This fall I have heard the worst stories about FFA livestock being vandalized. On October 15, 2013 the Chickasha, Oklahoma high school’s FFA chapter’s animals and barn were vandalized. Everything had been spray painted and the walls were painted with offensive messages and symbols. The Ag teacher spoke out and said that on the pigs the members had got most of the paint off of the hair, but that it had also soaked into the skin. So, the members would just have to keep washing the pigs as the paint slowly faded away. The sheep had been exposed to the hog feed and were basically poisoned due to the high copper levels. All the animals were let out of their pens, causing a dangerous situation. This story got shared across the country. So many former FFA members knew the care and expense that had been put into these animals. The sorrow for both the animals and the members who owned the animals had been felt not only by themselves but by many. What is unique about the FFA organization is that the members bond and form together. Everyone knows how it feels and how much work goes into a project and so when we hear news, such as this it makes our hearts heavy. Not only did this happen but later on between Friday night October 25 and Saturday Morning October 26, at the Paso Robles high school’s FFA livestock barn, a steer had been set on fire. In order to do this they had to break into school property. The owner of the steer had seen what happened when he went to feed the animal on Saturday morning. The steer was the only thing on the property to be hurt and had significant burns on his face. However, he was expected to live. It is just awful how anybody could do such things to helpless animals. There is no reason to break onto a piece of property and vandalize animals. If someone has a problem they need to man up and talk about it to the person like civilized human being. There does not need to be this much hurt involved. It is shameful and heart wrenching for all involved.
I am not a person that greatly cares for the cold weather, but as it starts to creep into Southwest Missouri I must confess to myself that fall/winter has officially stated to make its home here for a while. The only thing I absolutely love about fall and winter is all the babies being born. I always look forward to the next calf. That anxious feeling not knowing if you are going to get a bull or heifer… this year I was surprised by a tiny little heifer calf. Although, do not let the tiny part full you, she is catching up to the calves that were born weeks ahead of her. I love watching them grow and showing him the following summer. It is such an amazing experience! When we are done have calves, we move right on into kidding season. Although the goats do require more care than the cows, your heart cannot help but melt once you have seen their little faces. I always enjoy watching the kids grow up and even though I cannot keep them all, it is a great feeling to help out 4-H and FFA members with their projects and watching them win with stock I produced. Even though I have had to decrease my herds due to college and not having time for large herds, it still keeps me busy. So for all those people out there like me, just try to keep focused on the bright and enjoyable times about this part of the year and before we know it the sun will be out and shinning and it will be WARM!
Categories: My Country Life
Tags: Ag, Agriculture, Blessed, Bright Side, Calf, Cattle, Cow, Fall, Farm, Goat, Kids, Livestock, Missouri, My life, Ranch, WInter
As most have already heard, South Dakota took a big hit last week. Around four foot of snow covered western South Dakota. The state reports its producer’s total loss to be around 10,000 to 20,000 head of livestock. There was also a report that two human deaths had also been caused by the blizzard. Most of the ranchers did not have insurance covering storm damage, simply because they cannot afford it. Many sold down last year due to droughts and now have experienced around 96% herd loss of their remaining herd. Another hit during this time is the fact that our government is also currently shut down. At the same time as the shutdown, the farm bill also expired. As many ranchers are self-reliant and usually depend on their own, but due to all the losses that they have faced in the past two years they could really use the help from the Livestock Indemnity Program. However, the shutdown allowed the farm bill to run out causing there to be no Livestock Indemnity Program. It was said that even if the government would open and Congress reached a compromise on a new farm bill that it could still take months before the program would be put back in place. For now producers are being told to take pictures and document their losses and keep good records, as the unburied livestock can start being hauled to ditches. These ditches were made available due to a county willing to help their producers (http://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2013/10/14/south-dakota-ranchers-reeling-from-cattle-losses/2980793/).
For any producer this type of loss is just devastating. I saw a story about a calf that had been buried in the snow for five days and was found still alive. They could not understand how such a miracle could happen. Many producers were barely making it due to the economy and now many are wondering how they are even going to make it without that income and the loss of livestock which they had socked a lot of money in. Several associations are asking for donations, whether it be money or livestock for the victims affected by the storm. If anybody is able to help these producers, I strongly encourage it.
Categories: Ag Awareness
Tags: Black Hills, blizzard, disasters, Help, Livestock, Livestock Indemnity Program, Losses, Producers, Ranch, South Dakota, United States, United States Congress, United States farm bill
This past weekend I participated as C – D Ranch (Co-owned with my twin sister) at the Ozark Fall FarmFest that is held at the Ozark Empire fairgorunds in Springfield, Missouri. FarmFest has been held for over thirty years and runs Friday through Sunday from nine in the morning to five at night. Each year there are over seven hundred and fifty exhibits covering all kinds of farming and ranching needs (anything from livestock to equipment). What makes this event even better is that admission and parking is completely FREE! Nothing beats that these days (http://farmtalknewspaper.com/ozarkfallfarmfest/x546173799/Ozark-Fall-Farmfest?keyword=topstory).
I took Boer goats and a Nubian doe to FarmFest to be on exhibit and for sale. The first day, Friday (Oct. 4, 2013), it was warm and sunny out. I had several FFA visitors come through and we talked about the goats and discussed the industry. However, many just stopped by for candy and to look what to see was on display. I personally feel that the FFA is starting to dwindle in agriculture knowledge, as many walked around not knowing a clue about any of the animals. I feel like it’s important for these new agriculture teachers entering the teaching world to inform these kids on everything there is to know. I have so many friends going into this field and I hope that they start impacting the FFA students and making them more knowledgeable about the agriculture industry.
On Saturday (Oct. 5, 2013) it turned off rainy and cold. Although it was not a very pleasant day, I still had a good crowed come through. Towards the end of the day I even got a serious inquirer on one of our Fullblood doe. I hope to get a call later in the week. When Sunday (Oct. 6, 2013) rolled around the weather improved some, but it stayed fairly chilly outside. This did not seem to slow the crowds down though. We had several people come thorough and ask about our does. I feel like it was a successful FarmFest, even though the weather was not that great. It was a great time, I hope to make some sales from being there, and I look forward to being there next year!
Tags: Agriculture, Boer goat, Equipment, Fall, Farm, FarmFest, FFA, For Sale, Livestock, Missouri, Ozark, Ozark Empire Fair, Promoting Ag, Springfield Missouri