Don’t Be Afraid to Talk

Last night I read an article about a woman who frequently flies and loves to meet new people. On one of her flights she was seated next to a 70 year old farmer. She expressed how much she enjoyed listening to his story and how she better understands where her food comes from because of their conversation.

If you know me personally or have read some of my other posts on Sarah Sums It Up, you know that I LOVE farmers. They are my favorite people to talk to. I have a family full of farmers and many of my closest friends are farmers. But I must confess that at times I am scared to talk to them. I am scared because it makes me sad that I don’t get to have conversations with my favorite farmer, my dad, anymore. It’s silly really. I will go awhile without talking to some of my family and farmer friends and when I finally do stop to catch up with them, I leave with a smile on my face. I walk away from our conversations thinking, why did I wait so long to stop and say hi and to see how they are doing? I walk away happy.

For those of you who have questions about where your food comes from or you just want to find our more about what farmers do, talk to a farmer. Today farmers are understanding that it’s important to have conversations with consumers. They know that the work they are doing is good and they are learning how to share that with the consumer. Social media has opened so many avenues for farmers and ranchers to share their stories with anyone who wants to listen. Here is a list of some of my favorite farmers and ranchers out there sharing their story:

The Peterson Brothers
Agriculture Proud
The Farmer’s Life
The Beef Jar

20130319-014746.jpg
National Agriculture Day is March 25th! Mark your calendars for this great opportunity to start a conversation with a farmer or rancher.

To sum it up, if you get the chance to talk to a farmer, do it.

Advertisements

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!

20140304-224440.jpg

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!!!!!!!!

20140213-232322.jpg

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

20140213-232312.jpg

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.

20140213-232229.jpg

6. Indiana. My flyover state is pretty great.

20140213-232443.jpg

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.

20140213-232330.jpg

20140213-232336.jpg

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.

20140213-232740.jpg

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

Image

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.

20140213-232352.jpg

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.

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.

IMG_2089

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.

20130422-005636.jpg

Photo Friday: Down the Road

20130329-080051.jpg

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.

Happy National Agriculture Day!

20130319-014746.jpg

Today I would like for you to join with me in thanking and celebrating all those who work in the agriculture industry. I have been posting a lot about ag here on Sarah Sums It Up because March is Agriculture Appreciation Month in Indiana. But today the ag world gets attention on a national stage. I am very passionate about agriculture and want to help those in the industry share their story. Today I ask you to talk to a farmer face to face or through social media outlets. Farmers love what they do and I am sure they would love to tell you about all their hard work.

Here are some of my blog posts about agriculture and farmers:

I love Farmers

The Farmer’s Verse

The Definition of a Hoosier

So God Made a Farmer

We Come and We Go

My sister, Katie and I created this newsletter to share today. Please click on the link below to view!

A message from Katie and Sarah

To see how others are celebrating and giving thanks today search and follow the Ag Day, Farms Matter or Agriculture Proud hashtags on social media sites #AgDay, #farmsmatter and #AgProud.

Please share and create your own ways of thanking farmers for all their hard work they do for you! But remember every day is Agriculture Day!! I love farmers