Monday, April 29, 2013

Mutton Mondays - The Science Behind Trailing {video}

I got back from my Washington, DC trip this weekend and am working on a few write-ups for ya! Stay tuned....

Here is a video I made while trailing the sheep home a few weeks ago.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Happy Monday. Happy Earth Day!

Last week was a tough one...for Boston, Texas, for our country. 

It's a new dawn. It's a new day. 

As we head into this new week let us stand united and hopeful for the future. 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Fancy clothes.

The last few days I've been trying to figure out the Metro system of Washington, DC and it's definitely proving to be something similar to a very hard math problem. (I hate math.)

Why? Well, this gal is going to our nation's capitol.

Am I excited? Heck yes!

A little nervous? Naturally.

I was one of five people chosen by the Colorado Farm Bureau to attend the annual Washington, DC trip. I feel so grateful for this opportunity but, feel I have this huge responsibility to represent my corner of the state while speaking to our representatives and committees on issues as they relate to the agriculture industry.

I'd say I'm pretty good with public speaking however, when it comes to talking about heavy topics, I get a little flustered, sweaty and really insecure.

A very long time ago, I thought I would work in DC doing something in politics. Big dreams, folks. I am beyond excited to finally visit Washington, DC but I have high (and possibly unreasonable) expectations for myself which is causing a few nerves. I want to do this trip justice - speak my mind, represent my county, run for office. Totally kidding on the last one. Obviously.
I'll take lots of notes, lots of pictures and I'm sure I'll get lost, say something ridiculously stupid in front of our state representative or set off a metal detector and therefore, I'm sure I'll bring back a story or two for you!

Wish me luck! And let me know your Must-Sees of Washington!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Mutton Mondays - a few things I learned this weekend.

Here's a not so heavy Mutton Monday post for ya!

A few things I learned this weekend is that I need dog-jail bars for my car to keep the 4-leggeds from trying to come sit on my lap while driving.
 The aftermath of trailing can be horrendous for your car. How am I barely just admitting to this?
Jigs can squeeze into the tiniest of places, especially when the alternative is sharing the front seat with ::gasp:: another dog!
I hope you can see Jigs' nose in this picture. She wasn't having the whole "sharing" thing.
Dog breath can help keep you warm on a chilly morning.
I will continue to stand by the belief that dog poo DEFINITELY smells worse than sheep poo.

AND the last and most important thing I learned this weekend is...

The ONLY thing, ladies and gents that will get this girl out of bed in the blink of an eye before the sun rises is a phone call saying, "It's a boy!"
We had our first lamb of the season this weekend.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Mutton Mondays - From The Ranch Gate to Dinner Plate

Many people are quite removed from the reality of where their food comes from. This film, From Ranch Gate to Dinner Plate was created by the Colorado Wool Growers and the American Sheep Industry to inform the public of the process that your lamb goes thru before it lands on your plate. From Ranch Gate to Dinner Plate is specific to the Colorado sheep industry however, many of the practices are used throughout the entire meat industry.

My hunky rancher husband filmed this movie. It makes us both quite happy he is able to use his talents and degree while helping the sheep industry. He left his job with Warren Miller Entertainment a few years ago when we decided to move down south to help his Dad with the ranch so when he is able to get the camera out and film, he is quite happy.

The film covers a wide range of topics from how ranch chutes are designed to the actual meat production process and there are a chapters on braising lamb, grilling lamb, barbecuing and roasting lamb. The film covers the humane treatment of sheep, the history of sheep ranching, industry challenges among many other topics.

Here is a link to the Colorado Wool Growers website where they have the movie broken up into chapters. I hope you'll take a few minutes to browse the chapters and learn something about the sheep industry.

I found it interesting that one of the main reasons for the popular dislike of lamb derived from World War II. WWII soldiers were served mutton that was often cooked poorly and therefore these soldiers were turned off by lamb, rightly so. This thinking has been passed down from generation to generation. I understand this is not the case for many people, but I never knew that is where the popular "dislike" of lamb came from. 

My favorite chapter is Chapter 4: Challenges
This chapter discusses the wide array of challenges we face as sheep producers. I feel like ranchers are always getting the short end of the stick. Ever since we've become part of this industry it seems we are constantly on the defensive. Whether someone is trying to kick us off our forest permits, a new law that prohibits our cattle friends from using a certain ranch technique or funding being cut from our Wildlife Services program which will allow more coyotes and bear to kill our ewes and lambs.

The Agriculture Industry is a vital part of our economy and even though you may have never set foot on a ranch, what happens on our ranch ultimately affects you.

If you watch a few minutes of this film you will realize how passionate my fellow sheep ranchers are about their sheep, their ranch and the quality of their product. You also might see a few clips of our ranch and our sheep like this one below! :)

If you would, please take a few minutes to answer these questions. I'm just doing some research for future blog posts and I'd love your input.

What keeps you from eating lamb?
Before watching this film did had you heard about the H-2A Visa Herder Program?
Do you know anything about the Big Horned Sheep conflict?
What did you find most interesting about the film or the clip you watched?
What does Predator Control mean to you?