Diploma Exams, Meet the Farm Kid.  

Posted by Wyatt

So as some of you are probably not familiar with these test I thought I would enlighten you. They are standardized test put out by the provincial government to ensure that every one in the province is receiving the same quality education . Now as I prepared and wrote my  last of 7 of these test I got to thinking. How would these test be described if you had to tell someone who only nows about cattle, well here is what I have come up with. They are like EPDs they are a guide for perspective buyers (universities)  to judge every one equally just as they do in the cattle industry. They have several different test much like EPDs from Bio to English and social not forgetting math and chemistry as well as physics (what I just wrote.) These are all weighted 50% of our final grade taking out any bias a teacher might have added. Much like the vast averages used in EPDs. Know for the people who are not as familiar with EPDs  Simply put, EPDs are an estimate of how a particular bull's calf will perform in certain traits compared to another bull's, in that particular breed and when bred to similar females, before the mating ever occurs. The actual EPD is calculated using information submitted to the breed associations and provides a basic representation of the pedigree for that particular bull for a particular trait of interest. It is very important to realize that EPDs are not static, they will change over time as more and more progeny information is collected, which leads us to another term of interest: accuracy. Accuracy is just that, how accurate or reliable an EPD is. It is measured on a scale from 0 to 1, the higher the number, the greater the accuracy. Accuracies are important when assessing existing bull batteries that may have animals of varying ages and when looking at pedigree information. However, when actually making purchasing decisions, most of the pool of animals you will be selecting from will be relatively young, having produced no progeny, and therefore will have relatively low accuracies for their individual EPDs. This is where going back and looking at pedigree EPDs and accuracies for potential purchases becomes useful.     

Bonsmara Meets the Hanson's  

Posted by Wyatt

We were approached at the Calgary Stampede, if we were interested in running (the home for)  the Bonsmaras for the owner for Texas. So most of you are probably wondering why cattle that belong in hot climate ended up in Canada, well we have some of the best  breeding programs for artificial insemination and embryo transplant. So the Bonsmaras were in Canada and then the border closed essentially locking them in canada. So our new job was to look after about 100. The first year was quite the experience. You don't think about some of the things that might affect hot climate cattle in cold weather because usually those 2 things don't mix. When the weather was dipping down to the negative 40 Celsius some of the cattle would have difficulties because their long nose are meant to cool there body even if it is already cool. After the first few years we managed to understand the cattle better,  and had done more research. The man who owned the cattle did not want to sell any there fore we continued to accumulate them. When the borders open in 2008 we had about 800 cattle that needed to be send to Texas. I know that this experience was a lot of work not only out side but also inside with inserting the cattle in to spread sheets and documenting the birth weights ect. However having these cattle help us through BSE and the low prices. Let me know if you have had similar experiences. Something that helped you out when times were tough, and it was just a random encounter that lead it to helping you. Like us running in to a Texas Businessman who couldn't take his cattle home.        

The Bonsmara.  

Posted by Wyatt

For some of you guys your probably wonder what is a Bonsmara is, well today I am going to educate you on this breed of cattle.
As most of you know, my favorite breed of cattle is Hereford, not only because I have grown up with them but because of the Jr. Program. So what would you get is you crossed Hereford, Shorthorn and Afrikaners? well you guessed it, a Bonsmara. During the years prior to World War II a need was felt for a beef breed which could produce economically in the sub-tropical regions of the Transvaal and Natal. Not with standing their adaptability to the climate, the indigenous Afrikaner-type cattle did not have the desired growth potential, they were relatively late in reaching sexual maturity and many of the cows did not calve regularly. And the exotic British beef breeds available at the time performed well in the more temperate regions but could not keep up the same production in the hotter environment. They were also more susceptible to the tick-borne diseases which were prevalent in the sub-tropics. The Department of Agriculture consequently decided to test the performance of various cross-breds between the indigenous and exotic breeds on its experimental farms, Mara and Messina. Bulls of five British Beef breeds were used on Afrikanner cows and the progeny then performance tested. After pilot trials it was decided to continue only with the better performing Hereford and Shorthorn cross-breds. Ultimately three-quarter Afrikaners were mated to half-breeds to obtain progeny with 5/8 Afrikaner and 3/8 Hereford (thats right Hereford) or Shorthorn blood. 

So how did they get the name?  The name "Bonsmara" was derived from "Bonsma", the man who played a major role in the development of the breed, and "Mara", the farm on which the animals were bred.

he Bonsmara has been scientifically bred and strictly selected for economical production in the extensive cattle grazing regions of South Africa.
The Bonsmara has become so popular that it has grown to be numerically the strongest beef breed in South Africa in less than 25 years.

 So how did I come to know this breed, stay tuned and tomorrow I will let you in on the secret behind my experiences with them.


Posted by Wyatt

Almost all of our breakfast cereals are made of grass. Oats, barley, corn and wheat are all different varieties of grass and are all descended from the same botanical species. Furthermore, most of the sugar we eat also comes from grass (sugar cane), as do most of our alcoholic beverages.

If you have not had the chance to eat sugar from the sugar cane you have to try it, I think it is amazing. 

There was no grass during the time of the dinosaurs. Grass evolved from bamboo-like plants only 24 million years ago.

Pollen grains are so tiny and uniform they have been used to calibrate instruments that measure in thousandths of an inch. Forget-me-not pollen grains are so small that 10,000 of them can fit on the head of a pin.

It takes 100 pounds of rain water to produce a single pound of food from the earth. Between 10 and 20 tons of water must pass through the roots of an acre of corn before one bushel of corn will be produced.

Endorsement Wanted for Lower Pork Cooking Temperature  

Posted by Wyatt

Canada's hog farmers want to see the U.S. Department of Agriculture's updated view of the temperatures needed to cook whole cuts of pork also become the pork safety standard in Canada.
The U.S. ag department on May 24 updated its recommendation for cooking any whole cuts of meat -- pork now included -- to 145 F (63 C), after which the consumer must allow the meat to rest for three minutes before it's carved or eaten.
The U.S. department said last month its new cooking suggestions "reflect the same standards that the agency uses for cooked meat products produced in federally-inspected meat establishments, which rely on the rest time of three minutes to achieve safe pathogen reduction." The key factor to consider when cooking pork is that you do not overcook and I think this information that has come out of the U.S. is very positive because for years consumers have been overcooking pork and it certainly is not necessary, Cooking temperature definitely will have an impact on the juiciness, the tenderness and texture and it's because when you cook for a long time you are drying the moisture out of the meat". 
Just some interesting news for the first day of summer!

A Good Question.  

Posted by Wyatt

The power behind blogging. 
I attend a high school were most of my fellow students live in the city without the ability to access agriculture. So I am talking to my friend (about the blog and why I am doing it.) After explaining how the it is for the Calgary Stampede International Youth Livestock Show, to promote agriculture and what it is all about.  They found it very interesting to know how young group we are, and how we are so passionately involved in our industry. I tried to explain how it is our livelihood and how we are born into it. When the conversation was all done, she had one question, she said it was a thinker and she wasn't kidding.  "So let me get this right, you guys are spending hours each day blogging to inform the general public about agriculture," I said yep. so then she when on, " last year  I heard there were days where there were close  to one hundred thousand people at the stampede, wouldn't it make sense to have the this terrific show there were people could see how good the next generation of the agriculture industry leaders are and then you could market to far more people." I said wow that is a good question. I know that one of the biggest problems is the cost associated with the travel , the no  parking factor and the expensive on park costs. They looked at me crazily and said, "You don't think that blogging every night is a worse then parking, because if you factor the drive to where it is located now it is about the same. Food is expensive but you also have access to a midway full of fun ." I guess today I am righting this blog asking the same question, why are we advocating on the web when we could have a better chance at educating a city for about the same amount of trouble? Let me know if you have any thoughts. I think this is comparable to the saying Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish ; and you have fed him for a lifetime”—Author unknown lets teach our communities first then our world. 

Airdrie Rodeo.  

Posted by Wyatt


When school ends everyone around is ready for the Airdrie Pro Rodeo. Every year, World and Canadian Champs are part of our record number of contestant entries at the Airdrie Pro Rodeo. In 2010, Airdrie Rodeo had more cowboys and cowgirls than at any other Canadian Professional Rodeo Association event. We are proud to be the 7th largest professional rodeo by payout in Canada and 2011 marks our 44th year of rodeo in Airdrie.
 The Airdrie Pro Rodeo is just a short 20 minute drive from Calgary and has more than 10,000 spectators coming through our gates over five days of rodeo action. At the rodeo you’ll see contestants compete in Bull Riding, Bareback, Saddlebronc, Team Roping, Tie Down Roping, Ladies Barrel Racing, Steer Wrestling, Boys Steer Riding, and Junior rodeo events. The grounds offer live music every night, beer gardens, free parking, free camping, children’s activities and more.

Our family is a active volunteer at the Airdrie Rodeo for the past 30 years. And it is because of volunteers the it is Canada's seventh larges rodeo.   If you look at the photo below you will see my father in blue. My cousin Colby in the grey shirt and the my Uncle Russ  in black with letters on his sleeve.  

The Farmer & the Lottery  

Posted by Wyatt

I saw this joke and I think the sad part of it is that it probably is true unless there is a change in the path  agriculture is headed down there will be fewer farmers around.  so hears the joke... don't laugh to hard because the truth hurts.

I saw an interview on TV where this one old farmer won ten million in the Lottery. Naturally he was asked what he was gonna do with all that money. He kinda scratched his head and said, "Not sure as I know right off. Guess I'll keep farmin' till it's all gone."

This it Kinda Cool.  

Posted by Wyatt

Recently I blogged about how important I thought it was that the general public is informed about agriculture. Today I was going to talk about urban agriculture when I came across this video, I think you should check it out. I think this is really interesting.  It is such a hard program to get into.  Please check it out. I found it interesting and think more rural schools should incorporate similar programs into their studies. 

The Impacts of Bills 50, 36 and 19 on Land Owners Rights  

Posted by Wyatt

Today is Framers day and as all of you know how much farmers do it is important that we stand up to the government on these big bad bills.  Please take a moment and have a listen and if you want to make a difference write to your local MLA about your concerns. It is important to stand for what we believe and to make sure that the farmers don't get swept under the rug.

Victoria Day, Family Day, Farmers Day!  

Posted by Wyatt

Everyone has heard about the day where we honour the royals for governing this great nation. And I am pretty sure most of us understand Family day. But now we have Farmers day! This celebration is on Friday June 10, Tomorrow!

Coming from a fourth generation farm family I am very happy we are honoring farmers for putting food on everyones table.  Some think that his holiday is spurious I would have to tell you other wise.
People don't think twice when they thank the person at the grocery store or restaurant but the clerk definitely notices the thank-you. Now the farmer who doesn't have the chance to interact with the public is getting a thanks. A thanks for spending the night awake waiting for the cow that just will not calve, making sure there are no problems. Or the farmer who gave up his only planned holiday to combine the crop because it was finally ready.

So tomorrow please take a few minutes to stop and thank a farmer if you know any, it doesn't have to be a big long drawn out thanks just one to shown them you appreciate the all the midnight checks and working more the average 9-5 punch-in out job.

Grasshoppers Anyone?  

Posted by Wyatt

A Texan farmer goes to Australia for a vacation. There he meets an Aussie farmer and gets talking. The Aussie shows off his big wheat field and the Texan says, "Oh! We have wheat fields that are at least twice as large." Then they walk around the ranch a little, and the Aussie shows off his herd of cattle. The Texan immediately says, "We have longhorns that are at least twice as large as your cows." The conversation has, meanwhile, almost died when the Texan sees a herd of kangaroos hopping through the field. He asks, "And what are those?" The Aussie, fed up with the Texan's bragging replies with an incredulous look, "What, don't you have any grasshoppers in Texas?"

This joke brings us to a good point, how do grasshoppers affect farmers and ranchers? Each adult female grasshopper can lay multiple egg pods—each containing many eggs—in one summer, which could greatly increase the population the next summer, after the eggs hatch. This compounding effect could lead to drastic yield losses for farmers and ranchers as grasshoppers, who can eat their body weight daily in vegetation, leave less grass on the rangeland for livestock and sometimes move into crops and feed on wheat and alfalfa. 

So I came across this joke and I think that you will find is as good as I did, It goes something like this.

The worst part about grasshoppers is that they thrive in the heat and usually in droughts were feed for livestock and crops are already at a minimum. Research is ongoing in finding a way to prevent and slow the rapid population growth curves. I like to think that the best way to deal with this problem is to let nature take its course with cold winters and good birds. 

Armed with more then a Gun.  

Posted by Wyatt

This is a peace of info I thought you might find interesting. US troops are now becoming educated in agriculture before being deployed to Afghanistan.  At a university farm in California's crop-abundant Central Valley, a group of U.S. Marines trudged through muddy fields on Monday to learn how to tend pomegranate trees, a crop popular in war-torn Afghanistan. During a week's training, Marines will learn first-hand and in the classroom about irrigation practices, soil salinity, plant recognition and livestock care, among other topics. Kadon helped create the training after doing intelligence work in Iraq and after working in civil affairs in Afghanistan. After researching this I though perhaps everyone should have a mandatory week training to educate people who are unaware of agriculture in Canada. I wonder what your thoughts are on what people might learn from this experience and how it  would affect farm life  in Canada.  

Pigs to Russia  

Posted by Wyatt

A Canadian pig genetics company with offices in Ontario and Manitoba are finding new opportunities in Russia. When pig markets are not doing well in Canada companies dealing with pigs must look else were, Russia. Genesus Inc. is partnering with Kubangsky Bacon, a Russian company, to market swine genetics within Russia. Once in full swing, the venture is expected to produce 40,000 sows per year! This is very good considering it cost $500 dollars to ship a pig to Russia from Canada. Genesus will operate the farm, run the genetic program and market the genetics within Russia. The nice part about a Canadian company running the operation is that they can continue to support Agriculture here. Apparently they have been in talks with a feed company in Ontario. The price of a slaughter pig is “a little over $300 a pig,” Long says. “It’s probably the best place in the world today to invest in swine.” 

A Joke to Start Your Day Off.  

Posted by Wyatt

A boy that lives on a farm is awakened by his mother early in the morning on the weekend. She tells him he won't get breakfast until he does his chores. One of his chores involves feeding all the animals. While he was feeding the animals he takes out his aggression on some of them. He kicks a chicken, a cow, and a pig. When he finished his chores his mother just gives him a bowl of dry cereal. When he asks why, his mother tells him that he didn't get any milk because he kicked the cow. He didn't get any eggs because he kicked the chicken and he didn't get bacon because he kicked the pig. Right then his father comes in and kicks the cat. The boy looks at his mother and says "Would you like to tell him or should I?"

I got a good laugh and I hope you do too.

Mans Best Friend  

Posted by Wyatt

Today I am going to talk about mans best friend, and no I am not talking about the TV or Facebook. I am talking about the farm dog. It as become apparent on our operation that things would be far tougher to get done with out the help of our trusty side kick the Border Collie, in fact my great grand father would say "having a good dog is like having two good men".  I know that with the help of our dogs it is much easier to do the little things like turning cattle into the right gate. Below is a video about border collies just incase you might like to find out some interesting info.

Article PhotoI think it is a testament to my great grand father dog, Roy he asked for him to be used in the building of his statue. 

My Cut.  

Posted by Wyatt

Now for the people who know me, they may be thinking of my slightly shortened finger as per usual comes up in a many conversations. But today I am going to talk about steaks you can buy at the  butcher.

Recently I was out for dinner with some friends and this question came up,“What do you think is the best cut of beef? And why?”

Simply put we need understand that beef is muscle tissue.  As a result, regularly used muscles will result in tougher meat, while lesser used muscles will result in tender meat. This doesn’t mean that the less tender cuts aren’t worth eating – au contraire – some of the tastiest cuts come from the tougher muscles.  My favorite cut is a tenderloin, below is a chart to help you get a better understanding of the cuts and maybe assist you in finding your  new favorite cut.

Common Cuts
Blade Steaks or Roast
Medium Tender,
but like butter when braised.
Flank Steak
Less Tender,
but can be great
when marinated
or slowly cooked
Eye of Round
& Sirloin Tip Steaks
Medium Tender,
perfect for fast
grilling or frying;
inexpensive cuts
Tenderloin Steak
& New York Striploin
Tender - the most
tender cuts of beef
Rib Eye Steak
Tender - slightly less tender than Tenderloin or NY, but more flavourful
Top Sirloin
Tender - a great steak;
much less expensive than cuts from the Loin and Rib but still tender and flavourful
Less Tender,
great for braising. 
Try using beef shanks for a larger and beefier version of osso buco.

Where are the Bees?  

Posted by Wyatt

Of the many concerning developments in food and agriculture over recent years, one stands out as being particularly perplexing and disturbing. It is the widespread disappearance of honey bee colonies throughout the North America that has come to be known as Colony Collapse Disorder. Some beekeepers began to report unusually high losses of 30-90 percent of their hives. As many as 50 percent of all affected colonies demonstrated symptoms inconsistent with any known causes of honeybee death: sudden loss of a colony’s worker bee population with very few dead bees found near the colony. The queen and brood (young) remained, and the colonies had relatively abundant honey and pollen reserves. But hives cannot sustain themselves without worker bees and would eventually die. This combination of events resulting in the loss of a bee colony has been called Colony Collapse Disorder. Certain pesticides are harmful to bees. That’s why we require instructions for protecting bees on the labels of pesticides that are known to be particularly harmful to bees. This is one of many reasons why everyone must read and follow pesticide label instructions.

It has not been said that is is directly related to pesticides however, it shows us how delicate our ecosystems are and knowing how important bees are to our crops we must do everything we can to prevent the spread of CCD. 

We are Free of It.  

Posted by Wyatt

It has ruined livestock farmers and unleashed famines that in turn have fuelled turbulence and war.

Stamping it out, a quest that can be traced back to 1920, brought together the World Organisation for Animal Health, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization and national veterinary agencies. Their prime weapons have been vaccines as well as routine surveillance, in which outbreaks are swiftly spotted by veterinarians and then circumscribed.

What is this you are probably thinking, well its rinderpest, also called cattle plague.  Highly contagious and often fatal among bovine species but not infectious for humans, the rinderpest virus has a destructive history going back two thousand years. 

Ann Tutwiler, said  "We have a tremendous success that we can count today. It's a success that's born of cooperation, collaboration and partnership and most particularly knowledge,"  

We can make sure this doesn't happen again. 
If we can control the spread and end a disease of this magnitude it really speaks for the worlds farmers and how important quarantines are when it come to preventing the spread of diseases.    

Robotics In Our Industry  

Posted by Wyatt

What would it be like if you could only combine grain that is dry enough (and leave the rest to dry out) or to select and harvest fruits and vegetables that meet a size criteria. As these criteria often attract quality premiums, increased economic returns could justify the additional sensing. With robotics this is not far away, we have seen the uses in the dairy industry, in china with the rice crops.

Better yet what would it be like if you did not have to weed trees around the yard.  Or could control the amount of spray you apply to the crops, instead of spraying the entire crop you could target only the weeds, saving money on herbicides and reduce the environmental impact.

With robotics we can advance our ability to obtain higher  profits, reduce environmental impact and reduce the amount of waste.  

Farmers may use animal by-products in feed again,  

Posted by Wyatt

The European Union is keen to reintroduce practices banned on farms since the 'mad cow' scandal broke.

Member of the European Parliament will vote this week on whether to lift the ban on feeding animal by-products to pigs, chickens and farmed fish. They have been urged to back the move by an influential EU committee, which called in a recent draft report for the feed ban to be revised.

Cattle feed may be protected because cows are vegetarians
Cattle feed may be protected because cows are vegetarians
The document, from the European Parliament's Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, stops short of altering the status quo on cattle feed, pointing out that because cows are vegetarian they should not be fed so-called "processed animal proteins" 

The potential U-turn comes as concerns escalate about how the world will continue to feed itself against a backdrop of rapidly inflating food prices and a soaring population. 

This is interesting, will North America follow suit or will shake our heads. Food scarcity is a problem and I see that people will look for alternatives when they are needed. 

Philanthropy Vs Government Handouts.  

Posted by Wyatt

Mr. Gates’ first major address was on agriculture, to high-level members of the Obama administration. Over the past five years, the philanthropic foundation named for Mr. Gates and his wife, Melinda, have spent $1.7-billion in pursuit of food security by helping small farmers in struggling nations.  

The Conservative government’s 2010 budget outlined $1.8-billion in cuts to planned foreign assistance by 2014-15. Official assistance to Africa, the continent most in need of agriculture-related development assistance to combat malnutrition and hunger, has also been scaled back in recent years as Canada shifted its list of priority recipients to more Caribbean and Latin American nations.

The citizens have a voice, I believe that when it comes down to charity and governments giving money they must be very careful, after all a country would not be rich if they did not have the citizens backing them.  Community involvement is very important to me and I feel that we must give back, to feel good about ourselves and to help people in need, but I think it is a bit scary that a few leaders can decide were the money we have given government goes. That high fuel price that is full of tax and the GST, not to mention income taxes. If any one needs help it is the people here, like the people of Slave Lake who have no house left or the farmers in Manitoba that have lost their farm land due to a flood. If people feel that it is important that people in Africa get school then they should individually donate, but that do not mean our government should decide what charities outside of canada need our tax money we work hard for. 

A Bit of History Behind a Lovely Day Off.  

Posted by Wyatt

Queen Victoria was born on May 24, 1819. Following the death of three uncles and her father, she became Queen of the United Kingdom on June 20, 1837 and reigned until her death on January 22, 1901. Victoria is still the longest-reigning monarch of the United Kingdom. During Victoria's life, the British Empire expanded considerably. However, her powers as Queen of the United Kingdom were reduced as the House of Commons became more important and powerful in British politics.
The monarch's birthday has been celebrated in Canada since before the beginning of Queen Victoria's reign. After her death, in 1901, May 25 became known as Empire Day. The sovereign's official birthday was still celebrated, often on the King's or Queen's actual birthday. In 1952, Empire Day was moved to the Monday before May 25 and since 1953, the official birthday of Queen Elizabeth II has been celebrated on this date in Canada. In 1958, Empire Day became known as Commonwealth Day, which was moved to the second Monday in March. The Monday before May 25 then became known as Victoria Day, which is a Canadian statutory holiday.

Please take some time to enjoy the day with your family and friends, and perhaps get ready for a delightful summer.

Rain Rain.  

Posted by Wyatt

Yesterday I was out in the rain, working on my show cattle getting them ready for the Summer Synergy Show and I was thinking how nice it is to have rain, it always make things brighter, greener and cleaner. It is very important that our fields get the water they need to grass feeders over the summer, our farms primary source of income. It was only a few years back when most of Alberta was in a drought, making things hard, financially, emotionally and literally. I ask dad how much rain do we need and he, like someone who has lived through a few droughts, always replies, "we could always use more".  That said maybe in other places and times of the year rain can be more of a affliction then a blessing I am all for the rain. 

Farm Safety  

Posted by Wyatt

In Canada, an average of 115 people are killed and 1,500 hospitalized because of farm-related accidents each year. By taking precautions to make your operation safer, you could save money, time and lives. Now with seeding and farmers working the field as well as finishing up calving more then ever we are hurrying to get everything done. It is still very important to stand back and make sure that we are still being safe. I am not a a person who will not lift a object over 50 LBS but I just do not want to know one of those 115 people who are killed because of an avoidable accident. I hope you to take a extra minute to be safe because it is worth it.     

Who is Protecting Our Livestock  

Posted by Wyatt

After yesterdays post on Equine herpes virus, I have had a few emails regarding who is looking to make sure the problem doesn't spread to Canada. Canadian Food Inspection Agency are to people for the job.

The CFIA is an integral part of the federal government's capacity to respond rapidly and effectively in the event of a food safety emergency or a threat to agricultural or forest biosecurity. Agency surveillance and inspection programs are designed to detect the presence of hazards in food, animals and plants and their products, and provide an early warning for problems whether they are accidental or intentional.
In addition, stringent border controls, enhanced surveillance and early detection activities, and increased laboratory capacity enable the CFIA to rapidly identify disease agents or substances associated with agro-terrorism, tampering and vandalism.
CFIA works closely with federal and provincial governments to share expertise, and collaborate with the international community for intelligence sharing, to identify risks posed by foreign plant and animal diseases and pests.

Horse Sickness  

Posted by Wyatt

http://blogs.usask.ca/wcvm_news/P1000879_2.jpgEquine herpes virus is a contagious disease and may spread quickly among horse populations although EHV-1 is not transmissible to humans. Horse-to-horse contact, aerosol transmission, and contaminated hands, equipment, tack and feed all play a role in disease spread. Treatment may include intravenous fluids, anti-inflammatory drugs and other appropriate supportive treatment. Immediate separation and isolation of horses suspected to be sick are key elements for disease control. Equine herpes virus that was been transmitted to some California horses at the National Cutting Horse Association's Western National Championships in Ogden, Utah April 30 through May 8.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture has contacted all exhibitors from California who participated in the  event and asked them to isolate and monitor their horses for clinical signs of EHV-1. A rectal temperature in excess of 102 degrees Fahrenheit commonly precedes other clinical signs, including nasal discharge, lack of coordination, hind end weakness, depression or lethargy, urine dribbling, and decreased tail tone, all neurological impacts.  Therefore, horse owners with potentially exposed horses are urged to take temperatures on each individual horse twice a day.

If they find that horses not at the show are getting sick, then the strain "is not acting as we know it to act, and we probably are working with an emerging disease," said Bruce King, Utah's state veterinarian. 

The sickness is located in the western states, but it is important to always be aware of your livestock and now especially with this disease out brake. 

Cattle, in Everything!  

Posted by Wyatt

Cows are usually thought of as a source of food or a fabulous clothing accessory. Some of the most supple leathers in the world come from cows and are used by the likes of Gucci, Prada, and Coach. Such food products that generally come from cows are hamburger, steak, and milk. What most consumers do not know is that all parts of the cow are utilized for other products from the ears to the hoofs. When a cow is slaughtered, most of its meat is used for human consumption. However, if you were to try to reconstruct a cow piece by piece, you would have to look in places like your garden, medicine cabinet, and parts of your car to find parts of the beast. When you go in your bathroom and glance around at your toothpaste, shaving cream, shampoo, lotion and soap. These all contain cow parts in some way, shape or form. When a woman puts her makeup on in the morning she is possibly applying cow parts along with her eyeshadow and lipstick. Zits may not be the worst of a teenager’s problem when he treats himself with his zit cream at night. He also could be rubbing peaces of a cow into his face. Herapin is a frequently prescribed anticoagulant drug. Thousands of people take it everyday. This, is made from the lungs and bovine mucosa of the cow. The adrenal gland is used to make steroid drugs and the pancreas is used to make insulin, a drug that millions of diabetics take on a daily basis. The dura matter of a cow is also used as an implant in brain surgery. It is important that we are utilizing every part to reduce waste.  Ultimately, every last scrap of cow gets used somewhere, somehow. The blood of a cow and its cells are in many industrial and household products. Plywood glues and adhesives have these cells in them because it helps bind the molecules that make the adhesives stick. Fertilizer for flowers also contains cells from the blood of cows. Many gardeners do not even realize that they are sprinkling their gardens with bovine serum from the blood of cows. Fatty acids are also utilized in many products such as tires for cars and lawnmowers and candles. The fatty acids used include oleic acid, azelaic acid, and stearic acid. Crayons also have fatty acids from cows in them.  Fishing line, face wash, chewing gum, food packaging, sweetener, antifreeze, synthentic oil, toothpaste, and sugar. These are everyday items that all of us use. If one realized the mass amounts of products they themselves were using with cow parts, they might think twice about saying what a waste it is to eat cattle. All parts of a cow truly are used to make our everyday lives more convenient and productive.

A Different Type of Organic.  

Posted by Wyatt


Today I am going to talk to you about a different organic, by definition denoting a relation between elements of something such that they fit together harmoniously as necessary parts of a whole. I bet most people would not consider how well farmers have integrated green technology. In order to maintain dugouts or ponds farmers and ranchers will fence off the area and pump the water from the dugout to the water trough. To preserve the water system it requires the usage of power, now if you are close to electricity it not a problem, however most of the time the farmer is in the middle of the field with absolutely no electricity near by. Therefore systems have been designed using solar, wind and water power. On our ranch we tend to use solar panels, with a few batteries attached the system can charge when the cattle are grazing and use the electricity when they are drinking.  Farmers are always looking for new and innovative ideas to make life easier and more environmentally friendly.

Rules to Live By.  

Posted by Wyatt

A friend shared this note with me and it really hit home. 

Business will continue to go where invited and remain where appreciated

Reputations will continue to be made by many acts and lost by one

People will go right on preferring to do business with friends

Go-givers will become the best go-getters

The extra mile of personal effort will be free of traffic jams

Performance will continue to out-sell promises

Enthusiasm will be as contagious as ever

Know-how will out-perform guess-how

Trust, not tricks, will keep customers loyal

Quality will be prized as a precious possession

Jonathan Fox, Jr. of Lloydminster

We Waste Ton of Food each Year  

Posted by Wyatt

The United Nations says one-third of all the food produced around the world each year is wasted.  In rich developed countries an average consumer throws away 100 Kg of perfectly edible fruits and vegetables. However in poorer countries food is lost by lack of refrigeration, in transport and the lack of infrastructure. Some people are bringing awareness to this issue by using ingredients that would have otherwise been thrown away. Like blood, brain, cauliflower root and leaf that would have been otherwise tossed in the trash.  Not to mention the the UN has 1.3 billion tonnes of food waste. When people are talking of world food production needing to be raised to 70% by 2050 perhaps if we addressed the ways food was stored and could reduces the waste we might only have to increase by 50%.  People are blaming the low cost of food for the large amount of waste. "We're just coming to a point now in our history I think where the cheap food era is finished. Farmers are going to have to get paid more for it. " said John Chudleigh. I think that it is important to in times were uncertainty is about to look at our past. The indigenous people of Canada used all of the buffalo or seal with that in mind perhaps we are going to be eating cauliflower root with a sautéed in cow blood in a few years.

Spring has Sprung!  

Posted by Wyatt


Yesterday was a beautiful day, I was out and I seen farmers in the field getting the crops in order. Our grass has really grown, I bet if you watched it closely you could have seen it grow. Moms flowers have proven that even the cold long winter wasn't a problem, as may of the tulips are almost ready to bloom. The calves seem to be playing in the field running and jumping. It is days like these were farmers realize that ranching and working the land is more then just a job but a life style. It is important to stay optimistic even when the weather is cold, prices are down, and things are not going our way.  In these situations I think that it is important to remember the time that were bad and worked out just fine. This morning I woke up to the birds chirping and I know that this year is going to be the best one yet.

Sustainable Agriculture  

Posted by Wyatt

While I was eating a homemade hamburger I saw the stock market report on the TV. I looked down at my hamburger and I thought how much of this uses oil to be produced. I have broken it down for you to see.  
First off we have the bread, some farmer around the world would have to plant the cereal,  This would be put in using a diesel run tractor. First the farmer would have to plow the fields, harrow the fields , finally we can plant the seeds using the drill. After that we have to worry about applying chemicals like pesticides which are composed of petroleum based products. And chemical fertilizers derived from natural gas. Once the cereal is ready it needs to be harvested. Then it is shipped off using big trucks using even more diesel. It then is processed in a large automated building that is powered by oil and natural gas. 
Then we have the beef that requires even more energy.  Cattle are feed on grain, requiring vehicles to feed them and move them. 
Lastly we have salad that was either shipped in, flown in or grown in green houses.

All in all you can easily see the farmers and the worlds food supply is dependent on fossil fuels. It is important to realize that we cannot continue to depend on fossil fuels because of the increase in price and the decrease in availability.  Until the farmer can control the price of oil or the price of product he sells it will be hard for him make a decent profit.