Monthly Archives: January 2012

Soap Box–Sorry!

Just had the thought that well I should really be working on my thesis, I just need to write three pages today and I will feel so accomplished. Today’s blog post is laced with my opinion, little facts, so please read the article and make your own decisions.


Today at 10:30am the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) will be releasing photo and video footage of animal abuse in a factory farming situation. Reminder: HSUS is not your local shelter, SUPPORT your LOCAL shelter! Keep your eyes open for this story.

I am interested how this will be fought or dealt with.


First article of the day to read: Chicago Tribune’s coverage of new legislation that did not pass in Florida, but we will be brought to lawmakers in Nebraska and Iowa. This legislation would make it a crime for undercover investigators, such as HUSU, PETA, ALF, Mercy for Life to conduct these type investigations without knowledge or consent within agriculture.

Side note: If these people find a problem, get the proof, get out, and work to correct the situation if there really are animals or people for that fact suffering.  

FACT: Oregon and wolves, same story different day, right?


Sorry to my loyal readers, this is an issue greatly affecting my home state, family, friends, and agriculture. The latest article by Oregon Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) President Curtis Martin was released yesterday in the Oregonian.

Martin makes some valid statements, and comments that are very unique to the situation in Oregon. The state of Oregon is what I would term to be “fragile”, and you have to handle the state and environmental issues very carefully. Martin’s comments discuss Oregon cattlemen’s impact on the states economy, environment, and dedication to stewardship.

 Side note: I think our society; much less this one state takes things to a whole new level of sensitivity. 

My sister is a character! It was funny, but is this really a laughing matter?


A Little Hot Toddy…

Oh my undergrad years…it seems so long ago. Really its been like two years, but let me tell you grad school is just not the same.

One of my favorite memories, along with a million others, took place in my kitchen in Corvallis. We all know that kitchens should be the largest room in the house as everyone gathers there. My first college home was no different, we ate, we drank, we sang, played games and most of laughed.

Coming off of winter work out the majority of my judging team was pretty sick. I personally felt like death. After a day of classes and reasons in preperations for Denver, we (the eight girls on the team and a herd of other friends) decided that the only logical way to beat the nasty pre-Denver crud was to have a hot toddy. So I did what ever logical college student would do, I googled how to make one.

Well it was a success, I started feeling better along with the help of numerous over the counter medications we (the team) made it through Denver. We did however receive a string of texts from one of my roommates who had caught the nasty cold that we all had. She was left in Corvallis, which is one of the coldest, wettest places I have ever been, and walking to campus in January is never a good option. Well the roommate who shall not be named, informed all of us that she had consumed to many hot toddies prior to 8:00am and would be walking to campus due to the fact she was not legal to drive. So please use caution when consuming this recipe.


Enough boiling or warm water to fill mug 3/4 full

1 Shot whiskey (be careful!)

1 T. Honey

1 Cinnamon tea bag

1/4 C. Sprite or 7-Up


Boil water.

Place whiskey, honey, and soda POP into the mug, drape tea bag into the cup.

Once the water boils or is to a warm enough temprature pour over the tea bag, stir and enjoy!


Wordless Wednesday


Thank goodness for the Idaho Department of Agriculture and the USDA for decorating my Macbook. It needed a good dose of agriculture passion. Next sticker, TTU Animal Science, Wreck Em’ Tech!

Makes me a little jealous that I am not an Idaho resident.

The Agriculturalists are coming!

What a week for agriculture in the world of social media.

From my perspective, I think I might have won a petty battle with a fellow Facebooker over myths about beef production (see blog Lessons Learned—Animal Agriculture). The following day a firestorm erupted throughout social media about an article written by a Yahoo blogger, Mr. Loose, about the most useless majors. This article featured three degrees in the agricultural field of the five degrees trashed in the blog post.

Let just say, from the first post I saw about the article I didn’t think much of it. Honestly, this is not the first time agricultural degrees have been cited as worthless by mainstream journalist or bloggers. I read an article on MSN about a year ago that cited the same thing, majoring in agriculture or agriculturally focused degrees was worthless to someone’s future and their pocketbook.

What is your role in agriculture?

Well this maybe true in some peoples eyes, but the reposts, shares and tweets of the article by furious college of agricultural graduates it was evident that this is not true. And these graduates, myself included, were ready to prove this Mr. Loose wrong. This may be the first time I have seen my entire news feed fill with the same story. With that I pose the question, are agriculturalist finally ready to present our story on a united front?

I am guessing some of your reading this will say, we already have, and don’t you pay any attention to the social movements within social media? But lets be honest, agriculture is the uniting factor for many of us, but our individual stories are very unique. I am not saying there is anything wrong with that, but it seems almost like a dividing line for some. Also, agriculturist almost seem to be or have been operating in a secret society. This society has placed a buffer around itself from sharing information with consumers about our products and practices. Just cause we know where food or clothes come from doesn’t mean they do. I have had that thought many times, but a gentleman I was interviewing yesterday for my thesis research put this thought into words.

My question is now, how are those of us involved in agriculture going to maintain this excitement and passion through social media to convince the consumer that we are transparent, dedicated industry? And that we are continually, looking out for the best interest of our animals, crops, land, other environments and above all the consumer.

Just questions to ponder, I can’t tell you the level of excitement that I felt as the Facebook Fan Page I Studied Agriculture & I have a Job gained momentum this week was something unreal. I can only hope this will continue and excite people about this industry!


P.S. the page has almost 4,000 likes!

UPDATE: Check out the response for the facts about Ag careers and jobs

Lessons Learned–Animal Agriculture

Lessons learned. Some days they are harder to learn than others, and I am like so many people, I will let my emotions stand in the way of common sense.

I am guilty of this more times than I can count, of raising my voice, becoming angry, and the standard Maddee raging moment. I like to think I have grown up that I am working on containing these emotions when I enter a conversation, reading, or hearing something that I have a strong opinion about. Animal agriculture is main topic that will send me into a flurry of rage.

Amanda Radke of BEEF Today posted to the Beef Daily Blog a report done by Truffle Media about the Humane Society of the United State’s (HSUS) social-media strategies by Carie Lewis, who is the director of emerging media for the organization. If you are not familiar with the mission of this anti-animal agriculture group, they are what Radke called “a wolf sheep’s clothing”. The organization has set an agenda, and is not against using every means to accomplish their strict agenda.

The Truffle Media report Lewis showcased HSUS social-media strategies:

1. Be where people are.

2. Stay on top of the latest trends.

3. Research new opportunities.

4. Train staff and have guidelines.

5. Take an integrated approach.

6. Measure everything.

7. Learn from others and adapt.

8. Showcase successes.

9. Listen.

10. Be transparent.

11. Respond to everyone.

12. Don’t be afraid to fail.

13. Learn from mistakes.

All of these “strategies” are exactly what is being taught in public relations classes across the country. My question is agriculture utilizing these “strategies” to their fullest potential? And how do we create a united front for animal agriculture?

This all leads into a discussion that started on my Facebook page this week, a gentleman that I met at a leadership conference as a sophomore in high school commented on a video that I had posted from NCBA President Bill Donald about sustainability in the beef industry. This gentleman sits on the other side of the political spectrum from me, but I thoroughly enjoy following him on Facebook, he is involved in politics and a major national leadership organization. So there is a lot to be taken from what he has to say. Either way, he posted two comments; both were biased and uneducated statements in my opinion. Me stereotyping–he is the typical American who does not much or anything about where is food really comes from. I responded quickly to the first response, but I knew I needed sources to back up my statements for his follow up comment.

Thankfully, the power of social media I was directed to Mallorie Wilken, who was able to guide me to three sources that state the latest methane research in the beef industry.

Research compares impact of cattle production from 1977 to 2007

Improvement in Beef Industry Sustainability

Grass vs. Corn: Which is better for the environment?

Also, I made myself sit on my response, so I could better plan my wording, in hopes of not appearing as a raging cow-lover. Respect is a key to making a point and gaining trust with someone who may not believe in a cause that you are fighting for, right? I hope that I did portray respect in not attacking him in my response, maybe I did, maybe I didn’t.

That is my soap box for the day, be respectful and take the time to explain animal agriculture to those who may not fully understand the standard practices and always cite your sources.

Final pictures from the NWSS

I love instagram about as much as I love Hereford cattle and a livestock show.

 I will continue to say it, there is no better industry to work in or be apart of, the people make it worth the long hours, little sleep, stress, and at the moment sickness.


Quote from a lady from Norway who had never seen a cow “Is this cow sedated to be so calm?” My response “No, ma’ma she is a Hereford, they are naturally calm.”


Show day.


It must be the life to be a show heifer…


The Colyer crew working on Chandler before his class.


Heifer show day.

I am thankful for it all! I would have never guessed that showing cattle would have influenced my life the way it has, and I wouldn’t change a minute of it! Learning to operate as a fluid team, figuring out the tricks of the trade to doctor and fit cattle, and laugh at it all when something goes wrong– are a few of the many lessons learned on the road.

Snow in the Yards

I walked into the hotel lobby this morning, saw snow going sidewise, and declared today was going to be a great day! The electric blue photo background of the NWSS with a slight dusting of snow was a pretty sight!


And well I love snow, just not in Denver. Unless there are tarped beds in the yards to have some fun with! Check out the video…