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When a City Girl Goes Country

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By Annette Bridges

It feels like the first time. Do you remember that feeling you got when you first met the love of your life? The thrill, the butterflies, the magic?

I think this best describes what our bull, Frankie, feels when he rejoins his herd after several weeks spent in his bachelor pad pen.

We do not want calves born during the coldest, iciest winter days. The best prevention to keep this from happening is, of course, trying to manage when our cows get pregnant. Every year, our bull spends a few weeks solo in his bachelor pad. Using our bovine gestation table, we see that letting Frankie rejoin the herd on May 16 could potentially mean a calf born on Feb. 25.

The table is based on 285-day gestations, late winter is the earliest we would want a calf born.
Watching both Frankie and the herd’s reactions to when he returns to them is always amusing. When Frankie realizes where he is heading, his nonchalant moseying often turns into an elated trot with sometimes an exuberant jump or two along the way. It always includes some happy and very loud bellowing.

To read more, pick up a copy of the January 2024 issue of NTFR magazine. To subscribe by mail, call 940-872-5922.

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Country Lifestyles

On the Road with Dave Alexander

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As 2024 begins to unfold and you find yourself looking for something fun to do, why not turn to one of the finest entertainment venues in Cooke County? That would be Butterfield Stage. That’s right, audiences have been entertained by the Butterfield Stage Players for more than 40 years. This wonderful community theater was formed back in 1979 when a few local residents decided to embark on creating a community theater. I believe the best entertainment is live entertainment. So don’t find yourself shut in with an old Hallmark movie or old reruns this year.

To read more, pick up a copy of the February 2024 issue of NTFR magazine.

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Country Lifestyles

Lacey’s Pantry: Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup Bake

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By Lacey Vilhauer

Ingredients:
3 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
1 ½ tsp dried basil, divided
12 slices Italian, sourdough or rye bread
6 slices mozzarella cheese
6 Tbsp butter, softened
½ cup tomato paste
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 ¾ cup 2% milk
2 large eggs
1 cup shredded Italian cheese

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, mix cream cheese and 1 tsp basil until blended and spread onto 6 bread slices. Top with slices of mozzarella cheese and remaining bread slices. Butter exterior of all 12 bread slices. Arrange sandwiches in a greased 9×13 baking dish with at least 2-inch sides. Set aside.

To read more, pick up a copy of the February 2024 issue of NTFR magazine. To subscribe by mail, call 940-872-5922.

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Country Lifestyles

Agriculture’s Ties to Valentine’s Days

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By Dani Blackburn

February 14 has become known as the day of love, celebrated each year with loved ones exchanging roses, chocolate and gifts over candlelight dinners all in the name of St. Valentine. The true origin of the holiday remains a mystery but stems from both Christian and Roman backgrounds.

Today, the holiday pours millions of dollars into the country’s economy. While some tout it as nothing but a commercialized holiday for big business, the numbers prove it provides an economic boost. According to the National Retail Federation, consumers in the United States spent a whopping $25.9 billion on Valentine’s Day in 2023, the highest number reported since 2004.

Consumers were expected to spend an average of $192.80, but they were not only buying for significant others. They also shopped for friends, children’s classmates, teachers, coworkers, and more to make the day special for those they cared about, and none of it would be possible without agriculture.

To read more, pick up a copy of the February 2024 issue of NTFR magazine. To subscribe by mail, call 940-872-5922.

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