Table for…One?

Hey all!

Happy Summer! Hope the sun isn’t too sweltering where you are. I know we have had a few obnoxiously hot days here that could make the devil feel like home.

 

Anyway, today’s post is going to be about meals for one. I’ve scoured Pinterest and I just can’t find a composite list for those of us rockin’ it alone in our own apartments or houses. Sure you can make a crock pot full of delicious chili….and then it for the next week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, before it goes bad then you have to throw some food you spent valuable money on right in the trash. That gets ya right in the wallet feels. I know.

 

So this isn’t any earth-shattering list or anything, don’t be expecting Cat Cora here, but maybe it’ll give you an idea for something or something you have never thought of.

 

Breakfast hash. I could eat eggs alllllll day. So a lot of the time I make breakfast hash type meals with eggs, cheese, hash browns, and sometimes a breakfast meat. And you can mix it up with different toppings – add veggies, add a sauce, make scrambled vs over easy eggs…there’s some variation to be played with with this.

 

Pancakes. Just as with the hash, there’s some variety to be had with pancakes. Pinterest is a great world for ideas because you can go with simple to few ingredients to the vegan versions to practically-dessert versions.

 

Alfredo. There is a to-die-for alfredo that literally takes one cup of milk, one cup of parmesan, one stick of butter, one block of cream cheese. You melt butter, add cream cheese until well mixed over medium heat, add milk and turn down until well blended, take pan off burner and add parmesan. That is it and it is so rich and creamy and good.

 

Fajita mix. In the frozen section is fajita meats that you thaw and fry for fajitas. And trust me when I say I am highly skeptical of the taste of some frozen foods but these are good. And then add some veggies and fry in oil and voila! As an added bonus, this stuff would be delicious on a salad the next day for a new spin on lunch.

 

Pinterest One Pan/One Skillet Finds. Pinterest may not be a mecca for one person meals, but there is quite a lot of one pan/one skillet dishes that I think have a place on this list. First, they are usually with few ingredients, second, given they are all made in one kitchen dish it won’t make enough to feed a small army thus enabling you to more easily turn them into a few lunches or dinners and then be rid of them. I will even try to cut a lot of recipes in half and it makes me just enough for dinner and a lunch.

 

What’s one your go-to list of easy meals? Do any of you out there cooking for yourself have a meal you’d like to share? I’d love to hear them!

 

Until next time,

❤ Meg

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I’ll Have Peanuts With A Side of….Candy Meal?

Hey all!

Happy hot weather time! I actually really enjoy it, but along with hot dry weather comes hay season….and try as I might, sometimes it’s hard to remind myself that putting up hay is a good work out and I am not, in fact, dying a slow painful death.

 

But, I digress. That’s not what I wanted to talk about today. As I’ve said before,  I work in a feed and forage lab. We test the feed that is given to dairy cows, beef cattle, pigs, horses, and chickens with dairy cows being our largest animal customer base.  So with all that means we get some interesting samples to test and I thought it would be fun to share with you all some of the more out there ones!

 

Before I get into the weird stuff,  I’ll briefly go over what generally is contained in dairy cow’s diet. Not all of this is usually included but a good majority. Just like you need to eat a balanced diet of different food groups to get your essential nutrients, so do cows!

  • Hay
  • Haylage (fermented hay, it’s wetter than normal dry hay)
  • Corn silage (chopped up corn that’s also been fermented)
  • Some sort of mineral mix
  • Small grains like barley, oats, wheat, or triticale
  • Cottonseed
  • High moisture corn/shelled corn
  • Distiller’s grains

Now, as I said, we have gotten some oddball samples.

  • Candy meal – all sorts of candies mashed up and mixed together
  • “Gravy” – it was a fine powder that reminded me of the Ramen noodle seasoning packets
  • “Meringue” – another powder that smelled like vanilla pudding!
  • Bakery by-products  – these are the things left over from bakeries and other like companies (i.e. Oreos, etc)
  • Peanut waste –  waste not as in trash, but leftover bits of peanuts
  • Potato waste – again, not waste as in trash, but leftover bits of potatoes
  • I’ve also heard of (but we haven’t gotten a sample of it) the by-products from companies that make jams and jellies!

Now, why would dairy cows get fed these types of things? To serve as a source of some nutrient, whether it be sugar or energy or starch.  These weird foods are fed most likely because the farm has access to a high quantity of this food and therefore it makes their cow grocery bill cheaper because they don’t have to grow it and they probably get a discount for taking it off the hands of the business it comes from.

 

What’s the strangest thing you have eaten and did you like it?

 

Until next time,

❤ Meg

Blazin’ The Trail

Hello all!

It’s now time to get back into a rhythm of blogging after the dust has began to settle from moving and starting my new job. And I’ll tell you, it’s an adjustment on many levels. And to get 100% real with you, I can see why some people stay in their comfort zone and make a life there. Moving away from family and significant others or other loved ones is no joke. And yet, there are all of those quotes about the happiness on the outside of your comfort zone plastered on Pinterest boards and in pretty picture frame across the globe.

This being the second go-round for me for moving away from home for a job, I thought I would share some tips on how I cope and move forward in starting in a new town.

 

Make your new place feel like home. Especially if you are going to be living alone. You won’t be comfortable and feel settled unless your new places feels home-y, and not like some hotel room you’ll get to leave in a few days. Maybe you have a favorite set of photos of you and your friends, maybe you have a blanket your grandmother made you, and sometimes, it’s just the feel of the house or apartment itself. Whatever it is, it’s vital for your peace of mind. Bring it all, set up the place how you like, which brings me to my next point.

 

Be excited that a new, empty space means you can FINALLY make use of that “Dream Home” Pinterest board.  I know most people probably won’t have the money to just throw around buying every shiny new glass and home decor item they would like, but scour Pinterest and find some budget-friendly projects and home decor tips to get started on. This will firstly go along with making your new digs feel like home, but it also gives your mind something to look forward to. You can come home from work the first few days and picture the potential on your empty “canvas” of space. Go for the color scheme you love – hell, mine is turquoise, gold, and red! There are so many resources out there now that give you tips on how to organize, decorate, and transform a space – and alot that don’t break the bank. Do keep in mind whatever your budget is, because some of that money could go toward my next tip.

 

Don’t hesitate – start right on getting the lay of the land. Find the local shops, cafes, what restaurants there are to eat at, where the grocery stores are – take it all in. This will keep you busy and get you thinking of some exciting outings you could take. Maybe there’s a restaurant you’ve never been to, or that one store you love that didn’t have a chain too close in your hometown. And while you are at it, don’t be afraid to treat yourself a little. Maybe you find a cute new shirt for work, or you’ve been waiting awhile to get that new pair of shoes. You’ve just made a big change – go for the reward to yourself!

 

Get out and about. Going along with the previous tip – start thinking of groups or activities you like and start finding local chapters. If you like fitness, start looking into what local gyms or yoga studios have to offer. By looking forward to that spin class on Wednesday, you occupy your mind and open up opportunities to meet people! Don’t be afraid, just get out and do it!

 

Be sure you are moving for the right reason. This really comes before everything, but it’s also the biggest tip I have. It will be hard to start a new chapter in your life if you aren’t excited for the chapter to start to begin with. I have an example on each end of the spectrum with the two times I have moved for a job. The first wasn’t the right job for me and it ended in me being miserable and making some big mistakes, and, consequently, moving back home. This new job I have, however, is one I love and I can go far with. The difference in my mindset is astronomical. And sometimes its not a job you are moving for, it’s for a person, or some other reason. Whatever the reason, be sure it’s a good one and the right one FOR YOU. YOU are the one that has to live with this choice, don’t choose misery for yourself.

 

Feel free to tell me about your moving journeys in the comments below!

 

Until next time,

❤ Meg

“You Only Limit Your Impact On The World By The Limits You Place On Yourself”

Hello All!

First of all, those wise words were spoken by author and agvocate Michele Payn – I can’t take credit for the brilliance that is that sentence.  Secondly, I am so sorry for taking so long to write another post. I’ve been in such a whirlwind!

Long story short, I got offered a new job and have accepted, went to Wisconsin for a week to train, and moved closer to the lab where I now work. And boy, do I love my job.

I loved milking the cows at the dairy in my hometown, I loved the daily interaction with the gals and the calves, as well as the fantastic people I worked for. I also learned such a great deal from the wonderful people that  I learned from in my role as an independent nutrition consultant for Agri-Nutrition Consulting. But in my heart, I knew I wanted to be in a job that challenged me, made me grow, and one that I could make my greatest impact with my personal strengths in the agricultural industry. And I think that job just dropped into my lap.  The hardest part is that I would have to move away from my family again, and thus cause my boyfriend and I to have a long distance relationship again. But, the joy I feel in my heart and the glowing enthusiasm I have with every day tells me I made the right choice.

And that is where this quote I think fits in perfect.  I heard it on a podcast I was listening to where Michele was being interviewed about two months ago, and I knew I wanted to remember this quote, so I recorded myself saying it. I believe that sometimes, whether you are ready or not, life opens doors for you and you have to make the choice to go through.  And, in my experience, there aren’t many decisions in life, especially larger ones, that don’t come with cons to go along with the pros. This is where I have found that unless there is a blaring red flag that tells you you shouldn’t take it, sometimes you just have to take a deep breath, trust those who love you and will support you through anything, and take the jump. When you start looking, the most successful people have taken a big leap of faith at some point in their life, and that it may not have always been gravy to go through.

So, what am I doing now? I am Rock River Laboratory – Ohio’s Nutrition Analytic Consultant. My main responsibilities include ensuring the satisfaction of our customers and adding value to their experience with us when I can.  I will also be traveling to meet with prospective customers to show them the wonderful offerings Rock River can provide.

So, what does Rock River Laboratory do? We are based out of Watertown, Wisconsin with satellite locations in California, Ohio, New York, Chile, Brazil, Argentina, and Germany.  We are an agricultural analysis laboratory that can analyze soils, plant tissues, feeds, forages, and manure.  Bottom line, as our Animal Nutrition, Research,  and Innovations Director explains, “We sell the nutrition facts on your Cheerios box.” In the feeds and forages department, we take the different types of foods dairy cattle nutritionists (like I used to be) want to put together to make the cows’ meal, and we test them to get an accurate prediction of how much of each nutrient is in that feed to be sure our bovine gals get the most out of their breakfasts! I think this is so cool and fascinating, I can’t help but be ecstatic about the fact that I get to be a part of such a great company!

And one of the best parts? It gives me more topics to share with you all as I move into yet another perspective of the agricultural industry! I am back in my hometown for the weekend, so for now I am going to sign off and joy a wonderful dinner with my family before heading back to start an exciting new week!

Here’s a few pictures from my weekend home – the awesome BBQ joint on the lake, and a glass of wine I enjoyed in celebration of my first week with my BBQ dinner!

Have a great week and I challenge you to be on the look out for life’s opportunities!

 

❤ Meg

The Dreaded R Word: Resume

Well, I’m not sure about you all, but one of adulthood’s most painful tasks to me is updating/revamping my resume.  Seriously, it elicits a tantrum that could rival a teething toddler inside my head.  I save all of mine on Google drive and currently my “Cover Letters and Resumes” file has 71 files in it.  Yep, I’ve done a resume/cover letter that many times for job applications.  Not that I necessarily do any major work each time, but I tailor my resume to each job application.

In college, it seemed like at least once a semester I had a professor who would invite our college’s career guru to do a speech.  And, given it was the same guy, it was the same speech.  Every.  Time.  Then, my senior year, before I sent out resume after resume, I went to the university’s resource center to work one-on-one with someone on my resume.

So, here I am, sharing my resume tips with you all in hopes it may lessen your pain in the process.  Take note, the creative and artsy fields may have different guidelines for their resumes, these tips are meant  for the other fields.

First off we will start with the general tips.

  • Stay consistent – however you choose to format your resume, keep that formatting all the way through, from section to section
  • Simple fonts like Times New Roman or Arial – nothing too crazy
  • Typically stay in 10 – 12 point  font
  • List your previous jobs, etc in descending order – present first followed by next most recent and so on.

Now, here’s my tips to make your resume really pop.  I can honestly say that my resume improved tenfold after the one-on-one visit, and, without meaning to toot my own horn, I can count on one hand the times that I have not received a call back after submitting my resume.

Without further ado:

  1. Make use of bold, italics, and underlining.  This helps divvy up the monotony.  But, as with the theme consistency, if you italicize a date, italicize all the dates. Or if you bold and italicize a job title, bold and italicize all job titles.
  2.  Use numbers whenever possible when describing your job duties – it gives the company you are applying to a measurement of your impact and contribution.
  3. At the beginning of each bullet point of job description, use an action verb – and for every job description besides your current job, remember to use past tense.  Your current job should start each bullet point with a present tense action verb.
  4. Pinterest is a great resource if you search “resume power words.” These are a great sampling of words to use.  And try not to use the same action verb more than twice.
  5. If you have the job description available for the job you are applying for, plug words and phrases into your resume from the job description. For example, if the job description says “proficient in popular software such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel”, under that office job you had a few years back, make a bullet point that says “Developed my proficiency in popular software with the use of Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel”

I know this post wasn’t about agriculture, but I am hoping to mix in a little variety and share what I know!

 

Happy job hunting!

❤ Meg

Land of the Free

Good afternoon everyone!

I’m sorry it’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted.  I took a much-needed vacation with my wonderful other half to Tishomingo, Oklahoma to visit Miranda Lambert’s Bed and Breakfast, The Ladysmith.  After a night there, we traveled south to Fort Worth, Texas to visit the Stockyards! First, I am a huge Miranda Lambert fan, so getting to stay in her bed and breakfast and shop at her boutique was a complete dream come true for me.  ❤

Tishomingo is such a cute little town, but just as a fair warning, if you plan to visit The Ladysmith and The Pink Pistol, that about sums what there is to do in that town! I suggest it for a nice relaxing night to either start off or end a trip.  The Ladysmith is such a beautiful, accommodating place with a rich history behind the building and alot of Junk Gypsy-style decor.  The food is absolutely to die for, and the first round of drinks at the lounge is on the house!

As for Fort Worth, the stockyards have a deep history as well, and the views around the city are beautiful.  We went and saw the Stockyards Championship rodeo on Saturday night, ate some very expensive steak, and went to the world famous honky tonk, Billy Bob’s! We also went into downtown Fort Worth to see Sundance Square and the Water Gardens, both very beautiful sights and both worth the see.  Even downtown has that “western” feel to it.  I will admit, Fort Worth was very tourist-y, sort of a let-down for those with a livestock background that wanted to see some historic livestock sights.

One thing I would like to share that caused me to pause and think.  We were on our way out of Texas and stopped in Denton, Texas to shop at a Boot Barn.  Upon cashing out, the young woman asked for my boyfriend’s address to sign him up for store offers.  When she heard he was from Pennsylvania and I from Ohio, she gave us a bewildered look and said “Is there even any like country up there?” I suppressed a laugh picturing all of the country landscape I have seen, been to, and even spent time in! However, I then thought about how much sometime we forget the different cultures and landscape this country has even within its own borders, and how sometimes, if we don’t get to travel to farther places, we forget that each state has it’s own unique “flavor.” It never occurred to me that someone in Texas would have a different point of view on my home state, nor I with Texas or Oklahoma, and I especially think of this in terms of the state’s agriculture.  I remember a little over a year ago, while I was a senior in college attending the Block and Bridle National Convention in Missouri, we were on our industry tours and visiting Pinnegar Limousin cattle farm.  I quickly learned that a good many of Missouri’s cattle are grass fed, only because they don’t have too much ready access to corn.  It was a strange thought to me as I thought back to all of the corn fields back here in Ohio.  It’s simple things like that that make me wonder and thirsty to learn about other states’ agricultural industries.  Thus, my passion to travel has been heightened!

So I encourage everyone to go out, travel, even to the next state over, and take time to see what that state has to offer! Strike up a conversation with someone from another state and learn what they know and where they come from, that was always my favorite part of national conventions – the different people to talk to!

Fort Worth Stockyards
Fort Worth Stockyards

After all, this is the land of the free, and a world of endless possibilities!

Until next time,

Meg ❤

Hello world!

My name is Meg, and this blog will be focused on telling the wonderful story of agriculture! I grew up in my county’s 4H program showing everything from goats to rabbits to miniature horses, as well as a few general projects such as creative writing and veterinary science. Then, I fulfilled my dream of attending The Ohio State University, graduating in May of 2014 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Agriculture with a major in Animal Science and a minor in Agribusiness.

Currently, I am a Swine Technician at Hord Livestock Company in Bucyrus, Ohio.  I am also a member of the

My place of work! The feed mill of Hord Livestock Company in Bucyrus, Ohio
My place of work! The feed mill of Hord Livestock Company in Bucyrus, Ohio

Farm Bureau, and Ohio Pork  Producers Council, as well as volunteering for the AgChat Foundation! I can’t wait to see what other opportunities await for me in agriculture, livestock especially are truly my passion! I can’t wait to share my story and my experiences with all of you!

Until next time,

Meg ❤