Once a year the ladies (and their babies) get their earrings.  The pretty blue circles make a grand statement against a canvas of black cattle and green pasture.  I really don’t think the cattle care about how they look (I mean they get themselves muddy pretty quickly) but I’m pretty sure they care about that annoying fly on their back….so what do those pretty pastel blue circles do?

They tell the fly….Shoo fly don’t bother ME!

 Types of flies

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Horn flies

Horn flies are small and normally found on the sides, backs, and bellies of cattle.  Horn flies live on approximately 30 blood meals per day.  Fly populations can easily reach over 200 flies per cow.  That’s 6000 bites per day.  Female horn flies lay her eggs in manure and they hatch within one week.  They complete an entire life cycle in just 10-20 days depending on the weather.

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Face flies

Face flies look similar to house flies but are slightly bigger and darker. They are non-biting and feed on animal secretions, nectar, dung liquids, blood, and and other secretions around wounds.  Female face flies cluster near cattle’s eyes, nose, muzzle, and mouth causing annoyance.  Face flies are present all summer but the population peaks during July and August and are more numerous along waterways, areas with significant rainfall, and areas of shaded vegetation.

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Stable flies

Stable flies are blood feeders who bite the legs of cattle.  While stable fly populations typically stay much lower than horn and face fly populations their bites are very painful and cause the cattle to stomp their legs or to stand in water to avoid being bitten.  Female stable flies lay their eggs in spoiled organic matter (bunk feeders, winter feeding sites, hay piles, compost piles) and complete their life cycles in 14-24 days depending on the weather.

Economic Loss

Horn flies cause irritation, blood loss, decreased grazing efficacy, reduced weight gains, and diminished milk production.  Horn flies can cause decreased weight gain in cattle and calf weaning weights can be 4-15 percent lower.  That’s 15 to 75 lbs.  Female face flies cause irritation to eye tissue and are one of the main mechanisms for pinkeye to spread between animals.  Pinkeye is a highly contagious  extremely painful inflammation of the cornea and conjunctiva of cattle which can cause blindness if left untreated.  Stable flies cause decreased weight gain due to the irritation and decreased time grazing.  Studies have shown a reduction in average daily gain of .44 lbs per head with animals which received no treatment.

 Treatment

The major trick to effective fly control is utilizing a method or methods that will continue fly control for the duration of the fly season.  There are lots of effective methods to killing flies put a good fly program will commonly use multiple methods to give cows coverage all season long.

Sprays (typically a pyrethroid or organophosphate) are very effective at controlling horn flies and face flies, but they only provide control for 2-4 weeks.  Sprays will need to be reapplied to all cows every 3-4 weeks to significantly decrease fly numbers.

Pour-on dewormer

Avermectin pour-ons (Ivermectin, Cydectin, Eprinex, Dectomax) are an effective way to control horn and face flies while also deworming cattle.  However, they are again only good for 2-3 weeks and repeated use of dewormers could lead to resistant worm populations.

Oral larvicide or IGR’s can help decrease populations by preventing horn, house, and stable fly larvae from developing into adults.  However, it is important to ensure steady consumption for the product to be effective. These products should be started 30 days before flies typically emerge and should be continued until 30 days after a killing frost for complete effectiveness.  Even then they are commonly not enough to drastically lower fly populations on their own.

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Back rubber

 

Backrubbers and dust bags  (again typically using a pyrethroid or organophosphate) are an economical way to reducing horn and face fly numbers if they are placed at a site where all cattle use it and they are always kept charged.

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Ear tags

Insecticide ear tags and strips are another route of controlling horn and face fly populations.   Don’t be fooled, not all fly tags are created equal.  While all tags will probably give great coverage for 4-5 weeks, quality fly tags provide 3-4 months of fly control.  Most tag programs require two tags per adult cattle and one tag per calf for optimum control.  A common misconception is that fly tags ward off flies, actually they are spreading insecticide over the cow which then kills the flies that come in contact with it.  This is why only tagging calves will provide very little fly control as the flies are still able to survive insecticide free on the cows.

Finally, you’ll notice very few of these methods were highly effective at controlling stable flies.  Because stable flies concentrate on the legs of animals it is very difficult to get insecticide coverage where the flies are.  As a result the best method for controlling stable flies is destruction of their breeding ground.  Clean-up of wasted grain and hay at winter feeding sites will greatly reduce stable fly numbers.  It is important that we keep our faculties and pastures clean and well maintained.

 

There is an Aaron Watson song I like (yes I like all Aaron Watson songs) but “why does God love cowboys because they love and take care of all His creation…”

So tell me can you tell the difference that two pastel earrings make for the life of a cow?

And are you taking care of His creation?

 

So go visit your veterinarian and go tell the fly….Shoo fly don’t bother ME or my cattle herd!

 

Until next time,

Jess

Chris and I were raised 5 hours apart, in similar but different worlds.  I was raised on Green Valley Ranch near Rockville, MO on a commercial feedlot where every Memorial Day my allergies were sent into overdrive when we blew silage up into the silo.  Chris was raised on Perry Farms in Bethel, MO where they raised purebred Angus cattle for sale to commercial producers and every 4th of July they baled straw for animal bedding.   While our farming backgrounds are slightly different one thing remains the same in both operations… our grandmothers and our mothers…and while these women have every little in common they are very much the same….

they are blessed to be called the farmer’s wife.

The farmer’s wife…some may say it is a curse, others may see it as a challenge, I see it as a blessing.  So yes the farmer’s wife may not take too may vacations with her husband and children (unless it is to the farm show or bull sale).  The farmer’s wife may have eaten several evening meals alone in the dark.  She may have nails, manure, needles, and soybeans in her washer.  And the farmer’s wife may of spent nights on her knees because she didn’t know where her husband was during planting season. 

But the farmer’s wife, though her life may not of been what she dreamed of on her wedding day, has blessed more people then she could have ever imagined.  She’s always had a spot at her table, she’s burnt fingers in canning water, she’s rocked babies to the sound of a dryer bin, she’s kissed her husband despite the odor, she’s paid the bills during the drought, she’s loved God during the rain and the heat, and she’s supported her husband during it all.

To the farmer’s wife I am forever grateful…you taught me to use the oven, how to meal plan, how to laugh during the sad, how to get the manure out of clothes, how to give Jesus everything, how to never retire from climbing over fences, how to be grateful for the small stuff in life, and how to love with your whole heart.  So to all the farmers’ wives…young, old, retired, new, or seasoned…Thank you!

Thank you for teaching daughters and raising sons, so we will forever have the farmer’s wife!

 

Until Next Time,

Jess

 

I fully believe if I were to survey 100 people, “do you enjoy dusting?”  only 2% would tell me “yes”.   Dusting takes work… you have to move stuff, spray stuff, wipe stuff, and then put stuff back.  As a result I try not to have too much “stuff” in my house.  The decreased dusting is an added perk to my mantra, “Don’t let stuff own you”.

However, we really do need some stuff (food, water, shelter, and soap!) and I would be lying if I said we didn’t have any other nik naks in our little home.  There are several other conveniences I have come across that I feel I would have trouble living without.

Could I get by?  Sure.  But somethings really do make life easier.  And since I think they are so GREAT it would be a shame not to share them with you!

So things that make my life easier (in no particular order):

Biz- I learned about Biz from a friend.  Chris’s clothes have manure on them (some days lots of manure), and it is HARD to get off (imagine commercialized grass stains).  I had been using img_0675Borax, which I still use on whites, but when Biz came into my world it was a new day.  This stuff is a lifesaver then it comes to FILTHY laundry!

 

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Bon Ami- It cleans the sink, it cleans the tub, it cleans the pots and pans.  And it is cheap.  They knew what they were doing in 1890.

 

Udder Bibs– So back to manure (it’s frequently encounteredimg_0669 in our home) these bibs keep Chris’s clothes pretty clean when he works cattle.  And they are breathable, washable, come in lots of colors (green is our favorite…the color of manure) :), and hold up to most any challenge.

 

A heatimg_0671ed mattress pad- This secret I learned from my mom.  In the cold of winter who wants to get into a cold bed? Turn it on and your bed is nice and toasty.  Even better…dual controlled. Chris can has his on high all night and I don’t have to sweat to death.

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Bogs- I got my Bogs in college, walking around campus in the winter my mother thought I needed boots.  What served as rain and snow boots on campus have transitioned  to winter and cattle working boots and they perform equally great everywhere.  They have handles, are insulated, keep snow, manure, and mud off my socks, and come in creative designs. What else do you need?

 

So yes, some stuff you have to dust (like my collection of paperweights) but other stuff is a ray of sunshine on a stormy day!  And as long as you remember stuff isn’t more important than relationships, experiences, and life you should enjoy the little things (a clean sink, a warm bed, and manure free clothing) that make life a little easier!

Until next time,

Jess

 

I’ve learned a few things in my short time on this earth…one of the most valuable lessons is “that less is more”.  It is human instinct for us to long for more, to compare ourselves to our neighbors and friends, and to want the newest and best of everything.  In reality none of it is really needed.

We don’t need stuff to be happy, to measure success, to spread Christmas cheer, or to love people.  Bottom line, if I care more about stuff than people, then I’ve got my priorities screwed up and I miss the joy of this season.

Everyday I remind myself how blessed I am to have a God who loves me, a family who puts up with me, and the “stuff” to meet my daily needs.

So what are my favorite things (in no order particular order)….working for positive people, when a student has a light-bulb moment, learning from people at the nursing home, red dirt country music, my mama and daddy, my Sunday school class, the gym, learning to play cards from my grandma, my 30 minute drive to work, the smell of bread in the oven, a golden wheat field, learning to dance in Ecuador, a warm summer night, riding in a car with my toes on the dash, eating peanut butter straight of the jar, deal shopping, grace, a Savior who was born and died to save you and me…I could go on and on.

So my favorite things aren’t stuff.  They are people, places, memories, experiences, opportunities, and hope that is found through our Savior.

And during the busy season I hope we all remember (including myself) that stuff is just stuff.  Let’s remember to bless those around us with time, memories, patience, laughter, and grace because we are blessed by loving a God. 

This Christmas season I pray you realize how truly blessed you are and you share it with those around.  And know, that we, at Perry Farms are blessed that you have choose to make us a part of your family.

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!  May you be blessed this Christmas Season!

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Until next time,

Jess

 

 

I have a hatred of ketchup…so I have never been a fan of meatloaf.  But I do love BBQ sauce so BBQ meatballs are right up my alley.  These are great during the work week because they are EASY, you can make them the night before and put them in the refrigerator, you can serve them with about anything (potatoes, veggies, baked beans, mac and cheese, salad),  and you don’t have to follow the recipe to the tee (actually there really isn’t a recipe to these…).


BBQ Meatballs

Ingredients: 

2 pounds Perry Beef , thawedIMG_1491

1 package microwave rice, cooked and cooled (I use quinoa and brown rice…have I told you I love Sams) I have also used 1 cup oatmeal when I don’t have rice or I have used leftover cooked rice.

1 egg

~1/2 cup ketchup (I can cook with it, I just can’t see it in my food)

~1 cup BBQ sauce

~1/4 mustard (I use spicy brown mustard….another store I love Aldi’s)

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tbsp chili powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tbsp parsley

Sauce:   1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp red pepper flakes, 1/2 BBQ sauce or ketchup, 1/4 cup water

 

Directions:  Preheat oven to 350°.  Combine beef, rice, and egg in bowl.  Add sauces, sugar, spices, and parsley.  Combine well (I use my hands).  Form into 2 inch balls.  Place in a 9×13 pan, make sure meatballs are not touching.  Combine sauce ingredients, stir well.  Pour over the meatballs.  Bake for approximately 40 minutes, until hamburger is fully cooked.

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Add a veggie, some potatoes, and a salad and you have an easy weekday meal….

 

Until Next Time,

Jess

You’ve walked in the door from work, see your husband, and suddenly remember your in-laws are coming for dinner tomorrow. Words you shouldn’t say go through your head.  A quick glance tells you your refrigerator is empty, so you turn around, get back in your car, and drive to the grocery store.   Now you get to prepare a meal for your foodie father-in-law and your mother-in-law who is sure you starve her baby boy.  The only way to win is making sure you feed these people like royalty.

You push the cart around the store grabbing the necessary sides:  golden potatoes, garlic seasoning, $4.00 a pound asparagus, cheese from behind the sliced meat counter, then you arrive at the fresh meat selection.  You move past the ground beef (this is an upscale meal) to the larger cuts and can’t believe how many different names and descriptions there are.  Of course there is no one to ask at 8pm, so you grab four steaks that you can grill and move on.

The next day you spend your lunch hour on Pinterest learning how to cook the steaks perfectly.  You get home, prepare the feast, and even get things cleaned up before the doorbell rings.

As you sit down to dinner, you smile as your father-in-law takes a bite of his steak.  You stare and hold your breath as he chews (and chews and chews) after he finally swallows he looks at you trying to be nice and says “I don’t think they aged this one quite long enough.  It’s a little tough.”  The air rushes out of you as you think, “Where did I go wrong?”  Unfortunately, your perfectly planned meal veered off course when you choose the select round steaks at the meat counter.

So what should you look for when you are buying beef?

Granted I’ve never really bought beef at the grocery store as I grew up eating my families beef and I then married a cattleman.  I do know what quality beef should look like though and I hate hearing my friends talk about getting a bad steak at the store.  So here’s the low down on what to look for so you never have that disappointing steak again.

Cuts–  In simple we have working cuts and luxury cuts. A luxury cut will come from the back of the animal where the muscles don’t move as much, thus they are more tender and can be cooked quickly on high heat.  A working cut (called that because they come from the high motion muscles) comes from the animal’s shoulder, legs, or flank.  These cuts need to be cooked slowly on low heat (yay for the crock-pot).

 

beef cuts

 

Color– Different cuts of beef have a slightly different color, but in general fresh beef should be cherry red or dark red.  If it is brown it’s probably old.

Marbling– Marbling is intramuscular fat (meaning it is dispersed within the muscle) and it is a good thing. High marbling means the meat will stay juicy, moist, and tender when cooked.  If your cut of meat has little marbling it will most like dry out quickly from cooking and will lack flavor.  Look for small white flecks throughout the cut of meat.  You want your food to taste good, right?

Grade– The USDA grades beef into 8 categories.  These grades are highly regarded symbols of safe, high quality American beef. Beef is graded in two ways: quality grades based on the amount of marbling present; and yield grades for the amount of usable lean meat on the carcass.  Quality grades are the best indication to consumers of the tenderness and amount of flavor the meat will possess.  As a quick side note, unless you learn to recognize the marbling on your own you have to make sure the meat you purchase actually has the USDA grade on the labeling.  Meat can be sold without being graded.  That doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with the meat, it just means a professional hasn’t graded it and thus you are left with the task of determining the quality.

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  • Prime– The highest quality grade, prime beef  has the highest degree of marbling thus should be the juiciest and most flavorful meat.   Prime roasts and steaks are excellent for dry-heat cooking such as broiling, roasting or grilling.
  • Choice– Choice beef is excellent quality, but has less marbling then prime beef.  Choice meat is still great for cooking with dry heat but is slightly less forgiving of overcooking. Choice cuts known to be less tender (working cuts) will be most best if braised, roasted or simmered with a small amount of liquid in a tightly covered pan.
  • Select– Select beef is very uniform in quality and normally leaner than the two higher graders.  It can still be fairly tender, but since it has less marbling it is more critical to cook it correctly and it still may lack all the flavor and juiciness of the higher quality grades.  Only the most tender (luxury) cuts should be cooked with dry hear, the other should be marinated before cooking to obtain maximum tenderness and flavor.
  • Standard and Commercial–  These two grades are normally sold as ungraded or as store brand meat.
  • Utility, Cutter, and Canner– These final three grades are seldom sold at retail.  They are used to make ground beef and/or processed products.

What about ground beef?

We also use a lot of ground beef.  Hamburgers, meatballs, pizza, chili, soup, etc.

So what is grounground beef picd beef and how do we know what we are buying?

Ground beef is normally the “leftovers” from steaks, roasts, and other beef cuts or the lower quality graded meat.  Some labels will specify what you are getting (i.e., ground chuck is made with only chuck trimming).  It is normally labeled with a lean-to-fat ratio. This refers to the makeup of the meat (i.e., 80/20—means a breakdown of 80% lean beef to 20% fat; 90/10—means 90% lean beef to 10% fat).  By law ground beef can have no more than 30% fat.  Ground beef should be cherry red when bought at the store.

Some retailers will trick their unknowing customers into paying more for their ground beef by calling it prime or choice ground beef.  If you remember the quality grades prime and choice speak only to the amount of marbling or intramuscular fat within the meat.  That is important because then every bite of steak has small amounts of fat mixed in to improve the eating experience.  Once you grind that muscle you lose all benefit of having the fat mixed within the muscle.  So with ground beef quality grades don’t mean anything.

Also remember ground beef has a short shelf live in your refrigerator, 2 days, so use it or freeze it within that time frame.

Now that you know your beef, buy quality.

And if you are like me and hate buying items at full price, invest in a deep freezer.  The greatest investment you can make to supply premium meats, at an affordable price, for your family.

Contact Perry Farms today to learn about current pricing and purchasing 1/4, 1/2, or full beef for your family!

 

Until Next Time,

Jess

 

 

 

I didn’t grow up canning, it is a hobby I inquired in college (with the help of my wonderful friends) and I’ve never looked back.  It’s a yearly tradition in my kitchen.  Why wouldn’t you want to heat your kitchen to 110° on an August morning in Missouri? And more importantly why buy stewed tomatoes, salsa, and pizza/spaghetti sauce when you have a surplus of tomatoes in your (or your neighbor’s) garden?  I am not yet a great tomato farmer but luckily I have a neighbor who grows enough to share.  Tomatoes and their sauce are wonderful complements to the beef that our freezer (and hopefully yours) is full of.


Instructions for Peeling Tomatoes IMG_0962

  • Collect the ripe tomatoes from your garden, letting them sit on the counter until you have enough for your canning experience.
  • Place a large pot of water on your stove and bring to a boil (I just use my water canner).  Side note:  Your kitchen will start to heat up.
  • Fill one side of your sink with cold water.
  • Wash all the tomatoes.
  • Slice a X into the bottom of the tomatoes with a paring knife (this helps keep the hot water from collecting in between the skin and meat of the tomato).  Place ~10 tomatoes into the boiling water until the skins start to crack (~2 minutes).  Remove from boiling water using a slotted spoon or ladle.  Place the tomatoes into a strainer that is over a roasting pan. Dump the boiled tomatoes into the cold water.  Continue this process until all tomatoes have been placed in the boiling water.

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  • Remove the skins from the tomatoes.  They should just slide off.  Place the skins in a scrap bucket.
  • Core the stem of the tomato (the center) using a paring knife.  Place the skinned and cored tomatoes into a bowl.

 


Stewed Tomatoes

  • After peeling and coring tomatoes, rough chop  ~2 tomatoes on a cutting board.
  • IMG_0922Place the chopped 2 tomatoes and juice into a quart sized freezer bag, press air out of bag before sealing.  Repeat until you have as many bags as you think you will use throughout the year.
  • Label the bag stewed tomatoes and the year (let’s be honest things get lost in the freezer).
  • Store in your freezer.

I use these throughout the year in place of all recipes that call for stewed tomatoes….chilis (you need beef for that), soups, pastas, salsas, etc.  When I am using my crock-pot I just cut the bag and place the frozen tomatoes straight into the pot without defrosting (call me the queen of short cuts in the kitchen or lazy if you like).


Salsa

I grew up in a family that happens to love Mexican food…just ask Chris.  I double the recipe and usually end up with ~20 quarts.

Ingredients:

7 quarts peeled, cored tomatoes (see instructions above)

2 jars chilies

3 onions, quartered

5 seeded jalapenos (cut into half and scrape the seeds out…make sure you wash your hands well after and don’t rub any part of your body until hands have been washed)

1 packet Mrs. Wage’s medium salsa

3 tbsp oregano leaves

1 bundle fresh cilantro (less if you dislike the stuff…I happen to love it)

1 cup finely chopped garlic (I buy it at Sams)

2 tbsp salt

2 tbsp cumin

2 cups lemon juice

1 cup lime juice

 

Directions:  Quarter the tomatoes and place into a food processor (2-3 tomatoes at a time, depending on the size of your food processor and the tomatoes).  Pulse until small, bite size pieces, then dump into a large stock pot (make sure the juice from the cutting board and processor make it into the pot too).  Continue until all tomatoes have been processed.  Place the onions in the food processor and pulse until small, bit size pieces. Add to the pot with the tomatoes. Place the garlic, jalapenos, and chilies in the food processor, pulse until small pieces and add the mixture to the tomato mixture.  Add the rest of the ingredients and bring the pot to a boil, stirring frequently.  Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

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Transfer salsa (using a ladle) into clean canning jars (I use quarts), leaving at least 1/2 inch head room. Wipe rims clean, place on lids and rings, and tighten.  Label the jars.  Process the jars in a hot water bath (fill a large water canner with hot water, bring the pot to a roaring boil), place the jars into the canner (make sure all the jars are submerged) and process for 30 minutes.  Remove jars from boiling water, place on a soft towel and allow to cool for 24 hours.  Refrigerate the jars if the seals don’t pop downward.

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Pizza Sauce IMG_0859

You know we love pizza at our house but I also use this sauce for pasta.  I normally double this recipe and end up with 40 pints (aka 40 pizzas).

 

Ingredients:

2 large onions, quartered

1 cup garlic

3 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp of tomato juice

25-28 tomatoes, peeled and cored, quartered

3 tbsp brown sugar

2 tbsp parsley

1 tbsp oregano

1 tbsp basil

1 tsp rosemary

2 tsp salt

1 tsp garlic

2 tbsp lemon juice

6 cans tomato paste

1 packet Mrs. Wage’s pizza sauce

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Directions:  Combine the first 5 ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.  Dump into a large stock pot.  Puree tomatoes in the food processor (~2-3 tomatoes at a time), add to pot, continue until all tomatoes are pureed.  Add the remaining ingredients to the pot, stir. Simmer for 3-4 hours until moisture is cooked out and sauce thickens. Stir every half hour.

Transfer the sauce (using a ladle) into clean canning jars (I use pints), leaving at least 1/2 inch head room. Wipe rims clean, place on lids and rings, and tighten.  Label the jars.  Process the jars in a hot water bath (fill a large water canner with hot water, bring the pot to a roaring boil), place the jars into the canner (make sure all the jars are submerged) and process for 30 minutes.  Remove jars from boiling water, place on a soft towel and allow to cool for 24 hours. Make sure the seals have popped downward, if not the jar needs to be placed in the refrigerator.


Until Next Time,

Jess

Growing up my father believed in driving the scenic route with little regard to his passengers, or their varying degrees of carsickness.  Let’s travel back to our childhood.  Your in your parents’ van on a hot, August evening.  The AC is full blast, your dad is trying to pull in his favorite radio station on the winding road (all you hear is static), and your sister keeps complaining because she’s hungry!  You’re gazing out the window hoping to find some peace. The field out your window showcases straight green windrows of hay.  You crack your window and are blessed with a sweet aroma of grass and flowers (and dust). The farmer is at a stand still in his green tractor and baler, then out kicks out a perfectly round hay bale.  As your father continues to drive (slowly mind you) you notice a mile down the road a line of white plastic wrapped hay bales that somewhat resembles a caterpillar.  IMG_1156

 “What’s up with that?”, you ask your dad, those look nothing like the hay bales you jumped on as a kid.   Your dad simply answers, “those are silage bales wrapped in white plastic.”

That’s mildly helpful, but you still have more what, why, and hows that need to be answered…most importantly “can kids still jump on those?”.

 


So what is silage?  Silage is a forage that is harvested at a higher moisture level then stored with no access to oxygen.  The feed then ferments with the help of the IMG_0557microscopic organisms living within it.

What can be used to make silage?  Any type of grass (fescue, alfalfa, oats…), field crops (corn, soybeans…)

How is silage made?  First the grass or crop is cut and from there it all depends on how the silage is stored….IMG_6263

  • If the silage is stored in a silo….the silage will be collected by a chopper and blown into a wagon.  The wagon will deliver the silage to  a silo, where it will be blown up.  Once the silo is full anaerobic fermentation will begin and continue over the next several weeks.

 

  • If the silage is stored in a pit…the silage will be collected by a chopper and blown into a wagon.  The wagon will deliver the silage to a pit (a bunker built on the ground).  The silage will be dumped into the pit, will be rolled on by a tractor to compact the feed and push out the air.  It is then commonly covered with plastic or a tarp.

 

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  • If the silage is stored as baleage….the silage will be dried to 35%-45% moisture, it will then be raked and baled into large round bales.  The bales are then tightly wrapped with a thin white plastic to cut off access to air.

 

Do cows like it better? Nutritionally speaking, baleage is commonly higher quality than dry hay because it can be baled earlier in the spring (when grass has more nutritional value) due to the shorter window needed between rains.  In addition, the plastic wrap prevents spoilage of the hay as it protects it from the rain and uv radiation.  With less spoilage, and younger more tender grass, baleage typically results in more palatable hay for the cows.


So what does silage at the Perry Farms look like? 

Silage at Perry Farms is in the form of baleage.  Alfalfa is grown, cut 4-5 times during the growing season, dried to 40% moisture,

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raked,

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baled into large round bales,

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and wrapped in thin white plastic.

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This will be fed to the cow/calf pairs, heifers, and bulls during the winter months when minimal grass is found on the ground.  Most of the nutritional IMG_1368value of alfalfa is found in it’s leaves and by baling the alfalfa at the higher moisture level then wrapping it plastic more of the leaves are saved and preserved.


 

So can children jump on baleage?  Sure, it isn’t as itchy, but from personally experience it isn’t as much fun.  Better off sticking to the plain, old boring hay bales and wearing jeans.  

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Until Next Time,

Jess

A week ago was Chris and I’s fourth wedding anniversary.  So we celebrated the way we celebrate all major occasions with pizza and brownies. Now this isn’t just any pizza, this is the heaviest pizza I am aware of (and it has even won the Perry pizza contest).  This pizza has several homemade parts to it (that will be shared later), but today we are focusing on the basic recipe with Perry beef.

Ingredients:

¼ cup cornmeal

1 large pizza crust or ⅓ of tupperbread recipe

1 jar pizza sauce

2 pounds Perry beef

1 pound sausage

½ jar of pineapple (We like pineapple on pizza, however you can substitute any toppings you prefer…pepperoni, onions, peppers, mushrooms… just don’t be chintzy)

4 cups mozzarella cheese

¼ cup cheddar cheese

Powdered Parmesan cheese

Directions:

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Sprinkle cornmeal on pizza stone.   Top with pizza crust.

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Spread sauce evenly on pizza crust.

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Top with pineapple and other desired toppings.

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Brown hamburger and sausage.  When brown, drain and rinse.

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Spoon all the meat onto the pizza (it will be heavy).

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Add the cheese and bake.

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And 40 minutes later….we have pizza!


Full Recipe:      Perry  Pizza…………….Jessica Perry

Preheat oven: 400 degrees

Cook time: 40 minutes….golden edges on pizza, cheese bubbly

 

Ingredients:

¼ cup cornmeal

1 large pizza crust or ⅓ of tupperbread recipe

1 jar pizza sauce or homemade pint jar of pizza sauce

2 pounds Perry beef

1 pound sausage

½ jar of pineapple and/or any other toppings you prefer (onions, peppers, mushrooms…)

¼ cup cheddar cheese

Powdered parmesan cheese 

 

Directions: 

Sprinkle cornmeal on pizza stone or pan. Top with pizza crust.  Spread pizza sauce on crust.

Cut up pineapple in quarters.  Sprinkle evenly on sauce (add other toppings as desired).

Cook hamburger and sausage until brown.  Drain and rinse.  Spread meat on top of pineapple.

Top with mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top and then sprinkle as much parmesan cheese on top as you desire. Place in preheated oven and cook for approximately 40 minutes until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly.  Cool for 5 minutes before cutting.  Eat with a fork and enjoy!


Pizzas are flexible so add the toppings you enjoy and decrease the meat if you like to pick up pizza with your hands. And serve this with something healthy, like a salad. 🙂  Enjoy!

 

Until next time,

Jess

image03Hi there, I’m Jessica one of the faces behind Perry Farms in Northeast Missouri. We take pride in our Angus cattle that are built to perform for the commercial cattlemen, that in turn provide quality beef to you at your local grocery store.

This blog gives us the opportunity to give you a behind the scenes look at a family operated cattle farm and share with you our passion for agriculture, quality beef, and rural family living. We hope to see you around!

Until next time,

Jess