Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Swather work

Note: You will have to pause the music in order to hear the commentary on the videos.

I am having a hard time believing that we are still in winter.  We have had some wonderful temperatures that have let us play outside.  On this particular day we went over to the farm and watched as daddy worked on the swather.

I know nothing about working on this piece of equipment (I do know how to drive it though!) but thought it might be interesting to learn a little bit about maintenance.







I learned that if you take the header off the swather, it is much easier to work on.  If you don't, the work space is not very conducive to getting any work done.

Here is my husband replacing some belts.
video

It is amazing to me to think about how much my husband has to know in order to fix anything on the farm.  There are so many moving parts and nuts and bolts that hold things together, that I have no idea how he keeps it all straight.

I then decided to interview my son.  Now if you know anything about him you know that he hears one story and makes it his own.  This particular day he had his own story on what he was fixing.  His sister steals some of his thunder though.
video

So then I had to put my baby girl on the spot.  I think she might be a little camera shy. But she sure does have an award winning smile!
video

Here are the kids helping out in the cab of the swather.


Now that the belts are back in working order it is time to put the header back onto the swather.  It looks easier than it really is.  Everything has to line up just perfect.  Someone has to drive the swather and then the other one has to help the header line up.




Success!

We ended our day at the farm with a "three wheeler" ride around the yard.


Hope we have more of these warm days so I can continue to go to the farm and learn more about fixing and working on the equipment that helps make our lively hood possible!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Photos from around the farm

Just wanted to share some of my favorite photos from around our farm.  Hope you enjoy them.

Love the moon over the house.

Pretty wheat.

More wheat and some pretty sheds.

Worked ground.

An old barn with a tree that has made a home right next to it.

Love this bridge.

The moon is pretty.  I love the triangle of light coming off of it.

Three generations of family checking to see if the wheat seed is planted deep enough and if it has enough moisture.

Wild turkeys.

Pretty snow.

Love the rain.

The start of the snow.

Gorgeous sunset.

Another great sunset.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Dealing with different ViEwS!












I was drawn into a conversation the other day on Facebook.  It was on the subject of the Child Labor laws being imposed on farm and ranch families.  People were responding to the post of Chris Chinn talking to  House Small Business’ Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy and Trade in Washington DC.  She was defending her right as a parent to keep her kids working on their family farm and the farm of the grandparents.  She was standing up for Agriculture as a whole.

As I was reading there were lots of great comments about wanting kids to be able to work on the farms.  There were also people talking about how growing up on a farm was great for them.  It was really uplifting...then I saw a negative comment from one individual.  I started reading and the more that I read the more frusterated and angry I became.  This person had no idea what they were talking about.  I felt like they had a lot to say but nothing was worth while.  I caught myself no longer reading the good posts but drawn to this nonsense and noise of a negative person.

As I read to the bottom I saw where Chris responded and had just placed factual information into her comments.  I then began to think about this.  I wrote a message to Chris to ask how she dealt with negative comments.  As we talked she made me realize that this person who decided to complain about what we are trying to do for our farms and ranches is just a bunch of noise!  They are only one negative comment among all the good comments.  I learned a very important lesson that day.  I learned that the people who don't want to learn or who don't want to hear what you have to say is to just give them facts.  Nothing less and nothing more.  Don't debate them, don't engage them and don't stoop to their level.  When one person continues to comment and you realize they aren't saying anything to better the conversation or say that you have given them something to think about, then you should cut your losses and walk away.

I almost let this one person, completely consume my happy moments of hearing about how people love the farm and how children should continue to be a part of it and throw it out the window.  From now on, I won't let that happen.  I will state facts and facts only to them and if they continue I will leave the conversation.

I hope you all will follow suit in learning that the you can't change one person if they don't want to learn or hear what you have to say.  But what does matter is all the other people that have supported you and your cause.  Thanks to all those who believe in Agriculture!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Favorite Farm Blogs

I wanted to take a few minutes to highlight some of my favorite farm blogs.  These are special to me because the people that put these together are also from the farm/ranch.  I think the neatest thing about these farm blogs is I get to learn what farming/ranching is like for others.  Just because you were raised on a farm/ranch doesn't mean you know what your neighbor down the way is doing.  Hope you enjoy these blogs as much as I do!

Kim's County Line (to read more of this post click the link)

Solitude: A Photo Challenge
"The day is ending,
The night descending;
The marsh is frozen,
The river dead.

Through clouds like ashes
The red sun flashes
On village windows
That glimmer red."
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Afternoon in February

New To The Farm (to read more of this post click the link)


My husband and I briefly stepped off our farm and into the political world earlier this week to take part in our state’s legislative process.

On Wednesday, Derek and I traveled to our state capital in Topeka to testify before the House Committee on Agriculture.

In the wake of a record-breaking drought that destroyed crops, depleted ponds and dried up pastures, the state administration allowed the state water office the ability to allow ground water right holders to exceed their 2011 water allotment and borrow into their 2012 account. That program helped us and about 2,200 other farmers – mainly in the west and south-central part of the state- realize a fall harvest. Without the ability to borrow into this year’s allotment, we would have had partial if not complete crop failure on three of our fields.



Ranching From Scratch

Blizzard on the Plains 

The National Weather Service warned us that we would be receiving up to a foot of snow with extremely high winds. Now, extremely high winds certainly aren't anything new to this neck of the woods, but its been a long while since we had any decent moisture, so the very real possibility for a foot of snow was  welcome news! If the meteorologist predicted correctly, it could mean that a day or two would pass by before we could get to our cattle, which are in a rented pasture fourteen miles from the house. With this in mind, we drove up on the Thursday evening before the storm in order to put out extra feed and make sure the stock tank water heater was working properly.




cowgirlbootsinahighheelworld 
(to read more of this post click the link)

Hello!

February 1, 2012
This was me a year ago in one of our bean fields
Being this my first time to ever blog, I thought I would have all these things to write about but I guess I am at a loss for words!  I guess I will start out with the fact that I have grown up in the farming world and as far back as I can remember I have had a love for the outdoors and farming!  I still enjoy at the age of 25 to ride along in the tractor or combine and love checking on the cattle!  I am going to try and keep this short, but at the same time informational.

My family’s farm is Branch Creek Farms and we grow grain sorghum, corn and soybeans.  We also cut brome and prairie hay for our cattle and to sell.  My dad and brother also have started a small cow/calf pair herd, which I was a part of but sold out BUT would love to buy back in!  My siblings and I also raised hogs and lambs for 4-H projects for about five months out of the year!  My parents also have a chocolate lab, a sheltie (my sisters dog) and when I am out there a boxer and a boston terrier!  We have a crazy group of dogs and cattle!


chrischinn (to read more of this post click the link)

Crazy Farm Life

Posted on January 26, 2012 by Chris Chinn

Life on the farm has been crazy the last few months.  It’s been a while since I have found time to blog so I am making myself sit down and blog this morning.  We have been blessed with pleasant weather the last few months which is awesome considering its winter time.  Kevin has been able to catch up on a lot of odds and ends outside thanks to the nice weather.  We even were able to do field work in January which is very rare for our area.

Our kids have been keeping us super busy.  We have been going to lots of basketball games, which I love.  Conner still proclaims he will be a farmer like his dad when he grows up.  Conner can’t wait to get off the school bus at night to help his dad with the evening chores.  The older the kids get the bigger help they are to Kevin and I on the farm.  Kevin is really looking forward to haying this year because the kids will be such a huge help to us. 


Alive & Well in Kansas (to read more of this post click the link)

Flying Low


January is just about over, and I’m still waiting for winter to show up.  It’s been a very calm, mild winter and although we’ve had our brief moments of snow, I have yet to have a snow day this year.

Because this winter has been so mild, a lot of farmers have been working in their fields during times of the year I’m sure they haven’t been in in the recent past.

With near 60 degree days, Adam has been spraying the fields and doing other activities that he would normally be doing later in the spring.

It’s a little odd to see tractors running in fields that should be covered in snow.  Odd sights are becoming less, and less odd this winter.

On one recent afternoon, I experienced something that scared me to near death.  It was one of those things that makes your heart skip a few beats and then speed up because you aren’t expecting to see it.


I hope you enjoy reading these blogs as much as I do.  You can learn so much about farming/ranching, people's passions, and other fun facts by reading these blogs. 

Agriculture is awesome! 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Department of Labor - Child Labor Laws

This particular topic is something near and dear to my heart.  Not because it has affected me this very moment but it will in the future if it gets passed.

One of the reasons I quit my job almost 10 months ago was because of a conversation I had with my son coming home from daycare one night.  I asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up.  He stated that he wanted to be a farmer.  That one comment (and a few other desires) was what finally made me see that farming is what I truly love.  And if being a farmer is what my son wanted to do then I was going to do everything in my power to make sure that happens for him.  My parents did the same thing for me when I told them I wanted to be a vet.  They helped me find an internship at a clinic and then they forked over the money for me to go to Kansas State University.  Am I vet now...well no but it is still important for me to pass down the love to my children that my parents gave to me.  Give them every opportunity you can so they can follow their dreams.

The department of labor wants to say children under the age of 16 can't work on a farm.  And if they do work on a farm they can only work on a farm operated by their parents.  They want to regulate the equipment they can use and not use for that matter.  Horses, tractors and pitch forks are a few pieces of equipment I have heard thus far that will be banned.  Now I don't know about you but growing up on a farm I had a healthy respect for equipment of all kinds.  I knew that when my dad started the tractor I better be headed for the house garage.  I knew you didn't swing a pitch fork over your head ever because someone might get hurt.  I learned how to do all these things because my parents were good examples and taught us well.  I can't understand why the department of labor would want to change something that has been working for hundreds of years.

I know that I am only one voice in this big world but I took it upon my self to write to Congressmen and Senators and even the Governor of Kansas.  I want to let them know how badly this could damage farming and ranching.  And who really asked for the department of labors help in this situation?  I sure didn't.  Below are two versions of letters I used to email our government leaders.  Please feel free to use them to help you write your own letters.

Senator Moran~
I would like to thank you for speaking for Kansans when it comes to the child labor laws that the legislation wants to push on to farmers and ranchers. I grew up on a farm and am now married to a farmer. I know just how important of a lesson being on the farm and working with my dad and now husband truly was and is for me. It taught me that you have to work for what you want, but that you may not get what you worked so hard for. It taught me patience and understanding whether I was willing to learn those skills at the time. It taught me to keep trying no matter what happened...never give up. I quit my job in May of last year so that I could help out around the farm and be a stay at home mom. What drove me to do this was a conversation I had with my son one day coming home from daycare that he wanted to be a farmer when he grew up. I quit work so that I could do everything in my power to make sure that happens for him. So if the legislation pushes this law it is going to make it very hard for me and my husband to help my son make his dream come true. I don't know how they can pose such a law without even asking us what we want. I know it was probably brought forth by good intentions but don't they realize that as farmers and ranchers we have good intentions to teach our children and make sure that they don't get hurt? They will drive some of us out of business if we can't continue to let families work on farms or ranches together like we have been doing for hundreds of years. Again thank you for your support. I hope you continue this journey and help us stamp out this law quickly so it won't affect farmers and ranchers any more.
Best Regards,
Jeff and Vickie Winter
Proud to be Kansas Farmers

Senator Roberts
I would like to talk to you a minute about the child labor laws that the legislation wants to push on to farmers and ranchers. I grew up on a farm and am now married to a farmer. I know just how important of a lesson being on the farm and working with my dad and now husband truly was and is for me. It taught me that you have to work for what you want, but that you may not get what you worked so hard for. It taught me patience and understanding whether I was willing to learn those skills at the time. It taught me to keep trying no matter what happened...never give up. I quit my job in May of last year so that I could help out around the farm and be a stay at home mom. What drove me to do this was a conversation I had with my son one day coming home from daycare that he wanted to be a farmer when he grew up. I quit work so that I could do everything in my power to make sure that happens for him. So if the legislation pushes this law it is going to make it very hard for me and my husband to help my son make his dream come true. I don't know how they can pose such a law without even asking us what we want. I know it was probably brought forth by good intentions but don't they realize that as farmers and ranchers we have good intentions to teach our children and make sure that they don't get hurt? They will drive some of us out of business if we can't continue to let families work on farms or ranches together like we have been doing for hundreds of years. Again please help us get the message out that we don't want this law to go forth. I hope you will help farmers and ranchers continue this journey and help us stamp out this law quickly so it won't affect us anymore
Best Regards,
Jeff and Vickie Winter
Proud to be Kansas Farmers

And to end my soap box speech about this awful law I would like you to watch these video links of Senators, Congressman, and Farmers and Ranchers stating their piece of just let us be.

This is a Congressman from Montans - Rehberg
This Senator Moran fighting for our cause.
And our Keynote speaker from this year's Young Farmers and Ranchers Conference - Chris Chinn

Please let your voice be heard and fight for agriculture and all it stands for!