Kansas is in a serious drought.  In the last 12 months they should have had 30 inches of rain, but they have only had 11 inches since last July.  Water is life to a cattle farmer, not only for the land but for the cattle too.  As we drove by acres of corn, you could see the tops of the corn curled inward to protect the corn cob, but Debbie said that they are about six inches shorter than normal by this year.

Luckily the Blythe Family Farm has natural springs they can tap into to make sure the cattle have plenty to eat.  They have 11 pastures in all for the cattle.  After our lunch we took a tour of the property.

This is Mrs. Blythe, Debbie’s mother-in-law.   She’s lived on the property her whole life.  I loved her vest.  

Did I mention in yesterday’s post that Debbie is passionate about her farm?  I love her spirit and I am not kidding when I tell you that after hearing her speak, I wish I would have known about agriculture as a career because I find it fascinating.  I think I could have been great on a farm – but I’d like to be the one feeding all the cowboys like Pioneer Woman 😛  Even though I live in the midwest, we didn’t have 4-H clubs and things like that, so I never would have through of agriculture as a career.

It was also very hot while we were there, although there was a constant breeze which helped.

Even though I was a guest, I didn’t mind pitching in to set up for dinner – how cute are these tablescapes?

I love this picture – and that new hat I got – it fits like a glove 😀 

We ate dinner in the barn – with both doors open there was a nice cross breeze in there and a respite from the hot sun.

If you want to follow along Certified Angus Beef ® brand Brand the Barn project, just follow the hashtag #brandthebarn – that’s me with the hat and jeans just left of the sign in front 😀

Little Apple Brewing Company was the caterer, and the staff and food was stellar.  They are located in Manhattan, Kansas, which goes by the name of “Little Apple.” 

Thank you for an excellent meal!  I can’t wait to recreate your couscous salad and the tenderloin was delish.

My plate: hummus, roasted vegetables, salad – and I promise the couscous salad is under there 😀

Ready to meet some people?  On the left is Nicole, she is a Producer Communications Specialist at Certified Angus Beef ® brand and was so sweet.  That’s Debbie in the middle, owner of Blythe Family Farms, and Brianna is an intern for Certified Angus Beef ® brand.  You can check out Nicole’s personal blog here.

This is Troy.  He is the painter that is going to be painting ALL 40 barns!  He hails from Springfield, Illinois and his wife and daughter will be traveling with him this summer as he goes from town to town.  How cool is that?  His company is called Free Sky Studios.  You can check out his site here.

This is Dave – one of the four other bloggers who were on this trip with me.  He is from Upstate New York and is a full time food blogger.  He lives with his wife and 2 1/2 year old son.  His blog is called Spiced and you can check it out here.  He was so nice and I of course love another food blog to follow.  I already know which recipe I want to try first – his blueberry hand pies.  Drool. 

Meet Marye.  She blogs at Restless Chipotle – you can check out her recap on this post.   She is a shy person at first, but she’s learning to step out of her comfort zone.  While I will talk to anyone, I know it doesn’t come easy to some, but I was glad that by the end, she really opened up and I know she had a good time.  She’s a mother of 8!  I don’t even want to know what her cell phone bill looks like.  I can’t wait to try her cheddar biscuits.  It’s cheese and bread – my two favorite food groups!

This is Clint.  He is a professional BBQ and full time blogger.  Not only has he judged BBQ competitions, he’s been on Travel Channel and won $10,000 in a BBQ competition.  But that’s not all – check out all his media here!  He was funny, with a super dry sense of humor and I would love to drive to Memphis and eat some of his food.  But until then, I’ll try his award winning smoked beef brisket.

Meet Bobbi!  She blogs at Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen, and is also a full time blogger.   She’s from Washington State – still on my bucket list of places to go.  She’s funny, super outgoing and she’s got a dill pickle cole slaw that I can’t wait to try.  

Last, but not least, meet Margaret.  She is the Director of Digital Platforms for Certified Angus Beef ® brand and has worked at the company for 17 years.  She was our cruise director, if you will, and was like meeting an old friend when I met her.  So personable!  She and her husband are building a house and will soon be living in a trailer for the summer while construction is going on – she’s married and a Mom of three.  I wish her luck on her summer adventure of living in a trailer 😀

We ended our evening Monday night sitting behind the barn, watching Troy paint, and drinking beer.  It was the best way to end my day learning all about cattle farming and how gorgeous is that Kansas sky?!  Troy said that after each barn he’s painted, it’s rained, and sure enough a storm rolled through Monday night, which was much needed.

Thank you again for sponsoring this trip Certified Angus Beef ® brand – can’t wait to follow along with the rest of the barn branding. 

Make it a great day!