Featured Farmer: Kay
at 4R Ranch
blogging since Jan. 2008
1. Tell a little about you and your operation.
My husband and I purchased our farm 1996 and then built a house and moved here 3 years later. We have since been able to purchase additional land and we now have about 500 acres. We run 180 head of beef cows and retain ownership of the calves when we send them to a feedlot in Nebraska. We have about 40 nanny goats that are uses for brush and weed control and we sell the kids in the fall. We also have 7 horses that we train and ride in a variety of activities from showing to endurance riding. Our 2 girls have been in 4-H showing horses and cattle. Both were on the State 4-H horse judging team. I also work part time as a small animal vet.
2. What made you want to start your blog?
I had a friend that sent me her blog link in a Christmas card several years ago. I really didn’t know anything about blogs at the time. When I looked at hers it was all about knitting and quilting. I thought our farm activities would be just as interesting if not more so. My husband said, “you can do that.” So my daughter set up the account and we were off. I also thought it would be an excellent way to keep in touch with family and friends and let them know what all we were up to. It has also come in handy as a farm diary of sorts, I can go back and see when we did things in the past.
3. What has been the biggest surprise since you started? or something you didn’t expect:
I don’t think I really expected to be doing it this long. February will start my 7th year. My family is amazed that I can come up with so many different posts.
4. What is your favorite post and why?
With 1200 posts I don’t think I can pick a favorite one. I guess I really like the ones that include my family for obvious reasons but I also like the ones pertaining to training my horses. I enjoy going back and seeing how much progress we have made.
5. What obstacles have you met and how did you overcome them?
A couple of years ago I ran out of space for pictures on my account. I then started an account with photobucket but it was too cumbersome to use easily. After much complaining and a little research I found out how to decrease the size of the photos and continue with my same picasa account.
Visit Kay’s blog at 4R Ranch. And say Hi.
4H, beef, blogs, farmer, featured farmer, horses, ranching in the east, small animal vet
Anne has an amazing story to tell on her blog Feed Yard Foodie. If you are looking to make a positive impact connecting consumers with farmers; her blog might just be the ultimate example. Anne is that good of a communicator.
1. Tell a little about you and your operation: A native of urban Palm Beach County, Florida; I was an Ivy League educated athlete fueled by beef for many years before I understood “where my beef came from.” Now, I am a mother of three and live with my husband in Nebraska where we run a cattle feed yard and farming operation. Feed Yard Foodie is a site where people can come to read about the real story of beef, written by someone who actually gets their hands dirty.
2. What made you want to start your blog? I started the Feed Yard Foodie blog because I wanted to personally reach out to consumers and share how I care for my animals and grow safe and delicious beef. I remember what it was like to not have a personal understanding of the food supply, and I think that it is my responsibility as a beef farmer to share how I grow the food that consumers are purchasing. It is logistically impossible to bring most consumers to my farm; however, my blog allows me to bring my farm to the consumer.
3. What has been the biggest surprise since you started? or something you didn’t expect: I have always enjoyed writing, but I am surprised at how much I like interacting and sharing my story through a blog. I have no background in “social media” and the Internet was in its infancy stage when I was graduating from college, so it has been a huge learning experience for me to interact with people via the blog. I spend my days caring for animals, so the human interaction aspect of the blog has been an interesting addition to my life!
4. What is your favorite post and why? It is difficult to choose my “favorite post” as I have almost 100 posts up on the blog site now…I am particularly fond of a recent post entitled “A Sea of Grass…A Bountiful Food Supply” because it was so much fun to write. In this post, I was able to blend my experiences, my farm, my family, and my great state of Nebraska all together to explain how I make beef.
5. Where do you get your ideas for post topics? I like to write posts in “series”. My longest series was tracing the life of Calf #718 from birth to harvest, but I have done many smaller series focusing on one aspect of cattle care or beef production. I like the ability to comprehensively dig into a topic for a couple of weeks, and then move on to something else. I generate all of the ideas for the blog posts from my own experiences, and try to draw a parallel from life on a farm to life in a city. I look for common ground that will speak personally to an urban consumer, and blend it back to real life experiences in my feed yard or on our crop farm.
Are you a fan of the Feed Yard Foodie blog? What do you think makes it so interesting? You can also catch Ann on her facebook page.
beef, farm advocate, featured farmer, foodie blog