rock in your shoes for several days? We were able to remove the rock, but the area was very infected. Following our veterinarians advice, Fantasy received another shot of an antibiotic. As soon as she got out of the chute she instantly was able to put weight back on her foot. There is no better feeling than knowing that you helped an animal when they are in pain. The antibiotic will also help the sore heal so further problems don't arise. 

Now some of you may say that our misdiagnoses required us to use more antibiotics than necessary. I guess I view it something like this. Recently, I had a serve bladder infection. I went to the doctor and they have me an antibiotic. I thought I got better, but the next week I was back in the doctor's office. The antibiotic they had given me didn't work and they had to switch things up. Sometimes similar situations happen with our cattle. 

The Boy getting the antibiotics ready for Fantasy. We use antibiotics on our farm to help our cattle get healthy again. I would never want to leave one of our cows in pain when I know that an antibiotic could help them. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Beauty Musts for Beating the Summer Sun

Whether I am on the farm or at the beach (she we actually took a family vacation this summer) making sure the SPF is ready is really important to me. Not only am I a fair skinned beauty, but skin cancer is scary. Did you know that 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime?

After using these products for the last couple weeks, and trying a few others that didn't live up the hype I am ready to share my favorites. 

1. Klorane Dry Shampoo: I have tried a lot of dry shampoos with no luck. I was about to give up until I got a sample of the Klorane Dry Shampoo in my Ipsy beauty bag. This stuff is amazing. I love using it after being outside when you hair is a little sweaty to freshen up. It also works great for those days that you want to skip the hair washing. I am now on my second bottle. 

2. Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster: Even if you want to protect your skin, most of us still want that sun kissed glow. Since I am so pale it is hard to find something that is natural looking. I had read about this Clarins product on a few beauty blogs, and it definitely lived up to its claims. You drop 2-3 drops of this oil like substance into the moisturizer that you are going to use right away. Since you are adding the self tanner you can control the color. It has given me a nice glow. 

3. Rash Guard Swin Shirt: Sometimes it is hard to get the sunscreen everywhere. Since I knew we were going to the lake I invested in a rash guard shirt very similar to this one from J. Crew. This shirt offers a SPF of 50 and is recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation as an effective UV protectant. 

4. Clinique City Block Sheer: I have been using this product since 2010, and I love it. It is tinted and I apply over my moisturizer and under my foundation. It is also great on those days that you don't want to wear foundation, but your skin needs a little evening out. Highly recommend it! 

A few pictures from our vacation. Target Field. My nephew Bode. Campfire S'mores. 

What are some of your favorite ways to beat the summer heat? 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Frozen S'Mores

I love Cool Whip and I love S'Mores. So combining them into ones dessert seemed like a fantastic idea. Especially since it has been waaay to hot in Iowa lately.

1 jar of marshmallow cream/fluff
1 tub of Cool Whip (I always buy the lite)
1 box of graham crackers
1 bag of melting chocolate or chocolate chips

1. Begin melting the chocolate. One of my favorite ways to melt melting chocolate is in a zip lock bag in the microwave. Microwave for a 45 seconds the first time, and then 30 seconds at a time until chocolate is melted. It helps to "massage" the chocolate between cycles. This is also a good tutorial for melting chocolate chips or melting chocolate. 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Farming Simulator Game Review: I Never Wanted to be a Farmer

I didn't grow up like most farmers. I didn't play with tractors or ever imagine what it must be like to drive them in real life. I was going to either A) be in the NBA or B) work for my family's plastics company. As luck would have it by age 13 I hadn't grown tall or become skilled enough to chase my NBA dream, and my family sold its plastics company. I remember thinking it's ok, you're still a kid with plenty of time to figure this out, while still worrying about the future. Then I got my first Hereford show heifer and my world changed again. I now had a purpose, a goal and a passion. No matter how winding the path has been since I knew where I'd end up and that is right where I am now. I am a Farmer.

Now I told you all of that to give you some perspective as to what you are going to read in my review of the video game Farming Simulator15. Usually my wife the lovely Crystal Cattle herself rolls her eyes when I tell her I'm going to play video games, but one day she actually told me that I had to! I got excited and got ready to go down to our new basement and play NBA 2K15 because that is what video games are for, to escape reality for a bit and turn your brain off. Then she told me I was going to be farming on my PS3 instead of dunking on everyone in my path. For once Crystal was given something via the blog that I could use! 

Farming Simulator 15 is one of the most realistic games I have ever played. I started out with the American farm in the career mode over Europe, because I am American and very proud of that so why on earth would I pick Europe? Well it turns out that if you want to learn what you need to do in the game you need to start off on the European map. After learning the ropes I returned to America and started living the dream. Kind of like what many of our ancestors did. 

You start out with a wheat field ready to harvest. I found that you can hire a worker to drive the combine while you go and get the grain cart to get the grain from the field and to the bin. Once you get the field harvested you can also hire someone to till the field and to plant it as well as spread the fertilizer. This is where Farming Simulator 15 got to be a little too real for me, you see in real life I drive the grain cart as well. It turns out you can hire every other job done in Farming Simulator 15 as well as in real life but the cart, at least I can't figure out how to. Hiring someone to drive the grain cart in real life is also the thing I can't seem to hire someone to do either! 

I would say Farming Simulator 15 is very relaxing and an all around enjoyable experience. There are some technical parts of Farming Simulator 15 that I'm not sure little kids would be good at. On the other hand kids are way smarter than many of my friends or I were in our younger days. If I were to change Farming Simulator 15 I would add a few more analytical tools such as cost of production, a chart to view past and present commodity prices and trends, among others. Modern farming is so much more than simply driving a tractor. I would also add beef cattle but I'm sure that's just because that is the way Crystal and I farm. 

If you are someone who has ever dreamed of being a Farmer this game is for you. All of the fun of farming with none of the real life stress! Farming is not something I planned on doing but it is now what I love. Farming Simulator 15 is a great taste of what it is like to be a Farmer.

And now for the fun part we have a copy to give you! It is a version for Xbox 360. To enter all you have to do is comment below with what you love about farming, or if you aren't currently a farmer what you would raise or grow if you could farm. I'll randomly select a winner on June 26 at 8:00 a.m. 

Disclaimer: We received a free copy of Farming Simulator 15 for review, however all opinions are our own. 
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