Children's Books Starring Agriculture!

Book Review: "It's All About That Beef!" 

by Rianna and Sheridan Chaney  

One of my favorite ways to connect with people who want to learn about agriculture is to volunteer to read in grade school classrooms.  Kids love having new people read to them and then once the book is done, they have tons of questions for me.

In addition, the teachers enjoy not having to be "in charge" all the time and a few minutes off in their day can make all the difference! So I have compiled a pretty good list of books about agriculture, specifically raising cattle.

These books by the Chaney Twins are some of my favorites! Now they have a new book--the 7th in a series. If you haven't seen these books, let me introduce you and give you a quick review...

Supermarket beef is raised by farm families!

I have talked to people in grocery stores in Manhattan, Kansas and Manhattan, New York and they all have the same concerns--is supermarket beef safe and good for me? I actually love getting this question. I usually tell them that we own a ranch in the grasslands of Kansas. We are in the middle of cow-country with more grass than crops. We are focused on taking care of the environment, and frankly, the reason the grasslands still exist is because the ranchers figured out more than a century ago that this grass is highly nutritious for cattle and they fought to protect the native grassland.  Today, I work beside my husband and my kids to care for our cattle in good weather, and in bad weather. Every day we work to give our cattle and land the best care we can.  And...I love cattle!

Celebrate National Sunday Supper month in January

photo by Jackie Pritchett Photography
Life is busy--especially with kids! Every family is a bit different based on their traditions as well as their professions and family structure. I don't know if there is any "typical" family anymore! But one thing we can all do to bring our families closer together is to eat together.

More and more experts say that simply sitting down together as a family at least once a week promotes not only family communication but also helps kids feel more connected to the older generation and teaches better eating habits.

5 Things I learned on a bloggers' #FarmFoodTour

Okay, okay, yes I know I'm a rancher, so before you ask why I was on the tour with a group of bloggers, I want to remind you that I am a cattle rancher--not a vegetable farmer, or a dairy farmer or a hog farmer. I do NOT know all there is to know about agriculture and I admit, before the tour, I had never been to most of the places we visited.

And, even though I haven't been the most regular of bloggers recently, I am a blogger!!! Hello! I knew one of the gals who was on the trip through a #140Smalltown conference a few years ago. I have followed her for a few years and was really excited to get to know her a bit better--and this trip didn't disappoint me!

I truly learned a lot about other farmers and ranchers and it was really fun to experience this tour with a group of gals who were unfamiliar with agriculture! They asked pointed questions and I was so proud that the people we visited were not afraid to tackle some tough issues. Here is my countdown to the Top 5 things I learned on the #FarmFoodTour from my own perspective.

The Art of Nature in the Flinthills in Autumn

I love the Flinthills in the fall. The colors of the mature grasses, combined with the golden sun of early morning or late afternoon are truly spectacular.  Kansas is often thought of as flat and treeless, but in eastern Kansas, the hills are rolling and grass-covered and cattle still dot the countryside as we get closer and closer to winter.

We are bringing cattle home from the pastures this month. Even though there is grass there, the quality is greatly diminished. We have been supplementing the cattle with other sources of protein. Because of their miraculous four stomachs, cows can digest the fiber in grass but they still need more protein to stay healthy.

I love walking through the pastures this time of year--watching for wildlife, including deer and game birds as they prepare for winter. I am a glass half-full kind of gal, and I enjoy the beauty of nature in all the seasons, but I have to admit, I am not a big fan of winter.

So I will rejoice in the beauty and depth of color during Autumn, even as I dread the greys of winter. I do realize that winter is an important season for the native grasses to achieve dormancy, kill the insects and allow nature a rest period. But I will mourn the end of autumn and rejoice with the onset of spring. 

Let's talk!

Thank you for reading! If you like this post, I would appreciate any comments and shares. You can see a bit more about me and my family here, and connect with me on facebook and twitter! Please do! Connecting is the WHOLE POINT of blogging! I'd love to hear from you.