I started it off at my first ultramarathon - the Green Jewel 50k (31 miles), representing Team Chocolate Milk! It was on a beautiful path between parks in Ohio, from Brecksville to Rocky River. Very fun! Kris and the boys went with me, and it was a great time. People yelled at me the whole way - "CHOCOLATE MILK!"
I then went to World Pork Expo in Des Moines, Iowa, talking about U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance's social media app.
My friend Thomas Titus (also a former Faces of Farming & Ranching) was there counting teats on the pigs before they went in the show ring. This is a thing! Erin Brenneman, (also FOF&R), was there and showed me around. It was so interesting to see all things pig instead of all things cow, but the most amazing part of it was all the free food. Tons of it. Everywhere. For free. If you've been at trade shows where the only options are expensive, terrible food, and you just eat the mints you hid in your backpack, you can really appreciate this.
The next week I went to Austin to train urban teachers about teaching agriculture. We went on a farm tour, went over the lesson plans, and answered questions about farming. As an added bonus, I got to see my sister-in-law Meghan and my niece Anna!
My kids got out of school and it is SUMMER! So, so much going on farm-wise. Milk truck issues - they didn't have enough drivers and then the milk processing plant lost power. We have a ton of calves. Training employees. Alfalfa harvest. Moving the cattle around to different pastures.
One super fun farmy thing we did was pick rocks. Kris mentioned that he has no idea how I grew up on a farm and have lived on a farm for 11 years without ever going rock picking. I told him - no one's ever asked me to go before!
This was the first time Cole and Ty have ever driven the wheel loader. I guess learning in a giant field where you can't hit anything is a great spot, but I was worried about the other kids and made them stay far away and only approach it to toss stones in when it was stopped. They were good at it.
It's absolutely incredible the size and amount of rocks that emerge after the soil is worked up. Not only will crops not grow where they are, but they are also detrimental to the equipment. We worked for a few hours and added to the piles of rocks our ancestors have been putting alongside fields for 139 years. My mom has used them for her lovely landscaping and rock wall at both of our houses!
I've taken only about one million pictures of the cattle in my backyard as the sun sets. I told Kris we can never move - or if we do, we have to live somewhere where I have a clear view of the sunset and my cattle. Not at all specific, right? We even got a morning rainbow, which is unusual - more unusual than a gorgeous summer sunset, anyway.
July and August promise to bring more excitement and ... sunsets. Happy summer!
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