Halloween for a Farm Kid

Halloween is quickly approaching on Monday and there is even a good chance towns every where will celebrate the sugary event over the weekend. Plastic pumpkins, face paint and rubber masks that have melted in the attic are being pulled out of storage across America. While most children enjoy celebrating Halloween, there is just something different about the experience for farm kids.

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Rural Route

Trick-or-Treaters in urban areas have the good fortune of walking only 50± feet from one house to the next. The result? Hitting at least 30 houses before the town-wide curfew strikes.

Farm kids must take a different approach. They live on a rural route where loading up in the car and driving from farmhouse to farmhouse is mandatory to hit any kind of candy quota. They won’t hit thirty houses, but rather five. The only highlight to this is the fact that the rural neighbors usually anticipate exactly what local children will visit that night, making them more likely to have the best to hand out: individual goodie bags, homemade treats or even full size candy bars.

The down side to the Halloween rural route is that farm moms typically take approximately 30% of the candy loot in repayment for the gas they’ve used while driving all over the township. It’s Farm Mom science.

Farming Father

Go to town on trick-or-treat night and you’ll see a lot of fathers walking around with their children. But farm kids don’t always get that opportunity. Farm dads are usually still in the fields when October 31 rolls around. If it’s a nice enough evening to dress up and set out on a voyage in search of candy, it’s nice enough to get in another hundred acres. Consequently, Dad’s field lunch will feature 1-2 pieces of Halloween candy until at least November 15.

Grandparents’ Pride

While dad may not always make it to trick-or-treat, there is a very strong probability that grandparents will. No doubt about it, if grandparents live within twenty miles of the farm kid, they’ll see their pride and joy in costume. It’s just how life works.

Tried and True Costumes

There is an unwritten law that farm kids have a pre-determined set of Halloween costumes that rotate throughout the years:

Farmer (duh): It’s their dream job and it gives them reason to wear their favorite outfit

Cowboy/Cowgirl: Anything involving boots, buckles, fringe and a pony is alright for a farm kid

Hobo: Default costume. The Hobo costume is a solid sign that October 31 snuck up on the family. Hobo can be easily pulled together in a pinch. Farm kids just need to go to the clothes basket, pull out some dirty barn clothes, tie one of dad’s handkerchiefs to a stick to create a bindle and be done with it. Farm kids may get extra candy if they rub dirt on their faces.

Parent’s Occupation: Dressing as their parent, whether that be a farmer, teacher, nurse, veterinarian, construction worker, mommy, etc., is the equivalent as dressing as a super hero for a farm kid. Remember that.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Denim?

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.

Plaid?

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

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With plenty of Mt. Dew.