April 19, 2011

Brain shrinkage

Filed under: Cattle,Jaclyn Wilson,Life — Jaclyn @ 7:27 pm

A new study came out this week that determined Scientists at the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford, have discovered that going veggie could be bad for your brain – with those on a meat-free diet six times more likely to suffer brain shrinkage.  Now don’t get me wrong, I know people that are suffering brain shrinkage and its not due to being a vegetarian, but for anyone dealing with PETA or HSUS the results from this study should come as no surprise.

I’ve been pretty dang proud of the great state of Nebraska in the last couple months.  They have been invaded by the shrunken brained yahoos from D.C. (no I’m not talking about politicians….yet) and are putting up one heck of a fight.  When our own Governor says that “we’ll kick HSUS’ butt.,” I think we are definitely on the right side of the fence and the grass is not looking greener on the other side.  He hasn’t been alone: Hastings Chamber’s Board of Directors has passed a resolution expressing “strong opposition” to HSUS, the livestock industries are forming groups to prepare for battle, and my personal favorite; a Nebraska Cattlemen’s affiliate is raffling off a chute they won during a membership drive with the funds to be used strictly to fight HSUS (I did purchase a raffle ticket, and reached the conclusion that if I won the chute, I’d set it up at the Capital, and let people buy tickets to “catch and squeeze” Wayne Pacelle.)

We keep hearing we need to tell our story….so here’s mine for the day.

We are just starting calving season here at Wilson Ranch.  The Boss Man asked if I could run south to a pasture and check through the hills of a group of older cows that we were going to move one step closer to home.  He called me en-route and mentioned that there was a cow that was going back to search for her calf.  When I located the cow, she was milling around the calf that was born to early to survive.  I picked the calf up, laid him on the back of the four wheeler, and that cow followed me three miles through the hills to get home where we had a new calf waiting for her.  As our little funeral processional traveled through the hills, I couldn’t help but shed a tear over the persistence of that cow in staying with the four wheeler.   It was heart breaking but at the same time, it reassures that THIS is not a job, THIS is a lifestyle and everyday we get the great opportunity to experience scenes just like this one.  If our little shrunken head friends would wake up and eat the meat, they could possibly realize the same thing.  That my friends is “Jac’d Up.”

April 11, 2011

“Yes sir- That’s Woman’s Work!”

Filed under: Cattle,Jaclyn Wilson,Life — Jaclyn @ 1:36 pm

When people ask me: “Where is Wilson Ranch?” I usually give the following response: “Do you know where the end of the world is? If you go another 10 miles you’ll hit the ranch.”

Now don’t get me wrong, I love living in the boonies. The sunrises, being able to see the stars, the wildlife, and the quietness are all great reasons. Then throw in the freedom of attire, not having to wear make-up or comb your hair (because the only people you are going to see have either planned a visit or are very very lost) and it becomes no place I’d rather live. The one thing I’m not a fan of is the stereotype.

Case in point, for as far back as I can remember I’ve been a female, at the same time I’ve also been a rancher. It’s a little crazy I know, but for some people I would have a better chance of getting them to believe the world is flat. It has progressed some from when I first came home from college and the hired hand (during his first week of work nonetheless) asked how come I wasn’t in the kitchen cooking. Sure the progression has varied at times, but it took a definite downward spiral this last week.

A girlfriend and I headed to Kansas for a concert. Considering I travel an hour to get a gallon of milk, I didn’t blink an eye at driving six to see our favorite band. The place was packed and before we knew it we were involved in a conversation with some Kansans.
Them: “So what do you do for a living?”
Me: “You’ll never guess.” (The three inch heels covered in glitter for some reason throws them off)
Them: “A teacher? Um hairdresser? You work as a receptionist!” (Girlfriend is laughing hysterically at this point)
Me: “I’m a rancher.”
Them: “Do you wear those shoes when you’re ranching? Do you keep the books? Mow the yard? Cook?”
Me: (After controlling my breathing and remembering it’s not nice to hit) “No.”
Them: “Well you probably do the woman’s work right?”

(This is absolutely nothing personal against our Kansas neighbors, because this same conversation has happened almost word for word in a variety of states and a variety of places.)

This conversation usually comes into my head a couple of times during the next week especially when I’m doing “woman’s work.” You know the work I’m talking about: the hauling a trailer load of yearlings to the sale barn, the working on equipment, putting in a 100ft windmill drain with a rising water table, shooting a terminal cow, digging holes for a mile of permanent electric fence, operating both the plasma cutter and welder, attending the Nebraska Cattlemen Board of Directors meeting, doing two radio interviews-one on calving, one on brand laws, and even selling a couple pots of private treaty replacement females.

Yes sir-that’s woman’s work, and that my friend is “Jac’d Up.”

April 1, 2011

A tiger and a pig…

Filed under: Jaclyn Wilson,Life — Jaclyn @ 8:17 pm

Every once in a while in blog land, it is necessary to jump up on the soapbox.  Considering the only box I currently have available is the one my new commode came in (story to be told at a later date)…hopefully my stand won’t be a big flush.  I received an email today from a good friend.  The email showed pictures and told a story of a tiger in a California zoo that had given birth to premature triplets.  The triplets did not survive, and the mother’s health started to decline.  In an attempt to save the tiger, zookeepers wrapped baby piglets in tiger skin (I’m sure PETA has an issue with this) and tossed them into the tiger pen.  Fortunately for the zookeepers, this did not turn into the ”Big Pork Chop Debacle”, but the tiger adopted the piglets and raised them as if they were her own. 

Agriculture is a small community, and it is important for us to continue to remind ourselves to take the high road.  Sure there are instances where I’ve wanted to cuss, scream, throw things, and even take the hot shot to people that try to bring us down, but it takes a stronger person to focus on the positives.  We have only one life to live, and if that life is full of greediness, spectacles, and negativity; is it the best use for that one life?  I feel nothing but sympathy and sadness for those people/groups that operate that way.  

If you think it doesn’t hit home; think of the neighbor that holds a grudge, the CEO whose intent is to bring the comparable organization down, or even the person that is uneducated on your decisions, but refuses to educate themselves.  As agriculturists, we need to step away from the naysayer, put our best foot forward, and start acting like the synergists that we are.  We could learn a lot from that tiger that turned a negative into a learning opportunity for us all.

One final note, in my effort to walk the walk this week, I sent a gift to a great friend of mine that is going through a tough time and needed a “pick me up.”  Needless to say, I received a phone call that same day filled with laughter and a couple of four letter words.  My gift???  The tool every purebred Hereford breeder needs…..umbilical tape.  Now that my friends is ”Jac’d Up!”     

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