Dead carcasses lay along US Highways 212 & 34. Courtesy of Kristina Barker, Rapid City Journal
A lot of things have changed since I last posted a year ago. For one, I no longer am at Colorado State University as an Animal Science and Equine Science double major, to my heart’s dismay. I am now at Boise State University and studying Psychology with a minor in Biology so I can go on to acquire my masters and doctorate in Neuropsychology. I still have the pup and love of agriculture though, so don’t you fret. No matter how hard psychology will try, there is no way anyone or anything can take the love of cattle and agriculture and the people who make up it’s wonderful world away from me. I swear I am one of the few and the proud who rock my Tony’s on campus. And I wouldn’t ever think of being ashamed of it.
I return, after a long hiatus, to make a post that is not full of excitement. To be quite frank and direct, I wish I didn’t feel the aching in my heart to post in Rancher’s Daughter because that would mean that I could go back to studying for my anatomy and physiology lab quiz that I have tomorrow about human bones. However, this is something I could not simply ignore.
Enter: Winter Storm Atlas. Mother Nature apparently let her wrath go on Western South Dakota these past few days. And I do not say that in a joking or over exaggerate matter. Reports have been coming to light about a very heavy snowfall that came on in lightning speeds. Literally feet of snow was dumped on the Dakota plains and it is going to take an astronomical toll, emotionally, physically, and financially, on the ranchers that make up it’s population. I first read about Atlas in Rapid City Journal’s piece that was published today (October 8th, 2013). My heart ached and then broke into a million pieces. Ten’s of thousands of cattle are dead because of this storm. Tens of thousands. And, that isn’t even close to a final number yet.
Let me tell you, moving every once in a blue moon is a total pain that throws the largest wrench of disorder into my never-on-time-and-always-scatterbrained lifestyle I live. So you can imagine my mental clarity when I mention how moving three times in two weeks can really fog up a person’s to-do list. Thank goodness for Apple and the billions of apps that are catered towards minds like mine who battle ADHD on a daily basis, or I would lose my head if it wasn’t screwed on tightly. I apologize for the long hiatus that was not on purpose, but I have at least three post ideas that will probably just all be published this week. Again, sorry for the long break! I am still getting settled so there will not be a tentative schedule, because we all know that even if I was settled, I would still be late for something! Thanks for the patience and I have the best readers in the world!
Before you read any further I strongly suggest you go read what another AGvocate’s personal reasoning behind blogging and advocating for agriculture. Judi Graff is an excellent role model to all of us in the AGvocate world and her post can be found here on AgChat’s website.
My back story in agriculture is one thing, but my back story in social media and AGvocating is young. I started this blog because I wanted to take a photojournalism approach and bring the stories, traditions, personalities, and histories of the people who produce and provide the food for this growing population. But, life happened and things came up and my original idea for my blog was put on the back burner. However, I knew in my mind that what I wanted to do was still possible but I had to be flexible and change my approach because agriculture and those who oppose it weren’t going to change their approach to fit my idea. So, it was back to the drawing board and I rearranged my game plan then switched out my tactical plan.
Announcing a new addition to The Rancher’s Daughter: Thoughtful Thursdays! Basically I have taken my love (obsession) with psychology and intermeshed it with my love (obsession) for agriculture. Since I decided that moving back to Boise was the best idea for me at the time, I have had this intense feeling of loss because Boise State doesn’t have an agriculture program. So, naturally I went with my other natural instinct: psychology. But, living a life were one is non-existent makes me sick to my stomach, I am set to figure out a way to have the best of both worlds. It then occurred to me that I have an incredible gift that can channel and explain things about agriculture and our perceptions of them, as well as the opposing side’s own viewpoints. So, I hereby declare every Thursday (okay, not EVERY Thursday, but most) Thoughtful Thursday in which we will dive into the depths of the agriculture brain and try and play connect the dots. There is a good chance that I am the only one fascinated by this idea, but it’ll be here and you can take what you want and leave the rest.
This is a letter that I wish we could send to everyone who owns even just one pig. Keep in mind this is from the eyes of an animal science student that has spent her entire life in the beef and crops industry. With that being said, feel free to pass this around and maybe it will get back to some major pork producers and remind them of the support they really have. Thanks.
As a pork producer, there is one thing that you and the rest of the world can relate to: bacon. All jokes aside, a serious matter has come forward and hit the agriculture industry like a wave hitting a rocky cliff: hard. The war that animal rights activists have waged against us has taken a toll and slowly but surely we see our friends collapsing to the overwhelming bullying act they haunt you with. Continue reading →
Animal agriculture has been around since the dawn of time and man has made great use by specializing and with advancements in technology to gain the ability to generously feed others. However, animal agriculture is under attack by groups that want to see an “abolition” to the industry. Erik Helland, a Representative in Iowa’s House of Representatives, wanted to make it known that that simply cannot happen last Monday night on RFD-TV, Rural America’s Most Important Network, by discussing a group called Protect the Harvest. Protect the Harvest is a group of individuals that have made it their mission to put a spread the truth about agriculture one farmer or rancher at a time. They are getting these truths out using social media, face-to-face interactions, TV appearances, and radio appearances because they know how critical it is to set the record straight. Although the individuals behind this organization were smart enough to know that just talking to consumers won’t be enough to truly put an end to this battle between the animal agriculture industry and the animal rights advocates.
The main point that should be taken from the interview is this: animal agriculture is under attack and here’s what we can do to stop it. The Humane Society of the United States, HSUS, is an organization known for its commercials that show pet shelters and a celebrity holding an animal and they ask you for donations. They have what is known as a “hidden agenda” and know how to use it, in other words, they have a plan that is not the one they advertise and then do anything possible to achieve the underlying goals with the help of money from those who may have just been misinformed. Erik says that creating an awareness of this hidden agenda could make all the difference in the world. That hidden agenda is then used to scare and intimidate others into doing as HSUS pleases. Visit Protect the Harvest’s website for more information.
Overall, Erik did a fantastic job of explaining how to utilize what resources are available in this fight, and the most important one is also the simplest: be honest with your consumer and let them ask the questions. I recently did a post about that very topic and it can be found here. Protect the Harvest not only provides information on the deception of animal rights groups, but it also provides a sense of community that you can find common ground with someone who might have a completely different story then yours. Make sure to check out their YouTube page for videos like this one: