Frog Giggin’

So frog giggin’  season has officially started. This last weekend two of my friends, Evan and myself all went for the first time of the year. Until I started dating Evan five years ago I honestly had no idea what frog giggin’ was but since then we have gone several times and it is always quite fun and always humorous. Between Evan catching frogs the “Jake Robertson” style or having to wade through water that was a foot deep and getting sucked down in the mud, to four people squeezing into the front of a small Mazda pickup, it is never a dull one with Evan and my friends on the weekends. Hopefully, as the season goes on I will have more pictures and stories to post but for now I have a picture of the seven frogs that we got this last weekend. They are pretty small frogs but maybe we can get some bigger ones in the next couple of weekends.

Ribbit

Ribbit

House Approves to split the Farm bill

Yesterday,

The house approved splitting the farm bill and having a farming only bill. This bill was met with equal parts approval and disapproval. The house debated the issue for several hours yesterday with some stating that removing the nutritional programs from the farm bill was a big mistake because the most important part of the farm bill was being removed. While the other side stated that the nutritional bill should not be a part of the “farm bill” and by separating them both sides could get more of what they needed. When I say this bill was met with equal parts of like and dislike that is fairly accurate because the bill only passed with a 216 to 208 vote.

This bill also caused a split within the agricultural world because some groups like the National Pork Producers Council feels it would be a good thing to split the bill, while other groups like the American Farm Bureau feels it would be a bad thing to separate the nutritional programs from the farming aspect of the farm bill. The biggest discussion with this bill is that 79% of the farm bill actually goes to nutritional programs while only the other 21% actually goes to farmers and with all of the cuts that have had to come from the farm bill a majority  of the cuts have had to come from the 21% that actually affects the farmers because they will not pull from the nutritional programs. With that being said some groups think that by splitting the bill the farmers can get more of what they need and are more likely to get a farm bill passed if it is not incorporated with the complex nutritional programs.

The other side of the coin though is that some feel if we split the bill we will never get a farm bill passed because the legislators are not going to deal with it if the nutritional programs are not included. In my opinion this can all come down to the point that less than 2% of people in the country are involved in agriculture and therefore most people do not even realize how important it actually is and most of our legislators represent urban areas and therefore they feel the nutritional programs are of more importance to them than the farming programs.

You can read American Farm Bureau’s President Bob Stallman comment on the passage of the farm bill. There is also a post by agripulse about the entire debate and how people in legislation and agriculture are feeling about it.

There were many speakers yesterday though that are obviously far removed from any aspect of farming and that can be seen by some of their statements. One representative even stated that we should continue to eliminate direct payments to “rich farmer,” and another representative called some farmers millionaires.  This is something that I find most interesting because most farmers are not rich and if some of them are millionaires it is not in liquid assets it is locked up in capitol assets, equipment, etc  it is not money that can be spent. When our legislators think that all of the farmers are corporate or are millionaires it is no surprise that we cannot get a good or well any farm bill passed.

Even though the bill has passed through the house it will be interesting to see if it will pass the senate simply because the vote was so close in the house.

Missouri State AG Forum

Well I just got done with the William H. Darr School of Agriculture Ag forum and what an event it was. We had Senator Blunt and Congressman Long there to discuss with us the current ag issues and what they are doing at the capital to fix the problems and work towards a solution. Our moderator was Todd Hays the Vice President of Missouri Farm Bureau.

Topics we discussed include Child Labor laws, EPA regulations on dust, the death tax and renewable energy. There were many issues discussed but those were just a few of the largely hit topics. Members of the public had the opportunity to ask our Senator and Congressman questions on any ag topic and the   gentlemen gave there response.

This was the 13th year for the forum and it is always a very large event for Southwest Missouri and a great opportunity to keep up to date on current issues and for the public to ask questions they would not normally be given the opportunity to ask.

I myself was blessed enough to get to sit with Senator Blunt and his director of agriculture Don and also Cliff Smart the Interm president for Missouri State University. This was a great opportunity to get to speak with many great leaders for not only our state but the nation also.

I cannot wait to attend the event next year and to hopefully meet many more great people and to hear more about all the things we are accomplishing within our industry.

Four Wheeling

I love this time of the year because it means it is four wheeler season again. Evan and I this last weekend met up with one our friends and went for a ride. Let me tell you so much fun well until the cow manure ended up in my hair and on the collar of my shirt but owell just a consequence of riding in a cow pasture. It also gave Evan a good laugh since he was the one driving and was the one that technically caused the four wheeler to throw the maure at me. Then I gave him the opportunity to go get me one of his shirts before I threw the manure on my shirt onto him.

After I got changed we decided to take the four wheelers a little more off roading,  which involved taking the four wheeler’s through the woods and up some steep banks. I have learned the trick to this style of riding just hide your head and whatever body you can fit behind Evan that way when a tree limb comes out of nowhere it will not hit you in the face. Although, if you start out by hiding your face behind his back don’t plan on looking up until you are out of the woods or you will get hit in the face, trust me I learned that the hard way.

As much fun asthat night was I am even more ready for warm weather and then a good rain so that we can go mudding on my friends property because his dad lets us use his dirt pit. He says he would much rather us use that pit than be on core ground and getting in trouble. I completely agree I have never really been much for trouble because I’m kind of

afraid of confrontation lol.

I only hope that in the future I can post some more stories on here about our experiences this summer with mudding, four wheeler riding, and whatever other trouble Evan can find for us to do.

HSUS Stands for “D”

Recently Charity Watch has developed their April/May  charity guide and they gave HSUS a “D” rating which is unsatisfactory. This is the same rating that they have gotten for the last two years. They are even scored lower than PETA which has a rating of “C+”. That is just plain sad. This guide also has looked into HSUS’s finances and they said that for every dollar they make they spend 48 cents to raise that money. That is not an economical manner to finance their endeavor. For a group that says they focus so much of their time and money on saving animals that cannot really be possible when for every dollar earned they spend less than a half a penny on the actual animals.

I hope that as time goes on more and more people begin to realize what this organization is all about and will not allow them to continue to pass laws and regulations. Especially the new ridiculous law that they are trying to pass that would give animals legal rights and would allow people like HSUS lawyers to sue farmers for animal abuse on the animals behalf. For example, if a hog is harvested then the lawyer can sue the farmer for manslaughter on behalf of the hog. I personally find this ridiculous and hope that everyone sees it my way too.

Puppies, Puppies all Around!!

Well I have not shared with you guys a little tidbit about my family which is that we love Basset Hounds. We actually have three registered Bassset’s and have another one on the way once she is big enough to leave her momma. We also like to breed these Basset’s. Let me tell you once the babies get old enough and their ears start to really get long and they get wrinkly around the face they are about the cutest puppies ever and I’m not biased or anything. Our latest litter consisted of nine puppies 5 males and 4 females.

These babies are out of our family pets Maxi and Bubba. We currently have puppies going to five different states which include California, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Idaho, and Pennsylvania and of course Missouri my home state so I guess that would technically make it six states. Our Basset’s have had two other litters beside this one and when we sell our puppies we always like to have the new owners send us updated pictures of the puppies as they grow up. So, we love it when we get a picture of one of our old pups now grown up and being pampered by their new owners.

Our family is not one of those families that just breeds dogs for the money we like to have these puppies because we want to make other families as happy with a Basset Hound as we are with ours. People don’t understand quite the personality these dogs have until they own one themselves and are around them a little. I hope that after reading this you might also consider getting a Basset Hound and joining in on the fun of owning a dog with human like personality.

Here Fishy, Fishy!!

So this last weekend my boyfriend and I were looking for something to do and I mentioned that we could go fishing. He loves to do anything outdoors and I usually do too. Although, the smell of fish is not normally my favorite so I like to think that offering to go fishing was a sort of sacrifice on my part. As we got our poles ready to go and Evan gathered tackle he asked me if I had my fishing license. I believe I looked at him with a ha are you serious look. From that look he gathered that I didn’t have a fishing license. So we went to get my first ever fishing license at 20 years of age. I myself found that funny because it shows just how little I fish.

Evan said he thought we should go to Bear Creek because they were supposed to have the White Bass biting down there, but when we got there we realized that apparently the memo about the fish biting there had gotten out because it was packed. Therefore we moved onto another location. This other location was not exactly what I would have picked simply for the trees and weeds. I am only 5′ 5” and the weeds were about 6′. This made it a little hard for this girl to wiggle between these massive stalk like weed things. I know that was real exact definition of the weeds.

Once Evan thought we had found a good spot he sat his stuff down and he pointed out the logs that were sitting at the bottom of the creek and he told me to be careful when casting there because they were more likely going to get hung up. I was feeling pretty good about my spot because I could not see any logs under the water right in front of me. So, I went ahead and cast and about my third rotation of the reel I felt a tug. At first I was like yeah first cast caught a fish but, then I realized it was no fish but the logs that Evan had warned me about. So, I turned to the side and tried to get it off nonchalantly hoping Evan would not notice and make fun of me. Apparently, I can’t pull of the whole “nonchalant” thing because the next thing I know Evan is laughing and walking over to break my line and put a new lure on.

At this point I figure you can tell just about how good this fishing trip was going to go. After Evan fixed my line he cast one more time and determined the fish weren’t biting there so we needed to move down more. This requires me walking through those dang weeds again. Needless to say my pole got stuck in the weeds a lot and it took me a while to catch up with Evan. Then I realized that Evan likes to simply cast twice and determine with those two casts that the fish are not biting there so we ended up  moving around a lot but Evan also managed to have to fix my pole at every spot we stopped at. At the second spot we stopped I reached back to make a beautiful cast and I got my line stuck in a tree so bad Evan had to fix it, then the next spot I got a rats nest in my line and at this point I was determined to fix it myself. He let me for a while until he was laughing so hard at my confused look on my face he had to come over and yet again fix my screw up.

Many would just give up on fishing and normally I would have but by golly I paid $12 for a fishing license for the year and I intend to use it because I don’t like to waste money. So, there may be more fishing tails to come this year as I find more and more challenges of the fishing world.