Thursday, March 31, 2011

CAFO Ethics Exposed

There are a ton of websites, blogs, and articles "explaining" what a CAFO is and how they operate. Unfortunately, the vast majority of these "explanations" are not by farmers or even rural inhabitants, they are by activists, radicals, and the misinformed John Q. Public. Instead of witnessing the majority, many folks are exploiting the minority. Every bushell has a few bad apples but that doesn't mean you can't still make apple butter. Guess what, we are the apples that made it into the steamy batch of cinnamony goodness and we are far from alone...the pork industry is full of good apples, we just don't get that much publicity.

This video is an explanation of modern pork production from the view point of actual pork producers. It shows how we care about what we are doing and we are just as responsible as the hog farmers in the days of yore. Sure, you could say we are biased, you could argue that we are only sugar coating the truth, you could even spit on your computer and pretend you didn't witness responsible farming and CAFO farming coming together in harmony but in the end I hope you will all simply see that pork producers are family farmers too--we're just doing it a little different.

Learn more about modern pork production by visiting the PorkCheckoff's site and watching the Checkoff's YouTube channel. You can also learn more about our farm by watching the BaconCam channel.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Puppies! Cute Adorable Puppies!

She's so pretty!
No, Miss Mina didn't have pups but her momma did. If anyone is interested in having the best breed of puppy in the whole wide world then call 660-627-4112. BTW: The pups live in Kirksville (north Missouri). Road trip, anyone?

Puppy update!!! Only Yogi and Buttercup are left (as of 4-13).

Second Puppy Update!!!!
As of 4-24-2011 all puppies have been sold.

Aren't they ADORABLE!!! If I could have one (Mina already told me NO!) I would pick Ginger, she looks like such a little sweetheart. They are all so cute. I love puppies.

Buy a puppy! I would but Mina won't let me (and my husband said "No" too).

Here are some more pictures of Mina: 

She's only 3 months old here...AWWWE.

She was so tiny. Everyone say it, "AWWWE."

Look at those big puppy eyes.

She was only 4 or 5 months old here.

She may be a little older and a little wiser but she is still a big goofball. That's why we love her!

If you want to know more about English Shepherds check out

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pork Industry Providing Relief in Japan

Red Cross worker feeding a baby. Image from
Pork Industry Offers Helping Hand to Japan

article from National Hog Farmer

U.S. pork producers are partnering with the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) to provide pork to victims of the massive earthquake and tsunami that struck parts of northeastern Japan on March 11.

Estimates suggest that more than half-a-million Japanese are without food and shelter. Food shortages are expected to last into summer.

The National Pork Board has allocated $100,000 from the Pork Checkoff to provide pork products and to help distribute it to those in need in Japan, says Conley Nelson, an Iowa pork producer and member of the National Pork Board. USMEF, which represents the U.S. meat industry in Japan with offices in Tokyo, will work with U.S. pork packers and distributors in Japan to ensure that the food reaches those in need.

The goal is to provide food that requires little or no preparation, such as pre-made bento (lunch) boxes, to people who have been displaced.

“Our hearts go out to the Japanese people who have suffered from this terrible natural disaster,” says Nelson. Read full article HERE.

Japanese people waiting in line for water. Image from Elvira's Roundabout.

Say what you will about the pork industry (this is to all you naysayers out there) but you can't deny that when there is a need or crisis the pork industry is always there. During the holiday season the Pork Industry was Filling Bellies in Texas and now they are filling bellies in Japan. No matter your views of the pork industry, I for one am proud to be a part of it. Who knows, maybe some of the pork we're shipping out will go towards feeding some of the Japanese people that have been displaced by this horrible disaster. It's good to know that we are part of an industry that is about more than just the all-mighty dollar. The pork industry cares and they are always willing to help.

Image by AFP from Yahoo news.
If you would like to help Yahoo News has a great article listing different organizations you can donate to and each one has a link. You can read the article HERE

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Final Days...

This old grill has been good to us. It's seen a lot of pork steaks, pork burgers, brats, veggies, and occasional hockey pucks because mom forgot there was meat still on the grill. It's seen it all. Thick and thin, steaks and chops, we've even grilled in the rain but this 'ole girl has never failed us. But her time with us grows short.

The coals still burn within her belly; the fire is always hot. Alas, her wires and underside have rusted through but by golly those coals are still burning.

The poo-boy ponders the doneness of the meat, the heat of the coals, and the whether or not he should put his stick in the fire again--he thinks mom's not looking.

Yes, that meat is about done.

The poo-boy learned a new trick--how wonderful.

"Look mom. It looks like I'm smoking a cigar. Yep, I'm smoking a cigar"

"Now poo-boy, you know smoking is bad for you and you shouldn't do it. Right?"

"Duh, mom. It's a stick, it's not for real."

"Okay, okay, sorry I mentioned it. Geez."

Just for that smart little comment I used the flash. The poo-boy hates the flash.

But he is always willing to strike a pose. Even in his jammy pants.

Wait, weren't we cooking food? Oh, right. The pork burgers are done.

Melty provolone makes every sandwich good. I just love melty provolone.

Go on, take a bite...Mmmm

Now, try the salad. It has poppy seed dressing, my favorite.

What's a meal without some wine? Well, normally my meals never come with wine but since poo-boy and I are dining alone (dad is working late at the pigs--pig troubles--and Miss Kylee is with grandma) I thought what the heck. I bought a new Riesling and just had to try it out.

Mmm...not bad.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Soup and Sammie--YUM!!

I know the weather is getting nicer and yesterday was the first day of spring but I just have to share this yummy something that we ate the other night.

As most of you may (or may not) have figured out by now, I am a soup fanatic. I love making it and I love eating it. 

This is my latest concoction. It is one of my many potato soups. I use Yukon Gold potatoes so I don't have to peel them (I hate peeling potatoes).

Of course, it has bacon in it...naturally.And a bunch of other stuff--2 cans of chicken broth, a little water, minced onions, celery flakes, sea salt, thyme, pepper, and milk. Everybody has those ingredients!
My baby boy helped me cook up this soup. He put everything into the pot and decided how much was enough (with a little advice from mom). He just loves to cook.

He said to me, "Mom, I'd like to be a chef but I think I like to farm more." He is so cute.

Next, while the soup is simmering, grab some hoagie buns, some ham slices, and a few slices of provolone cheese (Munster is good too).  
Set your oven to BROIL.

And make it melty.
Watch is close! It only takes a minute or two to toast the bread and melt the cheese.

Add some lettuce, mustard, mayo, and whatever else you fancy on your hoagie.

Then enjoy your soup and sammie--one of my favorite meals.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Never can tell in Missouri

If there is one thing you can count on in Missouri, it's the weather. (insert sarcasm here)

The saying around here goes: If you don't like the weather in Missouri, wait 5 minutes, it'll change.

Even Miss Mina likes catching snowflakes with her tongue. When I got home yesterday afternoon I caught her chasing the flakes and trying to bite them mid-air. She's such a silly puppy.

Yesterday evening when I looked out the window and thought we were having another blizzard. It was cold, windy, and the biggest snowflakes I've ever seen were pouring from the sky. In the picture it doesn't look like much but boy was it a snowin'.

Today, the sun is shining and it's 64 degrees. Go figure!

Mina is jumping for joy. You can't see it but I too am jumping for joy--only behind that camera.
But that's Missouri weather. You just never can tell.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Favorite Pics Round Three: Pork Pics

I've saved the yummiest for last. Prepare yourself for...Pork Pics.

Mmmm. Shredded pork.
Pork Loin...Delicious!
More loin...Me likes the loins.

A big beautiful ham. So good!

Well look at that, another loin.

Pork Calzones! Yum.

Sausage Balls! Mmm, Mmm Good!

So moist, so tender, so juicy...I love pork.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Favorite Pics Round Two: Kid Pics

Okay, so she isn't one of my actual "human" kids but she is just too cute not to include in my kid pics. Besides, she is part of the family too.

Miss Mina is becoming such a little lady. It's hard to believe she is a year old now.Here's my little man learning to drive the CA. He is so big...sniff...sniff.

 Of course my little girl isn't very little anymore either. She likes to remind me every chance she gets that she is now taller than me...hardy har har...she thinks it's so funny.

And I can't show kid pics without showing kids with pig pics too.

This one isn't mine, she is my adorable niece...I just love those boots, they're so tiny.

I have to show my little man with his big man gun. He just loves to shoot and aspires to be on Top Shots one day...we have to record the series so he doesn't miss a single gun slinging, action packed episode. He has one more year until he is old enough to compete in 4-H--we're prepping the boy.

I'll end with a couple of fun shots reminiscent of summer days gone by. Oh how I long for the the sun to once again grace Missouri with its warming golden light. Unfortunately, this slip-n-slide is no longer with us. It tussled with a wind storm and lost the fight, it will be missed...but only until we replace it.