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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.
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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.

 

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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.

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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!

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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