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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Flat Aggie Visits the Show Me Sisters

Flat Aggie is back from a great agventure in Central Missouri with the Show Me Sisters.  We try to show all aspects of agriculture, but with this one we want to give a disclaimer to the teachers and parents reading this to their kids.  Look for a paragraph with a similar warning:  Teachers and parents!!!  Please read one of the paragraphs before reading to your children.  You know better than us whether they (or you) are ready for the discussion that follows.  Keep in mind this was written by a high school Ag teacher who presents this to high school students.   We don't want to hide anything about farming, but also don't want to make anyone uncomfortable.

The Show Me Sisters did a great job of explaining their beef farm, but we also know that we have a wide range of ages in our audience and don't want to make anyone uncomfortable.  :)  My boys knew all about this stuff at age three, but some kids are ready at age 16.  


We welcomed Flat Aggie to our farm in central Missouri! She has a great time exploring the beef farm with us! She spent part of the time on our beef farm and then traveled to our jobs with us as well!

The first stop on Flat Aggie’s visit was to my classroom. I am the oldest of the Show-Me Sister’s and I work as an Agriculture Teacher. There are two agriculture teachers at my school. The average class size of each grade is 35-40 students. I teach agriculture classes to grades 8-12. Right now, my Ag I (first time students in Ag Class) is hatching EGGS! Flat Aggie helped candle the eggs, set the eggs in the incubator, and properly regulate the temperature and humidity so the eggs will develop into chicks and hatch properly and healthy. The eggs will hatch in 21 days. Did you know that you can’t put eggs you buy in the story into an incubator to hatch? They are not fertilized by a rooster! Only eggs fertilized by a rooster will hatch and even if they have been fertilized the eggs are safe to eat if they have been handled properly. How cool is that!




Next, she headed to work with the youngest of the Show-Me Sisters, Nicole. She works at a grain elevator, where she is in charge of selling and buying all the grain. Nicole has to watch the markets so she can give a good price to all the local farmers. Flat Aggie helped her weigh in trucks and even load some feed for customers.


Flat Aggie helped take care of the cows and calves too on our family farm! Nicole counted the cows to make sure they were all there and healthy.


We feed the cows and calves hay each night. Hay is dried grass that has been cut and rolled into a bale. We feed big round bales. They are stored in our hay barn and then fed using a tractor.


 The bales are kept together by several pieces of string called baler twine; we cut the strings off the bales before they are fed to the animals.


 We also have a bull and several heifers with our herd. A bull is a mature male animal that can reproduce. A cow is a mature female that has had a calf. A heifer is a young female that has not had a calf and a baby is called a calf. A cow is pregnant for about 9 months before the calf is born.


We have our calves in the fall so the bull is put with the herd starting in December. The calves stay with the cow until they are big enough to be weaned and they don’t need their mom’s milk anymore. Flat Aggie helped us check the calves and make sure they were all eating correctly and still healthy.

We also have steers that we are feeding out to sell for beef.

Teachers and parents!!!
 Steers are males that have been castrated (which mean they have had their reproductive organs removed). We castrate them when they are small. The pain is somewhat like going to the doctor and having a cavity filled. It has some pain, but not very much at all!

OK, it is safe to read out loud again. Whew!
We feed the steers grain to make them grow quickly and make the meat tasty! The steers get fed grain and hay in the evening.


Once the steers have reached around 1500 pounds, they get hauled to the butcher shop! The meat that comes from cattle is called beef. Different cuts of meat include ground beef, T-bone steak, beef roasts, and much more!


We treated Flat Aggie to some homegrown ground beef we grilled and some fun while we rode horses.



We had a great time with Flat Aggie and enjoyed having her visit our farm. She learned about how we take care of our cattle and strive to keep them healthy. Our animals are important to us! Learn more about our farm and adventures by following The Show-Me Sisters on Facebook
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