Category Archives: Scholarship

My Hog Scholarship: The First One

It’s true what they say, ‘it takes a village to raise a child”. Growing up, I was surrounded by people who helped me build my knowledge and skill set. However, I did not realize it at the time. When my Grandpa Brown gave me my first bucket calf, I had no idea that would be the start of my ranching legacy. When my Grandpa Halsey would take me out to his garden and spend time with me, I had no idea it would foster a lifelong passion for growing plants. When my Mom chauffeured me to endless 4-H community and project meetings, I had no idea I would end up as the AgHag.

Papa and me spending time in his garden. One of my fondest memories.

Papa and me spending time in his garden. One of my fondest memories.

While I was busy as a child learning from my elders and putting that knowledge to use in 4-H and on the ranch, my Mom was busy investing my 4-H and bucket calf checks in a savings account. By the time I was 18, due to family and friends supporting me, I not only had a good foundation to the education I was going to receive in college, I could pay for it without struggling.
The ability to not worry about finances while attending university was a massive gift. I was able to focus on learning, I was able to join clubs that furthered my education and network, I was able to make friends and have the blissful experience of being a college kid. This molded me into who and what I am now. My world and my point of view was altered for the better and greater good.

This hog helped me pay for college.

This hog helped me pay for college.

When I think about my youth and young adulthood, I realize how lucky and privileged I was to grow up in this world surrounded by the people I did. Sadly, most of the “old timers” have died. But they left a legacy. In me. It’s now my turn to offer that same support to the children in my world. It’s what they showed me to do.
That’s why I am excited to have a couple little “programs” here on the ranch that help me corrupt the next generation, just like I was. I’ve worked hard to expand and improve my hog operation since Adult 4-H days, and I am now at the point where I can afford to give a few piglets away to kids to raise, donate finished pork to local non-profits and generally do Good Things. This makes me about 100 kinds of happy and makes me feel like my hard work is paying off.

Very new Ian meeting his piglet!

Very new Ian meeting his piglet! He was totally helping me out this day!

I have just completed my first round of the “scholarship program” with my hogs and Baby Ian. Ian and this litter of pigs were born on the same day, his Parents have also supported my meat business for years, so it was totally meant to be that Ian was the first of my friend’s kids to do this.
When Ian was born I gave him a piglet to “raise”. The deal was, he’d pay for his pig’s feed and when it was time for the hog to be slaughtered his Parents would “buy” the pig from him to eat. That money is to be put into an account for college or trade school. I figure I’m killing two birds with one stone, I expose kids to agriculture very young and they get a little seed money for their future. It’s a win/win.

Ian enjoying a first taste of his pork. Kid, I'm pretty sure I make that same face.

Ian enjoying a first taste of his pork. Kid, I’m pretty sure I make that same face.

This situation worked out perfectly. Ian got his meat back just as he started solid foods! So he is able to eat his own pork he helped raise. This program was so fun to do I cannot wait for my next litter! As of right now I have scholarship recipients for the next couple of litters. If I have anything to do with it, in about 18 years we are going to have several new ag majors joining our ranks!

This brings me so much joy right here.

This brings me so much joy right here.

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Filed under Ag, agriculture, animals, food, Know a California Farmer, meat, photos, Pigs, Ranch life, Scholarship, Uncategorized

Merry Christmas Dad

It’s no secret that over that past couple of years, my Dad and I have had our differences. But this summer, we put our differences aside and since then we have communicated better than we have our entires lives. In fact I’ve been enjoying my Dad’s company more than ever before, we’ve even taken ourselves to brunch and bookstore perusing, something that we’ve never done before that point. I’ve been the happiest I’ve been in a long time.
My therapist urged me to really listen to my Parents, without judgement, just curiosity. And since I’ve been practicing this, I’ve learned a lot about my Mom and Dad. I’m really grateful for that. When my Dad and I went to brunch, he mentioned some old rifles several times. I was only able to catch pieces of the stories he was telling me because I was trying not to be too obvious, but I could tell these were things that he cared very deeply about.
My Dad inherited two special rifle from two different family members, his Grandfather, and his Uncle. They each have really amazing, unique stories that I will blog about, in time. My Dad took these guns to his Mom’s, when we briefly lived inside the Chico City limits. My Parents were afraid of getting robbed, so my Dad took his guns and put them under his Mother’s bed for safe keeping until we got a gun safe. When my Grandma died, my Aunt ended up caring for these guns for my Dad. Once I figure this out, I wrote my Aunt a letter explaining how much these guns meant to my Dad, and how much work I’ve been doing researching our families’ history, the scholarship, and how I was planning a special Christmas surprise for my Dad – to get his guns back into his care.

In the truck of my car, right before I started crying from excitement.

In the truck of my car, right before I started crying from excitement.


My Aunt graciously agreed that my Dad did need his guns back. I was able to pick them up on my lunch break, have them cleaned and wrapped before it was time to go home! I’m not sure if my Aunt realized what a gift she gave me (when my stoic, cowboy of a Dad opened his gift, he hugged me. The last time that happened was in May of 2004, when I graduated college). This side of the family has been, well, rather tumultuous, so this was a wonderful peace token and Christmas surprise.
I really planned on waiting until Christmas to give this gift to my Dad, but I was too excited! I spent the day crying off and on in my office because I was so touched that my Dad was going to have an meaningful surprise. We had our office Christmas party the same day, but I was so excited I couldn’t enjoy it! I was too focused on going home to surprise my Dad!
I wrapped it pretty - they didn't look like rifles.

I wrapped it pretty – they didn’t look like rifles.


It was worth it. He had no idea what was going on. I’m pretty sure I had upset him earlier in the day because I called him after I picked his rifles up, I was so excited for him I was sobbing (remember I cry when I am really excited, happy, mad, sad, etc). After I dialed the phone, I could not think of a good reason to call him except I was excited (but I couldn’t tell HIM that), so I told him I loved him and thanked him for being my Daddy, needless to say, that is just slightly out of character for me, so I think I made him a whisper nervous.
The look on his face as he opened his gift was priceless to me. He immediately launched into stories about each rifle. One he restored himself in high school shop class (could you imagine trying to do that today!?!?), the other was manufactured on his birthday (about 60 year’s before his birth, hence the reason he was given that particular rifle). He was just thrilled. I couldn’t remember the last time I saw him so touched.
Right after he opened them. He was so surprised, he just kept picking them up and putting them back down again. Shocked, is the word I am looking for.

Right after he opened them. He was so surprised it took a few minutes for it to sink in.


I asked him if we could sit down over the next few days and really talk about these rifles, as I want to write his stories down for this blog. Both of these rifles have stories that I think need to be shared and I think you guys would enjoy, I know I have been.
Dad's birthday rifle.

Dad’s birthday rifle.


Merry Christmas Beef Jar Readers! Go spend some time with your Parents and learn something about them!!

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Filed under Ag, agriculture, History, photos, Ranch life, Scholarship, Uncategorized

Am I Really the Crazy One?

Edit from October 2013: “if you’re a strong, powerful, smart woman, you tend to end up at some point in a roomful of men trying to prove that your ideas are good.” Elizabeth Moss

___________________________________________________

I went to my local county cattlemen’s board meeting tonight. My blog was on the agenda because for the past few months I had been asked to use my social media savvy and create a Facebook page for the group. I’ve posted mainly fun facts and articles about the industry, but I figured since my blog post about California Beef Council dropping the social media ball directly impacted Butte County Cattlemen (since they all pay into the check-off), I’d post a link to my blog on the Butte County Cattlemen’s facebook page.

Ready to talk the Board about my blog, change within the industry and facebook.

Some of the members didn’t like that I did that. I understand that fighting and drama can look bad when done within the industry. But when you read my post about the California Beef Council, I feel like I am not really fighting or attacking. I offered my help, I want to get involved! I did point out that the beef industry has a problem when the group we fund to talk for us, won’t talk to us. So it confused me that these men took issue with my stance. I guess I thought more of them would be upset too.
I found myself being the only woman and the youngest one there trying to explain social media, blogs, my blog, the story behind my blog, and how social media works to a group of men that, I think it is safe to say, don’t fully appreciate this technology, it was like talking to a roomful of my Dads. It got confusing. People interrupted me and told my story for me (although that part was kinda nice – I got to hear more about the drama I caused higher up, but I didn’t know because NO ONE WOULD TALK TO ME ABOUT IT). I got annoyed that I could have been sitting on my couch, with my cat and wine (Wino Wednesday!), instead of being talked at about a thing I know and am pretty good at sometimes.
I went ahead and printed off a couple of my blogs, the ag code that explains the California Beef Council’s job, and Todd Fitchette’s blog about my blog, hoping to give the board members some background into what I have been doing. I don’t think that helped, but I did try and do my due diligence to explain why I thought I was there.

My packet of information about the California Beef Council.

The meeting went on about if Butte County Cattlemen should even have a Facebook page. A side note, I asked how many of these men even had a form of social media and I think 4 out of the group of 10 or so did, one mentioned that he knew how to turn on a computer! I guess I do understand now, why these guys aren’t as upset at the lack of social media in our industry when they don’t understand what it is or how powerful it can be.
I think by now, most of my serious readers realize I love ag, I love anything to do with it, and I spend an enormous amount of my time talking and sharing about it. I was honest and told them it really wouldn’t hurt my feelings if they removed me from their Facebook administrator because I do have my hands in so many different ag related activities. They said that they wanted me but they wanted policies and procedures, more regulation – no drama, no opinions, you know kinda the stuff that makes me such an amusing person. I told them that for a donation to my scholarship they could tell me what to post, and I wouldn’t piss anyone off.
So about that time I burst into tears. Because when I am put on the defensive and not listened to, that is what I do. It was a highly effective tool to communicate with my Dad and since these men all reminded me of my Dad, I went there. I do hate that about myself, it makes me look very unprofessional, but it is also a huge part of who I am. However, want to know how to make a room full of cattlemen really uncomfortable?
So that was my meeting. I think they decided to have a young cattlemen take over the page. I must question though, how many pages about the beef industry do we need that only talk about puff? How effective has that been?
I went home after I started to cry. I’m on my couch with Jack cat, doing what I do best these days, writing about the odd predicaments I get myself into. I don’t feel like my point was gotten across. I feel like I am missing yet another opportunity to help my industry. I feel like I don’t know how to communicate with others in my industry, am I the only one that feel like this? Am I really the crazy one?

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Filed under Ag, Beef, food, Ranch life, Rants, Scholarship, Uncategorized

Welcome to the World Baby Alice

Welcome to the world baby Alice. It was a pleasure to meet you! I even broke my own cardinal rule and touched you before you are potty trained (new babies are scary, I don’t want to break you)! I just couldn’t help it; you are so cute and obviously deeply intellectually gifted.

New babies scare me so bad. But I sucked it up, because Alice is perfect and amazing and beautiful.

I’ve been friends with your Mom since we were 12 years old – since she is one of my oldest friends, I’m adopting you as my niece. I apologize in advance for the embarrassment I will cause you as a teenager.

Jen – you’re a Mom now! Doesn’t it seem like we were just in high school?

However, I promise to always be there for you and your Parents. I promise to teach you how to cuss properly (when you are 18, of course), open a wine bottle without an opener (when you are 21, of course) and give you your first riding lesson (with a helmet, of course).

I also promise to do everything in my power to leave this community, this country and this world a better place for you, your gender and your generation. Just promise me you’ll carry on that legacy.

I’m not going to lie. Alice made my ovaries hurt. She is so perfect! Karen and Jen! How can you stand it?

I love you baby Alice, I can’t wait to watch you grow up! Congratulations Jennifer and Karen, I’m so proud of you and honored that you are including me in Alice’s life.

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I’m Begging for Your Support Again, but it’s for THE KIDS

Remember back a couple months ago when I got to speak to that group of FFA kids? And they were totally awesome and I was really excited? When I ended up being on their FFA Board – which is so much fun! Unfortunately because of my crazy schedule this time of year, I haven’t been able to be that active yet. All I can do is try my best to get some donations. You see, this little charter school wants to start their own school farm!!!! During a time when most schools are shutting down their agriculture programs, this one is trying to start one!!!! So if you have some extra money or farm equipment or anything to help won’t you consider helping them out? I’m attaching the letter they sent out to local business’s so you can see I am being totally serious. Please contact Ms. Anderson or myself if you want to donate. Again, thank you, thank you, thank you!

Dear Sponsor!

Let me start by saying thank you for your time.  The reason I am sending you this letter is to ask for your support and help.  I am privileged with the opportunity to start a new FFA and Ag program at the CORE Butte Charter School in Chico.  The Charter school allows students to have the opportunity to develop an education program that fits their learning style while having the time and flexibility to pursue those passions that interest them as well.  With FFA and Ag being such a huge leadership and skills building opportunity, and the dynamics of the Charter school allowing student to get involved- blending the two is a phenomenal new precedent we are setting.

FFA is the Future Farmers of America.  In FFA students have the opportunity to develop leadership skills which they can use for the rest of their lives no matter the career choice.  Students have the opportunity to participate in events like job interview, public speaking, judging contests, and so much more.  Students can also run for office, raise animals for fair, develop their own business through entrepreneurship- the possibilities are limitless.  Developing a new program is exciting and challenging.  Based on the nature of CORE being a charter school we do not qualify for state funding.  Which is where YOU come in!

We are looking for companies and businesses to support our program and grant these students this tremendous opportunity. We have been fortunate to acquire a school farm and are now in the process of building it.  Building a farm from the ground up is an exciting and huge task. We  are asking for donations and support to our farm in any way possible. Whether it be gravel for our road and ag complex, drip irrigation supplies, lumber for animal houses and planter boxes, soil for the planters, floral supplies, rubber mats for stalls, hoses, animal science supplies, etc. we are appreciative for any support we can receive.

Every bit of support is much appreciated.   Your support will be used to develop and grow the Ag department and provide students this unique opportunity of “learning by doing”.  Students have the opportunity to not only work out at the farm but experience ag in a hands on way. It is community supporters like yourself, which make the dreams and opportunities for students a reality.  With your support, in return, we will add your name to our sponsor list on all event paraphernalia, our event banners that are displayed at fairs, community events, and FFA events, as well as to our website.  Thanks you for considering and supporting our future agriculturalists and leaders of tomorrow.

 

Thank You,

Jessica Anderson  FFA/Ag Advisor       

 inspiredequinesol@yahoo.com    

  www.corecharterffa.weebly.com                                                                                          530-321-5608         

 

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Sally Pig

Her name was Sally Pig. She was my first 4-H project. I was 10 years old and I picked her out, fed her, walked her, watered her, bathed her, and played with her all by myself. I took my responsibilities very seriously, I knew if I didn’t take care of her no one else would, because it was MY job. I also knew I was saving for something called “college” and this would help me do that.

10 year old me, walking Sally around the Ranch.

Sally Pig was my launching pad. She’s the reason I am here right now. My first successful project led to almost a decade of 4-H and FFA memberships and projects. Those led to college educations, collegiate memberships, travel, experience, jobs, friendships, outreach, and advocacy. Sally was turning point in my life – it was the point where I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt agriculture would always be a major part of who I am.

What makes this story so much sweeter is my Grandfather, Fletcher, bought Sally. A little background on my Grandfather, he was not one to go the fair, register to be a buyer, and buy one of his grandkid’s 4-H project. He was not warm, fuzzy or involved with the day to day lives of his many grandchildren, except for me. It was huge he bought my first 4-H project, a fact that was not lost on a ten year old me. Year’s later, after Grandfather had passed away, and we were cleaning out his personal effects, we found the thank you note and buyer’s award. He had saved them. And Sally was the first and only 4-H project he’d ever purchased.

My Mom saved the check stub from my first 4-H pig

I’ve always liked to think he took an interest in me because he knew I would be the one grandchild most likely to continue the family’s cattle ranching legacy. The fact that my Grandfather was so eager to support my agricultural passion, makes me want to support others.

 

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Filed under Ag, History, photos, Ranch life, Rants, Scholarship, Uncategorized

Fun Ag Facts I

I’m going to try and start adding my fun ag facts from my facebook page because I can’t remember what I already used.

fun ag fact of the day: Half the fatty acids in lean beef are monounsaturated, the same heart-healthy type found in olive oil.

fun ag fact of the day: Pastures, maintained primarily by cattle ranchers, provide habitat for 75% of America’s wildlife. (For reals, we have all kinds of wildlife on the ranch!)

fun ag fact of the day: There are more than 60 species and 8000 varieties of grapes all over the world. Some common varieties of grapes are blue, black, green, red, golden, blue-black, white and purple.

fun ag fact of the day: The first Christmas tree retail lot in the United States was started in 1851 in New York

Fun fact of the day: Today’s pig farmers keep their barns around 70 degrees in the winter to make sure that their animals stay happy and healthy.

fun ag fact of the day: About 20 per cent of the total crop of oranges is sold as whole fruit; the remainder is used in preparing orange juice, extracts, and preserves.

fun ag fact of the day: It take approximately 345 squirts to get 1 gallon of milk.

fun ag fact of the day: For thousands of years the olive branch has been used as a sign of peace and goodwill. This may be partly due to the fact that in early cultivation of the olive, it took decades to bear fruit for harvest, and, therefore, it was believed that anyone who planted olive groves was expecting a long and peaceful life.

fun ag fact of the day: Egg facts!
The egg shell may have as many as 17,000 tiny pores over its surface. Through them, the egg can absorb flavors and odors. Storing them in their cartons helps keep them fresh!
Eggs age more in one day at room temperature than in one week in the refrigerator.

Fun ag fact of the day: Americans enjoy nearly 15 million gallons of eggnog annually. That’s over 180 million eggs, 185,000 gallons of cream and 3.75 million gallons of milk!

fun ag fact of the day: The Chianina cattle were developed in Italy as a dual purpose beef/draft animal. They were especially popular in the 1970’s-80’s when the beef industry wanted extremely tall cattle. Though originally solid white in color, now you will likely only find black individuals in the USA.

fun ag fact of the day: rice can draw nutrients from the water. The same water keeps the weed population under control. Rice is a unique grass species where its leaves and stems have internal air spaces through which air is collected and passed down to the root cells.

fun ag fact of the day: American farmers fully support practices that enable them to reduce pesticide use. They’ve been using IPM (Integrated Pest Management) tactics such as field scouting and even crop rotation for years. IPM is a management practice that uses cultural practices and natural pest enemies to reduce the use of crop protectants. They will continue to expand IPM use whenever possible.

fun ag fact of the day: America’s farmers and ranchers are true professionals. Most farmers and reachers are trained and certified in the use of agricultural chemicals. And farmers test and evaluate the soil before administering fertilizers. Farmers and ranchers don’t spend hard-earned money on costly fertilizers and nutrients unless they absolutely safe to do otherwise doesn’t make good business sense.

fun ag fact of the day: Although rice is produced over vast areas of the world, the physical requirements for growing rice are limited to certain areas. Production typically requires high average temperatures during the growing season, a plentiful supply of water applied in a timely fashion, a smooth land surface for uniform flooding and drainage, and a subsoil hardpan that prevents water loss.

fun ag fact of the day: A horse has two blind spots; one is located directly in front of them while the other is located directly behind.

fun ag fact of the day: Over 95 percent of the California’s rice is grown within 100 miles of the State Capitol. For the rural Sacramento Valley communities of Colusa, Butte, Sutter and Yuba counties, rice is the predominant crop and supports an important part of the business and agricultural foundation by providing jobs and economic prosperity.

fun ag fact of the day: All milk is tested for antibiotics and adulterated substances. If a load tests positive, it is dumped. No milk you purchase in the store has antibiotics. We use antibiotics and medication to treat sick cows. There is a label on each bottle that tells the farmer how long he needs to discard that cows milk after treatment before the milk is safe to sell again. – From Country Roads Vet Service

fun ag fact of the day: Modern domestic cattle belong to either the species Bos taurus, or the species Bos indicus which are humped cattle like the Brahman. Bos indicus are generally used in hot climates because their extra skin releases heat and protects from bugs.

Fun ag fact of the day: there are 8 nanograms of estrogen found in an unimplanted beef steer; there are 11 nanograms in an implanted steer. To put this in perspective for you:
500 grams of peas contain 2,000 nanograms of estrogen, 3 ounces of soybean oil contain 168,000 nanograms of estrogen, and one birth control pill (34,000 nanogram…s) has the same amount of estrogen as 125,000 lbs. of beef from an implanted steer.

fun ag fact of the day: Wild turkeys can fly for short distances at up to 55 miles per hour. Wild turkeys are also fast on the ground, running at speeds of up to 25 miles per hour.

fun ag fact of the day: Did you know all turkeys raised today contain no added hormones? It was banned in the 1950’s. But remember ALL living beings contain natural hormones, so if someone is trying to sell you something that has no hormones, they are a moron.

fun ag fact of the day: Did you know two antibiotics are approved for use in fruit production? They are oxytetracycline and streptomycin.

fun ag fact of the day: The life expectancy of geese is about 25 years.

fun ag fact of the day: A male turkey is called a tom or a gobbler, a female turkey a hen, and a baby turkey a poult or chick. A young male turkey is called a jake and a young female is called a jenny. A group of turkeys is called a flock.

fun ag fact of the day: the proper name for a group of goats is a trip.

fun ag fact of the day: Pecans are the only tree nuts native to North America, and they are particularly plentiful in the Southern states. Many varieties of pecan are named for Native American Indian Tribes, including Cheyenne, Mohawk, Sioux, Choctaw and Shawnee. The name “pecan” comes from the Algonquin word meaning “a tough nut to crack”.

fun ag fact of the day: turkeys have heart attacks. The United States Air Force was doing test runs and breaking the sound barrier. Nearby turkeys dropped dead with heart attacks.

fun ag fact of the day: All U.S. eggs are antibiotic-free. Via Iowa Farm Bureau.

fun ag fact of the day: President Abraham Lincoln established the U.S. Dept of Agriculture USDA in 1862

fun ag fact of the day: The Santa Gertrudis breed was developed on the legendary King Ranch. The King Ranch is located in Texas and spans 825,000 acres (larger than the state of Rhode Island). The Santa Gertrudis was developed from a cross between Shorthorn and Brahman cattle. The Santa Gertrudis is credited as being the first breed developed in the USA.

fun ag fact of the day: the salivary glands of cattle, located beneath the tongue, produce 15-20 gallons of saliva per day.

fun ag fact of the day: a little green on orange surface of an orange is chiefly the result of ‘Re-greening’ (a process where ripe oranges turn from orange to green left on the trees for long). However, this does not affect either the taste or nutrition of the fruit.

fun ag fact of the day: the pumpkin is one of only a few foods we still eat today that is native to North America.

fun ag fact of the day: A cow that weighs 1000 pounds (alive) will make a carcass weighing about 615 pounds. The carcass makes about 432 pounds of meat. The non-meat part of the carcass makes wonderful by-products like: candies, marshmallows, ice cream, photographic film, glue, glass, fertilizers, soaps, cosmetics, candles, shortenings, medicine, chewing gum, plywood and paneling etc.

fun ag fact of the day: another name for cranberries is “bounceberries” because they bounce when ripe.

fun ag fact of the day: the first milk a mother mammal makes is called colostrum. It is very rich in nutrients for the baby. We used to buy colostrum from local dairies to give to our bottle cavles so they would be happy and healthy.

fun ag fact of the day: Okra is a species of the Hibiscus genus and a member of the mallow family. The Mallow family of plants includes hollyhock, the cotton plant, okra, marsh mallow and the Rose of Sharon. The roots of the marsh mallow were the source for the original marshmallow candy, made by boiling the soft inner pulp from the roots with sugar until very thick.

fun ag fact of the day: a snood is the flap of skin that hangs over the turkey’s beak. Turns bright red when the turkey is upset or during courtship.

fun ag fact of the day: There are about 800 kernels in 16 rows on each ear of corn. The corncob (ear) is actually part of the corn plant’s flower. A pound of corn consists of approximately 1,300 kernels.

fun ag fact of the day: every pomegranate is composed of exactly 840 seeds, each surrounded by a sac of sweet-tart juice contained by a thin skin. The seeds are compacted in a layer resembling honeycomb around the core. The layers of seeds are separated by paper-thin white membranes which are bitter to the tongue.

fun ag fact of the day: it takes 10 pounds of milk to make 1 pound of cheese.

fun ag fact of the day: the yarn from one sheep fleece can make 46 baseballs!

fun ag fact of the day: a cow chews her cud (regurgitated, partially digested food) for up to 8 hours each day.

fun ag fact of the day: California grows about 80 percent of all the asparagus grown in the United States. Asparagus is a member of the lily family and is related to onions, leeks, and garlic.

fun ag fact of the day: white asparagus is not a variety. It is simply asparagus spears grown in the absence of sunlight so that chlorophyll does not develop. White asparagus does have a slightly sweeter taste and has less fiber than green asparagus. In parts of Europe, this is the primary way that asparagus is grown and consumed. Outside of Europe it is regarded more as a curiosity or gourmet item

ag fact of the day: Asparagus begins as a tiny black seed. A year after planting the seed has developed long, tubular roots and is then called a “crown”. The crowns are transplanted to fields where they are covered with a foot of soil. It takes 2 years before the plant is ready to be harvested for the first time. The fields are harvested every year and will continue to produce for 15 to 20 years!

fun ag fact of the day: One acre (43,560 square feet) of soybeans can produce 82,368 crayons.

fun ag fact of the day: A castrated male chicken is called a capon. (Yes, you can castrate a rooster)

fun ag fact of the day: the average gestation period for a cow is about 285 days or 9 months.

fun ag fact of the day: pigs have a corkscrew shaped penis.

fun ag fact of the day: The dye used to stamp the grade on meat is made from grape skins and is edible.

fun ag fact of the day: Coffee beans aren’t beans – they’re fruit pits.

Did you know that in the United States, a pound of potato chips costs two hundred times more than a pound of potatoes?

fun ag fact of the day: Wisconsin cranberry growers annually harvest enough cranberries to supply every man, woman and child in the world with 26 cranberries.

fun ag fact of the day: navel oranges are named that because of the belly-button formation opposite the stem end. The bigger the navel in an orange, the sweeter it will be.

fun ag fact of the day: the oldest cultivated grapevine in the country grows in North Carolina. The Mothervine in Manteo, Roanoke Island is a 400 year old Scuppernong vine. The Scuppernong or Muscadine grape is also the North Carolina state fruit.

fun ag fact of the day: the Pistachio nut is a member of the Cashew family, which also includes sumac, mango and poison ivy.

fun ag fact of the day: The science of apple growing is called pomology. Apples are fat, sodium, and cholesterol free.

fun ag fact of the day: despite a physical similarity and a frequent confusion with their names, yams and sweet potatoes are not even distantly related. They are in two different botanical families. Yams are actually related to grasses and lilies. Yams can grow up to 100 pounds and are rarely available in American supermarkets

fun ag fact of the day: After planting, it takes pumpkin approximately 90 to 120 days to mature. There is only one day during the entire growing season, in which the pumpkin flower can be pollinated. If the growing season is a dry one, pumpkins will typically be 20% – 30% smaller, in size.

fun ag fact of the day: if a rooster is not present in a flock of hens, a hen will often take the role, stop laying, and begin to crow.

Fun ag fact of the day: peacocks are omnivores. Their diet may consist mostly of grain, grass, plants, insects and other small creatures although peacocks will eat just about anything.

fun ag fact of the day: corn is actually a grass (botanically speaking grasses are members of the family Poaceae).

fun ag fact of the day: Almonds are actually stone fruits related to cherries, plums and peaches.

fun ag fact of the day: the hide from one cow can make 144 baseballs, 20 footballs or 12 basketballs.

fun ag fact of the day: the difference between raspberries and blackberries is that raspberries have a hollow core in the middle while blackberries do not.

fun ag fact of the day: the average chicken can run up to 9 miles per hour!

fun ag fact of the day: It takes 8 pounds of honey for a bee to produce 1 pound of wax.

fun ag fact of the day: While the United States has less than 10 percent of the world’s cattle inventory, it produces nearly 25 percent of the world’s beef supply.

fun ag fact of the day: Did you know that 25% of an apple is air? That why they float!

fun ag fact of the day: Pineapples do not grow on trees, they are the fruit of a bromeliad, rising from the center on a single spike surrounded by sword-like leaves. The pineapple plant is the only bromeliad to produce edible fruit. Commercial pineapple plants are only harvested two to three years, because the fruit begins to get smaller with each year of plant life.

fun ag fact of the day: Although considered a fruit, the fig is actually a flower that is inverted into itself. The seeds are drupes, or the real fruit. Figs are the only fruit to fully ripen and semi-dry on the tree.

fun ag fact of the day: One acre of potatoes will produce 52,000 servings of French Fries.

fun ag fact of the day: avocado is a fruit. This fruit ripens only after it is plucked from the tree. Mature fruits can be left unplucked in the trees for as much as 6 months and it will not get spoilt. But, once you pluck the fruit from the tree, it will ripen in a few days. CA boasts 7,000 avocado groves. San Diego County produces 60% of CA avocados. Florida is the second main producer in the United States.

fun ag fact of the day: Can’t remember if an egg is fresh or hard boiled? Just spin the egg. If it wobbles, it’s raw. If it spins easily, it’s hard boiled. A fresh egg will sink in water, a stale one will float. If it floats don’t eat it.

fun ag fact of the day: California is foremost in peach production in the United States, which provides about half of the world’s entire supply of fresh peaches. Although Georgia is known as the “Peach State,” it really ranks third in production behind California and South Carolina. Imports of fresh peaches from Chile, New Zealand and Mexico help make it a year-round commodity.

Fun ag fact of the day: Salmonella affects chicken of every quality, and there is no valid scientific evidence that shows that poultry products that are “Kosher,” “free-range,” “organic,” or “natural” have more or less of the bacteria, according to FSIS.

fun ag fact of the day: pecans are the only commercial tree nut native to North America. They are also an alternate bearing (also called biennial or uneven bearing) crop. This means the tree will produce a heavy crop one year (called “on-crop”) followed by a light crop or no crop the following “off-crop” year.

Ag fact of the day: According to a study conducted by Jude Capper, Washington State Univ, each pound of beef produced in modern systems vs. 60 years ago uses 10% less feed energy, 20% less feedstuffs, 30% less land, 14% less water and 9% less fossil fuel energy, with an 18% decrease in total carbon emissions. Thank a beef farmer or rancher today for providing a safe, wholesome product AND improving the environment!

fun ag fact of the day: the pregnancy of a sow (female pig) lasts 3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days. Pigs are one of the few animals that suffer from sunburn, that is why they love to wallow in the mud, to protect themselves from buring. In 4-H we were taught to use sunscreen to keep our pigs happy and healthy.

fun ag fact of the day: We use 40% of the average beef animal for meat; the remaining beef animal is used for beef by-products including: pharmaceuticals, chemicals, textiles and even asphalt!

fun ag fact of the day: cattle graze on land that can’t be used for anything else because the terrain is too steep or hilly for building houses or too rocky or dry for growing food crops.
The hooves of cattle aerate the soil when they walk on it, allowing more oxygen to enter the soil and helping grasses and plants grow better. Grazing… cattle also press grass seed into the soil and fertilize it with their manure.

fun ag fact of the day: The pupil in a goat’s eye is rectangular in shape instead of being round like those of other animals.

fun ag fact of the day: To absorb the same amount of iron found in a 3-ounce serving of beef, you have to eat nearly 2 3/4 cups of spinach.

fun ag fact of the day: About 8% of the US population works for government (including post office and military). Unemployment is 9.5%, 3.2% are in prison, jail, parole or probation; 2% are farmers that feed ALL of us. There’s 4 times as many government workers than there are farmers. Thank a farmer. Support a farmer.

fun ag fact of the day: One bushel of wheat contains approximately one million individual kernels.

fun ag fact of the day: Did you know Watermelon is considered a vegetable? It is related to cucumbers, pumpkins & squash. (Some people say it is both a fruit and vegetable, but according to our Government it’s a veggie)

fun ag fact of the day: Sheep have no upper front teeth, this permits sheep to eat vegetation close to the ground and prevents them from pulling up plant roots. They have a split in their upper lip, with this they are able to pick the preferred leaves off the plant

fun ag fact of the day: It takes the pancreases from 26 cows to provide enough insulin to keep one diabetic person alive for a year.

Fun ag fact of the day: The average American works just 40 days to earn enough disposable income to pay for food for an entire year… but works an average of 100 days to earn enough to pay for annual federal, state, and local taxes.

Fun ag fact of the day: Today’s dairy farms use just 10% of the land, 23% of the feed, and 35% of the water that was required to produce the same amount of milk in 1944.

fun ag fact of the day: There are over 200 varieties of peaches. Cling or clingstone peaches have a pit to which the flesh ‘clings’; freestone peaches have a pit from which the flesh is easily pulled away.

fun ag fact of the day: The peach is a member of the rose family and will have a sweet fragrance when ripe. The United States provides about one-fourth (25%) of the world’s total supply of fresh peaches.

fun ag fact of the day: In 1940, one farmer produced enough food for 19 people. Currently, one farmer produces enough food for 155 people.

fun ag fact of the day: the bee is the only insect that produces food eaten by man.

Fun ag fact of the day (and why it is so important for us to save our farm ground): California grows more than half of the nation’s fruits, vegetables and nuts from less than four percent of the nation’s farmland.

Fun ag fact of the day: In 2008, California continued to lead the nation with floriculture
crops valued at $1.02 BILLION wholesale. Florida, the next largest producer, had $922 million in wholesale value.

fun ag fact of the day: Roosters cannot crow if they cannot fully extend their necks.

fun ag fact of the day: It is possible to lead a cow upstairs but not downstairs, because a cow’s knees cannot bend properly in order to walk down

fun ag fact of the day: Occasionally, a hen will produce double-yolked eggs throughout her egg-laying career. It is rare, but not unusual, for a young hen to produce an egg with no yolk at all.

fun ag fact of the day: There are approximately 7,500 varieties of apples around the world. Only about 100 are grown commercially in the US, and the top 10 varieties account for 90 percent of the crop.

fun ag fact of the day: a sunflower’s flowering heads track the sun’s movement, a phenomenon known as heliotropism.

fun ag fact of the day: When it is first made, cheese has little flavor. It takes three months to make mild cheese and at least a year to make sharp cheese. All cheese is naturally white. Yellow cheeses are yellow because color is added to them.

Fun ag fact of the day: Both male and female cattle can be born with horns (except polled breeds -polled means no horns).

fun ag fact of the day: Chickens that lay brown eggs have red ear lobes. There is a genetic link between the two.

fun ag fact of the day: U.S. consumers spend roughly 9 percent of their income on food compared with 11 percent in the United Kingdom, 17 percent in Japan, 27 percent in South Africa and 53 percent in India.

Fun ag fact of the day: the peanut is not a nut, but a legume related to beans and lentils. The average American consumes more than 6 pounds of peanuts and peanut butter products each year.

Fun ag fact of the day: In an average day, a dairy cow will produce 5-6 gallons of milk – enough for 90 people to enjoy one 8-ounce glass of milk!

fun ag fact of the day: 1 acre of corn removes 8 tons of harmful greenhouse gas, more than produced by your car. -EPA

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