Saturday, June 10, 2017

Reintroducing the "MooTube Minute"

I created a YouTube channel for my farm shortly after purchasing my first smartphone in the Summer of 2009. After getting a little bit of attention for my "Water 'n Poo" song, I decided to to start uploading a series of short farm updates called "MooTube Minutes" every few days to keep people up-to-date with what was happening on our dairy farm.

These videos where originally shot and with a smartphone, but I eventually upgraded to a tripod-mounted FlipCam that allowed me to merge different clips together and upload a higher quality video from my desktop. I posted these updates fairly regularly for a couple of years, but several weeks would go by between episodes by the time I recorded my last one in May 2014.

But now, the "MooTube Minute" is back.

I've been using other apps to share farm video over the past couple of years, including a few different live-streaming services. I started doing a daily live stream on Periscope recapping the day's farm work a couple of weeks ago and have decided to begin uploading at least some of them to YouTube. These new MooTube Minutes are generally going to be a little longer than the originals (3-5min) and will more often than not be shot "selfie style."

If you would like to interact with me while I stream/record, I encourage you to download the Periscope app and set a notification for when I go live. If you simply want to watch, you can do so live or later via Periscope and Twitter, or you can watch the ones I upload to YouTube without the live comments popping up on the screen.

My Periscope channel:
My YouTube channel:

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Forty heifers wandering in the Wilderness

We knew early on Wednesday that we might have a problem.

One of our farmhands and I were making the last stop of the morning feeding rounds in a pasture we call "The Mountain." The sprawling 120 acres of hilly open pasture and wooded bottom land gets its nickname for steep hill that offers a clear view across Beaver Creek Bottom. The group of 40 pregnant heifers currently residing at The Mountain receives feed pellets every-other weekday, and we usually find them enthusiastically waiting at the gate on those days. This time they were no where to be seen. We decided to pour the feed into their troughs and then ride up and down the pasture's hills until we could find them. We were unsuccessful, and decided they must be in one of the pasture's wooded areas. We left to attend to other farm chores but decided someone should check back later to see if the heifers ever made it to their troughs.

A group of forty heifers, some of which are seen here eating spilled feed pellets from the bed of a pickup truck, went missing from their pasture on May 24, 2017

The heifers were still unaccounted for after lunchtime, so halfway through the afternoon milking I sent the aforementioned farmhand back to the pasture with an ATV to conduct a more thorough search. He discovered an ancient wooden fence post had fallen over and allowed the heifers to step over the barbed wire and into the woods. He called to report back and then began tracking the heifers into the pines.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Podcasts I enjoy in the tractor cab

It wasn't too many years ago that the radio of the primary tractor I used on the farm went on the blink, leaving me to find ways to keep myself entertained. Thankfully, radios can be fixed and technology is always making entertainment easier to access. I occasionally listen to the radio, especially if a Mississippi State baseball game is on the air or if the local country station is playing songs from the 70s-90s (I won't listen to the new stuff). If I'm in the mood for music, I'll usually listen to the eclectic blend stored on my phone that ranges from Conway Twitty to Meat Loaf or tune into a 90s channel on Pandora. I mostly listen to podcasts these days, though, and for whatever it's worth I thought I would share some of my favorites with you.

    I was really liking
    whatever I was listening to.
  • The B&B Show This daily Mississippi State sports podcast is the first I listen to every morning, generally as I'm putting out feed for my milking herd around 6am. Brian Hadad excels in his role of "voice of the fan" while Bob Carskadon provides insight from within the school's athletic department. 
  • More Cowbell The second daily MSU sports podcast I listen to is hosted by the oftentimes sarcastic and cynical but always entertaining Brandon Walker, a former MSU beat writer who now works for SEC Country.
  • Total Soccer Show Yes, I am a farmer from Lamar County, Alabama, and soccer might just be my favorite sport to watch and follow. TSS puts out an entertaining yet informative daily podcast that provides previews, reviews, and analysis of the week's top matches. 
  • Blood Red Podcast  A round-table discussion about Liverpool FC that's published 2-3 times per week.

Political/Current Events
  • The Federalist Radio Hour One of my daily "must listens" that focuses on politics and current events with occasional detours into culture and sports. 
  • Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates Hour-long debates on current political, economic, and cultural issues published 1-2 times a month.
  • Common Sense w/ Dan Carlin I don't always agree with him, but I really enjoy listening to Dan Carlin lay out his viewpoints and arrive at his conclusions in this monthly-ish podcast.

  • The Briefing Another one of my daily musts, host Dr. Al Mohler of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary bills the podcast as "a daily analysis of news and events from a Christian worldview" in which he examines the headlines in light of Scriptural authority.
  • Signposts Published 2-3 time monthly, Dr. Russell Moore of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission talks about "the latest books, cultural conversations, and pressing ethical questions that point us toward the kingdom of Christ."
  • ERLC Podcast  Speaking of the ERLC, their own weekly podcast offers insights into current moral, ethical, and cultural issues.

  • The Popcast with Knox and Jamie Billed as "a weekly pop culture podcast seeking to educate on things that entertain, but do not matter," this one often has me laughing hard enough to make me stop the tractor. The Popcast is the jug of 3.5% butterfat in a world full of skim pop culture podcasts.
  • Dan Carlin's Hardcore History Every few months Dan Carlin comes out with a new 3-5hr Hardcore History podcast in which he weaves together a captivating narrative from historical accounts of people and events within a certain historical time period.
  • This American Life One of the most popular podcasts out there, this weekly radio show usually tells the extraordinary stories of otherwise ordinary people.
This isn't the exhaustive list of the podcasts I enjoy, but these are certainly the ones I listen to the most often. Let me know if you are a fan of any of these, or point me in the direction of any of your favorites you think I might enjoy.

Happy listening, and have a "dairy" good day!