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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

 

Showered with Love

29 Nov
Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

Me with my Grandma Marcy’s Better Homes & Garden’s Baby Book from 1951. Photography by Stephanie Russell at Cowgirl Graphics | http://www.cowgirlgraphics.com/

As of tomorrow, I am officially four weeks away from my due date. When you first get pregnant, 40 weeks sounds so far away. Now it’s nearly here and I am excited/terrified/elated/apprehensive/insert emotion here. Basically, one moment I feel an overwhelming sense of love and anticipation for Sweet Pea’s arrival and the next moment I just feel overwhelmed. But, I think that’s pretty normal. Right?…Right?

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

Photography by Stephanie Russell at Cowgirl Graphics | http://www.cowgirlgraphics.com/

Well, even if I’m not normal, I guess I’ll forge on ahead. I’m rarely normal anyway.

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

Clay doesn’t quite know it, but his world is about to be turned upside down by a tiny, pink baby girl. Photography by Stephanie Russell at Cowgirl Graphics | http://www.cowgirlgraphics.com/

One thing’s for sure, I’m feeling much more prepared for Baby Girl Lauck’s arrival after we were showered by friends and family this month. And when I say showered, I mean it was an absolute downpour of love, support, encouragement and generosity!

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

My mother-in-law borrowed this vintage baby buggy and decorated it with Tyler and I’s baby blankets. It held gifts and was inspired by the antique doctor’s buggy we had at our wedding to hold gifts.

The first shower in Wheatland was hosted by my incredible in-laws. Tyler’s mom, Kim and sisters Sunni and Kristny poured the most amazing amount of love and effort into making the day beautiful and special. Just look at the fun details they put together for the Sugar & Spice & Everything Nice theme!

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

 

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

 

 

 

 

 

 

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

It was also an incredible turnout! A lot of Tyler’s family lives in Wheatland, so we had family, friends, church family, and P.E.O. Sisters form a crowd of around 55+ people. Talk about a flood of support!

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

The first table to sort the sprinkles by color won a prize!

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

We had to call in reinforcements to haul all the adorable gifts home. We thank God for all these amazing people in our lives and are so grateful He is allowing our daughter to be born surrounded by such wonderful spirits.

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

Mom had her hands full writing down all the adorable gifts.

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

Mom, Kim, Me, Sunni and niece Skye.

While we girls were having fun at the shower, my dad and Tyler were busy at home with the nursery “to-do” list I left. Aren’t I a good cruise director? I had expected only a few things to be checked off, but when I arrived home, they’d gotten nearly everything done on the list! Grandpa and Dad get a gold star for sure.

The very next weekend my wonderful Aunt Mary and friend Cheri hosted a shower in Colorado where a lot of my family lives. It was a much smaller gathering, but was just as special. We got to enjoy a Peter Rabbit Storybook theme complete with bunnies everywhere and flower cupcakes. It was so precious and a great tribute to my favorite childhood pastime – reading!

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

I was presented with some wonderful handmade treasures, as well as some practical gadgets and lots of really good advice. I respect these mother’s so much and soaked in all their wisdom.

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

My Aunt Mary cross-stitched this blanket, as well as finished a quilt my great grandma had started. Including the wool rug she made, I’d say she was one busy woman and my daughter is one blessed girl!

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

Wonderful friends Kosha, Dell and Leanne with my Mom.

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

Cousin Emilie and Aunt Alisa look at the baby pictures from Tyler and I’s albums.

As if I weren’t spoiled enough, my amazing friend Kassi hopped on an airplane and flew from Missouri with an 18-month-old just to be at the shower. We’ve been State FFA Officers together, roommates, bridesmaids in each other’s weddings and now we get to share motherhood together. Our mutual friend Megan also was able to be there. Even though she lives in Omaha, Neb., she was in Denver for work and was able to come to the shower as well. Amazing!

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

Nora put her seal of approval on the gifts.

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

Nora, Kassi, Me and Megan.

I am so blown away by the love and generosity we’ve received throughout this whole pregnancy. We have people all over the country praying for us and sending us sweet gifts. It’s hard for me to express how truly thankful we are. Praise God for putting all of you wonderful family and friends in our lives!Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. – Psalm 139:13-14

Farmer Vacation

26 Sep

As a farming married couple, our vacations usually revolve around something ag related. One of my fondest memories of when we were dating was a road trip to pick up equipment in eastern Nebraska. I call it vacationing with a purpose.

Our latest trip, while not solely tied to agriculture, was for the 2015 Wyoming Global Tech Summit in Jackson, Wyo. (I blogged about that last time.). We were part of the agriculture contingent, so I think it fits our vacation modus operandi pretty well.

2015 Global Tech Summit | The Farm Paparazzi

Participants during the 2015 Wyoming Global Tech Summit in Jackson, Wyo. mid September. Photo Courtesy of Governor Matt Mead’s Office.

Since both of us had been to Jackson several times, we skipped a lot of the regular attractions and sought out a couple sights we hadn’t seen before. While in this part of the world, you can literally stop every two minutes for a photo op, so you really have to pace yourself. It’s so gorgeous, but I didn’t go overboard with my paparazzi tendencies and was proud of myself for just soaking in God’s majesty.

2015 Global Tech Summit | The Farm Paparazzi

Mead Family Ranch

We, of course, saw the Tetons. It was a great time of year to visit because the leaves were starting to turn. Unfortunately, the West has had a horrible fire season, so the air was pretty smoky and limited the clarity of our views. Even with the haze, it is always incredible to be at the foot of these mountains.

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

We also stopped to see the Moulton barn on Mormon Row. Probably one of the most photographed barns in the world, it is part of a series of homesteads settled in the 1890s. It’s inspiring to stand where these Pioneers once broke ground and endured back-breaking labor to survive.

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

Moulton Homestead on Mormon Row

 

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

Tyler by the famous Moulton Barn

 

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

Me in my pregnant glory (24 weeks, a.k.a. 6 months) with a pretty awesome backdrop.

 

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

It wouldn’t be a true Farmer Vacation without us investigating their irrigation system. Water was still flowing through the homestead properties.

 

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

The 1,756,892 picture ever taken of the Moulton Barn. That’s an approximate figure.

We stopped in Moose, Wyo. (yes, Moose) for lunch and visited the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor’s Center. Named for the late Senator from Wyoming, this center features spectacular views and interactive displays. Our main reason for detouring over to Moose, was to find the penny-smashing machine for a friend who collects them. We thought it was a fun reason to visit a place we’d otherwise not bother with.

Then we headed through Grand Teton National Park. For you married folks out there, you know how road trips can go. One person wants to stop at all the cool sights. The other person is worried the stopping might get out of control and we’ll end up spending eternity in northern Wyoming. So, all this to say, I wanted to get a really pretty picture in Grand Teton NP. There was a slight disagreement about it. The photo never happened. The end.

We then took a loop through Yellowstone National Park. We came through the south entrance by Lewis Lake, headed west to Old Faithful, looped up through Madison, Norris and Canyon Village, headed back down along the Yellowstone River, and went out the east entrance. We had many a bison encounter, saw a myriad of geo-thermal activity, and enjoyed gorgeous sights.

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

Because this was mostly a driving tour of Jellystone, we didn’t see a lot of wildlife. However, the bison viewing was abundant.

 

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

 

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

Yellowstone’s version of a cattle drive.

 

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

Old Faithful

 

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

Gibbon Falls

 

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

One of the reasons for hazy pictures. It couldn’t possibly be my amateur photography skills.

One word of caution to you fellow travelers out there. Don’t assume you can find a hotel room along the way. We had planned to stay overnight in Cody, but after stopping at five hotels and checking a couple websites, it appeared that out of 30+ hotels in this town, the only one that had rooms available was the Cockroach Inn. So instead of delaying our drive with a nice meal at a good sit-down restaurant, we grabbed some quick McDonalds and hurried down the road to Thermopolis where a bed awaited these weary travelers.

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

Hot Springs State Park

While I was none too happy about my vacation fare including fast food, the detour to Thermopolis ended up being a fun one. We took a little drive to see some of the farm ground outside of town. Then on our way back through town, we stopped at Hot Springs State Park. Tyler has fond memories of playing in the mineral pools as a kid. Although I’ve been through Thermop many a time, I’ve never actually stopped at the park, so it was long overdue.

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

The Wyoming State Park website says, “Over colorful terraces along the Big Horn River at Thermopolis flows water from mineral hot springs. More than 8,000 gallons flow over the terrace every 24 hours at a constant temperature of 135 degrees Fahrenheit.”

 

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

The Swinging Bridge over the Bighorn River. I’m afeared of heights, but I went across it anyway.

Then we headed back home so Tyler could get back to cutting and combining our beans, silage harvest, irrigating, etc. and I could get back to the 47 things on my to-do list.

After a long, stressful summer, it was so nice to get away for a few days. If it weren’t for Governor Mead’s invitation to the Summit, we probably wouldn’t have gone anywhere this summer/fall. I was desperate for one last trip together before Baby Girl Lauck arrives, and wasn’t looking forward to traveling in November when I’ll feel whale-esque. So hooray for vacationing with a purpose!

Where’d you go this summer?

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to him. Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair, and you will find the right way to go. – Proverbs 2:8-9 (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)

Image

Farm Help Wanted

23 Aug

Pregnancy Announcement

Ready for His Close-up

21 Aug

Clay loves summer. It’s hot. There’s lots of water to play in. There are lots of critters to chase. And he gets to ride everywhere with his favorite human on earth, my farmer husband.

Ready For His Close-up | The Farm Paparazzi

I snapped this photo while we were irrigating one evening and I think he looks like the dog version of Fabio on the cover of a romance novel. Isn’t he fabulous?

Ready For His Close-up | The Farm Paparazzi

“Whatever, Liz. I’m just going to ignore you and pounce on this mouse.”

Ready For His Close-up | The Farm Paparazzi

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. – Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Marking Memories

8 Jan

Marking Memories | The Farm Paparazzi

Today is our 4th Anniversary. Tyler and I met because, well, when you live in a small town, you end up meeting. Six years later we were married. At the wedding reception we asked guests to write their birthdays and anniversaries on a calendar I’d created. The thought was to keep them a part of our marriage beyond the wedding.

Marking Memories | The Farm Paparazzi

The calendar was a fun, custom addition to our first year together, so I decided to make one every year. I missed making one last year, but made sure to get on the ball for a 2015 edition.

Marking Memories | The Farm Paparazzi

I use Shutterfly. It’s super simple to use. I’m sure there are other great calendar-creation services out there, but I just use what I know. (This isn’t an ad for Shutterfly…they’ve never heard of me…except when I order stuff from ’em).

I try to match the image to the month, but sometimes I go rogue and just use an image I like.

Marking Memories | The Farm Paparazzi

Marking Memories | The Farm Paparazzi

Marking Memories | The Farm Paparazzi

Marking Memories | The Farm Paparazzi

This year I also added some favorite Bible verses. Sometimes they fit a theme for the month, but some are just ones I love.

Marking Memories | The Farm Paparazzi

It’s just a fun way to highlight our work, display some of my novice photography and to create a keepsake to look back on.

Do you have any annual traditions? I’d love to hear about them!

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom. – Psalm 90:12

Christmas, Kids, Cows and Clay

6 Jan

Over Christmas, we got to spend quite a bit of time with both sides of the family. That’s the beauty of all our family living within a 3 hour drive.

Christmas, Kids, Cows and Clay | The Farm Paparazzi

Christmas, Kids, Cows and Clay | The Farm Paparazzi

There were lots of special moments. One of my favorite memories didn’t have anything to do with food (although it was delicious) or presents (although I love tearing into wrapping paper) or the snow (although it was a beautiful white Christmas). It was when my (almost) four-year-old niece came running up to me and asked if I’d go with her and Uncle Tyler to the farm.

Christmas, Kids, Cows and Clay | The Farm Paparazzi

She wanted to see the cows and the combine. So we put on our boots and ventured out. My father-in-law custom feeds cattle and she loves watching them. Uncle Tyler held her close after they climbed into one of the cow pens. Then he called Clay in and we watched as the curious cows came closer.

Christmas, Kids, Cows and Clay | The Farm Paparazzi

“They like him,” Tyler said and little Skye watched as Clay licked their noses.

Christmas, Kids, Cows and Clay | The Farm Paparazzi

“Ick, yuck,” she said, mystified at the scene. She made faces, chuckled, asked a couple of questions and noticed all the different colored ear tags.

Christmas, Kids, Cows and Clay | The Farm Paparazzi

What fun to watch a kid on a farm.

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

Teach them God’s decrees, and give them his instructions. Show them how to conduct their lives. – Exodus 18:20 (NLT)

Corn Dog

3 Jan

One wintertime activity for row crop farmers is hauling our stored corn to feedlots.

Corn Dog | The Farm Paparazzi

Notice: This is obviously an older photo because it is not sunny and dry. We have a foot of snow on the ground right now.

This is Tyler’s job. I don’t know how to drive a straight truck and I’m protesting learning how. I’m sort of closed minded, but I’m working on it.

Corn Dog | The Farm Paparazzi

So, when my farmer husband comes home this time of year sometimes his pockets are full of corn. One morning he grabbed his hoodie to throw on and corn went all over the floor. It was like a scene out of a Leslie Nielsen movie. It just keep falling and the more he tried to stop it, the more little kernels trickled all over the floor.

Corn Dog | The Farm Paparazzi

Normally I’m OCD and this would have made me crazy (I’m working on it), but it was so comical that all I could do was watch and giggle. Then the dog scampered in and started crunching away at the mess. He really loved it. He’s weird, but he’s working on it.

Corn Dog | The Farm Paparazzi

So instead of scurrying away to get the dustbuster and broom, I took pictures and chuckled. Farm Paparazzi at your service (even if they are blurry cell phone paparazzi shots).

Corn Dog | The Farm Paparazzi

Hope your day is filled with “corny” fun and laughter!

Corn Dog | The Farm Paparazzi

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

A cheerful heart is good medicine… – Proverbs 17:22 (NIV)

Winter Glow

27 Dec

I’m a sporadic holiday decorator. Some years I just don’t have it in me and other years I really make up for my lazy years. This was not a lazy year. More of a Martha Stewart year, really. I even got lights up on the outside of the house for the first time in our four-year marriage. I’ve really been enjoying seeing our house all lit up. Then God gave us a white Christmas and made it even more special.

Winter Glow | The Farm Paparazzi

Winter Glow | The Farm Paparazzi

Winter Glow | The Farm Paparazzi

Winter Glow | The Farm Paparazzi Winter Glow | The Farm Paparazzi

Winter Glow | The Farm Paparazzi

Hoping your Christmas was a magical celebration of God’s most precious gift, our Savior and King, Jesus Christ.

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish that I may gain Christ. – Philippians 3:8

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