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!