Monday, February 28, 2011

Bernie Rollin - Difference Between Hay and Straw

City Boy Turn Agvocate

Bernie Rollin is a really interesting guy. He grew up in New York, and later in life ventured west to Colorado State University focusing on ethics practices in CSU's vet school. He feel in love with the west, and agriculture, and now helps farmers and ranchers convey their stories to consumers. 

Tonight, Bernie will be apart of the I am Angus show airing on RFD-TV at 7 p.m. CST. The show will explore the connect between food, those who raise it and those who consume it. If you don't have RFD-TV search I am Angus on YouTube.

crystal.cattle stepping it up

New Look.

Here is what I've have been waiting to share with you. If you stopped by my blog last night, you were welcomed with the new crystal.cattle blog header. The Boy surprised me at Christmas with a gift certificate for Ranch House Designs so I could spruce up my blog. I was so excited, and now you can see the final product.

If you are ever looking for a fabulous team to do some design work for you look up Rachel and her team. From blog, to websites, sale catalogs and print campaigns they are a great team. And stay tuned this week, because I have another surprise.

And thanks JJB, you are awesome.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Gypsy Soule - Favorite Things

24 Days to Go 

I could be a Soule Sister. Have you ever ventured onto the Gypsy Soule website? 1. Be prepared to ooh, and ahh, 2. Be prepared to realize you have expensive taste. But hey, this is my favorite things birthday countdown wish list right (I realize it has a long name), so here we go.


I love this Gypsy Soule Bracelet. Not only is it the perfect combination of turquoise and lime green, I love the words inscribed on it - own it. Good stuff. 

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Farmer's Trophy Wife and Farm Journal

Giving gratitude

What an awesome Friday. First this morning when I woke up I noticed that The Farmer's Trophy Wife had put together a selection of Crystal Cattle style Etsy goods for my birthday countdown. (Check back tomorrow, for more of my favorite things.)

I have no idea how she read my mind so well. Ever since my trip to Australia I have been looking for vintage burlap feed sacks to make pillows out of. 

I also was super surprised when I saw this tweet come across in my Twitter feed today. 

Thank-you to Anna-Lisa Giannini and Farm Journal for the Follow Friday shout-out. You can read the write up on

Anna-Lisa is an awesome agvocate herself and has recently started working for Farm Journal. It is great to see so many young agriculturist out there. 

And finally to Rachel at Ranch House Designs. I have always admired Rachel and all I have to say is...

I have a very exciting surprise for you on Monday! Stay tuned. 

Pimp my ride - cattlemen's style

You'll see us coming.

I love walking through parking lots and unexpectingly seeing license plates and bumper stickers supporting agriculture.

The Classic Beef It's What's For Dinner bumper sticker. You are usually able to get these stickers from your state Beef Council.

 Now these plates are my favorite! It makes me very sad that in Missouri we have found plates and I can't use mine.

Here's a throwback for you. Going back a few years is one of my great friends and I being super sales women, at K-State Cattlemen's Day. You can purchase the K-State Eat Beef license plates from the KSU Collegiate Cattlewomen.

And if you don't bleed purple maybe you bleed orange. Eat Beef Oklahoma State style with this fundraiser by the OSU Collegiate Cattlewomen.

This bumper stick I found on my trip to Australia. It was a on a side of a boat. Probably not a truer statement.

And sometimes those bumper sticker wear out, but this is still my favorite one.
Eat Beef - The west wasn't won on chicken.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Yeah it's still winter

Snow, and more snow.

Mother nature tried to play a little trick on us last weekend. Yes, Spring sure felt like it was around the corner. I guess growing up in Canada I was a little skeptic. I mean I remember my sister's 4 year old birthday the beginning of May, and us all getting sun burnt, and the next day getting inches of snow.

That probably isn't going to happen down here, but I am more than prepared for more snow in March and April. If you live in town I hope you have a snow blower, if you are a farmer I hope your tractor has a cab.

This was my car after work today. Ugh.

Turquoise Bar Stools -Turquoise Thursday

Loving these.

Remember when last week I said I got two amazing gifts from the Boy's family. Well here is the second.

These turquoise bar stools were an early birthday present, and I love them. They found them when they were down in Texas for the Fort Worth Stock Show. Just another reason why I must get back there next year. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I am Am Angus inspiration

Climbing mountains. 

Well it is the middle of the week, a crazy week. Not only is the company I work for in the middle of board meetings, but we are about to send the next installment of I am Angus out the door. I am really excited about this next episode. I mean we are talking Temple Grandin, Bernie Rollins, and the amazing Chelsea Good, amongst others. People talking about the connection between the food we eat and the people that raise it.

The show will air on Monday, February 28, at 7 CST on RFD-TV (go ahead, mark your calendars!) And for those that don't have RFD-TV you can tune into YouTube to watch all the segments. In the meantime I leave you with the first I am Angus we ever shot. I have posted this video on here before, but I think everyone could use a reminder once in awhile, that no matter the hurdle we can not only move passed it but succeed.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cowhide Ottoman - Crystal's Favorite Things

A Month to Go!

Today is officially the beginning of my birthday month. So in celebration I'm going to do a list of my favorite finds. Some are on my birthday list, and some are on my dream birthday wish list. Like someone would have to probably save up for the next 10 birthdays for this item.

I'll two please.
These cowhide ottomans are absolutely goregous! Actually there are lots of goregous things at Saddleman's of Santa Fe, including their metallic cowhide rugs. I would take on of those too!

Monday, February 21, 2011

K-State Legacy Sale

Going once, going twice, sold!

I was once again very excited  to work with the K-State Purebred Beef Unit on their Legacy Sale video. When I was at K-State the Bull Sale Class was one of the classes that I got to participate in. It is an excellent way for students to get a hands on experience.

Plus, while I was there shooting the video. I may or may not have found a Simmental heifer that I like very much. I mean she is good, and my lucky number 27. Probably it was meant to be, and probably my bank account isn't big enough!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Goal Update 101 in 1001 and #3in30


Currently, I am working on two sets of goals. The 101 goals in 1001 days and my 3 goals in 30 days, with some of these overlapping. Here is how things are looking.

I actually haven't completed any of these goals yet this month, but two of them are in progress and I am confident that I will complete them. I have really enjoyed writing in my journal everyday. Total for the month I have wrote in it almost 10 times, but I have to write in it 10 consecutive days to scratch it off the list. I also can't wait to finish Robyn Beazley's book, Live an Amazing Life. I only have one section left! p.s. you might want to check out Robyn's blog she has a ton of give-a-ways going on.

101 in 1001
40. The beginning of the month I made a donation to K-State through their Telefund. I know some of my classmate dread the Telefund call, but I always looks forward to it. This year a member of the current livestock judging team called me. I owe a lot K-State and I always try to give back even if it is just a little.

68. Clean my car - it looks so good. Still have to do it one more time to completely scratch it off.

Do you have a 101 in 1001 list or are you participating in #3in30? Let me know what your goals are?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Turquoise Thursday - Gift Receiving

Lucky girl

Last weekend the Boy's family surprised me with some gifts. They have quickly figured out I like turquoise (wonder what gave them that idea!) The Boy's sister had a belated Christmas gift for me, and she did fantastic.

These three turquoise terracotta pots are from Anthropologie. It's a good thing there isn't a store close to me otherwise my bank account me be a little thinner. Now I need to figure out where I am going to put them, or ideas on how to use them. Suggestions?

I wasn't able to get a picture yet of what the Boy's parents got me. They are equally awesome, so stay tuned! 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Senate adopts the Cowboy Code

I swear to...

Montana's Senate has given preliminary approval to adopt the "Code of the West" as Montana's code, according to

I know you are probably staying we'll of course Montana would do that, that is cowboy country. However, it is a code that we all should live by whether you have spent time in the saddle or not.

Although, the "Cody of West" was an unwritten code, Jim Owen's put the code on paper and then used them as the core for his book, "Cowboy Ethics: What Wall Street Can Learn from the Code of the West.

1. Live each day with courage

2. Take pride in your work

3. Always finish what you start

4. Do what has to be done

5. Be tough, but fair

6. When you make a promise, keep it

7. Ride for the brand

8. Talk less and say more

9. Remember that some things aren't for sale

10. Know where to draw the line. 

How many of these do you break each day, or maybe family members, friends or coworkers. I say the "Code of the West" is something to live by. It would make the world a better place. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Free Range Cashmere

Duh, Ashley. 

I remember seeing this LA Country Fair video a couple years ago, but I recently stumbled across another one, which is pretty funny too.

Now, I don't want to make fun of anyone that doesn't know the difference between a cow and a sheep because in some way I feel like ranchers and farmers are a little to blame for the disconnect. I think at some point we forgot that there are millions of people that have never stepped foot on a farm, and we are going to have to make ourselves available to answer their questions.

On the other hand, I think consumers need to take a little more interest in their food choices. Children need to be shown that food doesn't come from a grocery store, rather the fields that surround their cities. Food doesn't come from a package, it comes from soil and animals. So consumers, I challenge you as well. If you have questions, do be shy. Farmers LOVE talking about their livelihoods and will be more than willing to share.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Cow Cookies

I heart Beef

Now I know I already posted about my weekend full of cattle and flowers, but I had to share this. What would be almost as good as receiving a box of steaks delivered to your office? How about a herd of I Heart Beef cow cookies.

My mom had a box of these wonderful cookies delivered to my office today. Definitely gets the cool mom award. They were awesome. 

Cows and Flowers

Happy Valentines Day

This past weekend I headed to Iowa to help the Boy get his Iowa Beef Expo cattle ready. He'll be selling a Horned Hereford bull and show heifer prospect, as well as another bull owned by a junior member that he helps throughout the year.

All day Saturday we spend washing, blowing (we use a huge blow dryer to get the cattle dry) and working hair. Feeding and bedding cattle, and maybe a little time playing with his bottle baby. That night it was a steak supper at his parents.

Repeat on Sunday. This time the cattle had to be clipped and I ran to McDonalds to get lunch for the boys. How romantic.

Yes, I did receive some beautiful flowers, but Valentines was pretty low key. Just us and the cattle. Would not have wanted it any other way. Got to spend time doing one of my favorite things with my favorite person.

Roses and the bulls

And don't forget there are lots of reasons to choose steak for your Valentines Day dinner. 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Covergirl

Her name is Serena.

I get pretty excited when I open up a magazine and some of my work is in it, and this time it was a complete surprise. In December I went up the Boy's house to help him picture and video some of the cattle he would be selling in the Iowa Beef Expo. The Iowa Cattlemen picked up one of my pictures for the cover. Cattle marketing has become just as high tech as retailers swaying you towards certain brands.

Serena will sell in the Iowa Beef Expo Hereford sale on Feb. 17. For more information on this show heifer prospect click here. 

Today, Cattlemen can use Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, E-Blast, Websites, YouTube, Print Advertising and straight ole call you up and try to sell you something marketing. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Cowhide, crosses and turquoise - Turquoise Thursday

Ooh and aah. 

Last weekend I visited my friend Abby. She's been looking for the perfect T.V. stand, something unique. It just so happens that she visited my favorite store in Manhattan, Kansas - the Front Porch. I probably shopped in this store way too much in college - accumulating more stars than the Boy probably prefers ;)

Abby just so happened to find her perfect T.V. stand their, and to my excitement it was turquoise! The stand is also carried by a company called Black Forest Decor, and these are my finds.

Some times you just need a little bit of turquoise. Like the turquoise nuggets on this cowhide table runner

And sometimes you need a lot. This turquoise cross hutch is awesome. I could set up lots of buffets on this. They have several pieces that match this piece on their website

I love this piece. I think of a million place I would put this turquoise night stand. I price makes me a little sad though. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Things don't always go right

Hard and cold days.

If you haven't noticed it's been cold out, and snowy out, and I think most people are pretty tired of it. I really try not too hard to complain because I am inside typing this blog post while my family and the Boy are calving cows.

The majority of Canadian cattlemen and lot of U.S. cattlemen are all calving cows right now. You may wonder why in the world would you calve right now, as the mercury keeps on dropping, but there is some logic.

1. If you are a purebred cattlemen (cattle are only one breed, and have a registration paper) you are wanting to calve now so come next year the bull calves, that were born this year, will be big enough and mature enough to breed cows. Clear as mud?

2. Calving now allows your calves to grow more and be bigger at sale time during the fall. More pounds = more dollars. Also, these older calves will be able to go right into the feedlot.

3. Although, it is cold right now I would much rather calve in the snow than mud. Calves stay healthier in constant temperatures. In March, when you can have huge temperature swings calves can get sick quick.

Although we try and provide the best care possible things can go wrong.

My sister took this picture at our farm over the weekend.
This little guy was born at my parent's farm and he froze his ears. He'll be fine, he just won't have big fluffy ears like all his other buddies. This sometime happens when momma won't stop licking their ears, thus leaving them wet, when it gets extremely cold out or if there is a lot of humidity in the air.

I loved this picture from @purelymom. Becky is a ranch wife, like all farmers and ranchers, know that those that help provide income for the house, might also have to be brought inside it once in awhile. Sometimes if a calf has to be pulled it will take them a little while to be steady on their own, or sometimes because of the weather calves will get real cold and need to be brought into a warm area. 

Becky's little girl reminded me of my sister and I. We loved when a calf had to come inside. That meant we had easy access to pet and hang out with them as much as we wanted. 

p.s. You won't want to miss tomorrow's Turquoise Thursday

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

365 Days of Beef

Hamburger, T-bone, KC strip...

Could you do it? 365 days of beef, sure sounds good to me. After Oprah ran her special on "Going Vegan" Scott Bennett decided that he would do the exact opposite and add even more meat to his diet. This 22-year-old from Blackburg, Virginia, will document his journey through his blog 365 Days of Beef.

I think this is a fantastic way to celebrate I Heart Beef month - year round. Not only will he get to experience the benefits of lean beef, but he is surely going to get lots of questions about his project, which will allow him to talk about the beef industry and agriculture.

Today is the first day of Scott's adventure, wish him luck and be sure to check out his 365 Days of Beef blog

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Tweeting from NCBA

Hello, Tweeps (Twitter friends)

I'm letting the cat out of the bag, if you haven't noticed I really like Twitter. I even incorporated it into my 101 in 1001 goals.

#62. Meet three of my Twitter friends in person - now completed

I had the opportunity to meet these three loving ladies for the first time at the National Cattlemens Beef Convention in Denver.

Anna, and I have lots of mutual friends and have been following each others blogs for awhile now. She has also joined in on my Turquoise Thursday posts. I was so excited to run into her! It was funny how many people asked if I was Crystal Cattle. You can check out her blog at

I also met Lauren at NCBA, through Anna. Once our conversation began we realized we were already following each other on Twitter! She works for the Arizona Beef Council, and is soon going to be starting a blog on her Beef Babes against Breast Cancer. 

Sarah, is another one of my Twitter friends, and a member of Collegiate Cattlewomen. My favorite organization at K-State. She started a agvocacy blog after she read my how to start an #agblog post. 

Also, an update on my #3in30 goals. I've been writing in that journal. Not on consecutively yet, but I do have three journal entries in five days. Pretty good for being at a conference all week. Definitely going to get that goals completed! 

Friday, February 4, 2011

Add a twibbon - I Heart Beef

Yes, I said Twibbon

Twibbon - a ribbon that is added to your Twitter profile pic to support something. That's my unofficial definition.

This month it is I Heart Beef Month. Now I think they best way to show how much you love beef and cattle ranchers is to go out and buy a steak (filet mignon is my favorite, but if I want a leaner option I go with a sirloin). However, you can also add Twibbon to all your social media profile pictures. 

Here is an easy link to add a I Heart Beef Twibbon to your Facebook profile picture. As you can see below lots of my friends already have and I hope you'll join in too! 

Me and the Boy. I Heart him and Beef. 

Lauren is a Master of Food and loves beef, and her dogs. 

DJ is a cowboy and loves beef. He writes about food on the Food for Thought blog

Robert is a college student and a young rancher. He raises Angus cattle in Orgeon and loves beef. 

Will you be adding the I Hear Beef Twibbon to your picture?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Turquoise Thursday and #3in30

Goals in style 

In the month of January I started to participate in the 3 in 30 challenge. Three goals in 30 days. To be truthful I wasn't too successful, but this month I am determined to do better! 

My goals this month are:

1. Finish one of the books I have started. Currently, I have three books started and I am bound to finish off one of them this month. Maybe on my plane ride home from the National Cattlemen's Beef Association Convention. 

2. Write in my journal for 10 days. Even though I am posting my goals are a little late this month I have already started this goal. And that is where the Turquoise comes in this month. I love these new moleskin turquoise journals I bought at Barnes and Noble.

p.s. Notice my new blog design. You'll see a few more changes in the next couple of weeks as well. 

3. Pay for the next person in line's meal. I tried this last month, and didn't succeed. This month I am going to work on getting it completed and scratched off my 101 in 1001 list! 

Check out my progress on the side of my blog. I recently just crossed off comment on 10 articles regarding the beef industry. 

Do you have monthly goals? Are you a #3in30 participant?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Frosty Ranchers

It's chilly out there. 

And yet I am sitting in the airport waiting for my flight. You see this will be the third flight I have tried to get on in three days. There was a major blizzard that hit the Midwest this week and it has pretty much paralyzed all transportation. Now yes it has been a big pain in the butt, I have shoveled more snow in the past few days than I care for, I'm missing out on all the fun at the convention I am supposed to be at, and it is really cold outside. However, I have made a conscious effort this week not to complain -- that's because my family and the Boy have been out in this weather taking care of our cattle.

On the left hand side you can see a wind break and a shed. The shed is just for the calves to go in. Surrounding the bed pack (straw) are trees to also offer protection from the wind.

Although, the roads have been shut down and businesses are closed business goes on as usual on farms and ranches. Extra feed has to be put out for the animals, bedding (straw usually) for them to lay in, and waterers de-iced.

I am very grateful for the people who are raising my food and all of their hard work. I guess that is why I sometimes get a little passionate about people like Michael Pollan (Food Inc.), Oprah and on the extreme end HSUS. They criticize our production methods and think they have better ideas of how our food should be raised. However, many of them haven't ever stepped on a farm, or at least not in a snow storm.

I will however give those people credit for raising consumer awareness. I think more people are asking about where their food comes from, and that is a good thing. If you ever have a question for me please be sure to ask.

And If you ever run into a farmer or rancher. Say thank-you, I don't think they hear it much. Stay warm out there.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I Heart Beef Month

Love me some steak

This month is I Heart Beef month, and I hope you are ready for some mouth-watering, healthy and nutritious beef meals. I mean when nearly twice as many Americans selected beef versus chicken (that would be me) when asked which satisfies you as much as chocolate does, beef seems like a good choice for you, your family and friends.

But wait I thought red meat wasn't good for you?

Oh but it is, especially the 29 lean cuts of beef available. These 29 lean cuts of beef contain a total fat content that falls between a skinless chicken breast and and a skinless chicken thigh, when comparing cooked 3-ounce servings. Some of my favorite cuts include Top Sirloin Steak, Top Round Roast, 95% Lean Hamburger and Brisket. An easy way to remember which cuts are lean is by looking for round or loin in the name.

You have 13 days left...

The count down to Valentines Day is on, and it's time to think about how you'll spend it with your special someone (whether that is your date or all the girlfriends hanging out). Instead of spending money on chocolates that will go right to our hips or money on eating out at an expensive restaurant why not stay in and serve up a steak!

Check our the Leah Beyer's blog Beyer Beware for her hunk of meat Mondays. She has sent me her favorite recipe BBQ Brisket and Pork Roast (got support the other guys too) and it looks delicious.

And if you are a beef lover consider adding the I Heart Beef picture to your blog, facebook page, Twitter account etc.
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