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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Lewis Farms - generations of Simmental cattle

Flashback

So I mentioned this summer that I got to go my first cattle shoot that wasn't strictly Angus. Lewis Farms and my family go way back, my dad and mom helped manage the place when I was just a baby, and I spent the next six years growing up on that farm. The Lewis and Buba families are truly family to me.

 It is great to see a farm that have been in the family for four generations, with three of those generations still active in the day to day duties. And with a pretty sharp set of grandkids ready to take over the wheels I think they are going to be in pretty good shape. Last week we put the finishing touches on the video as Lewis Farms begins to prepare for their Bull Sale on February 27th.

So hear it is...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

National Western Stock Show - the fisheye

Just a few more photos

It still seems like Denver ended just a few days ago. I'm really missing it. I mean my girlfriends and I had a really, really good time. It might be hard to top in 2011. I wanted to leave you with a few more photos. These were all taken with my fisheye lens. You can read more about my camera and lens here.  And you can look at some of my favorite Denver photos here. 


Where all the magic happens.


Having the final say.


The view from above the pen show.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

No more Yellowtail for me thank-you HSUS

I prefer Little Penguin

This is your animal activist alert - they have done it again! HSUS has used their sad "puppy dog and kitty cat, but actually don't run any animal shelters" faces to convince Yellowtail wines to be a part of the team. Well, Yellowtail (even though there unfortunately is a bottle waiting to be drank on my counter, but is now going in the trash) we are not on the same team anymore.

According to the Human Society of the U.S.'s website Yellowtail wines and HSUS have partner together for the "tails for tails" program.


Through the end of March, you'll see special [yellow tail] displays bearing The HSUS name and logo in stores across the country.
Through "tails for tails," [yellow tail] is donating $100,000 to support us and our programs to help animals, including our Spay Day Online Pet Photo Contest. What better way to celebrate your own pet than by sharing your animal companion's photo.
I think if I wanted to celebrate my pets life I would donate to my LOCAL Humane Society and make a donation in their honor, not give HSUS more money so they can continue their crusade against animal agriculture. Anyone know of a good cowboy wine out there?

Saddle up to San Antonio

Headed to Texas

My bags are packed again and I am headed to San Antonio for the 2010 Cattle Industry Annual Convention and NCBA Trade Show. I am really excited to be headed back to San Antonio, as the last time I was there was with my junior college livestock judging team. That was the great thing about judging, you got to see the country, the downside when you were in these really cool towns you were there to judge. So, other than the livestock grounds and a couple cool tourist restaurants that was about all you got to see.

Be sure to check out the Young Producer's Council blog Cattle Call while I am gone, as we are hoping to provide some updates from Convention. And if you are there come track me down. I will be spending lots of time at the American Angus Association booth.

But don't worry too much my friends, I have some posts ready to go so you will still be able to get your crystal.cattle daily intake while I am gone. Have a great week!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Purple Banner Designs

Unique Cattle Gifts
So it seems like there is going to be another explosion of wedding this year, and babies too. Hmm, imagine that after two years of wedding season, now it's baby season - surprising.

I came across Purple Banner Designs that specializes in kids T-shirts, hoodies and now note cards. They have all kinds of fabric choices and can do a wide array of livestock appliqu├ęs. And the other great thing is that her prices are really reasonable!


Always a great idea to have some cute note cards around.


And if you really want to dress your children up matchy, matchy style this is the way to go.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

I got my MBA - Master of Beef Advocacy that is.

Why not graduate one more time.


Last summer, Cgood told me about NCBA's Master's of Beef Advocacy program. I thought this would be a great way to refresh my mind, and have access to more information, that way when I got a question from a consumer I could give a better answer than - well I know I take care of my cows.

During, Denver my good friends Dr. Dana and Catie go talking about the program. Dana and Catie are both in the health care profession. And, although they grew up on farms, were extremely active in their junior breed associations, and try to make it to as many cattle events as possible, their careers lead them away from agriculture. Yet, these two people, and others like them might be the key to agriculture surviving. These two ladies have more access to urban environments and consumers than most ranchers. So even though they may be wearing a cute head band, leggings and riding boots, or a scarf, Gap jeans, and heels they are still huge advocates for our industry.

If you are interested in knowing more about the MBA program please feel free to give me a hollar at crystal.cattle@gmail.com or contact NCBA directly to sign up or learn more at MBA@beef.org.

And remember that:

  • 1 3 oz. serving of lean beef has the same amount of vitamin B12 as 7.5 skinless chicken breasts. 
  • You would have to eat 2.75 cups of spinach to receive the same amount of iron found in a 3 oz. serving of lean beef
  • And a 3 oz. of lean beef will provide you with 25 grams of protein
  • There are 29 lean cuts of beef, a good way to identify these cuts is look for the word loin

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Found it - as in the Western Belt

Searching high and low

So you all know that I have been seeking out a new belt. It's not like I really need a new one, but of course I want one. The problem is I just started the Dave Rasmey Financial Peace University. I think I am really going to like it and learn lots. And yet there is this belt. So as Dave says, if you want something put it in the budget, well this might be going into the budget.


I am really hoping when they say chocolate brown leather they mean black because it has to match the "uniform."

My "Quarter of the Century" birthday is only two months away, but I thought new luggage for my Australia trip would be more logical and grown-up of me. But belts are more fun. Anyways, you have to check out Double J Saddlery. I saw a bunch of their stuff in the Denver airport and it's awesome. Purses, belts, wallets, etc. They aren't cheap but a girl can dream right?

p.s.
1. When I say the uniform I mean the black shirt + blue jeans combo that I ALWAYS wear.

2. More Dave Ramsey stuff will be coming.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

National Western Stock Show - Wordless Wednesdays

The black and white version. 

So a lot of blogs have these post called "Wordless Wednesdays," where the blogger posts a picture of two and then you get to just think and ponder. The thing is I am usually not so wordless.  So I am going to do a combination of pictures and thoughts - because I always have lots of thoughts.

On Saturday the Angus carloads and pens showed. Now if you can sit through this whole show props to you. I love being down in the yards on Saturday, we had beautiful weather and its nice to just sit back and evaluate the next generation on herd sires, the only problem is that the show takes a really, REALLY long time. That means I get board and end up snapping lots of random pictures.

Back to the point.



This is Justin. From the Sooline crew. They're Canadian. (And by the way they had Champion Pen.)



And this Geoff. Because you can't have a picture of Justin without Geoff. They're always together.



And these are the bulls. Justin and Geoff are two really talented guys. They know cattle, they know marketing and they know how to get one ready. And they are going to go far.

You'll notice in the coming days that I have a common theme to my pictures this year. We'll see if you can figure it out.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

We Own Texas - Go State

I bleed purple.

Someone once asked me if I had always loved K-State. The truth is until August 2008 when I started my first fall semester at K-State there were just another school to me... and then I got sucked in. Last night, Miss South Dakota was once again startled by my game face mode. As she came up the stairs from getting home she said, "There must be a game on." There sure was. No. 1 Texas vs. my No. 12 Kansas State Wildcats (try saying it in your best big booming announcer's voice. It sounds better that way.) I will spare you the highlight reel, because really in the end all that maters is that we won! Yes that's right we defeated the undefeated Texas Dream Team. As the clocked ticked down my beloved K-State fans started yelling "We Own Texas." You can check out a video here.

The sports commentator thought we could have been classier and been cheering something like "Thank-you" or "Good work," um probably not. I thought we might have stormed the court, but K-State fans remained behind the lines, and I found this quote today that maybe explains why.

Teams rush floors when they do something phenomenal,” said Kansas State forward Curtis Kelly, who had 17 points and eight rebounds against one college basketball’s best front lines. “It’s flattering. They knew we were going to win. They didn’t have to rush the floor because they believed in us.” - Click here for the full story
And one last thing I wanted to share with you. If you haven't became a Facebook fan of Frank Martin, K-State's basketball coach, I highly recommend it. He likes to post statuses such as this...
Hello... How about that ride in? I guess that is why they call it the Octogon of Doom. "haha" You guys may not know this but I consider myself a bit of a loner. I tend to think of myself as a one man Cat Pack. But when STATE hired me I knew that I had been a Wildcat my entire life and my Cat Pack grew by one. So wher......e there were two, there were two of us in the Cat Pack.

I can feed the world - Jill Harvie

Keep on telling your story.

Last week I mentioned that I was working on a really cool project with the Five Nations Beef Alliance. My good friend Jill Harvie, works for the Canadian Cattlemen's Association and asked if I would come speak to their Young Ranchers Round Table, on social media and video work, while I was out in Denver.


Jill and I both agreed that often when we go to these conferences or meetings there is a lot of talk about what should be done, but more often than not their is no real tangible outcome. Well we decided we would change this. Jill wanted the participants to tell their stories. It was amazing to hear that Australia is facing many of the same problems with consumers viewing agriculture negatively that we are. To counteract this they have taken some really interesting proactive steps to ensure that agriculture is self-regulated and participating in practices that consumer feels good about.

Jill tells her own story below. She did all the video work herself, and then I edited it together. The fact is consumers want to know, and we have to be available to answer their questions.


Monday, January 18, 2010

I am Proud of You

What you say has an impact.

Our parents uttered these words quite often. Or at least mine did. I know they are proud of my accomplishments, the person I am and growing towards being, and for turning out to be a pretty OK daughter. But, that is what parents are supposed to do - support their children, give them unconditional love, all that good stuff.

When your peers or colleagues say "I am proud of you" that is something totally different. During Stock Show I had two of these moments.

1. I admire Rachel Williams a lot. Although, Rachel and I have ran in the same circles we haven't had the chance to get to know each other personally. From the outside though, I can tell that she is pretty much awesome. She is a young, brilliant gal, that has an awesome business and really has the gained the respect of the livestock industry. Rachel and I have been exchanging comments on each others blogs and facebook accounts, and she made a point to stop by and say hello during the Angus show. She asked me about the video work I do, both for shows and farms. And then she said, "Well, you do great work, I am proud of you." Hopefully, my deer in the headlights look wasn't too noticeable. I think I stammered "a thank-you", and a "hope to see you soon" and then we each went our separate ways. It meant a lot for me to hear these five words from someone I admire so much. We are both young girls, just trying to make a go at it, so every little bit of encouragement helps.

2. My other moment came from my boss. I think by know most people know that I love my job. A big part of that is because of the people I work with. It has really been one of my boss's priorities to teach me as much as possible about communication, industry and life in general. January was a really good month for us. Not only did 49,000 people watch I am Angus - we were told if we got 25,000 that would be great, but our Denver videos have been a huge success. Bringing our YouTube channeclose to 120,000 views. He told me at the show how proud he was of me. It proves little dedication can go a really a long way.

So it boils down to this. Make sure you tell people how you feel. No matter how small of a gesture or simple of a phrase it can have a huge impact.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Who knew 50 would be so cool...

Actually, I am quite happy with being 24 years old, but...

I have 50 followers! Thanks so much to everyone who has been following my blog. Who knew that 194 blog posts later people would still be interested in hearing what I have to say. I hope you have enjoyed my crazy combination of agriculture advocacy, road trips, wedding stories (be prepared it looks like there will be plenty more in 2010), amazing cowboy boots, and just a little bit about the life of an ag girl.

I have lots up my sleeve this year, so hold on tight. And in the meantime if you have questions shoot away, my email address is under my profile, and if you see me out-and-about come introduce yourself.

And to those of you wondering what is this following thing is. See that button on the right hand side of my blog click it and you will be notified whenever I have a new post. To make a profile is real simple you can use an email address (it doesn't have to be a gmail account). When you login to your account you will see the updates. It is a great tool to follow all the great blogs you find! I can't even count how many are on my list now. OK that's not true I can count that high, I just haven't yet.

Have a great day, and here is to another 50 followers in the future!

NWSS - Junior Show

Some days I wish I could go back. 

On Thursday, 163 head of Angus heifer were lead into the ring during the Junior Angus Show. The quality of the show is always awesome, and I would say this year was no exception. The judge commented in the Champion Drive that the animals standing out there would make a darn good starter herd for some. He also reminded all the juniors to say thanks to their parents, fitters, friends, or anyone that had helped them. I remember the countless hours my mom and dad spent at cattle shows with my sister and I, and even more hours prior to the show helping us get our heifers ready.

Heather Willis won the Junior Show. I have gotten to know her and her sister better this fall, and we always have a good time. So, it was pretty exciting to she her win. The boy that was reserve had a smile that you couldn't wipe off his face when he won. It is always exciting to be apart of all the excitement.

Below, is the Junior Show video. Now you can watch the excitement for yourself.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Hello from the National Western Stock Show

Love this show!

I just have a quick second, but wanted to give you a little update. So far Denver has been a blast. Lot of catching up with friends, and more are coming in tomorrow. The shows have gone smoothly, and there has been lots of great cattle walk through the ring. 

I finished this video today, and wanted to share it with all of you! Talk to you soon. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

High Country Cattle Services - we have blog

Using all the technology at our finger tips
Now-a-days marketing has moved far beyond print and the breed magazine. Between websites, video, social media, and networking you can move your message a lot farther and a lot faster. My mom and dad have been watching my sister and I use these technologies, and now they have decided to jump on board. High Country Cattle Services now has a blog, and we would love for you to check it out. Currently we are featuring a video of our newest herdsire IPU Revolution 172U.


A Statue is Worth a Thousand Words

Compliments of my awesome friend CGood.

CGood and I are both contributing writer for the Young Producers' Council Beef Blog - Cattle Call. Yesterday, she had a really great post that I would encourage you to read. I agree 100% with CGood, sometimes it is really frustrating to hear what the media and uneducated consumers are saying about us. As producers we just have to remember that we know the truth, we know that the land and livestock are our number one priorities, and that we are going to have to make extra effort to educate the world as we try to feed them.
However, they (PETA and HSUS) are still a small number of people who make a lot of noise. An overwhelming 97.4 percent of Americans eat meat and farmers and ranchers are selected as trustworthy professions in opinion polls.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The phrases cattlemen use - Sweetheart Sale

Hear is your laugh for the day.

The Sweetheart Sale catalog is out. And you may say so... I'm not in the cattle business, or they have clubbies and that's not my thing, or it's just another catalog. However, I promise this catalog is unlike any other catalogs out there. As you start flipping through the sale lots you will find footnotes like:

Lot 3 - Like the saying goes,"the best looking women don’t always make the best cooks," but I think this one breaks the mold.
Lot 6 - Power to the ninth degree. They don’t get any stouter or bigger boned than Laura. Boom, boom and the ground shakes when she walks. This is a mating from heaven with Laura and Carpe Diem. If this mating doesn’twork, "I’ll eat shit and bark at the moon."
Lot 14 - She’s small, little and hairy. No, it’s is not your pocket toy.
Lot 26 - This heifer is out of the hired man’s cow. Whatever she brings won’t be enough for what Robert is worth to our program. He is truly an unreplaceable person in our operation. This female is definately AI bred and Robert needs a different pickup; so he decided to sell this one. 
I love it. Made my day, just like this catalog does every year. And I am pretty sure one day when I have my own sale I am calling Greg Kroupa for advice.

Awesome cowboy boots

This is what happens when you cross a Tiger and a Stingray...

I came across these boots on someone's feet - Miss JenniferAnn of the great state of Texas. JenniferAnn and I crossed paths through the showring, and now she is on the Junior Angus Board of Directors. I love these boots of her's, but always forget to snap a picture of them. Luckily JenniferAnn did the work for me. Here is to dreaming about stingray boots.


Friday, January 8, 2010

Friday Fun Day

OK not exactly...

I am actually at my office, and it is cold and it is snowing, and we are going to have to shovel the driveway for the third time in three days. But on a positive note I am working on a really neat project for the Five Nations Beef Council, and will be speaking to their group next week at the Canadian Consulate in Denver on social media and video. Yesterday, I was pulling my hair out over it, but I think we are onto much clearer waters now. Also, we had 49,000 people watch I am Angus on RFD-TV on Monday night, and a couple thousand watch them on YouTube so far. Yeah!

Plus, this blog post just made my Friday lunch break! The lady behind Convenience Store Dreamin' blog  documents her life as a Convenience Store worker, and the characters she runs into. It is always good for a laugh. And the really interesting part is the story behind the Convenience Store Dreamin' blog:
IN AN EFFORT TO PAY BILLS IN THIS ECONOMY WHILE I GET ANOTHER BUSINESS OFF THE GROUND I HAVE TAKEN A NITE JOB AS A CONVENINCE STORE CLERK. WHILE VISIONS OF DANTE AND RANDALL ROLLED THROUGH MY MIND, I HAVE NO DOUBT THAT THIS LITTLE GLIMPSE INTO A DAY IN THE LIFE OF JOCO WILL PROVE TO BE TRULY ENTERTAINING. IF I CAN GET MY FEET TO QUIT HURTING LONG ENOUGH TO ENJOY IT! 
Hope this makes your Friday! Stay warm.

Another 101 update and a little 2010 celebration!

Fireworks and Wedding Bells
To ring in the new year, I was able to scratch off three more items on my 101 list. I am like a completing-goal list machine lately!

1. I headed to Brett's wedding. Brett was on my judging team at Butler and K-State and was our resident Alabamian (not sure if that is right - and I am pretty sure that Brett will let me know!) He married his beautiful bride Karen, in Alabama, on January 1. The judging team definitely gave our approval - Karen is awesome - quick witted, beautiful, and see even wanted a group picture of all us. Welcome to the family!



Judging Team members from Butler and K-State, and the newlyweds!



Brett and Karen. They played a few seconds of Sweet Home Alabama after the pastor said "I know pronounce you husband and wife. Loved it!

2. I got to see Christie in Bowling Green. Christie was also on my Butler and K-State judging teams, and she graciously opened her house to all of us coming in for New Year's and Brett's wedding. She has an awesome house, fit for lots of people - once a few air mattresses were laid on the floor.

3. I found a great new restaurant! Bailey Pub & Grille on Broadway Street in Nashville. This is where our group started off the night. Their French Dip was like eating prime rib! Plus, we got to watch the Virginia Tech game and more World Junior Hockey. Needless to say all those Tennessee people didn't really like us cheering against them, and again Lance and I were made fun of for our love of hockey.



Love these girls. Just like the old Buco Juco days.



Emilie ringing in the New Year right!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

HSUS why don't you try and help the animals

A master of diguise

Well the HSUS sure did a good job of trying to prevent animal agriculture from being sustainable this year, using funds from people that think their donation will be helping those helpless kittens and puppies on their hear-wrenching TV commercials. Well here is some news:

According to the Center of Consumer Freedom and HSUS's 2008 tax return out of the $99 million HSUS budget less than one-half of one percent was spent on animal shelters. However working for HSUS is not a bad gig, as more than $37 millions was spend on employee salaries and more than $4 million on professional fundraising fees. I am pretty sure $99 million could buy a pretty fancy dog house and a few bags of dog food, but that isn't where the money is landing.

HSUS's priority isn't those animal shelters. They want to end animal agriculture. That is why they donated $2.3 million to a group called "California for Humane Farms," who campaigned for "Prop 2" in California. And "Prop 2" passed - setting a precedent for what the rest of the country would have to fight against.

I think the ASPCA (American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) does a great job, and are an important organization. Unforunately, there are people that don't treat their pets or animals properly, and the ASPCA does a great job of helping animals and creating awareness.

Be sure you friends and family knows what HSUS stands for before they choose to align themselves or donate to this organization.

Hockey - Twitter, Streaming Internet, and a little Facebook

This goes to show I am truly Canadian


Last night there was a fairly big game on TV - the World Junior Hockey Championship Gold Medal Game! However, due to a lack on interest in the sport by my fine Midwest American friends, I couldn't find it anywhere. And then Social Media came to the rescue. I posted a message on my Facebook profile that I would love to receive updates from any of those that were getting to watch the game. Quickly suggestions of a Twitter page that was giving updates, a website that was streaming the game live - for FREE - and a little Facebook chat with my Facebook friends and sister came pouring in. The day was saved, and I got to  blissfully watch the game - Canada vs. the USA.

Now I am pretty sure I scared my roommate Miss South Dakota to death with my fits of excitement and then disappointment. As R3 said Miss South Dakota has probably never seen me with my game face on. After three periods the game was tied and was sent into a 20 minute 4 on 4 overtime (R3 said I was confusing her with my hockey talk!) The outcome sadly was a USA win. However, my classy Canadians still applauded the USA as the did the tradition jump into a pile celebration. It was one of the most exciting hockey games I have seen in awhile. Now bring on the Olympics!

Photo courtesy of Canadian Press.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

National Western Stock Show

It's almost here! 


I love the Stock Show. There is just something about that show that makes it so special. Maybe it's being down in the yards, with the Rocky Mountains as the backdrop, or the trek up and down the hill you make ten times a day, the sound of blowers, or the pesky security guards that try to keep you out of the make-up area. It boils down to this - I love cattle shows.

I went to my first Denver when I was 18 years old. I had gotten a job with Express Ranches. I was down in the yards working on the Angus pen and carload bulls, and man we worked hard, but I loved it. Blowing cattle until they were bone-dry took on a whole new meaning. I made some awesome friends that week, people I still stay in touch with today.

The following years I went to Denver with Browarny's aka Show Champions. Browarny's were just starting to sell photos online, but most were sold through me or one of the other sales girls that were along. I am pretty sure Mindy Schnoor paid a pretty big chunk of my college tuition by buying photos of all her daughter winnings from me! Being at the backdrop was another great way to meet people and make friends. Even though it has been four years since I have worked for Browarny's I still have people come up to me and say your the Browarny's girl, right?

I mentioned that I am Angus, a huge documentary project that my boss and I have been working on, was airing on RFD-TV. Last night was a pretty exciting time! It has been pretty cool to have friends from across the country text, email, call or facebook me seeing they saw the program. Below is my favorite segment of the show, and it only increases my excitement for the Stock Show. The video makes me laugh because not that much has changed in the showring! Hope to see you in Denver.

Monday, January 4, 2010

A little Christmas

A White Christmas

So I really like Christmas. Sometimes it takes me awhile to get into the Christmas spirit, but once I do look out. I headed back north to Canada to spend Christmas with my family.



This is our Christmas tree. Mom always waits until I get home so I can help decorate. And we got pretty good at decorating it because it fell over three times! The arrow is pointing to our temporary angel. Our old one mysteriously disappeared so this one had to work until we got a replacement.

The first day I was there we got seven inches of snow, bring the snow pack total to a foot and a half deep. The great thing about winter in Canada is we have SNOW PLOWS! Not so much in Missouri.



This was the view Christmas morning. We were at my grandparents who live just south of Calgary. There is nothing better than the Rocky Mountains!

On Christmas Eve we headed to my mom's cousin's house. There were over 40 people there between all the kids and adults. With so much snow I was even able to go out on a snowmobile ride! I think it had been at least six or seven years since I had been on one, and it was awesome. It's a tradition at the Groeneveld Christmas Eve that my Grandpa and Uncle Jack make wings, and cousin Kim makes shrimp. I have to get her recipe because there are awesome.



My cousin Kim had to step in and give my grandparent some guidance.



My sister, Uncle Barry and Cousin Kerrie also helping in the kitchen!

One of the highlights of Christmas Even is when Santa comes! The kids' faces lit up when they heard his jingle bells. I had to laugh when one of my little cousins asked why Santa's eyebrows were brown, weren't they supposed to be white? My aunt quickly replied, "Haven't you seen me dye my hair!" It was a good enough answer for my cousin, and she quickly ran off!



I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and enjoyed time with your family and friends!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Hitting the Airways - I am Angus

Who knew...

That when I took the job at API Creative Media two years ago who knew that projects I was working on would end up on TV! Tomorrow, Jan. 4, I am Angus is going to be airing on RFD-TV - 9 p.m. eastern time. I am Angus tells the stories of people who's lives are impacted by the Angus breed - from breeders, to feedlot owners to grocery store people. There is also a segment in the show on the history of the National Western Stock Show, including the story of the Charolais steer, in the 70s, that was painted black and shown as an Angus steer. I hope you all enjoy the program, and for those of you that don't get RFD-TV you can see some of the segments on our YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/apicreativemedia, and search for I am Angus.


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