On To Greener Pasture http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20140408/BLOGS/304089999/-1/blogs01?rssfeed=true Tue, 08 Apr 2014 00:34:49 +0000 http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20140408/BLOGS/304089999/-1/blogs01 Every year about this time, the texts and phone calls coming daily – sometime more often. The calves are out, the cows have made it onto the wheat field again or the bulls are on the road. The calls always come as the hubs and I are on our way to an event or just after we have settled in for the evening.

Tonight the calves are in the front yard, the backyard and on the driveway.

Bulls on the road are a sign that it’s time for the animals to go to pasture [...]]]> The Life and Food of a Cow http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20140316/BLOGS/303169989/-1/blogs01?rssfeed=true Sun, 16 Mar 2014 14:42:11 +0000 http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20140316/BLOGS/303169989/-1/blogs01 The Life and Food of a Cow

With spring around the corner, our animals will soon be leaving our farm and heading to green pastures throughout the Kansas Flint Hills. Our animals change locations and food sources throughout the year for good reason. Read through my life cycle of a cow to learn why.

http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20140308/BLOGS/303089997/-1/blogs01 Until I met my husband, I was one of the millions of Americans that ignorantly believed HSUS (Humane Society of the United States) was the national organization that supported the thousands of local animal shelters that house cats and dogs in communities across the country.

But I learned the truth, HSUS doesn’t help local shelters, less than 5 percent of the organization’s total expenditures and grants go to shelters. A vast majority of its funding is used to undermine [...]]]> Winter Storm, Round 2 http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20140301/BLOGS/303019991/-1/blogs01?rssfeed=true Sat, 01 Mar 2014 15:02:28 +0000 http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20140301/BLOGS/303019991/-1/blogs01 Old Man Winter has threatened to rear its ugly head again. Forecasts are calling for 3-6″ of snow and some ice and sleet accumulations for our farm and most of eastern Kansas. For most people that means a trip to the grocery store to restock on bread, milk and other food essential. And maybe a few extra Netflix downloads to ensure there is plenty to occupy the time.

But for farmers, the preparation for a winter storm is much more intense and time-consuming. Farmers watch the [...]]]> Un-Natural Beef http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20140224/BLOGS/302249999/-1/blogs01?rssfeed=true Mon, 24 Feb 2014 01:08:26 +0000 http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20140224/BLOGS/302249999/-1/blogs01 I finally got around to watching Chipotle’s much-talked-about web series, “Farmed and Dangerous”. It was the same message as before: farmers are bad, conventional agriculture is killing us all and Chipotle will save us from modern food production. This time it’s being packaged in a web series.

The national restaurant chain believes that animals should be raised “naturally” and that farmers that chose to use improved nutrition, antibiotics and [...]]]> Packaging Can Lie http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20140130/BLOGS/301309999/-1/blogs01?rssfeed=true Thu, 30 Jan 2014 01:49:58 +0000 http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20140130/BLOGS/301309999/-1/blogs01 Buying organic has become the trendy, hip way to shop and select fruits, vegetables and milk. But I have found many friends and family members have bought into the hype of organic without first understanding what they are purchasing and what the label really means.

Just the other day, my sister told me she purchased organic milk for her son "because it has more vitamins and nutrients" at least that's what the packaging said. She didn't know how or why that was possible, but [...]]]> Roxy the Unhelpful Cow Dog http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20140118/BLOGS/301189990/-1/blogs01?rssfeed=true Sat, 18 Jan 2014 16:03:15 +0000 http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20140118/BLOGS/301189990/-1/blogs01 Roxy loves the snow - actually she loves any excuse to run around and play.

Roxy loves the snow – actually she loves any excuse to run around and play. [...]]]> Cows In The Yard http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20140111/BLOGS/301119967/-1/blogs01?rssfeed=true Sat, 11 Jan 2014 17:53:56 +0000 http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20140111/BLOGS/301119967/-1/blogs01 Derek moved about a dozen mother-calf pairs to the pasture at our house. It's pretty neat having baby calves right outside my bedroom window.

Derek moved [...]]]> A Glimpse of Christmas http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20131229/BLOGS/312299998/-1/blogs01?rssfeed=true Sun, 29 Dec 2013 02:55:46 +0000 http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20131229/BLOGS/312299998/-1/blogs01 Oh these two . . . they look so innocent but oh they are a handful. We love them both dearly!

Oh these two . . . they look so innocent but oh they are a handful. We [...]]]> Top 10 for 2014 http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20131227/BLOGS/312279999/-1/blogs01?rssfeed=true Fri, 27 Dec 2013 02:11:15 +0000 http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20131227/BLOGS/312279999/-1/blogs01 Yes, I know. This time of year is supposed to be spent in reflection and looking back at the year that was. That’s all well and good but I have never been a terribly nostalgic person, preferring instead to look ahead at the future and all it’s possibilities.

So with Christmas wrapped and 2014 right around the corner, here are my top 10 hopes, wishes and dreams for 2014 . . .

(1) Growth and prosperity for family and friends.I would not be the [...]]]> Snow Fun http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20131222/BLOGS/312229967/-1/blogs01?rssfeed=true Sun, 22 Dec 2013 21:48:36 +0000 http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20131222/BLOGS/312229967/-1/blogs01 Snow brings much-needed moisture to the farm but it also brings more work for my hubby farmer and his father. Clearing roads, delivering food to the cows and breaking frozen water troughs. There are no snow days for farmers!

But my hubby took time to help baby Evan experience his first snowfall. I let him experience snowfall Saturday and then the piles of snow that settled on the farm Sunday.

Family Lives Here http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20131220/BLOGS/312209936/-1/blogs01?rssfeed=true Fri, 20 Dec 2013 22:51:47 +0000 http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20131220/BLOGS/312209936/-1/blogs01 *This blog post was recently published in the newest issue of Kansas AgLand, published by The Hutchinson News. Read other ag blogs and industry trends at http://www.kansasagland.com.

The holiday season is synonymous with family, and, for years, mothers, fathers, siblings and cousins gathered to celebrate and give thanks. However, just days before the start of this year's holiday season, [...]]]> Vegas Strip Making Waves in the Beef Industry http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20131205/BLOGS/312059943/-1/blogs01?rssfeed=true Thu, 05 Dec 2013 17:22:26 +0000 http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20131205/BLOGS/312059943/-1/blogs01 The Vegas Strip Steak is the newest beef cut to hit the market.

The Vegas Strip Steak is the newest beef cut to hit the market.

Beef has [...]]]> Farming for the Future http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20131113/BLOGS/311139999/-1/blogs01?rssfeed=true Wed, 13 Nov 2013 01:05:11 +0000 http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20131113/BLOGS/311139999/-1/blogs01 Evan and I joined Derek this weekend to feed and water the cows that recently returned to the farm.

Evan and I joined Derek this weekend to feed and water [...]]]> Farmers Deliver the Holiday Favorites http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20131011/BLOGS/310119998/-1/blogs01?rssfeed=true Fri, 11 Oct 2013 01:17:09 +0000 http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20131011/BLOGS/310119998/-1/blogs01 My nephew, Aiden, recetly enjoyed a day at the pumpkin patch with his mother, myself and my son Evan.

My nephew, Aiden, recently enjoyed a day [...]]]> Top 5 Reasons Why I Fell In Love With Farming http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20130912/BLOGS/309129986/-1/blogs01?rssfeed=true Thu, 12 Sep 2013 15:04:34 +0000 Katie Stockstill-Sawyer http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20130912/BLOGS/309129986/-1/blogs01 *This post was written as a guest post for the MamaDweeb.com blog. Find great posts on parenting, food and household tips at http://www.mamadweeb.com.

Nearly five years ago I met my farmer. I was a city girl with no real understanding of farming and the agriculture industry. In fact, my husband spent our first date explaining why he had to deliver the bulls to the cows. Let's just say it was the bovine version of the [...]]]> Beef and Weight Loss http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20130824/BLOGS/308249999/-1/blogs01?rssfeed=true Sat, 24 Aug 2013 00:44:24 +0000 Katie Stockstill-Sawyer http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20130824/BLOGS/308249999/-1/blogs01 Beef has many resounding health and nutritional qualities it aids in creating and maintaining healthy muscle mass, it is a great source of 10 vitamins and minerals and is part of a heart healthy diet- to name only a few. But red meat is also a great source of protein making it a top choice for those attempting to shed pounds or simply maintain their current weight.

Adding protein to any meal helps you stay fuller, longer. Research recently published in the American Journal of [...]]]> The Rain http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20130728/BLOGS/307289988/-1/blogs01?rssfeed=true Sun, 28 Jul 2013 17:15:49 +0000 Katie Stockstill-Sawyer http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20130728/BLOGS/307289988/-1/blogs01 Evan and DerekIt’s Sunday afternoon. With church and lunch done for the day,my son is playing on the floor, my husband is “watching the NASCAR race,” which is code for napping and I’m mentally running through all the [...]]]> We Need The Farm Bill http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20130717/BLOGS/307179999/-1/blogs01?rssfeed=true Wed, 17 Jul 2013 16:01:03 +0000 Katie Stockstill-Sawyer http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20130717/BLOGS/307179999/-1/blogs01 I did it, I got in my first fight. Not a fist fight, mind you. But a Twitter fight, the 140-character back-and-forth on my phone with two individuals I have never met, will never meet but know I do not see eye-to-eye with.

It started with a Tweet to a reporter I heard comment on the farm bill, calling it a hand out for farmers that are getting rich off government subsidies. I simply responded that the statement wasn’t true. Three hours later, and a few more participants, we [...]]]> Panera Bread Truths http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20130711/BLOGS/307119999/-1/blogs01?rssfeed=true Thu, 11 Jul 2013 10:01:48 +0000 Katie Stockstill-Sawyer http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20130711/BLOGS/307119999/-1/blogs01 Panera Bread has recently advertised their use of antibiotic-free chicken. The commercials are cute but the claims are false and misleading.

On its website, the company claims that antibiotic-free chicken is simply better and even tastes better. While no farmer condones the overuse of antibiotics, animal owners know that sick animals are not happy or productive animals. Therefore, we as cattle owners believe in the responsible use of antibiotics to help our animals overcome illness. [...]]]> A Family Tradition http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20130704/BLOGS/307049988/-1/blogs01?rssfeed=true Thu, 04 Jul 2013 17:20:29 +0000 Katie Stockstill-Sawyer http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20130704/BLOGS/307049988/-1/blogs01 Evan joined the harvest crew for lunch with Dad and a few laps in the combine. We think that by this time next year he will be driving the grain cart - high hopes!

http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20130625/BLOGS/306259998/-1/blogs01 When people think of wheat harvest, combines come to mind. But there is so much more happening in the wheat fields outside our home.

Following the combine is the baler, collecting the stalks of the wheat and creating round bales to use for bedding and feed for our cattle this winter.

After that, the planter enters the field, planting soybean or grain sorghum seed in the wheat stubble. This is often called double-cropping and allows us an opportunity get a second crop into [...]]]> Quality Beef is Our Business http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20130619/BLOGS/306199999/-1/blogs01?rssfeed=true Wed, 19 Jun 2013 18:01:10 +0000 Katie Stockstill-Sawyer http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20130619/BLOGS/306199999/-1/blogs01 My husband, Derek, has spent years perfecting the way he raises and feeds cattle. He is the third generation of his family to raise livestock and has grown the family's cattle operation to include a registered Angus cow herd, a yearling feeding program and calving program in the winter months. He majored in animal science at Kansas State University and has continued to educate himself of animal genetics, behaviors and nutrition. Knowing that what goes into an animal determines what you then [...]]]> Yoder Visits the Farm http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20130614/BLOGS/306149940/-1/blogs01?rssfeed=true Fri, 14 Jun 2013 13:22:37 +0000 Katie Stockstill-Sawyer http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20130614/BLOGS/306149940/-1/blogs01

Derek shows Rep. Kevin Yoder a head of wheat from one of our fields outside McPherson. The Congressman visited our farm last weekend.

Preparation Makes Perfect http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20130528/BLOGS/305289992/-1/blogs01?rssfeed=true Tue, 28 May 2013 11:27:58 +0000 Katie Stockstill-Sawyer http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20130528/BLOGS/305289992/-1/blogs01  

A baby calf relaxes in the grass as a mother and her calf enjoy the sunny spring afternoon.

A baby calf relaxes in [...]]]> The TRUTH about HSUS http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20130520/BLOGS/305209963/-1/blogs01?rssfeed=true Mon, 20 May 2013 19:22:21 +0000 Katie Stockstill-Sawyer http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20130520/BLOGS/305209963/-1/blogs01 We as farmers and ranchers are under constant attack by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). The organization – which many people wrongfully believe is associated with their local animal shelters – spends millions of dollars annually to end animal agriculture and consequently our way of life.

The organization spreads false and misleading information about farming and ranching practices and works to mislead consumers about animal proteins and food products. [...]]]> Loving Hating the Rain http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20130509/BLOGS/305099999/-1/blogs01?rssfeed=true Thu, 09 May 2013 08:01:20 +0000 Katie Stockstill-Sawyer http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20130509/BLOGS/305099999/-1/blogs01 This time last year, we were two weeks from wheat harvest. A dry winter and spring had allowed Central Kansas farmers to get corn in the ground, land worked for planting soybeans and has pushed the wheat into early harvest.

But this year has proven exactly the opposite. The corn is still in the bag and the wheat is great and on-track for a late June harvest. The thought of planting soybeans hasn’t even crossed most farmers’ mind.

The difference is due to rain. [...]]]> The Perks of Motherhood http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20130421/BLOGS/304219998/-1/blogs01?rssfeed=true Sun, 21 Apr 2013 20:02:05 +0000 Katie Stockstill-Sawyer http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20130421/BLOGS/304219998/-1/blogs01 Last week, Friday, April 12, to be exact, our lives changed forever! Derek and I welcomed our son, Evan John Sawyer, to the world. He arrived almost three weeks ahead of schedule – taking us all by surprise – but immediately making an impact on our hearts.