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Showing posts with label BOOTS ON THE GROUND. Show all posts
Showing posts with label BOOTS ON THE GROUND. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Boots on the Ground - cattle farmer. buckeye. advocate.

Time for another BOOTS ON THE GROUND post. If you haven't kept up with all of them, please do so by checking out the link. You can find introductions to farmers from Kentucky, Canada and Kansas. I can't wait to add to the list! 

Today we go to Ohio. The Ohio.
Wayne County, Ohio


Mike Haley is from Wayne County Ohio where he lives and works on his family farm. A proud buckeye, he graduated from The Ohio State University where he studied agriculture business and applied economics before returning to the family farm.

When do you put your boots on, Mike? 

 This time of year, during the winter months, I typically start getting my boots dirty every morning by tending to our beef cows needs.  This includes checking to see if there are any new calves that need attention since the last night check, restocking hay and mineral for the cows, and feeding our steers, bulls, and replacement heifers.  When all the cattle are content the rest of my day may include a variety of activities like fixing equipment, delivering hay, bookwork, building fence or going to agricultural meetings.

When do you get to take your boots off? 

My boots can get very dirty throughout the day, therefore they come off when I enter the house.  This may be for a short break at lunch, but when things are busy lunch may be in the tractor cab or even skipped.  The last time my boots come off each day can range from 6:30 to 2 am, depending on how much work needs done.  This does not mean my day is necessarily over, though, as the next day needs planned and bills need paid.

Boots workin' hard!


Agriculture is important to you, it's pretty obvious, but what is an issue facing your industry that you feel is important to bring up? 

In an ever changing world farmers have grown away from the rest of society.  Our values, ideals, and lifestyle may be cherished by those outside of agriculture, but we have not made a sincere effort to show them what our daily lives are about.  How we take care of our animals, crops and environment are unknown to them.   With little transparency in agriculture society will continue to lose trust in us paving the way for increased restrictions and regulations in how our families can manage our farms.

To the consumer of your farm's products, what are you interested in letting them know? 

I would like to invite everyone to take a few minutes to learn more about agriculture, not from writers, books, or the news but instead directly from farmers.  With the evolution of social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Google plus anyone can easily connect with farmers daily.

Connect with Mike Haley if you are interested in an entertaining take on agriculture from a man who has his boots on the ground every day raising food for you!

on twitter: @farmerhaley
on the web:  http://flavors.me/farmerhaley

BOOTS ON THE GROUND is brought to you by Country Outfitter They sent me a fancy new pair of boots and so I'm linking them on to this series. Mike's boots come from Country Outfitter too!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Boots on the Ground - father. teacher. farmer.

BOOTS ON THE GROUND is a series of posts introducing you to a producer. Check out the other ones if you haven't kept up!



Today we go East of the Mississippi a ways to check in with a small family farmer who enjoys the farm life while his main career is in the education field. John grew up on a family farm in Kentucky where they grew corn and tobacco. Nowadays, John continues farming on the weekends and breaks from his position as a 5th grade teacher. 

When do you pull your boots on in the morning? 
 I don’t think I’ve ever taken my boots off. Whether you are a farmer full time or more of a hobby farmer like me, agriculture is part of your everyday life. There is always something to do on the farm and that means I’ll always be prepared with my boots on. My family's been wearing farming boots for 4 generations. I hope I can pass on a pair to my son.
What is your role in the agriculture industry? 
I’m a teacher who enjoys supplementing my income with a small family farm. People say that bigger farms are not considered family farms and that is incorrect. Just because I have a job outside of the farm doesn’t mean that my farm is better because it’s smaller. In fact, it's the other way around. The size of my farm is directly related to the fact that I can manage it while still having a career in education. I wanted to keep my family's farm alive and so I had to downsize it to something more manageable.

Here is your platform, what do you want consumers to know?
I want to connect with consumers. People are more interested to know where their food comes from. I have time to connect with a lot of consumers because I have a job off the farm. Most farmers, however, are busy growing crops and raising animals all day. It’s harder to make that connection with a mom buying groceries in New York City when you’re on the ranch in Texas. The internet is a wonderful tool and I hope that consumers are reaching out to connect with farmers on the internet, rather than finding more information about their food from sources that don’t really know the truth.


From Farmer John to the Consumer who might be reading this: 
Agriculture is a complex system of growing, marketing and trading goods that become the dinner on your table. Because of that complexity, we have a safe and cheap food supply. Please learn about your food from a reliable source. Believe it or not, agriculture gives you many options at the grocery store and that doesn’t mean that those options exist because the traditional ones were wrong or unhealthy. Options exist because the consumers asked for it! How lucky we are!


BOOTS ON THE GROUND is brought to you by Country Outfitter They sent me a fancy new pair of boots and so I'm linking them on to this series. They help put boots on the ground, and I know I will be ordering my next pair from them too!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Boots on the Ground - cattle rancher. grain farmer. agriculture student.

BOOTS ON THE GROUND is a series of posts aimed at introducing consumers to a diverse group of people who have their boots on the ground working in the agriculture industry in some form. This series will bring you all kinds; from boots that do chores on a family farm in the heartland to boots that walk the steps up to the Capital daily. You better grab hold of your bootstraps because it'll be one heck of a ride!


 Rosie Templeton - agriculture advocate

Today we go way North to check out a pair of boots that are most likely insulated for the majority of the year! Rosie Templeton grew up on her family's grain farm and cattle ranch in Coaldale, Alberta, Canada. Rosie was born into a family of agriculturists who have been working on the same operation to raise purebred cattle and grain crops for three generations! She is currently a student at the University of Alberta studying Agriculture Business. Making it home to the family farm is always a a priority in her life and you'll see why when you read this post!
 Rosie pictured on her purebred cattle ranch.The pictured cattle is an older group of bulls are used for breeding purposes. The breed of cattle Rosie's family raises is called Hereford. Hereford cattle have distinct markings and are raised as a beef breed of cattle, which means that they are eventually bred to produce high quality meat for consumers. Purebred breeders, like Rosie's family, rarely slaughter their cattle, but rather make breeding decisions to provide good genetics to sell to other cattle ranchers. 

When do you pull your boots on in the morning? 
The morning routine at the farm usually starts with chores around 7am. All of our cattle need to be fed, checked for health issues, and given fresh bedding on a regular basis. Depending on the time of year, most of the day can be spent baling hay, trailing cows to a fresh pasture, building fences, having the veterinarian out to check pregnancy rates in our cows, or checking every few hours for cows ready to give birth. You’ll never have the same day twice working on a farm.

Agricultural jobs are rarely 8-5er's, when do you get to take your boots off at night? 
Even when the outdoor work is done at the farm, there is plenty more to do. Each of our purebred cattle come with extensive paperwork with their full pedigrees, health information, and history. Keeping records is an important part of our farm. My family is also very involved in several volunteer committees that aim to improve our local cattle and agriculture industries. My personal involvement extends from Collegiate 4-H Club President at my University to Vice President of the Alberta Junior Hereford Association, along with my studies and hobby blog, Absolutely Agriculture.


Rosie checking on a baby calf out on her ranch. Ranching families are concerned about the health and productivity of the cattle they raise. Every year a cow on Rosie's ranch will produce one calf. Sometimes you will get a set of twins out of one cow.



Here is your platform, what do you want consumers to know?
If I could tell consumers one major thing about agriculture, it would be that their food comes from hard-working farmers and ranchers who care about their animals as much as my family does. A healthy, low-stress animal will be the most productive animal in our cow herd or a feedlot.


Rosie is an excellent example of why the future of Agriculture is so darn bright. She's driven to educate the consumer because she enjoys what she does so much. Please check out her blog, Absolutely Agriculture, to keep up with her and her farm! 


She would also be happy to answer any questions you might have about where your food comes from. E-mail her at: rosie[dot]templeton@live[dot]ca

Best,

Tera Rooney


BOOTS ON THE GROUND is brought to you by Country Outfitter They sent me a fancy new pair of boots and so I'm linking them on to this series. They help put boots on the ground, and I know I will be ordering my next pair from them too!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Boots on the Ground - veterinary student. agriculture advocate. family farmer.

BOOTS ON THE GROUND is a series of posts aimed at introducing consumers to a diverse group of people who have their boots on the ground working in the agriculture industry in some form. This series will bring you all kinds; from boots that do chores on a family farm in the heartland to boots that walk the steps up to the Capitol daily. You better grab hold of your bootstraps because it'll be one heck of a ride!

I'm excited to introduce the new series and even more excited about the line up of people I have for future posts. This series will really give you, as a consumer, a diverse look into the industry. Agriculture is so much more than pitchforks and corn fields and I'm excited to show you why!

What could be more exciting than officially starting off the series with a post about me?

Yeah, you're right, probably not that exciting at all! You'll have to humor me, though, because it is my series and I thought you might want to find out more about where my boots have been lately!


What is your role in the Agriculture industry?
Lets see here, I am foremost a student. I currently study at the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine. I want to specialize in food animal medicine so that I can someday, in the near future, work with producers who raise animals for food. We have the safest food supply in the world and it's because producers and veterinarians work hand in hand to make sound animal health decisions on the farm.

I grew up on a family farm in Southwest Kansas where we raise corn, cotton, wheat, milo and cattle. I am passionate about family farms and find the people who continue to keep that passion alive so very interesting.  My family has been farming in the area for what is now 4 generations.

How many pairs of boots do you have?
You really thought I was going to introduce you to my closet?

Yeah, not that kind of blog by a long ways! I am a person who wears many boots. Most of the time I am a student and I just have my learning boots on. I can't wait for the day when I can graduate into real work boots, the kind with a paycheck! I do get to slip into a nice pair of chore boots when I am home over breaks and those will find me doing a plethora of things around the farm.

This summer I was working on a research project for school. I was able to visit cattle feedyards (this is the best description of a what a feedyard is from someone who works on one) across the state of Kansas and perform an assessment of animal handling and housing at each yard. I got to wear a pair of muck boots and look at over 976,500 head of cattle. I had a an amazing summer meeting people who care about the cattle that become the hamburger on your dinner table.

If you could tell consumers one major thing about agriculture, have at it!
Now you know that's going to open a few doors. I sort of have a list of important things I want consumers to know from my standpoint as a person involved in agriculture since birth and looking towards a future of involvement in the industry.
  1. Food is free. We spend so little of our income on food when compared to the rest of the world that we tend to lose sight of what is important to us as consumers. Not only do I get apples year round, but I get apples that taste like grapes year round! It's almost crazy the amount of choices we have!
  2. Farmers are true stewards of the land. When the wind is howling at 60 miles an hour after a long couple weeks of no moisture, I can almost hear my dad's voice crack because he's almost sick that the precious topsoil that he is a steward of is blowing in the wind. It's easy to jump to conclusions about farming and many of the practices that hit the media, I just want consumers to be able to hear it straight from the people who do the work. You hear that crack in my dad's voice and believe that farmers participate in conservation practices daily to preserve the land that they've farmed for generations. 
  3. Agriculture is diverse. We're not only out in the boonies holding pitchforks and spitting tobacco. People are working in agriculture everyday in suits at a bank, in scrubs at a clinic, in pajamas behind a computer, among others. They're putting their boots on everyday to cultivate plants and animals to produce food and fiber in order to sustain life either directly or indirectly. 

I hope you have enjoyed the first official post for BOOTS ON THE GROUND and I can't wait for you to meet the people to come. It's an exciting line up and you won't want to miss it!

Best,

Tera Rooney


BOOTS ON THE GROUND is brought to you by Country Outfitter They sent me a fancy new pair of boots and so I'm linking them on to this series. They help put boots on the ground, and I know I will be ordering my next pair from them too!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Boots on the Ground - Sponsored by Country Outfitters

Coming soon to the Food For Thought Blog is a series of posts that will feature the people who work in agriculture with their BOOTS ON THE GROUND. You will get the chance to hear, firsthand, from these producers of our nation's food supply.

Can't hardly wait? I know, I'm pretty excited myself.

A special company saw some promise in Food For Thought and agreed to sponsor the series. That brings me to the BOOTS!
I received these beautiful Dan Post Roka's from Country Outfitter tonight. Country Outfitter is a website that features cowboy boots, western gear, apparel and tack. I found the website and ordering process very simple and received my boots in a timely manner. I suggest you take a look at what they have to offer because it's top notch in my book! Western wear is seen everywhere these days and is more than just functional, it's stylish too.

Come back to the blog for more posts in this series. Future posts will feature agriculturists who produce our nation's food supply by working everyday with animals and the land. I am excited to introduce you to some people who have their BOOTS ON THE GROUND so that you can get a better look at what agriculture really is!

Thanks for reading,

Tera Rooney


BOOTS ON THE GROUND is sponsored by:
Country Outfitter

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