Thursday, June 30, 2011

Independence Day

It’s almost Independence Day, and my favorite time of the year. It’s hot out, the sun is up till 10 o’clock, with lots of 4-H events and barrel races to go to. It’s also my favorite time of year at the farm – the baby calves and lambs are getting big and at pasture – they are so pretty! Days are spent in the hay field and getting lambs ready for market. And since it’s almost the 4th of July, American pride is showing everywhere. Almost every house has a flag out in front, patriotic music blares on radios, and every citizen is declaring that we are proud to be Americans.

Photo by: Sarah Sample, 2010
As proud as I am of our great country, I want to recognize and industry I am so proud to be a part of. It’s our nation’s most vital industry. It’s American Agriculture. American farmers work every single day to feed 100% of the population.

Photo From: Ag United

However, many criticize American farmers. There are groups that would like to see the way we feed the world end. But American Farmers farm on.
Photo From: Ag United

There are never ending winters, bone chilling cold, wind, snow and ice that make their jobs that much harder. While others take snow days and shelter inside from the snow, American farmers brave the storm to farm on.

Feeding Horses, Spring 2011 Blizzard

In times of drought and flood, insects and disease, markets good and bad, and when nature unleashes its rath, American farmers don’t quit. They farm on.

Photo From: Kott Farms, Tornado, Summer 2010

When they reach retirement age, face illness, injury and crisis, their fellow farmers and friends offer help. Increasing their workload for a friend, they farm on.

Neighbor helping with hoop barn reconstruction

American pride runs deep in the rural communities. Serving their country, both at home and overseas, they offer their hard work to others. When they return as heroes, they return to the farm. American family farmers teach their children passion for farming and to work hard and to play hard - and hope that someday, they will keep on farming on. 

My siblings sledding after working in the lambing barn

American farmers are passionate and kind to animals. From the tinest duckling, to the biggest bull, they strive to give their animals the best care possible.
Ducklings rescued when momma duck got caught in hydroswing

American family farmers work 24/7 365, through heat and humidity, wind and rain, snow and ice to provide the 21 million jobs in American Agriculture and the cheapest, safest, most abundant food supply in the world.

Photo from: Ag United for South Dakota

I am proud to be a part of this amazing industry that is constantly working to feed, clothe and fuel the world. Happy 4th of July!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Why my job is SO important

Last week I took 17 day care goers on a field trip. Their big green van followed me to two farms.  Our first stop was near Hartford at Dennis Steinke’s farm.  I knew it was likely that these kids had never visited a farm.  Having grown up on a farm, it was an eye opening experience for me as well to see how these kids reacted to things on the farm, I just assume it is common for everyone to experience.  The first thing the kids fixated on?  Mud. They were all a leery of it, even the boys, to my surprise and the teacher’s relief!  Next, the Steinke family’s dogs caught their attention, as did the 4 wheeler.  These little things that I never thought would be new to them were – the dogs racing the 4 wheeler is a common sight at my house as is the mud, but both were new things to these kids!  We saw pigs, cattle and fed a bottle calf at the Steinke farm. They wanted to pet every critter they saw from the pigs to the feeder steers. The highlight of that stop, however, was feeding the bottle calf.

Our next adventure took us to Lynn Boadwine’s dairy near Baltic.  Lynn talked to the kids about different dairy products they may have in their own home and how those products get to their home from the dairy.  I had to laugh when one of the kids told him that cows weigh only 100 lbs!  We showed them the parlor and the feed lane of the dairy, plus the baby calves. They were so eager to pet the cows and even wanted to try their hand at milking. After a half hour at each place, we headed home. I bet their parents get a good education on the ins and outs of farming that evening!

Events on a farm always remind me of why we do what we do here at Ag United. Connecting consumer to field and farmer so that they know where their food comes from is essential in our world. People want to know they are getting the healthiest best food for their family, and that it is produced in the best way possible. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

My first post!

Long have I been amused, entertained, educated, and distracted by other peoples blogs. After my boss's urging, I have decided to start my own! So here it goes:

I am many things.

I am a Farmgirl - from south central South Dakota. We have 1000 sheep, 100 cattle, 20 goats and many acres of farmland. Living on and working on the farm has giving me passion for agriculture and what I want to do with my life.

I am a Cowgirl - We also have 12 horses. My favorite thing to do is ride them, work with them, and just be with them. I love barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying and rodeo

I am big sister to 2 little munchkins - J and J are my best friends, worst enemies, and favorite people to play with. Even though I am 11 years older than them.

I am a sheep and goat person. (Yes I even admit it :) I love working with our sheep on the farm, talking to others about sheep and working at the SDSU sheep research unit.

I am the intern at Ag United: I work in Sioux Falls, helping plan events and do outreach to consumers so that they can learn more about agriculture.

Thats about all I have for now, hopefully I will update this about once a week, so stay tuned!!