Karina Jones is a real-life ranch wife in the Nebraska Sandhills and one of the most highly sought-after speakers in the cattle industry nationwide!
What is Christmas without candy canes! Thanks for joining me today on Fun, Fact Friday!
A holiday tradition, candy canes have been around for more than 350 years. The popular peppermint flavor of the candy, not to mention my absolute favorite flavor, is made possible by the farmers that work year-round to produce the mint oil. The United States produces more than 70% of the world’s supply of peppermint. Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Indiana, California and Wisconsin are the top peppermint producing states.
Mint does not produce seeds, instead new fields are planted with underground runners, called stolons, from existing plants. While mint begins as a row crop, by the second year the plants actually spread with stolons. Fields are usually rotated with another crop every 3 to 5 years, which means the cycle begins again. The crop requires about 60 inches of rainfall.
When the plants are mature enough, they are mowed with a windrower leaving mounded hay. Once cut, the leaves are dried for 24 to 36 hours, then picked up and blown into tubs. The oil is then extracted from the mint leaves using steam distillation. One drum of oil can be used to flavor about 5 million sticks of gum or about 400 thousand tubes of toothpaste.
This time of year, we start every morning with a drops of peppermint essential oil in our coffee grounds, so I for one appreciate the American peppermint farmer!
Karina ranches with her husband, Marty, and 4 children near Broken Bow, NE. She grew up in western NE, with roots also in southwest SD. The cattle industry and raising kids is her passion.
Watching the cattle industry go the path that it has gone, she could no longer sit quietly at home checking cows, fixing fence, and doing all the everyday tasks wondering when some else was going to make it all better. As she became more active and outspoken on industry issues, she was asked to join the R-CALF USA staff in September 2020 as the Checkoff Petition Campaign manager. That position transcended into her former role as full time Field Director for R-CALF USA.
You can hear her almost every Friday on Your Ag Network’s Hot Barn Report, where she deep dives into cattle industry issues and industry reforms. Listen to Ranch Raised on a Your Ag Network hometown station or www.youragnetwork.com where she talks about her daily life on the Jones Ranch.
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