my daily life on a cattle farm, my love of agriculture, and stories behind my photos

Sunday, November 12, 2017

peanut butter cookies

Another classic fall favorite is peanut butter cookies! I was looking through an old Illinois Shorthorn Lassies cookbook of my grandma Stevens and found this recipe!
1 cup      butter
1 cup      peanut butter
1 cup      brown sugar
1 cup      granulated sugar
3 cups      whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon      baking soda
1 teaspoon      salt
1 teaspoon      vanilla
2       eggs

Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Blend together butter, brown sugar, and sugar. Add peanut butter, eggs, and vanilla. Mix ingredients well. Shape dough into one inch balls and place on a cookie sheet. Or, press balls of dough with a fork to flatten making a crisscross. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cookies cool.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

farm chick favorite

This is my absolute favorite mug! It is perfect for a cup of cocoa on a chilly day of cattle chores. I adore it. I found it on my 2016 visit to Magnolia Market in Waco, Texas. Such a great reminder of a fun adventure!


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

carrot breakfast cookies

Here is a yummy recipe for carrot cookies! Perfect for breakfast during the fall!
They are great for a busy fall days!

1 cup      oats
3/4 cup      whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons      cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon      baking soda
1/2 teaspoon      salt
2 tablespoons      butter
1      egg
1 teaspoon      vanilla
1/2 cup      honey
3/4 cup      shredded carrots
1/3 cup      chopped walnuts
1/3 cup      golden raisins 

Mix oats, flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Whisk butter, egg, vanilla, and honey in another bowl. Combine the ingredients thoroughly together. Fold in carrots, walnuts, and golden raisins. Spoon cookie dough onto a baking sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for 12 minutes. Recipe makes a dozen cookies.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

the farm office

the farm office is the heart of the cattle farm...

On our Shorthorn cattle farm, it is very important to have a nice office that is purposeful and well organized. I love to be and need to be organized. Since I often work long hours at times throughout the year in my farm office, I also want a space I love. If I have an office I adore and enjoy working in, I will be much more productive. And, I do love working in my office! I think it's pretty cute...  
functional  +  funky
black saddle chair
black painted captain chair
laptop & wireless printer
desk calendar
sea grass basket [ calendar, patterned binder, portfolios, and Vigortone manual ]
b&w print magazine holder [ natural paper file folders labeled with a black Sharpie ]
clear lamp with burlap shade
2 barn board shelves
sea grass basket [ black binders and a clipboard for cattle records ]
clear + turquoise tote [ calving records ]
black tray [ additional cattle records ]
purple sticky notes
patterned notepads
mini clipboard + notepad
binder clips in an antique Atlas jar
Sharpies [ in my favorite colors...lilac, purple, turquoise, magenta, orange & lime ]

In three desk drawers...
drawer #1    paperclips, business cards, notepads, rubber stamps, and ink

drawer #2    3 hole punch, pens, scissors, washi tape, and string

drawer #3    printer paper, printer ink, file folders, and legal pads

Rustic...the style I have always loved. My favorite colors to use in decorating are black and brown. Then, I add pops of color throughout... purple, yellow, or turquoise. The wall of my office is painted black. And, I absolutely LOVE it! It coordinates well with the two barn board shelves above the desk! The black wall creates a warm and cozy space for my farm office.

A clear lamp with a burlap shade sits on my desk. It adds a warm light as I work. A desk calendar with ultra-fine Sharpies keep track of everything important on the farm. A sea grass basket and b&w print magazine holder are in close reach of working at my desk... while being organized and cute. The wall clock hangs just above the desk. It can easily be seen to help keep me on task.

Onto the backs of black buttons, I glued tacks. The tacks were then pressed into the baskets. So simple and cute! They add an adorable touch to the sea grass baskets. One of these sea grass baskets holds black binders of cattle records. This basket allows quick access to records off a barn board shelf while looking rustic chic.
I had two extra wood chairs and decided to paint them black. They were sanded for a rustic look. It is perfect for an extra seating at the side of my desk!

To add a little of my style to my office
. soy candle
. wax warmer [ linen scented ]
. edition of Feeds and Feeding textbook
. turquoise antique Ball jars - Grandma Stevens
. antique feed scale - Grandpa Stevens
. primitive sheep figurine
. farm photos
. rope knot [ purchased @ Bishop Hill ]
feeds and feeding - one of my favorites
rope knot from bishop hill
Hanging above my desk is this cute rope knot from Bishop Hill! I love it in my office!
My favorite farm photo is a b&w print of my dad as a little boy bottle feeding his lamb. It is so cute! I will always cherish it. The framed photo goes well with the antique scale of my grandpa Stevens.
capture life
capture life...perfect for this agriculture photographer! I found this adorable wood sign at Barn Owl Primitives! It is on a barn board shelf beside a antique turquoise Ball jar.

my favorite mug from magnolia market
 I adore this mug! It was a from my visit to Magnolia Market in Waco, TX! 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

seeding rye

This afternoon, we finished seeding rye as forage for our cattle.
bags of rye
Dad sprayed a 7 acre field of hay field to be seeded. The hay field had been cut and baled as forage since 2010. Since we need high quality and quantity of forage, we decided to seed the field. We no-till drilled rye into the field this morning. The rye was seeded at a rate of 72 pounds per acre. Rain is in the forecast, so it should be great for germination.
no-till drill filled with rye

We are planning on planting red clover and spring peas into the rye next spring. The rye, clover, and peas will then be chopped and bagged as silage. It should be a quality forage high in nutritional value. I am pretty excited about this forage for our cows!

Saturday, October 28, 2017

pumpkin dip

This pumpkin dip is a fall favorite. I love making it as a quick treat for friends!
8 ounces      fat free cream cheese
1 cup      powdered sugar
1 teaspoon      cinnamon
1 teaspoon      vanilla
Blend ingredients together well. Chill mixture in a covered bowl. Serve pumpkin dip with cinnamon graham crackers!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

the feed shed

The converted corn crib has been so incredibly useful to us as a feed shed on the farm...


We are able to store protein, vitamins, and mineral. Other feed such as cotton seed hulls, oats, linseed meal, soybean meal, and square bales of hay are also stored in the feed shed. It is great having so much storage for feed, mineral, and supplies all in one location. It is perfect!

cotton seed hulls
cotton seed hulls

linseed meal
I am able to formulate rations, weigh, and mix feed for calves in the feed shed. Since I work off the farm as a meat inspector, I can prepare feed ahead of use. This efficiently utilizes time.


 An antique feed scale that my Grandpa Stevens used was moved over to the 'new' feed shed. I love it! The protein pellets for the feeder calves is weighed on this antique scale. It works so well! I also have a small hanging scale to weigh feed additives or small feed rations for calves.
Vigortone products
In 2016, I became a Vigortone dealer. I am able to keep mineral and feeders in stock now that there is more feed storage on the farm! With a big, sliding door, it is easy to take delivery of feed and mineral. And, clients are able to pick up orders with ease.  

The feed shed is also a nice place to store feed related supplies such as...buckets, feed pans, pallets, brooms, and silage hooks.

At an auction, I bought an old slate chalkboard. So cool! It will be useful for keeping track of mineral, feed rations, and feeding instructions. In the future... I plan on adding interior and exterior lighting to the feed shed to better see at night while working. Plus, I would like to add some shelving or a work bench. My hope is to add a refrigerator to store cattle vaccinations.


Sunday, October 8, 2017

converting the corn crib

In 2012, my dad started renovating the corn crib on the farm where I live. The corn crib was sided, new sliding doors were built, and windows were installed in 2013. There are sliding doors for the alley on the north and south side of the corn crib. And, there is also a sliding door on the north west corner of the corn crib. Two walk-in doors are located for access into the east and west.
It is so nice to have the corn crib preserved. The corn crib was the first building project completed when my grandpa and grandma purchased the farm when they moved to rural Altona in 1957.  I have so many great farm memories in that corn crib...unloading barge wagons and filling the crib with ear corn, and sliding down the ears as we were grinding corn out of it for cattle feed.
cleaned corn crib
I finally made time to clean out the corn crib and organize the space. We repurposed it to be used for feed and fence. The west side of the corn crib holds feed supplies, and the east side of the crib stores fence supplies. It works very well! The converted corn crib has been such a blessing on the farm!