Pet Safety in Winter Weather

Posted on November 05, 2015

Although it maybe doesn’t seem like it, cold weather is just around the corner. This is the perfect time to take a look at the proper precautions in caring for our pets. The snow and harsh weather can have negative effects on our pets. To help prevent any problems this winter, we have put together a list of the top 10 ways to help you protect your pet in colder weather:

Pet Safety

Especially For Horse Owners…

It is important to make sure you are able to provide your horses with a dry, warm shelter. Horse blankets are a good way to keep your horses dry and warm. It is also important to provide your horses with constant food and water. Their bodies are working harder in the winter to stay warm, so they (along with any pet) need more food in the winter to stay energized and hydrated.


Towel Dry Extra Snow

Coming in and out of the house can cause your pet’s skin to become irritated. Snow and ice build-up (including the salt and other chemicals that come with it) can create dry, pads or even cause them to bleed. Make sure to keep a towel ready to dry off your pet when they come in the house and pay close attention to the spaces between their toes.


Brush Your Pet’s Fur

Most animals grow extra hair during the colder months, and this extra fur needs to be groomed. Matted fur can lead to extra hair loss and less protection from the cold. Also. brushing your pet’s fur on a regular basis will stimulate blood flow and help the health of their skin.


Winter Haircuts

If you have a long-haired pet, it is a good idea to trim your dog’s hair in the winter to reduce the amount of snow, ice, and different ice melting chemicals that can get stuck to them. Be careful not to cut it too short, they still need something to keep them warm. For shorter-haired breeds, you might want to skip the cuts until spring and add a sweater to keep them cozy.


Potty Training New Puppies

Puppies’ paws are a lot more sensitive to the winter cold. Your new pooch should not be spending too much time outside. If you are potty training, it would be a smart idea to paper train your puppy until the weather starts to warm up and limit their exposure outdoors.


Winter Bathing

A warm bath is a good idea to clean your pet from the dirty ice and snow. However, bathing too much during the winter can cause your pet’s skin to become dry, itchy, and flaky- just like your skin! If this happens to your pet, check with your local veterinary clinic to find a moisturizing shampoo.


How Cold is Too Cold?

The extra fur your pet grows for winter does act as added protection from the elements, but you wouldn’t be expected to be left outside with a warm coat in the coldest winter temperatures, no matter what kind of coat you wear. Your pet should always have a warm, dry place to go in the winter, but remember, if it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for them!


7 Tips For A Safe Harvest

Posted on October 06, 2015

To ensure a safe harvest this fall, it is important to focus a great deal of attention to the safety and precautions involved with operating machinery, hazardous weather and dust, and field hazards. Every year at harvest many farmers risk losing their fingers, hands, or arms to harvesting equipment. Many of these accidents could be prevented if farmers took the opportunity to learn more about the equipment safety. To keep our farmers safer this year we have put together a list of the top 7 safety precautions:




  1. TURN IT OFF! Anytime you are getting out of the tractor or not using the equipment it is important that you are turning it completely off.


  1. Never allow for extra riders in the tractor or equipment. The number of seats determines the number of riders safe to ride. Ex: One seat means one rider.


  1. Teach all workers how to properly use the equipment and enforce the safety rules.


  1. All powered equipment should have a working, up-to-date fire extinguisher. All workers should be fully informed on how to use it as well.


  1. Be sure to know how the weather conditions are affecting your crops before you go out. Cold weather is known to clog the feeding mechanisms and warm weather – which creates dry crops – can cause fires.


  1. Make sure all shields and guards are in place and secure before starting to harvest. It is important that any parts that are broken or chipped get fixed immediately.


  1. Be sure to have the clean air filters in place when harvesting. The dust from the harvest can be very dangerous to breathe. It is also a smart idea to take a break and get some fresh air!


Besides keeping these tips in mind during harvest season, be sure that all your workers are fully informed on the precaution when dealing with harvesting equipment. From all of us at AgVenture, have a happy and plentiful harvesting season!


Life Lessons from Showing Cattle

Posted on August 12, 2015

Generations of former 4-H and FFA members will tell you about the many life lessons learned from participating when you are young. Children and teens benefit greatly from many different activities that are available to them through school and extracurricular groups. One such life-lesson building activity is showing cattle. Showing cattle is a great way to give someone a structured and purposeful childhood, not to mention many life lessons that can be learned in the process.



Let's get the most obvious one out of the way first; responsibility. Showing cattle requires daily work, a strict schedule, and the consistency to commit even when you don’t feel like it. Cattle must be fed and worked with on a daily basis; bad weather, good weather, rain or shine- cattle (like some teens) respond best to consistency and routine.

Time Management

With great responsibility comes the need for time management skills. Kids and teens are busier today than they have ever been; sports, homework, spending time with friends- even elementary-aged children have a schedule. Dividing your time up efficiently is a skill cattle showers need to master in order to become successful.


Breaking in and training any animal is hard, but no one is going to make a cow do anything against its own will. The first few months, especially, can be very stressful, and it takes patience and dedication to stick with the training. Learning to be patient is important and can take some time, but if you can be patient enough to train stubborn cattle, you will be more than prepared for working with stubborn people.

Strong Work Ethic

Learning responsibility, time management, and patience will end in one thing- an incredible work ethic. Seeing months of hard work pay off in the end shows kids that consistency and hard work do pay off and that if you want something hard enough and work at it, you can achieve your goals.

Winning Isn’t Everything

On the other hand, hard work does not always pay off. Even the most well-intentioned and dedicated people don’t always finish first. Working hard and losing can teach a person much more than reaping in benefits without much effort. Learning that you won’t always win just because you put in the hard work teaches kids that losing is a part of life just as much as winning. Learning to deal with disappointment is just as important as any other life lesson. Some of the most successful people in the world are not the nicest or most genuine because they never learned to be humble.

Showing cattle isn’t always just about winning or losing. There are many life lessons to be learned along the way. Perhaps the most important lesson of a parent is to show support and let their children learn these lessons on their own.


Dairy Cow Nutrition- Starting Early

Posted on July 01, 2015

Dairy cows are a lot like humans, nutrition is a very important part of their life from the very beginning. There are a few things that you can do to ensure that your calves grow to become healthy cows.


According to The Holstein Foundation, a dairy cow gains 70% of its weight in the last 60 days before birth. This means the health and nutrition of the mother is very important during this period to help ensure the calf is born healthy. Cows that are properly fed and immunized produce higher quality colostrum, which is the first milk that a cow produces after giving birth. Colostrum is very essential for newborn calves because they are born without a working immune system. Colostrum supplies the calf with antibodies that help the calf fight off infections and stay healthy.


bottle feeingBottle feeding is preferred over bucket feeding at a young age; why is that? When a calf has to lift its head and suck from the bottle this allows the milk to be diverted from the rumen and straight into the omasum or abomasum. This is very helpful for the calf because the rumen does not start functioning properly until the calf is about 60 days old. The more often a calf is fed, the better the calf will grow. Most dairy farmers feed the calves twice a day, but adding a third feeding during the day can be extremely beneficial to the calves growth.


Once the calf reaches one week old, offer a calf starter. Calf starter is a feed that includes pellets and corn. The calf might not take it at first, but it is important to always have fresh starter feed available to the calf. Along with starter feed, good quality alfalfa should be offered in small quantities. This will help the calf’s rumen to develop properly.


Remembering these few simple things are a great way to ensure a strong and healthy life for your dairy cows. For more information on dairy and nutrition visit the dairy page of our website.


National Dairy Month

Posted on June 01, 2015


This June marks the 78th annual National Dairy Month. Originating in 1937, it was called National Milk Month and intended to promote drinking milk. Now, the month of milk has expanded to shine light on and celebrate the contributions the dairy industry provides for the world. There are many benefits to dairy products, besides being tasty.


Dairy is good for your body

We’ve all heard “milk helps build strong bones.” But what does that really mean? Milk is packed with vitamins and minerals like calcium, phosphorus and vitamins A and D. All four of these help strengthen your bones by replacing the vitamins and minerals your body uses up to keep your bones strong. And it’s not just your bones that milk helps either; it also strengthens and keeps your muscles and bones strong.


Dairy is part of a balanced breakfast

Every day should begin with breakfast. Studies have shown that kids who start their day off with a nutritional breakfast perform and behave better in school. There are a wide variety of dairy foods to help your child do well in class. If you and your child are tired of having a bowl of cereal for breakfast, there are plenty of fun breakfast recipes for kids and adults to keep each meal fun and healthy.



Dairy promotes sustainability

Dairy farmers implement a variety of sustainability practices to ensure their farms are using the resources on hand to the fullest. These practices also ensure the best quality of care for their livestock. Healthy cows produce healthy and wholesome dairy foods, which is why dairy farmers provide only the best feed for their cows.


AgVenture Feed & Seed provides both natural and organic feed products to keep cows healthy and producing nutrient-rich milk. This June, celebrate dairy month with your family, and celebrate an industry that is pivotal to America and will continue to for years to come.


Summer Activities With Your Pet

Posted on May 05, 2015

Hanging out with your cat or dog doesn’t have to mean just going for a walk and playing with toys. Getting your pet outside regularly is good for their spirits because they get to experience scenery outside of your home and you also get to spend some quality time together. Trying some new activities with your pet will bring you closer together. According to  PetCareRx, there are so many other things you and your pet might love to do together! In case you are stuck, here are some ideas:



  • Take your pet to a hospital or nursing home to spread their love and cheer with others. Some of the patients or elderly may get lonely in the hospital or nursing home, so they might really appreciate some warm cuddles from your furry friends to cheer them up!



  • Your pet might enjoy a new piece of furniture made especially for them. Whether they are inside or outside pets, you can build a variety of pet houses or furniture to fit their personality. For example, if you have an outdoor cat that likes to climb trees, a little treehouse for your cat might be perfect.



  • You want be prepared when you take your pet out during the summer, so be prepared. Have travel supplies and toys for summer playing. Also, you don’t want to forget a travel water bowl for your furry friend! Another thing your dog might like to beat the heat is a dog ice pop made just for them!



  • If you and your pet have an artistic side, makesome paw art. Just dip your pet’s paws in paint and press on canvas for a wonderful way to decorate your house. If you have more than one pet, try this project for multiple paws.  


Now that you have some unique ideas for having fun with your pet, go out and enjoy! Don’t forget to snap a few photos to submit them to our cutest pet contest for a chance to win a free bag of pet food!


How to Maintain the Hygiene of your Poultry

Posted on April 29, 2015

‘Tis the season to be gawking over baby chicks! Whether you live in a rural or urban area, you will want to do your research on how to properly care for a chicken before you purchase one. Here are a few things you should know before you get started:




Chickens need clean water and fresh food every day. To keep your chickens from getting sick, you will want to clean the food and water dishes daily as well. This will keep bacteria from building up in the dishes. According to United Poultry Concerns, chickens also need fresh dark leafy greens (in addition to grains and seeds) to keep them healthy.


Coop Maintenance:

There should always be fresh, fluffy straw for the chickens to lay on. Droppings should be scooped out daily to prevent your feathered friends from getting sick. Your chicken coop should also have a lock on it to keep your hens safe from predators. You always want to count your chickens and lock up the coop at night to protect them.



Chickens, like any other pet, need baths. Backyard Poultry warns that chickens are prone to lice, mites, tick and chigger bites, and external parasites. Bathing them will help soothe their skin from the bites and help keep the pests at bay. Another way to help prevent external parasites is to dust or spray them. This will help repel unwanted pests.


When giving a chicken a bath, you don’t want to fully submerge the chicken in the water. You want to gently place the bird in the water and use your hands to wet its feathers and rinse out the shampoo. When the bird is done in the bathtub, you can do more detailed cleaning. When they come out of the tub and are wrapped in a towel is a good time to clip their nails and clean their feet with an old toothbrush. Their nails will be a little softer and easier to clip when they are straight out of the bathtub. You will also want to clip and file the top beak so it matches the bottom one. Then, gently blow dry your chicken and you’re all done. Remember, chickens can catch cold, so make sure they are completely dry and in a draft-free area.


Now that you know how to keep your chickens clean and healthy, you can visit our website to learn more about poultry.


Ag Week 2015 is March 15th - 21st!

Posted on March 16, 2015

This year, Ag Week is March 15th – 21st and National Ag Day is March 18th! Every year, Ag Day is hosted by the Agriculture Council of America (ACA). National Ag Day was established to recognize and celebrate the abundance of American agriculture and value within every Americans daily lives. Below outlines the beliefs of the National Ag Day Program.


  1. Understand how food, fiber and renewable resource products are produced.

  2. Value the essential role of agriculture in maintaining a strong economy.

  3. Appreciate the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant and affordable products.

  4. Acknowledge and consider career opportunities in the agriculture, food, fiber and renewable resource industries.



















At AgVenture, a farmer’s life is our life. The principles that surround National Ag Day, not only support AgVenture’s Mission but our customer’s as well. If these principles are important to you, please share this information with others or read more at Below outlines other ways to get involved:


Farmer’s Market: What way to better kick off spring and celebrate Ag Day than to host a local farmer’s market?  This event will highlight your local agriculture. The best way to make this event a hit is to have samples, games, and prizes.

Ag Day Breakfast: Invite the public and local government to join together and enjoy a delicious local breakfast to celebrate this special day. Ask your government leaders to be keynote speakers and highlight what agriculture is doing in your community.

Pizza Party: Host a pizza party at your local elementary school.  Explain to the children how farmers and agriculture have helped make the ingredients in this pizza possible.  This is a great hands on way to show how agriculture is making a difference in your community.


Petting Zoo: Host a petting zoo at the park where parents and children can come visit with the animals.  Ask your local farmers and ranchers to provide the animals. The community will be able to interact with not only the animals but their caretakers as well.


Library Display: Approach your public library and ask if you can set up a display during the day.  Your display can contain information and fun facts about agriculture.  Make sure your display is eye catching and can spark up conversation with library patrons.


While all of these ideas are a great way to celebrate Ag Day, the possibilities are endless.  To learn more about to plan a successful Ag Day event, please visit the Ag Day Website! Have a happy Ag Day, and don’t forget to thank your local farmer!


What to Keep in Mind when Building your Own Chicken Coop

Posted on March 05, 2015



Backyard chicken coops are booming right now! Having fresh eggs anytime you need them is a huge benefit to keeping your own chickens. Chickens are also very low maintenance, which makes them easy to keep in your yard, however you will want to build a coop that is comfortable and effective for your feathered friends. Here are some tips to make a great chicken coop:


Building Materials

The size of the screening and wood you will need to buy depends on how many chickens you want to have and what you have space for. This Old House recommends a 4-by-8 foot screened in portion and a 4-by-4 foot enclosed coop for 3 hens. If you want more than 3 hens, you would need to go a bit bigger for them to be comfortable.


Hen Comfort


Don’t forget nesting boxes and roosting perches when building your chicken coop! Chickens need comfortable places to rest and lay their eggs. Adding some lighting on the inside of the coop will also help provide a warm, comfortable space for the chickens to live when it’s cold outside. Keep predators away by using a proper lock that cannot be opened by an animal to lock your flock up at night. You will also want to make sure that your coop has vents to let hot air escape in the summer. Chickens will get sick if the air in their coop doesn’t circulate well enough, and the extra heat will inhibit egg-laying.



Coop Design

The most convenient design for a backyard chicken coop is a walk-in design. It makes it convenient for you to clean and give your chickens fresh food and water. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your design! A chicken coop doesn’t have to be a boring wood box. You can hang flowers on it, paint it, hang pictures on the inside, etc. — it’s your coop, so don’t be afraid to decorate it to match your personality.


Now that you have your housing planned, learn more about how to care for your chickens!


Hobby Farming a Garden

Posted on February 27, 2015

Gardening is a great hobby to have during the warmer seasons of the year. Gardening gets us outside and moving around, not to mention provides fresh fruits and vegetables in our own backyard. Have you ever considered turning your smaller garden into a hobby garden? If you decide to take it one step further, here are some things you will want to consider:


Research what grows well in your region.

If you are fairly new to gardening, you will want to do some research about what will grow well in your area. Some of the simplest fruits and vegetables to grow in Minnesota are:


  • Fruits: apples, blueberries, blackberries, cantaloupe, currants, chokecherries, gooseberries, grapes, honeydew, plums, raspberries, strawberries, watermelon


  • Vegetables: sweet corn, tomatoes, zucchini, summer squash, rhubarb, peas. potatoes, onions, cucumbers, cauliflower, bell peppers, celery, carrots, beets



Take a look at what will be in season when you want to grow and sell.

It will be easier to sell items that are in season because there will be a demand for them. People want to use recipes with whatever fruits and vegetables are in season before they are gone and the prices will go up to attain them out of season. For example, in the summer in Minnesota, there are tons of dishes and desserts that are made with strawberries because they are in season during that time.


Don’t go overboard with how many fruits and vegetables you grow.

Start your hobby garden small so you can get a feel for what it will be like. If you are wanting to use your hobby garden for a little extra cash, you want to make sure you will turn a profit. When you’re starting out, you might want to choose two fruits and two vegetables.


Downtown Farmer's Market at Public Square

Join a farmer’s market.

The way you’re going to learn about successful hobby farming and make money is through joining a farmer’s market. Farmer’s markets are full of experienced farmers and shoppers who would be willing to share their experience with you, so you can gain perspective on what the market is like. They are also a helpful place to observe what shoppers are attracted to and what others are selling.


There are many things you might have to think about when turning your home garden into a hobby garden, but the most important thing to remember is that it is a HOBBY, so have fun with it!