Thought of the Week

The grass is always greener
on the other side of the fence.
That’s because that guy had the good sense
to weed and feed his pasture.

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Thought of the Week

The hardest part of learning to ride is the ground.

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Thought of the Week

Trust your fellow man,
but tie up your horse.

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WAFLA By Air

We’d like to highlight a new seasonal worker program, instituted by the state of Washington.  This program is called the Washington Farm Labor Association, or simply “WAFLA.”  They are doing a test run, and as they work out details and kinks in their program, we hope that this type of temporary worker program will be able to be used in different states across our union, for agriculture, but also in other industries – construction, hotel, restaurant, etc.

These 18 workers are a test run. Wafla is planning to use air transportation for large groups – up to 100 per day, beginning in May.

Inbound H-2A Workers at the Durango, Mexico Airport

These guys are ready to work, legally, in the USA

Air transportation is much safer than buses, and workers prefer it. It is a lot harder to arrange, but costs are comparable to buses, and it cuts travel time from five days to two. Growers in the Pacific Northwest are facing a severe labor shortage, and the only way to deal with it is through the federal legal worker program called H-2A. One of the obstacles is transportation – it’s a long way from orchards and fields in the Pacific Northwest for the workers in central and southern parts of Mexico.

This group are farm workers were recruited in the state of Durango, Mexico, and they are headed for a grower in Idaho’s Treasure Valley.

The group is flying from Durango to Tijuana, where they will have consulate appointments and receive visas. Once they finish the consulate process, they will take a charter bus to the U.S. border, where they will present the visas that were issued at the U.S Consulate in Tijuana. They have a 15 mile bus ride to San Diego airport, where they will board a commercial flight from San Diego to Seattle, connecting to Boise, and another short charter bus from the airport to a farm in the Treasure Valley, about 30 miles away.

This is another example of Wafla making the legal worker program better work for employers and workers in the Pacific Northwest!

We will watch and wait to see how this program works, in hopes that it is successful and grows.  Way to go, Washington!

 

 

Posted in Ag Production, Agvocacy and Social Media, Education, Farmers, Feeding the World, For Kids, Young Farmers and Ranchers | Tagged | Leave a comment

Thought of the Week

the old farm

Careful is the naked man climbing a barbed wire fence.  Of course if you’re a naked man climbing a barbed wire fence, it’s a little late for caution!

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Hard to Believe

In a recent L.A.Times opinion editorial, two University of California Irvine professors stated that “food production requires unfathomable volumes of water,” and they concluded that California needs less agriculture.

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The California Aquaduct

What is really “unfathomable” according to Westlands Water District, near Fresno, is that since October, 2016, more than 25 million acre-feet of California’s water has been sent to the ocean while only 2.5 million acre-feet has been pumped for use by agriculture, and for communities south of the Sacramento Delta.

The professors neglected to mention (or don’t know) that California’s agricultural industry developed and utilizes the most advanced and sophisticated water conservation measures in the world.

Next time, do your homework, professors.

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The Hoyt Report, Inc, March 10, 2017

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#27 Pinto the BlogDog – You Say Placenta, I Say Deliciousness!

It’s that time of year again!  Placentas!  Placentas!  Placentas everywhere!  When a mamma ewe has her darling little lambys, after they are all delivered safely, the attendant (read: M’Lady) knows that delivery is finished when the ewe finally passes her placenta.  It’s a massive, slimy, gnarly, bloody mess.  But M’Lady waits n watches for it, ’cause until it passes, there could still be another baby in there, and the job isna done till the placenta is OUT!

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Brand spankin’ new

 

So, what does M’Lady do with it?  Sometimes she dumps it into a bucket, in case she might want the vet to take a peek at it for summat.  But mostly she disposes of it.  This is where YourTruly comes in.  She’ll wrap it in an old feed sack, then dump it in the trash.  But, she doesna like to do this, ’cause sometimes she forgets to take the barn trash barrel out to the road for the garbage men to haul off.  Then, when she forgets that the placenta is in there, it gets all stinky-heavenly smelling.  Then, all the humans gag n choke, kinda ruinin’ the ambiance of the barn, y’know, so the regular way M’Lady gets rid of the placenta is:

SHE THROWS IT OUT IN THE COMPOST PILE WITH THE DIRTY STRAW.

So, you might ask me whereamIhanginouthesedays?

Need you ask?  Every time we go out to the barn, or go for a walk, or go to the mail, M’Lady cannot find me.  P – i – n – t – o!  she’ll call.  No answer.  P -I – N – T – O!  I ignore her.  PINTO!!!  COME!!!  I can’t hear her.  P – I – N – T – O!!!  Nada.  Leave me alone.  I’m dining.

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I tore this strip off, so I could drag it ’round with me.  Makes a portable snack, y’know.

And really M’Lady, it’s not like the compost pile is so hidden or outa my reach.  It’s not like you tried to keep it away from me.  It’s right here!  Right in the barnyard, fer cryin’ out loud!  Whadda you expect me to do, I ask you?  I’ma DOG fer heaven’s sake!

I wait all year long for placenta.  It’s the same time every year – first the Christmas tree is put away, then it’s real snowy n cold n boring ’round here, then the snow melts, then the wind blows and the  weather warms just a little bit… that’s when I know it’s PLACENTA TIME!

Placenta is so unimaginely delicious, it’s the most devine thing ever.  I canna resist it.  It’s slimy  n slippery right outta my mouth.  It’s surprisingly crunchy, n full o bursting flavor.  After a few days in the pile, it takes on sorta a new characeristic, and a crust forms on the exposed parts, y’know, that the air touches.

I get all full to gorging.  My belly is all achy.  I waddle ’round, makin’ tracks from my bed to the compost pile n back again.  My jaws hurt from chewing such a hard-to-hang-onto slimy excellence.

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OK, so this is one of our ewe’s placentas, after YoursTruly rescued it out of the wheelbarrow.  I dinna like the straw, it pokes my delicate mouth

But my coat is GORGEOUS!  Glossy!  My eyes are bright!  My teeth are shiny!  Gleaming!  The pet care companies can’t invent a coat-eye-teeth-care-product better n this stuff!

M’Lady says I’m disgusting, n get this,  she wilna lemme kiss her!   She says my breath is nasty!  I say poo on you, M’Lady, this stuff is SUPURB NUTRITION!

You say placenta, and I say deliciousness!  You say placenta, and I say deliciousness!  Placenta!  Deliciousness! Placenta!  Deliciousness!  Let’s call the whole thing off!

Well, gotta run!  We’re headin’ out to the barn, er  compost pile!  Keep your tail waggin’!

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Mamma and her little darlings.

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Aren’t they the sweetest?  If YoursTruly had access to ’em, they would be no more.  So, M’Lady keeps ’em locked up tight.

 

Posted in #dogs, #lamb, Ag Production, Education, Farm Families, Farmers, Feeding the World, Livestock Production, Ranchers, Sheep, Women in Agriculture, Work | Leave a comment

Thought of the Week

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Washington’s Fabulous Potatoes

Sure, I live in Idaho, the state of famous potatoes.  But our next door neighbor grows massive amounts of potatoes, too.  In fact, Washington has been declared to have “the world’s most productive potato fields.”

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That’s Farmer Ed Schneider of Pasco, Washington, sorting his potatoes with WeeLaddie

About 250 Washington farms produced 10.5 billion pounds of potatoes last year.  That’s enough to put a 33 pound sack of spuds into the arms (or wheelbarrow) of every person in the country!

Only one state tops that figure – Idaho (of course!), which produces 13.9 billion pounds last year on almost twice as many acres.

Collectively, the two states grow just over half of the potatoes grown in the U.S.A.  Wisconsin, North Dakota, Colorado and Oregon follow, in ranks 3-6.

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Farmer Ed’s crews sort potatoes

The main potato growing regions in Washington are the Columbia Basin and the Skagit Valley.  Growers in the Skagit Valley mainly produce specialty potatoes (reds, yellows, whites and purples).  The Columbia Basin grows mainly the russet varieties, and also some of the specialty varieties.

Approximately 170,000 acres of potatoes were planted in Washington in 2016.  Washington ranks first in the country in per-acre potato production.  In fact, the state is home to the most productive potato fields in the world.  The growing provides long days, cool nights, mineral-rich soils and controlled irrigation.  That, combined with the sustainable practices of its farmers allows Washington to rank more than 40% above the U.S. average in per-acre production!

WAY TO GO WASHINGTON POTATO GROWERS!  EAT MORE POTATOES!

-Western Farmer Stockman, March, 2017

Posted in #potatoes, Ag Production, Dirt, Education, Farm Families, Farmers, Feeding the World, For Kids, Soil, Technology, Work | Leave a comment

Recipe from a Farmer’s Table

ROASTED LEG OR ROAST OF LAMB
This is outstanding and super easy – from American Lamb

 

1 boneless leg or roast of American lamb, approximately 4-6 lbs.

Marinade:
4 cloves garlic, pressed
2 lemons, zested – use the zest and the juice of both lemons
1/2 Tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
1 bunch fresh parseley, chopped
1 Tbsp. freshly ground pepper
2 Tbsp. dried oregano*
1 C. olive oil*
1/4 C. kosher salt*

*You can use less than this amount – based on the size of the roast

In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients of the marinade.  Rub the mixture over all 6 sides of the roast.  Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in fridge overnight.  Bring lamb to room temperature, and sprinkle with salt.  Preheat oven to 375*.  Roast for 1 hours and 15 minutes, or until thermometer shows center of leg or roast to read 125-130*.  Cover loosely and allow to rest for 20 minutes.

OR

Put in a roast into a clay pot, and add 1-1/2″ water.  Set oven at 200* for 15 minutes, then increase heat to 300*.  Roast for 4-5 hours.  Falls apart, juicy.

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