Friday, October 5, 2012

Livin' and Learnin'!!!

Hillsides covered with cattle is a common sight in the
Flinthills of East Central and Southeast Kansas
One of my favorite things about my job is the opportunity to travel a four state area, meet new people and learn about different sectors of agriculture. This week I spent three days in Kansas taking pictures of newly acquired company locations, a soil sampling crew and a large cattle backgrounding operation. As I traversed through Emporia, KS and headed southeast to Pittsburg, I rolled through the beautiful flinthills and was in awe of the continuous miles of rolling grass and cattle dotting the landscape. One stretch of road led me across an ENORMOUS plateau that provided a view of literally thousands of acres of grass, hay bales, lakes and the prettiest sunset imaginable. All I could think as I drove across the endless pastures and prairies was that our Creator delights in pleasuring us with beauty.
Miles upon miles of grassy hills, lakes and occasional creek draws
provide for breathtaking views!!!!
As the sun sets in Southeast Kansas, I am so thankful for the creation God
has provided for us to delight in and the land He gives us to care for and manage
Riding a 4 wheeler over hundreds of acres to collect soil samples
is quite entertaining and enjoyable, despite the monotony of the job
To wrap up the trip, I visited a large cattle backgrounding operation near Hepler, KS and was joined by a co-worker to conduct a photo & video shoot and interview for the magazine. In what has been one of the worst drought years in decades, this backgrounder was able to INCREASE his stocking rate to over two head per acre due to his forage nutrient plan and working with the present fescue grass to maximize production. It was incredible to see the pastures covering his 2,000 acres which provided grazing for 3,000 head of cattle each year. At the end of the video interview, this producer commented that what he loved most about his operation was running calves on grass and grain supplement just one week after weaning and experiencing little stress and sickness because they were content and doing what they were made to do - converting grass into gain.
Following our visit, we were taken for a roadside tour to view neighboring backgrounding operations, including a 7,000 acre ranch that grazed over 15,000 head of cattle this last year and had the goal of running 30,000 head a year in the future. I must say seeing a 1,900 acre section of land in one fenced piece as part of this ranch was truly a sight to behold.

Receiving pens of a small backgrounding operation in Southeast Kansas.
And by small I'm talking a couple thousand head of cattle grazed and sold each year!
 I consider a great joy and honor to meet and witness the people and operations that contribute to our food supply and learn even more about the greatest industry in the nation!!!

Until next time, you can find me off the beaten path and ridin' for the brand!!!


  1. Yes, you did get to see some of thee most beautiful land that Kansas offers! :) It is even better now that we have had some rain!

    1. Yeah as much as I'd love to see the western Kansas feedlots, I do believe the Flint Hills provide the best looking country for that state. Rain makes all the difference in the world!!

  2. Likin' the blog here, didn't know you wrote so much :)

    1. Thanks!! I don't write as much as I'd like, but I hope that what I do post is enjoyable to read and gives a good perspective to life :)

  3. Wow, such beautiful country! :)

  4. Ahhh, the feedlots out West are nothing but stinkin' cows. I mean, they smell good, at least to me, but they aren't really all that much to look at.

    If you went through Emporia headed for Pittsburg, you probably went right by me at some point.

    Blessings in the New Year!