Less than 2% of our population, those of us in the agriculture arena, are providing food for 100% of the growing world population. Consumers know very little about where their food comes from so it’s up to us to share our stories. Join USFRA in their efforts in bridging the consumer/food provider gap.
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Thought I’d update you on what’s happening on the Chain Ranch. We’ve been really busy getting ready for our 2nd Annual Red Dirt Red Angus Sale.
We have had cattle sales on our places for the past 14 or 15 years, always hiring a sale company to put them on. The last two years we have been doing most of the work ourselves along with the @Oklahoma Red Angus Association and @Cattle In Motion and @Superior Livestock . Come On Out Saturday and Enjoy The Day.
If you’re really feeling adventurous and you’re a golfer…or not… come watch the Pasture Golf Tourney on Friday. It’s getting more attention than the sale!
I opened my Bible this morning for my daily study and turned to this scripture. Many of us are going through some difficult times right now, and this scripture gave me comfort and guidance. It put everything into perspective…at least it did for me…for today. I’ll have to read his word again tomorrow because it just doesn’t stick:) Have a Great Saturday and Remember He’s In Control!
LORD, who may dwell in your sacred tent?
Who may live on your holy mountain?
The one whose walk is blameless,
who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from their heart;
whose tongue utters no slander,
who does no wrong to a neighbor,
and casts no slur on others;
who despises a vile person
but honors those who fear the LORD;
who keeps an oath even when it hurts,
and does not change their mind;
who lends money to the poor without interest;
who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
Whoever does these things
will never be shaken
My dad is 85 years old and a wealth of wisdom and knowledge. He serves as president of the Cowboy Story Tellers of the Western Plains. A couple of times a year a newsletter is printed and being the president he is required to write an article. Today his story was on the droughts he had witnessed and I thought it too good not to share. There are more “drought” stories, and he promised he would elaborate more so watch for Part II of Memories of Drought and other stories from my dad, Ralph Chain.
P.S. If you’re interested in becoming a member of the Story Tellers’ Assn. meet us in Pretty Praire, KS November 5th!
Memories of Droughts
About anywhere we’ve been this summer, all we heard about is how dry and how hot it
has been. We were in the Kansas Flinthills this week selling cows at El Dorado, Kansas, and about all we heard at the sale barn were people talking about running out of water and creeks and ponds going dry. Some of the ranches had grass but no water. Thank goodness, on our rancheswe still have grass and water. My theory has been – every year is a drought, and we don’t know when that year’s going to happen. We have stocked our ranches because of the experiences I have gone through in my 84 years in Dewey County.
The first drought I remember was in the 1930′s when my sister, Wymola, and I were bringing our milk cows in about 3:00 in the afternoon. The sky turned completely dark, and we ran to the house thinking the world was coming to an end. It was dust rolling in from Eastern Colorado and Western Kansas, and the wind blew all night long, covering our beds, tables, and anything else that dust could settle on. But we managed.
The government was buying cattle because there was no feed, and no one had anything to feed their cattle. They were giving $10.00 a head for the cattle, digging trenches, and then driving the cattle in the trenches and shooting them. My grandad and my dad never sold any cattle to this program, but we did buy some of our neighbors cattle, that were going to have theirs shot. We survived the drought of the 1930′s.
The next drought was in the 1950′s, which lasted nearly four years. We hauled hay from Nebraska and South Dakota and had hay shipped in from Wisconsin to survive that drought.
That year the Blackjack trees and grass died because the drought lasted so long. I remember our neighbor selling his cows at the Woodward Sale Barn for $45.00 a head. We had two employees that went broke during this drought because they had bought high-priced cows before the market broke, and they went to work for us.
The neighbor that sold his cows for $45.00 a head toward the end of the drought, which no one knew when it would end, those same sort of cows the next year at the Woodward Sale Barn brought $245.00 a head, because is started raining and people had grass and wanted to stock their pastures.
The next drought was in the 1980′s. That drought was not nearly as bad as the two preceding ones because people had learned how to conserve the soil, put up hay and irrigation had been developed in Eastern Colorado, Western Kansas, and the Oklahoma Panhandle.
Large feedlots were developed in the 1970′s and the drought hit in the 1980′s. Everybody was wanting to build a feedlot and put cattle in them. Feedlots became as numerous as filling stations because everyone wanted to feed cattle. This went real well until all the feedlots became full, and the fat cattle were all being shipped to market at the same time. Feedlots didn’t want to sell the cattle and kept feeding them until some of the cattle weighed 1500 to 1700 lbs.
The President put a ceiling on the price of fat cattle because beef got so high since people were putting so many cattle in feedlots.
But we survived the drought and the low cattle prices of the 1980′s because we were prepared for a drought.
Our family and employees wonder why we have five balers and why we put up all that hay; now they know.
We try to have a year’s supply of hay to carry over.
One of our best friends, Bud Light (not the beer-that was his real name!), ran the elevator at Canton for a number of years. People would come in and complain that it was never going to rain again, then it would start raining and they would complain that is was never going to stop. They were always complaining about something. Bud said he had been to a lot of funerals, but he hadn’t been to one yet where the ole boy ever starved to death. He might have worried himself to death, but he didn’t starve.
So let us count our blessings and not our problems, the Lord will take care of us.
Hope to see you all at the next Storyteller’s Meeting in Pretty Prairie, KS
Today I’m posting for Rural Women Rock as a guest. Rural women along with their non-rural sisters are finding a voice through RWR giving them an opportunity to share their exciting lives and stories. Here Goes!
|Grandma Grace Was Truly A Rocking Rural Women. She helped my dad groom his show calves, fed huge thrashing(grain cutting) crews, but could get ”dolled up” to host club or Canasta parties in the blink of an eye.|
Hi, I can’t explain how excited I am to be asked to share my story. I’m thinking it might have something to do with nepotism, but I’m not sure. I’ve been blogging from chainranchlady.blogspot.com for the past year or so. My first attempt to share my family’s agriculture story was through a website I designed on my own, which was an insurmountable task for a tech challenged baby boomer. But I did it. The advertisement stating “Have a Website Tonight” enticed me. But by 3:00 a.m. I was pretty sure they hadn’t taken into consideration time zone differences. By the next day I was questioning their promise. Anyway, I didn’t give up and came up with chainranchlady.com. Today I know it’s outdated and blogs are the way to keep pace with our society, but I don’t have the heart to remove it after the 2 million hours put in it…so she sits, I’m pretty sure- most of the time-all alone, over wherever old websites sit (actually it has great history and great family recipes).
As I learned in the next few years Facebook and Blogging would be the way to keep up with today’s attention deficited society, so I try my best to satisfy this disorder, which I thought would be easy since I think I have it. But faithful blogging is difficult. Anyway it is for me in my current “season of life”.
|“Working Cattle” Is something we do twice a year. For more info on cattle working please visit my website.
In this photo is another Rocking Rural Women, Bobbi. She can ”cowboy” with the best of them! Maybe we’ll get her to share her story soon.
We are ranchers. My great grandfather made the Oklahoma Land Run in 1893, but was too young to file a claim being only 17, so he returned to Kansas. He would later make his way to Oklahoma Territory again and trade a shotgun and fifty dollars for the land my family now calls home. I cherish this heritage, and thus my intense drive to begin a journey in social media and a mission to start sharing our family’s animal agriculture story and ag’s importance, to a world who knows little about where their food comes from.
|As a member of the American National Cattlewomen cattlewomen are able to visit schools and other venues telling the Real Beef Story with funds from the Beef Check Off. The Beef Check off program gathers $1.00 from each beef animal sold taking these funds to educate consumers and promote our product. Animal Ag Alliance, is a group I’m also very involved with. AAA monitors the detrimental actions extreme animal activists engage in to destroy animal ag in an effort to protect animal ag producers like our family. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association is another group I belong to which protects our beef industry.|
It wasn’t something I had planned: …to become an animal agriculture activist. The rural women in my life; my mom, grandmother and aunt, and myself for that matter, pretty much performed our “pre-women’s lib” domestic damsel duties: cooking, feeding, cleaning, ironing, entertaining and helping the men when needed.
But passion to protect my way of life surfaced as I realized extreme animal activists were telling a negative story about what we do and creating harmful regulations that affect our future. An unexplainable drive to tell my story forced me into the uncomfortable world of social media and public speaking.
It is now something many rural agriculture women are stepping out to do. We are making a difference. When rocking rural ag advocating women such as @lifeonakansasranch-Debbie Lyons-Blythe, @couturecowgirl7-celeste settrini, @katpinke- Katie Pinke, @JPlovesCotton- Janice Person, @chrischinn-Chris Chinn tell their stories many of our urban friends are listening.
My husband and I have four grown married children and 10 grandchilden who live within a 30 mile radius.Our children, my folks, and my brother and his family all work with us on our ranch.
|Rural and Loving It|
This little post has been waiting to get published for two weeks. When Kasse asked me to “guest post” for ruralwomenrock.blogspot.com, I put it aside. But, by golly, I’m not wasting it…remember, I don’t waste anything. So here it is…
Fickle blogging has taken a toll on my site hits. Somewhere between this summer’s drought, and life’s interesting and unexpected little curves, bumps and multiple blessings, my attention to social media has waned a bit.
I was totally blindsided by the fact that grandkids (10 of them!) could utterly-completely capture your heart, absorb your time and thoughts, and unselfishly rearrange your priorities.
I’ve continued to write— constantly—in my head. I’ve just had a problem finding time to get it on paper or computer.
Last month a tweet from Monsanto Blogger, Janice Person ended my dry-spell when she extended an invitation to Jeff Pulver’s Small Town 140 Conference in Hutchinson, Kansas. Janice and I became friends last year in Chicago at Ag Chat 101.
After some begging, daughter Kasse agreed to jump in. She made some last minute business arrangements to leave her flower shop, Miss Duffy’s Floral and Gifts, for a day and we were off.
Jeff Pulver, founder of Vonage, is an amazing individual whose touching story reveals the reasons for his graciousness and concern for the success of others. Jeff’s co-host was Becky McCray city administrator, small business owner, and a nonprofit executive. hailing from neighboring, Hopeton, Oklahoma. Jeff and Becky’s awareness of the huge technological shift happening around us along with their serendipitous encounter created the Small Town 140 Conference. 40 plus speakers were given 10 minutes each to tell how social media had changed their lives. Take a look at one of these great speakers, Kevin Honeycutt. Kevin gave us a glimpse of the seriousness of staying globally competitive. Others shared impacting stories including saved lives, changed lives, saved businesses, urban renewal and improved public education to name just a few. This trip not only gave me a kick in the pants to start writing again, but it set a huge fire under Kasse who has now started the blog, http://ruralwomenrock.blogspot.com a site dedicated to consolidating the voices of rural women through social media and teaching other rural women to blog.
The energy was contagious. When we returned home, Lenne, our youngest daughter- farm wife and mother of 4 started her blog http://nevernap.blogspot.com/. Daughter-in-law, Cara at vintage183 blogspot.com jumped in and we’re nudging Mandy- oldest son’s wife, and nieces, Amber and Kim to get their feet wet.
One of them asked ”Why would anyone want to know what I’m doing?” If you take a look at the Small Town 140 Conference site the message is clear, a changing world wants to know.
|Baby Bottle Calves|
|Two D.C. Visits
The first trip was with a group called ”The Ranchers”, we spoke with congressmen, senators and representatives urging them to keep our Ag Industry at the top of their agendas. The next trip was to attend the Animal Agriculture Alliance Summit where those attending gathered a ton of knowledge from many great speakers on how to secure Ag’s future.
|My Dad’s Induction Into The Hall of Great Westerners
(which was much like preparing for a wedding!)
I Just Haven’t Had Time!
I will try to do better.
If you’re like me I need continual nudgings, taps on the shoulder, swift kicks in the rear from the Lord, nearly everyday. Today I found this piece in some of my old files and the Lord urged me to share it!
|Sunset On The Ranch
photo courtesy of Darla Chain, my mom, who’s an excellent photographer, artist…and Mother!
1. WAKE UP!
Decide to have a good day
“Today is the day the Lord hath made: let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
2. DRESS UP!
The best way to dress up is to put on a smile.
A smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.
“The Lord does not look at the things man looks at, but the Lord
Looks at the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7
3. SHUT UP!
Say nice things and learn to listen.
God gave us two ears and one mouth, so
He must have meant for us to do twice as much listening as talking.
“He who guards his lips guards his soul.”
4. STAND UP!
For what you believe in.
Stand for something or you will fall for anything.
“Let us not be weary in doing good, for at the proper time,
we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good.”
5. LOOK UP!
To the Lord.
“ I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”
6. REACH UP!
For something higher.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.”
Proverbs 3: 5-6
7. LIFT UP!
“Do not worry about anything; instead Pray About Everthing.”