Skype Session with Dairy Carrie

Last week in my Public Relations in Agriculture class we had the opportunity to meet Dairy Carrie through Skype. I have never participated in a Skype webcam conversation before so I was unsure how well it would work. I thought it was very neat that we were in Missouri and she was all the way up in Wisconsin. Even through Skype I could tell what kind of person Carrie was like and what a wonderful, fun personality she had. Carrie is a big part of the agriculture industry. Surprisingly, she didn’t grow up on a farm; she married into a dairy farming family. She and her husband have 100 cows on 300 acres. Not only does she work on the farm, she has a full-time job as well. She started blogging 2 years ago; on her blog she discusses very interesting and controversial agricultural topics. She also posts educational pictures and stories to inform those who are not involved in agriculture. I asked Carrie about her writing style and what her suggestions were to those who blog. She told us to never write anything unpolished, show your personality, and be creative. Carrie also explained how important it was to reach out to people and tell our agriculture story. This is a way to help those who are not involved in agriculture understand how different parts of the industry work. Social media is a great, easy tool to use to share our story.

 
My favorite post of Carrie’s is “I never wanted to be a Wife”. I found it to be relatable and empowering. Some of her most recent popular posts involve Panera Bread, Chipotle, and even a little Ryan Gosling controversy.

 
For those of you who are not familiar with Carrie you can find her on Facebook as Dairy Carrie or visit her blog at www.dairycarrie.com.

Deer Season 2013

Opening weekend for Missouri’s firearm deer season is just a few days away. The season begins this Saturday November 16 and lasts through Tuesday November 26. It looks like the weather may cause hunter’s a problem; forecasts are predicting rain and warm temperatures all across Southern Missouri and Northern Arkansas throughout the weekend.

Here are a few regulations for those of you who are not familiar with deer hunting.

  • The shooting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to one half hour after sunset.
  • Each hunter may take only one antlered deer during the firearms deer season.
  • All hunters may purchase any number of permits to take antlerless deer, but some county restrictions apply.
  • All hunters are required to wear orange (a hat and also a shirt, vest, or coat) so the color is clearly visible from all sides.
  • The use of bait while hunting is illegal. This includes grain or other feed placed or scattered to attract deer.
  • An area is considered baited for 10 days after complete removal of the bait.
  • It is legal to hunt over a harvested crop field, but it is not legal to add grain or other crops, such as apples or oats, to the field after it has been harvested.
  • All harvested deer must be labeled with the taker’s full name, address, Telecheck confirmation number, as well as the date taken.
  • All hunters born on or after Jan. 1, 1967, must complete an approved hunter-education program and display their card before they can purchase a firearms deer hunting permit.

You can view more deer hunting rules and regulations on Missouri Department of Conservation’s website at http://mdc.mo.gov/hunting-trapping/deer-hunting. If you are not from Missouri, please visit your state’s Department of Conservation website.

I recently got a new app on my iPhone called Hunt Predictor. This app lets you plot your hunting locations to get location based weather and prediction data. Hunt Predictor shows you a detailed weather forecast, best moon/sun times, barometric pressure, wind speed and direction, and much more helpful information. This app can not only be used for deer but turkey and waterfowl as well. Hunt Predictor is a very neat tool to use- I recommend you all to download it and check it out.

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Good luck to all of the hunters this deer season and remember to be safe!

Ozarks Farm & Neighbor

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Last week in my Public Relations in Agriculture class we had a guest speaker. Lynzee Glass, who is the managing editor for Ozarks Farm & Neighbor, visited with us about their newspaper and discussed social media’s role in their business. Ozarks Farm & Neighbor was first published in September of 1998 covering only 9 counties in Missouri. Today, this newspaper goes out to 58,000 different readers in 60 counties across parts of Southwest Missouri, Northwest Arkansas, and Eastern Oklahoma. This publication, which comes out every 3 weeks, offers a variety of different benefits for today’s farmer including: educational tools and articles, neighbor stories, breaking news, community news, and classified ads that are beneficial before making a purchase. The average reader of Ozarks Farm & Neighbor in Missouri is a male between the ages of 35 and 64; surprisingly, his main income is not from a farm. On average, he runs a 329 acre cow-calf operation.

Lynzee informed us that Ozarks Farm and Neighbor utilize a few different types of social media. They joined Facebook in 2009 and now have around 1400 followers. Since their paper only comes every 3 weeks, they use Facebook to publish stories in a timely manner to keep their audience informed. Ozarks Farm and Neighbor recently joined Twitter to stay in touch with their readers and to hopefully expand their audience. Another form of social media the business utilizes is HootSuite. HootSuite is a form of social media management. It enables a business to manage multiple networks and profiles at the same time; it allows the operator to schedule status updates and tweets as well. Using these forms of social media has created a new door for Ozarks Farm and Neighbor. They are now available to reach a newer audience at a cheaper and faster way. It allows them to stay in touch with their audience every day and get as many people involved with their magazine as they can. Also, using social media has targeted a new market/audience for their newspaper.

Using social media has allowed Ozarks Farm and Neighbor to expand its audience. This is return creates more interest and business. No matter what kind of business you have, I believe any business can benefit from utilizing social media. I encourage each of you to “like” Ozarks Farm and Neighbor’s Facebook page and visit their website at http://ozarksfn.com/ as well. You can follow them at https://twitter.com/OzarksFarm.

 

 

Missouri Food Dialogues

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Recently, the Food Dialogues were held in Columbia, Missouri. It was sponsored by Missouri Farmers Care and U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance. I watched the discussion on Missouri Farmers Care’s Facebook page. The first discussion was regarding animal welfare and livestock. The second discussion focused on biotechnology- conventional and organic. Each discussion had a different set of panelist who had a background and expertise in a certain agriculture field. For myself, I have a strong background dealing with livestock so I had a more of an interest in the second panel than the first because I felt that I could relate my story and opinions to theirs.

One of the experts on the panel, Travis Tucker, who is the owner of Bleu Restaurant in Columbia, Missouri, is originally from my hometown of Thayer, Missouri. This made me have a special interest due to the fact that I actually knew someone on the panel.

I was pleased with the overall message that was given during the Food Dialogue. There were several current controversial topics that were discussed. One topic was regarding labels on food and the confusion that comes along with them. I think Chris Chinn, the owner of Chinn Hog Farm, made an excellent point regarding this topic. She stated that when people see the word “organic” they are lead to believe that the product is healthier than its counter product- when in reality the nutritional value is the same. Organic just pertains to the method of how the object was produced. Of course the infamous Chipotle video was brought up. I agreed with the panelist; I believe that the video was just a way for them to market their product and to beat their competitors. However, the video is a complete misrepresentation of the agriculture industry.

I personally think this is the best way to educate the public. In order to educate others we must tell our story and pass our knowledge onto others who are indecisive or have an uneducated view about an issue. We must educate people that have misconceptions because the agriculture industry is a vital part to our economy and country. These issues are highly concentrated on today and I believe they will continue to be that way.

I think anyone can learn something by watching the Food Dialogues. I learned that Missouri is ranked 3rd in the country for our cow-calf operations. Also, I learned that our country’s beef herd is the lowest it has been in 60 years.

If you have not watched the Food Dialogue video I strongly encourage you to do so on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MoFarmersCare or on their YouTube channel.

Photo provided by brownfieldagnews.com

The Drought Returns

Despite the record amount of rainfall Missouri has experienced this past spring, the recent heat and lack of precipitation has the area in a drought.  According to the United States Department of Agriculture, Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri are currently in a “flash drought.”  A flash drought is defined by high temperatures, cloudy days, low humidity, and high evapotranspiration rates along with lack of rainfall. This all coincides poorly with the stages of corn and soybeans.  Driving around it is obvious that these crops are nearing physiological maturity and this correlates with grain fill.  Lack of moisture at this crucial time simply means yield will be reduced.  This is ironic because of the growing conditions we had this spring which led farmers and speculators to foresee a record yields.  However, currently producers are becoming uneasy with the recent environmental factors and the current market prices.  Farmers don’t see the record yields that the speculators do and therefor believe that prices should be higher.  It is early to tell what yields will actually be, but some early reports are leaving some people optimistic.  I have heard of yields that range from 70 to 189 bushels per acre.  Not only is this a concern, but a lot of acres in Iowa didn’t get planted because of the rain.  This leads us back to the current flash drought and the effects it leaves on the acres were planted before the rains and had good growing conditions.  I find this interesting because we had an excess rainfall which led us to recoup moisture lost in the 2012 growing season. Flash forward to now and we are experiencing a lack of moisture when we really need it and what is funny is that this all happened in one growing season.   I am curious to see how the markets follow the yields as they come in this harvest season.  Do any of you have a prediction? Will the markets be volatile?

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Small Town Farmer

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Hello everyone! I’m Angela Crase. I’m glad you stopped by to check out my blog. This is going to be a new experience for me; I will be blogging for the next few months as an assignment in my Public Relations class at Missouri State. (Who knows, I could like it and continue to blog.) I recently just moved to the big city of Springfield, Missouri to continue my college education. I am a junior at Missouri State University, majoring in Agriculture Business with an emphasis in Marketing and Sales. I am from a small town right on the Missouri/Arkansas line.

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I am the youngest of three kids (two girls and one boy). My parents own several businesses and farms. My father strived to teach my siblings and I how to work hard. We didn’t have a lot of free time to go places or spend with friends. As I get older, the more thankful I am about the way I grew up. I learned good work ethics, responsibility, and respect. I grew up on a 1500 acre beef cattle farm. Most of the time we ran a large cow-calf operation. For a few years, we background around 600 Black Angus heifers. This is where my love of agriculture began. I enjoy anything outdoors, especially hunting and fishing. Farming can be a very rewarding experience. When you are a farmer, every day is different. Of course there are bad days and challenges but I think the biggest reward is being able to blend work and family all in one.

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I have never been more excited to see what my future has in store for me. I hope to gain a lot of knowledge while I’m at Missouri State and be involved the most I can. I have a lot of knowledge in the livestock industry; I hope to expand my knowledge especially in the crop and grain industry because I have a great sense of interest in those areas.

Each day there is something new occurring in agriculture. My goal for my blog is to discuss a variety of important topics in the agriculture industry.