About Me

Kentucky, United States
Fourth generation beef producer, wife, mother, 4-H & FFA supporter, agriculture advocate, Christian, WKU alum, love livestock shows, basketball, college football, Dallas Cowboys. All things agriculture.

Friday, December 30, 2011

2011, A Year of Growth and Changes

     This is my favorite time of the year and I seem to enjoy it more and more as I get older. The fun and excitement of opening my gifts has been replaced with the joy of seeing others enjoy their gifts. We have cut back on spending over the last few years and we have so much fun with gag gifts and giving what you know someone really needs. We open gifts with my family on Christmas Eve and we always have a spectacular meal and fun with gifts, then a night of cards or board games. For a small family of my parents, my brother and his family and my family, we can make a lot of noise. This year however, my husband began getting sick with a horrible case of bronchitis on Christmas Eve, so he stayed home to keep others from getting sick and we missed him terribly.

Desserts made by my daughter, mother, sister-in-law and myself. Included are chocolate  fudge, peppermint-white chocolate bark, apple cake with buttermilk icing, chocolate dipped pretzels, chocolate dipped marshmallows, pecan turtles, and Italian cream cake. Also, not pictured, a chocolate caramel dream cake.
     What a way to celebrate Christmas and the end of a great year!! Lots of delicious homemade treats!! On top of that my mother makes the best homemade custard, which we love much better than eggnog.   
      A few years ago we enjoyed a wonderful white Christmas and I remember taking the kids outside around 11:00 pm and enjoying the peace and stillness of the night as the snow fell in huge flakes. It was a great experience to be out in the country and hear the quiet but steady fall of the snow and all I could think about was how lucky I was to live in the beautiful country, knowing no one in a city was enjoying the snow like us.  It's such a blessing to live on the farm and be able to enjoy God's gifts of nature. No snow yet this year but I'm still hoping!!!
     As the new year approaches and I look back on this very blessed year, I see that we have gone through many changes with the family. Ashley graduated from Western Kentucky University in May and is now an  AgEd graduate student at Texas Tech, over a thousand miles away. I'm just so proud of her strength and ability to accomplish all her goals, and I'm learning to accept the distance.   Blake, as a young teenager, has matured and taken on more of the farm work and responsibilities at the barn. He has learned the rewards of hard work and it amazes me that he goes to the barn each morning before school to feed, rinse, and work hair on his show calves. He had an exceptional year with his market heifer, market hog, and market goat. Tim and I began a new project, a livestock show and sale barn, which is now in the building phase. As we near completion I will include more information about this new and exciting project in our life.

Blake with his market doe at the Kentucky State Fair. She stood second in class.
     I first published BarnScoop on October 26, and my second post "KY Agriculture Commissioner" received the most views, which makes me very happy. The Commissioner of Agriculture race was one of the most important in the 2011 Kentucky election and I'm proud that James Comer won in a landslide victory. I plan to begin 2012 with tips on choosing 4-H and FFA livestock projects, feeds, and preparing an animal for the show ring. I will also have feature articles on breeders and youth involved in the livestock industry.
     God blessed our farm with a very productive year of a healthy herd of beef cattle, strong calves, and the joy of watching those planned matings grow into the bulls and heifers we had hoped for. We definitely had our share of bad luck, but that's just part of life in agriculture.
     I wish for everyone in the year 2012, a year blessed with good health, steady jobs, friends, family, and success on the farm. I am Scotch-Irish and I would like to share this Irish blessing with you:  May God give you...for every storm a rainbow, for every tear a smile, for every care a promise and a blessing in each trial. For every problem life sends, a faithful friend to share, for every sigh a sweet song and an answer for each prayer.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Uncommon for Rural Kentucky

 A concrete Walrus mailbox, in rural central Kentucky.

     This is not a regular blogpost, but I  had to share this unusual mailbox we passed on our way to visit my husband's parents for Christmas. Definitely not commonly seen in Kentucky.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

I love my crazy life on the farm!

     This morning I want to tell you a little about my hectic but most wonderful  life on a Kentucky beef cattle farm. I am very fortunate to have been raised on a farm by typical hard-working Christians in South Central Kentucky. My Daddy worked off the farm but still managed a small herd of Horned Herefords and we raised tobacco. I still believe that I had the best childhood anyone could have with the family working together in the tobacco patch, baling hay, or working cattle. I'm thankful for being taught to work hard and enjoy the rewards of my labors even if it was only the satisfaction of a job well done at the end of the day.
      Today, I'm happily married to a man who shares many of my dreams and so many of my interests in agriculture, livestock, and the blessed country life. He's a vocational agriculture teacher and FFA advisor, and I spend my days managing a college bookstore. We have two children, one in graduate school in Texas and another in middle school, both blessed with a passion for agriculture, primarily livestock, and enjoying the life of agriculture.

One of the few photographs I have of our family because I'm usually taking the pictures. This is our son's Champion Market Hog  and Kentucky State Fair Board member Bill Tolle presenting the banner. From left to right, Ashley, Tim, Wanda, Bill Tolle, and Blake.

      A normal day for us begins between 4:30 and 5:00 am with feeding the livestock. We usually have beef show calves to get into the barn, halter, feed, and brush. When time, weather, and temperature allow, these show animals will be rinsed before taken into the barn. Just part of the normal routine for anyone exhibiting beef cattle. Our oldest child can no longer participate in the youth livestock shows due to her age, but our youngest is taking up the slack where she left off. Both kids have shown beef heifers, market goats, market lambs, and market hogs. This takes a lot of time feeding the animals their individual rations, so the work would not be completed if the kids didn't do the work because my husband and I just don't have the time. My husband and I will always feed if the kids have a conflict but that's as far as the help goes...the extra work is up to them, and I'm proud to say that they work hard and have been rewarded a few times in the show ring for their extra efforts. In the middle of the summer and livestock show season when the show barn is full, it can sometimes take 1 1/2 hours each morning and night, just to get everything fed, stalls cleaned, and animals groomed.

Some of our cows enjoying the shade this summer.

     After the morning chores are complete it's time to get ready for school and work. That's when we spend the day much like our non-farming friends, but as soon as we get back home, the remainder of the day's farm work begins. This includes checking on all the cows and calves in the pastures, filling calf feeders and mineral feeders, and taking out hay when needed in the winter months.  We have a herd of Chiangus, Chiamaine, and Angus cows along with a small commercial herd. We have cows calving in both Spring and Fall so we stay busy with both synchronizing and catching cows in natural estrus and planning which bulls to use and ordering bull semen. We also have a very small herd of Boer goats, so there's the management of them with their hooves, vaccinations, breeding, and kidding. Rinsing the show cattle at night before turning them out is a daily routine, especially during the warmer months.
      Working on a farm and taking care of the daily chores is not for everyone. You must have a passion and love for the industry and the wonderful way of life including the knowledge of the hard work and tough times that accompany farm life. It's not all beautiful sunrises, crops in a perfect non-weedy row, and animals born alive and well. It takes a lot of daily work and dedication to see any crop from planting to harvest, with many moments of worry over uncontrollable weather, temperature, and rainfall. Most animals enter this world with no help but there are those that may need our assistance or even encouragement to live and be persistent in getting that first milk, or the rescue from a rainy, snowy, or icy pasture on that first day or two in this world.

Our beef stalls at the 2011 Kentucky State Fair
     We spend much of our time at livestock shows across Kentucky and we travel each year to a few shows outside our state. We are very fortunate to have an outstanding facility like the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, which hosts our Kentucky State Fair and the prestigious North American International Livestock Exposition. We have a very successful Shows and Fairs division with our Kentucky Department of Agriculture and the program is excellent for encouraging our youth to remain active in the livestock and agriculture industry.
      I'm a very typical Mom and housewife in that I do most of the cooking and housework and I'm my kids biggest cheerleader. I may be a little different when it comes to the barn work and helping with the chores and care of our livestock, but I am a product of the agriculture industry. I love the work, the animals, and the people in this business. I would rather spend my spare time at the barn than cleaning house, much to the dismay and probably disappointment of my dear late grandmother, but I am who I am.
     My goal is to include more of our daily life as I work hard to include this in my daily routine. I have failed miserably of late for I had planned to publish a post at least once a week but would rather publish three per week. My job as manager of a college bookstore required longer hours during the first weeks of December, and with the added activities of  our son's basketball games and Christmas programs, I just didn't have the time to write.
     My wish is for all to have a Merry Christmas and a wonderful happy new year! I have several friends dealing with serious illnesses in their families and I pray for their speedy recovery and for their life to return to a more normal pace for all. God has blessed me with the most wonderful family and friends and I'm proud to be a part of the agriculture community in the USA.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Kentucky Proud

     The Kentucky Department of Agriculture's Kentucky Proud program is designed to market and promote Kentucky grown or processed products. The logo, below, should be a very common symbol to Kentucky consumers on anything grown or produced in Kentucky, by Kentuckians.
     It is a symbol of quality to both consumers and producers and can be found on products at farmer's markets, roadside markets, and major retailers including Walmart and Kroger. Fruits and vegetables are commonly grown and sold across the state throughout the growing season, but there are a variety of foods produced in the state including meats, milk, cheese, honey, nuts, fish, and shrimp.

    The Kentucky Department of Agriculture has a Kentucky Proud website, http://www.kyproud.com/ listing products, producers, and retail locations for products ranging from certified organic coffee, honey, maple syrup, wine, bourbon, livestock, nuts, crafts, soaps, and Christmas trees. This site is a one-stop shopping center and offers many unique gift ideas. Keep in mind that many of the roadside and farmer's markets are closed during this season but most products can be purchased directly from the producer.
    With Christmas here and many serving country ham, I would like to suggest Penn's Country Ham, of Mannsville, Kentucky. Donald Penn began curing and selling aged country hams in 1957 at the farm, using the same traditions and recipes of his family. Today, Penn's products can be found in retail stores across the state from small family-owned businesses to larger retail outlets. Some of their most popular products include Whole Country Hams, Cooked Country Hams, Sliced Country Hams (in vacuum packs), Sausage, Bacon, and Jowl.Their products can be shipped. Penn's is located at the farm, 8 miles outside of Campbellsville, Kentucky, on Hwy 70 East. Email address: pennshams@aol.com, phone: 270-465-5065 or 1-800-883-6984, fax: 270-789-3344. I can assure you that after many years of consuming Penn's products, they are delicious!!

     Kenny's Farmhouse Cheese is another Kentucky success story. Kenny Mattingly began looking for new ideas in the early 1990's when he became concerned with the future of the commercial milk industry. This led to a trip to Europe and studying the handmade cheese industry. In 1998, Kenny's Farmhouse Cheese began in Austin, Kentucky, with the family making Gouda cheese from milk produced on their 120-cow dairy farm. The business has grown substantially from the first year when 4,000 pounds of Gouda was made, to the 70,000 pounds of a variety of cheeses produced last year. I know some members of the Mattingly family and they work hard to produce the quality products that I purchase often at our local grocery store. Contact Kenny's Farmhouse Cheese by calling 888-571-4029  or visit  their website at http://www.kennyscountrycheese.com/.

     I have included a very small amount of information about the many products and producer information that can be found at the Kentucky Proud website. Have fun looking at the variety of products and watch for me to spotlight many more of Kentucky's producers and business owners.



Monday, December 5, 2011

Cowboy Fire, Inc., A Unique Kentucky Business.

     With less than three weeks until Christmas Day, many are still searching for that special unique gift and Cowboy Fire, Inc., has many gift options for livestock producers and agricultural enthusiasts. Tim Prather is the owner/operator of this custom laser engraving company and he's been very busy this year filling orders for livestock shows and events.

Framed, laser engraved hair on hide. Lower item approximately 3' wide.
      Prather is able to laser engrave on glass, leather, hair on hide, wood and plexiglass, practically anything other than metal. If you, or your child, is involved in Kentucky Department of Agriculture livestock shows, chances are you received a Cowboy Fire award at the recent banquet. Many of those awards were made of hair on hide, mirrors, and plexiglass. Prather has also engraved awards for many national shows and events including the Chianina and Maine-Anjou national junior heifer shows.

Kentucky Department of Agriculture, Youth Shows and Fairs Points Program Award.

Kentucky Proud Points Program youth exhibitor award.

Laser engraved hair on hide.
      Leather brief cases with hair on hide inserts and mirrors framed with hair on hide are some of Prather's most popular gift items. Other unique items include stools, chairs, benches, and tables, with engraved hair on hide inserts. Of course time is a factor now in determining what may be available for Christmas gifts but if you've been searching for that special gift you may not have to look further than Cowboy Fire, Inc., of Nancy, Kentucky. You can find Cowboy Fire on Facebook, email at timprather@windstream.net or call 606-219-7740.

Leather briefcase with hair on hide engraved inserts.

Award at Maine-Anjou National Junior Heifer Show.

5"x7" Photo Frame with hair on hide laser engraved at the bottom. Total size is 22" T x 15"W.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Congratulations at NAILE!

     Even though it's been over a week since the end of the North American International Livestock Exposition I want to extend congratulations to all the winners in all shows and species!! It's a great accomplishment to be named champion at any show in Louisville! For all first time youth exhibitors at NAILE, I hope your experience was great and that you are making plans to attend next year.
     I want to congratulate all Kentucky youth exhibitors for representing our state so well in the junior shows and especially those with champion animals.
     Congratulations to Jessica McCall, Crestwood, Kentucky, exhibitor of the Grand Champion Junior Red Poll Heifer, DRM Suesie Q, bred by her brother David McCall.

DRM Suesie Q, Grand Champion Junior Red Poll, exhibited by Jessica McCall, Crestwood, Kentucky.

       Congratulations to Catherine Riley, of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, exhibitor of the Grand Champion Junior Wether Goat. She has ended her career as a youth showman with an outstanding year as she also exhibited the Grand Champion Market Goat at the 2011 Kentucky State Fair.

Grand Champion Junior Wether Goat, exhibited by Catherine Riley, Hopkinsville, Kentucky.

       Moving out of Kentucky, I must recognize and give a shout out and congratulations to my family's good friends, the Higgins Family of Watertown, Tennessee. Allison Higgins exhibited the Reserve Champion Junior Chiangus Heifer, Higg Wild Heart 93W.  The heifer was also named Grand Champion Bred and Owned. This is truly a family operation and I must say that big brother Andy is doing a fine job back in the barn!

Higg Wild Heart 93W, Reserve Grand Champion Junior Chiangus Heifer, exhibited by Allison Higgins, Watertown, Tennessee. Also named Grand Champion Bred and Owned Junior Chiangus Heifer.

          I must also recognize friends of ours from the great state of Texas, Foster Brothers Farms. Syann Foster of Lockney, Texas exhibited the Grand Champion Junior Chiangus Heifer and the Grand Champion Junior Simmental Heifer. This young lady and her sisters have led many champions to the backdrop at NAILE and other shows. This may be a first for them to have two junior show breed champions in Louisville Congratulations to Syann and the entire family!

BMS Xcellence, Grand Champion Junior Chiangus Heifer, exhibited by Syann Foster, Lockney, Texas.

FBFS Xclamation 76X, Grand Champion Junior Simmental Heifer, exhibited by Syann Foster, Lockney, Texas.

       If I have neglected to include any Kentucky youth champions it is purely by mistake. All photographs are from the NAILE official website 'Show Photos' page, and taken by the official photographers for the show.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

     This week we celebrate one of my favorite holidays, Thanksgiving! It is a very meaningful holiday with less pressure and expectation than Christmas, unless of course you are the cook, and anyone that's ever cooked for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter knows the pressure you can put on oneself!! That pressure is so overstated though because as a family member or guest, all anyone really cares about is being with family and friends, sharing a meal, and making memories. I've always felt as farmers, it's a time to be thankful for the harvest and year's successes, and mindful of God's blessings of a warm home filled with food and family for the coming winter months.
     As a child, our Thanksgivings always began with Daddy leaving very early morning for Franklin, Kentucky or Westmoreland, Tennessee to meet with his brothers for their annual hunting trip. As my brother and male first-cousins grew older they were invited to join. I remember the stories of the long walks for the short, younger legs, missed shots, and of course the ones that got away. We would have dinner with Mama's family that evening, always cooked by my grandmother with Mama's help.Those were perfect for any kid growing up in rural Kentucky.
     It was tradition that we sold our tobacco crop on the Friday after Thanksgiving, so even though I had friends who spent the holiday in the tobacco barn, we were sure to be done with the crop by then because Daddy and Pappaw would take it to the warehouse either the week before or the beginning of Thanksgiving week (if my memory is correct). Being at the tobacco warehouse on sale day was a big deal for me because Pappaw would sit me on the first basket of our crop during the auction and it was so much fun as the buyers and auctioneer stopped at each basket, bidding while they looked through the hand-tied leaves.
     If there were "Black Friday" sales in the late 1960's and through the 1970's I certainly never knew about it. It was a much simpler time with farm kids and families working on the farm stripping tobacco, or cleaning the barn getting ready for next year's crop. There would also be the daily chores of feeding which at that time of the year meant feeding the weaned calves and maybe taking hay to the beef cattle in the pasture if needed. I remember watching the Macy's Parade, but spending the entire day inside just wasn't normal for kids then. My brother, Mike, and I played endless basketball games at the house with him being Kareem Abdul Jabbar and I was Wilt Chamberlain, both very prominent NBA players. We had two hoops, one about 5 feet tall on the inside of the garage door and a regular basketball goal behind the house, with grass and dirt, no concrete or asphalt for us....or anyone else in those days. I would yell "Wilt" when I shot and Mike would say "Jabb-a-r" really stretching it out as he would shoot a hook shot, over my head and of course scoring. He's only 5 years older than me but that's a great difference in height when I was 10 and he was 15!
     Now, I look upon Thanksgiving with as much anticipation as I did as a kid. We are very talkative Southern women so the kitchen is full of fun and laughter. I think of a warm house with the most delicious, comforting aromas, including that wood stove in Mama and Daddy's den.  I'm sure no matter how much I try I'll never be able to cook a turkey or country ham as well as my Nanny or Mama. Mama still holds the reins over the holiday meals and I love her for it. She has followed the apron strings of many great Ross family cooks from decades past. My Nanny and Pappaw have been gone for 18 and 27 years respectively, but their memories are as vivid as if it were yesterday.
      My husband and I will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary and my brother and his wife will celebrate their 32, both on the same date next June. We have been blessed with wonderful, healthy children and families and even though we have other family gatherings to attend we always end up at Mama and Daddy's with a wonderful meal, kids playing, a little football game or movie watching, but mainly just being together, enjoying our many blessings from God, and making memories. Of course our weekend will also include time spent at the barn halter-breaking calves.

An early November sunrise over a soybean field on our farm.

     I'm thankful for being blessed with a loving, healthy, fun, family. A husband with a love of agriculture, beef cattle, FFA, and pigs (had to include that for our close friends), and the desire to teach and encourage our youth to work in the agriculture industry. A beautiful daughter with the softest heart of anyone I know, but full of determination to follow every dream, most of which include agriculture! I'm very thankful she's making the trip home from graduate school in Texas!! A handsome son with a work ethic matched only by his grandfather and great-grandfather, paired with a meets-no-strangers personality. He too has that love of agriculture.
     I want to wish all our family and many friends living in all corners of this great United States of America a very Happy Thanksgiving. Many are facing sickness or dealing with the loss of loved ones this year and know that you are in our prayers.
     To those readers I don't know, especially those in Germany, Russia, Singapore, and the United Kingdom, I hope this post gives you a small image of our rural life, and I'm honored to have you as readers.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Busy Weekend at NAILE!

     Wonderful weekend in Louisville at the North American International Livestock Exposition junior heifer and steer shows. It's my favorite place to be in November with a few thousand members of the beef industry promoting not only breeding and market animals of most beef breeds but the industry's future leaders, our kids. The entire West Wing, West Hall, Pavillion, and Broadbent Arena are filled with the nation's best beef animals for both the junior and open shows, and if you walk outside to the trailers you'll find many penned or tied there also. To a beef producer it's the same feeling as a 5 year old being turned loose in the world's largest toy store!
     Walking through the barn visiting with friends and looking at cattle I love the familiar sounds of the turbo fans and the hum of clippers mixed with the smell of pink oil, clean sheen, hay, and yes cows. For those of us in the business, its home.
     I met a producer from Quebec, exhibiting for the first time in Louisville, but definitely not her first show. One of her first comments about Louisville was, "There's a lot of Hollywood here." Attending this show as much as I do I hadn't thought about it like that but she's right.  A large number of the exhibitors now have lights throughout their cattle, not just on the end panels as it began many years ago. I saw several with double halogen lights mounted on every fan bracket, making their cattle and stall area look like opening night for a movie. Marketing strategies to draw customers to the product of breeding stock, and of course just making the cattle and stall look better. The real work is completed by the fitters in the barn. The men and ladies with patience and skill to groom these wonderful animals beautifully for the ring. Is it worth it? If you say no, you haven't seen a fitted heifer or steer on the green shavings in Freedom Hall or had the pleasure of leading an animal into that great show ring.
     I want to share with you some of the sights of the beef show in Louisville.

     The stall area of calves in the feeder steer and penned heifer sale in Broadbent Arena.

This young lady was doing a great job drying the calf!

One of the many crews found in the West Wing fitting steers on show day, Sunday, November 13, 2011.

A championship drive moment of the Junior Steer Show. Baylor Bonham and judge.

Exciting time for Baylor Bonham of Newcastle, Oklahoma, as his steer is chosen Grand Champion.

Reserve grand champion steer, owned by Ashtin Guyer, Robinson, Illinois, and also second in class to the Bonham steer.

     A class in the Junior Hereford Show, held Sunday, November 13, 2011.

A crowd gathers late Sunday evening in Freedom Hall for the selection of the Supreme Champion Heifer. Champion heifers from all junior breed shows on Saturday and Sunday are brought to the ring and all judges from the shows score the heifers. The banner went to Nick Sullivan, Dunlap, Iowa, with his black and white ShorthornPlus heifer. Nick also received $2,500 and the use of an aluminum trailer for a year. 

Photographs in this post, taken by Wanda Quiggins

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

First-Class Livestock Event in Kentucky

     Kentucky welcomes the livestock industry with the 38th Annual North American International Livestock Exposition which began Saturday, November 5 and ends Friday, November 18, in Louisville, Kentucky at the Kentucky Exposition Center. If you have never attended you have missed the greatest opportunity to see the best of the best of America's livestock industry of beef and dairy cattle, quarter horses, sheep, meat and dairy goats, hogs, mules, donkeys, draft horses, llamas, and alpacas. I'm sure I may have missed a species or two. There are over 140 events including livestock shows and sales, youth and collegiate judging contests, breed association meetings, and the rodeo.
     If you are a purebred or commercial livestock producer looking to purchase breeding stock, or just needing inspiration to jump-start your operation, plan your trip to Louisville now. Producers and exhibitors, both young and old, work all year to attend this most prestigious livestock event and step into the ring onto the green sawdust. We are so blessed in Kentucky to have not only the top livestock facility in the nation but also have the largest livestock show.
     The rodeo begins Thursday, November 10, and continues through Saturday, November 12, bringing the regions top cowboys together for the Great Lakes Circuit Rodeo Finals. This is a great family event that is often sold out so purchase your tickets early.
     The Country Store is one of my favorite stops at the show. The entire North Wing of the Kentucky Exposition Center is filled with vendors and craftsman from across the United States selling agricultural products from show supplies to livestock handling units and livestock trailers. There are also retailers with clothing and boots, jewelry, home furnishings, unique artwork and crafts, and leather goods.
     This event showcases not only the successful adults but the many youth involved in livestock production, representing the future of the industry. I am proud to be a Kentuckian and to have such a prestigious livestock event at home and I hope that everyone has an opportunity to visit the show at least one day.
     For more detailed information and schedules be sure to visit the website of the North American International Livestock Exposition at http://www.livestockexpo.org/ .

Monday, October 31, 2011

KY Agriculture Commissioner

Taking a slight departure from focusing on the livestock industry, I want to highlight Kentucky agriculture, but focus on the leadership, policy, and future of the industry. I want to make it clear that I am not a political person, nor do I intend to use this blog as a voice for my political views, but as a member of the agriculture community it is vital to our industry that everyone vote in the November 8 election, and everyone be informed.

Many residents of Kentucky, including our rural neighbors, do not know the duties of the Commissioner of Agriculture. Kentucky's agriculture commissioner is the leader of the Department of Agriculture which inspects and regulates gas pumps, scales, meters, pesticides, amusement park rides, and animal health. The agriculture commissioner promotes Kentucky products and develops value-added marketing programs for animals, meat, produce, lumber, honey, etc., and promotes the purebred livestock industry and youth development with the division of shows and fairs.

The person elected as the next Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture must have a vast knowledge of Kentucky's agriculture industry, it's roots and backbone, the issues of current producers, and a clear vision of opportunities available to Kentucky. The person must be involved in Kentucky's agriculture industry and have a passion for the future of agriculture with future generations.

Before I end this post I want  to reiterate that I first want everyone to vote on November 8! It is such a shame that a turnout of less than 20% of Kentucky's registered voters is expected on election day! We are blessed to live in the best country in the world and so often take our blessings for granted. How many people have fought and died for our freedom to vote?

Be a voter, but be an informed voter!!! Check out the websites of the two candidates and I believe you will  see there is a clear choice for Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner. James Comer is dedicated to Kentucky's agriculture industry both as a producer and community and state leader. Visit www.jamescomer.com

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Beginning


This is the first post of my new blog, BarnScoop, a place to highlight animal agriculture in Kentucky and the region. A one stop location for all information concerning livestock show and sale dates and reports. I will feature breeders of all species and highlight the junior exhibitors and their efforts and accomplishments, both great and small.

As a fourth generation beef producer, I see the many varied views of people in our own communities and state, and how many don't fully understand the importance of agriculture in our economy or the need to support farmers, our future farmers, and the agriculture industry.

Join me as I celebrate our industry, promote our successful breeders, and introduce our youth and their projects, and include everyday farm life humor, direct from BarnScoop.