The USDA’s New Grassfed Label is Weak

The USDA with a lot of fanfare issued standards last week on what can be called “grassfed”. Some trumpeted the announcement, others condemned it, including the American Grassfed Association. I think their reasoning is sound (I am a member of said organization) because it’s based on what the customer expects. The standard given by the USDA is that cattle be given “access to pasture”. Well that is the same standard they use in the “organic” standard. And customers expect that beef or milk or lamb or poultry that is labeled “grassfed” is raised on pasture with no growth hormones or fed a diet of antibiotics.

In this article, Andy Bellatti does a good job showing how the corporate “farms” get around standards like this. I believe more and more people though are wanting to know where their food comes from. He says:

“Under the current organic guidelines by the United States Department of Agriculture, milk can be labeled ‘organic’ if the cows that produce it have “access to pasture.”

Technically, the cows do not have to eat said pasture. So, a huge farm could potentially fatten up all its cows on corn and grains but let them spend an hour a day outside and legally label their milk as “organic.”"

Homecoming Royalty

At Milford High School and maybe lots of places, I don’t know, they have two big sets of awards to be given at homecoming, one is for “Cheerleading Sweetheart” and “Cheerleading Beau”. I’m not sure what those are, but, Eric was one of the nominees for the “Beau”. The other set of awards is for the more familiar Homecoming Queen and King. Rebecca was nominated both Cheerleading Sweetheart and Homecoming Queen.

Well, surprisingly enough, Eric was voted Cheerleading Beau! The surprise on his face when his name was announced told the whole story. This picture captures that look, that says, “What? Me?” Whisper Thomas was given the Cheerleading Sweetheart award. And she’s a great cheeleader with lots of school spirit and enthusiasm. Good for her!

Rebecca was nominated as Homecoming Queen and was escorted by Ruben Garza. She told me that Dad’s weren’t invited to escort their daughters for this event. I felt like it should be a Dad’s privilege, but she assured me that it wasn’t her choice and if she did have the choice, she would have asked me first. Oh well, I’ll take her word on that!

And believe it or not, she won! And Derek Williamson was crowned the Homecoming King! How cool is that?

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Milford Dominates Morgan High School in Cruising to Homecoming Victory 48-0

Here’s a cool banner created by the Milford Cheerleader squad. This was a nice production with lots of music playing and the crowd making some good noise.

The team blasted through the banner and then throttled Morgan High School’s varsity team. Earlier in the day at the pep rally, the coach told the fans that Milford’s team is ranked second in the state in Division 1 (6 man) and it’s not hard to imagine it’s true. Our team is really fast has at least 3 quarterbacks that can really run and throw the football — a real embarrassment of riches compared to most teams.
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Hay Maze is Complete!


You’ll have to click on this picture to see it better, but here is a part of our hay maze or Haytrix. I’m standing on the roof of the arena to take this picture and have positioned Robbie, Peter and Noah inside the maze so you get a sense of the size of it. If you could see it from their perspective, you’d realize you couldn’t see over the tops of the bales, since they’re 5ft tall (the bales). So it’s great fun for all kids. We tell them over and over not to get on them and mess around, but sometimes the warnings go unheeded …
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The Mud People

I reported in earlier posts about how much rain we had this summer. Well, I knew I had this picture somewhere on my computer but couldn’t find it til now. This is Justin Parr, Kirby Buchanan, Eric and Rebecca after going for a somewhat wet and muddy four-wheeler ride this past summer. What a mess!

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Bountiful Hay Harvest

We made about 600 round bales this year. That’s a lot of hay — maybe 600,000 to 900,000lbs of hay (or 300 to 450 tons). Consider that probably our previous biggest harvest was about 200 round bales and you’ll see what I mean. And this is really good stuff, baled from a non-fertilized, non-pesticized mixture of bermuda and Johnson Grass. The cows are going to love this. Now what do we do with all this hay.

You have to put it somewhere where the animals can’t just get to it whenever they want, or it will become a giant mess. We stash it in lots of places around the ranch, but right now, with the Halloween party coming up this Saturday, we ought to make a maze for the kids. How about it?
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