Thursday, February 28, 2013

The sequester and you.

I used to think that what goes on in the White House doesn't directly impact me...I'm just a middle class citizen and can hide in my little corner of the world. I'll pay my taxes and I'll be left alone.

This frame of mind changed when I became a part of the Ag Community. Everything Washington does directly affects our livelihood. Whether it's new food and safety regulations, wildlife preservation or animal reintroduction or federal budget cuts. 

Needless to say, the upcoming sequester is no exception.

Federal workers will be the first to feel the aftermath of the budget cuts and in an article published by DairyHerd Network earlier this week, it was stated that meat packing plants along with meat processing plants will face short-term shutdowns due to the expected sequester. No USDA inspectors = no meat processing and/or packing. Read about why inspectors are crucial, in this post written by Buzzard's Beat (I am loving her blog right now!)

Of course we won't feel the effects of this immediately so, you'll be able to go to your favorite restaurant in the next few weeks and still order that delicious rack of lamb or juicy hamburger, but it's coming down the pipes. There is no doubt about that.

If the budget isn't figured out before the end of March, the what should have been "temporary" fix may become a more long-lasting one which would mean that meat packing plants won't pack/process meat for an even longer period of time.

How does this affect me in my little corner of Colorado? Without meat packing plants, meat buyers are less likely to make purchases, this means we are less likely to sell our lambs this year, my neighbor won't sell his cattle and your free range chicken won't make it to your table.

I, along with many am hopeful it won't come to this, but you never know.

Obviously, my blog tries to bring information as it relates to the industry, but the article goes on to say that:
"Up to one-third of the USDA's 100,000 employees may be affected by furloughs. The USDA says the cuts would deny food aid to 600,000 pregnant women, new mothers and infants and also force closure of hundreds of Forest Service campgrounds, picnic areas and visitors' centers during the spring and summer."

For the full DailyHerd Article, please click here.
Another great article to give you an idea of the affects this will have, click here.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Mutton Mondays: Farmers and Ranchers Take Center Stage

You've all read a million posts about the "So God Made a Farmer" Superbowl Commercial. It was awesome, there is no doubt there. I wanted to share with you the written response from the Farming and Ranching Industry. This letter again proves the passion and love that farmers and ranchers have for what they do. It makes me proud to be married to one.

This is from the American Sheep Industry's most recent edition. This article and others can be found here.

Farmers and Ranchers Take Center Stage
This week nearly 250 regional, state and national farm, ranch and agribusiness organizations sent a heartfelt "thank you" to Chrysler Group Chair and CEO Sergio Marchionne for its outstanding XLVII Super Bowl commercial "So God Made a Farmer."

The ad kicks off a campaign declaring 2013 "The Year of the Farmer," and features still images from ten noted photographers. The commercial's crowning glory, however, is legendary radio broadcaster Paul Harvey's recitation of his essay on the virtues of the American farmer, which he originally delivered at a Future Farmers of America conference in 1978. Harvey passed away in 2009.

The letter praised Chrysler for providing a vital message to the millions who watched the game, reminding them that farmers and ranchers - those who feed and clothe this country and much of the world - must not be taken for granted, but instead recognized and appreciated for what they do and how well they do it.

"For two captivating minutes Sunday night, the values and future of American farming dominated a very large stage," said Clint Krebs (Ore.), president of the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI), "The commercial really inspired the ASI leadership as it did sheep producers across the country. Because of the response, ASI joined the other agriculture groups by signing on to this letter to Chrysler."

The letter continued, "America's farmers and ranchers are the most professional and productive in the world. Being the best at what we do benefits us all. No other nation rivals our ability to produce the highest quality, safest, most abundant and affordable meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, crops, fruits and vegetables in the world.

"We sincerely thank you for recognizing us; we thank you even more for reminding the rest of the country - and a big part of the world - of how vital our daily contribution is to their quality of life."

The video can be viewed here.
To read the letter and for a complete list of the letter's signatories, click here.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The very best gift of all!

I hope your Valentine's Day was a tad bit better than Mack and Duke's! 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Spiders and white lies.

A few days ago, Jigs was bit by a spider. Her nose swelled up, then her nose started to bleed followed by oozy puss. Without looking at her ::side eye:: our local vet gave us some prednisone which made her vomit 4 times in a matter of a few hours. Cue freak out.

J has been on me about taking Jigs to the vet for every little thing this is why I took her to the local vet rather than the (more expensive vet) one I prefer. I called said vet and they told us to cut her pill in half. At that point I did what anyone in my situation would do. I Googled.

That was a mistake.

After Googling thru the tears at work, I run to the drug store and buy a thermometer. If she has a fever that is a sign of infection. I will take Jigs' temperature (rectally because that is most accurate) myself and rule out a fever/infection and maybe this would bring me some peace of mind.

After several failed attempts to talk J into taking her temperature, I did it. All to save a buck. (He said I need to learn how to do this. I guess next time he's sick....oh, nevermind.) Her temperature was right where it was supposed to be, but still no peace of mind.

That evening we gave her half of the prednisone and watched her closely (aka no sleep for me). She didn't get sick again, but her nose was looking worse.

The next morning I sat on the couch with her and cried. How much is she worth to us? That's a hard question to ask and I'm sure if you have animals you've asked yourself this same question. I wasn't comfortable with giving her something that made her so sick and I felt like the local vet didn't give her a thorough exam so, I picked up the phone and called her vet (the one I prefer). J will just have to understand.

8 hours later, Jigs is showing every symptom the doctor said she would due to the new medicine she is on. Panting, large appetite, execessive thirst. I can handle all of them but the panting. Jigs has a heart murmur and I have (what I am sure is completely irrational) thought that she will pant herself into cardiac arrest. I don't even know if this is medically possible, but in my brain it makes sense. Oh.Mai.Goodness it's so good that I don't have children.

So, I stay up late and watch her chest go up and down to make sure she is breathing.

When J asked me how much the visit was I told him $70 and he said, "That's not too bad" and I just thought it was a good thing I didn't tell him the truth - the visit was closer to $200. White lies are necessary sometimes.

Here are pictures of her bite:

This is her treatment plan for those that run into this same problem.The info I found online was helpful and I want to share it with others who are freaking out trying to find some peace of mind, just like I was. *obviously I am not a vet, but this is what our vet (who I trust very much) prescribed for her along with two injections she got at her visit.

1. Soak nose with warm washcloth and gently slough off dead skin and dried blood. Pat dry. Apply antiseptic cream. We are using Panalog ointment (antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, ointment for dogs and cats), but neosporin would work.  Do this 2x's a day.

2. Give Simplicef (treats bacterial infections) once a day for 7 days.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

When you forget you live in the country...

found here.

When you live in the country you get used to being woken by the loud cow battle crys aka very loud mooing, stepping in sheep sh*t, having muddy paws greet you when you get home, loud diesel engines.

You get used to all sorts of things but, if you are like also forget that you live in the country and that's when stuff gets bad, or stinky in this case.

I was coming home from a trip into town on Saturday night, it was dark, but it was only 8pm. One thing that I had to get used to when I moved to the country was the lack of street lights. I don't mind it although, it does result in driving about 10 under the speed limit.

I was about 5 miles from home when I saw a black dog walking alongside the side of the road. It was a small dog further adding to my worry, it was a bichon or something of the like.

As I usually do when I see a furry four-legged on the side of the road, I started to slow down and veered to the left side of the road to pull up alongside it. If I could get it in the car, then maybe it would just stay with us for the night since Animal Control has already closed.

I started to roll my window down and just then, there it was...

the white stripe of DEATH.
Found here.

I couldn't roll up my window fast enough, hence the new perfume I'm wearing today.

and that is what happens when you forget you live in the country. I seriously can not make this stuff up.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Basset Hound at the ranch?

Since I'm not allowed any more animals that don't "work" at the ranch I'm in dire need of finding a purpose for a basset hound.

Here are just a few reasons why.

For more basset hound photos (because I know you just want more!) go here.
and to see the most adorable male dog-model, click here.