"There is a bit of insanity in dancing that does everybody a great deal of good."
~Edwin Denby

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Pride of Agriculture

Calving season around our place is in full swing and what an adventure the last month to month and a half has been. We've had: uncomplicated births, complicated births, twins, calves who almost didn't make it through the below freezing temps and an orphan.  ROLLER COASTER would probably be the best descriptive phrase but at the same time I know what has gone on at our place is the norm for most everyone else in this season of their operation.

It is because of all this, that I wonder about and then become angry at those people who are working against us. By us, I'm referring to every single person involved in the Agriculture industry in some way. As a percentage of population, I know this is a small amount of people who make their living in this industry.  BUT in relation to the number of people who benefit from Agriculture in some way (in case you missed my last post- this is everyone), this is a huge number. 

These people who are working against us have never experienced this Roller Coaster. They have no idea about it and to be honest, they don't care about it. They don't get up before the sun to feed and check on livestock. They don't put off dinner until after dark when all the livestock is fed. They've never worried  about the upcoming weather and whether or not this years crop (which will feed many others) will make because of it. They've never cried because they had no other choice but to put an animal down. They've never spent a day in the freezing cold in wet clothes to save a baby calf from freezing. They've never had a sleepless night due to waiting for a mama to give birth, or checking on a sick animal. They've never experience the joy of watching a mama and her little one become familiar with each other or watching that little one nurse for the first time. They've never watched a calf or foal playing in the pasture. They've never experienced a sunset from a pasture surrounded by livestock. 

 And I'll tell you the biggest thing they've never experienced. That proud feeling of know that you're feeding people all over the world, saving that baby from freezing to death, getting that orphan baby to eat so it can grow up to be strong and healthy, watching the crops grow and the ground change through the seasons. They have never felt nor experienced the PRIDE of being involved in an Industry that is so tight knit and full of salt of the earth people who work everyday to help Feed an Entire World Population--- and LOVE every minute of it!

Monday, March 24, 2014

You just think you're a Vegetarian

Tomorrow is National Ag Day....So in Honor of all the Farmers and Ranchers around the world..... Let's all have a toast and share some funs facts to pass on to consumers. Every human being relies on some facet of agriculture every day, even if they don't consume meat :) Here are a few facts (along with sources) to keep in mind this week!

*9% of all milk produced in the U.S. is used for ice cream production, 90% of all Americans enjoy eating ice cream at least one a year--> www.ffanewhorizons.org

From the American Farm Bureau Federation--> www.fb.org
*Today's farmers produce 262% more food with 2% fewer inputs compared with 1950
*Farm and Ranch families comprise just 2% of the U.S. Population
*Americans enjoy a food supply that is abundant, affordable overall and among the world's safest, thanks in large part to the efficiency and productivity of America's farm and ranch families

Visit www.agday.org for even more facts and information on National Ag day
*The top five agricultural commodities are cattle/calves, dairy products, broilers, corn and soybeans
*41% of U.S. total land acreage is farmland.... In 1900 the average farm size was 147ac, compared to 441 ac today

Now... here is the part that I want you all to pay close attention to.....This is important... it's a game changer... it's something you may already know... it  may be something you wish you knew last week...

By-products...... from animals...yes, even those vegetarians and vegans you know use something every day made from an animal (this is your fuel.....now you can educate them the next time they start in about that juicy steak you're having at dinner) ...

instrument strings*gelatin for drug capsules*ingredients for surgical sutures*hides/skins for
leather goods*pigskin footballs*drum heads*chewing gum*tennis racquet strings*cake mixes*photo film*shampoo/conditioner*candles*crayons*cosmetics*medicines*antifreeze*detergents*Emery boards......
oh the list goes on and on....
and Don't Forget......
If you see a farmer tomorrow make sure to take the time to tell them Thanks!!!!


There's still a place in America, where families are bound by love and common goals and where you are measured not by what you have but by what kind of person you are----

Darrell Sifford in "A Love of the Land"

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Is AgVocating for you?!?!?!?!?!

I recently had the privilege of attending the Arkansas Women in Ag conference in North Little Rock and came home with newly acquired knowledge on a variety of topics along with a renewed feeling for the need to AgVocate. Some of you may be wondering what it means to AgVocate..... and as the guest speaker of the conference, Carrie Mess, A.K.A.  Dairy Carrie put it so simply-- it is "Telling your Story" or Advocating for Agriculture.

Carrie truly is an AgVocate for this amazing industry and her whole presentation was to educate all of us on how to educate society and our consumers on OUR practices, OUR processes and OUR stories.... because---If we do not, someone else will.

Ok, so now you are wondering just who that 'someone else' is. This my friends is where things get scary, where we start to see just why those of us in this industry need to learn how to and find our own way to communicate to our consumers. The 'someone else' is typically those people who do not understand our way of life, do not live our way of life and who more than likely think our way of life needs to be dealt with and abolished.

For those of us in the industry we are very aware of who this 'someone else' is... The first two organizations that will pop into our minds are HSUS (Human Society of the United States) and PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)..... For those of you unfamiliar with the actual motivation and purpose of these organizations, please do your research. While they advertise their "Love" for 4-legged furry critters---most will be pleasantly surprised that it is a far cry from the "Love" most farmers and ranchers will show for their 4-legged furry critters and their way of life. The "Love" these two groups (and many others like them) portray is nothing more than their way to get YOUR money..... and NO!!!  YOUR money donated to organizations like HSUS will not go to your LOCAL Humane Society.

Back to the conference: After listening to Carrie, along with other presenters (I will be highlighting some of these presentations and speakers in the days to come) through the two day conference... I left that Friday afternoon asking myself just how I was going to tell our story so that the generations after us could carry on in our footsteps and continue to Build a Legacy in our family name.

So here I am today... writing this blog post trying to find my voice in a small knit Agriculture Industry trying to educate and feed an ever growing world population, sharing via social media outlets, Facebook , Twitter and Instragram-- fun but educational blurps from our life with a small commercial cow/calf herd AND AgVocating as a new member of our Team BEEF Arkansas.

Now tell me---
 What is your story? Do you raise crops? Cows? Horses? Sheep? Hogs? Chicken? Timber? Participate in a Farmers Market?  Just enjoy the scenery and serenity of living in the country? Enjoy eating a big juicy steak? What about a homemade breakfast wtih a cold glass of milk, bacon, sauage and eggs?


How are you telling it? Blogging? Sharing via social media? Member of Team BEEF? Member of a local organization (Cattlemen, Women in Ag, Farm Bureau, etc)? Talking to consumers at the grocery store?

Don't forget...........if you are talking to someone, anyone, about YOUR industry and YOUR agricultural lifestyle--you are an AgVocate!!!

Sunday, March 9, 2014


Yes.. You read that right, 13.1--miles... Yes miles...  Are you cringing yet? Or itching to lace up your shoes? Me-- I'm still contemplating my answer to that ;)

I started running about 3 years ago and competing in 5k's (3.1 miles).  Last year I stepped it up and completed my first 10k (6.2 miles) and ran my second one a little over a month ago. The adrenaline rush from crossing that finish line and running to beat your own time is amazing.  I have a friend, Dottie, who  got me started running and who runs quite a bit more than I do-- and she has been one of a few who keeps me inspired and motivated to keep pushing myself......

Pushing is exactly what I did this past year. I can officially say that I have ran and completed my first ever half-marathon.... Some may not think much of it but let me just tell you what an accomplishment it feels personally!! Dottie and I have ran the Little Rock 5k together the last 2 years and decided this year we would do the half. 13.1 miles takes preparation, focus, and endurance.. And for this particular race this year-- a raincoat and gloves....

One of which we both forgot in the vehicle as we headed toward the start line!! The race this year was cold with temperatures dropping as the race went on and wet as it drizzled and sprinkled pretty much the whole time.  And the course... I always forget just how tough the courses are in downtown Little Rock...  They will test you physically and mentally.

We ran the first 11 miles with those running the full marathon.... And can I just tell you when I saw the miles 13 sign the only thing I could think was... I am sooooo glad I don't have another 13 to go!! This girl doesn't think she'll ever do anything more than 13.1 but I'm ok with that:)

We had plenty of cheerleaders there that day and had it not been raining they had motivating signs for us too :) Dot told me before we got to the race Sunday morning-- 'you'll feel like a badass when you finish' and let me just tell you 'badass' might have been an understatement!! The theme of this years race was 'Epic' and epic it was!!! Oh and did I mention the medals they give to all finishers?!?! They are massive!!

If you've been thinking of getting started my first piece of advice-- sign yourself up for a 5k! It's the best motivation to get you going and keep you going....

Do you run? Are you thinking of competing in a race? What's the longest distance you've ran?

Any full marathoners out there?!?! Any one compete in any of the Little Rock races this past weekend?

Friday, February 28, 2014

2014 YCLC First Session

The YCLC program (Young Cattlmen's Leadership Class) put on by our State Cattlemen's Association kicked off its 4th year this week.  I'm proud to say that I am one of 22 participants this year. I am proud to be a part of this great program and proud to be part of the biggest class they have had to date. The program is full of information on our Beef Industry. The information ranges from the County level to State level to the National level from legislative issues, family farms, commodities, marketing, telling 'your' Ag story to leadership within the industry.
This first session was spent in Little Rock touring the Department of Ag, Plant Board and State Capitol along with networking opportunities and tons of classroom education. We were introduced to the history of our association, the structure of the Association along with the history and structure of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association.

The goal of this program is to get the younger generation of farmers and ranchers involved with the Agricultural Industry. The information within the program as well as the tours that we took are a great reminder that unless you are speaking up and being active in whatever it is you are passionate about, someone else will be and you may not like the decisions they make that ultimately affect you and your operation.

Does your state association have a Young Cattlemen's Association? Are you an alumni in it or interested in being in it? How do you make your voice heard for Agriculture?

Below are pictures from our 1st Session :)





Sunday, February 23, 2014

Primo Nato

Primo Nato- Italian for 'first born'.

I can't begin to tell y'all just what this means to us here at McClung Cattle Co. It means the start of our future, our family legacy, our dream, our foundation. It also has meaning that stretches beyond our cattle, beyond us, to those that came before us. Those that are no longer with us but that left their own legacy, those whose legacy influences us everyday and who are helping us in ways we here on earth can't even begin to fathom.

My mother-in-law's family was Italian. Their love of family and family legacy is something that was passed onto my husband. This love as among all Italians is a strong bond and one my husband still feels from his Mama everyday. Her love for her son, my husband, along with his dreams and aspirations is why I have chosen to nickname our first calf this year Primo Nato.

I personally couldn't think of any better way to describe this little calf. It represents and reminds us both of those things in our life we have been so abundantly blessed with: family, dreams, hard-work, love from those in Heaven and most importantly this life together that we are building.

So with no further ado, I formally introduce you to Primo Nato........................


I should probably tell you that Primo's Mama is VERY protective... Yes, she is a good mama.... She won't let us get too close at this point and the bottom picture is an accurate reflection of what happens when I go out into the pasture with them.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Herefords and Baby Moo's

My husband and I raise a small herd of commercial cattle currently. We are slowly studying and learning breed information and bloodlines on the Hereford breed . Hopefully within the next few months we'll be looking at starting a small registered Hereford herd as well-- and maybe throw in a few miniatures too--- they are so stinkin' cute!!!

I posted Saturday that we were on our way to the Magnolia Hereford Association sale, which I think as a big success. We got to see plenty of good cattle and I was able to snap a few pictures for your pleasure ;)