Thursday, June 28, 2012

LMFAO Parody: I'm Farming and I Grow it!

This video is fantastic. Crystal.Cattle has some more information on these hip Kansas farmers, and I encourage you to read and follow her blog as well, if y'all ain't already. In the interim, watch the video and supposrt these young Agvocates in their quest to educate! Thanks and Gig 'em!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


I am going to continue to eat the beef I produce. I will continue to relish every bite. I am also going to continue to show the world what it means to be a beef producer, what it means to live on a working farm, and just how good life is out here. Additionally, I will continue to debunk the myths and lies propagated by vegetarian associations about the production of livestock, while trying to remain as respectful as possible. It might get tough, it will be a lifelong fight, but it will continue.

I am an environmentally responsible, morally sound, kind, smart, funny and educated person. I take care of my livestock, and every year my family and I eat one of the steers we feed, and sell the others. They go to feed families in Calgary, providing safe, tasty, nutrient-rich Alberta beef for their tables. That is the process I am going to University to learn about. I will continue to support the Alberta Beef Producers, The Canadian Beef Breeds Council, the United Farmers of Alberta, the Canadian Cattle Association, 4-H Canada, FFA, The Canadian Limousin Association, The Alberta Limousin Association, and I will read the Alberta Beef Magazine every month for the rest of my life. I will eat meat or poultry every night for dinner, most days for lunch, and some mornings for breakfast, to support the people who also do what I love to do.

As far as I am concerned, I'm a lost cause for Vegans. They are, of course, forever welcome on this forum, to discuss every topic under the sun, so long as they remain respectful of my choices, as I remain respectful of ytheirs. Remember that, from where I sit, people like them cost me money every time I sell an animal. I respect their right to choose whether they eat meat or not, but I cannot tolerate them trying to "convert" (pardon the negative connotation that seems to have, but it fits) others under my watch and on my forum. So, as I said, they are welcome, their comments are welcome, as are their thoughts. But, their attitude toward the good people who provide the world with protein needs to be checked at the door.

To leave you with proof that Livestock producers as a whole are not the monsters Vegetarians believe we are, here is a quote from "Keeping It Real: Through the Lens of a Farm Girl."

"Nearly one-half of cattle farmers and ranchers volunteer with youth organizations, and more than one-third donate their time to other civic organizations, compared to a national average of seven percent of all Americans." Obviously we are not only farmers and ranchers, but we seem to hold the world together with our general want to do what is right.

Thanks, Gig 'em, and please come back soon. Posts are generally two weeks apart or so.
Posted in response to comments on the "New York Times Meat" article

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Bugs are Organic, Too!

I was picking up some groceries for my Mom on Tuesday at the local Calgary Co-op.  Whilst I was perusing the asparagus spears, I overheard a mother scold her 10 year old daughter: "Don't get the organic broccoli, it always has nasty little bugs in it!" That got me thinking on just how sheltered and protected from nature most consumers really are.

So what?
Insects are a part of life. When the number of species in the Phylum Arthropoda outnumbers the species in the Phylum Mammalia on an estimated millions-to-one ratio, there is really not much we can do to avoid them all together, try though we may. However, God forbid a housewife should find a fruit fly in her pears, or small green caterpillars in her lettuce, or little midges in the broccoli. That's a terrible thing. Granted, there are some insects we would rather not have in contact with our food for their reputation of harbouring stowaway bacteria and dirt, like cockroaches and houseflies and such.

Organic is supposed to be better for you. No pesticides, no herbicides, no chemicals (stop rolling your eyes, some consumers believe it is possible). So, if no chemicals are used, pests are allowed to propagate uncontrolled, and what was one cutter worm per lettuce head becomes two dozen. Well, there is no possible way to guarantee that none of those worms would survive harvest and transport. The bugs will make their way into the food supply. And hey, so what?

They never hurt anyone, and they don't eat much...
Being a farm kid, raised around cattle, I am not very dirt shy. Most urban Calgarians would faint at the thought of not washing carrots fully before eating them. I personally find that the dirt in the rings on a carrot give it an excellent flavour. The things I have eaten at cattle shows (where we have an odd attraction to finger food and a strange aversion to hot water and soap) would probably make the health insurance companies run for the hills when I come knocking. As it stands, I am probably mildly resistant to a pretty good dose of E. Coli as a result of nine years  of "brushing the dirt off" at cattle shows before eating my burger, or my sandwich. A speck in my iced tea? Flavour. A spot on my lettuce? Character. A little green worm on my broccoli? A mild annoyance. It's nature, and so are we.

Bottom line is, bugs are everywhere, and so is dirt. It would be considered unreasonable to clean and scrub and de-bug every vegetable and fruit in the grocery store. One is bound to pop up every now and then. When it does, pick it off, wash your fingers if you have too, and carry on. Move on people, they're just bugs. Keep it quiet or everyone will want a fly in their stew...  

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Meat Glue

Just shake your heads, producers. The Foodie Good-Shoes out there have cooked up (pardon the pun) another scheme to scare people away from meat. Meat Glue. Used every day in the meat industry for years. But, since they won a battle with the pink slime deal, this is their logical next step. Here is a link for more information discrediting the Anti-Meat Glue propoganda: Meat Glue is the New Pink Slime

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Perhaps not entirely appropriate, but an activity not unknown to cattlemen and livesock producers the world over.  Although the inter-species twist is rather interesting...  What is better than a bacon cheeseburger?  TWO BACON CHEESEBURGERS!  I had to.  I am so sorry. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012


"Texas, our Texas, All hail the mighty State. Texas, our Texas
So wonderful, so great!" -State Anthem
The Great State of Texas, as it is known to its habitants, or Texas, as it is known to everyone else, has many things to be proud of. It is the largest of the lower 48 states. It was once its own country, and it has its very own brand of rough, tough, real-stuff, god-fearing, Yankee-disliking folk. Most are German. Or Czech. It has one of the best food genres ever created: Tex-Mex. Who doesn't love a good burrito? It's home to NASA, the American Quarter Horse Association, the Rio Grande, the Guadalupe Mountains, Live Oaks, Copperheads and Water Moccasins, Scorpions, Cacti, Texas-sized Rats, Roaches and Rattlers, as well as many a Texas-Shaped waffle iron. The people are as diverse as the environment, and the state is so huge that it even has two distinct dialects: A West Texas Drawl and an East Texas Twang. It has taken a while, but I have finally figured out the difference and can place a person based on their accent now. It's a skill, believe me.

Bluebonnets. I think they're weeds, but I would never tell
a Texan that. Liable to get hanged, them's fightin' words.
Being such a large and special state, Texas has developed its own words and interpretations of words. It's fascinating to have a conversation with a Texan. All they talk about is Texas and Texas things, and then they go and put Texas words in there while they're talking about Texas and Texas things, and before too long the out-of-stater is completely baffled. So, if any of you will be visiting the Great State of Texas in the near future, make sure you look out for these words and phrases:

· Howdy: Do not be alarmed. This is a friendly greeting all over the state, but it is used in the most concentration in the areas around College Station, where the Aggies grow. Return it, wave, or nod to acknowledge their greeting, or they will tag you as a Northerner for sure. 

· Restroom: If you are a Canadian, never use the word "Washroom". You will promptly be given a quizzical look and directed to the nearest Laundro-mat. It's a restroom, though I haven't the slightest idea as to why- I have never used it to rest. Ever.

Snakes. Everywhere.
· Fixin': This is a word used to indicate the intention or current action of an individual. Rarely is it used in the normal context of, "I am fixin' the sink." Rather, its most common use is, "I was fixin' to head on out to the Wal-Mart, if ya need anythin'." Or, "I am fixin' yer dinner, ya flea-bitten lout, now git off yer butt and git yer own cool beverage!"

· Might-could: As odd as this phrase is, it is actually used now and again, especially in a rural area. It means, "You may be able to..." as in, "I might-could go dancing tonight, if mah truck will start."

· Awhalgo or Whalgo (Ah-Wall-Go or Wall-Go): Literally a brand new conjunction for the phrase, "A While Ago." This one will get you every time, guys. Be prepared for it, they all say it, none of them notice it.

I wasn't kidding. These are everywhere, too.
· Uh-Huh: While we northerners prefer real words in affirmation of our recent verbal outpourings, in Texas a simple "uh-huh" will suffice. It is quick. It is lazy. It is so easy to fall into, you won't be here a week before you, too, start saying it with gusto. Proper usage is key, so make sure you aren't sticking it in every sentence like a madman.

· Turd-Floater: A rain so hard that the poops in the pastures float away. It happens.

· Bless their Heart: You can say any number of nasty, horrible, gossipy, not-very-nice things about pretty much anyone so long as you premise it with "Bless their Heart." Useful when talking to people who are friends with someone you strongly dislike.

· Y'all: Perhaps the single most-used conjunction in the entire state, y'all literally means "You All." Texans use this for everything, from greetings to threats. They might double up and say "All y'all," which means, as you can only imagine, "all you all." While it makes northerners cringe, it is again one of those words that can so easily slip into one's vocabulary. I am now a regular Y'all-er, though to my knowledge I have never said "all y'all," at least not yet.

Well, that is a crash course in Texanisms. I hope you find it useful and informative. NOTE: This is NOT a comprehensive list of Texas Talk. I am not liable for any misunderstandings.

Have a good day, y'all!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

I Wanna Go Home

Beautiful prairie near Indus, Alberta. Home.
"I wanna go home, I wanna go home, Ohhh how I want to go home..."- Bobby Bear
It appears it's that time in this semester. The prospect of home is only a week and a half away. I love Texas, I don't really want to leave my new friends, acquaintances, my new bros or brahs. I am not looking forward to a few more weeks of rainy, cool Alberta spring weather once I do land in Calgary. But oh, how I am ready to go home.
The Tex-Mex will be sorely missed
Until you move away, I guess it's hard to  understand how good you have it at home. Free food, at a real dinner table, with your immediate family. A comfortable, also free, bed to sleep on in a room of the house all to yourself, a room that is always at a comfortable, stable temperature. People who know you and understand you and yell at you all the time. You know, that mental image of home that everyone who has left has. I want it back.
Oddly, I miss seeing our nice red CP & CN locomotives
I would like to think that there are few things that make the prospect of home so exciting. One is my family and all the squabbles and conversations and laughs that come with living in the same house. Another is the sheer familiarity of everything: I don't need a map or a GPS to find the next town over, I probably know who just drove by and waved, I never need to actually stop and use the sun or wind to tell me which direction I am headed. Another still is the prospect of getting the hell out of this city. I am certainly never going to be a city dweller, not even a small city like College Station, Texas. The constant noise, the never ending sirens and yells and horns and motorcycles and trains and PEOPLE. People everywhere, all the time. Eating with new people. Walking with new people. Peeing beside a different person in the same bathroom every time I use it. I know none of them (especially the random dude in the washroom-that's a no talking zone), and I never will. I need wide open spaces every now and again, as in a population density of less than two people per square mile.
I will miss the Lone Star State- Especially the accents
The city is a good place to be from, and a swell place to visit. It's fun, and fast, and loud, and it has variety. But it certainly isn't for me for long periods of time, and I am just about to the end of that line. I miss my cattle, I miss my dog, I miss highway driving for hours and hours and not seeing anything other crops. I miss Degrees Celsius (I'll have to adjust back to that), kilometres per hour (that too), kilograms and litres of fuel.

But, having said all of that, I am beginning to panic a little at the prospect of going home. We have a noted absence of Tex-Mex food in Alberta, we don't know what a crawfish boil is, there is no such thing as sweet tea and very few really good pecan-anythings. We drive slower, we talk faster, and we don't, generally, even know what Aggieland is or how to get there. So, as the saying goes, I wasn't born in Texas, but I certainly got here as fast as I could. I'll be loading up on Spanish rice, refried beans and burritos (Please pray for my roommate during this smelly time), drinking gallons of real ice tea, and trying to smuggle a whole suitcase of of pecan tarts across the border for summertime enjoyment. I love Texas, but for now I love Alberta more, and I am ready to be Alberta Bound. I am sure that by the time the summer is nearing it's end I'll be singing, "I can't see Texas from here, I can't see Texas from here, no matter how I try-y-y it makes me want to die-y-y, so if you see me looking down I'm tryin' not to show this frown..." -George Strait But I'll be back, Mr. Strait, I'll be back.