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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The Hardest Thing I’ve Ever Done

Growing up, you experience a lot on the farm. Although I grew up surrounded by corn and soybeans, I had an understanding of life and death. We had lots of barn cats and lots of predators: coyotes, foxes, our dog… Basically, I knew that death was something that happened and was an inevitable part of the food chain. Continue reading

14 Facts About Your Bacon

Scrolling through BuzzFeed last week, I happened across an article “14 Things You Need To Know About Your Bacon” (You can read it here). I opened it because, well- bacon. Bacon is awesome. Needless to say, I was disappointed by the article. The HSUS, ASPCA, and PETA were all referenced, but no farmers. You know, the people that actually raise your bacon. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, if you have questions, please ask!

Here are 14 interesting facts about your bacon: Continue reading

Risky Business

It’s that time of year again! March 1st rolls around and everyone begins to think spring. We’re ready to see that snow melt, green grass pop up from the ground, and tulips and daffodils in full bloom. It’s time for new growth. 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

Are Organic Foods Really Pesticide-Free?

I’m a teaching assistant (aka- student grader) for one of the Agriculture and the Environment classes offered at Illinois State University, and today we went over organic farming, touching on the topic of pesticides used in the organic farming industry. Wait, what? Pesticides? I thought organic farming meant that there were no pesticides used?

As it turns out, pesticides are used in organic farming. But they’re a different kind of pesticide than what is used in conventional farming. Organic farmers are allowed to use any naturally occurring pesticide. Natural in this context means that it is derived from ingredients found naturally on our planet and will eventually break down into its natural ingredients. Remember organic chemistry? Same terminology. Continue reading