If This Jacket Could Talk

We’re wrapping up National FFA Week, which is a week for chapters and members to share agriculture with their fellow students as well as their communities. Students in our area hosted breakfasts, spoke at conferences, held fundraisers and more. No doubt, the Official Dress and old FFA jacket will be ready for a break after school today.


If this jacket could talk, it would tell you that it knows Robert – and his Rules of Order- very well.

If this jacket could talk, it would tell you that you might outgrow jacket itself, but you won’t outgrow the memories or experiences.

If this jacket could talk, it would tell you that Official Dress really does matter. No jeans, no dirty boots, no zippers undone:

If this jacket could talk, it would tell you that many of your greatest lessons in high school happen after the 3:00 bell rings.

If this jacket could talk, it would tell you your scarf or tie is hiding in your left pocket.


If this jacket could talk, it would tell you that when we think of our favorite chapters, we don’t think of a book.

If this jacket could talk, it would tell you that FFA is one organization that has remained true to it’s core through generations. We all still believe in the future of agriculture, with a faith born not of words but of deeds – achievements won by the present and past generations of agriculturists; in the promise of better days through better ways, even as the better things we now enjoy have come to us from the struggles of former years.

Culy FFA

If this jacket could talk, it would tell you that corduroy has a special durability to withstand the harshest October wind streaming through Indianapolis during convention, pins and embroidery needles that come along with leadership changes and even constructive criticism from judges.

If this jacket could talk, it would tell you to prepare yourself for the day that you hang up your jacket, placing it in the back corner of your closet, knowing it’s work is done, never to be worn again. It is a moment that signifies the end of a chapter in your life. But don’t you worry, the best is yet to come.

If this jacket could talk, it would tell you that FFA is more than future farmers of America, but rather future botanists, food scientists, veterinarians, ag journalists, loan officers, chemical salesmen, farm broadcasters, teachers, nutritionists, applicators, mechanics and so much  more.


Thank you to the advisors who dedicate so much of their time and energy to the students of the FFA organization, to the students who comprise such a promising group of future agriculturalists and to the parents who buy an endless supply of black panty hose and clean white oxford shirts for four years to get those students through. The FFA is an organization that gives us such promise of better days.



Fertilizer Equipment Auction

Some of the coldest memories I can recall from my childhood were created during frigid farm auctions with dad, where the donuts were cold, but the hot chocolate was the best I’d ever had because it was above freezing. We’d scout the offering and then I was expected to keep my hands in my pockets when the auctioneer started his chant. That was no problem; I was somewhat worried about losing my fingers to frostbite, anyhow.


Harvest Land is having a fertilizer equipment auction the end of this month. We invite you to take a look at our offering and join us on Wednesday, February 28 at 11:00 AM in Greenville, Ohio.

Screen Shot 2018-02-14 at 10.18.01 AM


619 Sater Street, Greenville, OH. At the southeast side of Greenville, OH at the intersection of US 127 and Sebring – Warner Road, take Sebring – Warner Road approximately 2 miles west/north/& west. Note: Sebring – Warner Road turns into Sater Street in Greenville.

Screen Shot 2018-02-14 at 9.25.08 AM

Screen Shot 2018-02-14 at 9.25.08 AM copy

You can call 800-451-270 for a brochure of visit the Schrader website for more photos and details.



Winter Agronomic Insights: A Note from Dlugosz

This winter agronomy note is contributed by Harvest Land Agronomist Steve Dlugosz. He offers a few things to consider during these cold winter months. 

Maintaining yields while managing input costs is a real challenge this year. In basketball, the fundamentals like good defense, taking care of the ball and making free throws are essential to winning consistently on the court. Growers’ crops need to follow the same philosophy: Try to match the hybrids and varieties to your specific field conditions.

Nitrogen loss is a big deal for many growers nearly every year. Choosing the optimum nitrogen rate for your soils and the use of nitrogen management tools like N-Serve®/Instinct® and Agrotain can help supply nitrogen all season long. Splitting your nitrogen into several applications increases overall efficiency and uptake.

Leaf diseases in both corn and soybeans can be a big yield robber. Plant hybrids and varieties with good disease packages, especially if you don’t want to spray fungicides. This is especially true in reduced-tillage situations or where soybeans will be grown back-to-back.

Last year, weed control was very difficult due to so much rain. Remember that a good weed control program always utilizes a strong soil residual herbicide, followed by a timely post application when the weeds are still small. In corn, weeds that get over 4 inches in height before they are killed will silently rob yield.Dlugosz

Finally, a quick reminder to watch for weed resistance. Problems are usually first seen as patches of a particular weed species across a field that won’t die. Repeated applications also have little effect.

If you have any concerns, be sure to contact your local ag center and we can come out and take a look.


Steve Dlugosz received a BS in Agronomy from Purdue University in 1980, and a MS in Entomology from Purdue University in 1991.  He started his career as an Area IPM Extension specialist for Purdue, and worked an eleven county area of southwest Indiana.  In 1985, he went to work for Indiana Farm Bureau Cooperative Inc.  He has held various agronomic positions within the Cooperative system over the years of industry consolidation, and is currently the Lead Agronomist for Harvest Land Co-op.

Steve has been heavily involved in the CCA program since its inception, and has served in a number of leadership roles including Chairman of the International CCA Board in 2006.  Steve has also served on a number of agricultural and industry boards and committees over the years.  In 1997 he was appointed by the Governor of Indiana to serve on the Indiana Pesticide Review Board and currently serves today.  He testified before two different Congressional Committees on Agriculture in 2005 and again in 2010.



2018 Scholarships Available





Plant Geneticist

Diesel Technician

Landscape Architect

Many former recipients of the Harvest Land agricultural scholarship have gone on to advance their studies in unique areas of agriculture. They’ve moved states away for their education, or stayed close to the community college. They’ve gone for two or four year degrees. They’re now in corporate careers or living the dream of being back home, farming full time.

Agronomy_Looking at plant-2.jpg

Again in 2018, Harvest Land is proud to offer $1000 agricultural scholarships for the 2018-19 academic year to seniors graduating high school in 2018.

To be eligible for this scholarship, the student must:

  • be a high school senior entering a post-high school agricultural program
  • be involved in agriculture in their local community
  • and live or attend school in Harvest Land Co-op’s market area.

These scholarships will focus on need and leadership potential of future contributors to the agricultural industry. You can access the scholarship application here.

Applications are due MARCH 1, 2018 and can be emailed to scholarships@harvestlandcoop.com  or mailed to the following address:

Harvest Land Co-op

Youth Development Committee

ATTN: Lindsay Sankey

P.O. Box 516

Richmond, IN 47375

Questions can be directed to Lindsay Sankey at 765.967.7539.

We invite you to share this information with a graduating senior who plans on studying agriculture after high school. The future of our agriculture industry is exciting, and we want to help the youth in our communities get there.

Farm Kid Hero_JB2


Top Five Reasons to Attend our Annual Meeting

Our 2018 Annual Meeting is approaching. It will be held on Tuesday, January 16 at 6:30 PM at the Wayne County Fairgrounds. While the event itself is a week and a half away, the last day to buy tickets is Tuesday, January 9. That date is coming quickly!

Today, the top five reasons to attend Harvest Land’s 2018 Annual Meeting:

State of the Cooperative by Scott Logue

Attend to hear the business report from President/CEO Scott Logue. In his message to farmer-members in the annual report, Logue wrote, “My career with Harvest Land began 20 years ago. In two decades, I have never been more excited about the opportunities that are ahead of Harvest Land. We are positioned very well to meet the challenges that lie ahead because of our ability to create progressive plans and execute accordingly. It is a very good time to be a part of Harvest Land.” Attend the annual meeting to find out why. 

Winter Hats and 2018 Calendars

We aren’t telling a lot of people this little secret, but between you and I, we’re going to have a few winter hats and 2018 antique tractor calendars on hand this evening to give away. Attend the annual meeting to pick up yours. 

2018 Cover

Director Elections

Attend to learn the results of our Board of Directors election. Candidates for each district are as follows:

District One: Rendell Miller and Neal Smith

District Two: Keith Carfield and Bob Newhouse

District Three: Tom Myers and Scott Sease

Bios and ballots for each district were in the annual report packets so each farmer-member could vote in their respective district. Attend the annual meeting to learn election results. 

Get Out of the House

I think we can agree that this cold snap (does a “snap” usually last 10 days?) of winter weather can really get to a person. The Harvest Land 2018 annual meeting is the perfect excuse to wear that vest you got for Christmas and head to town to get off the farm for a couple hours for some socializing. The annual meeting is the perfect place to visit with neighbors you don’t see often in the winter months and catch up on the neighborhood health report. “Did you hear that the Franklins have had the flu in their house for two weeks now? Bless their hearts….” Attend the annual meeting to visit with neighbors. 


Willie & Red’s

We may have saved the best for last, here. Our annual meeting is being catered by Hagerstown’s favorite Willie & Red’s. After our business meeting you can indulge on fried chicken, roast beef, warm rolls with butter and more. But I won’t include the entire menu here. You’ll have to join us to find out more. Attend the annual meeting to enjoy a warm meal that you don’t have to prepare. 


Don’t forget: Ticket sales end on January 9 and the event is at the Wayne County Fairgrounds at 6:30 on January 16.

We’ll see you there!



Christmas Morning: The Original Lesson in Patience

Farm kids can learn patience many different ways: soggy planting seasons, bad fences, or rogue hydraulic hoses.

But patience may be an even earlier lesson for those with livestock: halter breaking calves, meticulous diets for lambs or a holstein with an annoying switch.

However, perhaps the greatest lesson in patience comes the morning of December 25th.

It is on Christmas morning that livestock kids have to march past the twinkling glory of the the Christmas tree, surrounded by shiny wrapped gifts which are seeping with enough curiosity to kill a cat. They have to contain the anticipation and excitement, moving past it to find their Carhartts on their way to the bitter cold to tend stock.

Livestock kids have to take care of the cattle, hogs, sheep, horses or dogs, before they enjoy Christmas morning for themselves. They’ll pay close attention while feeding, watering and bedding all species at the quickest pace known to mankind.

The original lesson in patience comes early for farm kids who bypass the presents to take care of the livestock, then return to the house to open new gloves, a show stick and work boots under the tree. And they love it, all the same.

merry christmas 2017







Christmas, As Told by Children

Anyone overwhelmed with attending events, baking, Christmas shopping and meal planning yet?


What about pre-pay, year-end book work and tax planning?

This week we thought we’d step back from the hustle and bustle of the holidays and bring you a three minutes of laughter. Below is the Christmas story, as told by children. Enjoy:


Doesn’t everything just seem better when seen through the eyes of children?




Happy Thanksgiving from the Farm


Happy Thanksgiving from the Farm

If only for a half day

The engines are all shut down

The combine is quiet and put away

No one is on a parts run to town


This Thursday is a special one

Whether from the boulevard or rural route

We’ll take a day to gather ‘round

And recall what Thanksgiving is about


It isn’t standing in a drawn-out line

To claim the next great deal

Or panicking about the oyster dressing

Trying to create the perfect meal


Thanksgiving is about slowing down

And finding gratitude in your heart

It’s about looking around at the ones you love

And thanking God for today, another start


It opens a season of giving to others

Giving to those who may be without

Donating food, coat, hat and gloves

That’s what Thanksgiving is about


Though the morning may be hectic,

With mixing, filling, pouring and baking

Take a few minutes to watch the parade with the kids

and think of the old-fashioned memories you’re making


When the meal is over and dining room cleared

family searches the farmhouse for somewhere to sit

Farmwives find themselves thankful for Tupperware

and enough un-cracked, matching lids that fit


For days on end it will be strung out

Green beans and cranberries for every meal

By Friday the youngest declares he hates turkey

And Farm Mom wonders how she’ll deal


Far past Thursday let the enthusiasm carry on

Showing daily gratitude for life’s many gifts

You may be surprised how things turn around

And how many spirits a heart of gratitude can lift


This Thanksgiving pause and give thanks

For good health, warm home and life on the farm

Though the markets, weather and expense may wear us down

For this livelihood many would give their right arm

shafer lane


Veterans Day

Off in a field along a busy state road in the middle of our trade territory rests this lone silo.

Veterans silo

I don’t pass that way often, but when I do I’m always sure to seek out the silo and quietly give thanks for the men and women who have served our country. I remember that when I went to college, so many my age went to war. I’m reminded that a veteran is someone who, at one point in their life wrote a blank check made payable to “The United States of America,” for an amount up to and including their life.


Do you know the origin of Veterans Day?

In 1918, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in World War I. November 11th became a federal holiday in the United States in 1938. In the aftermath of World War II and the Korean War, Armistice Day became legally known as Veterans Day.


Even if you miss the 11:00 symbolism, this weekend and always we hope you’ll take a minute to thank a veteran for their service and sacrifice. We certainly don’t know them all, but we owe them all.






When Push Comes to Shove

A great way to determine your patience and stamina is to stand in the check-out line at the grocery for an extended period of time with 1,000 other things on your to-do list. No one goes to the grocery to stand around, and yet, we seem to do a lot of that once there.

A great way to determine your overall character as a human being is to evaluate how you react at the grocery, wandering the aisles looking for Ovaltine (FYI: it isn’t with the powered drinks, coffee, or tea. It is with the ice cream toppings. Don’t ask me why, but thank me later)  on days before 1) a holiday or 2) a natural disaster.


Isn’t the absolute worst time to visit the store for ketchup, crackers and Kleenex right before something big is about to happen? That’s why in the days leading up to Hurricanes Harvey & Irma store shelves across America’s southeast began looking like this:


When push comes to shove, Americans will stock up on absolutely anything and everything to ensure their families don’t go without.

Or will they?

A lady who was raised in our rural trade territory but has since moved to Florida shared this photo online. As we reviewed the details of her observation, we couldn’t help but chuckle.

Screen Shot 2017-09-14 at 9.19.44 AM
This was taken at a Publix in Tampa, Florida

When stock of everything else in the store appears to be depleted, the vegan section remains in order and seemingly untouched.

So this begs the question:

When push comes to shove,

where do consumers really

look for nutrition?

It would appear that when the general consumer believes that their access to food might be limited in the days to follow, they will forgo the fad marketing tactics and purchase what they think will truly provide nutrients in times of need.

It makes you wonder: why does it take a natural disaster for folks to make clear, common sense, affordable choices regarding food? Some people just think better under pressure, I guess. They’re probably the kind that end up on gameshows.