New Blog for Alpha Gamma Sigma

Many of you know that this blog has been created as part of a assignment for a public relations class in my ag communications minor. Through this blog I have learned what a blog really is. I used to think that blogs were for girls that liked to gossip or talk a lot, however I now see that they are a important part of the social media triangle. They can gain attraction to your business, purpose, or subject in ways that many other types of social media can’t. This blog is my personal blog and now that the class is over this blog will probably fade out. I don’t want to delete it and I plan to still post regularly however I will now be running a different blog that has a much more defined purpose. My new blog will be logging stories about my involvement in Missouri State University specifically in Alpha Gamma Sigma Fraternity. For my followers that wish to keep hearing from me I highly suggest following that blog also. True to my style this new blog is titled Words from an Ag Sig. My friend has already made a observation that the wandering man has found his place in Ag Sig and I hope this is true. Below I have posted a link to my new blog to make me easier to find.

Click this link to be directed to my new blog

Click this link to be directed to my new blog

Online Resumes!

For those of you that don’t know me I am very professionally minded which is why I was a bigger player in FFA and DECA in high school and why I am a good member of Alpha Gamma Sigma here in college. So to be a person’s portfolio especially the resume is very important to me so I did some research on some creative ways to create our own online resumes and made this prezi to share what I learned!

My Story of Inspiration

My stomach was churning as sweat dripped off my forehead. I was in Grand Island, Nebraska at the National 4-H Shooting Sports Competition and my team and I were nervously waiting for the announcers to announce the winning teams for muzzle loading. The announcers are working their way to first place and still we were waiting for our names to be called. Texas had won second place. There is a pause and we wonder if we have placed in the top ten. Then we hear, “And 1st place in muzzle loading goes to Missouri!”

Surprisingly my 4-H career began several years earlier with an Easter bunny. I wanted one so bad that when I was eight years old I was able to make a deal with my mom that if I could get a rabbit I would join 4-H. I started attending meetings and learning how to care for my rabbit. I was having a great time and making new friends as I started laying down a foundation for my future. I was thrilled to learn that I could show my rabbit in the county fair; however, before I could show I had to give a demonstration. I was shy and the idea of getting up in front of people was terrifying. I was able to do it and had a blast showing my rabbit and proudly displayed the blue ribbon we had won on my rabbit’s cage.

My experiences at the fair and seeing all the diverse projects people were doing inspired me to broaden my horizons. In my second year I added woodworking and bee keeping to my list of projects. In that fair I showed a jar of honey and a pair of gum ball machines I had made. In my third year, Dad had me sign up for shooting sports so that I could learn to shoot so I could hunt with him. I was now a big part of our club and was quickly learning to shed my shyness and have fun. It wasn’t until my fourth year however that I gained public notice in the fair. That year I began to work with leather and, along with showing a belt in the small exhibit building, began hand crafting and selling custom leather bracelets from my bench in the rabbit barn.

I would not be near the same person I am now if not for 4-H. Nowhere else could I have accomplished so much. This year I earned the title of Treasurer of our club and I have won Grand Champion Rabbit Meat Pen twice, helped Missouri win a national muzzle loading championship and state livestock judging contest, and have turned my leather working hobby into a small business. I have benefited from every aspect of 4-H; demonstrations and judging interviews have taught me how to control my shyness, working on projects have shown me the importance of detail and character, I learned professionalism and responsibility working with others in meetings, and participating in fairs and competitions have built up my self-esteem, self-image, and self-respect. It is my experiences through 4-H that has inspired me to be an agricultural teacher and spread ag-awareness and help oncoming generations broaden their horizons like 4-H has broadened mine.

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Katie Hanson of Country Credence

Katie Hanson of Country Credence

Hey ya’ll I just wanted to throw this out there but I’ve posted below a link to another blog that’s starting out and I think is pretty awesome! This goes to her recent post about the sequester so she’s AGvocating and getting our story out there please give her page a look over!

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Who Needs a Farmer?

In my public relations in agriculture class at Missouri State University we were given the challenge of making a impromtu video showing why America needs a farmer. I paired up with Rusty Corkran and we quickly made this video in Blair Shannon dinning hall. It’s a little rough and could have a little more effort put into it for sure but I think it does a good job about representing farmers. Hope you enjoy!

Beef Cow Playing Milk Cow

Spring time is always busy at Tumbl’n T Ranch where I live. This is when our momma cows have their calves. We have to constantly watch the herd in case one of the cows has a problem and needs our help and to keep track of the calves. Usually we are not needed that often but every year one particular cow always needs a helping hand.

This cow is my own named Eragon for the white circle in her forehead. Like the rest of our cows she is a beef cow and therefore only raises one calf a year and should only produce milk to feed that one calf with little to no extra. However Eragon has a genetic disorder which causes her to produce up to four times the amount of milk needed. This causes problems for both Eragon herself and her calf. See her calf has no hope of ever drinking that much milk in order to relieve his mom of her load but his instincts tell him to try and get all the food he can. So he ends up drinking too much milk and giving himself the scours. As for Eragon, her large amount of milk stretches her udder and becomes painful for her and if the milk is allowed to sit there long enough it will begin to go bad and cause a disease.

Eragon beef cow, over large udder

Eragon beef cow, over large udder

This is where we the farmers come in. Every year we keep an eye on Eragon and when she pops and the baby comes out we get to work. First off we spend about an hour moving Eragon and her new calf up to the corral where we can more easily work with her and make sure that there are no problems other than the milk. Then we drive to a local dairy farm and buy two or three fresh born bottle calves. The term bottle calf means that the calf has been separated from the cow and is being raised off a bottle. I take these calves home and for a short period separate all the calves from Eragon with a panel. She can still see the calves but they cannot nurse her during this time.

My Dad helping a dairy calf to nurse

My Dad helping a dairy calf to nurse

After a while Eragon begins to get confused as to which calf is hers because they have all rubbed up on each other and smell alike. I then let Eragon into the pen with the calves and give her a bucket of grain to make her stand still and eat. The natural born calf usually goes right up and starts nursing because after that separation the calves are ready for dinner. However the dairy calves have never been with a momma cow and wander around looking for food. I gather them up one by one and guide them to Eragon’s udder. I usually have to make them move their heads up and put a teat in their mouth and manually release some milk into their mouths several times before they get the idea.

Happy Jersy calf thats been adopted to Eragon

Happy Jersy calf thats been adopted to Eragon

After several of these sessions and several days the calves all are pro milkers and know their place at the dinner table. We generally keep them all in the coral for about a month to make absolutely sure that all the calves are getting their fair share of the bounty. After we are confident everything is going good they can all be turned out to pasture to join the herd. Eragon and her calf are saved and three bottle calves find a mother. It’s a happy ending for all thanks to a farmer.