What Do Farmers Do In The Winter?

Many assume that winter equals vacation time for farmers. I mean, we see them busy out in the fields in the spring and fall, so why wouldn’t they spend the off-season in their recliner?

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What it’s Really Like to be a Farm Kid

I’ve talked before about growing up on a farm. It wasn’t the glamorous “up every day at the crack of dawn” or “I have to feed my livestock every single day regardless of bad weather or holidays” lifestyle some farm kids experience.
I grew up on a corn and soybean farm, so my family was able to go on to occasional summer vacation and I got to sometimes sleep in on school holidays.

Previous blog posts about being a farm kid have talked about the highlights of the rural life (See 10 best things about being a farm kid), but what’s it really like to grow up on a farm? Continue reading

The 10 Best Things About Being a Farm Kid

Here’s 10 things that you’ve definitely experienced if you’re a farm kid:

No towering buildings block your view, only the trees swaying above you.
No towering buildings block your view, only the trees swaying above you.

10. The Stars.  You won’t appreciate how big the sky is or how many stars there are until you move to a city full of streetlights. The quiet of the night and the pressing dark are something you’ll only feel outside city limits. It’s hard to describe, but it’s a feeling of actually being alone; being able to clear your mind and look at the great-big, dark expanse above you, full of twinkling lights, is something that you don’t forget. Continue reading

Country Skies vs. City Lights

Being the crazy person that I am, I drove across town the other day just to take a picture of a field (#agmajorprobs!). Anyway, what was so special about this particular field that I drove across town to take a picture? I see fields all the time, and there are several relatively close to my apartment that I could have visited.

Take a look at this picture of the soybean field. See anything out of the ordinary?

Soybeans being affected by street lights in central Illinois
Soybeans being affected by street lights in central Illinois

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Happy Fall, Y’all!

Fall is in the air at Illinois State! Even though fall doesn’t technically start until this weekend, leaves have begun to change color, the weather is cooler (seriously, I went from using the air conditioner one night to having winter blankets out the next), pumpkin everything is officially available in stores and coffee shops, and farmers are counting down the days until harvest.

My favorite part of fall is definitely the agriculture. Think about it. Ag is everywhere during this time of year. Corn mazes, pumpkin patches, homemade apple pie….yum! Continue reading

I Got My Start in 4-H

Throughout my college career, I’ve had lots of people ask how I got into agriculture. While the obvious answer may be that it was because I grew up on a farm, that’s not where I developed my interest. Of course, I knew a lot about agriculture because I lived on a farm, but I kind of just took it for granted, much like we would treat having cable TV or Internet. The organization that allowed me to discover my interest in agriculture and basically steered me to my future career path was 4-H. Continue reading

Thank a Farmer

As I’ve mentioned before, there are many different kinds of agriculture. Organic, conventional, antibiotic-free, grain farms, livestock farms, small farms, medium-sized farms, and large farms. And the majority (97% nationally) are family farms. It’s really up to the farmer to choose what is best for his or her farm, and the final decision of what to produce and how to produce it is largely based off of their personal values and experience and the marketability of the product(s) in their area.

Part of Panera’s EZChicken campaign

If you’ve been following any social media pertaining to agriculture, you’ve probably heard a lot about Panera’s new marketing of their antibiotic-free chicken. They’ve begun a new Twitter campaign through EZChicken, which depicts a chicken taking the easy route instead of doing the hard work. Continue reading