Reduce, Reuse, Recyle

Lately an article drifting around social media has been causing quite the stir among some. A semi truck and trailer overturned spilling mass quantities of skittles. These skittles were intended to be used as cattle feed.

A snapshot of our cows eating at the feed bunk.

The whole thought of cows eating a sweet treat was foreign to most people. Here is a great thing about cows, they are amazing recyclers! If these skittles didn’t find a way to be repurposed they’d be destined to go to a landfill to rot. 

Cattle are able to use many products in their diets that would otherwise be thrown out. These are called byproducts. A byproduct is something that is leftover from manufacturing of a product. Cattle are able to utilize byproducts from bakeries, ethanol plants, breweries and everything in between! It’s pretty amazing.

The great thing about byproducts is they are able to reduce the cost of rations. Generally they are cheaper and used in smaller amounts than more traditional feeds. Cows, just like humans have nutritional needs to be met in order to produce milk, gain weight and grow. With the help of a cattle nutritionists they are able to eat a ration that is balanced to their needs, with or without the use of byproducts. 

The grain our milk cows eat. We utilize byproducts such as distillers grains.

So what are some byproducts cows eat other than red skittles? 

Brewers Grains- This is mainly the barley (and some hops) left over from the production of beer. It’s very easily digested by the cows and is a great source of protein. 

Bakery Waste- breads, pasteries, cookies, etc that are left over from large scale bakeries. Often when it comes to the farm it is all ground in to small particles. This is a great source of additional far and starch in a cows diet. 

Beer Pulp- this is the part of the sugar beet that is leftover from sugar production. It adds fiber and allows less forages to be fed. 

Chips/Potato Waste- leftovers from potato chip factories can be a great source of starch. 

Distillers Grains- generally corn, barley and other small grains left over from the production of ethanol. 

Candy- the infamous skittles, funny bears, milk chocolate, gum drops, etc. All of these are very high in sugar and fat, enabling energy to be added to the cows ration.

Obviously a cow can’t live on candy and bread alone. Just like humans, a cattle nutritionist balances their ration. Together with traditional feedstuffs (silage, hay, corn, soybeans) a economical and efficient ration can be made! This is another way farms are being more sustainable and reducing waste. 

All that feed gets turned in to tasty milk!

The Age of Perfection

There’s a great thing that’s come about with social media. The age of perfection. One where our photos are only posted if we are perfectly groomed and everyone is smiling brightly. There is no sadness in our family, only tooth filled smiles and pleasantries. Our children no longer misbehave, always please and thank you. There is never a disagreement with your spouse, I mean who has time to argue with all the well manicured photos and happiness?

Ok, did I lose anyone? Because honestly that was making me nauseous. Real life isn’t as neat and tidy as a perfectly posed, filtered Instagram photo. I would be lying if I said I wish it was. 

If you want to fully submerse yourself in to perfection, discuss parenting on social media. Blogs, posts, info graphs on how to improve your child. How to correct behaviors. Full of advice and wisdom. 

Here’s the thing. Our kids aren’t robots. They’re smaller versions of us. They have more emotions and feelings then you can imagine. Don’t believe me? Spend a mere 20 minutes with a 3 year old. Happy – crying- enraged – giggling toddlers. God bless them and their mood swings! 

Some days he roars like a lion. Then needs snuggled.

I’m not sure it improves much when they’re older. Opinions, valid (😁) arguments… Believe it or not there are days my precious angels have the audacity to yell at me!

There are days they are as mentally exhausting as they are cute.

Brace yourself… Some days I let them dish it to me. Just like us kids have bad days. Some times they fly off the handle. Guess what, so do I! 

Our kids aren’t perfect. Neither are we. The thing is we all learn from our mistakes. We apologize. We say sorry. We are merely human. Some days we’re simply angry and crabby. That’s ok. Even if the anger is directed at you from someone who still can’t tie their own shoes. 

Some days in this house we yell and argue. There’s tears and name calling. Then we apologize, hug and move on. There are no perfect kids that live under our roof. We are far from perfect parents. And we are definitely trying to figure out how to perfect that amazing social media photo. 

It’s as close as we get.

New Year, Same Me

Every one is making New Years resolutions. I mean it is that time of the year. We set goals, we aim to change, but are we really that bad to begin with?

Call me boring, I kinda like me. Believe me it’s taken a long time to get here. Personal acceptance is hard. You have to realize your faults then come to terms with them.

After some deep thought, I’m not making resolutions this year. It’s taken me nearly 30 years to decide I’m a pretty ok human. None of us are perfect. I’m not going to beat myself up trying to be.

I’m a mother to 3 amazing (although semi feral) children. 

I’m a wife to another pretty decent human, who has dealt with me for over a decade now. Kudos to him!

Maybe we do need to make a goal of more pictures together. Minus the random child or cow…

I work with my parents on a daily basis doing something that I’m passionate about. Family and business is hard, but we all make it work. 

Meeting time!

I attempt to keep chugging along at this blog. I love sharing my story. Even if it seems like some weeks, ok months, I neglect it. 

Check it out here, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Why does the change of the year have to decide we need to change a good thing? Keep on keeping on. Here’s to a great 2017!