Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A GREEN St. Patrick's Day

I feel the need to post something pretty and spring-like to go with the 60's temperatures and blue skies we have here today. This is one of my favorite places. My grandmother's house is just to the left of the photo. Right now it looks absolutely nothing like this (the photo was taken last July) but it's still pretty and green.
This is more like what everything looks like where I'm from. Maybe not pretty, but definitely cute. In another month or 6 weeks everything will green up and spring will have sprung.

Green seems to be the topic of the day. I forgot to wear the color and am dreading a run-in with any middle school kids. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

It's also National Agriculture Week. Find out more here. People are encouraged to share what they love about agriculture to recognize the positive impacts agriculture has on everyone's life.

I can't pick just one thing. But, in keeping with my theme, I do love how GREEN agriculture is. Production agriculturalists have been on this trend since way before it became the popular and "right" thing to do.

Ranchers raise grass. Then they put this grass in an animal and they convert it into something we as humans can utilize for energy, meat. Since grass is useless to humans nutritionally, using it to grow livestock is a natural way to capture the energetic potential it holds and convert to something we can feed people with.

Any waste the animal produces is used as fertilizer to grow more grass. Animals eating grass stimulates new growth, much like mowing your lawn or trimming your hair. Ranchers graze grass in specific ways to promote the growth of higher quality grasses and limit growth of weeds and other undesirable plants.

Ranchers also recycle everything imaginable. Examples include using worn out tires as water tanks for livestock, building corrals out of used oilfield pipe that is no longer useful to the oil industry and reusing poor quality parts of wool off fleeces for mulch or to protect young plants against the elements.

Ranchers use horses instead of motorized vehicles in a lot of situations. Farmers work on machinery to maximize performance on less fuel. Feedlot owners feed livestock alcohol bi-products, known as distillers grains in rations.

Agriculturalists care about their land, livestock, family and work extensively to preserve and protect all of those things for future generations while also striving to feed consumers the highest quality, safest product possible.

When you enjoy a nice meal or purchase new clothes keep in mind these and countless other products are available because of agriculture. I love being a part of an industry that works so hard to do what's right for their customers and themselves in an efficient and environmentally friendly way.

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