Semi-Wordless Wednesday: Patriotic afterglow

flag boots

July 4th may be over, but the afterglow of America’s pride rings true across the nation. I’d say that cowboys and other rural citizens are some of the most patriotic folks!

“Only 17 percent of the U.S. population calls rural communities home, yet 44 percent of military recruits come from rural America.” (source: American Farm Bureau Federation)

Advertisements

Honoring our farm dog

I have written about our sheep dog before.

When we worked outdoors, Nike was never too far from your elbow (if you were sitting or tying your boots) or your heels.

When we worked outdoors, Nike was never too far from your elbow (if you were sitting or tying your boots) or your heels.

Nike developed arthritis in his hips and could no longer come sit on the porch to be pet.

Nike developed arthritis in his hips and could no longer come sit on the porch to be pet this spring.

This winter was a cold one, as many farmers have shared. While that does mean that we take extra care of our animals, the combined old-age and cold-weather did a toll to the hearing and hips of our four-legged shepherd. Some may consider their pets to be part of the family, whereas we considered our dog to be much more than that – he was a part of our family business.

I’m sad to say that Nike has found a final resting place on the farm. He really enjoyed herding the sheep (and even visitors the way HE wanted them to come in the house) and taking walks down the dead end dirt road all the way through his last week. I cannot help but think how happy he must be to be at rest in his favorite place.

Father’s Day

I’m sure everyone will describe and celebrate  their father differently tomorrow. I look back and remember my father  instilling a sense of independence and fearlessness in me. Through his eyes I believed I could do anything. As I look at my husband I see him instilling a sense of interdependence in our children and grandchildren. They too believe they can do anything but they have an awareness of uncontrollable  conditions and an ability to be flexible that I had to learn later in life.   DSC03249Farming together we have learned that we all need each other because there are so many things we cannot control or change like the weather.

As we work through each day we realize this is the only time we will have this  moment, this decision and this opportunity. Make the most of every moment this weekend and every day that follows because,

Following in your footsteps.

Following in your footsteps.

Seed, soil and sparkles

Seed, soil and sparkles

Girls can farm too!

Girls can farm too!

whether it’s tutus or tractors we all need each other.

Some one is always watching.

Some one is always watching.

Remember some one is always watching us. What are we teaching them?

Dads - working together, learning from each other.

Dads – working together, learning from each other.

 

Happy Father’s Day!

Family farm or corporate farm?

We all live busy lives today. Add to that busy-ness, information overload. What do you do with all that information? Who has time to sort through all the information surrounding us? Let me help you with at least one question. What’s the difference between a corporate farm and a Family farm? I have read so many articles lately on the evils of corporate farms and how they are pushing family farms out of business. When I follow the resources I find conflicting information; farm sizes are shrinking/Corporate mega farms are growing, family farms are being pushed out of business/more families are bringing the next generation back to the farm, too much land is being used for food and fuel production/we need to feed more people today than ever before in history ??? My head is still spinning.

Welcome to our farm

Image

We are a family that grows corn for food and feed, soybeans for cooking oil and sweet corn for immediate consumption :-) My husband and I raise this food together with our daughters, sons in law, grandchildren and my father and mother in law. In order to be able to sustain our farm for future generations we incorporated several years ago. Our grandchildren love working the land with us and talking to our neighbors about what we are doing as well as sharing sweet corn with them in the summer.

Image

So, as you can see from our farm, things are not always as they are portrayed. We are a family farm that is incorporated. Statistically you will find us included in the “corporate farm” numbers and not family farm. I think that’s very misleading. Incorporating has nothing to do with size or mission and everything to do with financial and long term identity. For us that means we can pass the farm on to our children and grandchildren in a way that protects them in the future.

What’s the difference between a corporate farm and a Family farm? Most of the time NOTHING.

POULTRY

                    BILLIOT  PULLET  FARM

 

Our farm has 2 poultry houses 600’ x 40’

This poultry operation produces young hens for the breeder hen operation. 

Our farm received baby female chickens.

Image

These chickens are raised for approximately 20 to 22 weeks, until then they are picked up and taken to a breeder hen farm.

 Image

Image

Pay on our pullet farm is usually done on a square foot basis.  Our “out-time” was typically 10 to 14 days for cleanout and/or maintenance.

 Arkansas is a leading producer of poultry.  The state ranks second in broiler production, third in turkey production and tenth in egg production.

 

 

 

                                         “HAY PRODUCTION”

 

Many farmers like ourselves produce hay from May thru October depending on the weather.  When haying you can produce square bales or round bales.

Image

Image

 

Stored forages such as hay and silage are very important. Weather extremes such as snow, ice, and drought can halt grazing during certain times of the year. Arkansas producers grow some of the best quality hay in the south. Producing high-yielding and top-quality hay requires attention to harvest management, soil fertility, pest management, and good storage methods.

 

 

Image

 

 

 

“Know your farmer, know your food”

 

On our farm we raise beef.  We use no hormones, steroids, or antibiotics.  We rotate our cattle to graze on approximately 100 acres of pastures.  Hard work just doesn’t seem so bad when you believe in what your doing and especially enjoy doing it.

 Image

In Arkansas 97 percent of the beef cattle farms are family owned and operated.  The average size is 38 head with 80 percent of the farms having less than 50 head.