Posts in agriculture
Let's Talk About Privilege

A few years ago at a SXSW panel, a female CEO shared (paraphrase) that women have been in the workforce long enough that a good ol’ women’s club should exist.

So where is it?

Good question, lady.

We’re building it. We’re building, tearing it down, building it, remodeling, repeat. Maybe we’re just too into HGTV? (who doesn’t love demo day?)

As women flex their first amendment rights, I’m not only in awe of their strength, but I’m also shocked at the pushback they receive from other women. Read as: it’s getting western out there.

I’m a proponent of quality humans. Those who are humble, compassionate, and, quite frankly, listen more than they speak. Equal opportunity, if you will.

And, to be completely transparent, I'm surrounded by more quality humans than I could possibly list right now. My girl tribe is fierce, humans. Fierce. 

I was raised with privilege I never understood or appreciated until recently.

While, yes, my skin is white and my family could put food on the table every night, even through seasons when assistance was warranted, this is another layer of privilege we need to address.

You see, not a single male in my life - dad, grandpas, uncles, cousins, pastor, teachers, FFA advisors, et al. - ever hinted at a male/female comparison. Meaning, during my most important developmental years, I never heard, “you can do anything a boy a can do.”

[Just like you don’t applaud a teenager for not sneaking out at night, these guys don’t need our applause. They simply operate like quality humans.]

Because of this, I never realized there was a difference.

That in itself is a privilege the majority of the female population will never know.

Lucky? Grateful? Privileged? Ringing affirmative.

I’m an overachiever by nature, which means there was not a leadership position, scholarship, or award I did not pursue … or achieve. Through my career, I have been diligent to actively become a passionate practitioner of my trade. Stack this on top of a foundation of quick wit, confidence, and an extroverted personality, and you have a strong case for a woman who is thriving in a male-dominated industry.

I’m not humble bragging here. Just like Drake didn’t really start at the bottom (hello, Degrassi), I’m saying I’m not working at the bottom here. I’m a white woman with two college degrees and a pretty solid career. Mostly, I’m too busy hustling to care or notice distractions.

However, there are times when inappropriate comments lobbed my way in professional situations are downright impressively disgusting.

While they roll off my shoulder, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

Yes, I said they roll off my shoulder. I shudder, eye roll, and then let the comments roll off my shoulder.

It doesn’t mean that just because I’m a goal-oriented, overachiever, with hopefully a bright future that I’m immune - or deserving - of the ugliness of the world.

It means I’ve been more prepared for it to exist.

It means I have to consider how my response will affect my career.

It means these isolated instances give me pause when interacting will all individuals.

It means that while there are incredible men in this world - like my dad, my grandpas, my uncles, my first boss, my college professors - it means there are still humans in this world who are pretty terrible.

It means if you have not experienced an unwarranted inappropriate situation as a female, you are operating in a privilege that is so bubble-boy-esque it may be difficult to relate to those you interact with on a daily basis.

Practice kindness, open your ears, expand your horizons, and acknowledge the privilege in your life and use it to build the good ol’ women’s club.

 



 

 

I cannot be urban sans rural.

I cannot be urban sans rural roots.

Just as I cannot be me sans rural genes.

clayranch

I am only afforded opportunities to travel this world because my past gave me the blessing of an educational foundation in communications and international agricultural.

Which opened the door to a first job as a marketer for Oklahoma’s pork producers.

Which led to launching a social media presence showcasing Oklahoma’s tourism industry.

Which led to digital storytelling for global agricultural and animal health brands.

Which led to launching my own business working with passionate business owners.

Which led to spending more time with my family.
 

Which leads to standing in the “retirement pasture” gazing at Oklahoma’s tremendous sunset thanking God for the past that affords the opportunities for my future.

hot wax and pesticides

The other day I went for a routine eyebrow wax. If you’re a dark-haired girl, you get that finding someone to trust with your eyebrows is just as important as finding a doctor, a gym and a grocery store in your new city.

So while my esthetician, who I’ve come to adore in the past few months, strategically poured hot wax on my brows, I tried to make small talk. Because nothing says small talk like hot wax only an inch from your eyeballs.

I don’t find much surprising these days. I have, you see, been urban for six years. Between the mix of a random calf on the front porch during calving season and walking down Bourbon Street during the day - and night - I’ve seen and heard my fair share of random.

Following up on our last awkward small talk conversation, I asked about her juice cleanse. Juice for 21 days? I’m curious. Do you wear one of those helmets with straws like the crazy dudes in football commercials? Are you hungry? Does wine count? It’s sort of a juice.

She said, and I paraphrase, that she feels better than she has in her entire life. That her body is functioning stupendously without pesticides or growth hormones lining her intestines. Her hair is fuller, her nails are longer and her stress is basically non-existent.

I’m reasonable to a fault. My counselor says he’s impressed with how I try to see a situation from every possible angle before responding, but sometimes I should just react before thinking too much.

Remember, folks. Hot wax. A quick reaction wasn’t really in the cards.

So I kept quiet and said, “good for you!” sans sarcasm. To be fair, my eyebrows have been looking really good lately and I don’t want to be on market again for another esthetician, and maybe I can introduce her to a farmer.

Then it hit me. Someone told her pesticides line her intestines. That’s her truth.

Colon cancer took my dad when he was only 25, so I’m well versed in intestinal health and ohmygosh she thinks farmers are killing us.

So, clearly, I googled. I wanted to know what she sees. I wanted to know why she thinks modern agriculture is bad for her. I needed to know why she thinks an organic apple has more nutritional value than a regular apple.

I get it, though. I do. In the middle of a big city, whether it’s Charlotte, Austin or Nashville, grocery marketing is our first, sometimes only, connection with agriculture.

Pesticides

Our address now (east side, strong side) is very much in a food desert. Every Sunday (sometimes weekdays, too) I drive nine miles north to the “good Kroger.” This Kroger does a great job of showing pictures of farmers and locations (very much Whole Foods-eque) of their farms. I’ve noticed, however, this is primarily found on the organic foods. So, if organic foods showcase their farmers the regular foods must have been made in a factory or used chemicals to make the product so affordable, right? Right?

This is why I want to connect farmers with consumers. Because, unfortunately, not everything we read on the internet is truthful.

I spend more time in the kitchen now than ever. I’m strategic in my purchasing decisions and select produce and meat products that not only fit within our budget, but also appeal to our waistlines. I, too, want to make good choices. I, too, reach out to farmers to make sure I’m a well-informed consumer.

This is why I agvocate.

PTO Request: to Look at Cattle

As an adult, the most precious commodity in your* professional life is PTO.

How many hours do you accumulate?
How many roll over?
How many weddings are this year?
Graduations?
Baby showers?
Save a few for a yet-to-be-named virus to knock you off your tracks.
Do you need a travel day for Thanksgiving?
Don’t forget the 10-year high school reunion.


To be fair, these questions are typically reserved for those who leave all that is comfortable of hometown living. Read as: the Haneys. With my family in Oklahoma and Indiana, his in Tennessee and our zip code in Texas – my PTO is as fiercely guarded as the gold in Fort Knox.

Friday, I cashed in the first of my 2015 PTO allocation.

My family's ranch has taken a new spin since I left the Rural Route 3** property. Cliff’s notes: my family is an off-ranch operator for a certain Texas ranch. Because of this, you may have consumed Akaushi beef that hit the ground in Oklahoma.

As a natural inquisitive human, I reached out to the executive director of the American Akaushi Association, who happens to be an Oklahoma State alumnus. Questions. I had so many questions. 

Smiling the smile of a six-year-old child,  I drove an hour southeast of Austin driving against the grain of early-morning traffic. 

Following the curves of the dirt roads, mud splashing on my car, Conway on the radio it occurred to me how quickly I can slip into the urban of my life. Too quickly.

That changed as I drove through the ranch gate.

As I sipped my black coffee, history, industry tidbits and thoughts on consumer research were swapped over a rustic, kitchen table. Our conversation paused intermittently to gaze out to the front pasture. The lush vegetation and overflowing waterways were a drastic comparison to the drought-ridden areas of the country.  

I pulled up the hood on my NorthFace rain gear and we headed to the truck.

With each pasture, I learned more about the Akaushi history in the United States.

With each turn, I was once again reassured the American rancher is doing the absolute best in animal care, nutrition and sustainability.

With each conversation topic, my soul became more grateful for the opportunity to work as a communicator in the agricultural industry.

With each 'grammable moment, I realized I should use more PTO days.

B.


*my.
** Per the 911 address system, Rural Route 3 Box 175 has been replaced by a series of characters that I can’t seem to remember. 

What's your kitchen personality?

My first full-time paid position post-graduation took me to downtown Oklahoma City where I promoted Oklahoma’s pork farmers. Although checkoff programs can be a hot button issues for some (looking at you non-internet using Grandpa Compton…), I was grateful promote the state as a whole instead of one specific farmer. The impact was greater.

Commodity research and promotion programs, also known as checkoff programs, are established under Federal law at the request of their industries. Checkoff programs are funded by the industries themselves, with the goal to increase the success of the businesses and farmers that produce and sell certain commodities.


These programs allow farmers, ranchers and other stakeholders to pool their funds and develop a coordinated program of research, promotion and consumer information to improve, maintain and develop markets for their products. They also yield many additional benefits for public health and nutrition, local and global economies, as well as humanitarian efforts.
— USDA Agricultural Marketing Service

In that first position I learned to lean in before leaning in was a buzzword. My boss[man] pushed me to do more by pretty much throwing me to the ocean and seeing if I was going to sink or swim.

I also learned to work with like-minded humans in similar positions in other states. Cue the most significant professional relationships of my career.

When I joined Charleston|Orwig I tapped those friendships and professional networks because promoting hog farmers is important to me. I’ve seen firsthand how they care for their animals and how their presence in rural America makes communities richer by their contributions to programs and initiatives.

Also, bacon. 

#PinkPork Pinterest Sweepstakes

How can you truly encompass all that is great about perfectly-cooked pork? By perfectly-cooked pork I mean pork that is cooked to 145° F before removed from heat and allowed to rest for three minutes before slicing. Cooking to 145° results in tender, juicy pork that has a blush of pink in the center. (After 5 years, I have this elevator speech on lock.)

Let's cut to the chase. Have you ever wondered what type of kitchen you would be if you were to be a kitchen? Sure you have! Well, you would if a quiz were to exist on site like Buzzfeed. 

It's simple. Take the quiz, pin your results and enter the sweepstakes. For every entry, Ohio's hog farmers are donating one meal of pork to a local food back (up to 25,000 meals!). 

Personality results

I'm a sucker for personality quizzes and assessments. I'm ENTP, Di, Orange and now a rustic kitchen. 

Rustic interiors have a sense of connection to the past that's hard to resist. Which is good, considering that heritage is important to you and you find unique ways to incorporate family heirlooms into your everyday life.
The aroma of Apricot-Glazed Ham radiates from your oven, bouncing from the exposed beams. This, of course, causes your heart palpitations. The love affair you carry on with dinner is evident in each and every serving, filled with love, passion and commitment.

recipe: apricot glazed ham (serves 20)

Not only do you help make a donation to a local food bank and learn about your personality you also receive a corresponding recipe. 

Ingredients
5 pounds full cooked whole boneless ham
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
2/3 cup apricot nectar
2 tablespoons lemon juice

How-to
Place ham on rack in a shallow roasting pan. Bake, uncovered, in a 325°F oven for 1-1/4 hours or until meat thermometer registers 140°F (about 15 - 18 minutes per pound). 

For the glaze, in a small saucepan combine brown sugar, cornstarch, nutmeg and cloves. Stir in apricot nectar and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat until thickened and bubbly, stirring constantly.

Brush ham with glaze. Continue baking 15 - 20 minutes more, brushing occasionally with glaze. 


Full Transparency

I worked with Ohio Pork Council on behalf of Charleston|Orwig for this project. I gave this project real-estate on Rural Gone Urban because of the impact the pork industry has made in my professional career. I was in no way encouraged or compensated for this blog post. Although, I wouldn't mind if someone sent me a gift card to buy a few pounds of bacon. 

The Rest of the Story

While the rest of the country was (is) dealing with white tundra that is winter in February, the weather in Austin turned from perfect and sunny to non-so-perfect and a little bit rainy. *sad trombone*

Rain in Texas? It’s because I’m wearing my moccasins e’rday, obviously.

Because of the rain, I fell into my rainy-day habits that are everything that is unreasonable and first-world of exploring Dillards. A girl just needs something new to wear to a work event, am I right?

While perusing the Vince Camuto dresses, my grandma called to inform me had stumbled upon my Instagram and did I want to know the rest of the story

Of course, Paul Harvey. Lay it on me. 

"Ahhh, I could really use the Dodge about now."

A photo posted by brooke clay haney (@thebrookehaney) on

While loving everything that is Johnson County, Indiana, before AgChat's National Collegiate Conference, I drove past this big, red Dodge taking residence in an iconic rural barn. To be honest, to me it was nothing more than a 'grammable moment a few football fields away from my mother's childhood home.

To my grandma, it was more. 

This Dodge was one of a pair she drove during harvest near the time my family purchased a grain elevator on the south side of the county. 

Oh, hey family heritage.

Also, my grandma has Instagram? No way. 

Rose Bowl 2015hu

I’m a fan of Oregon. I have been since I saw them play in CenturyLink Field and then again Stanford Stadium. 

Their speed combined with killer uni combos has earned them the spot deep in the pit of my heart as my favorite Pac-12 team. 

Walking into a historic stadium knowing I was part of history – the first playoff game in the history of college football. I tried to act cool – you know, like I’ve been there before.

I walked into the stadium like, “oh, no big deal.” Except it was a very big deal. And I had very good seats. (Thanks Lyle, if you’re reading.)

With the sun casting its last breath on the mountain scape in the distance and a B2 Stealth Bomber making its way overhead, my skin began to take on the appearance of a fleshly plucked goose.

I was at the Rose Bowl. 

Two Heisman quarterbacks were facing off in the first playoff game in history. History. 

Even if you don't appreciate sports, you should appreciate history. it's human nature. 

RoseBowl
IMG_9195.JPG

The first quarter kept me grounded. I made friends with the agricultural marketers to my right and golf clapped along every milestone play. This was when my inter dialogue was at its best. "I'm probably not appreciating this as much as I should. I wonder if my grandma is watching. Man, I walked too much at Disney yesterday." 

it was all fun and games until I got cold. Who knew it could be that cold in California? 

I was underdressed, man.

In those chilly moments I had a choice. I could stay cold and stay lame, or I could get loud and get warm.

I chose the latter. 

Brooke_Haney_Ducks

The Ducks kept scoring. 

Jameis thought about crying.

My fingers hurt.

I lost my voice.

The Ducks scored again.

I was so happy thought about crying.

I laughed until my stomach hurt.

I tweeted.

I borrowed a hat.

I cheered like an actual Duck fan.

It was perfect. 


Ag Facts

I met up with fellow advocate, Marie Bowers Stagg, during halftime. She's a fifth generation Oregon grass seed farmer. 

On New Year's Eve she, her husband and father toured the Rose Bowl to see the field up close. (jealous.)

The Rose Bow's field is perennial ryegrass with a Bermuda grass base. This works well because Bermuda is a warm-season grass and Perennial Ryegrass is a cool season. So when the Bermuda goes dormant the Perennial ryegrass takes over.

Read Marie's Rose Bowl recap on Oregon Green

What's it like being rural gone urban?

Recently I was asked about the most difficult aspect of my rural gone urban life. Difficult? I get street tacos every day! Every. Day. 

To be honest, though, some days your heart is full of guilt. Panging, real, raw guilt. 

Typically, it's the days you're wearing a light jacket to work while your friends and family are mucking though the mud, snow and ice.

They're pulling calves and breaking ice while you're devouring a few episodes of Keeping up with the Kardashians. They're leaving the house after dinner to ensure "everyone's good" while you decide if you should open a bottle of Oregon Pinot. They're facing cold and exhaustion while checking on just one more pasture and you're minding your time by debating between sweat pants or yoga pants.

The guilt comes as you call your dad and he's talking to you about your seemingly non-important urban errands as he drives a sprayer. He always listens like it's the most important thing in the world, but it doesn't make your guilt feel any less significant. 

During undergrad, I scribed my first article on agritourism. It was then I was first exposed to the terrifying truth that the average family is four to five generations removed from the farm. 

When you choose an urban life, you're flirting with that statistic. 

My urban life affords the opportunity to have a direct connection to consumers. I mean, I am a consumer. This intel, if you will, helps aid clients with strategic social and digital plans so they can better tell their story and unveil a new layer of transparency. 

Credit:  Tori Anna Clay

Although I'm not physically on the farm I find new ways every day to connect with not only home, but with farmers across the country. I work harder to tell the story because I know how much agriculture effects not only our lives but the foundation of America. 

My passion for an industry impacting the world is not lost by the attributions of my address.

I am not defined by my ability to choose between five grocery stores in a three-mile radius just as my rural friends are not defined by their indifference of living within the city limits of an urban jungle. 

advocating away from the farm
My Grandpa Compton gave me a farm tour this week. The coolest moment for a granddaughter. 

My Grandpa Compton gave me a farm tour this week. The coolest moment for a granddaughter. 

I've been invited to speak at AgChat's National Collegiate Congress tomorrow in Indianapolis. AgChat? AgChat is an organization created to empower farmers and ranchers to connect with communities through social media. 

I ventured to my first AgChat conference in 2011 and credit this organization to many of my professional contacts and dearest friends.

This organization has evolved past social media account tutorials and now focusses on storytelling and content. 

Tomorrow I will stand before a herd of college students and discuss advocating away from the farm. Known to me as livingCollege students are the most terrifying of species. They know everything. I know this because I was the most basic of college students. 

Because my genes are from Indiana, I ventured to the 317 early to spend a few days working remotely on the davenport while discussing soybean prices and checkoff programs with my grandpa. Meanwhile, my other grandpa started a new blog

Being here (literally, in Indiana) working on tomorrow's presentation has afforded the hamsters a significant about of time on the wheel. How did I get here? This path, man. I couldn't have planned this. 

the three one seven

I most definitely made my way to the National FFA Dairy Cattle Evaluation competition because of these genes. 

I most definitely made my way to the National FFA Dairy Cattle Evaluation competition because of these genes. 

My genes are from Franklin, Indiana. My family has been farming in central Indiana for quite a few years. In fact, my great-grandpa was the Indiana Dairyman of the Year in 1957.

Agriculture is in my genetic makeup. 

In the late 90s, when today's college students were learning to walk and my parents decided a life in the west was their jam.

Talk about traumatic for this 5th grade graduate. My parents loaded up a pot belly of commercial cattle, a stock trailer full of our prized processions and drove to Oklahoma where dreams could be made. You know, unicorns, glitter, magic. 

Middle school. Dirt roads. Dirt roads.

Home became Perkins, Oklahoma. 
 

the four oh five

If there was ever a time to use this photo from the Johnson Co. Fair this is the time. I'm sure I lost. 

If there was ever a time to use this photo from the Johnson Co. Fair this is the time. I'm sure I lost. 

Since the late 90s (when Nick TV was better than Disney), my family’s farm transitioned into more of a ranching operation. With a few thousand acres to run commercial cattle and purebred angus my family fell in love with Oklahoma.

I fell hard.

The life I became to know and love was so different that what I would have had in Indiana. 

Then I fell harder in college. The food system and agriculture's many facets became the thing that made sense to me. I traveled abroad with groups to Nicaragua, Argentina, Scotland, England and France and saw first-hand the different views of the vast agricultural industry. 

After two degrees, I moved the 100 miles to Oklahoma City where I became the pork girl. ( A post to be written by the sportswriter.) 

At OPC, was thrown directly into media buying and marketing promotions. I loved it. I loved telling stories. However, I became very intimate with the gap between agriculture and consumers. I needed something that, at the time, agriculture couldn't give me. I needed to know consumers. 

I mean, I liked consumers. Wasn't I one? To me, the line between the two didn't exist. I'm an equal opportunity human supporter.

My plan: Leave agriculture and return in five to seven years with mainstream media and advertising experience. 

I became the official travel writer and social media manager of Chickasaw Country, which is the south-central region of Oklahoma., and covered concerts, restaurants, stores. 

The. Best. Job. Ever.

Just me and my consumers. Chatting. Exploring. People really liked hearing my stories. They loved knowing I broke ice before school, how my show stock made its way into the herd, what “fixing a water gap” meant.

the seven oh four

In North Carolina, I joined a prominent advertising agency that worked with clients in tourism, banking, sports, consumer products, commerce, et al. and found myself on the consumer frontline.

Sure I managed social properties, but I also worked with consumers every day.  Until then, I had never been so intimate with a group of humans who were so completely removed from the family farm.

For example, during my interview, an individual in a leadership position laughed as she told me her 6-year-old didn’t know what a cow was. To me, this was completely baffling, but it made sense. How could a child know what a cow was if she didn't venture far from an urban setting? 

My examples could go on for days, but it was like something clicked. I felt like Rocky. My whole life I’d been chasing chickens just I could compare consumers to Clubber Lang. 

That may be a bad example. No fighting necessary. 

the five one two

Only three and half years after leaving agriculture, I've rejoined the team. Go team ag! I serve as a liaison between agriculture and consumers in a vast lineup of commodities and have found a solid niche career in the digital space. 

I live in an urban jungle filled with food trucks, live music and really cool humans.

My life is advocating away from the farm. 

As a work on tomorrow's presentation and pull specific tips, examples and such I'm reminded it's really just about relationships.

  1. Listen more than you talk.
  2. See both sides of the story. (Even if you have to physically go see both sides of the story)
  3. And be you. No one knows (insert your industry/passion/project) better than you do.  

From the 317 to the 405 to the 704 to the 512 and back. 

Tomorrow I talk about sharing agriculture's story in the very place my life began developing its roots. Full circle, man. Full circle. 

 

 

Immediate Care Center for Calves

After speaking about personal branding through social media in a few classes at Oklahoma State last week, I swung by my parent's house. In college I found it incredibly annoying my hometown was only 10 miles from campus. Now, I find it amazingly convenient. Tailgate, enjoy a game and not worry about a place to crash? That's clearly a win. Well, unless you don't live in Oklahoma anymore.

Lucky II

Anyway. When I arrived at home, my little sister looked at me with her baby blue eyes and said, "will you feed the bottle calf?" Nope.

It was cold outside!

I responded, "If you get my Carharts out of my car (Yes, they're always in my car) I will." Little sister set a personal record. House - Car - House in .009 seconds.

WInter is rough, man.

Poor little guy was all Bambi and the frozen pond scene. Little Sister calls him Lucky II.

Lucky

When we were little we had Lucky. He was born in a really bad storm, got stuck in the mud and broke his leg. So, we raised him .... like a dog. Sort of. Every now and then he would get out of his pen and we'd find him lounging in the yard with the dogs.

Thankfully, we lived on rural route three out past where the black top ends. Kix and Ronnie have nothing on my childhood.

If you keep your eye on the news you know we've had some fun weather in Oklahoma this week. Although it skipped Oklahoma City, a lot of the state had some serious weather drama.

Today, my dad posted this on Facebook:

Immediate care center at Clay Ranch. Thankful for the moisture, but mother nature was hard on the little guys. Lost 3 to sleet and snow. Maybe these will pull through with a little TLC.

2013_Winter_Calves

They look so cozy in the horse barn! And, hungry. And, cold.

That's it. I'm going home. I'm going to name them and give them kisses. At least one of them will forever be known as Oliver.

Homesick.

I woke up this morning to the sun glaring through the window, an ambulance siren screaming down the street and a barking neighbor dog. Oh, what I wouldn't do to trade mornings like this for a front lot full of freshly weaned calves.

Sure, I'm sitting at the kitchen table blogging because I chose the 'late' church service. And sure, I can sit here enjoying my morning popsicle because I didn't have to make the rounds through the pastures 'checkin' calves,' but sometimes this girl needs to a trip home.

Because at home, there are a few of these handsome fellows waiting for me.

And Mason jars for me to take.

And handsome little brothers.

And weird little sisters.

And a big shop for my little farm dog to prance through and get her feet all 'greasy.'

That's it. I'm going to home.

Mostly to take a few steaks out of the deep freeze. Maybe some Blue & Gold sausage, too.

That's what I'm going to tell them anyway.

For now.

I've been living in Oklahoma City for nearly two years. The casa I attempt to call home is within a few minutes walk of two Starbucks, five grocery stores and three gas stations. Each morning I rise to the sound of cars passing my urban casa, an ambulance from the hospital nearby and the occasional neighbor dog barking at a squirrel. Fortunately, all the sounds mesh into a comfortable blend of white noise.

I love living in the city. Well, love may not be the appropriate word, I manage living within the boundaries of city  lights. Friends within a minute or two drive, events every night of the week and a plethora of food-coma inducing dining venues are within my finger tips.

With that said.

I love trading in my wedges (which I cannot get enough of) for a different type of kicks. Home, past the black top on rural route 3, is my escape from the city life.

Spending the day with my dad and sister loading up a few calves.

Laughing hysterically at Trigger who things he's a cowboy. Especially when my dad thinks Tori and I are just goofing off. Which, obviously, we were.

Riding my main man, Max.

Most of all, I love consoling my wanna-be-farm dog, who just doesn't understand why she doesn't get to help.

For now, I have the best of both worlds.

For now, I can live with it.

rural iphone photography

What I thought would be an afternoon of naps, Keeping up with the Kardashians marathon and free food turned into gate-gettin' and cattle loading. Not that I mind - except I was in flip flops.

Apparently when I head to the farm to see the family I sometimes forget to leave my urban brain behind.

Yesterday, it occurred to me that I've managed to slide by in my rural up brining. Sure, I've spent my fair share of mornings busting ice and feeding animals - but sometimes, I just don't know why I don't know something.

I finally tip-toed into the house, switched on the Kardashians {Kris was about to propose!} when the phone rang.

"Can you go get the wheeler." I'm listening.... "Go to the shop and get a ratchet strap." Yeah, a ratchet strap - I know what that is... {click.}

By this point I'm heading to the shop looking for a ratchet strap. {remember, I forgot to switch back to my rural brain.}

I look around a while - and then I see it.

"OOOOHHHHHHH."

Yeah, I knew what it was - I just couldn't remember it's name.

Whatever - I took some decent pics while I was out, completely worth missing Kris propose to Kim.