Day two on the Indianapolis adventure, (don't miss day one) and we are waiting for the bus to take us to Dow Agriscience's headquarters to attended the AgChat National Collegiate Congress. The bus may have been an hour late after it went to the wrong hotel, but that didn't slow us down! Here is a list of advice I learned on how to improve advocating for agriculture.
As I'm finally getting my head put on straight again, I think of the reasons I got so far behind in my work and it was totally worth it. The first week classes started at Iowa State, I decided to spent a lot of time on airplanes. The back pain, broken suitcase, and loss of sleep was all well worth it as a traveled across the country. It started a few Thursdays ago when I made my way towards Indianapolis, Indiana for the Ag Chat conference. After a delayed flight, I found myself in Indy and ready for a few days of learning how to connect to consumers about agriculture while meeting peers that have the same passion as I do.
What's your resolution to 2015? Although I am planning on writing my personal resolutions down tomorrow, I can tell you that I will not be listening to the advice on Facebook and giving up eating meat this year. I was scrolling through my newsfeed and an ad for Farm Sanctuary popped up. Now I could go through and comment about what is said by the advertisers and what actually happens on an pig farm, but I do that all the time. Then I found this link. Kirsten from Crafting Chicks had the opportunity to travel to North Carolina and visited a large pig farm. Don't take my word for it, listen to Kristen. Her blog post is worth the read!
The birth of Jesus takes place in a barn, and part my Christmas day was spent the same way. Babies don't give you much warning when they are going to be born, so for farmers being close to their animals on Christmas is very important. I had just gotten out of the shower and was getting ready for Christmas after being with the pigs when my dad came inside. We had goats.
Today Marek Land and Livestock experienced something they have never had before; a video shoot for John Deere Financial. A few weeks ago, my dad recieved a call from his college friend asking if his marketing firm could use our century farm, and we agreed. They brought in a production company, actors, models, a make-up artist, and employees from Two Rivers Marketing and John Deere. At one point in time, there were 22 cars at our farm. One important aspect was the new equipment that was brought from the local John Deere dealer. To say the least, it was busy around here.
It was awesome to see a video shoot, but I also loved seeing my dad and grandpa getting their make-up done and being videoed for an interview about our century farm. John Deere did a great job of highlighting the farm life along with the importance of family.
A few days ago I wrote about large companies in agriculture, but don't think large corporations are taking over agriculture. In fact, over 90% of farms are family owned and operated. I've seen statistics for 92%, 93%, and 98%, so I think it's safe to say over 90 is a good fact.
I'm proud to be from a family farm that has been around for over 100 years. Not all farms are century farms though; people are taking pride in being from a family farm and want to be a part of this community. I am the sixth generation on my family's diversified livestock and grain farm. Although I have three sisters and we are not the typical family where the son will take over the farm, we are all dedicated to insure that future generations will have the same land that has been in my family for over a century. It's crazy to look at pictures to see how things were back in the day. Below is a picture of the farm where my grandparents currently live. My house is in the background.
With farming comes stories, which turn into memories. The Des Moines Register put together 100 photos of farming from the 1930's, which are simply amazing. If you live on a farm, I challenge you on this Sunday that you ask people older than you to share about farming in the past. If you don't, ask people who may have been familiar with agriculture. Even better, pictures are worth a million words. Find old photo books and see what you can learn from them. More pictures from my family farm will be shared soon, but click here for the Des Moines Register link and look below for a preview of my families history books.
When times get tough, the agriculture industry comes together. The support your "show family" gives is nothing short of amazing. They'll help you, pray for you, and encourage you. When someone needs help in the field, all the farmers around them stop what they're doing and gather to make sure the person in need is taken care of. This proves why American agriculture is the backbone of America. I heard tonight at a book reading by a world renowned novelist Jane Smiley said, "Iowa is where farming is." Mrs. Smiley has writen many thousand of pages about Iowa farms, and was very complimentary of farming. Everyday I thank The Lord for making me a part of such an amazing industry.
Harvest makes you appreciate a farmer. Day 4 for why agriculture is amazing, it's the farmers and ranchers that work long hours feeding the world. This fall thousands of farmers will spend hundreds of thousands of hours in a tractor, harvesting their crop. The crop they planted in the spring, prayed all summer that the weather would be favorable, and now they are able to sell their crop to support their families and do it all again next year. With a combine that goes 3 miles per hour, my grandpa said today the miles he puts on each year could get him to Chicago and back a few times (240 miles away).
Please pray for safety in the fields this fall and contunue to support our farmers who do so much to support their families, their community, and the world.
Southeast Iowa born. Ames living. College girl experiencing the real world.
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