Monthly Archives: March 2012

Challenge Friday–Denim

Guess where I am today?

Ok well, some of you will say Maddee, I have no idea…and others will respond ummm Texas?

I am gypsy by nature.

But yes Texas is the correct answer, and today I am working the Texas Cotton Ginners Association Annual Meeting and Trade Show here in Lubbock.

Growing up in Oregon, we don’t produce cotton in that part of the country. Needless to say the first time I saw a cotton module I had no clue what it was. As an intern for Plains Cotton Cooperative Association (PCCA) it has been an eye opening experience.

Cotton module still in the field

Today’s Challenge is about all that cotton to you likely wear all the time!

Denim! Is the name of the game around our office as we sell SAFEDenim Jeans out of the Lubbock headquarters. SAFEDenim stands for Sustainable, American, and Friendly to the Environment.

These jeans are produced with all-American grown cotton, which is grown in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and New Mexico. The cotton is then ginned, and sold a lot of the time to the denim mill (American Cotton Growers) in Littlefield, Texas where it is turned into denim. The jeans are made at the PCCA facility Denimatrix in Guatemala.

Sampling of the All American All Cotton University Branded Jeans

So the challenge, find out where your jeans are made and maybe they trace back to West Texas cotton!

My favorite brand of jeans is Big Star, which utilizes Denim from ACG and then produces the jeans in Los Angels. An all American product helps me justify spending XXX.XX on a pair of jeans.

This video shows how cotton is tuned Ito the jeans you wear. Also, it’s an example of the traceability that PCCA offers producers and consumers.


Urgency or Realization?

The last three weeks has been an interesting battle for the beef industry.

Beef Products, Inc. has let go over 650 employees due to the title of ‘pink slime’ being directly attached the to the product lean finely textured beef that this company produces.

Several articles I read related to this media controversy have discussed the wants of the American population to know more about the food they consume.

Raw food production is not pretty, and I am excited to see what the multiple generations of Americans have to say about agricultural production practices and processing. The industrial revolution changed everything, and I am not sure where people have missed this fact. We are now facing two and three generations of American citizens that have no connection to agricultural practices.

Now with that, is there a way to get back to our agricultural roots, do people even want too?
Or do they just want to know more about how food is produced? Or neither? 

The Agriculture Proud blog brought up several good points about those involved in production agriculture must continue to be involved telling the story of production practices.

While the Real Time Farms blog posted an interesting post about meeting your meat! You choose the animal you want to eat and then slaughter it––I really wish I could have gone to this tourist attraction and agricultural tour when I was in Hawaii last summer.

So agriculturalist and consumers, is this a sign that we need to act urgently or is this a realization for everyone where food comes from and is produced?

The video is about an interesting couple that is getting back to their roots and are encouraging others to do it as well.

Experiencing the circle of life and all its bounties is one I enjoy to the fullest, but we live in a different world, one powered by modernization and more mouths to feed than every before. I am taking suggestions on thoughts on this growing issue in America. 

Photo courtesy of Hannah Wine Photography

Unemployment and Food Safety


UPDATE: 600+ out of work. 

So I love knowing that when food is prepared and processed properly, the chances of becoming sick from food related illness are minimal. I also enjoy knowing that agricultural industries are continuing to employ 14% of the American workforce.

Beef Products, Inc. announced today that they are closing their Garden City, Kansas plant immediately.

This closure is going to effect 236 employees today, likely more are to come.

I hope you chose to be educated on the facts of “Pink Slime” or as it should be known as “Lean Finely Textured Beef.”

The American Meat Institue had this to say about the plant closures today:

Congratulations, ABC World News.  Your relentless coverage and uninformed criticism of a safe and wholesome beef product has now delivered a hook for yet another nightly news broadcast.

Today, a three-week war waged on a beef product called lean finely textured beef came to a painful head as hundreds of people lost their jobs when one of the primary processors shuttered three plants.  While lean finely texture beef was given a catchy and clever nickname in ‘pink slime,’ the impact of alarming broadcasts about this safe and wholesome beef product by Jamie Oliver, ABC News and others are no joke to those families that are now out of work.

Challenge Friday–Favorite Agriculture News Source

I don’t have much time today; I have to get a job application done immediately!

I can’t wait to have a job! It will be a nice secure feeling!

I will take any suggestions on this job search; I have applied for close to 20 positions. They have developed into a few interviews, but yet nothing. Either way I know that perfect official career start is out there for me!

Challenge Friday:

Leave me a comment with your favorite, blog, website, TV program, radio program, app…whatever it may be where you are getting your agriculturally related news.

Have a great Friday y’all! I rocked to my Friday song all the way to work…

My roommates my sophomore year of college would blast this song in preparations of our weekend activities!

Agricultural Industry Awards–Facilitating Learning

A brief morning creep of other blogs and social media outlets lead me to an older post about the 2011 Outstanding Young Farmers.

In part of National Ag Day events, the 2011 Outstanding Young Farmers, Chad and Danielle Budy, discussed their operation in Oklahoma. Listen here to an AgWired interview by Chuck Zimmerman.

I love these award programs in agriculture; they showcase people who are doing great things within agriculture. Also, they bring attention to new ideas.

Whether it is a cow-calf operation in Nebraska or citrus producer in Florida, we all have something to learn from each other. Each agricultural operation is different, no two management schemes are the same, and with that there are tips and ideas that we all can take home and enact in our own operations. Many of these award programs present leaders and great stewards of the land, produce, and animal agriculture. The award-recipients are given a stage to describe how they see agriculture and their impact on a specific industry.

The stereotype of the old farmer who is going to keep doing what he wants to do and how he knows how to do is very much still prevalent in today’s agriculture industries. Yet, the next generation of agricultural producers are appear to be ready to take on a challenge, excited to embrace the next wave of technology, and will take a close look at innovate production practices.

Do you know any of these elite agricultural producers in your area? If so, what are they doing different, how are they raising the bar, and thinking outside of the mentality “this is how my grand-dad did it, so that is how I am going to do it as well.”

And have you taken on a personal mission to continually learn and improve your operation or how to give access to these ideas to other producers?  

The 2011 NOYF winners are, from left: John & Stacy Melick, NJ; Ryan & Michelle Keller, WI; Orion Samuelson, NOYF Emcee; Danielle & Chad Budy, OK; Dawn & Joe Geremia, CT
Photo from OYF website.