Eleven

We hope everyone had a wonderful and relaxing Memorial Day weekend!  We are thankful for those that serve or have served our country so we can do what we love!

May for us means pregnancy checking.  Yesterday, we had our veterinarian come out and palpate eight brood cows and three heifers to check for pregnancy status.  All of our females were pregnant (always exciting and what we strive for) so we will be expecting eleven calves in the fall!  Out of the eleven, we are expecting four purebred Hereford calves for the very first time!  The rest of the calf crop will be Black Angus/Hereford crosses.

May_11

May_12

Pregnancy checking is very important and done annually on our farm since we have one calving season.  It is crucial to know which females are pregnant and how far along they are.  This helps when it comes time to make culling decisions.  If a cow or heifer is open, they are culled right away.  If she was bred late, we take that into consideration and may decide to cull if she does not fit in with our desired calving season.  When a cow or heifer calves late into a calving season, it is hard to get her “caught up” with the rest of the herd.  She will always be late after that and therefore her calf will be smaller than the rest of the calves.  We like to calve September-October and consider November-December late in our herd.  Most years, we are done calving within 30 days.  Our bull is always left in at least 90 days (December-March).  We like fall calving here in NC because of the weather and feeder calf market.

May_1

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Baby Payton Arrives!

A lot of excitement has been surrounding the newest arrival, Payton Elizabeth Langley, born on March 22, 2017.  Payton is Ryan and Lauren’s first child and Jimmy’s (Lauren’s Dad and owner of 3B Cattle Co.) first grandchild.  Payton had everyone waiting on her being 9 days overdue, but she was well worth the wait!  She is now almost 6 weeks old and enjoys her farm visits every week!  She has met the horses and will soon be my sidekick feeding cows!  Here are a few photos of Payton:

The farm has been quite busy too with the arrival of spring and green grass!  Spring means working calves, finishing winter feeding, preparing pastures for grazing, starting fly control, weaning calves, pregnancy checking cows, and selling calves!  It is a fun and exciting time for sure!  So far, we have worked calves (vaccinating, deworming, and weighing), started fly control, and have cattle on rotational grazing.  We plan on finishing the calf work this Friday.  We have weaned some calves but need to finish and also sell a few steers and cull heifers.  Cows will be pregnancy checked later this month!  We have eight cows and three heifers to be checked.  If all goes well we will have four purebred hereford calves born this fall (calves will be available for sale)!  Here are a few recent photos from around the farm:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Spring isn’t all about farm work, we like to play softball too!  Ryan and I have been playing co-ed softball for the City of Burlington for YEARS!  I even played fastpitch softball when I was younger and dad coached.  This year, we needed a sponsor and dad decided that the farm would sponsor the team!  We play on Friday nights at City Park in Burlington, you can see the schedule on their website if you ever want to come out and watch.  Here is the t-shirt design I came up with:

Softball

Hopefully, your spring is off to a great start too!  I know we are beyond blessed with baby Payton’s safe arrival, rain to make the grass grow, and healthy cattle!  🙂

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

3B Cattle Company Update!

I am not sure where the rest of 2016 went, but it has flown by!  Here on the farm, we have been very busy this fall with building a hay shed, new fencing, cleaning up land for new pastures, calving, and working cattle!   I documented most of the excitement so I can share what we have been up to!

Calving started September 17th and finished around October 6th.  Our calf crop consists of 4 heifers and 4 bull calves.  There are three Hereford x Black Angus heifers and one Black Angus heifer.  We have one purebred registered Black Angus bull calf born (AI Sire Remedy), one Hereford x Black Angus bull calf, and two commercial Black Angus bull calves.  The purebred calf will be kept a bull and will be available as a prospect while the other three bull calves will be castrated.  We may have some of the heifers available, but will make a decision closer to weaning.  Below are some photos I snapped during calving season!

The hay shed was completed in November after what felt like months of work.  Dad (Jimmy), Ryan (my husband), and Eric (our friend) worked on it almost every weekend.  We were all very excited to see the end results and couldn’t wait for our hay to arrive.  Our peanut hay arrived in December just in time for winter feeding to begin!

As soon as calving is over, it is time to start thinking about breeding.  First, we start by having our bull examined by the veterinarian.  This exam is called a breeding soundness exam (conducted yearly) and it consists of a visual exam (eyes, feet, body condition, soundness, etc.), scrotal circumference measurement, and semen quality check.  This exam lets us know if our bull is ready for breeding season.  The only thing the exam cannot check for is libido- it is important to watch the bull once he is turned out to ensure he is interested in the cows and doing his job.  Our new young herd sire, Boomer was checked in late October and he passed with flying colors!  Boomer was also given his yearly vaccines while he was caught for the vet.

bullbse

Next, it is time to prepare the cow herd for breeding.  About a month prior to breeding (in November for us) we round up the brood cows and vaccinate them.  We also check their body condition, weigh them, and make sure everything is good with them.  Cows are given a modified-live vaccine which helps protect them and the next calf against respiratory and reproductive diseases.

Boomer was turned in with the cows on December 11th so we can start calving in September and stay on schedule.  We will leave him in with the cows 2-3 months to ensure all the cows are bred.  If all goes well, we will have our first set of registered Hereford calves next fall!  We will be expecting a total of 11 calves (four being Herefords).

bullturnin_16

To wrap up 2016, we needed to start processing calves since they are coming up on 3 months of age.  Calves were weighed, vaccinated, and castrated right before Christmas this year!

I hope you enjoyed catching up with us and seeing photos of our growing herd!  We hope you had a Merry Christmas and want to wish you a Happy New Year!

cowherd_16

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fall- Calves, Education, & Fairs

Fall is my favorite time of year!  Our cows are due to calve any day now and I cannot wait to see what our calf crop looks like for 2016!  We are expecting eight calves: three Hereford x Black Angus calves, one purebred registered Black Angus calf, and four commercial Black Angus calves.  The calf in the photo is from last year’s calf crop.  Our ear tagging system is super easy and helps us keep track of the year born and birth order.  This calf was a bull calf from one our Hereford cows and he was the 6th calf born out of the 2015 crop.  All of the 2016 ear tags have been made and are ready for their calf assignments! Stay tuned…I will post once calving starts! 🙂

farmtotable2015

Another of my fall favorites is the annual Farm to Table event at Cedarock Park.  I have been teaching at this event for several years now and my station is all about beef!  Over two days, we will see about 800 4th graders and teach them all about agriculture!  I partner with the NC Cattlemen’s Association to bring exciting materials and visual aids to the students each year.  Our event is September 20-21 this year and I hope it brings more fall- like weather with it!

Image result for showing livestock nc state fair

Photo Credit: meatgoats.ces.ncsu.edu

Lastly, I love the NC State Fair.  I grew up showing dairy cattle at the NC State Fair which involved sleeping in the Jim Graham Building, late nights, early mornings, naps with my cows, and so much more!  The fair floods me with so many memories.  When I was at NCSU for my undergrad, I was involved with the Animal Science Club and showed a Hereford heifer, helped with the milking booth, and took care of the animals in the animal ark.  My husband and I were also involved with the NCSU Pack Pullers in the antique farm equipment building.  We also attended some of our favorite concerts at the fair- Jason Michael Carroll and Eric Church.  My involvement has continued through my professional career as both a 4-H Extension Agent and a Livestock Extension Agent.  If you walk throughout the NC State Fair you will notice hay bales decorated by 4-H members from all across the state.  One year, my group of 4-H’ers from Pender County decorated a hay bale and we had a blast doing it!

I also encouraged 4-H’ers to enter their arts and crafts for prizes at the fair!  If you go to the NC State Fair, make sure you take a look at the 4-H exhibits, arts, and crafts- it is a must see (located in the building where the flea market takes place, close to Blue Ridge Rd.).  Each year there is a Youth Market Turkey Show where youth showcase their turkey project for the year anturkeyshow_1d compete for prizes and scholarship money.  For several years, I have been involved in the turkey projects and they are quite fun!  In addition to everything I mentioned, I have been involved in other various aspects of the NC State Fair and hope to try something new this year with the forage contest!  Hopefully, you will get a chance to visit the fair in Raleigh during October 13-23, 2016!  I am already looking forward to the corn on the cob, livestock shows, horse shows, 4-H exhibits, and catching up with friends!

Come on fall, I am ready for you and your cooler temperatures!  Pumpkin spice anyone?

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

You Have to Start Somewhere

In my job as a Livestock Extension Agent, I work with new and beginning farmers quite often.  They all have dreams and an idea of what they would like to do.  Part of my process is helping them understand an end result and what kind of goals they need to set in order to be successful.  It is very rewarding to see people get off the ground with their ideas and raise livestock.

As a little girl, I knew one day I would have animals, especially horses.  All I wanted to do was barrel race and have my own horse.  My dream came true when I was about 6 years old and I got my first horse, an Appaloosa named Spotty.  It wouldn’t be until I was a sophomore in high school that I would start barrel racing with the NC High School Rodeo Association.

buddy

Me and my barrel horse, Buddy.

In the middle of all my horse activities were always cows.  I started raising bottle calves when I was ten years old and showed dairy cows through my local 4-H club.  I then went on to judge dairy cattle and livestock in FFA in high school.  I almost always had a few dairy steer calves around that I “practiced” my showmanship with since we could only show dairy heifers and cows at the shows I went to.  Showing dairy cows definitely peaked my interest in cows as a young girl and I think that is where the dreams of 3B Cattle Company started.

dairy

There will always be a special place in my heart for dairy cattle, especially cute Jersey calves.

I knew that owning a dairy wouldn’t be feasible so I switched my interest to beef cows.  We bought out first beef steer, an Angus we named Sam when I was in high school.  We then started buying heifers and cows to begin our base herd.  It wouldn’t be until the fall of 2010 that our first calf crop would arrive out of first registered Black Angus bull.

Dollar

Our first herd bull, Midlands Maximum Dollar as a yearling.

Do you think that our first set of heifers and cows were the nicest set?  Absolutely not, everyone has to start somewhere.  We bought cattle that we could afford and later culled them once we improved the genetics or were able to buy better replacements.  I look back on the cattle we started with and the cattle we have now and I am amazed, six calf crops later we have greatly improved.  Don’t be afraid to dream and start on your own level.  You will eventually get where you want to go.  Set goals and achieve them.  I remember telling dad I wanted pretty “fun” cows like Longhorns and Brahmans, and what did he do?  He bought me a few for fun…did they really make us any money, not really, but some did.  We eventually starting setting goals to have Hereford and Black Angus cattle along with establishing our breeding and marketing strategies.  You have to decide what you want to do and determine where you want to go in this business.  Here are a few photos from the past:

802

My Brahman heifer, Grace greeting a newborn calf (2010).   We still have this calf and she is one of the most fertile and productive commercial Black Angus females in our herd.

Brahmans

My “fun” cattle, Brahmans!

weddingcalf

This little bull calf was born on my wedding day in 2011.

cattle

Some of the herd back in 2010.

What you see now as 3B Cattle Company took years of hard work, careful planning, and patience.  We have a long ways to go and are very excited about our future.  We plan on a herd expansion here soon once we finish developing new pastures.  Calf crop 2016 is also very close!  We will start calving next month so stay tuned!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

One Steer’s Journey

What exactly happens to a baby calf when it grows up?  Some calves go on to be breeding bulls, replacement heifers, or finished for beef.  This story will follow one of our steer calves that we kept to provide beef for our family.

Did you know Americans eat about 50 billion hamburgers annually?  I don’t know about you but I love ground beef- it can be used for so many different dishes including hamburgers, tacos, chili, lasagna, and so much more.  Our family decided a few years ago that we should keep one steer annually and finish him for beef (which is about a two year process).  We made this decision based on the availability of processors in our area and the increased cost of beef in the store.  We also knew that we were raising quality cattle and surely they would taste good (and they do)!

Steer 402 is our 2nd steer we have finished for beef.  He was born on October 7, 2014.  His dam was a red commercial cow we owned that was 1/2 Hereford and 1/2 Santa Gertrudis and his sire was a registered Black Angus.

DSCN9477

Steer 402 with his dam as a newborn calf.

Got Milk?

Got Milk?

He was such a cute calf and had one of the best moms in our herd, she produced so much milk!  For the next 6 months, he stayed with mom and grew.  We castrate all our bull calves when they are a few months old and start their first round of vaccines.  All calves are weaned between 6 and 8 months of age.  This particular calf crop (fall 2014) had about half bull calves and half heifer calves.  After weaning, some calves are sold either as feeder calves or replacement heifers and others may be kept back for various reasons.  We usually keep a couple of replacement heifers from time to time and then of course we have started keeping one steer.  Steer 402 was kept in the spring of 2015 when all of his half-siblings were sold.  He got to move into the bull pen to keep our bull company (the bull pictured is his sire, later he would get a new bull friend).

Steer 402 in August 2015

Steer 402 in August 2015 eating grain.

From weaning time until finishing time, life is very easy for 402.  He lounged around mainly eating forage (grass or hay) and was supplemented with grain for extra protein and energy.  It usually takes close to two years to finish cattle on a pasture with some supplementation.

Winter 2015

Winter 2015

You can tell by the above photo that he did a lot of growing between August and the winter of 2015.  In the winter, the bull is brought in to breed the cows from December-March and the steer gets to rejoin the herd at that time.  After the bull is finished breeding, the steer goes back to the bull pen until he is ready for processing.

May 2016

May 2016

July 2016

July 2016- Here 402 is pictured with his new bull friend, Boomer!

Not a whole lot of difference from May 2016 to July 2016 except for fat cover.  This is period of time towards the end of finishing where the steer starts to lay down fat.  Fat helps with marbling and flavor.  Careful though because you do not want the steer to become overly fat.  I made an estimate based on 402’s frame size that he would finish around 1,200 lbs.  We walked him across the scale on the day he went to the processor (August 8, 2016) and he weighed 1,100 lbs.  He will dress out around 55-60% of his live weight and then all the bone is removed for the various cuts of beef (we like everything boneless).  We will take home around 400 or so pounds of beef once the bones are removed.  We now have to wait two weeks while the beef ages before it is cut and we can pick it up to fill our freezers.  It will take our family an entire year to eat this much beef!  We get steaks, roasts, stew meat, ground beef, and so much more from this one steer.  We are very thankful that we can supply calves into the beef industry for you to eat as well as for us to eat.

Beef, It's What's For Dinner!

Beef, It’s What’s For Dinner!

Now, go and enjoy some beef today! 🙂

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Educating Youth About Agriculture

DSC_0078

Photo Credit: Taylor Jones

This past Friday, marked the third year of the Alamance County 4-H Youth Farm Tour.  Every year, I help organize and lead this event where we take 12 youth ages 9-18 and tour them around four different farms in the county and surrounding counties.  This tour has became quite popular among our young people- we even have a waiting list most years!  Some people may ask me why I put so much energy into educating our youth about agriculture.  I can tell you why- youth are our FUTURE.  They are future policy makers, commissioners, county managers, CEO’s, teachers, farmers, and so much MORE!

DSCN0979

This year, we wanted to incorporate more field crops education.  We started the day off with a speaker from the NC Soybeans Producers Association.  She talked about soybean farmers, soybean products, and more!

DSC_0053

DSC_0071

DSC_0089

Next, we made a quick stop to our farm, 3B Cattle Company to learn about beef cattle, horses, and farming equipment.  I wanted to give the youth a close up view of our beef cattle herd and talk about the importance of rotational grazing and good herd management.  I also talked some about our Quarter Horses, Buddy and Katt.  Lastly, I took them over to meet our fat steer and newest herd bull to talk about a few things like how many pounds of beef one steer will provide, etc.

DSCN1001

Our next stop involved lunch!  We toured the Carolina Stockyards in Siler City where I taught the youth about marketing cattle, goats, sheep, and pigs.  They have the best restaurant, if you have never eaten there you need to!  We all had burgers!  We were able to stay a little while and watch the weekly Friday auction.

DSCN1008

DSCN1073

Our first afternoon stop included Car-J Holsteins in Graham, NC.  We toured their soybean, corn, and sorghum fields first and then the dairy.  Youth learned about the important of field crops for feeding the dairy cattle.  We toured the calf barn, milking parlor, feed shed, and show cattle barn.

DSCN1128

DSCN1137

DSCN1148

We saved the best for last with a tour of Wingin’ It Farms!  Youth learned about dairy goats, poultry, and guardian livestock dogs.  We were able to go in the pen with the dairy goats, kids, and dogs to learn more about breeds and goat care.  We were able to meet one of the chickens and watch a dairy goat milking demonstration!

Youth were beaming at the end of the day because who doesn’t love riding around in a van with their friends, touring farms, and playing with animals?!  We had so many great questions throughout the day and you could tell that all the youth learned a lot from the tours.

Next time you are given a chance to help a young person learn- don’t pass the opportunity up!  We (Extension, 4-H) always need great volunteers like these farmers to help us in our mission to educate!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Responsible Beef

Here at 3B Cattle Company, we take our job of raising beef cattle (and broiler chickens) very serious.  My dad and I have been through Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) training to ensure we are doing everything correct on our end.  We keep records when we process (vaccinate, castrate, deworm, etc.) cattle and work closely with our veterinarian to maintain a strong herd health program.

Do we give our cattle antibiotics?

Yes.  We do administer antibiotics when the need arises.  Our cattle are not given an antibiotic unless there is a need such as sickness or disease.  If we do give an antibiotic, we follow the label carefully and adhere to strict withdrawal times (the amount of time it takes for the antibiotic to leave the cow’s system).  We also keep a record of the cow’s ID, type of antibiotic used, who gave the antibiotic, serial number, lot number, and why the antibiotic was given.  In the past 5 years (maybe even longer), we have treated two cows with antibiotics.  One had pinkeye and the other had pneumonia.  We work closely with our veterinarian to determine the best antibiotic to use for the given situation.

It is not a common practice for beef cattle producers to “pump” their cattle with antibiotics every day.  This type of antibiotic use is frowned upon and strongly discouraged.  I feel like beef cattle producers do the right thing and want to minimize the number of cattle that need to be treated by raising healthy cattle from the start.  That is our number one goal…to raise healthy cattle.

Click here for a complete guide that we (and other beef cattle producers) follow when it comes to antibiotic use.

DSCN0374

Do we castrate bull calves?

Yes.  We are in the business of raising high quality replacement heifers, not breeding bulls.  Therefore, all bull calves born are castrated.  Calves are castrated for a variety of reasons:

  • Prevent inbreeding from occurring (bull calves can breed at an early age)!
  • Breeding Selection- not all bull calves need to reproduce.
  •  Change the focus from breeding to growing- steer calves will grow and produce a more consistent, flavorful beef product than a bull will.  Bulls tend to be more lean with less fat, which equals less flavor and different texture in most cases.
  • Steers are less aggressive than bulls- when you take away testosterone, their attitude changes completely.  Bulls can be aggressive towards each other and people.  Castration reduces bruising and injury, which leads to a healthier animal and a better beef product.

We follow BQA guidelines and castrate by 90 days of age.  We choose to castrate calves using the surgical method because it is fast and calves tend to recover quicker than calves that are banded.

Do we use added growth hormones in our calves?

No.  We do not feel like it is necessary at our segment in the beef cattle cycle.  We do not raise enough calves to benefit from the added gain per pound when calves are sold.  In addition, almost all of our heifer calves are sold as replacement females and added hormones can have possible negative effects on reproduction (this is not a concern if heifer calves are going to be finished for beef production).

However, you should not worry- the amount of added hormones given to growing calves is very small and the concern is low when compared to other foods.  You may be wondering, why are hormones given to beef calves?

  • Hormones given to beef calves are called implants.  An implant is given to increase weight gain which can increase feed efficiency, especially in the finishing phase.
  • Implants are given to steers to help replace hormones taken away at castration.  This allows the steer to grow at the same rate a bull calf would but without all the bull features.
  • Implanting is economical both for the producer and the consumer.  Implanted calves eating the same grain and grass as non-implanted calves will be more efficient in the long run.  This is positive when you consider how precious water, feed, and land resources are.

Still concerned?  Check out the photo below that demonstrates how little of hormones we are talking about:

“About 90% of feedlot cattle are given added growth hormones to improve the rate of growth. The added hormones add about 3 extra nanograms (a billionth of a gram) to a 3 oz serving of beef. For comparison purposes, the amount of estrogen that naturally occurs in 3 oz of the following foods is: potatoes (225 nanograms), peas (340 nanograms), cabbage (2,000 nanograms), soybean oil (170,000 nanograms).” – Oklahoma Farm Report 

In addition, check out the tables below for more comparisons:

Table 5. Estrogenic activity of common foods.
Food Estrogenic activity in
nanograms/lb of food
Soybean oil 908,000
Cabbage

10,896

Eggs 15,890
Milk 59
Beef from pregnant cow 636
Beef from implanted cattle 10
Beef from non-implanted cattle 7
Adapted from Preston, 1997.
Table 6. Estrogen produced, nanograms per day.
Item Estrogen produced,
nanograms/day
Pregnant woman 90,000,000
Non-pregnant woman 5,000,000
Adult man 100,000
Pre-pubertal children 40,000
3 oz beef from implanted cow 1.9
Adapted from Preston, 1997.

The reality is, we are made up of hormones and so are plants and animals.  There is no such thing as a hormone-free piece of beef or chicken.  There is such thing as no added hormones meat and milk products.  Just realize that added hormones are very minimal and completely safe!  If you still do not want to eat beef from an implanted calf, I respect your opinion but at least now you know the facts and can make better informed buying decisions.  Some producers choose to implant and that is 100% okay by me!  It is a decision they make and if they follow BQA guidelines, I feel confident in the beef product that be produced from those calves.

I hope that my answers to a few production questions were helpful in your understanding of how beef cattle are raised responsibly following BQA guidelines!  We value our cattle at 3B Cattle Company and know that other beef cattle producers value their cattle as well!  Stay tuned for future posts that tackle burning questions that consumers have about beef cattle and livestock production.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Top 10 Must Haves for Farm Girls

My top ten includes needs and wants for any farm girl.  I am always on the hunt for cool things that make my life better (fitness, food, style, etc.).  Life is too short to not have FUN, cute, and TRENDY items in it!  With that being said, here is my top ten must haves (and wants):

1. Anything Pioneer Woman (I mean ANYTHING)

Let’s face it, Ree is one awesome farm girl!  Anyone who has this written at the top of their website has my support: “PLOWING THROUGH LIFE IN THE COUNTRY…ONE CALF NUT AT A TIME.”  I started trying Ree’s recipes years ago and just love the style of cooking because I am a farm girl just like her!  Then, she comes up with an amazing line of cookware, kitchen utensils, dinnerware, and more!  I just love, love anything she does!  Check her out here: http://thepioneerwoman.com/

2. Holy Cow Couture Bag

I ran across Holy Cow Couture not too long ago and am still BEGGING for my first bag!  Just check out the quality cowhide and leather products this small company cranks out!  Something about Oklahoma…that is where my cowhide rug came from and let me tell you they know leather and hide in that part of the country!  Enough jibber jabber…check out these awesome bags…http://www.holycowcouture.com/   PS- They do 6pm Facebook sales…make sure you like them on Facebook!  Also- if you are wondering what to get me for my birthday or Christmas (or my anniversary, *cough*cough* Ryan)- I would LOVE a designer bag!

Designer Bag

3. Steel Cow

I feel like I know Valerie Miller (artist) personally because I connect with her so much through her artwork but in reality I have never met her!  I cannot remember how I came across Steel Cow but I have been forever changed since then!  I appreciate good artwork when I see it.  I love the portraits of cows and the “personalities” Valerie gives the “girls”.  My husband surprised me with my first canvas and then my sister surprised me with a t-shirt and hand towel from the Missouri State Fair!  Visit her website here: http://www.steelcow.com/

I have Linda (because I LOVE Herefords):

4. Fitbit

Us farm girls are ACTIVE!  What better way to keep up with our daily activities and exercise than with a fitbit.  My husband surprised me with a fitbit about a week ago and when would you guess I log the most steps?  At the farm of course!  Not only does it log your steps, but you can get a Fitbit that checks your heart rate, tells you how many miles you logged, calories burned, and more!  The other fun feature is that you can enter contests with other fitbit users for extra motivation to stay fit!  I have the Charge HR and just love it!  Check out all the different fitbit options: https://www.fitbit.com/

5. Birchbox

There are a lot of different box subscriptions out there and a friend of mine has been a Birchbox subscriber for years, so I decided to give it a go.  I absolutely love the element of surprise and getting mail lol!  Also, this box is only $10/month and they do not charge you the entire year (or 3 months, 6 months, etc.) up front.  You are only charged $10 each month and you can unsubscribe at any time.  If you are anything like me, I do not like to spend a lot of money on beauty products that I do not know well.  Birchbox allows you to try out samples and if you like it you can earn points to shop in the store.  So many cool things to mention them all…try Birchbox today: https://www.birchbox.com/invite/2p235

6. Yeti Rambler Tumbler

Yeti is all the rage right now and for a good reason.  Their products are no joke!  My husband just recently accepted a new job where he would be out in the field more and he really wanted a Yeti cup.  I thought to myself, that is a lot of money for a cup, no way would I ever pay that!  Then, I did for him as a gift for getting a new job!  I am so glad I did because he loves it and it is amazing how well the technology works to keep liquid cold or hot ALL DAY.  Shhh…I sneak it away from him sometimes.  I need to get my own for sure because I am out on the farm all day and a water bottle gets hot, even small coolers do not last all day like Yeti products do.

 

7. Hair Bands (and lots of them)

As a farm girl, my hair is either in a hat or held back somehow with a hair band.  I do not need it getting in my face while I am outside working!  Some girls are all outside with their hair fixed pretty and their daisy dukes on, but not me…I know I don’t look like a million bucks when I am working and that is okay- I still like to be stylish though.  My favorite head bands are Under Armour and hair bands are Made by Trina.  Made by Trina was featured on the Pioneer Woman…so naturally I had to check her out- ordered some hair bands for me and my sister.  Not only are they great for your hair, but they look cute as bracelets too! 🙂

8. Monogrammed Something!

Who doesn’t love monogramming?  Okay, maybe it is a Southern thing, and I haven’t always been into it but I sure do love a good monogrammed bag or shirt now!  Simple, chic, and classy look that I think is timeless.  I had a sweatshirt done over the Winter by Southern Monograms and More that is super cute, goes with anything, and comfy!  I also sell Thirty-One, so naturally I have a lot of it!  Thirty-One offers personalization on a variety of products such as totes, purses, pillows, accessories, and more!  You can visit my online store here: https://www.mythirtyone.com/laurenblangley

 

9. Cowgirl Tuff Jeans

Every farm girl needs good, reliable jeans!  I have found that with the Cowgirl Tuff Company.  The jeans are stylish and hold up well when riding horses, working cattle, or other chores around the farm.  Most western clothing stores carry the brand so they are not hard to find, or you can order them online.

10. Thorlo Boot Socks

I wear boots, A LOT.  In doing so, I need a taller, padded sock that helps keep my feet comfortable, dry, and does not allow the boot to rub my leg.  Some people like to wear footy socks with their cowboy boots…but I think they are crazy lol.  I discovered Thorlos MANY years back when my family was at a horse auction and they auctioned off a whole bunch of these socks.  We all started wearing them and became hooked.  You can typically find them in western stores or sock stores.  I just cannot say enough good things about these socks…they will change your feet in boots.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

In Honor of Mother’s Day

This photo shows a caring and watchful bovine mom nursing her young calf.  I took this particular photo in October of 2011.  This cow and calf will always have a special place in my heart because this bull calf was born on my wedding day, 9.17.11.  The cow pictured was one of our first heifers (a female that has not had a calf yet) we bought to start our small herd back in 2008.  She is a Black Angus dairy cross with a lot of milk for her calves.  She always raises a great calf for us each year.  One of her heifer calves, has turned out to be the best brood cow in my herd as far as fertility and mothering ability/milk are concerned.  Here is another photo to show just how cute this calf was…

It is always a good sign when a calf stretches!  Good cow moms always keep a close watch on their calves until the calves become big enough to care of themselves.  This particular mom was a little more protective than we like so we always had to keep an eye on her as well when we tagged her calves or were around them.

Mothering ability is so important in brood cows.  How do you know if a heifer is going to turn into a great brood cow?  You cannot entirely know but you can have a good idea.  It is always up to the heifer as to how she will act when the calf is born.  Mothering instinct has to kick in and if it does not, you have a calf to take care of!  When selecting heifers, I am looking for a gentle disposition (good attitude), excellent conformation (how well she is structured), genetic potential, family history, and more!

This Mother’s Day, take time to appreciate your mom and animal moms everywhere!  “Behind every good kid (or calf) is a GREAT mom!” Happy Mother’s Day!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment