Show Some Appreciation

It’s National Write a Letter of Appreciation Week. Thanks to Illinois Corn’s blog, I was able to learn more about this. What a great way to show and tell people that you appreciation them. There is definitely a particular group of individuals that I would like to thank and show appreciation to…

Dear Farmers and Ranchers,

Thank you kindly for planting, raising, caring, harvesting and working for the food and pretty much everything I use in my day. Without you life would be pretty bland and cold. I hope you are keeping a positive outlook on your future in the agriculture industry because I and everyone else needs you. I promise to thank God for you and your work every day. I will also continue to do my part in sharing the story of agriculture.

To sum it up, I appreciate you and what you do every single day matters.

Sincerely,

Always a Farmer’s Daughter

The month of March is Agriculture Appreciation Month! Be sure to continue showing those Farmers and Ranchers that you appreciation what they do.

I also took this week as an opportunity to send my favorite kind of mail to friends and family. I appreciate you all too!

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To My Valentine…

I promise this is not going to be one of those posts confessing how much I hate Valentine’s Day. I am single. Does this mean I hate Valentine’s Day? If you asked me this question on Monday I would have shouted, “HATE IT!” But, for some reason I have had a change of heart (no pun intended here). As I started thinking about this holiday where people pour out their love, I thought well goodness I have a lot of love to pour too…

I have a love for:

1. Homemade salsa. Favorite snack EVER!!!!!!!!

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2. Cowboy boots. I love every single pair for a different reason. And I will continue to add to my collection.

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3. Stationary. I should not be unsupervised in this section at T.J. Maxx.

4. Children’s books. So much so, that I hope to write my own down the road.

5. Sitting on my front porch. Rain or shine.

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6. Indiana. My flyover state is pretty great.

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7. Westerns. Yep, my favorite actor is John Wayne.

8. Speaking of John…Wooden definitely makes my list. The coach, man, teacher, that I gain many of my “words to live by.”

9. The wonderful ladies in my life. Each one is so special to me.

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10. Campfires. I don’t even care if it makes my hair smell. Give me a fire under the stars and it’s my perfect night.

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11. Beef. I have to have this protein in my diet.

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12. The man who raised me and who continues to help shape the person I am. He always looked after me. Now he does it from a higher view.

He's always looked after me. Now he does from a higher view.

My Father and I

13. Speaking of higher views, my dad has some help sitting next to my heavenly Father. Thank you both for doing your jobs so well.

14. And of course I cannot forget about Farmers. If it weren’t for them I wouldn’t be able to love half the things on my list.

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There it is, my love poured out for you. So who is my valentine? Well it’s everything on the list above and so much more. To sum it up, my valentine is me and the things that remind me to love this life.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

I love that you are reading my blog.

There’s Just Somethin’ Bout a Farmer

For the past couple of months a certain story keeps popping up in my newsfeed on my social media accounts. It’s a story of a fallen Farmer from Illinois. I’ve read it and every time I see this story I’m reminded of a similar story. The story of my own fallen Farmer. The stories are not the same, they never are. But one similarity they do share is the word, “farmer.”

When I go visit my dear friends in Greens Fork, Indiana, one of my homes away from home, the story of my fallen Farmer always comes up in conversation. It especially comes up when I am talking to the mom in this family. She has a story of her own fallen Farmer. She, like me, will always be a Farmer’s daughter. I feel so comfortable talking to her about my Dad and I think she feels the same about hers. Every single time we talk about them she says, “You know Sarah, there’s just somethin’ bout a Farmer,” and she stops there. Neither one of us finishes the sentence. We sit there in silence. Both of us finishing the sentence in our own way. We say the words about ours Dads that are too hard to say out loud, we see the memories we made with them, we hear their voice. We take a moment of silence to remember our Farmers. We take a moment to be thankful for them.

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As you sit down tomorrow to give thanks for the many blessings in your life, take a moment of silence to remember those that are no longer on this earth with us. Take a moment to be thankful for them. Especially those Farmers, well to sum it up, there’s just somethin’ bout them.

Indiana State Fair Greatness

Our state fair is a great state fair! Don’t miss it, don’t even be late!

It’s the year of the popcorn at our great Indiana State Fair! While this post is a bit late (opening day was back on Aug. 2nd), I sure hope you don’t miss it! You’ve got this weekend to get on out to the Indiana State Fairgrounds to enjoy the year of popcorn and the new Glass Barn exhibit.

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The Glass Barn is new to the Indiana State Fair and it is a great addition to the fairgrounds in telling the story of Indiana agriculture. While visiting you can learn about the history of farm technology, see the journey of an Indiana soybean, and play interactive games in the uFarm section of the barn.
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There are three different family farms featured in the barn. You can learn about them in the WeGrow section. Depending on what time you visit you can see and listen to one of the farmers while they are on their farm (amazing how technology can connect us)!

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You can learn about different food products consumers eat (that’s YOU) in the uEat section, as well as all the other popular consumer products.

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Sometime during your visit be sure to grab a friend or family member and get your picture taken in the PictureU section. There are four different backgrounds you can choose from. All are so fun!

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If you have already visited the Indiana State Fair I hope you enjoyed yourself and visited the Glass Barn, ate a bag of popcorn and learned something new about Indiana agriculture. If you have not, I suggest you go visit before it’s over because it really is great!

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Happy National Beef Month!

May is National Beef Month! It is also the start of grilling season. Beef is a great addition to a healthy diet. My family raises beef cattle and I know that they have been working hard this spring welcoming new life onto our farm. Growing up on a farm and being an active 4-H member, I learned that animals like beef cattle have a purpose. Their purpose is to provide a source of food. I understand that they are not a family pet, but I also understand that they should always be treated with care. I have faith in my family and other family owned and operated farming and ranching operations, that they take great care and pride in their livestock. Their purpose is providing you and me with a heart healthy protein that we can choose to have in our diet.

I choose to eat beef. So, to sum it up, thank you farmers and ranchers for bringing one of my favorite foods to my plate.

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Happy Earth Day 2013!

Today is Earth Day and I will be doing my part by supporting the hands that take care of the land and put food on my table. Farmers are the best stewards of the land. They must take care of the land because it is part of their livelihood. They are responsible for our most precious resource.

Today one farmer feeds 155 people. In 1960, a farmer fed 26 people. Our population is expected to grow to 9.1 billion by the year 2050. Farmers will have to use fewer resources, including fewer land to continue providing food, fuel and fiber for everyone. They’ll do it by continuing to develop new technologies and techniques to help them get the job done. And they will because it is their job.

To sum it up, every single day is Earth Day to a farmer.

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The Ridiculousness of it All

The People for the Ethnical Treatment of Animals better known as PETA has been making headlines lately attacking the livestock industry. The most recent incident is recruiting one of Hollywood’s leading men to do its dirty work. Ryan Gosling has become an active PETA supporter sending a letter to the Huffington Post on the practice of dehorning cattle. In the letter he tries to explain the process of dehorning (I can guarantee he has never seen it in person) and how, “There is absolutely no reason — and no excuse for the cruel, unnecessary practice of dehorning to continue.”

Okay, dehorning is necessary for the safety of the animal and the other animals it will be associated with. It is also necessary for the safety of the farmer or rancher. Yes, there are ways for farmers and ranchers to breed polled cattle (cattle born without buds or horns) but sometimes there are still those in your herd that have them and need to be dehorned.

I was at a friends house earlier this week and a segment of E! News was playing. One of the top stories was about Gosling’s letter and they showed images of cattle. This is definitely not the kind of media attention the livestock industry likes. I hope that those of you who have heard the story have looked deeper and found the facts about PETA and dehorning. I also hope you understand that the fact is farmers and ranchers have the best interest for their livestock at all times. That livestock is their livelihood, so you bet they are going to work hard to treat them fairly.

In another recent news story, PETA has gone after a Louisiana boy who is selling raffle tickets in a Cow Raffle. The boy, along with the help of his parents, has organized this raffle as a fundraising opportunity to help raise money to attend a student ambassador program overseas. When PETA found out about the Cow Raffle they contacted the boy offering to help him raise money in other ways. I know what you are thinking, “That isn’t so bad. They are wanting to help him.” The help they wanted to send him was “The Lettuce Ladies.” These are women dressed in bikinis made out of, you guessed it, lettuce! Basically they wanted to provide the BOY with vulgar images to sell. This is so inappropriate and shows how extreme PETA really is.

To sum it up, I am pretty upset about how much media attention PETA is getting and how they are treating the people that put food on their tables, clothes on their backs, fuel in their cars, toothpaste on their toothbrushes, and ink for the newspapers or paint for the billboards they use to print and display their awful ads and stories.

Here is an interesting blog post about the picture below.

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Photo Friday: Down the Road

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Last night I had a conversation about agriculture with a concerned consumer. She asked me what kind of soybeans my family raised. I asked her if she was wondering what brand my family used. She said, “Yes, do you use that Monsanto company because I watched that movie Food Inc.” Right away I knew where she wanted this conversation to go.
I said, “That movie is very biased. They used some very graphic images. You know not every farm is like that.” Then I decided to give her the facts. I told her that 98% of U.S. farms are family owned and operated. I explained to her that those farmers treat their livestock humanly and that my family is part of that 98%.
She told me that she understood what I was saying and that not all farmers are bad. I was glad to hear that she got it but later I found out that she stopped eating meat for three months after watching Food Inc. because the images were so horrifying for her. Now that I think about it I don’t blame her. I’ve seen the movie but I’ve also seen the reality.
I was so glad that we got to have this conversation. I did get a little frustrated and defensive because it kills me when people think farmers do bad things. I know that there are some bad ones out there and that factory farms do exists but I also know that there are good farmers and family owned and operated farms. That’s why it’s so important to have conversations like the one above. The bridge between consumer and producer should be crossed every day so that consumers know the facts and can appreciate where their goods come from.
I know I can only do so much and people can take what I have to say and form their own opinions. I will work hard to continue having good conversations about agriculture because that’s just one way I can thank farmers. And hopefully down the road that consumer I had a conversation with will thank one too.

Photo Friday: The Facts

• Indiana ranks 5th nationally in the production of corn; producing 960 million bushels in 2007.

• Indiana ranks 4th in the production of soybeans with 211 million bushels produced in 2007.

• Indiana is the 2nd largest producer of popcorn in the nation.

• Indiana ranks 2nd in tomatoes for processing 249,000 tons.

• Indiana ranks 4th in peppermint producing 293,000 lbs. and 5th in spearmint producing 81,000 pounds.

• Indiana ranks 2nd in the number of layer chickens. The state is also 3rd in the nation for total number of eggs.

• Indiana produces more ducks than any other state in the nation.

• Indiana ranks 2nd in the production of both regular and fat free ice cream.

Resource: Ag in the Classroom

 
Here are some other great websites where you can find facts about Indiana agriculture:

Indiana Farmers Feed US

Indiana’s Family of Farmers

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