Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Picture by my sister in law of my dad and brother!
 A Time to be Thankful!

It is the time of year where we all take the time to reflect on the year behind us, the Holidays ahead of us and the impending year coming.  I think it is all of those things but for me this year; it a time of family and blessings!

I am blessed by the family god selected for me!  I love the farm I grew up on and still live on today; for my parents who instilled hard work and dedication in Joe and I.  I know they worked through struggles to farm and raise us on the land that our grandparents left for us.  I thank them and maybe not enough!

Looking West on my parents Farm
Hoop Barn and if you look close you can see my dad standing in it!

I am blessed for my amazing husband!  He is great and I thank god for him each day!  We are sharing our third Thanksgiving together and I can't wait for many more!

 I am thankful that these views are my life and that each day I get to just take it all in...something I need to do more often!

I hope each of you have a blessed and thankful Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!!
Emily and rest of the Brewer/Wynn Family Farm

Thursday, October 22, 2015

As some may have heard Subway announced they are transitioning to meat raised without antibiotics.  They say they will start serving Chicken raised without antibiotics in March, 2016 and Turkey should follow within the next year.  Pork and Beef will follow within six years.  The reason for this move is the company was targeted by advocacy groups calling for the change.  

Provided by Kansas State Extension

ALL meat produced in the United States is tested for antibiotics at the processing plants.  Antibiotic FREE meat is already here today; the meat you eat at Subway today is Antibiotic FREE!  In the United States all meat animals are tested for antibiotics and antibiotic residue if one would be come up positive it is taken out of the meat supply chain.  Animals who are marketed as "Raised without antibiotics" does not change the meat in any way, it simply means a change the way the animal are raised and handled.  

We do administer antibiotics to the cattle and pigs we produced on own farm.  Our philosophy is humane treatment.  NO ONE wants to see an animal suffer and the fact of life is animals do get sick, just like humans you may try your best but at some point you have gotten the flu or a cold.  The same rings true for animals.  I know there are some out there that do not and have never taken an antibiotic; there are some that do not give them to their children.  I guess in our case, our animals are similar to children we want to be known as stewards of the land and livestock.  We do not want to see animals suffer and if that means they need medicine we do administer it.  These medicines and antibiotics are like human medicines they are NOT cheap so to think that some may give more then recommended is not true.  Just as with your child, you would do whatever  you have to, to make them better.  That is what we do on our farm for the ones that may get sick we just want to make them better; we do not want to watch suffering in any way.

Brewer Family Farms LLC. - Bratwurst
My family gets a lot of questions regarding our brats on the use of antibiotics; for the most once you explain that yes, they are used but only for sick animals and that all meat we sell is tested and most understand.  Deep down no one wants to see animals who are sick.  So we have been fortunate to work with great customers.

I know that everyone makes their own choices on the meat they consume and restaurants they visit.  I just know that for me and my family I KNOW that all meat is safe and antibiotic FREE and I will spend my money at restaurants that support our family farming practices. 

Friday, October 16, 2015

    Weekend Getaways - Love Them!

Jeff and I at Pikes Peak State Park

Just about two weeks ago Jeff and I found the time to get away with one of my best friends and her husband for the weekend!  This is something that we need to do more of!  But like everyone else we get wrapped up in life and put getaways on the back burner....

The Group at the Field of Dreams movie site

  Our trip took us to Northeast Iowa to see the leaves and to discover some  hidden gems. We stayed in Guttenberg at this little Inn right on the river!  It was AMAZING!  We spent the morning making our way to Decorah and saw some great scenery on our drive and venture to Dunning Falls and Ice Caves.  Pikes Pike State Park was on the list of must sees along with Field of Dreams!  A great little weekend - the next one is in the planning stages.  Also, Jeff and I one year anniversary is coming up in December - where should we go?  I need some weekend getaway ideas!  Where are some hidden gems right here in Iowa???

Off the Beaten Path

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

October Is.....

For most I assume they would say the start of fall, football season, pumpkins, apple cider and Halloween.  I love all of the things and YES October is all of those to me also.....but it is so much more......

October is National Pork Month - For those of us who raise hogs it is a month dedicated to our passion!  I have been so wrapped up in all those other things that October represents I have not done my part as a pork producer for Pork Month.  Back in August I attended a county zoning meeting with my parents; this meeting was for zoning approval for a new hog facility in Dallas County.  We went to learn more and to show support to the family applying, a family we did not know.  As soon as we walked in, it was evident that we were the only ones there in support of this family.  As we sat there for hours listening to the concerns of citizens of not only Dallas County but surrounding counties; concerns ranging from smell, to animal welfare, to water quality, to antibiotic use and resistance it occurred to me I NEED to do more!  I feel I am fortunate to have a job where I am allowed  to educate, advocate and inspire others about my passion and that is Agriculture - more over Iowa Agriculture and I guess more than that Animal Agriculture.  In those hours that passed in the meeting my blood went from boiling mad about the mis-information out there to complete sadness for this family that was none different than my own; that was being run through the mud for trying to expand their operation.  That night...that family lost their battle for expansion, but I gained a drive...a drive to work harder to inform, educate and advocate.  My parents and myself that night made a decision that we need to be open and honest and to allow those individuals into our lives.  We as farmers, advocates or just meat lovers NEED to not be afraid...we NEED to tell our story and we NEED to show our story.  My family hopes to have those county officials out to our farm and show them our CAFO.  To show them that  we ARE a Family Farm and we ARE going to be here for the long haul!

October also hosts - National Farmer Day!
National Farmer Day - who would have thought an entire day dedicated to the farmer.  My brother and dad farm full-time and like I have said this blog has a lot to do with them and telling their story.  I am sure neither of them even knew it was National Farmer Day - and I checked there was no Hallmark card for such an occasion.  But I guess we all need to thank and remember those farmers everyday!

There is one week in October that means a lot to me - National 4-H Week - a week where those of us who bleed green and white, the 4-leaf Clover and can recite the 4-H pledge by heart may take note and may let slip by.  I am guilty of this!  4-H was a staple in my life for 10 years as a member and now for the last 8 as a member of the Dallas County Youth Committee and coaching my county 4-H judging team.  For those of you who may not be familiar with 4-H it is an organization that is open and inviting to kids on the farm and those who have no interest in animals or agriculture.  4-H has changed so much over the years, they have now work with STEM and have clubs for kids who interests may be robotics or shooting sports.  There are still those livestock clubs and event the cooking and sewing but really 4-H is sooooo much more!  4-H creates leaders and I have been fortunate to see so many great kids come through this organization and I cannot wait to see more!

So as you can see October is one FULL month!  I need to take time and take it all in - for me October has lit a fire under me to do more and to take time and look back!  I hope you all have a great October!

Monday, June 1, 2015

The Garden Project - June 1

So...Garden 2015 is in full swing!  Jeff and I finished planting this weekend!  We successfully planted potatoes, onions, lettuce and carrots the first of May and they are doing great!  Jeff is trying to convince me that the carrots will pull thru....I do not think they are looking at great! 

All Planted!
We now have peppers (red, yellow and green), jalapenos, tomatoes, zucchini, cucumber and radish planted!  Bring on the weeding and warm weather!  Be sure to check back for updates and let me any tips you may have!
Kane so proud of his garden!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


Everyone has that one part of their job that they just love right?!  Well for me that is our Farm Family Award at the Fair called - The Way We Live Award.  This award takes this farm girl out of the office to visit the six chosen families across the state of Iowa; to take some pictures and video and then make a highlight video of each farm family to be viewed at the Fair.  Selected families will receieve Fair admission, parking, $250 cash along with coupons to be used at the Fair.  The deadline for this award is May 1 - for postmark.  If you are a farm family or know of a farm family; please take a moment and nominate them!  Any questions; please contact me at 515-401-1544.  More information is available from the link below!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Garden Project - The Beginning

Gardener - One who tends to a garden for pleasure or hire.

So a gardener I am not!  I grew up with a garden that my mom worked; I remember helping out occasionally.  I tried my hand at this gardening thing a few years ago to much less than a success.  According to my now husband - the pig weeds were taller than the sweet corn I planted.  Now that may have been true but like everyone my life, job and summer got in the way of my gardening dreams! 

I now have married into a gardening family.  My mother-in-law is a GREAT gardener; like those you only hear about in story tales!  This year she is planting 29 tomato plants - to me that is CRAZY!  So my husband has very high gardening dreams to say the least. 

Those dreams came true last night as we planted the first three rows of the garden.  We have a row of potatoes - a row of onions - a row of lettuce/carrots.  We will see how this goes!  But at least these early varieties are in the ground and the weather seems perfect for a great growing season!  

I will keep you updated on the growth and as we plant the rest!  On the list are tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, peppers and melons.  Any advice will always be appreciated!  Commence - Wynn Garden 2015!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Brother

Joe - to Add/Give or to Increase

To add/give or to increase is the Hebrew definition of Joe.  That sums up my brother to a T. He is one of the most giving people I know.  
Joe and his cattle.  They are a top priority in his life.

In my opinion to be a good farmer and care taker of the land you need to be a giver.  You need to give of yourself, your time, your faith and your family.  Joe is the fifth generation to raise cattle and farm Brewer Farms.  He has learned the hard way that farming is not always easy and there are days you ask yourself if you made the right decisions. 

Joe with his favorite cow - Stace

 But I know at the end of the day, when you see the look in his eyes - when there is new calf born or he got a field planted - that he is where he needs to be.  I guess to sum it up I am proud to say that he is my brother and that he is a FARMER!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Kane Dog

I know everyone thinks they have the CUTEST dog ever!  But I can tell you I do!  Well at least in my mind!  My husband and I rescued a four month old Rottweiler the first of November after my 11 year old husky passed away.  

Kane aka KDog has been a blessing to us and my entire family!  He is dropped off each morning on my way to work to spend the day at his doggie daycare...AKA his grandma and grandpa's - my mom and dad's place!  Now they do not have any human grandchildren yet but they do have two granddogs!  And they are two of the most spoiled granddogs known to man!

I can tell you that Kane can do no wrong at grandma and grandpa's and he is one naughty puppy.  But Jeff and I would not trade him for the world!  

So stay tuned for the shenanigans of KDog in coming posts!

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Life Lesson of Life and Death

Sometimes animals die.

That fact is something that takes farm kids awhile to get use too.  As a 36 year old - that fact is still hard to take.  Sunday we dealt with a death; one of our baby calves had scours (diarrhea) and had been given antibiotics and still did not make it.  

The Famous Cow - Stace
To see one of our favorite cows (Stace) so upset over her sick baby and then to see her when that sick baby did not make it, is always upsetting.  Despite my brother's best effort he could not save his favorite cow's baby.  Stace the cow is a family favorite and to my brother Joe - she is his cow.  This is a cow that he can crawl under and is a pet in every sense of the word.  Joe is a great farmer in that he shows so much compassion for this animals.  I think he was more upset than the cow on the loss of the baby calf.

More than Money

Our cows are more than a money making business for my family; most of them my brother or I showed during our time in 4-H and FFA.  Showing means that we would have raised the cow from a young age and then broke her to lead and taken her to the county or state fair to show against other cows her same age and usually her same breed (type). 

Heifer calves for Sale at the Iowa Beef Expo
 Because most of the cows we spend an entire summer getting to know, you do become pretty attached.  Then to watch that heifer (a cow who has not had a calf yet) become a cow and have babies is very rewarding.  So to us our cow herd each has a back story and most have names.  So when one of them looses a calf it is not only a financial hit to my family but an emotional one as well.

Despite your Best Try

Sometimes animal die - even despite your best try.  We do use antibiotics when needed.  We use them on a limited basis like we would do with our own children.  In the instance of the baby calf that died this weekend; antibiotics were used to try to save it's life.  I cannot imagine not trying everything to save that baby - antibiotics and all.