Some See Dirt, I See Promise

To some this is a piece of dirt. A field. A view of the country side while driving along.

When I look at this I see so much more.

I see:

Hours and hours of picking up rocks, cleaning up saplings, roots and everything not soil. Days and days of eating dirt while clearing this piece of land.

I see the grandkids covered in dust from picking up rocks, eating pizza off the back of the pick-up, drinking gator aide to wash the dust and pizza down.

I see the tractor going around one more time to disk the soil into submission for the corn to be planted.

I see my son at 2:00am bouncing in the tractor while using his touch pad computers to keep things running smoothly.

I see the promise of new, green sprouts soon to appear that will tower over us all in a short few months.

I see fall leaves and the combine chewing through the fields spilling the river of corn into the waiting trucks.

I see breakfast, lunch and dinner for our BEBs (Brown Eyed Bossies) that will eventually produce our final product that doesn’t pay us enough to barely break even right now.

Some see dirt.

I see faith, hope and a future that is sustained unbelievably by God alone.

 

No Dairy Deception*

I have decided to champion a new cause.

There are a lot of people out there that are confused about dairy products. So, I am going to help by displaying some dairy free products that you can use.

We all know that dairy was never intended to be consumed by humans. I mean after all, what kind of idiot decided for the first time to pull on a cow’s teat and then have the nerve to drink it?

I mean it has to be bad, right. That poor cow shouldn’t be relieved of her milk and then have the milk put to good use as a nutritious drink. Bull ____.

We must protect that cow and do our best to help consumers choose only products that don’t have milk.

We will free all the dairy cows to go out into nature the way God intended them. I could use some help here – gotta load them up and find a place to free them. I’m thinking we should start in Los Angeles since there are so many cow lovers there.

Clarity is what the consumers need to be able to stop the horrendous use of quality food products.

I have the solution!

I will start small by voicing the false dangers of consuming milk there by starting the confusion.  I can feed the movement by adding these stickers to products that might confuse consumers, that way they can make an informed choice.

Oh, and to help inform them I need to get a high-profile celebrity – someone who has never been on a farm, someone who hates milk, someone who wants a just cause to parade.  And, we’ll be sure to pay them a lot of money to have them join us. Just have to figure out how to make some money to pay them, but I got an idea brewing.

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I think I should be extremely clear to the consumers so they will make the best no-dairy choice. I will add these stickers to EVERYTHING that isn’t dairy. I mean they should know kitty litter has no dairy, hair spray has no dairy, eggs have no dairy and 44 inch televisions are dairy free. Let’s give the consumers many options of spending their money on dairy free items.

We will become so popular companies will be lining up to get permission to use our logo. And we will gladly supply it for $$$ - lots of $$$$. (There you go - celebrity endorsement on the way.) You know if we can get the right companies to join us we can become rich! What mother wouldn’t choose the no-dairy diaper for their child when looking at a row of diapers and only one has the no-dairy seal?

Our no-dairy seal will become known far and wide and we will spread the BS of no-dairy items. Just think we don’t need to stop in the food aisles. We can spread to clothing, cleaning supplies, hardware and more!

Won’t you please join me?

Get in on the bottom floor of deception. 

We can join and bring about more fear and trepidation for consumers. Oh, wait a minute, you might be a consumer. I was thinking I was speaking to fellow farmers. You know those of us who are trying to pull the BS wool over your eyes.

Well, it matters not.

Coming soon – No-Dairy Deception campaign. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

*Read with tongue in cheek, with a sarcastic tone of voice and over the top enthusiasm.

 

 

Dear John, um I Mean Cargill,

I’ve never written a “Dear John” letter before. Never needed to. Until now. To you.

I’m leaving.

You cheated on me.

I’ve found someone better.

I doubt this letter will cause any tears but I do hope it pricks your conscious.

For several years, we’ve purchased feed from your company. I must say the people we have dealt with have been superb. Great and knowledgeable.

Your product has fed many of our cows successfully.

While I could complain of high prices I imagine you’re comparable.

So, why am I leaving?

Many farmers had a working relationship with you. We grow for you, we buy from you and support each other. Until this past spring, you turned your back on us and joined an organization that is not farmer friendly. An anti-GMO organization that I will not give space to in this letter.

I totally understand that you need to accommodate all types of customers. You had a non-GMO process in place that seemed to be doing the job just fine.

Then, you messed up.

I agree with Julie Gunlock in her commentary – The Unholy Alliance Between Big Biz and Big Alarmism when she wrote: Cargill, one of America's biggest food and agriculture companies, recently announced its partnership with the _________, an organization focused on misinforming consumers about GMO safety, and, as the organization's name implies, ridding the American marketplace of GMOs.

First, there are many who have confirmed that GMOs are safe for humans and animals. Such as the National Academy of Sciences, American Medical Association, World Health Organization and many more.

There are groups of people who want you to believe GMOs are unsafe. Why? Business reasons. And a whole lot of band wagon jumpers – “Wow, did you hear GMO’s will make you grow an extra leg? –We better jump on the anti-GMO band wagon then.”

The loudest voice is heard and right now the false, fake, fear promoting voice is prospering at our expense.

Do you think it’s a coincidence that on the board of this anti-GMO organization are people connected to Organic, Natural and Environmentalist businesses and groups?

Hmmmmm . . . if there are more and more people who are afraid of the safe GMO foods then there will be more to purchase their “super safe” food products. Funny howthat works.

But, I digress – you know all of that. I added that in hopes everyone who reads this will hear the truth.

So, back to you Cargill.

“Helping farmers prosper” is part of founder’s W.W.Cargill’s vision statement. Somehow siding with fear propagating, false teaching businesses that encourage consumers to purchase a selected type of food doesn’t line up with helping farmers prosper.

As I said before, the loudest voice is heard. This anti-GMO organization is a huge voice – like a Goliath.

Farmers need a David to go against Goliath.

You could have been our David. You could have brought truth to the marketplace for consumers.

Now the Goliath has more strength to frighten others to pick the more expensive, yet no difference in food value, item.

So, having written all of that, I’m choosing to hire a David as our feed company. We chose Farmer’s Co-op Elevator Co. in Hudsonville, over you and your weak backbone to stand up for farmers.

My hope is that enough farmers look for a David and we join forces to shine a light on the truth in agriculture.

So, this is farewell and good-bye. I’d wish you luck and success but then that would be a lie. I wish you would stand up straight and partner with those of us who are growing safe, affordable food for our families and the world.

Sadly, Sincerely,

 

Help, My Cow Needs Glucose

Did you know a cow can suffer from low blood sugar?

I never thought about it but was sort of surprised when a couple of ours were being treated.

I asked our amazing herdsman how and why.

If a cow has an injured foot, mastitis, pneumonia or any other ailment that would slow her down and prevent her from eating – that would be a good set up for low blood sugar. If she isn’t eating enough of a proper diet it could cause low blood sugar.

In a herd of 700 how do you find these cows? Well, our cows are all monitored when they come in the parlor and their milk output drastically dropped so the computer sorted them out. When that happened they were brought into the hospital pen area to examine and determine why.

The cows that have low sugar are wobbly, ears down and not looking good.

The urine was tested to determine the diagnosis.

We administered an IV of glucose and drenched them with sugar water. The sugar water is slowly absorbed to help wake up the liver – “say there liver get with it!”

They were treated for two days and were fine – these were considered as clinical low blood sugar.

There is such a thing as chronic - where cows don’t respond to the treatment because their brain just can’t communicate with the liver and get things back in sync. When the liver shuts down, the cow is done.

 

 

Domino's Pizza - Farmer's "David" in a Goliath World

Domino’s Pizza – a favorite that is even more favorite!

Finally, finally a food related business stepped up and stood beside farmers!

There is so much false, fear laden voices and outright lies about farming practices. And those voices have been the loudest with the biggest punch – but without any truth.

As a farmer, it gets harder and harder to do the good job we can do through technology and advances in our practices when ignorance shuts us down. Repeatedly companies are caving to the voices of unreason.

In fact, our feed company Cargill is one of the latest. I guess I should say our future, former feed company as we are in the process of pulling $300,000.00 + account from them. My Dear John, er I mean Dear Cargill blog will be soon coming.

Culver’s is another company that stands proudly with farmers but today, let’s concentrate on Dominos.

I had a conversation with our feed guy and told him the false, fake organizations that continue to lie and push their agenda around is like a Goliath. A giant to be slain. And, our farm is like a David trying to slay the giant. We are small and our account will do little to the company’s bottom line, but I want to be a David and fight and win the unexpected.

So, Dominos – thanks for being our David!

Thanks for acknowledging that farmers know how to farm better than activists. Farmers are giving their lives for their profession. Long hours, stressed relationships, exhaustion and joy – even in it all, yes joy is all part of the profession of farming.

Find a Domino’s. Order pizza. Lots and lots!

http://brownfieldagnews.com/news/dominos-stands-ground-animal-rights-extremists/

Dirt Jeans - The Real Deal - It$ a Deal!

I have finally found another avenue of income.

I shall gather all our muddy jeans and sell them on e-bay. 

And, ours will be higher quality.

Why?

Ours will be ORGANIC. They will be real. No artificial dirt. This is genuine farm dirt. And a bonus - there will be some poop, pee and grease mixed in. Cow poop, chicken crap, a few animal hairs too.

No hormones added and they may or may not be GMO free depending on where the jeans have wandered.

Oh, and then our added value will be the smell. You can't put a value on the smell. And you all know how horrible the fake scents are. They just never get it quite right.

So there you have it. Every "lazy, don't want to really work" person, you too can continue the guise of high fashion by purchasing our jeans. 

Even though we have the added value of smell our prices are competitive at $399.99 plus free shipping if you order before first cutting hay.

And, BONUS! For every 3 pair of jeans ordered we will throw in a FREE sweaty T-shirt that is the ultimate match to your poop/dirt covered jeans. The sweat smell is designed to blend perfectly with the poop smell of the jeans. You will be the envy of every "non-worker" you come in contact with.

So, order now before these go out of fashion.

And a sneek peek into the fashion world that's on the horizon - feed bag purses.

This Didn’t Have to Happen . . . But It Did . . . Now What?

Ever notice how sometimes your life has to adjust to other people’s actions? Dreams are ripped apart, family bonds break and friendships dissolve over what usually is a selfish act that didn’t need to happen.

A wife who was in a mix of friends who happened to be wealthy and “had their life all together” watched as one by one the friends were tweaked, nipped and tucked into perfection. Over and over her husband verbally admired her, loved on her and tried to reassure her insecurities of worth that was related to body image. On the guise of a girl’s week, she drained their bank account, headed south and had major plastic surgery performed. Meanwhile back home the automatic payment of their house and auto was denied. As the husband discovered the lack of funds, his health insurance called to say they hadn’t received their monthly payment for four months.

When the wife returned home later in the week she was physically miserable and didn’t see the results she had hoped for. Her husband who had been blindsided by the whole deal was trying to keep his balance.

A friend who farms with their sons had seen one by one the sons leave for other professions.  As she and her husband approached the later years where retirement needed to be planned for, one of their sons came back to the family farm to help. She was filled with joy that the family farm that started with her husband’s father would continue on another generation. Four years before this, her father-in-law passed and did not have an updated will. What they didn’t know was that a sister-in-law had a will drawn up naming her as the only person inheriting. That sister basically is holding them hostage by demanding a higher than fair price for the farm. Yes, they can walk away, but it’s not just a farm, it’s their life.

A mother took one last look and walked away from the cemetery. She left behind her daughter and unborn grandchild. She didn’t know if it was a granddaughter or grandson. “What difference does it make now?” she thought.

A teenager six miles away lay in bed unable to sleep for four days. She never wants to pick up a phone again.

We all have those “this didn’t have to happen . . . but did” moments. They suck. They hurt and many times they are life changing. There is one thing all the moments have. A choice. All these moments are faced with a choice of “what now.”

The “what now” moments can be a turning point – it can pivot us to the dark side and give up or to the dig in side. Stand up and move forward.

I’ve stood at the “what now” mark in life more times than I wanted and will probably again some time. After going through a few, I am determining ahead of time that my move will be forward. Some of our “didn’t have to happen” events take a lot to get over. It sucks our live right out of us, knocks our knees out from under us and hangs a heavy cloud over us. Even then, we have a choice.

What has worked for me is to find a place to grieve. Be it crying your eyes out, screaming into a pillow, writing a letter to the offender and then ripping it up – just let the pain out.  Then wait. Your emotions are raw, your body is tired and your brain is swollen with facts, emotions, dreams, truths – all mixed together to the point you may not be able to divide.

If you believe in the power of prayer, then use it. There are times when you need to call in reinforcements to pray for you and over you. Reach out and ask for help.

If the offending person is in your life and you have no choice of removing that person from your day to day experiences then distance yourself for a time. You need time to forgive that person. You don’t have to forget. In fact, if it’s a repeating offender it is wise to remember and move forward with protection in place for another “event” to take place. But, you HAVE to forgive them. Jesus said “Seventy times seven.”

So, if you are in a “what now” place of life, make the choice.

Praise God anyway.

One step at a time.

Move forward.

Don’t stop now.

Do the next thing.

Purpose to overcome.

Don’t let ANYONE take hostage of your life.