Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The TRUTH about CAFOs!!!!!!!!

Oh boy, am I fired up!

A friend at work introduced my to a cool website that features a daily info-graphic.  Normally they are pretty informative and entertaining.  Well, NOT TODAY!

This is the pile of garbage I found:

I know it's hard to read, so I'll highlight the MIS-TRUTHS.

The following information was listed regarding CAFOs:  Confined Animal Feeding Operations:
1.  1200 lbs on a market weight animal in 6 months?!?!  Are you kidding me?  No, it takes at least 18 months to put that much weight on a beef animal.  Our average rate of gain is about 3 pounds per day, which may seem like a lot, but please keep in mind, it's all relative.

2.  A 93.4% rise in the number of Dairy Cattle in the U.S.?  Do you know what the world's population has done in those 10 years?  Grown by a BILLION.  That's a million million people, people!

3.  80 is the number of antibiotics allowed in cow's milk?  Nope.  There are STRICT regulations on what can be found in milk and (my area of semi-expertise:) beef.  When we treat a sick animal we are VERY careful about how old they are (or in other words, how far away they are from entering the human food supply).    And, again, it's SO relative!  If you could see the dosages we give to 1000 pound animals, compared to the size of a human dosage, it's PROPORTIONAL!  Dave gives injections behind the ear of a beef animal so as to not contaminate anything that might enter the human food supply.  I could go on for days about the restrictions, the regulations, and the integrity for the industry that are put into place and practiced so that beef is safe for the public.

4.  AND THIS IS WHAT HAS ME MOST IRATE:  What's in animal feed?  Plastic--NOPE.  Not at all.
Animal by-products to turn animals into cannibals--NOT AT ALL.  Ever heard of a little thing called "Mad Cow Disease"?  That's where that's from!  You think any decent farmer is going to a) do something as disgusting as this, or b) run the risk of Mad Cow on their farm?  NEVER.  And feathers or euthanized cats?  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  Who comes up with this crap?  (Actually, I'll address this in a minute.)
We feed our beef cattle a diet formulated by an animal nutritionist with a Ph. D..  In fact, I've heard that he will actually taste the feed when he stops by the feed yard to go over rations with the guys.  I just can't get over what I'm reading on this infographic!!!

5.  Finally, this whole bit about the waste.  Yes, animals poop and pee a lot.  Well, so do humans.  But, animals don't use plastic grocery bags, they don't put batteries in their TV remotes, they don't by their water in plastic bottles and then throw them in the ditch.  Every. Last. Ounce. of animal waste on our farm gets "upcycled".  It is loaded into the manure spreader, hauled to the field and is spread like dollar bills on our crops.  Yes, we LITERALLY assign a dollar value to our manure.  The nutrients that the manure returns to the soil is THAT valuable.  

So, while I haven't addressed ALL of the rest of the "facts" on the infographic, I think this is enough for now.  If you'd EVER like to see what our operation is like, PLEASE come for a visit!  I hope you'll be pleasantly suprised!

Now, let us discuss where the information for this infographic came from:
The ASPCA (you know, Sarah McGlauhlin and the abused dogs--whatever).  The ASPCA donates 0.05% of it's donations to actually protecting animals.  I said 1/2 of one percent.  Do you know where the rest goes?  Not to helping animals.  {If you want to help abused animals, donate to your local shelter! PLEASE!}

And the good old Humane Society of the United States is listed there, too!  Again, SO VERY LITTLE of their fundraising efforts go to anything remotely productive, it'd make you throw up.  {Find a local shelter to support!  PLEASE!}

Notice that NOWHERE are there information or numbers from somewhere like, oh, I don't know, THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE?  THE FARM BUREAU OF ANY STATE?  ANYWHERE REPUTABLE?!?!?

I follow a blog that aims to debunk the mis-truths about the poultry industry.    Please stop by www.onthebanksofsquawcreek.com and read about Katie Olthoff's turkey farm!  She does a FANTASTIC job keeping the crazies at bay!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

So what if it's been 3 weeks since I posted on the blog?

School is coming to very slow finish.  It's like the tortoise part of the Tortoise-vs.-Hare race... School is c  r  e  e  p  i  n  g to a finish.  2 more LONG weeks.  Ugh.  But, the weeks have been jam-packed with life.  Our move out to the farm is getting closer, too.

Yesterday we had a (soon to be) neighbor (when we move out to the farm) (are you confused?) come over and help us re-survey our property so that we can move ahead with selling the place where we currently live.  It was really interesting!  Did you know that there are these giant pins in the ground to mark your property lines?  Yep, there are literally pins EVERYWHERE in the United States!  Ben had a metal detector that he used to find these pins, then he used fancy math to figure out where the rest were, etc..

It ended up that he pretty much couldn't find ours, but had to survey the neighbor's property and then go from there...  It was supposed to take a couple of hours.  Six hours later he was packing up his tools, having wasted his WHOLE Saturday on our stupid project.  Oh well, a quick-claim deed and a few hundred bucks and we should be good to go.

Surveyor Ben brought along his 5 year old daughter and she and the girls became fast friends!

I spent the day priming my hutch!  I am excited to put the finishing coats on it this afternoon after church.  I think it'll look really nice.  Now I'm grappling with painting the base of the table that matches this hutch.  My reservations are that the table is round and only seats 4, unless pulled out oval-style, and I don't have 6 chairs to go with this table.  Hmm... I'm still thinking.  Any suggestions are welcome!

And I promise to be more faithful to the blog, dear readers!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

A night out on the town! With 147 high schoolers...

Last night I chaperoned the PHS Prom with 3 of my wonderful coworkers and our principal.  It was fun.  The theme was "An Enchanted Evening", and the theme song was "Enchanted" by Taylor Swift.  Not a radio hit of hers, but this tune is becoming a new favorite of mine!

Here is a picture of the dress I wore.

This picture is for all of my coworkers who have been teasing me all week about the dress I wore to the prom in 1995.  Last week we had a "throw back" party where we all brought in Prom pictures and then awards were given for various categories, like "best use of taffeta", "best tiara", and I won the category of "best mom dress", as in "My mom probably had that dress in her closet in 1995, too", and one of my lunch buddies claims that her mom had THE EXACT SAME DRESS.  Doubtful.

photo credit to Lifetouch Photography!

Lifetouch Photography did a photo booth for all the prom goers, and it was huge hit! We chaperones also took a turn!  I LOVE this picture!!!

And finally, here are the top 3 take-aways from the prom of 2014:

1.  Nothing clears a dance floor like "What does the Fox Say?".
2.  No matter how easy and smooth I try to make choosing a meal, some one will be upset.  (EVERY SINGLE PERSON who bought a ticket to the prom back in April looked me in the eye and answered the question:  What would you like to eat?  Bacon-wrapped Sirloin, Stuffed Pork chop, or Cheese Tortellini.  Everyone answered, I recorded their responses perfectly, we transferred those responses to name cards perfectly, yet SURELY whats-his/her-name didn't order THAT!  UGH!)
3.  I am not a night owl.  9:30 pm is pushing it, I turn to mush at 10:15 pm.

Oh well, that's it for another year!