Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Talk Show with Bryan Allen speaks to Founder Jerry Miller

Oh, What's In A Label

Recently, it seems that a lot of the conversations I am having with producers and also consumers is all about labels.

Labeling on GMO's specifically. Or Genetically Modified Organisms. Really, it's just a bunch of Biotechnology.

California tried to pass this law last year and it failed miserably. Not because it was a horrible idea, for the simple reason it wasn't well thought out.

Here's the truth.

If we were to label every item that contained GMO's you may be surprised to see that there are quite a bit of products with GMO's used in them. Does that tell you if they are good or bad? No, not necessarily.

Honestly, it might even be more confusing than anything.

Every time a label gets slapped on something it makes for more to read, more to know, more to understand. And if we have to take the time and money to put a label on then something must not be right with the ingredients...right?

I am not opposed to GMO labeling, but here is what you need to know to know about GMO's.

However, I am opposed to lack of understanding when it comes to biotechnology and what it entails to actually get a GMO on the market. It takes some serious time and some serious money to get one biotechnology trait approved. And the truth is we have been safely eating foods that have been produced with biotechnology for over three decades

Because of biotechnology American farmers produce 40% of the world's corn on only 20% of the world's harvested acres.

And because of that we have one of the most affordable food supplies in the world. And GMO labeling may cause an increase in price within the food system, depending on what the labeling will entail. And here's a question, if it isn't GMO what else goes into the production? Should that also be on the label?

Remember I am not opposed to GMO labeling. But, I am worried about going to the grocery store and seeing more and more people confused over the vast amount of labels on one package of chicken.

If you have questions about GMOs, ask them. The answers are out there. And I am willing to help you find them and will most likely learn something along the way myself!

I am a part of a pretty diverse industry. There are quite a few options when it comes to growing food. People do things a lot of different ways. Knowledge is valuable and the only thing that will make me happy about the food that I eat is knowing about it, not just sticking a label on it.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Yahoo News Canada covers

Dating site for lonely farmers now targeting Canadian market

You can sort of see the ad: Lonely farmer seeks country girl. Must know her way around a combine harvester and not be put off by the smell of pig manure.
The advent of the Internet has made finding romance a lot easier and the web now features an increasing array of specialized dating sites.
When it comes to people who make their living from the land, apparently the big player isFarmersOnly, which claims to have 1.5 million paying members. It's slogan is "City folks just don't get it."
Founder Jerry Miller, whose headquarters are based in the wonderfully named down of Pepper Pike, OH., told The Canadian Press he set up the site in 2005 after a divorced female farmer friend had a frustrating time finding suitable men to date on other sites.
He started by posting flyers in local feed stores and at one point had to redesign the site because most farmers only had dial-up Internet connections. That's changed, he said, and now many farmers browse the site from their cellphones while riding on their tractors. (Wonder if that's considered distracted driving.)
Miller told CP about 10 per cent of its members are Canadian and it's made 300 successful matches in this country.
They include Daniel Seitz, who runs a family farm in southeastern Saskatchewan and saw one of FarmersOnly's ads during a TV agriculture report.
He's now married to a horse-riding farm girl and has a baby on the way, as well as a four-year-old stepdaughter, CP said.
“There’s two different types of people,” Miller, who's launched a Canadian ad blitz, told CP.
“There’s people in the major cities in the corporate rat race. And then there’s people who are just more down to earth and easy going and like to be outdoors more. It’s just a different lifestyle.”
The site's corny ads are popular on YouTube and have spawned their share of parodies.
Partners4Farmers, based in Britain, claims more than 500,000 members. It's not clear how many, if any, are in Canada. MuddyMatches is another U.K. site aimed at "anyone who leads a muddy-boots lifestyle and wants to meet like-minded country people," but it appears oriented only to Brits.
FarmersOnly has a Twitter presence and media-savvy Miller quickly posted the CP story on his site's blog.
As for Chelsea Seitz (née Henderson), she's a satisfied customer. She became engaged to Daniel five months after they met and the couple was married last September, after her family's annual horse sale. They mucked out the riding arena, then said their vows there, still wearing their cowboy boots.
“Daniel is just the most sincere, genuine man any woman could ever hope to find,” Henderson toldCP. “And there’s lots more out there like him.”


It's Been A Minute...Oh, and A Few Antibiotics

This blog post is from my own personal blog Stories Of A First Generation Farm Wife. I am posting here because I talk a little bit about our last few months and antibiotic usage in cattle. Also, in case you are interested I am doing a give away on that blog later this week and I would love for you to stop over!

I definitely feel like at least once a year I have a post that seems to be titled 'It's Been A Minute' and it really has. Well, maybe more than a minute. The truth is my life has been super busy. Amazing enough. I have been blogging, just not on my own personal blog. Doesn't it seem like when life gets busy that our own commitments to ourselves take a back seat? 
The truth is the last four months have been full of very hard decisions for our family. Decisions I definitely plan on talking about. I have already been working on a few blog posts that are taking every part of my heart to write. But, I am going to because from the beginning this blog has been about my life. And leaving out these big decisions in mine and my husband's life wouldn't be fair. 
Not to mention that we have literally been sick since December. It started after Christmas and I swear it has yet to leave our home. It seems my husband and I finally kicked our sinus infections galore out the door to only now have a sick little girl nonstop for four months. And I am not exaggerating. Even my friends and family are astonished that our little girl has been so sick. I mean the kid doesn't go to daycare everyday. We only hang out with the same kids on a weekly basis. And I am a clean freak. Like Clorox every part of our home clean freak. I even went as far as opening every window when it was just barely 45 degrees outside to try and kill every single germ that had found its way into our home. And it still didn't work. 
As I type I have just given my third dose of Tylenol for the day to try and battle down a temperature of 102. Because of the constant battle of fevers in our house instead of filling my days with my giggly little girl and her nap times blogging and catching up on computer work, my days have been filled with cuddling nonstop and watching every single episode of Mickey Mouse, Paw Patrol, and Princess Sofia on our DVR. And the kid has a serious obsession with Monsters, Inc. Weird right? 
Not to mention at least one doctor's visit every single week. I wouldn't call myself a go-to-the-doctor-with-every-sniffle kind of mom, but after battling raging high temperatures for a solid three weeks I decided it was time.  And they give me an antibiotic. But, after 6 days of being on the 10 day bottle she was getting worse. I then go back to be given a second antibiotic that I give for it's entire dosage for her to only get a virus from being on two strong antibiotics. That they treat with guess what?? An antibiotic. After being on our third round of antibiotics in one month we then clear up the last virus to only wake up on Elliette's second birthday to yet another raging fever. 
Now, I can't help but start comparing this to cattle. Lots of times the comment is made to me at various events that because of treating our livestock with antibiotics we are causing humans to build a resistance to antibiotics. It really got me thinking even more so because I just gave my daughter three antibiotics in a month time period. Three. 
Did I make a bad choice as Elliette's Mom? Should I have put my foot down and immediately sought out a second opinion? A more naturalist approach?
The truth is I did what I thought was best. We did what we thought was best for our child. And I will be honest, as frustrated as I was at times, I trust her doctor. I trust all of our doctors. If I didn't I wouldn't be able to even follow their advice, no matter how many years they have been practicing. 

The same goes for livestock. We trust our veterinarians to give us what they think is best. They are educated and we trust them. Just like with our daughter, we give the proper dosage amounts for the right amount of time. We monitor their temperature and their symptoms to make sure they are feeling better. And we only give them what they need.
This post didn't really start out being about antibiotic usage in livestock. It just kind of happened. It is about my life on our beef farm after all. 
The truth is I am really exhausted. Our whole house is. Staying up night after night to console our child who is miserable is hard. It's even harder during calving season when you are already up checking cows in the middle of the night. It makes days even longer and everything goes on the back burner. Add in all the decisions we have been making in our house and it pretty much consumes me. 
On a happier note....I am planning on doing a give away later this week. The big give away will be for all you local followers, the ones here in South Dakota. But, because I feel really bad about my last give away being only for local followers I am doing another one too. A "goodie bag" we will call it. One that I really want to give to myself, but I am forcing myself to give to one of you! 
More on that Thursday!