Thursday, June 30, 2011

Youth Fall Field day in Ona, Florida

Hey there!

Just got back from attending the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Fall field day. This is a GREAT event put on by the UF/IFAS staff to reach out to Junior Cattlemen and other youth around the state. This is my second year going, and as always, I had a blast!

The day started out with checking in with registration at the Ona Range Cattle Station in Hardee County. This is a research facility that opens up its doors to show kids (and their parents) around the state what goes on behind the scenes with ranching and farming. It's not all roping, riding horses, and drinking sweet tea; a lot of research and planning goes into having a successful operation.

I took a few pictures throughout the day... I should have taken a picture of lunch! After all of the activities, attendees were served delicious burgers, and that is precisley when my camera stopped working! ;) A girl has to eat, you know!

This event includes lunch and a trade show following 5 30minute activity rotations. The staff prepared different activities that included:
  • A bug beef lab (all about parasites and things, very interesting to say the least)
  • A Dig Deep Into Dirt lab (all about soil samples and how to tell the differences in soil)
  • Scientific Stomach (explaining that cattle are ruminant - 1 stomach, 4 compartments)
  • Beef Breed learning lab (talking about different cattle breeds and how to make a halter from a lead rope)
  • Agriculture Academia (a great opportunity for the kids and parents to hear about colleges and opportunities that await them in the Agriculture industry)
Some of my awesome friends were in attendance as well!
Kaitlynn Gill - Current FCA Sweetheart
Wendy Petteway - Florida Cattlewomen's Association President
Gene Wingate - Junior Florida Cattlemen's Association Director
Lindsey Wiggins - 4-H extension agent
Chrissy Grimmer - Beef Consumer Representative
and many others!

I love the events, because I feel at home. People who love this industry, love our product, and love to talk to people about it.

Wendy Petteway puts it best: "This is a great opportunity for us to show kids what we do, when they may not otherwise have the opportunity to see it."

I'm looking forward to some awesome times ahead! Can't wait till the next fall field day!

Until next time, God bless, and thank you for following!

The Beef Queen :)

The Beef Breed Learning lab - all about different breeds and charateristics.

A few of the cattle that kids got to see while learning about the breeds. Among other things, they learn that in Florida, Brahma is a very good breed to add to any herd. They are heat resistant and fairly docile, which is really nice in Florida.They pair nicely with Angus cattle, which we have a lot of, too.

We were so jealous of these cows!! While we were suffering from the FL heat and humidity, they were under a sprinkler! They sure looked content! :)

Dr. Tim Marshall from ABAC gave an awesome presentation all about the future of Agriculture and how it pertains to our careers and schooling. He spoke to the participants about choosing a good college, and a good steady career. It was nice, and being a college student, I got a lot out of it!

The entrance to the Cattle station in Ona, FL.

Rounding up the day with a tour of the ranch! A nice hay ride to relax after a full day of learning!

Thanks for following and reading my blog! Feel free to comment or let me know if there is anything that you are interested in learning. I am a huge fan of researching things, and I am also a huge nerd when it comes to the Beef industry - I can't get enough!

Have a great week, and God Bless!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A few more pictures from my year as FCA Sweetheart!

As I mentioned at the end of my first blog, a few pictures wouldn't upload, due to that lovely slow internet connection out in the sticks.
Here are a few more from my travels this year... enjoy!
(Throughout this upcoming year I will be adding pictures throughout my blogs- I love when books have pictures, and I figure the same applies to blogging!) ;)
While helping out at the World Equestrian Games (only held every 4 years, the "horse olympics" was held in the US for the very first time in the history of the Games.) We were representing the Animal Agriculture Alliance. The FL Cattlewomen are very involved in this organization.

I made some new friends.....

 Us girls standing in front of the Secretariat memorial. This was right around the release of the movie, and the original jockey was signing autographs. I had him sign a AAA (Animal Ag Alliance) brochure. :)

I was able to accompany our Jr Cattlemen's Association to Denver Colorado. This is where the National Cattlemen's Beef Association headquarters are. Our youth team has taken first place in the NATION for quiz bowl, an beef-related academic contest, and Team Marketing, which is a mock-sale of cattle, for the past three years!!! Whooo-hooo!! I was so proud. Not only were our youths brilliant, but they were so well-behaved!! I was proud to hang out with them.
Above - Team members and FCA president Jim Strickland

The two above pictures are from a wonderful trip that I was able to take as Sweetheart. I visisted a lovely family in Collier County, and toured the ranch that they manage. The ranch is about 60,000 acres, and I can imagine every inch was as beautiful as these two pictures.

Dad and I at the FCA Convention this year.... Right before I had to give up my title.

Mom and I before dinner at the Convention.

My farewell speech, except that I wasn't really saying farewell, more like "Ohhhh I'll be around, don't worry". It was a nice way to finish off my year and thank everyone who has helped me out! I love them all!!

One of my closest friends Sara, who served as Polk County's Sweetheart in 2010.

I am so blessed, and I love to represent this industry. Here's to another great year!!

Aka "The beef queen"

A year as Sweetheart

Hey there! My name is Kelly and I am proud to say that I served this past year as the Florida Cattlemen's Association state Sweetheart. I fell in love with the beef industry at an early age, and it was my pleasure to serve such an amazing postition in the association. Throughout my life-changing year, I have been truly blessed and deeply humbled. I have met amazing people that I am proud to call my friends, and I have had some AWESOME adventures!!

I plan on continuing my quest to help give a voice to those farmers and ranchers who have kept agricutlure as amazing as it is, and continue to do what they do. They feed the world, the least we can do is make sure they are represented fairly! I am passionate against animal rights organizations such as PETA or the HSUS (humane society of the United States) and if you follow this blog, you will soon learn why!!

Beef producers treat their animals well (a healthy cow is a happy cow), and we strive to produce an awesome and safe product, that is also nutritous and delicious! I look forward to this new chapter in my life, as I try "freelance advocacy" for a while.... Wish me luck! :)

Enjoy the pics!

My niece Madisyn is growing like a weed!

The whole family after I won the title at the FCA convention last year!

 Outside the Kentucky Blue Grass Airport... had to dress for the occasion. Made a lot of friends on the flight home that day! :)
Tammie McElroy, Myself, and Lindsey John in front of the Kentucky Horse Park. We were all volunteering at the World Equestrian Games for the Animal Agriculture Alliance booth. It was a fun time, and Lindsey (my mentor) and I had fun meeting people from all over the world, including Mrs. Tammie (from California)!! I loved Kentucky, but it was so cold that I was happy to get back to good old Florida.
Here I am at the state fair with Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam! He is super nice in person and I enjoyed having the chance to chase him down and ask for a picture! :)

Sometimes living out in the country = slow internet connectivity, which then = forever to upload pictures to your new blog!!

Ill post more later. Thanks for checking out this blog! I hope to write regularly on all things beef! If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact me! I would love to be your source for information, and I find that any time I am asked a question I don't know, not only do I get to reach out and ask someone really cool, I end up learning a lot!! :)

Thanks, talk to you all soon, and God Bless!!

The Beef Queen