Apr 8, 2010

Goodbye cubicle, helllllooo Kentucky!

For the first time in what feels like forever, I got out of my cubicle and have been on the road this week. On Tuesday, I headed my beefy mini van south. Yes, I look awesome driving a mini van. Try not to be jealous.
After a near breakdown over the lack of Chuckwagon sandwiches in southern Ohio truck stops, I arrived in Carrolton, Ken. I arrived round about one in the morning and found myself in home-sweet-home Hampton Inn. I love me a good Hampton Inn. The pillows are to die for.... but only if you got to die while sleeping on them. For real.

Bright and early Wednesday morning, I headed out to meet with some of the folks at The Beef Connection in northwestern Kentucky. Owner Bob Sand started the Beef Connection to help cattlemen in the state realize more value in their cattle and ranch business models. Since then, they've expanded to having members all over the state and partners across the nation and in every facet of the industry.

I spent the day with Bob, his son, Travis, and a couple producer-members learning about their ranching systems, the power of data feedback in herd improvement and a couple of other interesting aspects of life and agriculture in Kentucky. Somehow I think I got volunteered to experience the miserable-sounding process of the manual labor involved in tobacco harvest. Suddenly, wheat harvest in western Nebraska seemed like a walk in the park.

My new camera also got broken in on its first work trip. After months of experimenting on photo shoots of Stones, snow and sunrises, my sweet little Cannon got to focus on cattle. It was love at first sight for all involved. Here are some of the highlights:
Yes, that is a photo of a Charolais calf, taken by a camera owned by Certified Angus Beef LLC. But he was sired by a registered Angus bull. And he was really, really cute. I couldn't help myself.
These guys were cute, too. Springtime in a cattle pasture nearly makes me down-right giddy with happiness. 
I finally came to terms with the fact that there are places east of the Mississippi that are every bit as gorgeous as the open skies of Wyoming. This was one of those places. It's a different type of beautiful landscape -- the green kind, which we don't usually see back home for several more months.
Hoards of trees don't have to make a westerner feel claustrophobic, either. Not being able to see an open horizon is nice, too... when there are pretty little calves hiding behind every corner.
 So green. So peaceful. I love my job.
Can I tell you again how much I love springtime on a cattle ranch? I'll also remind you I love Hampton Inn pillows. There are five of them calling my name right now. They win.


  1. Love you pictures Laura! Looks like you have a much better handle on your camera settings than I do. Enjoy your trip out of the office!

  2. I love frolicking little calvies. They just make my heart happy.