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Saturday, March 31, 2012

This post was powered by bacon

#Iheartbacon

While in Vegas I found this bacon iPhone case. Maybe because it was late at night, and I had been sitting at the roulette table for awhile (ok couple of hours) I thought it was cool. However, reevaluating the the photo the next morning I decided yup this bacon phone cover was awesome. Should have bought it.


Luckily you don't have to travel to Vegas to buy your very own bacon iPhone case. Find it and a lot of other interesting bacon items including bacon flavored frosting at Urban Outfitters

Friday, March 30, 2012

Things You Should Know: Pink Slime

It breaks my heart. 

I don't understand journalists. My faith in them as pretty much completely disappeared. The misguided reporting on Fine Leanly Textured Beef or Pink Slime by media and activists is shameful. Last week, I posted a video and I hope you will pass it around to those that have questions or read this REALLY good article by Meatingplace.com. See the excerpt below:

Nancy Donley, who serves as a volunteer spokeswoman for STOP Foodborne Illness organization – she suffered the unthinkable horror of losing her child to E. coli contaminated beef in 1993 – recently penned an eye-opening op-ed for the Food Safety News.
In it, she writes:
“I am very concerned that mis-categorization campaigns such as this "pink slime" campaign will cause well-intentioned companies such as BPI to cease innovations for developing better food safety technologies and strategies. […]  If this does in fact happen, and promising technologies get thwarted, we, the American public, will be the losers.”
This is another reminder that sometimes science isn’t enough. Consumers are influenced greatly by the traditional and social media. Those involved in the food and agriculture industries must make an effort to connect with the public on a variety of levels to help them better understand where their food comes from.


Furthermore, I get to turn on the Iowa news every night and learn how hundred of people in a town 20 miles from me, as well as in Kansas and Texas are being layer off by Beef Products Inc. because of a lack of demand for Lean Finely Textured Beef. Good job media. I am glad the consumer is scared. 


I can't stress enough how important it is to do your own research. Talk with farmers, industry groups, health care professionals. Get multiple opinions, but I wouldn't trust what you see on nightly television or in that newspaper that is sitting on your kitchen table.  

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Turquoise Thursday: J. Crew imitation necklace

I love a good deal. 

First off, I had to share this picture with you. I mean I think this pretty much say turquoise Vegas style.

Available at the Flamingo.
Now onto J. Crew. I love J. Crew. I think it is awesome, and I would like to buy all their clothes. Unfortunately, I am not rich enough. The necklace below is amazing, however I don't think it would be very practical for feeding cows in. Thankfully I make it off the farm once in awhile to wear other crazy pieces like this one. 



I've been following the fashion blog Pink Peonies.

Photo courtesy of Pink Peonies
I mean look at her! She has amazing style, and don't blame me when you waste entirely too much time reading all her posts! Also, I have decided that if I by anything neon this summer it is going to be that purse!

And now for the deal I promised. 


A very similar J. Crew Turquoise Bubble necklace found on Etsy. Love that store. There are more pictures of the necklace here, and the creator says the necklace is much more a turquoise color than baby blue. Happy shopping!

Update: I also love Ily Couture for J.Crew Bubble necklaces, as well as the really popular pave bracelets and necklaces. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Antibiotics and meat

We use antibiotics on our farm. 

The Boy and I are slowly moving in the freeze beef business. What does that mean? It means that you will be able to buy beef directly from our farm.

As we have been talking with our partners the question has came up if we can market our beef as antibiotic free. The answer really we can't. When an animal gets sick on our farm we consult with our veterinarian and they either comes to our farm to administer medicine or he tells us what we should give the the sick animal. Just like when you have a sick family member and you go to the doctor or consult with a medical professional. So some of the animals on our farm at some point may have been given antibiotics.

This video talks about antibiotics and the other regulations that we have to follow on our farm.



Are you comfortable buying meat from an animal that at some point was given antibiotics?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

101 in 1001 update.

Hello folks. 

What have I bean up to recently? Well our wedding is around the corner, and I promise afterwards I'll have tons of pictures to share. My sister and I spend the weekend in Vegas, pictures of that to come as well. And it is definitely springtime at the farm. There are babies everywhere. Tonight should be an interesting adventure as we round up the calves and put their ear tags in. (An ear tag is like an picture earring that has identification information on it.)

13. Go see a play or musical - Crazy Horse in Vegas
My sister and I had been to Peep Show before, so we decided to go to the iconic Vegas Crazy Horse Show this time. As expected there was a lot of nakedness, but it was more cheesy than I expected. I was glad that we bought discounted tickets.

14. Eat at a new restaurant - Cu in Waterloo, Iowa
The Boy took me to this steakhouse for supper. The vibe of the restaurant and the presentation of the food was awesome. The food got an A.

37. Teach myself something new - I Skyped
In February I had the opportunity to talk to the Kansas State agriculture magazine class by Skype. It was wonderful to be able to connect with K-Staters while sitting in my office in Iowa. Although, a trip to Aggieville would have been a good bonus.

In progress...

39. Continue to learn about corn
I am so excited about this. A good friend called me up last week and we've been brain storming. I can't wait to share with you what we have come up with. I can reassure you it is going to be a lot of fun!

51. Book 8 speaking gigs
In April I will be speaking at a Kansas Farm Bureau event along side the former Miss American Teresa Scanlan. I am so excited to have this opportunity!

Are you working on your list? Remember - "You can have everything in life you want, if you just help enough people get what they want," - Zig Ziglar

Friday, March 23, 2012

Cattle Show or Rock Concert?

You decide.

One of the photos
I took at OYE. 
Last week, I was in Oklahoma for a junior livestock show Oklahoma Youth Expo. It is the largest junior livestock show in the world, and both 4-H and FFA members have the opportunity to show. That means there were a lot of kids there, and even more pigs, cows, lambs and goats. Yeah it maybe smelled it a little by the end of the week, but it is pretty cool to know that agriculture is in the hands of these kids. And even if they don't remain in agriculture I like to think that they will go onto be pretty great people in their communities.

Now watch this. I promise it is nothing like you have ever seen - well unless you were there ;)



Now if you are wondering what in the world just happened. In each species breed or weigh division is selected, and they all come together for the Grand Drive. That is when they choose the overall champions. You can see that happening in the next two videos. The Oklahoma Youth Expo is really unique because they work on highlight youth as much as they do the livestock.



These are all market animals so this is ultimately the end of the road for them. The grand champion steer brought $60,000. Now that is not market price, and there is a good chance that those people paid $10,000 for the steer. What is the best part about this show is that they really work hard to gather up scholarship dollars for the participants. The company I work for is one of those sponsors. One of our $1,500 scholarships went to a freshman in high school. If she can get one of those every year she'll have a nice little chunk of change to put towards college.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Thursday Thursday: Quincy Freeman Cowboy Boots

Gorgeous!

Hello friends. Don't you love when you find something that makes you smile? Turquoise always makes me smile, and cowboy boots are right on up there. Yesterday, I came across an amazing designer Quincy Freeman. She is only 20 and has amazing talent. No I haven't met her, but pictures speak louder than words. Keep her boots out for yourself.

Like these bad boys. 

My friend Celeste (check her fashion blog posts) owns these boots and posted a picture on Facebook yesterday. They are part of the Quincy Ariat Boot line up, and I think they are awesome. I've never owned a pair of Ariats, but everyone says they are super comfortable. 



I love the detailing on the toe. 


I think these Quincy Cowboy Boots say I want to go dancing! 


I have been looking for a pair of brown cowboy boots. Hmmm. 

p.s. Did I mention it is my Birthday today! If the Crystal Cattle readers want to pool all their funds together for a little gift let me know.

I can wait for this new year to start. I am turning 27 - my lucky number. I leave for Vegas with my sister on Friday. I marry my best friend in just over two weeks! And then it is off to Hawaii for a honeymoon. I have to say I am a pretty lucky girl!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Do you have questions about meat and pink slime?

Lean Finely Textured Beef

The grass is turning green
at our farm. 
Hi, friends! Sorry about the lack of presence on the Crystal Cattle blog last week. As mentioned I was down in Oklahoma for a youth event, and I can't wait to show you some of the pictures and video I took. I hope you were following the Crystal Cattle Facebook page because I was able to post some interesting stuff there.

While I was in the Sooner state there was a lot of media coverage about Pink Slime or its proper name Lean Finely Textured Beef. Sometimes the media doesn't quite get it right. I would ask that you watch this video about Lean Finely Textured Beef. I learned a ton myself, and know that this product is safe, nutritious, and that the citric acid or ammonia that is used to reduce bacteria in the meat is no longer present in the product when I consume ground beef.

Also, I thought it was interesting that we would need 1.5 million more cattle to fulfill beef demand if we didn't use Lean Finely Textured Beef. Where would be put all those cows, or find the grass and corn to feed them.



You can find more information about Lean Finely Textured Beef at Pink Slime isa Myth. And be sure to share this video with your friends that have questions. Hope you enjoy the first day of spring!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Things You Should Know: National Ag Week

Thank a farmer 

This past week was National Ag Week. Don't worry if you missed it you can celebrate farmers everyday. Throughout the week I am always coming across interesting tibits so I thought I would start to compile a series called "Things You Should Know." Here goes the inaugural post.

My family is also calving back home in Canada. I have never seen a calf with this coloring. She is pretty cute.

I am what you could call an #agnerd. I saw this awesome video from Tusa Cattle marketing their sale. Yes, people in agriculture spend a great deal of time marketing their livestock.

I reached 3,000 followers on Twitter this week! Thank you. Twitter is one of my favorite ways to connect with people.

Did you know peanuts are planted after the last frost in April or early May and heaviest harvesting months are September and October. I learned that from a new blog I am following Affectionately, Tornado Aly


And finally, Google has made it a little most difficult to follow Wordpress blogs. I have recently been following the All in Day blog, awesome gal and she likes burlap, too. Amy wrote this great post about your options of following Wordpress blogs like hers or Pinke Post - an awesome agriculturist blog. 
Hope you are having a great weekend. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Happy 50th Birthday Barbie - Barbie Lessons on the Farm

This post was originally wrote in back in March 2010, however since it is Barbie's 50th Birthday today I thought I would reshare. 

What Barbie taught me about being a farm girl. 

Growing up my sister and I loved Barbie. We had tons of dolls, the house, a couple cars, a Barbie horse, the clothes, a popcorn machine, a swimming pool, etc. And yes our Barbie's had bank accounts, money was usually exchanged in the form of Light Bright pegs (LiteBrites were used for many things, keep reading). Our Barbie's also were very involved in agriculture. The occupation of vet was quite often played.

That was the great thing about Barbie she could be whoever we wanted her to be. So while our friends were playing Rockstar Barbie, ours were discussing treatment options or reproduction strategies for our cattle. Which leads me to my next story.

My parents didn't hid much from my sister and I as we were growing up. We knew the circle of life was apart of the farm. We also were pretty familiar with how it began. I remember we used to have this slide that looked  kind of like a chute. (A chute is what we put cattle in to hold them still while we are working with them). And we had these stuffed animal dogs and horses that their bellies would velcro open and shut, revealing bean bag babies inside. It was always a surprise how many you would get the first time.

And this brings me back to the LiteBrites. Yup, those were the straws of semen for A.I. (artificial insemination). See where I am going - chute, stuffed animals that reproduce, semen. Yeah, that's right at the ages of six and eight my sister and I were A.I.ing our stuff animals, just like we had seen dad do it.

Guess we were destined to be farm girls.

* For those of your who didn't grow up on a farm we use A.I. as a way to source better genetics for our herd. A bull can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $20,000 dollars and you can buy semen from $15 to $100. Since our farm is small this is a great way for us to use the same genetics as larger ranchers without the extra expense. 


On a trip to Minneapolis we got to go to the Mall of America. Inside they had a Barbie store! Every girls dream.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

DIY: Jute Monogrammed Wedding Letter

Thank you Pinterest inspiration. 

I had been eyeing a very similar wreath to the one I created, however my thrift (a better word than cheap) self said, "Self you can make that yourself." And so I did.


Don't be fooled this project takes a little while (more than an hour in my case). But it was a great way to fill the time while the Boy was at bowling.

I didn't take any step-by-step photos, but here are some tips.

- I bought my styrofoam letters online here They shipped out super quick. Mine was 12" tall and 1" thick
- You'll want to wrap the letter in jute twine. I bought a HUGE roll from Burlap Fabric.com (you should see all the other cool stuff I got for the wedding! However, that is for a later post). Pick a really thick jute, because that will mean less wrapping, and trust me by the end you'll be glad!
- You'll need a hot glue gun, I went through one of the super long sticks. Choose the low setting on your gun otherwise the styrofoam will melt a little
- whatever decor you want to use as an accent

I started in the middle of my letter, and began wrapping toward the top, and the did the bottom half, trying to put most of the glue on the back side of the letter. The jute is easier to work with if you cut it into 2-3 foot sections.

I love this jute stair runner.
Have you been inspired by all the burlap and jute decor that has been popping up? I am so glad that we choose it as one of our wedding colors. p.s. It is exactly one month until the big day! We can't wait.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Early birthday present: Michael Kors sunglasses

It's my birthday month. 

I bought myself an early birthday present, way back in January. It was when I was on my Chicago trip, and I came across a beautiful set of Michael Kors sunglasses. I don't think I have ever found a pair that fit me so good. This week the Boy and I have been scanning photos for our wedding slideshow. And it is apparent that since a young age I have been a fan of sunglasses.


Styling. The hat even says future farmer.


Yellow was my thing. Yellow sunglasses, yellow Care Bear.


Perhaps this is where my love of turquoise began. Me, my sunglasses and my first bike. 


Now I own these beauties. Much more grown up and sophisticated.
Maybe I can cross my fingers and will get the matching MK bag for my birthday.


I mean just because you are turning 27 in a few weeks doesn't mean you can't have a little fun and enjoy your new sunglasses.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Hunk of Meat Monday: Honey Garlic Pork Loin

Get in my belly. 

We are definitely a beef, bacon and shrimp kind of household. However, you have to spice it up every now and then. So last week I brought home a pork loin, and decided to modify a Pinterest Recipe I found. I love this recipe because it only requires 4 ingredients! Booyah.

Ingredients:

1 pork loin - I sliced the loin into 1 inch medallions (this gave me six medallions)
1/4 cup honey
3 tbsp soy sauce - I use the reduce sodium
6 cloves of garlic minced

In a glass baking pan whisk together the honey, soy sauce and garlic. Coat pork loin medallions in mixture. I let my loins marinate for 6 hours, but I am pretty sure you could start cooking them right away.

Preheat oven to 375, and bake for 40 minutes, turning once. Once summer hits, I am also going to try these on the grill. Be sure that your pork reaches an internal temperature of 145 F. (The Boy says he'll never have to worry about me feeding him raw meat, because I'm in love with the meat thermometer!)

Once your meat has finished cooking, let is rest for a few minutes before plating. Letting meat rest is important. Why? Because if you attack the meat with you knife all the juices end up on the cutting board or your plate instead of your mouth!

I served the pork loin over Uncle Ben's rice, which my good friend informed me is rice grown in Arkansas or Mississippi. She said if you are looking for other U.S. brands of rice choose Minute Rice or Mahtma, which are Texas/Louisiana and Arkansas grown. #thankafarmer Happy cooking!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

This is what a newborn calf looks like

The babies are arriving. 

This afternoon the Boy and I have been camped out at the farm. We are lucky to have an office at the farm that we can work out of, which makes it a lot easier than driving back and forth from the house to farm to check on the calving cows. 

Luckily, we won't be sleeping on the air mattress tonight because the cow we've been watching decided to have her baby. We knew that there was a high probability that the cow would be having a heifer (a girl) because when we ultra-sounded the cow last fall, the vet was able to tell us that the cow was having a heifer. And the vet was right! 

Our new Hereford heifer calf.

This little girl brings the total to three calves, and we have 11 more to go. So excited to see her up and running around soon.

If you tweet follow the hashtag #calfwatch2012 to follow other ranchers and farmers telling the stories of their newborn baby calves. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Live. Laugh. Farm.

Starting your weekend off on the right foot, kind of. 

I hope all of you have a great weekend planned. My includes not traveling! My poor suitcase is going to wonder what is up when it lays unpacked at the foot of my bed. This weekend agenda includes calving cows, playing catch up with work projects, and hopefully getting all of our pictures scanned in for our wedding slide show.

I saw these pictures today and it brighten my mood. Earlier we had a bull calf born. Then after that we had a second bull calf born. Unfortunately, the Boy had some trouble with this one. The cow was having a hard time having the baby on her own, so he called the vet and together they pulled the calf. Unfortunately, the bull calf was born dead. The vet said there isn't really an answer to what may have gone wrong, but he said that the baby could have been dead for a few days.

Stuff like that happens on the farm. To make the Boy feel better I whipped up a batch of brownie batter that he brought home from the grocery store the other day. I was so impressed with how little time it took with my new Kitchen Aid. However, when they came out of the over they looked a lot more like cakes than brownies. Yup, that's right I had grabbed the wrong box. But hey who doesn't like cake!

Have a great weekend, and if you get a chance check out Agriculture Impressions on Facebook, and also their Etsy store where you can buy these prints.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Turquoise Thursday: Wedding Registry

It's like Christmas

The Boy and I have just over a month until our wedding, and we couldn't be more excited. I don't think we have received so much mail in our life. Between RSVPS, packages arriving from Etsy (yes, I am a little addicted) and wedding gifts arriving we feel pretty popular.

Last week, when I arrived home from a travel trip to Georgia, I asked the Boy what the big box was sitting in our entryway. He replied, "Oh, I just thought it was something else you had order." Nope that big box was a gift from Bed, Bath and Beyond. We quickly tore into the box to find this.

This is what a very happy girl looks like.
We received an awesome KitchenAid mixer from the Hatmaker and Parke families! 


But the best part is that it is Turquoise! Well technically it is called Ice, but it makes me smile every time I look at it. 


I have already put it to use. Baking up two loaves of banana bread with a recipe out of a great aunts cookbook. 

Other turquoise-ish items that I am hoping will end up in our home. 




This Mixing Bowl set from Dillards. I love the big turquoise bowl.

And these turquoise placements from Bed, Bath and Beyond. Hope you all have a fantastic Turquoise Thursday!
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