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.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Christmas TIME


     Christmas is my favorite time of the year. In this fast-paced world we live in, I am thankful for the time set-aside to remember the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and I'm thankful that it reminds us that we need to be kind to others, pray for peace, and spend time with family and friends.
     I know that we shouldn't need a specific time to celebrate the birth of Jesus and I believe we should celebrate his life daily in how we live and our attitude about life, but have you noticed how much happier the majority of people are at Christmas? I have often thought about what this world would be like if we didn't celebrate Christmas and have this reminder of what is important in life and that we need to slow down, and take the TIME to be with our loved ones.

     Since my life and this blog is focused on the livestock and agriculture industry, I want to reach out to parents, grandparents, and friends working with kids with livestock projects. Christmas is a time of giving, and I want to impress upon you that the best thing you can give that young livestock person is your time. You don't have to shower them with hundreds of dollars worth of equipment or spend a large amount of money on an animal. A child will learn more from you just by spending more time with them, whether it's at your barn feeding and doing chores together, helping to halter-break next year's project, or traveling to area producers for a day of sorting livestock and learning how to choose the next project animal.
     My entire family is involved in the livestock industry so our vacations and family travels have almost always had a livestock theme. We work our vacation times around state fair schedule, jr. nationals, and state sponsored shows. Some of our favorite trips have been the 3 or 4 day excursions to the Midwest on labor day weekend to visit a variety of farms, looking for that one great animal! Of course these trips are educational, but also wonderful family TIME. I believe our kids learned so much on such trips, just by visiting with the producers and viewing all the cattle.
     Since we are only a few days from Christmas, most of you have your shopping complete, so think of the time you can spend with the livestock kids in your life in the coming year.
      Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

     Help one another; there's no time like the present, and no present like the time ~ James Durst



Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgivng Is For Family

     Happy Thanksgiving everyone! It is Thanksgiving morning and I'm enjoying a little quiet time and coffee before hitting the ground running, cooking and helping my wonderful Mama prepare our Thanksgiving meal. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday, it is simple family time with a great meal and much needed time to relax. When our daughter was completing her master's degree at Texas Tech she always  flew in for Thanksgiving and it was extra special.
    This is is going to be a little different for us, because our son is working in Illinois and will not make it home for Thanksgiving. During a family discussion, about Blake not getting to be home for Thanksgiving, my husband made one of his most caring decisions and said he would go and spend Thanksgiving with Blake. So while this now makes us have 2 less at our family table today, and they will both be missed, I know they will enjoy their own special Thanksgiving Day and weekend together.
     Of course being a Mom, and wanting them to eat well, I cooked a turkey breast and several items and sent a car full of food for them to prepare and enjoy together. We are all Dallas Cowboy fans so I know that at 3:30 today those two will be watching the game if possible, as we will too.
     There are so many families, especially military families that have loved ones away for many holidays and I know we take it for granted daily the sacrifice of those and their families. I am thankful for their service and dedication to our country so that we can maintain the freedoms we enjoy.
     So even though we all may not sit down together today, I am so thankful for my family, our love for each other and blessing that we share a passion for the agriculture industry and support each other in all that we do. Happy Thanksgiving to all, we have so much to be thankful for, our health, a warm home, and dear friends and family!

One of my favorite pictures of Tim & Blake! Photo credit to Melissa Beckett, taken at the North American. when both were a little younger!

Saturday, November 5, 2016


     My first presidential election to vote was in 1984 with incumbent President Ronald Reagan and democratic candidate Walter Mondale. For me it was not a difficult decision, our country was strong, Reagan was a positive influence on our country and Americans were positive. If I remember correctly Reagan carried 48 of 50 states in a record election.

     The election of 2016 is far removed from 1984, Americans are much less positive about most things, and our presidential candidates are leading negative campaigns. I believe the country will be happy when the election is over, but we can't sit back and not vote. Now it is so important to vote and make sure we have a voice at all levels of government, in Washington, our state capitals, and on the local level.
      I don't want to make this a political post but more about our responsibility as citizens to vote. We have a great responsibility to ourselves, our children, and grandchildren to vote in all elections. We must be an example to our younger generation and show them the importance of voting.

     It is our responsibility to communicate with our elected officials about our concerns, the impact their decisions and laws have on our life, our businesses, and the agriculture industry. Last weekend I was blessed to attend the American Royal Livestock Show in Kansas City and watch Billy Zanolini sort the market goats. In his statements at the final drive he reminded the exhibitors to go home and contact their members of congress and tell them about their project animals and the importance of animal agriculture. It was a reminder of  how important it is that we as adults talk with our representatives often about our industry and concerns.
     First we must vote and vote for individuals that have integrity and knowledge of the agriculture industry and a willingness to work with all people involved in agriculture from producers, to feedlot operators, distributors, and retailers. We must have a strong support system in Washington and our state capitals to listen to our concerns and act for the industry when needed.
    We cannot be complacent and act as if our individual votes don't have an impact.  I often think of the following quote by Abraham Lincoln "America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."  I am always embarrassed by the low voter turnout in America. We must be more responsible, give our employees time to vote and encourage them to vote, and encourage our friends and neighbors to vote.
      Samuel Adams, known as the Father of the American Revolution made the following statement, "Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote…that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country."  I'm afraid our lives have gotten so busy and we have become so self-centered that we forget the importance of our singular vote.
      President Ronald Reagan was often reminding us of our nation's place in this world and how God has and will protect us if we keep Him in our lives and the center of our nation's actions and reactions. He openly spoke of his faith and his convictions and reliance on God in his daily life and presidency. In 1982 President Reagan said, "We can't have it both ways. We can't expect God to protect us in a crisis and just leave Him over there on the shelf in our day-to-day living. I wonder if sometimes He isn't waiting for us to wake up, He isn't maybe running out of patience."  In 1984, one of President Reagan's most quoted statements, "America needs God more than God needs America. If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a Nation gone under."

     We as a nation have been so blessed with vast freedoms, all from the vision and actions of our Founding Fathers and the many men and women who have fought and worked for these freedoms to continue. Too often I have heard people say they just don't want to vote for either presidential candidate or they are just so discouraged with the direction of our nation's leadership that voting will not help. What hope do we have if everyone has that opinion and decides not to vote?
     Take the time to study the candidates, and take the time to get to know your state and local candidates. There are many caring, dedicated people willing to serve our communities and our country. We just have to vote to get them into office.


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Thankful for Farm Play

     This weekend we hosted the Kentucky Hereford Association state show and annual meeting at our family's business, Burley Fields Livestock Center. Events like this are more fun than work because we are with lifelong friends and fellow beef producers.
     As much as I love beef cattle and having the opportunity to see good cattle, the kids are the best part of any livestock show. With our youngest graduating high school only a week ago, it is a reminder that it has been a few years since we've packed the bucket of farm toys or the ride-on horse that was often tied in our stalls as a pretend show heifer. This weekend's show had a large group of kids in attendance with a variety of ages. All the kids were polite, respectful, and 100% beef producers, however it was the youngest group, ages 4 to about 9, that grabbed my attention and held it for the duration of the show.
     They spent most of their time together, this small group of about 10 kids, both boys and girls, and they played the entire time they were not with their cattle or in the show ring. One of their favorite play areas was the sale ring where they had their own auctions, complete with pretend sale cattle, and took turns being the auctioneer. They also held their own rodeo, riding bulls, but I'm not sure who came out with the most points.
     Our wonderful dog, Sophie, was also a large part of their play. She was thrilled with all the attention and followed the group around, gladly lying down whenever they decided it was time to rub the dog. I'm not sure who enjoyed that the most.
      It was so cute to see them all bent over something in the driveway, some of the boys actually sitting down, studying something in the gravel. My daughter said maybe they have found a bug, but I knew immediately that it was a frog, a dead frog that had been run over earlier that day. It struck me then just how lucky our farm kids are that they have the instinct to play, to be fascinated by a frog, to not be in despair because they are missing a favorite television show, or wanting a tablet or cell phone in their hands to play a game.
     I'm so happy that these kids have that natural curiosity to play, just like I did and my kids did. I'm happy that we have only a handful of video games in my home, and that my kids were playing at the barn or on the farm instead of sitting in front of the TV.
     Thankful for farm play.

 I didn't take photographs of the kids playing this weekend so I had to include a photograph of Blake with his "heifer" that we hauled to every show.