Save the Date: 2017 Winter Innovation Forum

While most might consider the winter months the off-season or “down time” for farmers, those involved in the day-to-day operations know that cold winter months equate to a calendar just as busy as April or October. Farmers may not be sitting in tractor cab or combine, but their time is divided between

4-H meetings

Church responsibilities

Digging out rural neighbors

High school and college basketball games

Serving at the soup kitchen

School board meetings

FFA banquets and events

And who could forget a quick jaunt down to Florida to thaw out the patient spouse?


Harvest Land wants to be your resource for sound information to enable you to operate successfully, but we don’t want to cluster your calendar with meetings.


That’s why we invite you to save the date for our Winter Innovation Forum,  which will bring agronomy, energy, feed and grain customers to one large meeting and trade show event on February 22, 2017. Nationally renowned industry leaders will deliver breaking industry news and updates to enable you to operate successfully.


In 2016 this event brought nearly 700 growers and energy business owners to Richmond, Indiana.

What did attendees say about the 2016 Winter Innovation Forum? We’ll let them tell you, straight from our post-event survey:

Well worth my time being there. Well done

Excellent program! Speakers were informative, topics were spot on with agriculture in today’s world. Great job!

Hopefully this event continues

Comprehensive, well run, organized and relevant.

I really enjoyed the program, I was surprised on how many people I saw from my area. There was a great turn out and it was beneficial.

Some really top-notch speakers!! Thanks for putting this on and covering the cost of my pesticide application training

Great job! Great turn out and awesome atmosphere.

Excellent event! Great work Harvest Land!!

I thought it was a great day of information. Thank you for putting it together

Very well done, enjoyed the day.

Mark your calendar now and make plans to attend this powerhouse event on February 22, 2017 in Richmond, Indiana.


Month of the Cooperatives

Harvest Land is proud to announce that October is National Cooperative Month. After all, what better time could there be than during harvest to reflect on everything cooperatives do for the farmers and ranchers who own them?


As you’re busy bringing in what promises to be another banner harvest, consider how rural co-ops, empowered by the combined strength of their owners, ensure the steady supply of affordable inputs that make your crop possible.


Co-ops help fuel machinery, as well as your entire operation, by providing the diesel fuel, agronomic expertise, seed, fertilizers, financing and crop protection you need — all to protect the bottom line. Co-ops also provide access to broader world markets for higher profitability.


Now more than ever, ag operations are technology driven, and once again the co-op is there to help you stay current. Because the co-op is a business you own, you can trust it has your long-term interests in mind. And there’s no better proof than the patronage you receive just for doing business with a cooperative, as well as the reinvestment the co-op makes in order to serve your changing needs and stay relevant for generations.


Cooperatives like Harvest Land build jobs, local communities and, ultimately, a stronger America. At Harvest Land, we have 300 full-time and more than 50 part-time workers and generate nearly $360 million in sales annually.


That’s revenue that stays in east central Indiana and southwest Ohio, rather than going to some out-of-state (or out-of-country) business conglomerate. It’s money that feeds the local economy, causing a ripple effect as it travels through the local equipment dealership, grocery store, bank, restaurant, church and so on.


It helps keep our young people firmly planted in the area, and it’s money we use to invest in them so that they can become the community leaders of the future. It’s dollars we put toward ensuring the safety of everyone who lives here, and it’s extended toward schools, public outreach programs and infrastructure that help keep our towns vibrant.

Farm Kid Hero_JB2

While the annual celebration of the co-op only lasts a month, the benefits of the cooperative system are here for you all year long.


Pumpkin Spice What-te?

Harvest season is upon us. You can drive down a rural highway and see dozens of semis burning up the road, grain carts waiting patiently in the end rows and combines off in the distance stirring up a cloud of dust. For many, it’s a favorite time of year.


To the general public this season equates a brief but sincere infatuation with Pumpkin Spiced Lattes – or, pumpkin flavored anything, bonfires, tailgating, Halloween and an affinity for fall fashion.

To farmers the fall season means beeswings, buddy seat conversations, suppers on the tailgate, falling asleep to the hum of the grain dryer and flannel.

Like many things in life, farmers just see the fall season differently. For instance…


Pumpkin Spice What-te?

Consumers are strangely obsessed with pumpkin flavored anything during the last three months of the year. Pumpkin Spice Lattes (an over priced Starbuck’s coffee drink with a lot of nutmeg and whipped cream) began the trend, filling cup after cup with a jolt of caffeine that consumers associate with fall. People wait in seemingly endless lines for these drinks! That pumpkin spice must do something to the brain that makes consumers crave it, because following the pumpkin spice latte came pumpkin flavored Cheerios, Triscuits, Blizzards, Peeps, ice-cream, marshmallows, bagels and Jello. I’m exhausted and it’s only October 7.


Farmers – on the other hand – are not strangely obsessed with pumpkin spice anything. What drink do they keep close during harvest season? Mt. Dew. Buckets of it.

What food do they crave while sitting hours in a combine? Their wife’s lasagna. With garlic cheese bread.

Also, farmers tend to be set in their ways. So if any marketing folks from David are reading this, I wouldn’t even think about adding pumpkin flavored sunflower seeds to your product portfolio.

Don’t. Mess. With. The. Sunflower. Seeds.

Dry Enough

Consumers see a clear Saturday night forecast and are thrilled it’s dry enough to finally throw some firewood together, call up friends and gorge themselves on s’mores. They sit and talk about life, the clear autumn sky and how bright the stars seem.


Farmers – on the other hand – only equate dry autumn weather with perfect conditions to get 300 more acres harvested before tomorrow’s church service. They don’t associate a chill in the air with a bonfire. They associate it with the goal of getting a field done before the rain moves in. As for the clear sky full of October stars? Well they’re not able to enjoy them until every piece of machinery is shut down and all lights are out; cab controls and lights have a funny way of dimming even the brightest stars for farmers.


Fall Fashion

This season fashion magazines are saturated with Hunter boots, wool socks, denim, thermal vests,  and plaid. You can walk into any department store – or search any Pinterest board – and find the aforementioned on rack after rack and mannequin after mannequin.


Farmers – on the other hand – only have to look as far as their dresser for every single item that Vogue magazine deems “trend-worthy”.

Hunter boots?

Farmers call them Muck boots and they’re a lot warmer and more functional.

Wool socks?

Farmers never thought of them as fashionable, they just keep their feet warm in cold weather and are less likely to fall down inside their boot.


Farmers have kept every pair of jeans they’ve bought (or their spouses have bought) in the last 15 years. They’ve been patched, mended and stitched and are just getting broken in.

Thermal vests?

Been there. Done that. Farmers have approximately 12 and each has a different seed corn brand or implement logo on the chest. Thermal vests keep their core warm and arms free.


Farmers have never known a day without plaid in it. It’s called flannel. Period.


With plenty of Mt. Dew.



Back-to-School for the Farm Kids

Farms kids across the U.S. are reluctantly putting on the new jeans their mothers bought them, cleaning off their work boots and heading back to school this month. They’re trading in show numbers for scientific calculators, pig whips for pencil pouches and buddy seat rides for bus rides. Bummer.

The back to school commercials are in full swing. Paper and pencils and lunch totes, oh my! I saw a Today Show special recently where they highlighted all the new gadgets today’s students must have to be successful – and probably trendy – this year. Not a single item highlighted looked like it belonged in the backpack of a farm kid. I saw no bailing twine, duck tape or wire cutters.

So what are the top three things farm kids need to go back to school this season?

back to school

Leather Water-Proofer

Farm kids don’t have the luxury of utilizing a sidewalk all the way to school, or even waiting at a bus stop. Farm kids usually walk down a long lane, one lined with corn, soybeans, pine trees or cattle. During that walk they can’t seem to avoid the thick morning dew, especially when things go awry in the night, as they often do on the farm. Sometimes they’re chasing an unruly heifer or curious colt back in right around the time they’re supposed to be boarding the bus. Leather water-proofer ensures that farm kids can participate in the early morning ranch rodeo and still get to school wearing dry socks. Leather water-proofer also allows the blooming agronomist to check all the corn and soybeans they want and still arrive to school with dry feet. Five rows in feet won’t even begin to get soggy!


Now, I haven’t seen this on the Wal-Mart shelves, but I know there is a market for it. The Track-a-Belt is a small tracking device attached to a young man’s belt that allows for instant location of the often-lost leather waist strap. This contraption is particularly useful for young men ages 10 – 17 that, for whatever reason, have an incredibly tough time finding their belt every early morning. They ask parents, siblings, and the dog: “Have you seen my belt?”. They go on to check the bedroom, living room, washroom, barn and the truck. Usually the search lasts approximately seven minutes. Just long enough for the young man to narrowly make the rural route school bus. The Track-a-Belt will make mornings easier on every person in the family.

Industrial Strength Hand Wipes

The industrial strength detail is important for a farm kid. These hand wipes can be packed conveniently in a backpack side pocket and used on the bus, in the car or in the classroom. Industrial strength hand wipes allow the back-to-school farm kid to grab a greased bolt, a sick kitten, a newborn calf/piglet/colt/kid, a poison ivy plant, a wet dog, a shop rag or a pitch fork covered in who knows what and quickly wipe their hands clean (somewhat) in the absence of a sink and bar of soap. Note: Farm kid should use said sink and bar of soap as soon as they’re available. Especially if they held the sick kitten.

This back-to-school season, focus on the functional items the farm kids in your life really need. Functionality: That’s one more thing to appreciate about farm kids. They don’t necessarily need a savvy place to rest their cell phone. Sometimes they only need dry feet, a trusty belt and clean hands.

Farm Kid Hero_JB2


back to school2



Join Us At The Table

Now more than ever, the public is concerned about where their food comes from. Because of this ongoing need for producers to educate the generally misinformed public, we’d like to invite you to an event coming up later this month.

Young Bulls

The 2016 Harvest Land Farm Tour, to be held at Bowman Superior Genetics, will bring a fresh perspective to beef production, educating consumers about responsible production practices and a local family farm doing business globally. 

Join Harvest Land Co-op for an evening tour of a progressive, family-owned beef operation in east central Indiana.

The tour will include

History: A Story of Patience

Conservation: Progressive Changes to Expand Resources

Technology: Breaking Ground Nationally to Breed Better Beef

Consumer Trends: Fact Over Fear – Making Smart Decisions at the Meat Counter


Would you like to join us on August 23?

If so, click here to register and get your free ticket.
Registration closes the first of next week!

Contact Lindsay at with questions.


A Winning Response

Earlier this spring CountryMark and Indiana Prairie Farmer partnered to hold their annual essay contest, bringing out the hidden writing abilities of farmers and students across the midwest. This is always a favorite event of our cooperative; mostly because we end up reading about our own in the winner’s circle! We’ve learned through this contest that Harvest Land has some pretty talented members when it comes to putting a pen to paper. In 2015, first, second and third place in this essay contest all went to Harvest Land members. You can access those winning entries here.

2016 did not disappoint.

The 2016 first place winner was Harvest Land member Jackie Angle from Rushville, Indiana. As a reward for her winning words, CountryMark generously gave Jackie 500 gallons of Premium Dieselex-4 Off-Road Diesel fuel.

The adult essay topic that Jackie responded to so successfully was:

What new courses should ag schools consider adding in the next five to 10 years?

Here is her winning response:

“I like going to flea markets and looking for books for my two granddaughters. If I am lucky, I can find books about farming. Many of them show farming the way it was 50 years ago. The books show a big, white house with a red barn. The chickens are pecking in the yard, the cows are grazing in a pasture and the hogs are in a hog lot. Children are playing with kittens. Mother is hanging clothes on a line. Father is plowing a field with a small tractor and a two-bottom plow. Things have changed!

Just as things progress in agriculture, current curriculum must not only keep up, it must keep ahead. I looked at Purdue University’s College of Agriculture’s list of classes offered. Starting with Agribusiness Management to Sales and Marketing to Food Science to Animal Science to Crop Science to Horticulture to forestry, and everything in between. You get the picture.

Agriculture involves so much more than feeding the hogs, gathering the eggs and milking the cows. Students today who major in agriculture literally have limitless possibilities.

When looking at the next five to 10 years in agriculture, I see more and more technology becoming a player. From GPS systems to computerized equipment to use of drones, classes need to show the advantages, the how and the why in using these ‘tools.’ These types of technology hopefully would excite the student to think beyond and develop future uses.

Why not develop a combine that has some sort of ‘microwave’ capability that when the grain is harvested, as it goes through the equipment, it’s dried to the preferred moisture? It then can be taken directly to storage, saving drying costs, equipment costs and labor costs.

Seeing how far agriculture has come makes me excited for the future!”


First Place Winner Jackie Angle and Harvest Land fuel driver Bob Temple


Congratulations to Jackie!

We’re proud to call you a member.

And, we’ll be calling you should we get writer’s block when developing the annual report.




Photo Friday: Fueling Freedom

Four of our Harvest Land energy locations participated in a successful 2016 Fueling Freedom event on June 24, and that success was thanks to each of you who stopped by and filled your tanks.

Our Elwood, Connersville, Greenfield and Greenville, OH fuel stations were part of CountryMark’s event, which, for every gallon of fuel pumped between noon and 5:00 PM CountryMark and Harvest Land donated 50 cents to the local National Guard.

FF numbers 2016

100% of the proceeds from Fueling Freedom went on to support local National Guard Family Readiness Groups.

Family Readiness Groups fund activities for troops and their families. Many of the Family Readiness Groups use their funds to host summer picnics, hold Christmas dinners, send packages to deployed soldiers, and offer after-school programs for children of American soldiers.

Today we simply wanted to share with you photos from our locations and thank all of the hard working people who made the event a success. Until next year!












Photo Jun 24, 2 23 28 PM

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Photo Jun 24, 12 36 53 PM

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Photo Jun 24, 4 00 46 PM

Photo Jun 24, 4 00 51 PM


The WinField Crop Adventure

Growing up there was one phrase, comprised of only two words, which if spoken was sure to land you in a bad place.

“I’m bored.”

This brief declaration was usually followed by this powerful response: “Oh, I can fix that.”

Mom and Dad were always good for their word.

Picking up sticks or nails, hauling manure via wheelbarrow, sorting the recycling and smashing aluminum cans with a homemade steel tamper, stacking wood, pushing rocks up hills. The list of boredom-prevention exercises goes on and on. One summer morning I recall the hay tedder broke down and we actually tedded an entire hayfield by pitchfork. That was a fun day. A hot one, too.

I never looked at boredom the same way again.

Summer is in full swing and soon – believe it or not – the county fairs will be over and families will have a bit more free time to do some traveling. Ten days at Disney World livestock free, you ask?

Not likely.

However, there is a place that just opened that might feel a little like Disney World to a kid involved in agriculture.

Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 6.57.46 PM

The Winfield Crop Adventure has officially opened at Fair Oaks Farms in northwest Indiana. This hands-on exhibit is designed to fully engage participants in understanding exactly what it takes to grow food for a population growing quickly to 9 billion people. It’s very likely that the kids in your family “get it”, but this state-of-the-art exhibit is sure to educate and impress even the most seasoned agriculturalists. Yourself, included.

hands on

What can you experience?

  • Meet the farmers who grow your food.
  • Burrow deep underground to see bugs and roots.
  • See and touch the high-tech tools farmer use.
  • Catch virtual raindrops.
  • Imagine the future of modern farming.
  • Discover how corn, soy and wheat improve our lives.
  • Take your picture with your favorite bugs.
  • Learn what soil doctors do.
  • Find the right ag career for you.

Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 6.57.32 PM

So pack up the kids, or grandkids, or the annoying neighbor kids who have absolutely no idea about food production, and head to Fair Oaks Farms to visit the new Winfield Crop Adventure. Teach everyone a thing or five while getting out of your home area and combatting the “I’m bored” scenario.

tech  roots

Check out all Fair Oaks Adventures

Oh, and might we suggest a place for dinner on your way home? Culver’s has a fantastic partnership with America’s farmers and they’re actively working to help us tell our story. I highly recommend the double butter burger with fries and a vanilla snickers concrete mixer for dessert, but that may just be the boredom talking.


What Dad Taught Me

Father’s Day is Sunday and you know what that means.

Kids and wives across the country are standing in front of the card section at the local grocery store, staring blankly into an endless selection of over-the-top-sappy, thats-just-not-my-Dad greeting cards, searching for the perfect card that sends the perfect message.

Something as basic as: You’ve been a good Dad. Thank you.

But those cards don’t seem to exist. And even if they did, there would be a strange feeling of inadequate expression if that were the only thing they told dad on Father’s Day.


In the spirit of appreciating the wonderful fathers we’ve been fortunate to know, this week we wanted to share with you a few the things dear old dad has taught us over the years.

We asked a handful of people to complete one simple sentence:

My Dad taught me ____________________________.

The response to this request was great.

And funny.

And might have made our eyes water a bit, but we’d never let Dad see that.

1This week


My Dad taught me that he can take the chain off your bike if you do not get home on time for supper.

My Dad taught me that if someone is mad at you, you’ve done something. Look at yourself and your actions that could have caused their change towards you.

My Dad taught me to trust in God for everything.
Christmas Story


My Dad taught me if you ever feel lonely, eat in front of a mirror.

My Dad taught me that family is forever.

My Dad taught me there is no “I” in “TEAM”

My Dad taught me the key to a good birthday is low expectations.

My Dad taught me about 4-H and the FFA.

My Dad taught me to work hard, yet stay humble.

My Dad taught me that is isn’t a good idea to eat spinach with strangers.

My Dad taught me that the main thing is: don’t panic. He usually said this when I was about to have a full-blown panic attack.

My Dad taught me how to spot a sick calf, drive a tractor, throw a football, hit a baseball, and cast a line.

My Dad taught me how to be competitive, yet be a good loser at the same time.




My Dad taught me the value of family.

My Dad taught me what true dedication is, his love for us kids, and mom has always been his motivation to work extremely hard, and to never give up! There are times that he shoulda given up, but he knew that wouldn’t leave a lasting impression on us boys.

My Dad taught me how to serve.

My Dad taught me to love teaching.

My Dad taught me to be an individual, not to roll with the crowd for the popular opinion.

My Dad taught me to suck it up.

My Dad taught me that getting up early makes for a more productive day.

Farm Kid Hero

My Dad taught me to work harder – no one owes you anything.

My Dad taught me that you don’t have to agree with someone to be respectful towards them. A lesson that is really coming in handy this election year.

My Dad taught me how to overcome.

My Dad taught me the value in doing things the right way, even when it isn’t easy. As a rural veterinarian, he could have taken shortcuts many times when he knew people couldn’t pay for his services. Instead, he chose to take the high road and did the right thing for every animal that walked into that clinic. He accepted payment for those services in unconventional ways – we got vegetables from a garden, fishing gear, a gun or two, and lots of random tools and small equipment. Because of his hard work and dedication to serving the community, he’s well respected in our hometown and all the ones that surround it. People who grew up here and have moved away bring their pets home when they come to visit so that Dad can give them a check up!


My Dad taught me to be a Purdue Boilermaker for life.

My Dad taught me to think before speaking.

My Dad taught me to be trustworthy and responsible.

My Dad taught me work ethic in such a way that as an adult I’ve never questioned getting a job done. Every able body should work.

My Dad taught me respect, determination, motivation and an everlasting love for Jesus.

My Grandpa (who basically was my dad) taught me that your word is who you are and what you’re all about. He also taught me that you have to work hard at everything you do in life. I carry both of these in my thoughts every single day and they have helped me get to where I am today.




My Dad taught me how to work at a young age. We’re talking Child Protective Services involvement, young age.

My Dad taught me to always keep your word. Whatever you promised someone in whatever time fashion and for whatever dollar figure, you fulfill that. Even if it means you may lose money on this job, you may stay up all night long performing the task you thought would just take a few hours, you keep your word. The next time, learn from your mistake by giving yourself more time and/or quoting the job better, but always be a person of your word.

My Dad tried to teach me to use a stick shift…we had a lot of laughs but not much success…to this day I still struggle with taking off.

My Dad taught me to work hard in life in order to achieve your dreams. I always observed how hard he worked professionally to support my mother and 8 children and then at home how hard he worked to maintain our home and still find time to play with us, swim with us and take us on mini one-day vacation trips. Being the youngest child, I was at home with my parents after my father retired and we spent many nights just talking about life.  Oh how I miss that!

My Dad taught me how to be frugal. To this day I still take the hotel soap.

father son field

My Dad taught me to never use a chainsaw by myself . . . ever.

My Dad taught me how to ride a bike, drive a car, how to bowl and to put peanuts in your coke bottle before drinking. An interesting man, my dad was!  I miss him.

My Dad taught me faith, love and laughter will bring you through anything.

My Dad taught me to have a sense of humor.

My Dad taught me to be stoic.

My Dad taught me that nothing in this world is free. You will have to work for everything that you get. It is not acceptable to rely on anyone else to support and provide for you or your family.

My Dad taught me to never grab a hot exhaust on a tractor.

My Dad taught me that my priorities should be in the following order: God, family and country. If I keep these in the right order I will live a prosperous and happy life. Also, no matter how far you have fallen God knows where you are and will listen to you if you only reach to him.

My Dad taught me that I was fortunate to be born into a good, trustworthy and hardworking family. It is my responsibility to hold up to that heritage and to raise my children to reflect the same values.

My Dad taught me to treat people the way that you would want to be treated.


My Dad taught me basic, simple mathematics (or, tried to anyway).

My Dad taught me how to use a manual transmission at the risk of destroying it.

My Dad taught me that mom was always right.

My Dad taught me to drink beer and listen to baseball on the a.m. radio in the evening.

My Dad taught me I should always over-tip at a restaurant. If I can’t afford to tip well, I should eat at home.

My Dad taught me that you’ll never taste a better tomato than one right out of your own garden.

My Dad taught me not to do something just for the recognition.

My Dad taught me the value of making my passion my paycheck.


My Dad taught me to never pee on an electric fence.

My Dad taught me that if all else fails, ask Siri.

My Dad taught me that men who respect their mothers respect their wives, being my mother.  This is a good trait to look for when searching for a husband.

My Dad taught me that cutting my brother’s hair was a bad idea.

My Dad taught me the importance of faith and instilling it in your children.

My Dad taught me to always be 15 minutes early to everything. Ten minutes early is five minutes late.

My Dad taught me to love the Lord and his church.

My Dad taught me there are two things I can always control: my effort and my attitude.

My Dad taught me be open to things that I don’t understand, don’t agree with or have never experienced. “Step outside your comfort zone and learn from what happens.”

My Dad taught me the importance of education, asking questions and learning.

Bean field generations

My Dad taught me how to drive a tractor.

My Dad taught me to never sweat the small stuff.

My Dad taught me how to fry a “juicy” egg. And yes, I get weird looks when I order my eggs this way in a restaurant today.

My Dad taught me to always do my best, no matter what I was doing.

My Dad taught me that a pretty smile is nice, but a strong backbone is the most admirable feature on a person.

My Dad taught me to swing a bat, dribble a basketball and serve a tennis ball, but with that also came an even more meaningful lesson in sportsmanship.

My Dad taught me by his actions and not his words. Always be friendly and cheery to others, volunteer at church, drink beer, throw parties and don’t take life too seriously.

My Dad taught me to have a sense of humor, to laugh at myself and always have a smile on my face.


My Dad taught me to care about others.

My Dad taught me to “Say what you will do and do as you say”!

My Dad taught me to ride a bike, drive a car, throw a strike, shoot a gun and cut the grass.

My Dad taught me to be proud that I grew up on a farm and learned the value of hard work. While I didn’t always agree as a kid, I certainly think now as an adult there is no better way to grow up.

My Dad taught me to keep my credit and my last name clean.

My Dad taught me that if you’re going to be dumb, you better be tough.

My Dad taught me to be independent, but not to refuse someone’s help if I need it.

My Dad taught me the most important thing:

How to be a great Dad.

3 things

We really hope you like your card.





Three Words of Advice to the Class of 2016

The oversized gowns are hung in closets never to be worn again and the caps have been tossed.

Last weekend we finally awarded our last 2016 Harvest Land Co-op Scholarship. This spring twenty outstanding high school graduates were granted $1,000 scholarships on behalf of our farmer-owned cooperative.

These very deserving students are pursuing post-high school agricultural degrees. They are, in fact, the future of agriculture. And a bright future, it is: Agriculture teachers, economists, animal chiropractors, nutritionists, veterinarians, broadcasters….the list of dream jobs coming out of this bunch is very promising. We also recognize employees’ children who graduated this spring and are pursuing post-high school education. From Indianapolis east to Dayton and Ft. Wayne south to Cincinnati, students from all over Harvest Land’s trade market are chosen annually.

And the winners are…

scholarships 2016

We wish the very best to each of these students as they leave behind the halls of the high schools where they’ve spent so many days and charge ahead into the next chapter. We just know they’ll shine.

Before these twenty up-and-comers leave their townships and move on into the world, we thought now might be a good time to give them just three quick bits of advice, on the occasion of their high school graduation.

We aren’t guaranteeing this advice will ensure Dean’s List status (sorry, parents), but we are certain it won’t hurt you.

advice 2016

Be Punctual

Signing up for 4-H before the deadline.

Getting the corn planted in a short window of time.

Spraying before the rain comes but when the wind is just right.

Submitting your FFA SAE project on time.

Making hay while the sun shines, literally.

Cutting beans when moisture is right.

Selling when the market is high.

Fall Combine_Crop

Up to this point, your life in agriculture has been incredibly time dependent. You’ve seen first hand the importance of carrying out certain tasks in a timely manor and being quite intentional on timing.

Now – more than ever – it is important that you stay on time.

Class starts every day at a very specific time. It won’t wait on you.

Your professor starts teaching every day at a very specific time. They won’t wait on you.

Work starts every day at a very specific time. It won’t wait on you.

Be punctual.

Remember, in higher education and in agriculture, your being on time is quite important and affects so much around you. Don’t waste anyone’s time, especially your own. Be punctual.


Introduce Yourself

Maybe you came from a tiny town, maybe you came from the suburbs. Maybe you hail from a class of 52, maybe you’re one of 328 graduates in your class. No matter where you’re coming from, you are about to enter a whole new world with thousands in the exact same boat as you: a freshman in college.

A new world.

A new place.

A new schedule.

A new set of classmates, friends and people that will feel more like family in a year.

Don’t forget to introduce yourself. To everyone.

Introduce yourself to every professor you have; they will sure be happy to put a face with a name and they won’t forget you.

Introduce yourself to the person standing behind you in line for the washing machine. You’re both probably missing your mother at that exact same time.

Introduce yourself to those strangers you happen to sit next to in class. They’ll become your study partners, source of explanations when you just don’t get it and the ones you’ll say “Merry Christmas!” to before driving home for a long Christmas break.

It matters not how big the class or campus is: No one knows the story within you. Make sure you tell it. Introduce yourself.


Call Your Parents

This is important. I’m serious.

You may be going off to school three time zones away or staying at home and attending a community college. You may see your parents once at Christmas or every evening when you get home. Whatever your circumstance, don’t forget to communicate with your parents.

Call them.

Text them.

Send them a birthday card.

Tell them good morning.

Because while your life is taking off in a million different, exciting directions, and every day is a new adventure to you, they’re probably at home worried, wondering if you remembered to pack your umbrella.

One day you’ll understand.

Call your parents.

father son field

Congratulations to each of our scholarship recipients,
but also to the entire Class of 2016.
We wish you the absolute best as you
continue to work towards each one of your goals.