Friday, July 30, 2010

Back in the saddle.

All in a days work.

I am a happy girl, last night I finally got to get on a horse. It had been almost two years since I climbed into a saddle and it felt really good, other than my butt and thighs were a little sore this morning. And it had been a really long time since I had rode a good ole ranch horse. Most of my experiences riding over the past few years have been with the chuckwagon outriding horse - old racetrack horses - that really don't have a lot of brain cells left. It is one of those things that they can sense everything and therefore you have to be as calm as possible, however every time they hear that bell ring they are ready to go, so you better be on your toes.

When I was younger some good cattle friends gave me a horse to ride during the Summer called Peanut Butter. I would ride him bareback everywhere. One day mom looked out the window and couldn't figure out what I was doing in the pasture with this horse. Well I had decided maybe I could try my hand at cutting. The thing was I knew dad wasn't going to appreciate me cutting on the show heifers so instead I used the sheep we had around for training our Border Collies. Everything was working out fine, until some of the sheep ran under Peanut Butter belly. Surprisingly, he wasn't to found of that.

I have always loved being around or on a horse. I really think it is one of the best things in the world to be on top of one. I have always said one day when I make it big I am going to buy a team just like the Express Clydesdales. We'll see how that plan all unfolds.

Let's just hope I don't have to wait so long until the next time I am climbing into a saddle.

This was the six-horse Express Ranches hitch at the Calgary Stampede last summer. 

The blonde gal is my sister. I got to ride up there the following night. They parade in front of the grandstand in between chuckwagon heats. 

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Turquoise Thursday - Budget Friendly

My kind of style.

Last week I went all out on the Turquoise Thursday. You mine as well dream big and set the goals high. However, this week I focused on not draining out our bank accounts. And her are a few pieces I found.

I found these notebooks on Miss Fabulous and I's trip to Will Wyatt's Cowboy Couture.  think these would make great gifts. Such a awesome store. They have much, much more in their store than online. I

I think this belt is great. The only thing that is stopping me from buying it is the brown closures. I wear way too much black for this to fit into my wardrobe. Check it out here. They have multiple color options. 

Any good turquoise finds from my readers this week? I am always looking for new leads. 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Rustic Cattle Crosses

You can use it to keep them on or put it on your wall. 

A friend of mine, that I went to junior college with, Jeana Sankey started making these crosses with her soon-to-be husband. I just love them, and think the heifer cutout it perfect. One of these might look pretty good on my wall.

I think I like the top one the best. Both of the crosses sell for $25 each.

You can email Jeana - - and if you pick one up be sure to let us know.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Crystal's Corn Report, and other stuff that happens in Iowa.

Another three weeks have gone by. 

This weekend I had a road trip partner for my adventure to Iowa. I call this gal Miss Oklahoma (she actually grew up in MT, lived in KS, and finished school in OK, maybe it should be Miss Multi-State). Anyways, Miss Oklahoma has actually known the boy much longer than I have. They are old Hereford buddies and went to college together. She was one of the references I used before I started this whole dating process with the boy.

Miss Oklahoma also knows very little about corn. So she was just as fascinated to see how tall the corn has grown. It had been three weeks since my last pictures of the corn. It was just starting to tassel then. You can read about it here). However, three weeks later this is what we are looking at.

The corn is much thicker, taller and there are corn cobs on it!

Miss Oklahoma asked why corn had the silks on it, and the Boy said that they catch the pollen. And if the plant isn't pollenated it won't produce corn. 

Although, this corn is the kind that we feed to livestock. I decided a taste test was in order. It is very starchy tasting. The Boy figures this crop will be harvested sometime in October. 

Due to the flooding that took place in Independence there was no golf or dirt track races this weekend. That doesn't mean is wasn't enjoyable as the Boy's parents supplied us with endless beverages and food. I had the best dip ever and will be testing it out soon. Watch for the recipe to come. 

We also got a chance to see how the calves are coming along at JJB Cattle Co. The bulls calves and some of the heifer calves have now been weaned. It's always exciting to see how much they have change, just like the corn. The Boy has a bred heifer that he'll show at the Iowa State Fair, and she just keep getting better all the time. Miss Fabulous and I are greatly looking forward to hanging out on the tack box and people watching at the State Fair. 

Some of the bull calves coming up to eat. 

Monday, July 26, 2010

Do you make a bigger impact on agriculture in it or on the outside?

If I haven't mentioned it before I really like Twitter. I learn a lot from it and it makes me think. Both of which are good things. Today the question I have been toying with is how do people make the biggest impact on agriculture in terms of their careers.

I personally think there are three job categories that can affect ag. 1. Going back into production agriculture, 2. Working in a agriculture job off the farm (that's me), and 3. Going into a career that actually has nothing to do with agriculture. Today, for brevity I'm going to talk about 1. and 3.

Now some may say that production agriculture is how we have our biggest impact. I commend ever college grad that wants to go back to the farm and play in the dirt and manure. Someone is going to have to feed this world, and you are the people doing it. You have a huge influence on the type and quality of food we eat. You have the ability to decide what practices you feel are the best for our environment, and you get to choose what new technologies agriculture implements. So therefore it could be easily argued that you have the biggest impact.

But, what about all those farm kids and College of Ag grads that never work in agriculture field. They may be nurses, lawyers, a teacher or own a small business, yet they still get the importance of agriculture. These people are around consumers ever day and they have an opportunity to share agriculture's stories everyday. I'm just guessing but the consumer may even relate better to these people, and be more willing to hear their stories, because they feel similar to these individuals.

What if there were a bunch of farm girls turned city gals that could correct every wrong statement they heard coming out of their coworkers mouths when everyone was standing around the water-cooler.

Today I saw a tweet from "@katpinke - The ASPCA woman told me she is a social justice major & this is her summer job. She said all animals should b treated like humans."

I wish there was a farm kid out there that decided he wanted to be a social justice major and wanted to share his experiences with his peers. Maybe he could have straightened this girl out before she thought teaming up with an animal rights activist group was the right idea.

So what do you think. How are you going to make an impact on agriculture?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I think we are alone now.


Let me hear your heartbeat.
Let me feel your heartbeat.
Let me touch your heartbeat. 
I can change your heartbeat. 

First off, I never knew that Tiffany's famous song started off that way. Learn something new everyday. Secondly, I bring up this song because I got to make a road trip to the great farm state with a friend that really appreciates this song. But thirdly, I think I should tell you how I learned about this song.

You may not know, due to my klutzy tendencies, but I actually danced (ballet, lyrical, and jazz) for 12 years, and even took some classes in college. I remember in about first or second grade we did a jazz routine to I Think We Are Alone Now. We wore this two piece green and white polka outfit with a big green and white polka bow in our hair.

Listening, to this song now, I think why were we ever dancing to this song when we were seven years old. However I do know now that if I ever have to sing a karaoke song, I can sing this one by heart. Belt it out.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Ups and downs

It's been a long couple of weeks.

Well the weekend is finally here. Pretty soon I am going to be headed NE to the great land of corn, and my Oklahoma passenger and I will be belting out Tiffany's I Think We Are Alone Now. Pure Bliss. (Watch for an upcoming post on this song).

There is a lot of stress in my life. Sometimes I create it for myself, other times things are just out of my control and go wrong. I push myself, I like things done a certain way, I don't mind if people make errors, but I hate when there isn't teamwork. I love my job because I have a boss that gives me opportunities, and I take advantage of each that come my way, but that usually also means adding more to my plate. I love my blog and being an advocate for agriculture and wish I could spent more time doing that. I think that is going to be my ultimate goal. Sometimes things get in the way and just slow the plans down.

I have been way out of touch with all my friends and family the past two weeks and am slowing starting to scratch the people I need to call off my list. However, yesterday, I realized that sometimes it's the people that I don't have interaction with all the time that make the biggest impact on me and reducing that stress level.

Yesterday, there was this awesome note in my facebook mailbox. This person commended me on the job I do on my blog, telling agriculture's story and videos that I put together. He appreciate the things I do for the industry. (Big smile).

After reading through the note all the stress disappeared. And it made me realize we can choose to add stress to people's lives or relieve it very easily.

So this is my 101 in 1001 "gratitude" post. Thanks to all of you for the kind words you send, the time you spend listening to me vent, and for making me laugh.

This is one of my favorite photos that I took at the National Junior Angus Show. 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Expensive Edition of Turquoise Thursday

The Dream List

Since we missed Turquoise Thursday last week I knew I needed to step up to the plate this week.

Sometimes I feel like I actually shop less now that I have my blog. Instead of buying all the amazing things I see or want I can just them to the blog and dream. Today, all three items are ridiculously priced, and I will likely never own any of them. But hey, I plan on working my butt off, and if one day all that pays off maybe I'll reward myself. So enjoy.

I would like like a long turquoise necklace. I love the different colors of turquoise in this one, but am not sure about the perfectly round stones. What do you think. 

Typically, I am not a huge gold person, but I would make an exception here. This is good stuff. I wear so much black, these would brighten up any outfit.

I know I already featured one David Yurman bracelet, but I found this one, and it doesn't have any gold on it. Score. I really want a David Yurman bracelet, and I will have one, one day. 

Comments, questions, concerns? Post below, and have a great day!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

We know him as a golfer, but he's a farm boy at heart

It gets in your blood

After, my crazy week last week, I was really happy when I returned home and say the British Open was on. Yes, I love to watch golf, and no I do not think it is boring to watch. But I digress.

The Americans didn't do so hot, but the boy reminds me the Canadians were no better. I am still patiently waiting for Tiger's comeback, but that doesn't look to be happening anytime soon. However, there was one player that kept me watching - Louis Oosthuizen, from South Africa. He won by an incredible seven strokes. But today I found out one more thing that makes me like this cat even more.

As the story reports Oosthuizen spent some of his $1.3 million winnings on a custom-built tractor. It has a kiddie seat on it for his daughter to ride along.

I am pretty sure when I become a golf pro one day, and win a major, I am going to buy land, and 30 cows to go with it.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Onion Reports Beef Still Exists

Come and get it...

I tried to embed the clip, but it didn't work, so click here first, and listen to this message, and the come on back and read what I have to say. Click here.

The Onion is a satire new source that reports on all kinds of "news." The "Bold New Campaign Reminds America That Beef Still Exists," made me laugh. There are a lot of people out there that would like beef consumption to go so low that we need our Beef Council's spending millions of dollars informing consumers of what beef is. I think sometimes we get in a little bit of a panic. Yes, there are lots of people out there that are trying to get our consumers to spot eating beef and other meat products. However, I truly believe that in no time soon will vegetarians become the majority. I think my children (one day) and then there children will still be able to be farmers and ranchers if they choose so.

However, that doesn't mean that we can stop telling our story. People are going to keep the pressure on us, and we need to keep the truth out there.

Monday, July 19, 2010

I'm back, so let's talk about youth in agriculture

Hard to top a junior cattle show. 

So you may of noticed that around Tuesday of last week, I kind of disappeared from the blog. That's because I was in Denver for the National Junior Angus Show, the biggest event of the year for the American Angus Show. I talk a little bit about my experiences growing up attending cattle show here, and now I am excited to provide those opportunities for others.

During the show I work on all the publicity, results coverage and social media. Check out our facebook page when you get a chance and you can get a taste of all the fun that was had. Our biggest YouTube push is also this week. In six days I produced 10 videos that have generated more than 5870, and that number is growing. You can watch below or search National Junior Angus Show to see others. The kids and parents love these videos, but I love that fact that others than aren't as involved in agriculture can see the interaction  between kids and cattle.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Everyone should have a little cowhide

Good finds

I love cowhide, and wish I had more of it in my house. I guess I'll just slowly work at it, adding one piece at time. In the meantime I can post pieces to my blog, it is almost as good as shopping. And if you run out and buy and of these items I would love to know!

How about these Miss Me Cowhide Flap Pocket Jeans. They are even on sale right now.

I love this pillow, but unfortunately for you I can't remember where I found it. 

And of course the combination of a star and cowhide makes this pillow really good!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Cattle are in my blood

Growing up in a barn

Currently, I am in Denver, Colo., for the National Junior Angus Show, and it reminds me a lot of how I grew up. My sister and I, with the support of our family, were very involved in junior cattle programs. 4-H and the National Junior Simmental Association were the big ones for us, but we also went to countless other junior shows in the summer, and I love it. I saw so much country, made awesome friends, and those shows really molded me into who I am.

I remember going from one show to the next, being on the road for weeks at a time, only running home to wash clothes. I think that is where my restlessness developed. I hate being in one spot for more than a couple days, I really do like to go go go.

It's really hard to describe the feeling that you get when you are showing your heifer, and when all that hard work pays off in the form of a champion banner. This is a video that I did last year, and I think it describes a little bit about what it is all about.

The things that grow in Iowa

Soil + Water + Sun makes things grow

For my 4th of July weekend I headed NW to visit the boy and his family. It had been four weeks since my last trip so I was excited to see how much had changed - the crops, the calves and the hair on his face - Ok maybe not so excited about the last one.

I grew up on a beef cattle operation. We buy all of our feed, so I was never involved in the crop side of things. This summer it's been really fun learning about a different aspect of agriculture, and the nerd in me in fascinated with corn.

Remember this picture from four weeks ago.

Well this is what it look like 4th of July weekend. And no I am not a midget. 

The boy said since I have left, the corn has now started to tassle. That's the next step in the growing process.

Other things in Iowa grow, like hair, and no this is not the boy. This is the boy's new future brother-in-law. It was a very exciting weekend. 

And to stereotype Iowa a little more, they have cattle liners in their parades.

And children ride in them like floats. Maybe she is the next Temple Grandin.

Until next time... tell me a little bit about your crops or maybe you are from town and you can learn about corn along with me. Ask questions and I'll try and find the answers. 

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Who's House, Run's House

A little wisdom

I have mentioned before I like Rev Run. I used to love his show on MTV. Now I get my daily fix from his Twitter updates. So I figured it is time to share a little wisdom with my followers again.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth

Can I get a Yahooooo!

Today the Calgary Stampede starts, and I am not there, nor will I be there for any of it, and I am a little sad about that. This year the greatest 10 days of summer is falling right on top of one of the biggest events for my company (more on that in the coming days).

I was pretty lucky growing up, Stampede was like the state fair for me. My family would exhibit cattle there, quite often my cousin had qualified for the chuckwagon races, I usually knew a few of the people in the rodeo, lots of our family members served on committees and my grandpa was Barn Boss for numerous years. This all meant that we pretty much got behind the scenes entry to everything.

Once, I was in college the impact of the Stampede really hit me. People may have not know much about Canada, or Alberta for that matter, but they knew about the Stampede. I interned two years in the Agriculture Department, which gave me an even greater appreciation for those 10 days. In those 10 days it is quite possible the only time consumers come into contact with agriculture. Many have never seen a cow before, they think their bacon comes from a grocery store, and they have no idea all the products another than oil that canola can produce. The Stampede does an excellent job of educating the consumers, and giving them a taste of the country. This interaction is only going to become more important.

I would encourage you to check out their facebook page there are lots of cool interactive tools. And if you ever make the trip be sure to let me know.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Thursday Turquoise Watches

And the time flies by

I am not a big watch wearer. I just the good ole cellphone to keep track of time. However, I did finally purchase a new watch on Abby and I's shopping adventure a couple weekends ago. I bought black, my friends would say shocking, as I owe a lot of black. However, it's Thursday so I am sticking to the turquoise train of thought.

I love these new jelly watches. You can purchase this watch here. Now this watch is a little more expensive, so if you are looking for a bargain check these options out. 
This is the watch I bought at my favorite western store for $15!

Almost bought the white one too. It reminds be of the white watch Sandra Bullock wore in The Blind Side. 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Meet your Meat

Why it is important to tell our story

So people say there are two sides to every story. However, I have a hard time believing that what animal rights groups have to say about agriculture is a very accurate portrayal of the other side. That's because I grew up on a farm, a beef farm to be specific. Caring for our animals was the number one priority, and I don't think my family is unique. I have been on too many farms and have not seen the things that animal rights groups talk about.

I found this story awhile ago, and wanted to share it with you. Compassion for Animals and the Animal Rights Collective, two animal rights groups on George Mason University's campus, hosted their their third animal Pay-Per-View session. These two organizations paid students a $1 to watch a four-minute segment of "Meet Your Meat," an animal rights video. The video contains some extremely graphic footage of animal abuse. There are bad apples in this industry, but farmers and ranchers do not stand for this type of animal treatment and are trying to rid our industry of these people. The video says these are standard methods in animal production. This is not true.

Photo courtesy of Animal Right Collective Blog 

More than 35 students watched the video. I think we need to encourage some of the ag groups on campus to set up their own booths and do they same thing. Show people the truth, and communicate with the people that we are feeding.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Planning, well in advanced

Where did July come from?

Life is a little busy right now. Actually, my life is always a little busy. Tonight a good friend and I were planning our Halloween costumes already. Trust me, I know it is only July. The thing is this is completely normal for us. Too many of my really close friends live too far away. And their personal lives and work keep them equally as busy as me. It forces us to make time for each other by putting it on the calendar well in advance. It also means that when we are together we value that time, and try to make the most of it.

I do love to be spontaneous and just hang out, I just know that those moments are unique and not the norm.

I have lots to tell you from my July 4th weekend, but I am waiting for those pictures to arrive.

I also, want to warn you that the next two weeks the blogging will be a little slower than normal, but don't worry last week I worked on getting some in the store tank. Things I have been wanting to share with you for awhile just haven't had time. So keep on checking back.

Have a fantastic day!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Fireworks, and a lot of red, white and blue

Happy Fourth of July

Well it has been a week of celebrations. First Canada Day, and now Independence Day, and I am ready for a little holiday. I am actually on my way to Independence, Iowa, to spend the weekend with the boy and his family. Surely, a town named Independence can throw a pretty good Independence Day party.

I am told the weekend will be filled with cattle, racing, golfing and fireworks. I am pretty sure that is all I really need.

I hope you have a great weekend with your family and friends. How will you be celebrating? And don't forget as you are eating and grilling this weekend to thank a farmer for all they provide for you and your family.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Happy Canada Day!

I stand on guard for thee.

Well, for those of you who weren't aware today is July 1st, and that means it is Canada Day. It always surprises me how many of my American friends don't realize that we celebrate our independence just like Americans do. Last year, however, two of my American friends offered to go get Maple Leafs tattooed in secret locations. That didn't quite pan out.

Today there will be parades, fireworks, boating, and BBQs very similar to what will be happening south of the border in just a few more days. I spent many Canada Days at the Ponoka Stampede helping my cousin with his chuckwagon horses, and this year my family will be trying to make a trip over there again.

For my Canadian friends and readers, I hope you have a great time celebrating our great country today. Just remember that we don't need a specific holiday to celebrate our country, we can be proud of it everyday.

And if you need to spice up your house with a little Canada try these
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