• 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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  • Lon Tonneson

    How Chicken Beat Beef And Pork

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on March 6, 2014

    I just can’t seem to get the book about Tyson Foods out of my head. “The Meat Racket – the Secret Takeover of America’s Food Business,” is an anecdote-filled book by agribusiness reporter Christopher Leonard about the evils of contract chicken and hog farming. I’m not really buying the premise. There are plenty of local examples of younger farmers enjoying success with the newer, more fair methods of contract growing today. But I’m captivated with…

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  • Tyler Harris

    Cattlemen Share Experiences This Past Winter

    Town and Country

     by Tyler Harris
     on March 5, 2014

    Only in the Midwest can we go from 50 degrees one day to single digits the next. This weekend didn't bring the onslaught of snow the Kansas City area expected, but enough cold and snow to kill my motivation to run and keep me indoors – I'll take the dreaded treadmill before I brave the weather outside. This winter has been undeniably rough, and cattlemen throughout the U.S. have had their hands full. With temperatures dropping to the single and even negative digits in many parts…

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  • Tyler Harris

    A Shift In Beef Cow Numbers Over The Years

    Town and Country

     by Tyler Harris
     on January 24, 2014

    On one of my recent ventures into southeast Kansas's cow-calf country, I had the opportunity to visit Jim DeGeer's Gelbvieh seedstock operation in Neosho County. While discussing Gelbvieh replacement heifers, DeGeer and I spoke on his roots in Barber County. For those who have never been there, the topography serves as a true counterargument to the common misconception that Kansas is all flat. Take a drive through the Gypsum Hills on Highway 160 west of Medicine Lodge, and you'll…

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  • Tyler Harris

    A Look Back At The Origins of American Stockmanship

    Town and Country

     by Tyler Harris
     on January 3, 2014

    Some time off over the holiday week was just what I needed to catch up with friends and family. Although I didn't have the chance to travel the West like I would have if it were a warmer time of year and I weren't snowbound on the home place, I did familiarize myself better with the West, albeit vicariously, through the eyes of Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian narrator, known only as the kid. I'll spare readers the details of McCarthy's work. Anyone who has read any of his…

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  • Mindy Ward

    You Might Be A Hay Waster If…

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on December 13, 2013

    This past weekend I sat through yet another talk on hay waste. This is not my first time hearing about the profit-robbing problem for livestock producers in the Midwest. However, every time Justin Sexten, University of Missouri beef nutritionist, offers solutions to the problem, livestock producers are slow to put them into practice. And by producers, I mean myself. Sexten constantly informs livestock producers that how they feed hay in the winter months will determine how much money they will…

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  • Tyler Harris

    Reminder Of The West Bottoms' Agricultural Roots

    Town and Country

     by Tyler Harris
     on October 25, 2013

    I've written before that urban centers, despite popular misconception, have historically been, and are still strongly connected to agriculture. Kansas City's West Bottoms are no exception, being a mixed bag of urban bohemia and agricultural history. With the numerous antique and vintage shops like Good Juju and Hickory Dickory, it might not seem like the kind of place that was once home to International Harvester and Advance-Rumely plants and the Kansas City Livestock Exchange, but it…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Checking Out A New Beef Barn

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on October 24, 2013

    Folks were in a good mood as they toured a new beef barn built built by John and Brenda Reisch and Jason Feldhoaus, Howard, S.D. The trio (Jason is John’s cousin) had just completed a 70- x 294-foot three-sided fabric covered hoop barn that they plan to finish cattle in. About 200 people were expected for open house. Some were neighbors -- who had been watching the gravel and cement trucks roll into the farm for weeks and came to see what the finished building looked…

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  • Tyler Harris

    Minimizing Stress When Weaning Calves

    Town and Country

     by Tyler Harris
     on October 22, 2013

    Fall has come to the Midwest, and with it, the leaves change, farmers are harvesting corn and soybeans, and the holidays are around the corner. For beef producers around the United States, fall also means separating spring-born calves from their mothers. For calves, cows, and producers alike, weaning is a stressful time – especially if weaning coincides with castration or dehorning, which many beef specialists advise against. Too much stress on the calves can result in stress on the…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Stories From the Storm

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on October 17, 2013

    The western South Dakota blizzard that killed tens of thousands of head of livestock was truly devastating. But numbers don’t tell the whole story. I was moved most by what ranchers wrote and said about what they found on the Plains when the blizzard broke. They are alive: Jessica Bean, Summerset, S.D., wrote, “My parents found a drift that had covered who knows how many ewes and lambs. ‘You guys need to come here,’ my Mom said when she called, clearly distressed…

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