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See the Grain Cart Work

25 Jul

It’s barley harvest time! During grain harvest, we have a lot of engines running. The combine does the harvesting job, the grain cart does the transporting job, and the trucks do the hauling job.

See the Grain Cart Work | The Farm Paparazzi

In the past I’ve helped by running grain cart. If anyone had told me ten years ago that I’d learn how to run large farm equipment with confidence and success, I’d have laughed. But, that was a lesson in never saying never.

See the Grain Cart Work | The Farm Paparazzi

The past couple years, motherhood has taken top priority so I haven’t been in the field other than to run out lunch and be a passenger in the combine. As my mentor, Melinda, says, I also help by keeping things running at home. My farmer needs and appreciates those clean clothes, a peaceful home, and good meals.

See the Grain Cart Work | The Farm Paparazzi

See the Grain Cart Work | The Farm Paparazzi

We have good help during barley harvest. Our fantastic, hard-working employees Chris and Ken keep the trucks headed to the bin and the grain cart running. Tyler’s brother Cooper also works for us on the weekends when he’s not mechanicing for a local John Deere dealership.

In the past, Tyler’s long-time friend, Scott, also kept the grain cart going. I get questions from some of my friends about what the purpose of the grain cart is, so here Scott demonstrates.

See the Grain Cart Work | The Farm Paparazzi

After the combine fills the grain cart with, well, grain; the operator heads to the end of the field where the truck is waiting.

See the Grain Cart Work | The Farm Paparazzi

This is one of the only times when 10 mph feels fast.

See the Grain Cart Work | The Farm Paparazzi

As the cart operator approaches the truck, he raises his auger.

See the Grain Cart Work | The Farm Paparazzi

Wait for it.

See the Grain Cart Work | The Farm Paparazzi

There it is.

See the Grain Cart Work | The Farm Paparazzi

He pulls back his RPMs and turns on the auger.

See the Grain Cart Work | The Farm Paparazzi

Then he opens up the auger’s gate, revs up the RPMs, and starts to fill.

See the Grain Cart Work | The Farm Paparazzi

The spout is adjustable so the cart driver can better position the grain as he fills.

See the Grain Cart Work | The Farm Paparazzi

He starts at the front of the truck (closer to the cab) and moves toward the back as the box gets full.

See the Grain Cart Work | The Farm Paparazzi

Once the truck is full, he closes his gate, shuts the auger off, and pulls away. He makes certain to be clear of the truck and then puts his auger back down.

See the Grain Cart Work | The Farm Paparazzi

Then the truck driver takes the load to our bins.

Malt Barley Harvest 2014 | The Farm Paparazzi

At the bins, the driver dumps the grain from the truck into the auger, which fills the grain bins.

See the Grain Cart Work | The Farm Paparazzi

And the cart heads back to the combine…

See the Grain Cart Work | The Farm Paparazzi

…where he waits to get filled up and do it all over again.

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. – Philippians 1:9

Tassels

17 Jul

We were gone for a couple days and when I got back to the farm it looked like it had exploded! The hot weather has the corn growing so fast you can almost hear it. And as I drove home from hoeing the garden I saw a few tassels peeping out.

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The corn tassels are what pollinate the “silks” on the corn cobs that create the kernels. If you want to know more, here is a funny (but accurate) post about how corn pollination works from Dairy Carrie: http://dairycarrie.com/2013/07/17/corn-sex-with-photos/.

Our corn is raised for livestock feed to help keep the world supplied with delicious, nutritious beef!

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

[The Lord will create] a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain. – Isaiah 4:6

Ella Goes to Work

16 Apr

Ella has been getting an introduction into what Mama and Daddy do – besides being her parents, of course.

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First, Ella got a crash course in magazine layout as I put together the Spring 2016 issue of CowCountry: The Official Magazine of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association.

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Ella decided InDesign and Photoshop weren’t that interesting.

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Then we took our first tractor ride with Daddy while he did some strip tilling. This was WAY more interesting. She loved looking at everything work and listening to the new sounds.

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We are so glad to be raising our daughter around farming. It’s a wonderful lifestyle and an important part of our world’s economy. Around 97 percent of American farms are family owned and we’re proud to be one of those families.

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God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. – Proverbs 22:6 (NIV)

 

Brewery Tour: Where Our Malt Barley Turns into Beer

22 Dec

 

Malt Barley Harvest 2014 | The Farm Paparazzi

Malt barley harvest on T&L Farms

Last summer we arranged a tour of the MillerCoors brewery in Golden, Colo. As contracted malt barley growers, we got the special treatment.

MillerCoors Tour | The Farm Paparazzi

Our tour group consisted of Tyler and I, my mom Amy, dad Steve, brother Ben, Tyler’s mom Kim, her husband Bill, and Tyler’s Great Uncle Harry, and Great Aunt Veletia. Veletia put together a detailed, very informative slideshow of the trip, the company’s history, and the brewing process here. It’s a fun read with great photos!

MillerCoors Tour | The Farm Paparazzi

During Prohibition, the company diversified by making ceramics and other malted products.

We learned a lot about how beer is brewed in mass quantity. It was fun to see the final leg in our barley’s existence. Now I’ve seen it go from field to cup!

Malt Barley Harvest 2014 | The Farm Paparazzi

Barley growing on T&L Farms

MillerCoors Tour | The Farm Paparazzi

I’d never seen hops in person before. Have you? They had it growing outside the brewery, and had some of it to touch on the way into the facility.

MillerCoors Tour | The Farm Paparazzi

MillerCoors Tour | The Farm Paparazzi

We saw what the barley goes through before other ingredients are added.

MillerCoors Tour | The Farm Paparazzi

Steeping tanks. The barley is soaked twice before it is germinated.

MillerCoors Tour | The Farm Paparazzi

Germinated barley. This must be done before the grain is suitable for brewing.

MillerCoors Tour | The Farm Paparazzi

Kilning or roasting is done to get the barley just right for different types of beer.

MillerCoors Tour | The Farm Paparazzi

Kilning or roasting before the barley is sent to the brewing process.

This was the best smelling place. The barley goes through the brewing process where other ingredients are introduced. Veletia’s slideshow really has a great explanation of the details.

MillerCoors Tour | The Farm Paparazzi

MillerCoors Tour | The Farm Paparazzi

The finished beer goes through quality control. It’s all more scientific than I ever imagined beer brewing would entail.

MillerCoors Tour | The Farm Paparazzi

We also got to see the product being packaged on site. Look at that sea of cans.

MillerCoors Tour | The Farm Paparazzi

And, of course, we got to taste test some of the product. Was a fun time had by all!

MillerCoors Tour | The Farm Paparazzi

 

“Let a man walk ten miles steadily on a hot summer’s day along a dusty English road, and he will soon discover why beer was invented.” – Gilbert K Chesterton.

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. – Hebrews 10:25

 

Learning About Corn

14 Dec

Corn can sound like such a mundane topic, but its genetic evolution and impact on the world around us is actually quite fascinating! Recently, my farmer husband ran across two pretty interesting pieces of learning material about corn.

The first is Discovery Channel’s How Stuff Works episode on corn.

It’s about 43 minutes long, so hunker down with a bowl of popcorn and watch this fun overview of the crop and how it affects the world.

The second is from the University of Utah and describes the evolution of corn genetics from a primitive plant to a domesticated crop.

So, now that I’ve completely “nerded out” on you, hopefully you’ll find some of the information as interesting as we did! And, always remember, if you want to know about how corn is grown, be sure to talk to a farmer near you. They are the professionals on the ground, after all.

Mother Nature's Pop Science Guide to Corn [Infographic]

God Bless You and American Agriculture,

Liz

Intelligent people are always ready to learn. Their ears are open for knowledge. – Proverbs 18:15 (NLT)

Frijoles!

1 Oct

Frijoles | The Farm Paparazzi
It’s bean harvest time! When you listen to farm reports, you’ll hear them talk about beans. Thems not our beans. Thems soybeans. We ain’t got no soybeans.

Frijoles | The Farm Paparazzi

Okay, now that every English teacher I’ve ever had is crying tears of desperation, I’ll tell you that we raise dry edible beans. Mainly pinto beans. Yup, those beans you buy for your Chugwater Chili and your Mexican food.

Frijoles | The Farm Paparazzi

I love raising a crop that I can cook with. Corn is great, but I have to wait for the cows to turn it into nutritious, delicious beef. Malt barley is great, but I have to wait to drink that as beer. And right now, at 27 weeks pregnant, I’ll be waiting awhile before I can even do that.

Frijoles | The Farm Paparazzi

But pintos? Yes, those, I can cook up and eat in all their original glory. They are also fun to give away as gifts.

We harvest beans two ways. The first way is called direct cutting and is a more modern method. On center-pivot irrigated ground, we grow upright bean varieties. These plants grow taller than other varieties and we can run a flex-header through the field to combine.

Frijoles | The Farm Paparazzi

The header’s cutting bar actually flexes to contour with the ground, rather than staying rigid. This allows the head to move across the field and harvest the beans more effectively.

Frijoles | The Farm Paparazzi

We also have an air reel on the head that helps keep the shelled beans in the head once they’re cut.

Frijoles | The Farm Paparazzi

There’s more to growing beans for direct cutting, but you get the gist.

Frijoles | The Farm Paparazzi

The second method is the traditional method. On flood irrigated ground, we have to pull ditches in between the crop rows so the water can run down and irrigate the entire row. This creates mounds in the field that aren’t conducive to direct cutting. So we take our Pickett machine through the field first.

Frijoles | The Farm Paparazzi

This machine cuts the plants at the roots and a rod breaks partially cut roots and lifts the plants. Then the cut plants are pulled into a windrow behind the machine.

Frijoles | The Farm Paparazzi

This is done when the beans are mostly dry, but not completely dry, to prevent the bean pods from shattering during the cutting process. It helps to cut when the humidity is high and/or there is a dew.

Frijoles | The Farm Paparazzi

Frijoles | The Farm Paparazzi

Then the windrows are left to dry and a second pass is made with the combine to finish harvest.

Frijoles | The Farm Paparazzi

Frijoles | The Farm Paparazzi

I’ve told you about the grain cart before, but in this harvest, we don’t run the cart. Beans are more fragile and apt to split the more they are handled, so the combine usually dumps directly onto semi trucks and the semis haul them to the beanery.

Frijoles | The Farm Paparazzi

Our beans go to Kelly Bean in Torrington, Wyo. where they get sold all over the world and may end up on your dinner plate. Ole!

Frijoles | The Farm Paparazzi

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

[Jesus said,] “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5

 

2015 Wyoming Global Tech Summit

24 Sep

We were honored recently to attend the 2015 Wyoming Global Tech Summit hosted by Governor Matt Mead. The experience was full of amazing information, incredible innovation, and brilliant, solution-oriented minds.

2015 Global Tech Summit | The Farm Paparazzi

The group of participants during the 2015 Wyoming Global Tech Summit in Jackson, Wyo. mid September. This was the agriculture technology break out session. Photo Courtesy of Governor Matt Mead’s Office.

The Summit was hosted in Jackson, Wyo. and leaders and decision makers from across Wyoming and beyond gathered to discuss strides made in health care, agriculture, energy, and more. In his opening remarks, and throughout the event, Governor Mead emphasized his vision for Wyoming as a global technology leader. Not only is he interested in our major industries incorporating up-to-date technology, but he is pushing for technology to become an industry in and of itself in Wyoming.

2015 Global Tech Summit | The Farm Paparazzi

During the agriculture panel, we heard from Agricultural Retailers Association President Daren Coppock (podium), John Deere Director of On-Board Applications Ronald Zink (middle), and Simplot SmartFarm Technology Director Allan Fetters (right).

Tyler and I were invited as farmers who are successful at adapting technology in our operation. We were incredibly honored to attend and were amazed at what we experienced. We heard from brilliant minds working on remarkable solutions to real-world problems. We networked with interesting and genuine people. We found it humbling and encouraging meeting people outside of agriculture who were interested in our farm. And we were energized by positive, solution-seeking attitudes.

2015 Global Tech Summit | The Farm Paparazzi

Wyoming Department of Agriculture Director Doug Miyamoto addresses the agriculture technology break out session.

Even though they are outside of our expertise, we found the discussions on health care and energy fascinating. Overall, we found the discussions full of similarities among all industries. We all face a fast-growing array of technologies and innovative processes. Likewise, we all are trying to adapt while weighing costs, addressing implementation challenges, and convincing stakeholders to adjust. No matter the challenges, though, there are incredible minds working on solutions to every problem!

2015 Global Tech Summit | The Farm Paparazzi

Mike Griffen with Simplot Grower Solutions discusses the use of mapping to improve farm yields and to use inputs more effectively.

Tyler and I were very pleased at the emphasis placed on agriculture at the Summit. Technology is the key to sustaining farms and ranches and feeding the 9 billion people our world is estimated to hold by 2050. Some of the key ag technologies featured included:

2015 Global Tech Summit | The Farm Paparazzi

John Deere’s Ronald Zink displays a John Deere 8245 R with GPS capability.

2015 Global Tech Summit | The Farm Paparazzi

Simplot’s “EM sled”. This sled attaches to an ATV/UTV and the equipment sends electromagnetic pulses into the soil to produce maps, including soil type, elevation, and landscape. These maps are useful in variable rate application and seeding technology, where the user builds zones in their fields and applications are adjusted to meet specific conditions.

2015 Global Tech Summit | The Farm Paparazzi

Simplot’s Allan Fetters displays an unmanned aerial vehicle or drone used in crop analysis.

2015 Global Tech Summit | The Farm Paparazzi

Mike discusses this soil moisture probe, which can be used to evaluate water usage and help producers apply variable rate irrigation.

2015 Global Tech Summit | The Farm Paparazzi

Maps created from satellite imaging which capture photosynthesis. This can indicate crop progress and yield potential.

These technologies allow producers opportunity for higher yields, increased profitability, and better environmental stewardship. Farmers are able to implement conservation practices for better soil health and reduced erosion. Water, fertilizer, chemical, and fuel are used more efficiently with fewer passes over the field and variable rate applications.

2015 Global Tech Summit | The Farm Paparazzi

The Mead Family Ranch in Jackson, Wyo. The Mead Family hosted the 2015 Wyoming Global Tech Summit guests for a dinner with incomparable views.

The 2015 Wyoming Global Tech Summit was a fantastic opportunity to network with innovative leaders, learn about exciting advancements in important industries, and to advocate for our industry as representatives of modern farming.

2015 Global Tech Summit | The Farm Paparazzi

Tyler and I with Governor Matt Mead (center). We were honored to be recognized by the Governor as successful adapters of technology on our farm.

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

…We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better. – Colossians 1:9-10 (NLT)

Expo-sing Kids to Agriculture

22 Sep

It’s technically the last day of summer today, although once Labor Day rolls around and the irrigation water goes off, it already feels like Fall to me. It’s been a crazy, stressful summer so we’re glad harvest is commencing and crops are rolling out of the fields.

One thing that marks the beginning of Fall for me is our local Ag Expo. Hosted by the Laramie Peak CattleWomen here in Platte County, we invite the local 3rd and 4th graders to come learn about agriculture. I’ve organized the event for the past two years and enjoy watching the kids learn about my favorite industry.

2015 Platte County Ag Expo | The Farm Paparazzi

Laramie Peak CattleWoman Bonnie Terrell talks about the importance of a balanced diet and an active lifestyle. With nutrients like zinc, iron and protein, BEEF is a part of a healthy diet!

2015 Platte County Ag Expo | The Farm Paparazzi

Wyoming Game & Fish’s Jeff O’Brecht talks about wildlife and uses a collection of hides, horns, antlers and bones for hands-on learning.

2015 Platte County Ag Expo | The Farm Paparazzi

Brown Company, our local equipment dealership, brought a New Holland tractor and a Polaris Ranger for kids to experience. Laura Lauck explained how equipment is used on the farm or ranch.

2015 Platte County Ag Expo | The Farm Paparazzi

Wheatland FFA member Samantha Kernin discussed sheep with the students. She explained the different breeds and how their products are used.

2015 Platte County Ag Expo | The Farm Paparazzi

Glendo FFA Members talked about horses with the kids while two miniature ponies were on display.

2015 Platte County Ag Expo | The Farm Paparazzi

Mary Ann from Platte County Extension talked about composting with the students. The kids enjoyed seeing how they could use “trash” to help improve their garden soil.

2015 Platte County Ag Expo | The Farm Paparazzi

LeRoy Jons from Platte County Extension showed the kids the high tunnel located on the Fairgrounds. He discussed how the structure extends our short growing season and the kids enjoyed sneaking a tomato or green bean.

2015 Platte County Ag Expo | The Farm Paparazzi

Laramie Peak CattleWomen President Jan Hyche and member Deanna Christensen taught the kids about branding cattle. The students got to hold down and “brand” a “cow”, learned how to read a brand, made their own brand and left with a Wyoming CattleWomen I Heart Beef temporary tattoo.

Thank you to the students, teachers and bus drivers for coming to our Ag Expo year after year. We appreciate all the volunteers, including CattleWomen members, the Glendo FFA Chapter, the Wheatland FFA Chapter, Brown Company of Wheatland, Platte County Weed and Pest, Platte County Extension, and Wyoming Game and Fish. We also appreciate the wonderful help of the Platte County Fairgrounds staff and use of their facilities.

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. – 2 Peter 3:18 (NIV)

Our Farm is More Than Monsanto

5 Sep

I took an hour this morning to catch up on one of my favorite blogs, Rural Route 2: The Life & Times of an Illinois Farm Girl. I love her intelligent, honest, heartfelt approach to blogging about her family’s farm life. This post from earlier this year struck a cord and fits so well with our farm philosophy. While you read, know that what she says is true about our farm as well. Thanks illinoisfarmgirl for your insightful words!

Rural Route 2

This Saturday crowds will gather to wave signs and chant against one of the more frustrating and ridiculous conspiracies of our time – that Monsanto is out to take over the world.

View original post 687 more words

Rainbow Bright

14 Aug

During barley harvest this year we had a few rainstorms that shut us down for a time. My first reaction was always, “Grrrrr.” Then I’d see sights like this as I was driving home and remember that God never fails us. His promises for our life are bigger, better, infinitely more amazing than we can imagine.

Rainbow Bright

Praise God for days like this.

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

Have not I commanded you? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be you dismayed: for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go. — Joshua 1:9

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