Friday, May 25, 2012

My Friend is a Vegetarian

Social Media has given me the opportunity to meet lots and lots of amazing people ! Gayle Anderson from Idaho is one of them.  I had the chance to meet Gayle last November as she and I both had the unique experience to speak to the delegates of the Executive Women in Agribusiness Conference in downtown Chicago.  I got to know Gayle that week and really enjoyed her excitement for farmers and ranchers, her commitment to industry and her love of family.  I went away from that conference with a new friend.

Throughout the year Gayle and I have chatted back and forth on social media and kept the connection we made in the "windy city."  However it was not until today that I came to find out ...

Gayle is a VEGETARIAN!

My initial thought when reading her blog today was ~ WOW !!! REALLY???  Was she pulling some sort of  prank on all of us and then in the end was some secret message?  NOPE!  The only message that I took from her blog was this ~ That Gayle Anderson supports Animal Agriculture, That Gayle Anderson believes in my families way of life, cattle ranching.  That Gayle Anderson is a true, blue, honest farmer!  A young woman not afraid to hide her preferences in food choices - because that is what it is a food choice, a taste choice, what makes her tummy feel good.  Meat just doesn't fit the bill for her but it does not mean she doesn't support what I do each and every day.

I have a new impression of Vegetarians, they are not bad people, in this instance, a good friend, a fellow farmer, and someone who if you ask me maybe is a better spokesperson for the Beef industry than many of us who eat burgers, steaks and ribs !!!  As we know there are those out there who wish to end animal agriculture and believe the world should be meat free but then there are those who maybe just dont like the taste or for some medical reason cannot eat animal protein ~ start the conversations, make friends, and most importantly as we are learning more and more within Agvocacy cirlces - LISTEN.  You might just be surprised in what you hear and learn.

My hat is off to Gayle ~ Thank you for being someone I can learn from in telling my AG story just a bit better.  For helping me to be more open to new ideas and for making me aware.

To continue to follow Gayle and her blog check out

~~~~~~~~~~~~  And here is Gayle's Story , Enjoy!!!!

I’m a vegetarian who supports the animal Ag industry 110%!  Just because I don’t eat meat, doesn’t mean that I want to force my food choices on everyone else, but that is not the case with others, so please read on.  But first, let me share that I’ve been a vegetarian all my life and it’s not because of any certain beliefs or convictions, I just don’t like meat.  As my mom tells the story, I quit drinking milk at 4 months old and later refused to eat any kind of meat.  After many trips to the doctor to see what was wrong with me, she finally let me eat what I wanted.   Frankly being a vegetarian is a pain in the you-know-what, but it is just the way I am. Being a non-meat eater has its challenges, like when packing my very first lunch for  Farmer Joe (as a new farm-wife) and wanting to be sweet, I made a tuna-fish and bologna sandwich (yes together) as I thought they are both disgusting so I’m sure they go together…. Well that was the wrong assumption!  =)  And it was the very first day of harvest too, oops poor guy.   However, I've since improved my culinary skills as my family loves their beef, (T-bone steaks in particular), pork and poultry. So now that I’ve bared my soul and shared an embarrassing story on myself, you are probably wondering why am I telling you this?  Well this blog is about the freedom of choice and the important goal to preserve this right.   Whether or not you are aware, there is a real threat to your freedom of choice on what you put on your dinner table if your meals are centered around meat.    Anytime one sector of Ag is affected, there is a trickle down effect on the rest of Agriculture, so this vegetarian wants to speak out on behalf of the animal Ag sector.

My spoiled pooch
Let me say it takes a special person to raise animals and long before I wed my farmer, the farm had a hog operation.  Farmer Joe said during his years caring for the pigs that "there is always something that needed feeding, doctoring, tending, cleaning or fixing and was a 24/7 job- lots and lots of work". We have tremendous respect for all animal producers, but our consumers need to remember, these animals are being raised for "harvest", they are fed and treated well - but they are a crop, they are NOT a pet like your Fluffy or Spot. And that may be why consumers let themselves be swayed to vote in animal cruelty laws because we all love our pets and only want the best for them (my spoiled pooch included) but livestock animals and pets are in different categories.

As with many farmers and ranchers, the care of animals is learned early as young children, either with chores on the farm or being in 4H and FFA.  Our nephew, Zach shows you what I am talking about.  He and a couple of buddies grind their own feed for their animals and do all the chores that involve taking care of their animals. We hope that Zach will one day want to farm with his dad (Farmer Jay) and uncle Farmer Joe - but for now our young pig farmer is happy to share what he knows and is learning about the proper care of animals:

So as the official election season is upon us, there mostly likely will be petitions to get animal cruelty laws enacted.  From what I have observed even if petitions or laws have vague language that appears to be targeted towards stopping cruelty to domestic animals, and unless expressly stated, it tends to also cover animal agriculture and then that is bad news for you and me.

A movement is well underway by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the uninformed consumer is being duped into helping them with their goal to make meat so expensive that people cannot afford to put it on their dinner table.  This organization works behind the scenes to get the consumer to vote for legislation that negatively impacts agriculture.   Can you imagine the Thanksgiving holiday without a turkey or Easter without a ham?  

Many believe that HSUS is the parent organization for all humane societies, but that is not true.  Here is a video based upon real facts and legislation that has been passed in many states.  Idaho appears to be one of their next targets to enact legislation under the guise of "animal cruelty" laws and there was a direct quote from HSUS that said they would be funding a "multimillion dollar ballot initiative and hire paid staff to gather signatures".  As I said before, whether it is crops or animals, they are a farmer's paycheck, so we make sure to take care of our paycheck as best we can.  I believe I can truthfully say that 99.99% of farmers and ranchers treat their animals with care, respect and humanely. We do not like to see animal abuse anymore than anyone else does, but we concede there are a few bad apples out there as in any organization and we are aware that when an abuse surfaces, that it give Agriculture a black eye.  We personally know many ranchers and they take pride in their operations and well being of their animals.  For instance,  cows will be taken to the mountains during the summer, because it is cooler for them and in the Fall they will be rounded up.  Often times ranchers in this area will also move their cows to a lower elevation to winter them as the temperature is milder and easier on the cows.

So where does H$U$ get  money  from? Well watch the video and read on.....

HSUS Revealed

This is a direct quote from Humane Watch, "HSUS puts some serious money every year into pension plans for its executives. Since 2004 (when “Humane Wayne” Pacelle took over), the HSUS pension slush fund has grown by more than $8.5 million. Instead of helping dogs and cats in pet shelters, that money will be fattening the wallets of HSUS big shots after they retire."  To read more check out, HumaneWatch, a website created to report on the abuses of HSUS.

What to do?  If you donate to HSUS then STOP, give the money to your local humane society where the money will go directly to helping animals.  Then think very carefully on what kinds of ballot measures you are signing, think even more carefully on the way you vote when it comes to animal cruelty laws or laws that talk about "animal rights" as those laws, once enacted, create financial difficulty for those farmers and ranchers who are involved in animal agriculture.  If you have questions, please call the State or official organizations for the Beef, Pork, Poultry industry to ask about effects these laws have on their sector and if you still need more information, they could most likely get you in touch with a producer to get their insights and views.  But I can almost guarantee that if you, the consumer call their organization and explain that you are a voter and want to know the real story about proposed legislation or ballots coming up, you will get their attention as our councils are very aware of what is being circulated out there.

In conclusion, if people vote without knowing how legislation will affect the Ag industry (and its impact on affordable food) then the results are a lot like my first sandwich making attempt... in that the intent was to do good, but by me lacking the knowledge needed, the end result was disastrous.  So as the election season officially rolls around, be an informed voter and if you feel that protecting your dinner table choice is important, then tell others and better yet - send in a letter to your newspaper editor.  

Want to read more about other farmers and ranchers?  If so then I  invite you to check out this site: Farmer Inc, The Real Story .

As we are talking about food and you, better check out the step by step recipe for Braided Spaghetti Bread on the Good Farm Eats page...
Bread and Spaghetti all rolled into one delicious taste treat

As always, a big thank you to reading this blog and so now I'll get off my soapbox as I need to get this dinner to my friend Cindy for their dinner.  If you have questions then please email me at or leave a comment.  All my best, Gayle

P.S. Farmers Joe & Jay are busy tending the crops and I'll write more about that soon.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend ~

It’s a Fashion Friday and you know what that means?.............................More fabulous finds !  I recently found a great new jewelry designer that I could not resist sharing with all of you ~ Sass N’ Stones.  What a fun name is that? Makes you want to take a look just by the name.

Fun beads with crystals and crosses these necklaces are just so fun and unique!

Brianna Bathery is a young entrepenuer located in Wisconsin. Brianna is the owner and designer of all of the necklaces found on her website

Here is a fun one Brianna created exclusively just for Matt Lautner Cattle –

 You can find the "Monopoly" necklace at the Matt Lautner Cattle Store

Do you have an idea? Brianna can work with you to make your idea become a reality in a lovely necklace.  Wedding parties, graduation gifts, birthday surprises or just a piece because you love them ! 

Where can I find one of these lovely gems?

If you are thinking about attending the Maine/Chi Jr National Cattle Show this summer you can find Sass N Stones there and she is working on attending the Hereford and Shorthorn Jr Nationals too in Grand Island, Nebraska in July!  I’ll be there and you can bet I will be checking out her newest jewels to see which one or two I might need to add to my collection !

You can find Brianna on facebook at sass n stones  or email her at

Until next time ~

Friday, May 11, 2012

Move Over Black Suit ~

Found a great article in the Wall Street Journal Personal section today ~ just right for all of my farm girls who wonder about the dos and don'ts of dressing for success. I just loved this and thought it was worth a share.
The plain solid business suit just got a major makeover - Thank Goodness!
Check out the link below for the full article -

Friday, May 4, 2012

Swim Suits Guaranteed to Wow!

Children holding inflatable ring in sea. Stock Photo - 9620047

Generous behind, little behind
Big boobies, no boobies
Long slender legs, short squaty legs
Sleek arms, muscle arms

Embrace YOU !

These are the things we as girls always think about when choosing a swim suit.  For some, swim suit season is a time to run and hide but it does not have to be that way any more - Real Simple Magazine has come out with a great little piece guaranteed to find the right suit just for your body type - Check it out , put a smile on and have some fun!! 

Happy Start of Summer !!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Mom Day Love = Waffles

I have yet to blog about food ~ why not? Not sure but no time like the present so why not talk about food for mom on Mothers Day - 

Mothers Day is right around the corner and it is never too early to start thinking of something extra for the special mama or noni in your life !  

How about this~  Nothing says love like a special treat made by YOU !!  I found this and thought Wow - how great is this for dads to create with their kids for mom or maybe you are a grown up kid like me and want to do something extra special.

I adore waffles and this yummy mix of white chocolate , half and half and the usual eggs, sugar and stuff looks like a scrumptious meal for breakfast or brunch. Top with some fresh seasonal fruit and VOILA ' instant yumminess!  

Make this Moms Day extra special ~ try it and let us know how it all turns out !

Waffle : Waffle with vanilla ice cream Stock Photo
White Chocolate Waffles with fresh fruit ~ pure yumminess

 Recipe: White chocolate waffles

  • 4 eggs
  • 6 tablespoons superfine sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups half-and-half
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 to 4 ounces white chocolate, melted (see note)
  • 7 ounces (1 1/2 cups) unbleached cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Start the waffle iron and preheat the oven to 200 degrees F to keep the finished waffles warm. Run warm water over the eggs for 20 seconds, then separate them. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites to stiff peaks, then sprinkle in 4 tablespoons of the sugar with the mixer on high speed. Carefully move the meringue to a separate bowl and set aside.
Using the same bowl and whisk, mix the yolks and the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar on high speed for 30 seconds. Reduce the speed to medium and add the half-and-half and vanilla. Scrape the melted white chocolate into the mixer and whip to incorporate. Meanwhile, in another bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt to combine. Fold the flour mixture into the yolk base, then gently fold in the meringue. Spray the waffle iron with plenty of nonstick spray. Ladle ¼ cup batter onto each square of the iron. Cook following the waffle iron's directions. Serve immediately or hold on a heat-resistant plate in the warmed oven.
Note: Melt white chocolate in a double-boiler or a metal bowl placed over a saucepan of steaming water. It's important to warm all of the ingredients so the white chocolate won't stiffen and clump up. Anything cold will harden the cocoa butter and ruin the texture. Bittersweet chocolate pieces work just as well if you favor dark chocolate.
(thanks to the Today Show for providing this recipe on their website for their followers)