This is an agricultural blog. From someone who grew up on a farm, but is not (currently) a farmer/rancher herself. Yet hopes, prays, and wishes she could be.
Normally an agricultural blog is done by those who are already in the business and actively writing about their adventures. But I'm not one of those people, even though I am actively involved in the agricultural industry through my job as a forage/beef extension specialist.
So why have a blog if I'm not a farmer or rancher in the first place? For one, I like to write when the mood hits me. And when I write, I don't do fictional stories or fantasies, I write in a manner to teach people about a subject that I am passionate about.
And that subject is agriculture. Specializing in cattle of course, hence the title.
Not too long ago I was asked by someone who is currently in the business and had started right from scratch with no prior farming experience growing up, who did I want to target with this blog: The everyday Average Joe and Jane who live and work in cities and towns, or the Farmer John and Joan who make up a part of only 2 percent of the population that own and operate a farm? I'm still deciding on that.
As an extension specialist, my job is to answer questions that farmers have so that I can help them manage their operations and raise their animals as best as possible, not so much to answer questions consumers have about farming. I enjoy answering to both parties.
But here's why this beginning farmer had inquired about who my target audience is: Views. His reasoning, which makes total sense, is that if I want to get more views, I start talking about subjects that get the Average Joe and Jane's attention, because there's a lot more of them out there than Farmer John or Joan's.
And, by definition "practicum" is the "practical section of a course of study." In other words, going beyond the theoretical words you read in a book and into more hands-on learning. With The Bovine Practicum, I'm literally delving the Average Joe and Jane from the theoretical into the practical that farmers and ranchers deal with on a daily basis.
Now, a little about me.
I come from a mixed farm somewhere in "Northern" Alberta, Canada, where me and my folks raised steers that were in the period between coming off a cow-calf operation to going to the feedlot. We also raised barley for feed, and canola as a cash crop. We also made our own hay and silage for the cattle, and managed pasture. I was largely involved in the cattle aspect of the farm, though helped some with crops. I still miss the cattle to this day.
I graduated in June 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with an Animal Science Major at the University of Alberta. It was 10 years in the making, with family and personal things extending my time to get my degree from the expected 4 or 5 year period to 10.
I have worked at a mixed-practice veterinary clinic as just general help, at a farm and ranch supply store as a sales person, and with the university both with the rangeland research team and the soil and crop research team as a research assistant. So I not only have knowledge in cattle and animal health, but also plants and soils. Jobs like that can make a person well-rounded.
Now I'm working as a forage-beef extension specialist, mainly for farmers and ranchers. However, as I mention before, I also like to be able to help the average non-farm person understand the ways of raising livestock and farming as best as I possibly can. Dialog is always encouraged.**
- Questions, comments and conversation are always welcome on this site. However, I preserve the right to act as moderator for offensive, inappropriate, threatening, and abusive content. Comments should be both within the subject matter of the blog and respectful of myself and others.
- While I make every effort to ensure accuracy in the information I share on this blog, the views and opinions expressed on this site are mine and do not represent any organization, company or institute I may represent or am affiliated with, and any errors and omissions are mine.