Aftermath of the Wildfires

Wildfires recently devastated the area around a town in Kansas called Medicine Lodge. My friend Sandra Levering lives there and is involved in the recovery efforts with her family. Now that pressing needs have been met and farmers and ranchers have been able to assess the full situation, Sandra has had time to record a few of her thoughts. Below is her heart wrenching, yet hopeful guest blog post.

As I listen to the wind blow relentlessly outside tonight, my thoughts and prayers go out to those fighting another grass fire in our area and to those that have been undoubtedly affected once again by nature’s wrath. Almost 2 weeks ago, lives and perspectives were forever changed by the Anderson Creek Wildfire that consumed grass, trees, fences, livestock, but stopped short of the human spirit because those of us in agriculture take care of each other and find a way to get up and go again and renew our spirit by taking care of our fellow man in times of need. Countless tragedies, whether local or national, unite the agriculture community and we pay it forward in helping others in need. This experience was no exception.

Calving season is here--you are not going to believe what else is in my pasture!

Take a look at this pictures...what is the first thing you notice? As a rancher, I notice the cow on the left has just moments ago had a calf and is trailing the afterbirth and licking her brand new, slimy baby calf.

What is the next thing you see? Look up at the top right corner and notice the bald eagle soaring above the cows. Wait, did I say a BALD EAGLE is in my calving pasture?! YES I did!!

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.

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.