National AG Week

In honor of National Ag Week, I’m going to write about my background and story in agriculture and its impact on my life. I was born into 5 generation family ranch west of Springview, NE. Some of my earliest memories are from the ranch and spending time outdoors there. From helping grandma cook in the kitchen to riding on the four-wheeler with my dad and uncles while moving cattle, there’s an unlimited amount of core memories made in this agricultural setting. As I grew up heading to the ranch every weekend was the highlight of the week. Many life lessons were made while learning how to do various tasks on the ranch. When the COVID pandemic hit and we were let out of school my siblings and I spent the majority of our time at the ranch. Once school was done we’d get dressed to help during calving or stay up at night to check the cattle. During this time we as siblings got a lot closer and were glad to do what we could to help out our grandparents. While there wasn’t so much work to be done we’d often find time to go hunting, hiking, or ride horses to keep us busy during the crazy time. Looking back on my childhood and the way I was raised I give a great thanks to agriculture and being so lucky to have lived a life within its chaos. Not only do you learn so many different lessons that can apply to any part of your life but you also get closer to the ones you love, and that is the beauty of agriculture. Agriculture keeps the world turning and knowing that my family and I are a part of that is very fulfilling.

Optimism for the Ag industry in 2022

Although the ag industry has had its many challenges throughout the past years and of course the new ones that will arise there are things to stay optimistic about going into the new year. Aside from shortages and problems with the supply chain here are a few things to look forward to. According to Oklahoma State University Extention copyright 2022 the world is demanding access to more meat. The United States is the most efficient meat producer in the world. The market for American meat should stay strong throughout the world. Farmers and ranchers need to efficiently plan for any sort of problem that could come their way from here on out. The increased feed costs throughout the US have negatively affected feedlots, planning for the bumps in the road will hopefully allow everyone to be prepared. The need for agricultural products throughout the US and world gives hope and optimism to this industry.

Grassland Conservation

Recently I had to write a speech for my agriculture leadership class, which I wrote about grassland conservation. So I am going to share a little bit of that information with you. Each year over a million acres of cropland expand into grasslands and other natural areas according to Tyler Lark with the University of Wisconsin: Madison’s Center of Sustainability and the Global Environment website copyright 2022. In order to preserve our beautiful grasslands, there are several techniques that we can use and implement into our farming techniques. Rotational grazing and no-tilling are two great modern strategies. Rotational grazing allows for the recuperation of plants and organisms throughout your pastures if your livestock are focused on one portion at a time. With proper fencing, this technique is time-efficient. The earth loses approximately 23 billion tons of soil each year according to copyright 2021. No-tilling allows for the soil to stay intact and protect the soil by leaving crop residue on top. It also reduces soil erosion and increases absorption of water which leads to more efficient irrigation. Leaving the soil undisturbed benefits the microorganisms within it and allows them to grow and strengthen, which then, in turn, will improve the soil matter. Improving and maintaining the cropland we already use will prevent the need for expansion into our current grasslands.

Involvement in Agriculture update

It’s been a while since I last shared how I’ve been involved in agriculture lately. A couple FFA related events I have participated in recently are livestock judging and working with the elementary students. As an officer team, we go to the elementary school frequently and teach them a lesson based on agriculture. It is fun to get to interact with the younger kids, as well as to see them learning. We went to Ord, NE to livestock judge. Stetson and I were the only two upperclassmen so we got the privilege to teach the younger kids a bit of what we know. Currently, I am writing a speech about grassland conservation and its importance. Writing speeches is definitely not something I love to do but I think by getting involved and stepping out of your comfort zone you can make great impacts on others. Just thought I would give a little update of the things I have been working on in agriculture:)

Benefits of putting cattle on Cornstocks

Many ranchers in the winter before calving season put their cattle on cornstocks. What is the purpose of this you may ask. Well, there are many benefits for the cattle and the land they are on. For example, corn kernels left behind from harvest are great consumption for the cattle. This lowers the price of winter feeding and having to import feed from a different locaiton. While benfitting the cattles diet it also fertilizes the land for the next years crop which is environmentally friendly. Ranchers should keep a close eye on their cattle to make sure they dont bloat or overeat on grain. Scouting the feild prior to turning your cattle out will ensure that they don’t over or under eat through the fall and winter months. Knowing the benfits of this can increase your cattle production!

Affects of Climate Change on Agriculture

Climate change is a constant topic in today’s society. How can we prevent it or how to overcome the already present problems. I’d like to shed some light on how climate change is affecting todays agriculture. Agriculture is extremely vulnerable to climate change and with the increasing and dramtic changes agriculture is getting hit hard. Higher temperatures decrease productivity and increase weed and insect investation. There are parts of the world that may benefit from this but the overall production of agriculutre is decreasing. Taking on this problem with a postive attitude is the best thing to do.

National Farmers Day

A day late but better late than never right?! October 12 was national farmers day, so in honor of the hard work they do for the world, I think they deserve a shoutout. Here are a couple fun facts about farmers to share with a friend. According to copyright 2021, each American farmer produces enough food and fiber for 165 people annually across the world, 99% of farmers are owned by individuals, family partnerships, or family coorperations, and women make up 30% of today’s farmers. Those are some pretty impressive statistics. If you see a farmer thank them for the work they do, it shouldn’t go unnoticed!

Introduction to Rangeland Management

Rangeland management is maintaining a healthy habitat for plants and animals. If you are a farmer you most likely rotate crops each year. Many ranchers move their cattle to different pastures throughout the year. Rotational grazing is moving your cattle from pasture to pasture so it doesn’t get overgrazed and so that the grasses keep growing back healthy. Moving your livestock not only helps keep the range healthy but also the livestock. Moving through different pastures ensures that your animals are getting the different and necessary nutrients. Some nutrients will be more abundant in certain places rather than others. Rotating the crops you plant in a specific way is to maintain soil health. Draining the soil of nutrients by continuously planting the same crop will eventually cause nothing to be able to grow there.

National Teach Ag Day

National Teach Ag Day falls in the month of September. Ag teachers are rising in demand across the US. The culture of agriculture is fading in a lot of the world and many people don’t even know where their food comes from. Having teachers educate students on the importance agriculture plays in today’s world is vital. Teachers often go overlooked, the hard work they put into students’ education is something that needs to be celebrated. Getting an education on how food is made and where it comes from, in my opinion, is something every child should have a solid understanding of. So take a moment to appreciate the people and teachers in your life that may get overlooked a little too often:)

Pour on parasite control

When giving annual shots to your cattle, there is a step that many people may not think about. This is using pour-on or also known as Ivermectin. Pour on is a simple parasite control method that you just spray or pour on your cattle. There are many benefits of this, for example, it is a weatherproof liquid that helps to control 33 species of internal and external parasites. Ivermectin essentially kills or paralyzes the parasite on ur livestock, therefore rendering it harmless to your animal. It can also prevent the reproduction of these nasty parasites. Using this is very beneficial to your cattle or livestock and is something my family uses and will continue to use in the future.

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