Thursday, January 29, 2015

Turquoise Thursday: The Classy Trailer

Don't you love Instagram? It might be slightly dangerous because each time I am on there in addition to seeing your smiling faces, cow pictures, #felfies, I also seem to always discover a new boutique or fashion blogger to follow. And that is what happened with The Classy Trailer.

I instantly fell in love with Jill's designs, many which include turquoise.

I love these turquoise 3mm rings. They can be worn as a regular ring or a midi. And they also make the perfect rings for stacking. I can't wait to get my own 3mm turquoise ring in the mail. 
Pricing ranges from $16-$35. 

The Classy Trailer cuff is a great way to show your state pride. Jill does lots of custom work. I about drool over the turquoise stones she is always posting to her Facebook page
Custom cuffs $65 & up. 

Jill is also know for her brand and initial rings. 
Pricing around $100. 

Jill had a childhood largely influences by agriculture and has continues to say involved into adulthood. She has shown horse for many years, and has been in the veterinary fired for more than 11 years. Her heart is in large animal reproduction, and enjoyed working a number of race horse barns for a while. She currently lives in Napa, CA, where she was born and raised. Lucky girl! Maybe we should plan a shopping and wine trip. 

If you are interested in one of Jill's pieces you can contact her through her The Classy Trailer Facebook page. 

Photos provided by C. M. Elle Studios.

Turquoise Thursday: Tassel Necklace

Recently, I've been seeing more and more tassel necklaces pop up. I think it maybe started last summer with Kendra Scott's Rayne necklace and I am loving all the new options, especially when they are turquoise! 

Which one is your favorite? And will you be wearing this trend? 

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Bachelor: Real Bachelorette Farmers

Last week the world got to meet Chris Soules, aka the new Bachelor Farmer and start of Season 19 of ABC's The Bachelor. Everyone as go to meet two of my bachelor farmer friends. However, I also have many lady friends that are pretty spectacular Bachelorette Farmers.

As a side note many of you have inquired about these bachelors and I assume you might have questions about these lovely ladies. Although, I won't be giving out anyone's email addresses or phone numbers they are pretty easy to find on Instagram and/pr Twitter. Feel free to reach out, you never know what could happen! So, without further ado I introduce you to Hannah and Kristi. These ladies have strong agriculture roots, but combine that with intelligence, ambitions and high heels.

First I introduce you to Hannah. Hannah and I met while I was working for the American Angus Association. This gal has spunk. She has a passion for adventure, cherishes her family and loves anytime she gets to spend around cows of both the beef and dairy varieties. 

Name: Hannah McCabe
Age: 23
Where did you grow up and where do you live now? I grew up in Elk City, Kansas, but I moved to Liverpool, New York about a year and a half ago.
Occupation: Pharmaceutical Representative for Cattle

How are you involved in agriculture? I grew up on an Angus and Hereford farm where I was involved in every single aspect from freeze branding, clipping bulls for the sale or putting up hay in the summer. In fact, my siblings and I often joke that my parents had so many kids simply for free labor on our 'plantation' (they LOVE it when we say this!). Today with my job, I spend the majority of my time focusing on dairy cows, since that's mostly what is found in upstate NY. The challenge of learning a totally new industry with completely different priorities for production and health issues has been really fun!
So you work with dairy farmers all day, you love cows, and you've stepped in poop but what is one thing that would surprise people about you? I asked a few people in my family this, and they all replied, "Hannah, NOTHING you do anymore surprises me", with varying degrees of sarcasm. But one thing that has been getting an eyebrow raise from everyone I tell would be my plans to go to Iceland this spring.

What would be your favorite thing to do on date? If someone wanted to take me to an Adele concert, I don't care who you are, you would win best date ever for sure! (When is she going to release that new album?!) But really I just want to be doing something fun. I love experiencing new things and am up for almost anything! As long as the time spent is quality and there's cake involved at some point, I'm satisfied.
Favorite activity off the farm? Traveling to new places for sure! Domestic or international, doesn't matter to me. As I said before, I love experiencing new things, learning about different cultures and seeing all things you hear about growing up.
Favorite activity on the farm? As weird as this is, I LOVE to A.I. (artificially insemenate cows)! Ever since I learned in high school, it has been my favorite activity. But really, I'm pretty happy to do anything as long as it doesn't involve building hot wire fence around wheat pasture for winter grazing.
Favorite movie? Steel Magnolias- not even a contest. And if I find out one of my friends has never seen it, I immediately plan a movie night to fix that!

Follow Hannah on Instagram at @therealhannahmccabe

Next up is Kristi. Kristi is a dear friend of mine! She actually is how the Boy and I finally met and started dating. She is career driven, extremely passionate about standing up for agriculture and bleeds Oklahoma State orange.

Name: Kristi Bishop
Age: 29
Where did you grow up and where do you live now: I was raised in southeastern Montana, however I've lived in Oklahoma for nearly 10 years! 

Occupation: Prospective Students Coordinator, Oklahoma State University College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. I recruit students to pursue degrees in agriculture and natural resources and facilitate leadership development programs for current students. Never a dull day working with high school and college aged students...and their moms.

What's your agriculture background? I grew up on my families cow-calf ranch raising Hereford cattle, barley, wheat and eventually sugar beets! College took me to Oklahoma State University where I received both my bachelor and master degrees in Animal Science.
You have also have a background in politics why are you so passionate about agriculture? My passion comes from a desire to help protect production agriculture from unnecessary burdens imposed by government such as land use restrictions, infringements on private property rights and ill-advised protections for endangered species. My first job after grad school was as a lobbyist and I've stayed engaged in the legislative process primarily through my involvement with American Agri-Women, a group that is best described as being "non-partisan but not non-political" in their efforts to share the truth about agriculture.
What would be your favorite thing to do on date? Dinner and an outdoor concert...preferably one that encourages two-stepping.
Favorite activity off the farm? So many, but at the top of the list are traveling (annual trip to New Orleans is my favorite!) and weekends at the lake.
Favorite activity on the farm? Pretty simple - riding in the pickup looking at cattle. At the end of a long day grabbing a cold beer and driving through pastures is where it's at.
Favorite meal, and would you be cooking at home or going out? Nothing beats a steak grilled at home, but I love going out for sushi or Italian. Lets be real- going out means someone else does the dishes!

Follow Kristi on Instagram at @bkristi

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

What's Really Wrong With the Bachelor's Bachelorettes

Last night Season 19 of the Bachelor aired and this year it features a bachelor farmer! Chris Soules is his name and he actually farms about 30 miles north of our farm. Throughout the show limo after limo showed up of beautiful eligible young ladies hoping to be The Future Mrs. Soules. I watched all three hours of the show (well technically I had to pause it because we had a new born baby calf) and the women range from talented, eloquent, drunk and quirky. Throughout and after the show there were MANY comments along the lines of:

"My opinion and thought.....if you are going to have a farmer on the Bachelor why not find some real country girls to be on the show to possibly be a farmer's wife!"

"She's way too made up in her prom dress to make it on the farm."

"She'll never survive in a small town."

So what is wrong with these comments? Shouldn't the producers picked girls straight off the farm (no pun intended).

Here is what is wrong. 

1. We talk about how the average age of a farmer is 55 years old, and that we need young people to be involved in agriculture. Well what about welcome new, young people to agriculture. So what if these women didn't grow up in agriculture? I know plenty of women (and men like my brother-in-law) that didn't grow up in ag, but were more than willing to join our crowd when they met their farmer. And these people are important parts of their farm or agriculture operations. Jenny of Prairie California is a great example. 

2. What is wrong with knowing how to wear a cocktail dress and put on make-up. I like MAC make-up, J.Crew, hairspray and jewelry. That does not mean that I don't know how to pull a calf, feed cattle, work cows and most recently I learned how to drive the skid steer. Looking Pretty in Agriculture is a blog post I wrote a few year about about when people say "You don't look like you grew up on a farm."

3. You know what, small towns won't survive if we don't welcome new people. I grew up in a small town, but trust me it is intimidating to be the knew girl in town. Especially when the social circles are small and well established. After I moved away from my small rural town I lived in some pretty big cities. Nowadays the closest GAP and Banana Republic are more than an hour away. The only MAC store in the state of Iowa is 2.5 hours, and it isn't even a stand alone store it is in Yonkers. That doesn't mean that I can't find what I need online and be creative about where I shop to get my style fix. 

So what's really wrong with theses bachelorettes? Nothing. Let's stop before we cast judgement about whether these Bachelor women can make it as a farm wife. I think their future #BachelorFarmer can make that determination. And if you are a city gal or farm gal check out these two eligible #BachelorFarmer friends. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

The Bachelor: Real Bachelor Farmers

Tonight is the night. The Bachelor Season 19 is airing tonight. Why is this season so important? Well because the Bachelor, Chris Soules is a farmer and he farms 30 miles north of our Iowa farm. But what if you missed out on your opportunity to date a farmer on reality TV? No worries #bachelornation I have found two eligible bachelors that fit the farmer bill. Yes, real life farmers that are quite the catch. Introducing my two friends and your potential next date John and Mark! Just because a guy loves farming doesn't mean he doesn't know have to get off the farm every once in awhile. However, beware. It find a true farmer you know their number one passion will be agriculture. (And if you are looking to meet some awesome agriculture ladies read about two more friends here.) 

I met John a couple years ago because his brother was interested in a heifer we were selling. There are actually for Knutson boys and a sister. John has a passion for agriculture, loves traveling and has an awesome family. He would make a fantastic farming bachelor! 

John Knutson
Age: 28
Where are you from: Hartland, MN 

How are you involved in agriculture?
Our family has a grain farm, we grow corn and soybeans. I also raise a few crossbred cattle and pigs!

What is one thing about yourself that would surprise people? 

I love studying everything related to finance! Whether it’s trading grain futures or following the price swings in stocks, bonds or currencies, nothing fascinates me more than finance. (Follow John on Twitter at @JohnKnutson, he posts lots of his finds there)

Favorite activity off the farm?
Traveling! I love to travel, especially internationally. I’ve had the privilege to travel to Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, London and Paris. It seems the more you travel, the more you realize there are so many amazing places you want to travel to next.

Favorite activity on the farm?
Combining corn, by far!!! Nothing compares to working all year towards the goal of a bountiful harvest and then being able to sit in the combine and see that hard work pay off.

If a girl is to date a farmer what one piece of advice would you have for her?Be patient. Farming isn’t just a career, it’s a lifestyle. It is unlike any other job where work is from 9-5 and weekends are free. Farmers can work for weeks upon weeks straight without having time off. During the busy harvest and planting times I think the most important thing for a girl to do is to be patient with a farmers’ seasonal schedule. Also, be creative! ProTip: I’ve never met a guy who wouldn’t absolutely love it if his girlfriend asked if she could ride along in the tractor with him.

Favorite quote?
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” (Lamentations 3:22-24)

For me this quote has really help me get through long difficult days working on the farm when it just seems nothing is going right. Just knowing God loves me and is always faithful, even when I can’t see God’s plan in difficult circumstances! 

Mark and I got to be good friends through Herefords, the breed of cattle we raise. Him and my husband are also good friends. Mark was even around when we first started dating. He loves sports, loves cattle and offer the perfect combination of city life and agriculture. 

Mark Sullivan
Age: 30 
Where did you grow up and where do you live now? I grew up in Western Washington in a small town called Chehalis. I attended the University of Washington is Seattle and for the last seven years have lived in Edmond/Oklahoma City.
Occupation: Financial Advisor with Merrill Lynch

How are you involved in agriculture? I grew up on a Christmas tree farm and purebred Hereford Cattle operation in Washington. The family has since moved to Olympia, WA and now focus only on breeding cattle that we show and market around the country.

Although, you grew up on farm you now live in the city. How do you keep your agriculture ties strong? I am lucky that my job allows me to still do the things I love and be involved in the family operation. It has been a way that the entire family stays close and in constant contact. My niece and nephew are now old enough to start showing, which I'm very excited about. I travel to nearly every show and try to stay as active in the breed association as possible. Another great thing about working as a financial advisor is that I have the opportunity to work with both businesses and individuals that are involved in agriculture around the country. We speak the same language and have the same passions and values. I would much rather talk business on a golf cart or gator in a pasture than wearing a suit inside.

What would be your favorite thing to do on date?
I enjoy a good meal as much as anyone, but I like to be active. So anything that involves the outdoors. Playing in or watching any sporting event is always high on my list.

Favorite activity off the farm? I'm a big college sports fan. UW is #1 in my heart but love the traditions and campuses of most any school. I also try to play golf, volleyball or softball when possible.

Favorite activity on the farm? I love barn time, you can even put that on the list of great dates. For me it is a stress release and where I'm truly happy. Anything from cleaning the barn or working with the cattle at home and seeing them develop.

Do you think the the Prince Farming Bachelor has a chance a finding a non farming girl to fall in love with? I think there is always that chance, but I would imagine it's much more likely it would be someone that has a little farming background and wants to be a part of and has a desire for that lifestyle.

Cook at home or dine out? And what would you be eating? - I generally cook at home. It's a safe bet it would be some variation of steak and potatoes.

Follow Mark on Twitter - @FinancialCows

So what kind of girl is going to end up with the Bachelor Chris Soules and become my neighbor. Or maybe one of my readers will get matched up with our #FarmerBachelor candidates! A big thank you to Mark and John for being good sports. 
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