Wednesday, October 31, 2012

191 Livestock Company

Today we have a post from Robert Brown and Francine Acord-Brown. Together they raise cattle and performance horses in western Colorado!

191 Livestock Company and 191 Performance Horses. One can tell from the name of the companies, Robert & Francine already wears many hats and has many faces in both the cattle industry and horse world. Robert also has more than a full-time job as a drilling consultant in the oil and natural gas industry.

191 Livestock Company is the Registered Black Angus program (specializing in breeding seed stock genetics that are PAP tested for fitness to thrive in the high altitudes in the Rocky Mountains along the Continental Divide). Francine grew up cattle ranching in the high country (winter ground elevation is 8,200 +/-) and she spent all too many years understanding first hand brisket disease, diagnosing it and realizing death loss because of it.

Luckily, Francine’s father is a well respected and progressive commercial cattleman, and Dr. Timothy Holt became an annual winter visitor to test the new bulls he purchased after they had time to acclimate to the high elevation above Yampa, CO before PAP testing became a standard practice by the Seedstock producers. The “PAP test” stands for Pulmonary Arterial Pressure. 191 Livestock PAP score goals are from mid-30’s to low 40’s. Most of our customers are well informed and know what scores work for their altitude. In our market, customers look at PAP score first, then the bull. Their livelihood depends on it. Our goal is to not only have low PAP scores, calving ease AND high $B’s on every single heifer and bull we produce. If we have cattle with a high PAP score, someone in lower elevations can take them and they can still produce the kind of cattle they can feed out and collect the carcass premiums for themselves. The breeding decisions we’ll be making in the next two months will affect the consumers’ plate in 2018. 191 Livestock Company does not take this responsibility lightly.

191 is one of the few breeders that PAP test both heifers and bulls calves. “We AI our cattle, most of the AI sires offered do not have PAP scores”. Certain genetic lines tend to PAP test better, but 191 feels that if we know our heifers, their dam scores and grand dam scores, we can make a more educated guess which sires should cross with our females. But environmental factors also play into it such as a calf born in the cold wherein frostbite gets their ears, calves born backwards and respiratory infections early in their lives all attribute to higher PAP scores which is undesirable, but not genetic. “We can only control and predict so much”. Worst case, if they don’t have a desirable PAP score for the high altitude, they can thrive at a lower altitude and become excellent lifelong producers for those not challenged by high altitude.

191 Performance Horses is the other side of 191. 191 also reining and cow bred horses to compete in Reined Cow Horse/Reining/Versatility Ranch Horse events. The goal of the 191 horse program is to breed, raise, and do the basic training on the babies. Francine has started showing the horses that fit the non-pro program, where in 2012 she has become successful in the show ring. Currently, two trainers assist them and the program is just starting. 191 Performance horses has only been showing horses a total of four years and refocused two years ago on the working cow horse/versatility show pens and have had remarkable success with both the open and non-pro horses.

Many people ask where the “191” comes from. That is “our” Colorado brand. The Acord family has many brands and Francine had her own brand (Stairstep F) prior to meeting and marrying Robert. Both families come from generations and generations of farming and ranching families.

Robert and Francine are late bloomers in Ag coming full circle back to our roots. Robert has had a life long career in the gas and oil business travelling worldwide and offshore to stay in the industry. Francine was a single parent from the time her youngest daughter was 2. Her youngest is now 26 and together, they have 7 grandchildren, who are all fortunate to have their young lives touched by horses and agriculture in varying degrees.

Robert and Francine married in 2009 and within a month of being married, they purchased the first 12 head of Black Angus cattle, and bought several more within a few months. Within a year, they sold all the commercial cattle and purchased an entire herd of Registered Black Angus cattle. They not only bought cattle, they purchased a program, with the intent to not only continue, but to improve the overall program. The previous owners wanted to retire and put their 14 years of expertise into building a program. “It would have taken us at least that to put together a program, so we bought them out instead”.

Neither Robert, nor Francine had ever “owned” their own cattle before. “When we purchased the registered cattle, we picked our very own heifers, named them and halter broke them. Francine took them to a Chef’s trade show to show off “real cattle” at the Vail Marriot for people to actually see and touch real cattle. The live display was a hit, and a challenge that frankly, they were unsure if she could pull it off. Francine had 6 days to halter break, clip, bathe and break to lead and load. We put up four 12 x 12 panels, but nothing solid to tie the panels or the cattle to. She pulled it off and it really hit home not only how good our genetics were, but also their dispositions. It was like your kindergarten kids making you proud. The organizers were impressed and 191 with more notice the second go around, had another great display for 2011.

The Browns built their ranch from scratch, from the calving barns, to livestock pens. Francine has never been happier in the cattle business. Growing up on a large cattle ranch in Yampa, CO, the ranch was “work” and never any time to enjoy life. “Now, we can work cows in less than two hours, weigh them and know everything about each heifer and bulls genetics, and can look up information and genetics like the horse industry.” Francine does all the AI’ing, freeze branding and together they make the day to day decisions. Robert still has a more than full time job. Francine’s job with the cows allows her the freedom to pursue her lifelong dreams in the horse industry also. There is nothing like “loving life” every single day, and getting to do what you always wanted to do!

There is no typical day on our ranch. Since we are in the registered business with both our cattle and horses, we do everything at least 30-60 days earlier than the rest of the ranchers in the area. We calve in January, foal in February. We wean the end of August, while most ranchers are still gathering into October. It’s so nice to have small numbers, super quality in both the cattle and horses and still enjoy life. We both love to boat on Lake Powell and spend time with our families (three sets of parents and grandkids). We have three 6 year olds, two 4 year olds and a 2.5 year old and baby. They are all close in age and like most of the same things, although the closest family is 2.5 hours away, the other two families in Wyoming are 5 hours drive in two separate directions.

The Brown’s are enjoying life together and love the life they’ve built as a couple in recent years. If nothing else, we are proof that dreams do come true, both relationship-wise and feel blessed they have made the life together they enjoy with the cattle and horses. We want our grandchildren and the next generation to know where their food comes from and how to be self sufficient and to never give up on finding that balance in life. Drought years bring realization that sometimes we all need to buckle down, make tough decisions and press on. Tough times never last, but tough people do.

191 Livestock Company/191 Performance Horses
Rulison, Colorado (Western Colorado)
Robert Brown & Francine Acord-Brown

Thank you Robert and Francine for a great feature!!! Please visit their websites and and Facebook pages 191 Livestock Company and 191 Performance Horses to keep up with whats going on at the ranch!

Are you proud of your farm or ranch? Tell us about it! You could be the next feature! Please contact us today!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Rose Cattle Company of Three Forks Montana

Today we feature Rose Cattle Company of Three Forks, Montana! Karoline Rose is a proud agvocate for agriculture and encourages producers to get involved in the beef industry!

Rose Cattle Company is located in Three Forks Montana, a beautiful small town in Montana where the three rivers meet to form the Missouri. We are a family operation 100% with the occasional day workers. John Rose, my father, is a cattle buyer/broker and we are in 7 different sale barns a week. Most of the cattle my father buys and resales are shipped to the Midwest and feed in feedlots there. Cattle buyers/ brokers are simply cattle traders. He is the middle man, buying from the families that raise cow calf pairs and selling to the feedlots.

We run a group of yearlings during the summer and my brother, Jacob and his wife Kelsey are in charge of the yearlings. My grandma Mary is a frequent visitor and helps Silvia our secretary in the office. Jackson, the baby of the family plays a huge role also. He is always there when we process calves or doctor yearlings. Processing calves involves giving them all the needed vaccinations, so we can maintain a healthy sellable product. I, Karoline Rose, raised pure bred Angus Cattle and help with both the office work and they daily feedings when I am not at school.

One of the best parts about being in the cattle industry is the fact that I get to work with my brothers and dad everyday. Not only do we spend time as a family supporting my brother, whether its watching Jackson play football or watching Jake ride in a ranch rodeo, we also get to function as a family business.

I wish people understood how much time and effort is put into a family business. It’s 24/7, waking up at 2 am to check for calves or feeding at 10pm after a football game. We do it together and learn to work through the challenges and be successful. The future is Ag is huge and there is tons of potential for everyone.

There is not one thing I would change about my life in the cattle community. I can’t wait until I get done at Montana State University so I can go back and work side by side with my family everyday.

Cattle aren’t our avenue in the agriculture industry. We raise stock dogs, and my dad puts on working dog clinics all over Montana. My brother Jacob graduated with a natural horsemanship degree from University of Montana-Western and he breaks and train horses on the side.

Working stock dog from the Rose Cattle Company
Please get involved with the industry, whether you like to write, speech or take photos we can use all of you! If your interested in cattle, dogs, horses or just to chat feel free to contact us! Follow us Facebook, Twitter or our Blog.

Thank you Karoline for a great feature!! Be sure to check out their Facebook, Twitter and Blog. You could be the next FOA feature!!! Check out our contact page - or e-mail us at to get started!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Misener Family Harvesters

Today we welcome Emma of Misener Family Harvesters! This family follows the harvest from the Texas/Oklahoma border all the way to the North Dakota/Canadian border!

I woke up this morning in my smaller-than-average sized bed, to the wonderful sound of rain hitting the camper roof. Although it was a day of taking it easy, there are always those few things that can’t get themselves done. The trucks need to be dumped at the elevator, fueling and servicing still needs attention. This may be a nothing-to-do sort of day, but trust me. This day is nothing like a typical day on harvest. My name is Emma Misener and I am a custom harvester. I work with Misener Family Harvesters, Elk City, Okla., where I work for my mother, Kristy and along-side my brother Dan.

In 1971, my father, Ron, started Misener Family Harvesters after serving as an Army Sergeant in the Vietnam War. A few years later he was hired by a neighbor who had just moved to the area. It was that job where he met the farmer’s daughter and the rest became history. Dad and Mom built a family and business, and both thrived. They began traveling south to the Texas/Oklahoma border with combines harvesting wheat from one farm to the next, working their way north to the North Dakota/Canadian border. Once wheat harvest came to a close, fall harvest began and they worked their way back home harvesting as they went. Their tradition still lives on today.

I was born on the harvest trail, raised on the harvest trail, and still live on the harvest trail. I remember taking along my crayons and paper in the combine, riding with mom while harvesting. By the time I reached 10 years old, I had already began to beg Dad to let me drive the big machines, and by then I’m sure he was ready to at least let me try. My first field of wheat I combined was 3.75 acres and I still remember what he said. “You’re doing an excellent job, but it looks like you’re chasing a snake!” I just smiled and said, “I promise I’ll learn to drive straighter. Will you please let me have my own combine?” I’ve been driving big green machines since.

As the business grew the family did, too. I am the youngest of six children. My older sisters Marie, Katie, and Elizabeth and my brother David, soon left and started families of their own. To help fill their void Dad and Mom decided to hire help. By the time I was 15 years old I was training hired men. When interviewing potential employees, one of the questions he asked them was, “can you listen to a 15 year old girl?” They always chuckled thinking he was joking, but Dad was very serious about it.

Two years ago in December, my Dad passed away. His love and passion for harvesting still lives on today in my Mom, my brother Dan and I. Mom, Dan, and I continue his legacy harvesting the trail where it all began. Mom still does the cooking and the business, with Dan and I helping her through it all. Although it is harder to go on without him, we still have the motivation he passed down to keep us all moving forward.

We are in blistery and rainy South Dakota finishing up our fall harvest, combining corn.

Our day begins at 7:30 a.m. with breakfast, followed by a trip to the elevator with trucks filled the previous night, and then head out to the field. Mom usually packs a lunch for us to take in the morning, and once in a while she will surprise us with hot lunch. We arrive at the field, fuel up the combine, and service it by greasing the proper places, checking the oil, and then do a ‘walk-around’ checking belts/chains or anything else that seems out of the ordinary. Then the fun part begins. Once we start harvesting corn we go until the elevator closes, and then fill everything one more time for a morning trip. Once the trucks are full we head home, clean up, eat supper, and get to bed. There isn’t much time for anything other than harvesting.

I love our way of life. I love the smell of the crops, the dust in the air, and the sense of accomplishment when a field is harvested. It makes me want to do it all over again. I’m getting the itch to get back home to warmer Oklahoma, but in two months I’ll be itching to get back on the road.

Our stops on the road become home. Every place is different and has its own unique beauty. The people we hire, the people we cut for, and fellow custom harvesters become family. Even the people at the grocery stores or gas stations say ‘Hey! When did y’all get back in town? We’ve missed you!’

It can be stressful and a lot of hard work, but I wouldn’t choose any other way of life. The U.S. Custom Harvesters, Inc., go by the motto ‘we harvest the crops that feed the world’. This sums it up. I’m proud to be a custom harvester. We really do feed the world.

(L to R) Me, my brother Dan, my Dad Ron, and my Mom Kristy. This was the last family photograph before my Dad passed away. We were at the John Deere Fall Festival in Waterloo, Iowa celebrating antique tractors. My Dad loved restoring the ‘Ol’ Girls’ and went to every antique show we could go to.

We load our semis and move to our first stop on the harvest run. Most of the time we haul the combines because our stops from farm to farm are far enough away, that it’s cost efficient to haul them.

Other times, our farmers are closer together so we drive the combines from one farm to the next. It just depends on how far our farmers are from each other.

Cutting wheat in Oklahoma! We make rounds all day long in a clockwise motion so that we can always unload on-the-go.

We unload each combine one by one, then dump the grain into the waiting semis, where they then take it to the elevator.

My Dad was a very patriotic man; something that he has definitely passed on to me and the rest of my family. Every year, we put new American flags flying from each of our machines.

Every day of my life is a blessing. I love what I do and wouldn’t change a minute of it!

Thank you Emma and the folks from All Aboard Harvest for this great feature!!! If you’d like to follow along with Misener Family Harvesters during our summer harvest - visit, or our Facebook page at . You can reach Emma at

YOU can be the next Face of Agriculture Feature - Contact us today!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Snake River Produce Company

Today we hear from Tiffany Cruickshank of Snake River Produce Company. She is a fourth generation agriculturalist!

Snake River Produce Company, LLC is located in Nyssa, Oregon in the heart of the Idaho-Eastern Oregon onion region.

Snake River Produce is an onion packer and shipper – shipping red, white, and yellow onions from August to the end of March each year. Established in 1999, Snake River Produce was formerly owned and operated formerly by Muir-Roberts Co., Inc. headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. Muir-Roberts operated this facility for approximately 50 years and in 1999, four onion growers, Reid Saito, Ken Teramura, Les Ito, and Ross Nishihara, along with Kay Riley, former Vice President of Operations for Muir-Roberts purchased the assets and business from Muir-Roberts. Pat Takasugi, a local onion grower and Idaho State Representative joined the business in 2003 as a part owner and grower. Following his passing in 2011, Pat’s wife, Suzanne took over the farm and partnership in Snake River Produce.

General Manager of our facility - Kay Riley & Tiffany Cruickshank

I am a fourth generation agriculturalist working in Sales, Marketing, & Transportation for Snake River Produce Company, LLC. My great-grandfather Henry started farming after he moved to the United States from Germany. My grandfather Peter and father Michael continued the farming tradition and my father still farms today on the farm and ranch where I grew up. My husband Chad grew up on a row crop farm started by his grandfather and is now an agriculture instructor and FFA advisor at the local high school. Needless to say, we are entrenched in the agriculture industry and have deep-rooted traditions with our families.

We are a seasonal shipper – shipping onions from approximately the middle of August to the end of March year. During what we call our ‘busy season’, our days vary. Generally, we work in the office at the packing shed selling onions, arranging transportation via rail and truck, discussing the market with customers, taking care of paperwork, and any other project that comes our way. We also take care of the traceability aspect of our onions, check on the product being packed, and keep up with the day-to-day dealings of a business. That is a very broad view of the job, but we all wear a lot of hats and take on various jobs to make sure everything gets accomplished!

My favorite part of living on a farm and ranch – and working in the agricultural industry is the people and the culture. The individuals we deal with are the hardest working, most honest people you will meet. The integrity and determination that comes along with agriculturalists is unrivaled and I would not want to work with a different group of people.

Food safety and the perception by the public is definitely one of the biggest challenges we face. It seems as though there is some sort of fresh produce recall in the media regularly. Dry onions have never been the focus of a food safety issue and we go through tremendous effort to make our food safe. Dry bulb onions are at very low risk for food safety issues, however, they are still categorized with leafy greens in the USDA food safety classification. In a proactive move to keep ahead of new mandatory food safety and traceability measures, Snake River Produce uses a traceability program utilizing GPS and mock recall segments. AIB, a third-party auditor has given Snake River a superior rating for more than a year and the grower base for our facility is GAP-certified through the USDA. Another step we take is multi-level testing by Certified Onions, Inc. in coordination with the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

Thank you Tiffany for a great feature!! You can learn more about Snake River Produce Company by checking out their Facebook Page , their LinkedIn Profile and website or follow them on Pinterest for great onion Recipes!

You can be the next Faces of Agriculture Feature - send us an email at to learn how to get started!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tricia Miller - Wyoming Ranch Wife and Entrepreneur

Today we welcome Tricia Miller of Wyoming! Tricia and her family live on a ranch raising Black Angus cattle. She enjoy's working on the ranch but has also has some special endeavors of her own.

My name is Tricia Miller. My family and I live on my husband’s family’s ranch in eastern Wyoming. We reside in Niobrara County, the least populated county in the least populated state in the nation and also an agriculture-based community with a small-town atmosphere, where everyone knows everyone and friends and neighbors are still happy and willing to help each other out, whether it’s working cattle or fighting fire.

Milking "Jewel" the cow

My husband and I were both raised on ranches and wouldn’t trade the country life for the world. We’ve continued the tradition by raising our kids to appreciate the land and animals and the lifestyle that promotes responsibility and hard work ethics. The sport of rodeo is another part of the Miller heritage, and our older son, Colton (19), rides saddle broncs for Central Wyoming college, and our younger son, Blake (7), enjoys participating in local junior rodeos in the summer.

The Miller Ranch, established in 1951 by my father-in-law’s (Patrick) parents, is located outside of Lance Creek, Wyoming, and supports a Black Angus cow-calf operation, with Patrick and his two sons, Justen (my husband) and Jason, as the main operators, plus a full-time hired hand. To help support the cattle income, Jason continues a thriving career in rodeo (2007 Steer Wrestling World Champion), and although Justen was an accomplished saddle bronc rider for many years, he chose to leave rodeo to help his dad with the family’s booming business, Miller Enterprises, Inc., an oil field roustabout company.

As for myself, while I help out with ranching duties as needed, I also have other furry and feathery endeavors I pursue, such as rabbits, chickens, ducks, pigs, and a Brown Swiss milk cow. We have a couple of pet rabbits for Blake, a trio of meat rabbits, and one English Angora rabbit (Scooter), which produces a lovely fiber for spinning, another hobby I’ve recently taken up. We typically have around 80 chickens of varying breeds, such as Barred Rock, Rhode Island Red, Buff Orpington, Leghorns, and a few others. We buy them as chicks and raise them. I sell eggs to locals who enjoy farm fresh eggs, delivering in town every Tuesday afternoon. And just for fun, we have some White Crested and Khaki Campbell ducks around the yard, as well as a pair of Muscovy ducks, but we also use their eggs for baking as well. They’re quite entertaining to watch and fun to feed! We raised three pigs this summer, which was a first for me, and I thoroughly enjoyed them and would love to do that again.

Gathering eggs
Every morning when I return from taking Blake to the school bus, “Jewel” the milk cow is waiting for me to come milk her. She is quite possibly the sweetest cow you’ll ever meet and you won’t find better tasting milk and cream anywhere! She is giving about 4-1/2 gallons per day currently, but was up to 6 gallons a day for a while earlier this summer. I use the milk and cream to make wonderful butter and soft cheeses, such as cheese curds, cream cheese, mozzarella cheese, and others, and hard cheeses, such as cheddar. I also use it to make delicious sour cream, kefir, and buttermilk to drink.

Making mozzarella cheese!
A few years ago, after a conversation with my husband about the things our great grandparents knew how to do/make that we don’t anymore and have to depend on the grocery store for, I decided to learn to make soap. Little did I know what my curiosity would lead to! I found that making soap was really fun and so satisfying to make something with your hands for your family that was better than what we could get in the grocery store! After giving it to friends and family with lots of positive feedback and encouragement to sell it to the public, I also started Miller Soap Co. a few years ago, a handmade soap hobby that blossomed into a successful business that has enabled me to work out of our home. I have a business page on Facebook ( for online customers, have soap in a few stores around eastern Wyoming, and also attend craft shows.

Photo courtesy to the Lusk Herald
The country life is definitely not the easy life. The animals and land require a lot of tending, and it doesn’t matter what the weather is, and in Wyoming, that can be anywhere from -30 degrees in the winter to 100+ degrees in the summertime, most of the time with wind. The hours can be long and the critters don’t always cooperate to make the job easy. It’s a long drive to town for groceries and kids’ school and 4-H activities, and the gas prices put limits on trips to town. But overall, there is something special about living hand-in-hand with nature on the wide-open spaces and having the freedom that comes with a little control over your own schedule. It’s not a get-rich-quick scheme, but it’s an extremely satisfying experience. It may not be the life for everyone, but it is most definitely for our family!

Thank you Tricia for a great feature!!! We wish you much success in your soap making business!! Be sure to check out their Facebook page to check all of her homemade products!!

YOU could be the next Faces of Agriculture feature! Contact us at to learn more! We are telling the story of agriculture one face at a time!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Millikan Family of Missouri

Today we welcome another great feature from Brittni Drennan of the International Brangus Breeders Association. The Millikan family of Missouri!

The Millikan family is sure about one thing- they love everything about their Brangus cattle and have a passion for the lifestyle they lead. In 1981 Homer and Carolyn Millikan, currently the owners of HC Brangus in Sedgewickville, Mo., had been raising registered Angus cattle when they bought a three-quarter Brangus bull and made the decision to introduce Brangus genetics into their breeding program.

Homer had been custom fitting show cattle and Carolyn was active in the show circuit when the couple, now married 51 years, initially met in Sedgewickville as young sixteen-year-olds. Homer admits it was his wife who convinced him to get involved in seedstock production, but it was Roy Meyer, Carolyn’s uncle, who taught him the ropes. Making a living strictly in the cattle business, Homer said you have to know what you are doing and know what you are selling.

“I’m trying to breed good, sound cattle,” Homer said. “I try to be consistent, and I breed cattle that are born small and gain weight before weaning time and perform on minimum feed. They have a lot of bone, rear end and rib eye area because it puts more thickness, depth and more length to your cattle; if you have a long, heavy-boned animal, they’ll put on more pounds.”

Carolyn said their steers qualify for value added programs like Certified Angus Beef (CAB) and grade Choice on the grading scale. She compliments Brangus for being efficient, adaptable to their environment and more profitable because they weigh heavier at weaning.

“Our Brangus calves weighed 100 pounds more at weaning than Angus, grew bigger on less feed and can take the cold as well as they can the hot,” Carolyn said.

“They’re out grazing and not standing in the pond when it’s hot,” Homer agreed, “and they will eat a lot rougher forage than any other cow I know of. They can pick the blooms out of thistles and never get a sticker.”

Aside from the Brangus breed’s advantageous qualities, Homer places emphasis on smart management techniques to make the business successful. He knows everything there is to know about his cattle. He weighs them each month after weaning, he knows what they are eating, how much feed they get and exactly how much feed cost per pound.

“You’ve got to know your input cost and if it’s worth it to keep them on feed,” Homer said. “If they’re not gaining weight, you have to get rid of them, but we have very few that won’t gain like they should.”

Knowing their product and having specific goals for their breeding program is what has enabled Homer to easily market his cattle and build a positive reputation with his customers, some of which have been buying HC Brangus cattle for 15 years.

The Millikans utilize some of the latest technologies to be more efficient. Homer uses Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs) to compare birth weight (BW) and rib eye area (REA) between two animals. The Millikans also utilize artificial insemination (AI) techniques to gain more access to other bloodlines, which their daughter, Bobbi Welker, oversees.

“We have daughters from our herd bull, and AI’ing gives us more options,” Welker said. “My daughter wanted to get into the club calf sires. We crossed the Maintainer bull with some of our Brangus heifers and got some nice looking heifer calves.”

Helping her mom and dad with the family business is a lifestyle Welker and her family appreciates and enjoys. She said it gives her an opportunity to teach her daughter, Samantha, important life lessons and how to be self-sufficient. Moreover, she said she could spend hours just watching the cows and calves; it is a peaceful place someone can go to get away from life’s demands and busy schedule.

“It’s great to have your family together and working together,” Welker said. “It’s a lot of work, but when you’re working together it can be a lot of fun.”

Thank you Brittni for another great feature! If you have questions about Brangus genetics or want more information, contact the International Brangus Breeders Association (IBBA) at 210-696-8231 or visit to find a Brangus breeder near you. Don't forget to read the Beef Tips Blog and like them on Facebook.

YOU could be the next FOA feature! No need to have a blog! Contact us today to learn how to be a feature!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Jenkins Ranch since 1888

Today we welcome Jennifer Jenkins of Southern Alberta Canada!!

Hi Everyone! I feel so grateful to be a part of our awesome agriculture community that is showcased here on Faces of Agriculture. My name is Jen Jenkins and primarily I am a rancher living in Southern Alberta, Canada.

My family came to this area in 1888 and developed a ranch here raising horses and sheep. Over the years and now 5 generations later we are still living on the same land. Currently I ranch here with my father, Bob, where we raise both purebred and commercial Hereford Cattle calving approximately 300 cows each spring.

I have always loved ranching and the many rewards that come with this lifestyle. From an early age we were encouraged to have a great appreciation for Mother Nature and the land which sustains us which is something that is still very important to me. We are very lucky to live in an amazing part of the country, with a diverse population of plants and wildlife.

Raising cattle is one of my true life passions. Never content to just “own cows”, I am always working toward creating a more profitable, efficient animal that meets the demands of today’s livestock industry. Equally important to me are those people who are connected to the agriculture industry.

check out Jennifer's youtube interview here!
I see in others who make their living from the land so much passion, pride and care for their product and what it is that they do. There is a certain amount of negative media around our food production systems and I often wish that those people who eat the food we produce could experience this way of living for themselves.

My love for those people involved in agriculture has provided me with new opportunities through the Green Hectares and FarmOn Foundation where I am now working as an online business facilitator for farmers and rural communities. Working from home in this role has allowed me to give back to the agricultural community who has offered me so much encouragement and support throughout the years. As a facilitator I am available to listen to your goals, dreams or even your challenges and help you utilize the resources which will make your business successful. 

Ranching today has a number challenges but I also believe that it has tremendous rewards and I strongly believe in providing future generations the same opportunities that I have had in this business. I thank everyone who has also chosen to share a bit of their story here at Faces of Agriculture, through these story’s we are all helping protect the future of agriculture.

As I read through the various pages here, there is no doubt that we are all connected regardless of our location, occupation or age and I look forward to reading more from others here at Faces of Agriculture! Happy Trails -Jen Jenkins

Thank you Jennifer for a great feature and great work that you do! We encourage you to visit the websites Green Hectares and FarmOn to learn more about other farmers and ranchers. You can also learn more about the Jenkins Ranch on their website and Facebook page. Jennifer also has this great interview on Youtube.

Do you come from a long line of farmers and ranchers? We would love to share your story! Contact us today!!!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Standing Oaks Enterprise - Family & Agriculture

Today we welcome Sam Wildman as he tells us about his family farm - Standing Oak Enterprises - and how his family works together and advocates for agriculture and swine production. 

Standing Oaks Enterprises is the name of our family farm. The name comes from an old oak grove that is located on one of our farms. My father always told me he named it that way because it represented a firm, simple & long-lasting entity. Our family & our farm only exist because of the grace of God, our commitment to the Lord and the resounding faith we have all been raised with. 

My name is Sam Wildman, I am 21 years old - studying agribusiness & economics with a minor in agriculture communications at The Ohio State University. I represent over 200 years of agricultural tradition on essentially the same farm as we started on. I am the second of four children (Kim, Mindy, Simon & I) and represent the eighth generation to be involved with our farm which now raises pigs, corn and soybeans. 

Our farm, located in South Charleston, OH, an hour west of Columbus and only an hour and 15 minutes north of Cincinnati puts us near the extreme edge of the corn belt. We are also only one hour north of where the glaciers pass stops and where the rolling hills of southern Ohio begin.

We raise 650 sows (mommy pigs) which produce roughly 18,000 pigs for market every year. The pig business is our livelihood and the grain we raise is specifically to offset some of our feed costs. On 700 acres we are able to raise enough grain to feed our herd for about half a year. 

My dad, Charles Wildman is the owner & primary caretaker of our farm. He oversees daily care of our pigs which includes nutrition, health, breeding, birthing & weaning baby pigs. We have a few employees (including myself and my older sister) who help with daily care whenever he needs us. We then have six finishing barns located in other parts of the state, owned by other farm families who raise our pigs from the time they leave the nursery (45 lbs.) until the time they are harvested (263 lbs.). 

Dad holds a seat on the Ohio Pork Producers board of directors, National Pork Board’s swine welfare committee, and is very involved in other advocacy programs with these two groups. Dad and I have become very involved in promoting agriculture, especially pork through social media outlets such as blogging, twitter & facebook. Transparency is something that we see is very beneficial for the relationship between agriculture and the consumers who buy our products.

We are in the process of becoming a partner in what is probably the most exciting thing to happen in the pork industry. We will be getting out of the sow and birthing business this winter and converting to a wean to finish farm where we will raise around 25,000 pigs a year for market in our nurseries and then in our finishers I spoke of earlier. The exciting part is that as we move towards more transparency in the industry we must do things to show others how we raise pigs on a commercial farm. This will be happening in Indiana at Fair Oaks Farms as well as on our farm. I encourage you to read more about it here.

My whole family has been raised with a strong Christian faith. My mom, Carol plays the piano every Sunday at church and is the praise band coordinator. My father is also involved at church as the finance elder and all of us kids are involved in different activities with the church.

The most important thing I have learned from my parents and my involvement in agriculture as I grow is to simply be yourself, remain true to your beliefs and stand firm for what you are passionate for. In my life, that is God & agriculture. 

If you enjoyed this feature and want to know more about us or have questions about anything please look us up and ask us. You can find more about us here - Sam's blog, Charles' blog, Carol's blog, Sam's twitter, Charles' twitter or on Facebook

Thanks Sam for the fantastic feature! Young people like Sam are the future of agriculture and we are thanksful to be able to share their stories. Be sure to check out the Wildman family blogs, twitter accounts, and Facebook page. 

If you or someone you know should be featured on Faces of Agriculture, please contact us - we need your story now! 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Midwest Farm Girl - Katlyn Rumbold

Welcome Katlyn Rumbold - farm girl, cattle & poultry producer, young professional and ag advocate. 

I often find myself repeating the phrase “my life could so easily be a country song!” So many of these songs capture exactly what it means to grow up in the country. I grew up on a diversified livestock farm in central Illinois in a tiny town called Wyanet. If it wasn’t for the faith, blood, sweat, tears, laughter, and friends I have encountered along the way I would not be the person I am today, advocating for agriculture. My absolute favorite part of growing up on the farm is the sense of pride you get when sitting down with the family to a dinner of homegrown, fresh produce and meat. There is just something about knowing all food on the table came straight from the backyard or the barn. And of course the wide-open spaces associated with country living are pretty cool too.

Katlyn with a show heifer
We raise poultry and beef cattle. What started out as a hobby quickly turned into a small, profitable business. It all started with an idea to raise enough chicken for my family of five to consume within one year. As we got going, people in the community approached us and wanted to purchase our chicken for their own consumption. Eventually, health food stores began carrying our product, and today we sell wholesale. Known as Famous T’s Chicken, we now raise 900 birds a summer compared to peak production when we raised 2000 birds. The chicks are delivered by mail, and then we teach them how to drink by dipping their beaks in water. After eight weeks, we load them on the trailer and head four hours south to the butchering plant. Waking up way before the sun comes up on butchering day is a downfall, but once they are at the plant, we get to enjoy the day eating, shopping, and napping in the park. I must say, chicken chores are my least favorite task on our farm, but they do make a tasty meal especially when cooked on the grill.

How the chicks arrive in the mail

Dipping the chicks beaks in water teaches them how to drink

A few years later we added beef cattle to the mix. This is where my passion truly lies. It is a lot of work, but very rewarding. Known as Green Acre Cattle Co, my family likes to joke that our summer vacations are all the cattle shows we attend where most people would find themselves vacationing on the beach instead. It truly is. We get so excited to see the hard work pay off in the show ring, and the people you meet in the barn quickly become life long friends. Even though my brother and I are too old to show in the junior shows, we still work with the show heifers and attend every show with our little sister. It has turned into a family affair as we all have our assigned jobs. Between the washing, grooming, training, and feeding, there is enough to do to keep all five of us busy. For me personally, I cannot think of a single activity that brings an entire family together like that of owning and operating a cattle business.

Katlyn's brother fitting a calf on show day

Katlyn's sister at the Illinois state fair

Everything I have learned on the farm has helped me get to where I am at today as a young professional. I was able to utilize my upbringing and spend a summer working as a farm radio broadcaster as well as spending some time in Colorado teaching horseback riding lessons. Currently, my job has taken me off the farm, although I am still connected as I write content for agricultural websites. I have learned that not everything goes according to plan, but sometimes it is when you think everything is falling apart that something awesome happens. It will be exciting to see how what I do today, both on and off the farm, will impact the rest of my life.

Thanks Katlyn for the great feature! You can follow along with Katlyn on her blog, facebook page, twitter account and on pinterest

If you or someone you know should be our next "Face of Agriculture", please contact us! We need your story today!