November Flavor Friday!

We have decided to share our cooking experiences monthly on our Flavor Friday! This month in honor of Thanksgiving we will be sharing a blackberry cobbler recipe.

My husband asked for a cobbler in a square pan earlier this week. I wasn’t quite sure why he was so specific about the cobbler being in a square pan. Didn’t everyone know that pie was made in a round pan with a lard crust and cobbler was made in a square pan with a biscuit or flour based topping without a bottom crust? However, I was soon to find out that not everyone knew this information.

Fun Friday fact:The reason a cobbler is named the way it is because the mixture is often dropped by the spoonful on top of the fruit to give the dessert the appearance of a cobbled road.
Now, back to the recipe. When I first read this recipe I was very concerned that I was suppose to pour boiling hot water over my cobbler! Were they insane? There was no way that was going to turn out good. But, I decided to be adventurous and try it out anyway!

Blackberry Cobbler

Adapted by the Show-Me Sisters

2 cups blackberries ( fresh or frozen)

2 cups sugar ( 1 cup to pour over the berries, 1 cup to place in the mixture)

2 Tablespoons Oleo or lard

1 Cup Flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 cup milk

2 T cornstarch

1 1/2 cup boiling water

The first thing you do is prepare the berries! Place the fruit in a bowl with 1 cup sugar, 2 T cornstarch, and 1/2 tsp salt. Combine together and mix thoroughly. Place in a greased 9 x 13 pan.

Next, mix together the flour, baking powder, and 1/2 tsp salt. Pour in milk to make a creamy mixture.


Drop the mixture by the spoonful on top of the fruit.


Next comes the really odd, but amazing part! You have to pour the boiling water over the cobbler and place it immediately in the oven for 1 hour at 350 degrees.


It is going to look really funny, but trust me it tastes amazing when it comes out of the oven!


After I made this tasty recipe and presented it to my happy husband I realized why he was very specific about the square pan. When he was growing up his mom would make a dessert with a pie crust on top and bottom and fill it with fruit and call it a cobbler. Needless to say it was quite a surprise when I presented him with a dessert without the top and bottom crust he was expecting. However, this quickly became one of his favorite desserts!


If you liked this recipe check out another one of the Show-Me Sisters post below! Enjoy!

Apples, apples, apples!


I’m Thankful for American Agriculture

Each year, Thanksgiving rolls around and I am overwhelmed by the thanks given by my family and friends. This year, I decided to join in. 

I’m thankful for the passion God gave me in American Agiculture. 

I’m thankful for the food on my table and in my freezer, and the hard work that I went through to put it there. 

I’m thankful for a job that I look forward to, and one that continues to test my knowledge and fuel my passion.

I’m thankful for the rubber on my tires, the medicine that heals us, and all the other hidden amenities that American Agriculture provides us. 

I’m thankful that each day, farmers get up, look at the sunrise and thank God for allowing them to live their passion and provide for me and my family. 

I’m thankful that farmers are willing to harvest into the night, while their families sleep soundly, all to provide for mine.

I’m thankful to the farmers that miss birthdays, holidays and family gatherings, to care for their livestock with the same passion they show their own family. 

I’m thankful for the freedom I have to ride my horse, check my cows, or just view God’s great glory that makes up American Agriculture. 

I’m thankful for the ability to live on my family farm and wake up each morning to cows mooing, horses neighing, and trees rustling in the wind. 

I’m thankful to go to bed each with a feeling of contentment knowing that my animals are healthy and content. 

I’m thankful for the pure joy of watching a newborn calf take its first steps to nurse on its momma. 

I’m thankful to have experienced the loss of burying the horse that taught me to ride, knowing he lived a long full life.

I am thankful that my sister is providing the knowledge of American Agriculture to the future generations. 

I’m thankful for the technology that allows American Agriculture to safely feed the world, day in and day out. 

I’m thankful for the friends that share in my passion of American Agriculture and push me to continue to grow.

I’m thankful for a family that stands behind me, strong, steady and continually giving, just like American Agriculture.

I’m thankful for American Agriculture. Are you?


Top 10 Reasons Farming with your Sister is the Best

Farming, in my opinion, is the best job out there. But it’s even better doing it with your best friend. Bethany and I joined together to come up with our top 10 favorite things:

  1. You always have someone to throw things at when you get mad at them, especially manure. Farming can can get really aggravating at times and sometimes you just need to throw poop at someone.
  2. When you fall of your horse you have someone to go and get Mom and Dad, especially since your trusty pup is off chasing the horse. Needless to say, Rowdy lives up to his name and Harley loves to run.  
  3. There is always someone to do chores with who understands why you love getting up at 6:00 am but also understands why you’re  grumbling about it. Mornings are not a strong point for all of us and sometime we just need a reminder to wear our muck boots.
  4. Working cows is better when there are two girls to help Dad instead of just one. The saying goes: two is better than one. This is especially true when you are chasing baby calves.IMG_3349
  5. Someone else has to understand the look on people’s face when they saw you that morning in old jeans and boots and covered in manure and that night, they see your hair and make up done to perfection with heels and jewelry on. I’m not sure boys will ever understand that change.  
  6. When you have to sell your horse or your favorite calf dies, you have a shoulder to cry on. When you just need to cry it out and not let anyone know, she’s right there for you.
  7. You have someone to direct you with outrageous hand motions when you are struggling to back up the trailer. Bumper hitch, goose neck, you name it, backing is an art that requires at least two people.IMG_6440
  8. She’s the only one who can talk about boys, income taxes and corn prices all while doing your hair. No topic is left untouched when you are getting ready for a night out with your sister, farming included.
  9. When you need to complain about how your farmer works too much and then say how much you love his passion, she’ll be there to understand. Farming sisters inevitably date, or even marry farmers and sometimes you just need someone who understands the love/hate relationship you have with his job.  
  10. There is always someone there to share the joys, challenges, hardships, and the knowledge that you need to help feed the world, plus she has to love you because she is your sister!  

Anything you would add? We would love to hear about it!

– Bethany and Nicole

Apples, apples, apples! 

Being the only girl at work, I like to use the guys as taste testers. If the food is ok, it will take them all day to finish the container and it might continue into the second day. If the food is good, then it’s all gone before noon. If the food is great, the food is all gone before noon and comments are made about getting more of it as soon as possible. It’s a very technical system. 

On their birthdays, I sometimes take into consideration what they actually want instead of making what I want to make. Such instance happened last  week, and he wanted apple cobbler. 

Before I actually started cooking, I needs some clarification. What’s the difference between a pie and and cobbler? To him, it was the size of the pan, yes, the SIZE of the pan! Nothing to do with the toppings (multiple work discussions have stemmed from this dessert!)

Since our neighbor had brought us some of their apples, I ventured into my first apple pie, errr, I mean cobbler. 

For those of you other first timers, pies are super simple! Peel and cut apples, put crust in pan, mix cut apples with other goodies, dump into pan, cover with crust and BAM, you have a pie! 

I’ll admit it! I used store bought crust. I am not the official pie maker of the family and Bethany remains firm in her grip of that title. 

After skinning about seven of the  apples (we only had six left), I used our handy dandy slicer to chop them all up. I really like using the chopper because it makes the slices extremely thin, which I think makes the pie a whole lot better! 

Cover pie pan with crust. Now if you are paying attention, you would realized that this is not a ‘cobbler’ pan. I had to recreate my pie for pictures which I think deeply offended my pie loving parents. NOT.

Mix apples with goodies. I got a rough estimation of ingredients from the Betty Crocker cookbook but I omitted some things and added others. 

1/3 cup flour

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon 

Into the first crust and cover! Recipe said to put butter on the apples and then cover, but I like a flakey crust so I did it in and on the pie. 

Into the over at 400 for 30-40 minutes! 

Beautiful and delicious!

Everyone is entitled,

To their own opinion.

We now live in a world where information, pictures, opinions, and stories about peoples’ lives and topics are instantly at our fingertips. If someone is annoyed, dislikes an object, or is upset they can instantly post it on social media; with or without facts.

Growing up I never questioned agriculture practices such as humane slaughter, GMO’s (genetically modified organisms), and animal confinement. My parents instilled in Nicole and I life lessons and practices that we have carried with us our entire lives. We learned to care for our animals because they were our lively hood. Often, we took care of them before we even ate or took care of our own basic needs. When individuals attack your way of life it causes the most basic emotion to come out in you: the emotion to defend what you love and make a living from.

Social media and websites have exploded with posts, tweets, and information concerning the Peterbilt Model 579 Semi with Livestock Trailer. The toy is labeled as a livestock trailer. It can be found at the link below.

Big Farm Peterbilt Model 579 Semi with Livestock Trailer

I can understand where there is some confusion concerning what the trailer hauls. Only 2% of Americans are involved in production agriculture. Some students I see in my room don’t understand that chocolate, white, and strawberry milk can all come from the same cow. You just have to add flavoring to white milk to make the milk into strawberry milk instead of finding a red cow.  However, when someone is upset and goes as far as to start a petition to remove the “toy” from Wal-Mart stores so it can’t be purchased for children to play with then they are taking away one of my rights. If the toy offends individuals then they can avoid that aisle in the store or they don’t have to purchase it for their child. However, my future children should have the option of opening up a Peterbilt Model Semi with a livestock trailer on Christmas morning. In fact, the one thing my husband wanted for his birthday is the same thing that a petition is trying to ban from Wal-Mart stores. He collects them because when he was a child that was his dream job; to drive a semi with a livestock trailer.

Through positive education and awareness we can help the general public understand why this toy and the real life version is so essential to the livestock and agriculture industry. Not only does that trailer provide consumers with the hamburger they consume at the Friday night basketball game but also the steak they can purchase at Hyvee for grilling on Sunday while tailgating for the football game. My Animal Science class recently toured the local sale barn near our school. While touring the sale barn they showed us the semi and livestock trailer that hauled cattle to and from their sale barn. We were able to climb into the semi and the trailer! This was the first time I had ever seen the inside of an livestock trailer, even through we have all seen them many times going down the highway. My students were able to put a face with the random truck pulling that livestock trailer down the road, and they began to understand the economic importance of the livestock trailer. I hope the field trip impacted my students to share what they learned about the livestock industry. What if each one of them shared their story or experience about our field trip with just two uneducated consumers? Can you imagine the impact it would have on the agriculture industry?


Thank you for the individual who started the petition to remove the Peterbilt Semi with the Livestock Trailer from Wal-Mart. It gave me the chance to share my story.






Moving Day!

Sunday dawned bright and early and it was moving day! Moving day for who you might ask? Not me, but the steers that Wes’s family raised. We didn’t have to pack their bags to move but we did have to prepare them to move…. to the sale barn. It was time for the steers to make it to their next home.

Just like moving day for you or me, there was a lot of work that had to be completed before the steers were loaded up and brought to the sale barn. First, they had to be born! Wes’s family has around 70 cows, mature females that have had a calf before. These cows are bred by three bulls or mature males that are able to reproduce. Why do they have to have so many bulls? Because, on average, 25  is the magic number of how many cows a bull can monitor and breed successfully. A cow comes into heat, or her body is ready to release an egg, around once a month or every three weeks. A bull can detect the hormones released when she comes into heat and he knows she is ready to be bred. That is a full time job! If a farmer wants to make sure all his cows are bred then he has to have enough bulls to go around. If a cow doesn’t have a calf then she didn’t do her job and according to Dad, “If she doesn’t do her job on the farm, then she is eating for free and we can’t make money!”

Once the calf is born, the cow allows the calf to suck or drink milk from her teat. She has four teats on her udder. The calf stays with the cow from 6-10 months of age or 450 to 700 pounds. Normally the farmer decides when to wean the calf. A calf is weaned, or taken off the milk produced by the cow, and put on grain, hay, or grass.The corn these steers eat is raised on Wes’s farm and fed to the steers. Wes also hauls this corn to MFA to be sold to other producers. Some times he has to haul late at night.

Calves are born as either males or females. A female is called a heifer until she has her first calf then she is called a cow. A male is either a bull or can be made into a steer. A bull calf can be castrated, or have its reproductive organs removed, to be made into a steer. A steer has several benefits once it has been castrated: Decreased aggression, higher price when sold, tender meat, a higher grade meat, and additional marbling in the meat.

The steers getting ready for moving day have all been castrated, received up to date vaccinations and shots, and been weaned for several weeks. The 40 steers were sorted into pens and now were ready to be loaded. Wes hooked up the truck to the trailer and backed up to the shoot!

The steers were then loaded onto the trailer and hauled to Callaway Livestock Center. The steers will be bought by other farmer, producers, or feed lot owners. They will be fed more grain and hay until they reach a weight of around 1200 pounds. Once they reach this weight they will be processed and eventually end up as part of your steak that you order at Colten’s or hamburger you eat at the high school basketball game.


I Don’t Celebrate Veteran’s Day

Now, don’t get in a huff all because of my title. Because my title is true. Today is just like any other day, I had the choice to get out of bed and follow my passion. I also had the choice to stay in bed and sleep. Either way, I had choice. You know why? Because we are FREE. 

I don’t celebrate Veterans Day because each day, I have the ability to hug my dad, visit with my grandpa and talk to my friends. 

My dad is a Cheif Warrant Officer 5 in the National Guard. My grandpa served in World War II and I have friends who have been stationed all around the world. Why don’t I celebrate Veteran’s Day? Because I celebrate these people everyday. 

Growing up, I didn’t realize that all dads didn’t have to work the first weekend of every month. Or that everyone didn’t have to schedule their birthdays around summer camp. When Katrina came, my dad got three days warning to pack up his things and head south with his unit. When ice storms hit Missouri, Dad has to help other families before he can help his own. 

The summer before my freshman year of high school, Dad’s name went on ‘the list’. In two weeks, we finished hay, taught mom to drive a trailer, and then watched our dad fly away on an airplane headed to Iraq. A year later, we got to hug him for the first time in a year. To this day, I have never felt such pure joy. 

And that is why I don’t celebrate just one day. Because I celebrate everyday.

Each time, I get to check the cows with him, I am thankful that we are healthy enough to walk. When he makes fun of my cooking, I’m thankful that he has the ability to joke and that we have food on the table. But most of all, I’m thankful that each night I get to hug him good night. 

You might still think that one special day might all be worth it. Well, I don’t.

My dad didn’t serve because he wanted a free meal from Outback Steakhouse. My dad didn’t serve so he could get better deals at Walmart. My dad didn’t serve so strangers could walk up to him on one day and thank him. 

My dad served because he wanted Bethany and I to grow up in a better place. He served so you and I had a chance to follow our passion. My dad served so you could be FREE.

So why should I celebrate him on just one day? Why should I not be thankful everyday?

Veteran’s Day is a great reminder to all of us, but we shouldn’t need one. We live in a great country and that alone should be a daily reminder. So celebrate and remember today. But do it again tomorrow and the next day too. Because without them, there is nothing to celebrate at all. 


Meet my Fur Friends

Now that everyone has met Lily, I figure it’s time to meet the rest of my furry friends (with winter coming furry is not an understatement!)

If you have checked out the Show-Me Sisters, you will have also seen my largest friends, the horses!

Meet Rowdy, a 16.2 hand Quarter horse gelding that loves to live up to his name. When I was in seventh grade, my horse instructor told me of a guy that was giving away free yearlings to 4-H members. Rowdy was the first one that walked up to me and has been my baby ever since. Since I taught him everything he knows, we are pretty good at reading each other’s quirks. When I need to blow off some steam, he will buck like he’s qualifying for a professional rodeo. When I need a quiet ride, he plods along at a snails pace. He’s huge and has the personality to go with it.

Meet CCC Kimberly Chex, or just Chex to most people. I bought her in my junior year of high school, and she carried me from rodeo to rodeo, chasing cans and weaving poles. The only thing that held us back was my lack of expertise. She is one of the most beautiful mares I have ever seen and has the big heart to go with it. But man, is she a baby! If Chex steps on a rock wrong, she will limp for days! Even though she wears on my nerves with injuries, I wouldn’t  trade her for anything.

Last and not least, is my smallest furry friend, #harleythehound! Yes, Harley is so cute, she has her own hashtag. Check her out on Instagram! When I graduated college last year in May, I told my mom and dad that the only thing I wanted from graduation was a puppy. After months of searching and one craigslist ad later, Harley was officially a member of our family! Since then, she has constantly amazed us with her endless amounts of energy, her smarts, and her ability to only bark in the dark of night. At 18 pounds, she can be the best lap dog unless there are cats to chase. She truly is one of the smartest dogs, I have ever seen and my absolute favorite!

Do you have furry friends? Show me their pictures!


A Sea of Blue… FFA Blue

Just as a boat captain guides his boat and crew through various perils, weather, and challenges that is how I view my job. I am an Agriculture Teacher. I guide and maneuver my students through their education. I try to teach them life lessons with patience and experiences in and outside the classroom. I am not a typical teacher that you find in a school. Students who take my class have the opportunity to be a part of one of the largest national youth organizations in the country. The National FFA Organization was founded in 1928 in Kansas City Missouri. Today there are over 610,240 FFA members ranging from ages 12-21 and can be found over 7,665 chapters in all 50 states plus Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Are all the students in my class farmers? Heck no! FFA is about career success, premier leadership, and personal growth. 32% of membership live in urban and suburban areas and 68% live in rural or farm areas according to The National FFA Organization.

How does this make my class different? I get the chance to know my students in a much broader aspect than any other teacher in the school. FFA members take part in Ag Class as well as several projects, community activities, Area, State, and National events, as well as trips! I just got back from a four day trip with some of the best 40 students in the country, or that’s my opinion at least!

On our trip to the 88th National FFA Convention were able to visit a dairy farm, the Louisville Slugger Museum, Rodeo, Hypnotist Show, played laser tag and demolition ball and attended the 88th National FFA Convention and Expo. Why is the important? As an FFA Advisor and Agriculture Teacher, I may be the first person who has taken these students out of the state for their first time or spent a night in a hotel or even been away from their family!

I love my job because I have the chance to change student’s lives. I was asked by the National Association of Agriculture Educators why I chose my career. I spoke on the stage at National Convention in front of 61,000 PEOPLE!! It was the most amazing and nerve wracking experience of my life! Check out the video on our Facebook Page!

Like any job, there are those days where I literally want to hand in my resignation letter and never set foot back in the school. But like I tell my students, “I like being around you all 98% of the time.” And that is the truth. The best part of my job is literally every day.And even sometimes each moment, there a different experience.

I couldn’t ask for a better career or group of students. I get the opportunity to be around students who want to take my class. They excel in the agriculture department because we learn by hands on experience. Do we take notes and lecture? Sure we do! But I have the opportunity to touch students’ lives through my humor, sarcasm, positive attitude, and a love for students and agriculture. I want to encourage everyone to do something they love and are passionate about. I love that I get to shape and mold the future minds of our nation.


A Working Controversy 

Fall is my absolute favorite time of the year. Of course, I love all the typical fall things, bonfires, sweaters and the leaves changing colors. But what makes it even better is the fact that deer season is coming, Thanksgiving is almost here and we get to do one of my favorite farm activities: working cows.

The cows headed for the lot lead by Dad and a bag of range cubes.

Most people call me crazy or at least give me weird looks when I say that I love working cows. But I just love the fact that we get to bring all the cows up, check for health issues and give them their shots, and then let them all go again. My inner cowgirl also likes to play ranch hand for a day!

All the cows are caught, lets take selfie!

Of course, whenever I say giving cows shots, I enter straight into the latest controversy, this time involving Subway.

Each year, we feed out the steers from our herd and sell that beef directly to consumers. We get a lot of questions, but none of these questions have ever stemmed from antibiotics. Mainly the questions we  are what do you feed them, do they get grass, and how do you cook brisket?

One of our butchering steers.

But when giving antibiotics, we, like most cattlemen, give the recommended dosage to keep cow and calf.

Making notes on what vaccines to give to each cow, calf and heifer.

We use syringes that can be set to give a specific amount. But when working cows, we give vaccines, not actual antibiotics. Vaccines help prevent sickness from happening, while antibiotics help stop it once it has already happened.

Bethany ready to go!

Generally, it’s Bethany’s job to know what shots are giving to each cow and how much. She will then hand that shot to our neighbor, Rex, who will either give it subcutaneous (under the skin) or intramuscular (in the muscle).

The only picture of me in the lot, of course with no cows.

Dad and I work the cows through the lot to the shoot. Most of our cows have been on our farm long enough that they know if they get through the shoot, there’s usually grain on the other side. But then you have the speedy little calves.

A cow patiently waits for her turn so she can get back to her range cubes.

Working cows in the fall also involves cutting the calves, so once one bull calf goes through the others need a little more convincing.

I get to hold the tail while our neighbor cuts the bull calves.

When it all said and done, each cows is ready to beat any problems that may come this winter, and we are dog tired!

Did I answer all your questions? If not, ask them! I would love to clarify!