I’ve never been to a dairy before. I mean…a REAL dairy. I’ve been to farms in the past that have included milking cows on their list of chores. Farms used to be more diversified than they are now. Most farms used to include cattle, pigs, chickens, and other animals as well as crops (wheat, corn, soybeans, etc.). Having animals on the farm requires so much more of the farmer’s attention than just the farming. Milking cows requires even more attention than cattle raised for beef which can be found on ranches. Dairy cattle need milked every day. They don’t care about the weather or the holidays or vacations. What they care about is being milked and that doesn’t happen unless they have a calf or human hands to do the job.
One week ago today, I was still battling the not-feeling-so-good problem. I was also on my way to Washington, DC to take part in the festivities surrounding the 40th anniversary Ag Day. I had no idea what to expect. US Custom Harvesters had signed on as an “Ag Day Partner” earlier this year and I was looking forward to being a part of the group of people who are working hard at making the public aware of where their food comes from.
Any guesses? Hint…it’s not snow.
I saw a sign of spring in our “neck of the woods” on Friday. The snow geese have made their way through on their journey back to the northern country. It’s always a welcome sight…as is the return of the Robins. Know what I miss the most during winter? The song of the birds!!! The past couple of weeks, though, the songs have returned. I have to wait till the end of April for my favorite-the “Jenny” wren.
I went to her friends house to take pictures…still not feeling 100%. But, Taylor convinced me she didn’t care about how bad I may look so I went. I’m so glad I did. Her very last class “fling” forever. I started feeling the tears well up in my eyes as I drove away from the school. How could it be that she and all these friends that I have grown to love be nearly grown up and leaving? I’ve been pretty close to several of her classmates since they were in kindergarten. The years go WAY TOO FAST! I’m sure those tears won’t be the only ones I shed this spring!
I started this post nearly a week ago. I hadn’t finished it because I wanted to add a few pictures. Unfortunately, my body decided to get really sick after I wrote this. I think I may make it…even though I think it would have been better to have someone just shoot me. I’m going to push the “publish” button without pictures. We’ll just hope I feel better soon and I can add pictures later. I have been reminded of something – BIG TIME – this week…when you have your health-you have the world!
For the past week, I’ve felt like a kid on Christmas Eve. I haven’t been able to get a good nights sleep simply because my brain wouldn’t shut down after I hit the pillow. It’s convention time…the Z Crews favorite event of the year!!
Kent standing by the USCHI logo.
There’s always so many preparations for an event such as this. This year is even more challenging because we’ve never collocated our convention with any other show. US Custom Harvesters, Inc. is 30 years old as of April 2013. This year, we opted to collocate our anniversary convention with the AG CONNECT event being held in Kansas City, MO. It looks like it’s going to be one HUGE show!
With Part 1 of this “story”, I left you with “When Grandma asked me if I’d like to join them the summer of 1974, I JUMPED on the idea. I’ll turn that part of my story into Part 2.”
I was SO EXCITED when Grandma asked me if I’d want to go – I was 12 years old in 1974. I think I was most excited about the idea of getting to spend time with her and Grandpa. Staying in the trailer house and keeping the floors cleaned came in at a close second. Why? I have absolutely no idea. Maybe it was just the “smallness” of it.
I don’t remember much about my first year on the road with Grandpa and Grandma but I’ll try to dig into that cobweb filled memory closet of mine and see what I can pull out.
One of my favorite memories riding with Grandma was listening to the radio. She was so good about letting me listen to “my” music for 15 minutes and then it was “her” music for 15 minutes. I can still hear her singing “her” music! And to this day, every time I hear something that she enjoyed singing, it makes me think of her. A couple of her favorite sayings…”stop and smell the roses” and “one day at a time”!
Thanks to one of my readers, a link to the Celiac.com website was shared with me. After I visited it, I became aware of at least three interesting facts I’d like to share. I definitely believe there are people who genuinely suffer from Celiac Disease and gluten issues. I DON’T believe we should all stop eating wheat – simply because of the ridiculous claims that are being reported through our media sources.
1. Celiac Disease is hereditary.
Celiac disease, also known as gluten intolerance, is a genetic disorder that affects at least 1 in 133 Americans. Symptoms of celiac disease can range from the classic features, such as diarrhea, weight loss, and malnutrition, to latent symptoms such as isolated nutrient deficiencies but no gastrointestinal symptoms.
2. There is clearly a difference between Celiac Disease and Gluten sensitivities. They are defined as “non-celiac” and “celiac gluten sensitivity”.
3. Catering to gluten-free diets is BIG BUSINESS!
$6.1bn spent 2011 on gluten-free foods in the USA—and a 30% growth from 2006 to 2010 in Canada to $2.64bn—indicate “Big Business” complete with the risk of missed, omitted, and mis-information for the goal of promoting greater consumption of gluten-free processed foods.
According to this CNBC.com article published on May 20, 2011, titled Gluten-free Foods Paying Off Big:
“Gluten-free ingredients can be pricey — Kupper estimates a gluten-free product can cost two to three-times more than regular items — but that has yet to dent their growth.
In 2010, gluten-free foods racked up $2.5 billion in global sales, accounting for more than a quarter of all food-intolerance purchases, according to Euromonitor International.”
Ok…that’s it…last straw…now it’s my turn!
I heard about cardiologist Dr. William Davis and his book, Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight and Find Your Path Back to Health quite some time ago. The first time I remember seeing mention of this guy was when a friend of mine posted his concern about the popularity of the book on his FaceBook page. We are both harvesters and have been in and around wheat all our lives. Neither of us grow wheat, but we harvest wheat so it came off as ridiculous to both of us.
Yesterday, I opened my email’s home page and what’s staring back at me? An article written by George Dvorsky titled, Why you should probably stop eating wheat. Whaaaaaaaatttttttt?????
I received an email from a gentleman in August asking me if I’d consider doing a presentation about custom harvesting at a meeting (involving agricultural engineers) at the AG CONNECT show the end of January. I remember where I was and what I was doing the very instant I received this email. Why? Because it instantly made me sick to my stomach thinking about talking in front of anyone, let alone educated engineers! I was sitting in the buddy seat of the combine with Jim in Montana. I read the email to him and his next words were, “Maybe you should see if Jon would do it”. Incentive enough to reconsider the idea that I couldn’t do it and show Mr. Jim I COULD do it. I was hoping for a little encouragement but he probably knew how I was feeling (terrified) and was trying to make it better the only way he knew how. I thought about it for a while before I answered with my “yes, I think I can do this”. I decided God had opened this door for me and I needed to walk through it.
“Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.” Abraham Lincoln
The day I wrote this post was one that had been long awaited! We cut wheat today on May 16 after sitting for days of waiting for moisture levels to get low enough to cut. The perfect moisture to cut wheat is 13%. We sort of figured out it was probably due to the early spring and already ripened wheat. The wheat was ready to cut but the dew and cooler temps in the mornings (like a typical spring in TX) were messing with our ability to get it cut. It was after 3:00 when we FINALLY got started. Reading this post and seeing the pictures makes me really excited about heading south again.