Friday, June 29, 2012

Think Outside the Box

This past week two music sensations have literally "popped!"  The Peterson Brothers of Kansas and Scott Shelby of Texas.  These young men have taken their talents and showcased their love of American Agriculture with a whole different twist than you and I might ever think of doing. 

The Peterson Brothers changed a popular pop tune into a farm themed song and played it out in a you-tube video on their farm. Farming, Ranching, Singing, Dancing, Celebrating what they do ! That's it ! That Simple! You can watch their video that is now well over 1.5 million views here Peterson Brothers - I'm Farming and I Grow It  

Scott Shelby has followed his dream by heading to Nashville, Tennessee this past week where his hit WagonWheel is now available on i-tunes!  Scott has taken his passion to numerous venues throughout the United States including national junior cattle shows, state fairs, and private events.  You can find out more about Scott following his dream at  His first official music video Young and Invincible can be seen here 
Young and Invincible.

So whats my point with all of this?  Besides promoting these young men following their passion my point with all of it is they are AGvocating for American Agriculture and might not even know it.  By doing what you love and believing with your whole heart and soul about rural life they are expressing that by thinking outside the box , trying something new and different and fun and in the meantime thousands of us in rural america are following along on their coat tails.  By sharing the you-tubes and i-tunes songs and videos we are sharing in a piece of their dream and really a piece of our own.  To showcase what we love and what so many of us believe in and do each and every day.  How many of us that blog and tweet and facebook on a daily basis have already used these guys as topics for discussion this past week?  I have , I have!! And I am proud of that , proud to be a cheerleader of others doing good for all of us! 

Support those that support us - check them out - enjoy - have fun and when you decide that its high time that you start AGvocating get out there and do it - Just be YOU , be YOURSELF, showcase your God-given talents and get after it !  

American Agriculture needs ALL of us !  YOU have a special way to showcase what you do - Just Do It - Its that simple.

Best Wishes Boys - Proud of you for following your passion- the world needs more of you !
I for one am a crazed fan :) 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Bottom Line ~ Passion is Key

This week I had the grand opportunity to travel to the land of beautiful people ~ Hollywood, California for the US Farmers and Ranchers Alliance Food Dialogues.  Though a Californian all of my life I had never had the chance to venture south to Hollywood and quite honestly it was a nice place to experience but love my ranch life just a wee bit more ~ actually a lot more.  Nonetheless I am so very appreciative to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association  for inviting me as their guest. 

I was fortunate enough to listen to two panels, one discussing pop culture and their connect to agriculture and then a tour of a Hollywood urban farm. Both were really well done and the panel members were unique to various different areas of expertise.   Organic walnut grower, sustainable food systems advisor, a farmer, a rancher, celebrity chef, television director and producer, and a professor of ag communications were just a sampling of those that contributed to the day’s discussion.

I can probably go into in depth analysis of what each had to say but what I thought was truly important was the bottom line that at the end of the day what did everyone have in common?  A passion!  I am a firm proponent of passion and following your bliss.  Each and every one of these folks were committed to their specific industry and savvy enough to truly listen to each other, try to understand each other and converse with each other.  That is what it is all about as far as I am concerned.  If we can engage in conversations with all corners of beliefs we can share our stories, we can experience each other, we can get a taste of the heart and soul of what each person brings to the table.

I was proud of our ag folks that represented all of us for I believe they truly brought a face to what agriculture is all about, farming and ranching is real, it is who we are, it is not computer generated, it is people getting after it each and every day and I think that those not directly involved in agriculture learned that on this special day.  As many of these folks I am committed to learning all I can about all thoughts on our industry, eager to engage and share and let my ag story tell itself through my passion and experiences.  

I think Jeff Fowle (farmer/rancher/my friend) said it best ~ we don’t resist change, we resist being changed.  I thought of that for a long while and it is so very true.  I think more and more farmers and ranchers are open to getting the conversation going , trying to understand what needs to be done yet keeping to their values and who they are at their core but possibly tweaking a bit and making a change to make it all work for the good of the industry as a whole. What we don’t like is someone telling us we must change; we want to make that decision on our own.

Some might think I am an ultra optimist ~ I believe in the future of agriculture and the future of you and I, I believe in what we are doing to get the conversations going.  I am afraid the days of keeping to ourselves is over , for us to be successful in agriculture we must make the effort to share, to converse, to open up about what we do , who we are, why it is important to us.  I am a firm believer that if you speak from the heart and share who you are and maybe yes even  letting yourself be a bit vulnerable who  can tell you that you are wrong?  WE are doing good things , WE as an industry are making good strides, I believe that though at times we get frustrated with all that is handed to us each and every day we must find balance with it all. Together we can sort through it  and make a difference.  I am optimistic , we have to be if we are gonna get it done !

Thank You NCBA for the work you do on behalf of cattle ranchers nationwide, thank you for the opportunity to be a part of you for a day ~ I truly enjoyed it all !

The United States Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) is a newly formed alliance consisting of a wide range of prominent farmer and rancher led organizations and agriculture partners.  This marks the first time agriculture groups at the national, regional and state levels have collaborated to lead the dialogue and answer Americans’ questions about how we raise our food ~ while being stewards of the environment , responsibly caring for our animals and maintaining strong businesses and communities. 

I encourage you to check them out at or

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Getting Back to Family ~ Guest Post from Trent Loos

Today we are going to take a break from fashion to talk about one of my other loves – FAMILY

I have had the grand opportunity to meet a lot of folks in this industry who have made an impact on me  – Trent and Kelli Loos and their three girls Libbi, Lindsi and Landri are the epitome of a family unit. I was lucky enough to spend a week with them last summer and I fell in love with their way of life in Nebraska .  They are all that is good….. simple, hard working, committed to the betterment and future of our industry.  Trent writes for the High Plains Journal, you can find him here at .

I felt so strongly about his most recent article that I asked if I could use it as a guest post today – and he obliged. So sit back and take a gander at this one – its good !!!  For I believe that with the love and commitment of family everything is possible ! Someday I hope to venture out and check out the Hutterite way of life , not sure I will need to worry about packing all of my “fashion stuff” but I know for one thing that I will come away with a different appreciation of what is real and true in the world.  Thanks Trent and Kelli for opening your home to me and introducing me to your lovely way of life – You are the real deal ! 

~For sometimes keeping things simple will get us where we need to go in the future ~


Today is same as yesterday on a colony By Trent Loos

There is no question that our society is ever-changing and after my last week's trip north of the border to Starbuck, Manitoba, I am reminded that not all of our changes are for the better. I spent two tremendous days with a couple of Hutterite colonies near Starbuck, mostly the Starlite Colony. If you are not familiar with the colony structure, simplified it is basically 100 people living together that operate as a large family farm.
"Good night, John-Boy." Does that bring back memories for you? Even though the Hutterites do not live under one roof, it brought back the whole concept to me of the way life used to be in the United States. Three generations living under one roof, each gaining and learning and leaning on the other. What happened to those days?
A new study from the University of Illinois says that over a 10-year period 8.3 million seniors (about 14 percent) in the United States face the threat of hunger. From 2001 to 2010, the number of seniors experiencing the threat of hunger increased by 78 percent, according to the study. Since the onset of the recession in 2007 to 2010, the number of seniors experiencing the threat of hunger increased by 34 percent.
In fact, the numbers say that one in seven seniors face the threat of hunger.
I don't need to tell anybody about the decline in the economic conditions outside of the farm economy in the past three years. If you truly look at the big picture, isn't the issue that we have ventured too far from the core of how we are meant to survive--by having our family members close in a time of need?
In fact, it just hit me that even my cows tend to hang in cow family units. Ironic, isn't it, that the animal that survives with basic instincts rather than social pressures still clings to the concept of a family unit.
With all of the statistics and numbers that I can throw at you, this one hits me the hardest.
In 1965, 93 percent of all American births were to women with marriage licenses. Over the next few decades, the percentage of babies without a father has risen steadily. As of 1970, 11 percent of births were to unmarried mothers; by 1990, that number had risen to 28 percent. Today, 41 percent of all births are to unmarried women. And for mothers under 30, that rate is 53 percent.
We all know that what we grow up with tends to be what we accept as the norm. So while I am romanticizing the Waltons, nearly half of the kids born today don't even have the benefit of a father and a mother under the same roof.
You would think that this election year, where the rhetoric flows freely about how to improve life in America, that at least one person would latch on and say: "The problem we have today is that we have ventured too far from the family unit. We need to get back to the family unit and most of our perceived problems will go away."
Nope. Instead we discuss and propose such things as gay marriage being the norm. Look at the poor developing nations where survival from one day to the next is top of mind, they still have strong family units. I suppose that a fair number of you are shouting, "Trent, the Bible says that wealth is the destruction of what is really important."
So back to where I started with the fact that we all need reminders about what is truly important in life. I, for one, am thankful we still have folks like the good families on the Hutterite colonies in Canada and United States that have not veered one bit from centering on God and family for the future as well as our past. Perhaps if we all return to that value system, we can help restore the strength and stability of our great nation.

Eager to find out more about Trent Loos – check him out !!!!
Editor's note: Trent Loos is a sixth generation United States farmer, host of the daily radio show, Loos Tales, and founder of Faces of Agriculture, a non-profit organization putting the human element back into the production of food. Get more information, or email Trent at
Date: 6/11/2012

Friday, June 1, 2012

You've Got a Friend in Me

I have been blessed in life with a swarm of friends !  Since I have a small family my friends have become an extension of my bigger circle.  They mean the world to me and I think it is very important to tend to them properly.  So today I thought why not mix it up a bit and jot down a few tips on what I think is an outline for being a good friend.  With the help of “How To Live Like a Lady” by Sarah Tomczak I have created a list:  ( because being ultra-anal I like lists)

Tips on Being a Good Friend
  • Phone when you say you will
  • Always remember their birthday
  • Don’t tell their secrets
  • Don’t be judgmental
  • Always be a shoulder to cry on or a place of celebration
  • Return what you borrow, cleaned and in good condition
  • Don’t gossip about a friend behind their back
  • Let them sleep on your sofa if they miss their flight, the train, has a fight with their spouse or too tipsy to drive home
  • Don’t comment on their weight unless of course they ask you
  • Don’t copy a girlfriends style – create your own
  • Help with job applications, moving to a new home and planning their kids birthdays

What are your tips to being a good friend?  Lets share them!!

My friends are a blessing in my life~ not sure what I’d do without them !
I love you more and cherish you more than you will ever know !
Cheers to each and every one of you !
Thank you for adding that special sparkle to my life!