Grain Silo Art

I am a sucker for interesting and unusual art, and this morning I saw grain silo art (on the internet that is). In Brim, Victoria, Australia an artist, Guido van Helten, just completed a massive undertaking by painting four portraits of farmers on decommissioned wheat silos, making a rather large and impressive mural.

Brim Silo
Brim’s silos have been dubbed Australia’s Mt. Rushmore

For more information and photos of this project check out their Facebook page, and articles here and here.

Curious about silos and their function? Jenny at FarmWife Transparency has a great post on Cathedrals of the Prairie.

Silos. Source Jenny Burgess.

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Top 10 in 2015… Don’t miss these!

Well the 2015 “tops” countdowns have begun…

Today I bring you the Top 10 most read blogposts from 2015 (insert drumroll here).

10. 10 things you may not about GMOs

9. Growing up a rich rancher’s kid

8. Poop Patty… Is there fecal material in your hamburger?

7. Butchers, are you talking to yours? 21 conversations you should be having (if you are not already)

6. Chicken ears – the better to hear you with…

5. Cold temps cause frozen ears…

4. Do you know where your food comes from? Take the quiz. 

3. Processed meats and cancer: Fearmongering or true concern? 

2. Meat labeling: no added hormones and no antibiotics

1. Is the beef industry sustainable: A look at grass-fed, hormones, growth promotants, and more 


And for fun, these posts were some of the tops in 2014…

Dumping Discover

Meat labeling: Grain-fed and grass-fed

Meat labeling: Organic and natural programs

Gluten free myths

Jello, lipstick, and marshmallows –  oh my! 

I hope all of you have a great New Year full of blessings and prosperity. See you in 2016!

Dr. Lindsay Chichester

Dr. Lindsay can also be found on:

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2016 food trend crystal ball?

2016 FOOD (2a)I always enjoy reading and hearing about expected trends in food. I love to try new dishes and flavors and enjoy experimenting in my own kitchen when given the chance.

With that, members of the American Culinary Federation have identified food categories they believe will be the 2016 food trends. Over 1,600 chefs were surveyed by the National Restaurant Association’s annual “What’s Hot: 2016 Culinary Forecast“.

5 center of the plate trends:

  • Locally sourced meats and seafood
  • New cuts of meat
  • Sustainable seafood
  • Free-range pork and poultry
  • Street food inspired main courses

5 appetizers and main plates:

  • Fresh/house-made sausage
  • House-made charcuterie
  • Vegetarian appetizers
  • Ethnic/street food inspired appetizers
  • Seafood charcuterie

5 preparation methods that will be popular in 2016:

  • Pickling
  • Fermenting
  • Smoking
  • Sous vide
  • Fire roasting

Keep an eye on these movers and shakers:

  • African flavors
  • Authentic ethnic cuisine
  • Ethnic condiments/spices
  • House-made/artisan soft drinks
  • Middle Eastern flavors

Which of these most excites you? I personally have a meat grinder on Christmas wish list, look out homemade sausage and other ground meat products!


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Happy 2nd Blogaversary to me!

On Sunday my blog and social media presence celebrated its 2nd anniversary! While that may not seem like much, it is. As many of you reading this know, being active on social media is not for everyone. So today I high-five myself for making it through two years!

Blog fun facts—————————————

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Thank you! Wordless Wednesday


Dr. Lindsay can also be found on:

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#nursesunite: An example for American agriculture? Food for thought Friday

Last week Miss Colorado represented her state in the Miss America pageant. Kelley Johnson performed a monologue on why she became a nurse and how a patient, Joe, told her she was more than JUST a nurse.

The following day, co-hosts on The View made flippant comments about her scrubs (her “costume”) and the doctor’s stethoscope she had around her neck.

Nurses and supporters of nurses across the country took to social media to defend Miss Colorado and the nursing profession. The View co-hosts did issue an apology after receiving so much backlash.

It was amazing to see so much support on my social media pages for nurses. As I watched this story develop and thought about the times in my life where a nurse helped make a bad situation better, it made me think about agriculture. Agriculture and nursing? Yes, it made me think… when will more farmers, ranchers, and their supporters rally around their industry like nurses did this past week? When people mock agriculture and the farmers and ranchers who work everyday to provide one of the safest and most economical food supplies in the world, why don’t we rally around those farmers and ranchers? When lies are told about farmers and ranchers why don’t we rally around them? After all, we ALL have to eat to survive, who do we think grows and raises that food? Farmers and ranchers!

Just like in nursing (or any profession) there are some bad eggs, some people that are an embarrassment to the entire profession, those bad eggs exist in agriculture too. Does the nursing profession let those bad eggs dictate how the other nurses are perceived? No, not from what I saw this past week when nurses across America united. In agriculture, why do the bad eggs determine what people think of agriculture? The negative images and negative stereotypes of American agriculture are what most people believe to be the norm.

The people who have chosen to raise food as their profession are more than JUST farmers and ranchers too. The farmers and ranchers I know have some of the same qualities of nurses… they provide the best care they can to the animal/patient in their care, they try to quickly and accurately diagnose a health problem so the animal/patient can begin recovery, they provide compassion when others may not be able to, they work on weekends, holidays, and nights, and they are some of the most selfless and humble people you will ever meet.

It is time to #agunite and to stand up for the farmers and ranchers who have taken a beating about their profession, the profession of growing and raising food. What do you say, will you #agunite and show your support?

Muchacha final———————–

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Balsamic Glazed Steak Wraps

I am a foodie… I love trying new recipes, new flavors, and flavor combinations. As you can imagine I am that person that rarely orders the same thing twice at a restaurant. So when I found this recipe at Tablespoon, I knew I had to try it!

 Balsamic Glazed Steak Wraps

Steak wrap prep - fina
Lots of fresh, healthy ingredients.
Steak rolls - final
Aren’t they beautiful in their final form? So colorful.
steak roll eating - final
And they tasted great too… I told the Hubs it reminded me of Cowboy Sushi 🙂

I made a few adaptations from the original recipe.

  • At my local retailer I found round steak already thinly sliced into 7 pieces.
  • I added a yellow squash to my lineup of vegetables. I think you could add or eliminate whatever suited your tastes.
  • I chopped the rosemary and added it to the glaze versus just using the springs and then removing them.
  • The balsamic glaze was amazing, but I wanted more of it as I was eating the rolls, so I doubled the recipe.
  • We paired this with rice and it was a great accompaniment.
  • We pan fried these as we weren’t sure how they would hold up on the grill. I think they would be fine as long as you were fairly gentle when you flipped/rolled them over.

Here is a copy of the recipe I used, adaptions and all.

Balsamic Glazed Steak Wraps (2)

I think it would be fun to make a breakfast version of this with herb potato slices and a fried egg inside the steak roll with a spicy salsa drizzled over the top? What other versions would you make?


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4 tips on finding and reading scientific papers…

People quote a lot of “research” on the internet, however, the sources are generally not peer reviewed or from reputable resources.

  1. A super handy tip when trying to find peer reviewed or credible information is to type what you want to look up and then follow it with site:edu. For example, this would look like heat stress site:edu. Adding the site:edu ensures that research which has been peer reviewed or research done by a university come up first in your search. These are generally seen as more credible than popular media and various websites. Also, it also puts you in touch with people who are “experts” on a topic, so you could potentially follow up on a topic.
  2. Another fun fact… If Google is your go-to for looking up a topic, then go to Google scholar. Google scholar “provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites”.
  3. Once you have found these research based articles, reading through them can be daunting. However, Elsevier, an academic publishing company, released a handy little infographic on how to read scientific papers. I thought it had some great points, and I encourage you to check it out. Hopefully it makes ready scientific literature a little less daunting.
  4. From the comments below, you will see that my friend Stephen shared another tip! I was not aware of this but have been trying it out and find it very helpful. When you do a Google search, type skeptic after what you want to look up. For example, this would look like GMO skeptic. From what I can tell, it filters out the popular media stuff (usually not very reliable or true) and brings up content that is worth reading!

This blog post was recently shared with me about the purpose of science, and how science may make mistakes, but how they are usually corrected via more/other science. A good read.

What other tips do you have for finding credible, scientific, peer-reviewed information?


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10 Things Farmers are Tired of Hearing

BuzzFeed has come up with a great list of 10 Things Farmers are Tired of Hearing – and it is pretty spot on.

If you are reading this and would like more information about any of the points discussed in the article, please let me know, I would be glad to send resources to you or to visit with you more about agriculture.

If you are reading this article and would like to visit a farm or ranch in person, instead of looking at what is portrayed on your computer screen (not always true or accurate), please let me know – I would be more than happy to find someone across the country that can accommodate your needs.

And now… 10 Things Farmers are Tired of Hearing.


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Dairy Adventure: Fair Oaks Farms (photo journal)

I recently had the opportunity to visit Fair Oaks Farms in Indiana. Fair Oaks Farm specializes in transparency and is an agrotourism venue highlighting dairy cows and swine. As a guest to Fair Oaks Farms you can choose to do just one adventure or both – this was the option I chose.

Below is a photo diary of my dairy adventure. ** Please note: I am not paid to endorse or promote Fair Oaks Farms, this is just my opinion and experience.

Fair Oaks Farm-final
The entry way into Fair Oaks.
On the day of my visit there were also several schools visiting. I was a little apprehensive at how busy/noisy it would be. To my relief lines moved quickly and there was plenty of room for all of us.

As soon as I got to Fair Oaks I purchased my tickets for both the dairy and swine adventures. I had a little time to kill before my bus was to depart to go to the dairy facility, which for biosecurity reasons is separate from the main Fair Oaks facility. I spent some time looking around some of the educational displays while I waited…

Educational cow-final
There were several cows that had fun facts. It asked the question, when you lifted up the flap it gave you the answer. Great for kids to check out while they waited.
feedstuff collage-final
There were several displays set-up that discussed what the cows ate and how much they eat.
There was also an interesting video talking about the four compartments of the stomach! The video followed a couple of people through the various parts of the stomach (shown) as well into the mammary glands, talking about the function and sharing some fun facts.

It was time to load the bus and head to the dairy facility…

barn tour - final
We did a drive by viewing of the calves in hutches and the cows in the free-stall barns (hence the blurriness).
cow milking - final
The tour then went into the milking parlor. This is the first time I have ever seen a carousel milker. We were standing at 6 o’clock, the cows enter at 11 o’clock. By the time it makes one rotation the cows have been milked and will exit. The cows put themselves on it and backed themselves off of it, it was very cool. Notice the cow art on the wall? 🙂
cow milker- final
I was surprised at how calm and relaxed the cows were, some were even chewing their cud.
milk tank-final
The pipes carrying the milk ran by our observation room, one pipe was warm (coming from the cows) and the other was cool (getting ready to be put in the tank). All of the milking equipment, pipes, tanks, etc. are cleaned every 24 hours.

When I bought my dairy adventure ticket they told me to keep an eye on the stoplight outside of the dairy barn. If the light was red nothing was happening, if it was yellow feet were out, if it was green there was a delivery in process…

dairy barn 2-final
The light was green… A calf is being born in the barn!
A cow had just had a calf, another was in the process of calving. While I have seen hundreds of animals born in my life, it is still awesome to watch the miracle of life. An employee was close at hand to make sure the delivery went well and to assist the calf if needed. All mothers and their babies were doing well.
The calf nursery.

It was time to grab some lunch after the dairy adventure. So I headed to the COWfe!

I had a grilled cheese and ham sandwich (it was awesome!) and a scoop of strawberry ice cream. Both were amazing.
Some things I also saw on my dairy adventure were a milk carton climbing wall, which not open on that particular day. A bouncy pod behind the dairy building, the kids who were bouncing were loving it. There was also a Fair Oaks Farms gas station next to the facility.

My dairy adventure at Fair Oaks Farms was great. Even though I was traveling alone on this day there was so much to do and see it kept me fully entertained. I would definitely recommend this stop to anyone – whether you have an ag background (like me) or if you have never been to a dairy before. Stay tuned, I will soon blog about my swine adventure.


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