• Holly Spangler

    Confessions of a Farm Wife: Vol. 8 | Guest Star Edition

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on April 8, 2014

    We're back again today with our first-ever guest star at Confessions of a Farm Wife! Joe Webel, husband of Emily, caretaker of cattle, stopped by the kitchen counter to talk about calving and cows and calves. And he coined my new favorite phrase in regard to cows, calves and the barn: "it's the roach motel - they keep moving in and I can't move them out!" You can catch past episodes, just click here and listen. Or you can download the SoundCloud app on your phone or…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Cowgirls and Beef Producers

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on July 31, 2013

    Last week during our county fair, Jenna stood in the ring for junior showmanship. She was pretty pumped about the whole thing, having won last year's Sunrise Showmanship class for first year showmen. We tried to lower her expectations, given that she was now a 10-year-old competing in a class for 10-13 year olds. It didn't work; she was in it to win it. Obviously. Fifteen kids walked into the ring for showmanship - a hair too many for the ring size. So judge Adam Dryer narrowed…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Cows Count, in More Ways than One

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on January 29, 2013

    I came across this quote the other day via Facebook. A disclaimer: I don't know Jacob Gorman, nor have I interviewed him. His quote was shared fourth-hand via a friend of a friend of a friend. And from what I understand, Jacob is from Alabama, has an agricultural degree, works outside the industry now, and makes ridiculously astute observations. Here goes: "It's funny how people cut down trees, bulldoze the land, pour concrete and asphalt over it, build a bunch of…

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  • Holly Spangler

    30 Days on a Prairie Farm: Long Haul

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on November 6, 2012

    My friend, Monica Stevens, shared a most awesome photo with me the other day. She'd been going through her grandparents' old farm magazines and photos, and she came across a page of ads in the 1973 Shorthorn World. And on that page, she found ads placed by her family and mine, right next to each other, nearly 40 years ago. So very cool! In part, because I love history and I love old cattle photos and old livestock publications. They represent years of breeding, refining, planning…

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  • Holly Spangler

    An Encounter at the Meat Counter

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on October 26, 2011

    Last night, my mother-in-law and I found ourselves in town for a fundraising dinner. By "in town," I mean a town 30 minutes away that has a very nice, reasonably large Hy-Vee grocery store. And because we always need groceries, we ran into Hy-Vee after dinner. On my list: ribeyes, for a special dinner. So I headed to the Hy-Vee meat counter. Turns out, the meat counter closed at 9 p.m. It was 9:04. So I turned to the meat case. My mother-in-law, Sharon, and I perused the offerings…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Calving Tricks, Courtesy of our Readers

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on March 2, 2011

    So I was feeling a little sheepish about yesterday's blog post. I didn't mean to come off as a whiner, especially when my friend, Jennifer, pointed out that her family once calved out 350 heifers one spring. Dude. 'Cause we're not even remotely operating on that scale, and whining about being up three times in a week to pull calves rings a little hollow in comparison. However, that little blog post brought in a wealth of suggestions. Like from cattleman Joe Webel, who suggested night…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Calves. 2 a.m. Colostrum. Boo.

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on March 1, 2011

    So it’s 3:30 in the morning, and I’m sitting here in my kitchen heating water to defrost a bag of frozen colostrum, with one eye on the cow cam. John’s in the barn trying to convince the heifer that just calved that she should care whether her calf lives or dies, which she doesn’t seem so much into right now. And mostly, I have just one question: why do the heifers on this operation think they need to pop out a calf in the middle of the night? And by “pop…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Well, We've Never Seen that Before

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on February 23, 2011

    Note: this blog includes photos that may be graphic in nature. I mentioned earlier this week that we had a deformed calf born on our farm over the weekend. The first word came as the kids, our babysitter niece and I were waiting to hear what was up with the calving situation. I called my mother-in-law, who reported that my father-in-law said they were doing a C-section because the calf was “inside out.” That really didn’t make any sense to me, at least until I saw…

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  • Holly Spangler

    We *Heart* Beef…on TV!

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on February 9, 2011

    If you’re from central Illinois, there’s a good chance you  know what “You Gotta Eat” means. The long-running segment on the local NBC affiliate out of Peoria visits one restaurant a week and reviews the menu, food, service and price. It’s a fun little piece to watch, in part because they love their small-town diners. And really, who doesn’t love a small town diner? Well, big news in our house tonight: You Gotta Eat is coming to a local restaurant…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Rush Limbaugh Becomes Spokesman for HSUS

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on April 24, 2009

    Sure, dog fighting is wrong. And so is abusing your pets. And yes, I’d like to see every shelter animal find a nice loving home. But that still doesn’t mean I’m going to support HSUS.   Rush Limbaugh, however, doesn’t make that distinction. He’s recently recorded PSAs for the Humane Society of the United States, voicing his opposition to dog fighting and his support for shelter animals.   The thing is, HSUS doesn’t run any shelters. They’ve effectively pulled the wool over Limbaugh’s eyes…

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