Thursday, October 29, 2009

The American Royal

I just love this time of year.

I am not really sure how I developed such a strong love of the American Royal aka Kansas City, but it just makes me excited. Maybe it's because it's the first livestock show of the season. Maybe it's because it is not quite as big as Louisville and Denver, so it has more of a laid back feel and everyone is just ready to have a good time.

In a way it's ironic that I love the Royal so much, because actually there are some not so hot memories that accompany it. I got thinking about this today and I think I have had more relationship ups and downs during Kansas City, then probably an other show, actually probably all of my friends have had more relationship ups and downs during Kansas City, some looking back now are pretty funny.

There have been lots of tears shed, and lots of headaches the next moring, I have left my one of best friends in the bar in complete frustration, I have definitely done the balancing act between more than one boy, yeah there has been a lot of stuff go down at the Royal, but...

I wouldn't trade it for anything! Ever year I think there is no way I can top that previous year. Ever year I have the time of my life, with so many great people, and that makes it all worth it. So here is to the Royal 2009 - stories on Monday!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

HSUS vs. Ohio agriculture

A guest editorial by Stacie Wenig

Believe it or not, each and every resident of not only my state, but our entire country, has some connection to the traditional occupation of farming. Whether they have experienced the hard work and satisfaction of exhibiting a market animal at a county fair, visited a local farm as a part of a school or leadership visit, or simply purchased meat and animal products at our local grocery, each citizen has somehow made a conscious decision to support local agriculturalists.
While many take these luxuries for granted, I consider my community blessed with such strong agriculture supporters, programming, and funding. Personally, I feel quite fortunate to be able to travel only minutes from home to see how my food is produced. Area farmers and livestock producers literally connect the farm gate to the consumer plate, as they provide a healthy and safe food supply for our community.
             The very safety of that food supply is in jeopardy in the Buckeye state. The Humane Society of the United States has made their agenda in Ohio quite clear: slowly erode, and eventually banish, animal agriculture. Much like their most recent campaign in California, Wayne Pacelle and other HSUS officials have promised an Ohio invasion in 2010 if compromises aren’t made on the production of our livestock.
In an effort to protect our largest industry, Ohio farmers, politicians, commodity organizations, and business leaders have joined together in an effort to keep HSUS from controlling our right to local, safe, and efficient production of animal products. Passing in the Ohio House and Senate in July of 2009, a bipartisan resolution was created to put Issue 2 on the ballot. Issue 2, a proposed constitutional amendment, would create the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board. This board will enable Ohiolivestock and poultry farmers to continue to provide excellent care to their animals, while also protecting our food supply and keeping affordable, locally-raised food available for consumers.
It is more important than ever that we not only spread the word about Issue 2 around Ohio, but educate other agriculturalists in the United States about the potential consequences extreme animal activist groups could create with their unreasonable requests. If these groups had their way, it would almost guarantee higher food costs for consumers, put food safety at risk, increase the amount of food imported to Ohio, cause thousands of family farmers to go out of business, and endanger the overall health and well-being of Ohio's flocks and herds.
 To continue support for Ohio’s largest industry, I spend much of my time educating voters on the importance of Issue 2. As a state, and an industry, must take a stand by voting YES on Issue 2 on November 3. By maintaining excellent care of food animals in our state, Issue 2 will help to ensure the availability of safe, locally-grown, affordable meat, milk and eggs. By passing Issue 2, each voter will also help sustain the viability of Ohio’s agriculture community, including the jobs it provides and the many economic contributions it makes. Issue 2 will protect our local family farms, and will keep animal control where it belongs—right here in Ohio.

For a little background on Stacie click here. 

I Believe... Part III

It's Tuesday! And who could think of a better way to start of the week!

Here are Tuesday's "I Believe" lessons. To read other the other "I Believe" posts, use that new handy little search bar and search I Believe.

This weeks I Believe's have a little story behind them. One of our wonderful interns from this summer sent me a message yesterday that really brightened my day. She also told me that she posted the "I Believe" messages on her mirror during her freshman year of college and looked at it every morning. I am thinking that my mirror might be getting an update. These are some of her favorites.

I believe - maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had and what you've learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated.

I believe - even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you - you will find the strength to help.

I believe - just because two people argue, it doesn't mean they don't love each other. And just because they don't argue, it doesn't mean they do.

I believe - you can keep going long after you think you can't

I believe - when you think things are going to be okay...they never are. believe anyway.

Monday, October 26, 2009

K-State in the headlines: anti-agriculture against us

Not exactly what I want my alma mater know for.

As I have mentioned in previous posts that the Kansas State Collegian has sure felt the need to be critical of agriculture this semester. One author in particular, Beth Mendenhall, has continued to write articles condemning the benefits of meat, dairy, eggs and agriculture in general, and would argue that she is just shedding light on the issues. Showing both sides of the story. The problem is that she has failed to tell both sides of the story, and isn't using fact to back up her claims.

Well a friend of mine got tired of this, and sent a letter to well know agriculture author Chuck Jolley. I have really enjoyed Chuck's editorial on, one of the most visited cattle/agriculture websites in the business. Last night Chuck published Brandi's letter, along with some of his own commentary, Jolley: Is The Anti-Ag Disease Spreading to K-State?  

Now although, I don't like my school getting this title, I think it is a good wake-up call for some people. Even in institutions that are rich in agriculture history and tradition, our techniques, systems and way of life will be questioned. Take time to help educate any of these people that ask. They may be headed to the grocery store next to decide between a steak or spinach salad.

Off to the Derby - A Day in Kansas City Part II

OK not quite, but maybe next spring...

So to say that I am excited about this week is an under statement.
  1. Emilie is coming on Wednesday and is staying through the weekend!
  2. It's the American Royal!
  3. It's Halloween!
  4. I have multiple parties to attend, LPC Gala, Hereford Foundation Event, Halloween activities, etc. 
  5. There are so many great friends of mine coming into town I can even count them all, and we are bound to have a good time.
After my camo debut, we decided to get serious and get what we came for. It was off to Zona Rosa (a great outdoor shopping area in Kansas City), with my roommates R3 and Miss South Dakota, to find hats and shoes. The Livestock Publications Council is hosting their annual Gala on Friday night. Last year's theme was masks and this year it's hats. And this is what we found...

I really liked both of these, price tag not so much!

R3 looking very stylish in a sequined big bow hat.

Miss South Dakota going over the top with her look. 

Now you''ll just have to wait until I post pictures from the event to see what I ended up wearing. But let's just say this I think I am ready for the Derby!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Guest blogging

A first for crystal.cattle

I am excited to announce that this week crystal.cattle will be having its first guest blogger! Miss Stacie Wenig will be giving us some background on the issues Ohio agriculture is facing. It is pretty scary thinking that Ohio could be going through the same thing that California faced with Prop 2. Animal rights groups and activists aren't going to stop until raising livestock in an economical, yet responsible way, is impossible.

Stacie is from Ohio and I have been impressed with her advocacy on this issue. Stacie and I met through mutual friends, and now as facebook friends I have enjoyed her facebook statuses updating me on this issue.

Just a little bit of background on Stacie. She grew up in Northwest Ohio on a grain and vegetable farm. Her involvement in FFA, and later on as a state FFA officer, cutlivated her passion for the agriculture industry. In 2009 she graduated with a Bachelors of Science from Ohio State, with a focus on agribusiness, applied economics and political science. Now she is working on her masters degree in agricultural communications, all while completing a full-time teaching associateship. Busy girl I would say!

Stacie has a strong interest in politics and agriculture. We need more young people with these combined interests. So stay tuned. I am excited to hear Stacie's perspective. I think it is important to rememember that HSUS, Peta and animal rights groups will come after us one state or province at a time.

A day in Kansas City - Part 1

Headed to the big city

This weekend instead of heading to Manhattan like I do most football weekend, I stayed home to get caught up on a few things. One my list of things to do - go to Kansas City and get prepared for the American Royal/Halloween. So my roommate R3 and Miss South Dakota headed south. Plus, the leaves have really begun to change, and it was such a pretty day to be out and about.

The view behind R3's windshield.

First stop Cabela's. Not that this store would be one I would normally stop at, but Miss South Dakota, had to do an exchange for her boyfriend. Now don't get me wrong, I really do like being out doors, especially camping or tenting as I call it, but the whole hunting just doens't really get me excited. I don't think I could ever be quiet or still for that long.

So while Miss South Dakota was taking care of business R3 and I decided to have a little fun. I mean who can really resist playing a little dress up!

R3 playing with the deer. By the way R3 hates camo, and therefore thought I should be the one to dress up...

like in this hat. Who doesn't need a light up camoflaugue ballcap?!

And just in case anyone was wondering what I wanted for Christmas. Me and my new beau.

If you get a chance to ever visit the Cabela's stores are pretty cool. They are hundred's of wildlife species mounted, and displayed throughout the store. They might just be hung on wall or in more realistic displays, where the enivronment has also been recreated. Stayed tuned Part II of the KC weekend will be coming up and it involves hats!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Sun where have you gone?

Some people call it misery...

Number one reason why Kansas is better than Missouri, beside my Wildcats, the sun SHINES in Kansas. In Missouri is seems like I can go days without can sun. It might not be cold out, it just cloudy and grey. Last week we got stuck in one of those patterns. Six days straight without sun, I am not even exaggerating, but then on the weekend the clouds broke and we were blessed with a beautiful day for the Eby sale, and some great tailgating weather. It was also a perfect day for pictures. So my trusty assistant R3 joined me as I took senior photos for one of my coworkers. It was such a great day to be outside! I'm crossing my fingers that the sun will break through for at least one day this weekend!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Summer just flew by

Going to go a little going backwards.

So I feel like this summer went by so fast, so fast that I didn't even get to tell you about some of the best things I did this summer. So I am going to start working backwards and fill in some blanks.

In September, I got the privilege to attend the Certified Angus Beef Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. I certainly know why so many Canadian head in that direction during the winter. I enjoyed 100 degree days of dry heat, some time on the golf course, getting to meet restaurant owners, chef, grocery store owners, and everyone and anybody that had a connection with CAB. It was great to hear so many stories about how CAB really has turned their businesses around. Not only is it a great product, but it has a great story - that's us - the people that raise cattle! Here are just a few of the photos I took.

I think this might be my favorite shot I took all week! I love my long lens. It blurs our backgrounds wonderfully!

These people the limos that took some of the special SWAT guests to our evening entertainment. There were around 20 of these limos all lined up!

My great friend Graber was a CAB intern this summer along with Emily Tennant. Emilie was also a CAB scholarship winner and gave an awesome speech during the final banquet. She talks about how although she might not be an agriculture major she will use another career avenue to continue her involvement with agriculture and Angus cattle. Click here to view her speech.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Go Big Red...?

My purple and red are clashing.

Yesterday seemed like a whirlwind. In the morning we had 50 FFA students for Montana stop in. They are on there way to the Annual FFA Convention in Indianapolis, IN, and are making some agriculture stops along the way. In the afternoon we had a group of Agricultural Communications and Journalism (ACJ) students from University of Nebraska-Lincoln, drop in, as part of Livestock Publication Council's Office Bombardment month.

I really enjoyed talking to the ACJ students, as I remember that it wasn't that long ago that I was in their position. And I truly believe that I am where I am now because of the networking I did with industry people, other students and making sure that my teachers knew the path that I wanted to take. Whenever, I talk to student groups there are a couple things I like to tell them:

1. Make your boss look good. If he/she looks good then the whole group looks good and that leads to more success and opportunities for everyone. Best piece of career advice I ever got.

2. Don't be afraid of hard work. There is no such thing as an eight-to-five job. Put in the time and effort and you will be rewarded. Yes, I haven't left the office before seven this week, but I know that in a few weeks, I'll have an all expenses paid trip to Louisville for our Annual meeting and show, and that's when I will be able to let loose and have a little fun.

3. Understand social/new media - I wasn't taught enough of this when I was in school. Take as many classes on social trends, website development, how to blog or create a podcast, video production. The more skills you have in your toolbox the more valuable you will be to your company.

And finally, back to the Go Big Red comment. The UNL students gave me this very pretty red mug as a gift for spending my Tuesday afternoon with them. It's a pretty neat mug - made from 100% U.S. Corn Plastic - of course. However, I am a pretty big K-State fan, and not real fond of Nebraska football, so I'll just have remind anyone that give me any grief that this is to show my support toward agriculture students, and not towards any other Big Red activities!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I Believe... Part II

It's another edition of I Believe Tuesdays!

I Believe-
that your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don't even know you.

I Believe-
that sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're down, will be the ones who help you get back up.

I Believe-
that heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.

Courtesy of a  Jimmy Johns poster.

I really like the second one. I really can't hold a grudge against someone someone very long. I wouldn't call myself someone that just wants everyone get a long, but I will sure try and see the positive in a person, until I have a firm reason reason to believe otherwise.

Friday, October 16, 2009

One more to add

Creating lots of options

I wanted to share with you the third video that we have completed to compliment our new national advertising campaign. It has been an exciting journey, as this is the first time a breed association has really taken a multi-dimensional approach with their marketing. These video along with two others will be featured online and on TV. Also, in other exciting news our YouTube channel has broken 67,000 viewers!

Because of the narrow width of my blog the words show up a link funny, but you can go directly to the video by clicking here. 

Thursday, October 15, 2009

“It’s not realistic to have 40-acre farms with a mule.”

Pollan is going to be challenged wherever he goes.

It seems like agriculture is not going to let these (Pollan, HSUS, PETA) anti-agriculture individuals walk onto our campus without a little bit of a challenge and that is the way it should be.

On Thursday, Michael Pollan, author of "The Omnivore's Dilemma," was schedule to speak at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo University. However, after criticism from Harris Ranch Beef Company chairman the format was changed from a single speaker lecture to a panel discussion with representation form both sides of the issue.

Now, there is a catch David Wood, Harris Ranch Beef Company chairman, is a potential donor to the school. Wood had already made a pledge of $150,000 to the university's meat-processing center, and Harris Ranch owner, John Harris, had pledged $350,000. Both were rethinking their donation after news of Pollan's appearance, which lead to the change in format. You can view the full article here.

I guess I am glad that these donors threw their weight around a little. I am all for open discussion, but I agree that both sides of the argument need to be expressed. Especially since Pollan has been criticized for not backing up his claims with fact.

I hope more agriculture groups and students step up the plate when these anti-agriculture groups show up on our campuses. Take a look and see how MSU students handled a PETA situation a few weeks ago.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I believe... Part I

Oh the things you can find on restaurant walls...

Today, some of my coworkers and I headed out to Jimmy John to grab a quick lunch, that's their slogan right "Speedy Fast." Now I'll be honest I have probably ate more late night Jimmy Johns' sandwiches in Aggieville than I have ate during "normal feeding" hours.

The point of this post though is today I noticed a poster in the store that really made me think called I Believe. So from now on every Tuesday will be "I Believe Tuesday," until I run out of quotes.

I Believe-
that no matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt you once in a while and you must forgive them 
I Believe-
that we don't have to change friends, if we understand that friends change.

I Believe-
that true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Larry King Live: Beef Safe or Scary? - Tonight!

This should be interesting...

According to the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, tonight on "Larry King Live," Larry King will feature a segment titled "Beef Safe or Scary?" The show will evaluate the nutritional benefits of animal protein-based diets versus plant protein-based diets.

NBCA has put the show in touch with well-know protein expert Nancy Rodriguez, Ph.D, R.D., University of Connecticut nutritional sciences professor to counteract T. Colin Campbell, author of "The China Study" and supporter of plant-based diets.

So what can you do?

The "Larry King Live" website is featuring an interactive poll: Do you eat meat? And we need you to vote . Currently, meat eaters are leading the way, but we need to keep it that way. You'll also find a place on the website to submit your questions to the show.

Also, visit the "Larry King Live" blog and read the article "Tonight, could your diet be killing you?" Already five comments have been posted.

An interesting question

PETA how are you going to answer this?

This just goes to show how PETA never really answers the question. They just skirt around the issue answering questions with questions. All I can say it that farmers and ranchers know the truth and we are the ones that can answer the publics questions and concerns the best.


p.s. it is going to be another extremely busy week! Just stick with me, and I promise I will be posting again more regularly. Also, Happy Canadian Thanksgiving today! Be thankful for all your blessings and that PETA and HSUS hasn't gotten so bad that we can't have turkeys on our plates.

Friday, October 9, 2009

101 update

So that giving you an update every two weeks....

Hasn't gone so well. The updates might have to be weekly for awhile to get me back on track. For those that don't know what all those goals are on the side of my blog are you can read about it here. If they are highlight white I am done them, or partially done. One of my goals is to update you ever two weeks. It is a way for me to stay accountable. All apart of goal setting.

So what have I done:

Well I have been talking to my grandparents more. I sometimes just get busy, and don't get around to picking up the phone and that is no excuse. It is always great to hear from them, hear how the rest of the family is doing, and discuss Grandpa Chuck's awesome ideas about promoting beef, farming and ranching.

I finished a book! On my trip out to the CAB conference I picked up a book in the airport called the Accidental Billionaire: The Founding of Facebook A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal. It's not really a biography because Mark Zuckerberg, wouldn't provide an interview, but it talks with lots of the people that were involved in the creation of facebook. And let me tell you although these kids were geniuses there was a lot of betrayal and what I would call shady deals in its creation.

I am getting back on track to going to church. Even went to the early morning session before the Chiefs football game! Now that is what I call dedication.

There are a few other things that I am working towards. Really need to get better at working on the health and money side of things. Wish me luck. p.s. This is my second official day without pop. Let's see if I make it my full 30-days!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Water and Poo

Now this is entertaining...
I have mentioned before the great job that Wilmer Dairy does on their blog in regards to educating the consumer about agriculture and the ins and outs of the dairy industry. The other day this video came across my Blog Roll, it is certainly entertaining. I am pretty sure I have never seen anything like it before, but if this gets the message across to consumers than I am all for it.

People want to know about our livelihoods, so let's show them what the farm is truly about.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

YPC Cattle Call up and rolling...

I mentioned awhile ago that I would be contributing to the Young Producers' Council blog Cattle Call. My intro blog has already gone up, but today is my first featured blog - Elevator Speech at 40,000 Feet, has been posted.

I think we have all heard about having your "elevator speech" prepared, that 60 sec spiel about yourself, background, career, etc. Well why not have an agriculture "elevator speech" prepared? You can visit my post to see what I mean.

Hope you are all having a wonderful Wednesday!

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Lord's Prayer, Safe Sex Education and Meat

These three things are share one thing in common...

You won't find them in schools anymore. OK, maybe that's an exaggeration - meat will only be missing on Mondays. On Wednesday, the Baltimore City Schools system became the first in the U.S. to pledge to not serve meat on Mondays - aka Meatless Mondays. The decision will affect 80,000 students starting next Monday.

According to a letter from the American Meat Institute the organization, Grace Spira Project, that is sponsoring and endorsing the Baltimore City Schools decision is the same organization that has created the series of videos called the Meatrix. If you haven't seen the Meatrix it is cartoon, created by animal rights activists, directed to children, and misleads and misinforms them about agriculture and food production.

I guess I just don't understand how a school system can make the decision about what children can and can not eat. Now, I know you could argue that these children could bring their own meals to school, however in this situation three out of four students in the Baltimore City School system are eligible to receive free or discounted meals. A meal at school might be some of these children's opportunity to eat protein.

These kinds of organizations number one goal is not the health of our youth, but to end animal agriculture.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

How to spent a Sunday

Sunday Funday
1. Wake up early and go to the 8:15 version of church - a great way to start off the day, and I really hadn't been in a while.

2. Take our good friend, Chris, up on his offer for free tickets to the Chiefs game in Kansas City. They played the New York Giants, and really it wasn't that great of a game, but it was a beautiful day, and it was nice to be outside. Plus, it was their Breast Cancer Awareness Day. The refs had on pink arm bands, and white and pink hats. Don't forget about the Collegiate Cattlewomen's and Sigma Alpha's Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign at K-State this week.

The day started out a little chilly, but by the end we had shed all layers and walked away with a little unplanned red color!

The pink ribbon the made out on the field, before kickoff.

3. Come home and take a nap, and then watch Pure Country. If you haven't seen this movie it is a classic, and who can resist George Strait!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

As promised

The second half...

As I mentioned for the past couple of months our team has been working on a new national advertising campaign. Although, I have been involved in many marketing campaigns, this was the first time I had worked on a project that would have this kind of reach. I'll admit at times I questions my abilities and was a little stressed, encouragement and an amazing end result made it all worth it though! I am extremely grateful for this opportunity. Now let's hope some people buy some Angus bulls because of them.

And here they are, just a few of the ads for the 2009-2010 American Angus Association National Advertising Campaign.

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