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.

designpublic_b7f77f2b93ab4c9762d225b47bfe3906.today-inline-large2x.png

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!

Track-a-Belt

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

_DSC0356

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 lsankey@harvestlandcoop.com with questions.

FARM TOUR INVITE_2bawl

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!”

Angle1-3

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!

Angle1

DSC_0006

DSC_0011

DSC_0019

DSC_0032

DSC_0036

DSC_0066

DSC_0068

DSC_0076

DSC_0093

DSC_0101

Photo Jun 24, 2 23 28 PM

Photo Jun 24, 2 24 35 PM

Photo Jun 24, 12 36 53 PM

Photo Jun 24, 4 00 40 PM

Photo Jun 24, 4 00 44 PM

DSC_0080

Photo Jun 24, 4 00 46 PM

Photo Jun 24, 4 00 51 PM

DSC_0085

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.

menu-landing-butterburgersffc-landing-concrete-mixers

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.

greeting-cards

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.

 

Burley

 

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!

tatoo

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.

 

img_2240

 

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.

Griffith

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.

LukeDadwalking

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.

Bays

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.

clock

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.

handshake

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.

Mark Your Calendar: Fueling Freedom

We invite you to run your gas tanks as low as you possbily can then cruise/roll into one of the following CountryMark stations on Friday, June 24 from 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM for our Fueling Freedom event.

Digital Ad 300x250..jpg

Our Elwood, Connersville, Greenfield and Greenville, OH fuel stations are all particiapting locations for CountryMark’s 2016 Fueling Freedom event, which, for every gallon of fuel pumped during the event, CountryMark and Harvest Land will donate 50 cents to the local National Guard.

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

100_3046.jpg

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. This is the eighth year the CountryMark system has hosted Fueling Freedom events. In 2015, CountryMark’s Fueling Freedom program, which includes many farmer-owned cooperatives, raised more than $54,000 for local National Guard Family Readiness Groups.

100_3066.jpg

We encourage everyone to come out for Fueling Freedom, purchase CountryMark TOP TIER gasoline and premium diesel fuel, and register to win a $150 fuel card. One fuel card will be given away at each CountryMark fueling station participating in Fueling Freedom.

100_3054.jpg

Harvest Land’s Fueling Freedom goal is to
sell $2,500 gallons per station and donate
$1,250 to our local National Guard Family Readiness Program.

We invite you to come fill your tanks on June 24th from 12:00 – 5:00 for Fueling Freedom and support those who sacrifice so much for us.

Share this information with family & friends!

Digital Ad 1122x418 Facebook.jpg

If Not For Their Sacrifice

Memorial Day weekend in America: the unofficial start to summer.

It’s easy to get swept away in the spirit of the season: the sizzle of the grill, seeing some kind of light at the end of the tunnel in terms of planting (we’re optimists) and watching really fast cars make consistent left hand turns for nearly three hours.

Helio Castroneves, Will Power, Dario Franchitti

It is so easy to get swept away in those things, in fact, that we forget what the three-day weekend is really about: Honoring men and women who died while serving in the U.S. Military. Memorial Day is about honoring those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, our country and the lives we’re fortunate to live every day.

Memorial-Day.jpg

If not for their sacrifice we wouldn’t have the chance to play with our grandkids on the big old oak that has stood on the family farm, more than 100 years.

climbing-tree.jpg

If not for their sacrifice we wouldn’t have a choice. A choice when making our own purchasing decisions. A choice when selecting fertilizer. A choice when filling our diesel tanks or choosing what lubricants to use to ensure our operation continues to run like a well oiled machine. Most days. 

Terragator-2.jpg

_DSC0545.jpg

If not for their sacrifice we wouldn’t have the opportunity to proudly – and freely – wave the American flag over our grain bins, fence lines  and from our combines.

_DSC0275-4.jpg

If not for their sacrifice we wouldn’t be able to sit in the same creaky pew that our great-grandmother did every Sunday for 87 years.

Country-church-bright-sunny-autumn-day_-_West_Virginia_-_ForestWander.jpg

If not for their sacrifice our kids wouldn’t be able to stand in front of their peers and freely explain to the class just what it means to grow up on a farm.

IMG_4206.JPG

If not for their sacrifice we woudn’t be able to proudly cheer for the old Black & Gold.

Or Scarlet & Grey.

Or Cream & Crimson.

Or whatever color combination you’re into.

Is it football season yet?

OHIO-STATE-FOOTBALL-PLAYERS-facebook.jpg

If not for their sacrifice we wouldn’t have the opportunity to write our letters to the editor in our small hometown newspaper – or even the Farm World – publically expressing our praises and concerns.

letter-writing_c84yvj.jpg

If not for their sacrifice we wouldn’t be able to attend parades on the main streets that serve as the backbone of our rural communities. We wouldn’t be able to march for causes we’re passionate about and throw candy to our neighbors and spend the day with our families celebrating the hometown spirit.

If not for their sacrifice our grandkids wouldn’t go to Vacation Bible School or Sunday School or proudly be a St. Mary’s Cub.

A Christmas Prayer

The people we remember on Memorial Day weekend
wrote a blank check made payable to
“The United States of America”
for an amount of
“up to, and including his/her life.”
And the check was cashed.

arlingotn

This Memorial Day weekend, join us in honoring the selfless fallen.

flag on grave

Perception: A Game Changer

Perception, as you well know, can change things.

What we see, what we hear, what we believe and how we act.
Perception is a game changer.

_DSC0573

While driving to church Sunday I was surprised to see a family emerge from a field and approach the roadway. I instantly hit my breaks, slowing down to try to process the situation. Did they need help?

It only took a few seconds to realize what was going on: This family was being followed out of the field by a gal with a camera and some props. They were having family photos taken on this Sunday morning. I drove by slowly as they waited for me to pass, and while doing so I scouted the field, which served as the scenic background.

I thought to myself: A weed patch? They chose the middle of a weed patch to get photos taken?

_DSC0571

To me, it looked like a poorly managed field that was over run by butterweed.

To this family and the photographer, it was a field full of beautiful yellow wildflowers, serving as a perfect, bright landscape for spring photos.

_DSC0572

Perception, as you well know, can change things.
What we see, what we hear, what we believe and how we act.
Perception is a game changer.

While we’re not in the business to make photographers work harder to scout the perfect field of “wildflowers”, we are in the business of finding solutions for local farmers to increase yield and profits. One of those ways is to implement a fall herbicide program that burns down weeds long before they even become a twinkle in a photographer’s eye.

Here are points worth remembering to ensure that weeds – such as the beautiful butterweed –don’t rob your yield.

  • All good weed control programs utilize a strong soil residual herbicide, followed by a timely post application when the weeds are still small.
  • Pests that winter in crop fields can make their home in annual winter weeds. Be proactive and use a fall herbicide to prevent the pests from over-staying their welcome during the cold winter months. Your wife’s weird uncle already does enough of that around Christmas! Pests such as black cutworm and soybean cyst nematode are easier to control in the fall by eliminating winter weeds.
  • Seedling corn does not compete well with early-season weed competition. Weeds that reach over 4 inches in height before they are sprayed silently rob yield.
  • Soils warm more quickly where fall herbicides are applied. In fact, studies show that soil temperatures increase by as much as 5 degrees in corn and 8 degrees in soybeans when a residual fall herbicide was applied. This allows for faster planting and fewer delays for customers who exercise a fall burndown program.
  • Maximize your time: Fall months usually provide more days that are suitable for field work. A burndown application applied post-harvest allows farmers to be certain that when the spring weather (finally) arrives they can efficiently use their time  planting the next crop.
  • All good weed control programs utilize a strong soil residual herbicide, followed by a timely post application when the weeds are still small.

I collaborated with agronomist Steve Dlugosz to write this week and he gave the family photo shoot story and the idea of perception a laugh. He remembers watching the music video of John Mellencamp’s Little Pink Houses on MTV and hearing the host remark about the beautiful, giant field of marigolds Mellencamp was dancing in.

Those weren’t marigolds; those were soybeans.

 

Ah, perception.