Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Farming: Why Its Not Our Grandpa's Farm Anymore

This past year, my 7 year old daughter came home from first grade, and nonchalantly asked if we were bad people because we are farmers. Right away that triggered a whole lot of red flags in my mind. She asked if Daddy's put poison on the fields that kills the eagles because that's what they learned in school and so her class agreed that farmers were bad people. Well, at that point I was nothing less than furious, but at least able to figure out what she was talking about and where this was all coming from. In their reading book, there was a story by Rachel Carson called Silent Spring. Well, most people within agriculture know what this book is and know the story and meaning around this.

Rachel Carson was an conservationist that published the book Silent Spring in 1962. Silent spring informed and educated both consumers and farmers about the use of pesticides, specifically effects that DDt, a commonly used pesticide at this time, had on eagle and other bird populations. There are many aspects of Silent Spring and Rachel Carson that are good, and others not so much. We no longer use DDt and have learned a great lesson from the information that Ms. Carson brought to farmers and scientists attention. However, I find this to be awfully heavy material for my first grader to be reading and fully understanding. Needless to say, I was not happy with this reading selection, and took this up with the teacher and the school. No child should ever be lead to question whether their dad is a good person, especially by their teacher and classmates!! We also had to sit down and explain how farming has changed in the last 50 years with our daughter and inform her that farmers are not bad people. We told her that she needs to be proud to be a farmer, and explained all of the amazing things that farmers do. Through this all, I have found that this is a great lesson for many consumers to learn.
As a farmer and advocate for agriculture, I get asked often, "Why can't we just go back to the way our grandparents and great-grandparents farmed?" Well, Silent Spring is just one of many reasons why. Another great lesson learned in agriculture is the Dust Bowl of the 1930's. Through science and education, farmers have become extremely smart people. We have learned how to manage our farms, and take care of the land, animals and the environment around us. This is called sustainability. Science and technology has allowed farmers to grow and abundance of safer, more nutritious food, on less land, using less resources than ever before, why would we ever want to go backwards in time? You sure wouldn't want to return to medieval medical practices, or have to type out your paperwork on a typewriter, or your only mode of transportation be a choice between your own two feet or a horse and buggy? Most consumers, including myself, would be completely lost without our cellphones. Why would it even be logical to want agricultural practices to do such a thing?
Sustainability is a very important part of farming, and it is not something that we, as farmers, take lightly. Which is exactly why I share my story about our farm everyday, and why so many other farmers are doing the same. We need to reach the students, teachers, and all consumers to let them know that we are using all of the technology and information that we have available to provide them with a safe, healthy and abundant food supply.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Christmas In The Country Exchange Reveal!

What a joy it has been to participate once again in the Christmas In The Country gift exchange. This year the swap was hosted my Jamie from This Uncharted Rhoade, Laurie from CountryLINKed, Lara from My Other More Exciting Self, and Kriby from 15009 Farmhouse. The connections that I have made through this wonderful community of Agvocates and bloggers has opened many doors and kindled many friendships for me. Christmas in the Country is one of these opportunities to connect, and it is always so much fun to be a part of.

This year I received a gift from Crystal Kellner who blogs over at Chasing-Saturdays. The first thing that struck me when opening her card and reading her letter, was how much she loves to share her faith. This too is important to me, so it is always awesome to connect with others that share the same faiths. For the gift exchange she sent me a fun journal, a desktop picture frame, two Christmas kitchen towels, and a bag of Hershey's Kisses (who doesn't love chocolate?!). These gifts are all perfect, and I cannot wait the put them to use. Actually, the girls already dug into the chocolate and the towels were well used while hosting Christmas dinner. The journal is smaller in size which will be perfect to throw into my purse and use for note taking at the conferences I will be attending later this month.

Thank you so much Crystal for the wonderful gifts!
It was wonderful to connect with you and I cannot wait to get to know you better through social media. And you are right, Jesus is the reason for this season! 

I had the blessing of being paired up with the one man participating in this swap. I sent a gift to Brian from Lil' A Farm. It was a bit of a challenge coming up with gifts to send to a guy, especially since I am crafter and enjoy sending homemade gifts, however it was also a lot of fun. Head on over to his blog and see what I sent him, or head on over to any of the host's pages and checkout all of the fun gifts exchanged across the country this Christmas season.

Thank you to Jamie, Laurie, Lara and Kirby for hosting a fun exchange. I look forward to participating again next year!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Crystal Cattle Beauty Swap

It is finally time for another Crystal Cattle Beauty Swap. Crystal has been hosting these beauty swaps for two years now, and I have participated in all but the first one. Crystal co-hosted this swap with Myla from The Purple Front Door. These swaps are always a lot fun and are a great way to connect with other women from all over the world. I have sent and received beauty packages from several states across the nation including Michigan, Montana, Iowa, South Dakota, Arizona, and also Canada. Through the swapping I have discovered so many fun beauty items, and many I have recommended to others through the swap.

For this swap I was paired up with someone who lives not that far from me. If you were to follow the St. Croix River that my town is located on, about 2 1/2 hours south, you would meet up with the mighty Mississippi and find yourself in Mamie's hometown. Mamie is a busy mom to two little girls, and a wife to her husband of 9 years. She works for the Mayo Clinic, and has small farm where she raises laying hens, sheep and gardens for the farmers markets. Mamie also blogs at Blessings Abound and Rochester Mn Moms Blog, and advocates for agriculture through AgStar's Women In Ag program.

Crystal Cattle 2015

Mamie Sent me some really fun items:

A Jamberry starter kit along with two additional nail sheets, MAYBELLINE Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser, Bath and Body Works hand sanitizer, Lavanilla Body Butter, Fablash 3D Fiber Mascara Set, a notebook from Thirty-one and a pen from Jamberry, and these are great to toss in my purse.

I have not had the opportunity to try many of these products yet, but the body butter is great for my dry hands. I have tried the Instant Pore Eraser and I love it. It makes my skin feel baby soft, but doesn't add any un-needed greasiness. I am holding off on the Mascara because I recently opened a new tube. I am also really excited to try the Jamberry nail wraps, but am holding off for a trip that I have planned to Washington D.C. next month with CommonGround.

This was a really fun swap, and it was great to connect with another aggie blogger from the area.
To check out what other people received for their swaps check out Crystal Cattle's blog or The Purple Front Door.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Ana White Alaska Dream Vacation Giveaway

So, I don't typically advertise or write sponsored posts on my blog, or enter a lot of contests online, but for this post I am doing a bit of both.

I really like Ana White and all of her DIY projects. I have many of the that I have made in my home including these picture frames:

Ana is hosting a giveaway for a dream to vacation to Alaska, her home state, in honor of her new show Building Off The Grid, premiering on the diy Network. I just happen to be in love with Alaska and would really love to win this trip. Alaska is one place that both my husband and I dream of visiting at some point. Alaska is so beautiful, the nature is stunning and full of adventure.

The dream vacation package that Ana is giving away includes: 4 roundtrip Alaska Airline tickets to Alaska, 2 rooms for 2 nights at Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge, 2 rooms for 2 nights at McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, and 2 nights at Ana's cabin (that she built) on Paxson Lake in Alaska.
To enter this giveaway, go to Ana White's website here, and enter using various social media outlets and share about Building Off the Grid.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Christmas In The Country 2015

Its that time of year again! I am so excited to participate once again in Christmas In The Country, a gift exchange for Aggie/Farm bloggers!

This year it is being hosted by Jamie from Uncharted Rhoades, Lara Durben from My Other More Exciting Self, Kirby from 15009 Farmhouse and Laurie from COUNTRY LINKed.

Last year I had so much fun with this and connected with some really great Aggie bloggers. I am running really late getting this post up, but you can still sign up to participate!! The sign up closes TODAY!! Head on over to any of the host pages to get more info and sign up to participate TODAY!!  I am really excited to participate for Christmas 2015!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Crystal Cattle Birthday Beauty Swap

It's about time for another #CCBeautySwap. Crystal hosted this latest beauty swap in celebration of her birthday, what a great way to celebrate by including so many other amazing women! This time I was paired with Juli, a rancher from Montana. We sure had a lot in common and shared in our passions of agriculture, horses and quilting! You can follow along with Juli and her ranch life on Instagram @myfarmranchlife.

Juli sent me a huge assortment of beauty products including: Garneir Under-eye Dark Circle Correction, Physician's Formula Mineral Wear Bronzer, Frizz Ease Syrum, Clean&Clear Morning Burst Face Wash, Maybelline Rocket Volume Masara, Flip Flop scrub for summer time (I love it!!), lots of Lipsmackers for my girls, of which they always love!, and some can coozies, and post cards from where she lives in Montana, and a notepad that says: "I just don't have time for the NERVOUS BREAKDOWN that I deserve!" Thank you Juli- I love it all!

I apologize for the terrible picture, as you can see we had just returned from the grocery store, and the girls were excited to see what was it the package on our front porch!

It is always so fun to connect with new Women in Ag from all over, and always so much fun to participate in Crystal's Beauty Swaps. Thank you Crystal for hosting, and Happy Birthday!!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Farm Girl Vintage Sew Along

I am super excited to participate in a sew along with Lori from Bee in my Bonnet. She just came out with a new book called Farm Girl Vintage, that is so adorable. I love everything about it! The blocks are adorable, and since I am a farm girl who loves to quilt, I couldn't think of a better way to mix the best of both worlds together.

We will begin the sew along on Friday May, 1, and end in October. So follow along here on the blog, or on Instagram, we will be using the hashtag #FarmGirlFridays. For more info or to join the sew along checkout Lori's blog at Bee In My Bonnet