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Finally a dry spell this last week and I still can’t mow my yard! Darn mower! Hopefully a new battery will be the ticket to a freshly-mowed yard this weekend.

In the meantime, it’s time for another Weekly Round Up:

  • Check out this article from Ask the Farmers. If you’ve ever wondered about those “corporate farms” you hear so much about on the internet, this blog can give you some answers, straight from the horse’s mouth.
  • And this, because, obviously. 2 percent
  • This article, from Slate, which I found really interesting. It’s all about the safety of GMOs, and the case against them. Take some time to check it out.
  • And this because it’s awesome. Food info
  • And, finally, this, from Buzzard’s Beat. It’s your weekly installment of Chipotle commentary, since it seems we can’t go a full week without some kind of crazy marketing news from Chipotle. I covered this news last week, but thought the commentary on this blog was particularly good.

It finally felt like July this week. We had a couple of days with heat advisories and the humidity was high enough to…well, I don’t know. But it was high. I also remembered that I don’t miss those high heat, high humidity days. I’m a farm girl. I don’t glow. I sweat. A lot.

Anyway. Time for another edition of the weekly round up.

  • Check out this post from Minnesota Farm Living about Chipotle’s most recent announcement about sourcing pork from farms overseas. Will Chipotle’s irrational decisions never end?
  • And this. Because it’s worth knowing, if you didn’t know it already.   Milk in stores
  • Speaking of antibiotics, check out this infographic from U.S. Farmer and Rancher Alliance about how farmers judiciously use antibiotics, and other tools in the toolbox for keeping animals healthy. It bears repeating – farmers use antibiotics to treat animals who are sick, just like you would give your kids antibiotics when they’re sick.
  • Also, this. Because it’s awesome. And pretty true. Don't take it personally
  • And finally, this article from Pink Tractor which lists just a few things farmer wish consumers knew. It’s pretty spot on.

Remember that picture I posted last week of all the flooding near my house. Well, here’s a new one. From this week:

Wet Weather 7-10-15

I can tell you one thing: the farmers I work with are ready for the rain to stop. But, at least we still have our sense of humor:

Shared via Illinois Corn

Shared via Illinois Corn

Central Illinois Rain

But enough with water. Let’s move on to this week’s Weekly Round Up!

  • In the interest of full disclosure, I’m a judger. No, not a judgey person — at least I hope not — a judger. As in dairy and horse judger. I spent much of my youth at a horse or dairy judging contest, placing rings of four animals and then prepping for reasons. And those judging days, filled with reasons and rings of animals, helped me develop my public speaking, confidence and decision-making skills. Oh, and everything else on this list, too. I mean, the pacing. Oh, the pacing. SO. TRUE.
  • This, because truer words were never spoken. Work for it
  • This post, from Fitness Reloaded, about the safety of conventionally-produced food vs. organic food. Did you know that organic doesn’t necessarily mean safer?
  • And speaking of chemicals, did you know this? Glyphosate
  • This post, from Raised Right in a Barn, which just couldn’t be more true. Those blue ribbons were great, but I learned more, especially initially, from the red, yellow and green ones. And for you parents out there, regardless of whether your kids grow up on a farm or not, this is still true. It’s okay to let them lose from time to time. It builds character. And determination.
  • This one, because it’s pretty awesome. And true. Farm Girl Tip
  • And finally, this from Southeast Ag Net, by way of the University of Florida. For those of you not familiar with beef cattle, Angus are arguably the most popular breed. They’re easy to keep, easy to breed, and easy to sell. Up until recently, you could only get Angus in one of two colors: red, or the more popular, black (ever seen the ‘Certified Black Angus’ label on those steaks you buy?) However, through selective breeding over the last 20 years, researchers at the University of Florida have developed a black hide, white hair Angus that they feel will bring new depth to the beef industry. Check it out for more information on why they think so.

You guys. It’s July. Whoa. We’re moving right through summer, even though it doesn’t feel like it. You see, we don’t have air conditioning, so I’m grateful for the mild summer weather we’re having. Right now, having my windows open actually feels like air conditioning! H and I even woke up this morning with scratchy throats because it got so cool overnight. We could, however, do with a little less rain. Seriously, you guys, I haven’t mowed my yard in three weeks. At this point, I need to just windrow and bale it. That is, if it dries out long enough to actually do that.

The creek a mile north of our house and the corn field directly across from our house. I almost needed a boat to get home!

The corn field directly across from our house and the creek river a mile north of our house. I almost needed a boat to get home!

Anyway, on to the Weekly Round Up:

  • You guys, it’s almost that most magical time of year where there’s delicious food on a stick and anytime you eat something terrible the calories don’t count. I’m talking about State Fair. And speaking of delicious fair food, check out this article from the Des Moines Register which talks about the big business of fair food — and the awesome stuff slated for this year’s Iowa State Fair. Can I go please? Mmmmmm, makes me want one of the Illinois State Fair milkshakes from the junior barn…
  • And speaking of fairs, this, because it’s awesome. Value of things
  • Do you love awesomely bad fashion? How about awesomely bad fashion from the ’80s and ’90s? Believe it or not, we all fall victim to it — especially those of us showing livestock. Ranch House Designs highlights some awesomely bad beef show attire, but trust me when I say, it happens to all of us. If you can’t tell, that’s a red felt hat, red jeans and a tuxedo shirt with red roses that I’m wearing. Whatever, at least I matched my nifty little wagon and pony. rachel9
  • Check out this story about technology on the farm and how farmers are utilizing it. Pretty awesome, especially since I know some of the folks working on this technology.
  • And this because, well, how could I not? Tractor Down
  • Finally, this post from Alarm Clock Wars. It talks about sweet corn of a GMO variety, and the need to manage weeds. It’s short, sweet and to the point, and pretty interesting if you aren’t familiar with how Round Up or GMOs work.

It’s time for another edition of the Weekly Round Up. This week, we’re talking meat labels, the importance of character, a cute little girl and her cow, and why we love farming. Check it out.

  • As you’re wandering through the meat section of your local grocery store, do you look at the labels on the meat and think to yourself, “Holy crap. What does all of this mean?” Or, maybe you think you’ve got it figured out, when in reality, the marketing trap has cornered again. Either way, check out this series of posts from Mom At The Meat Counter. She does a great job of explaining what all of those crazy labels mean.
  • And speaking of labels, did you know this? No Added Hormones
  • This. Because it’s awesome. I love me some little, brown Jersey cows!Being a Friend
  • Speaking of cows, I wanted to share this story. The dairy industry is a small one, but a tight-knit one just the same. Though I don’t personally know Reese, I do remember showing against her mom at the All American Jersey Show in Louisville, Ky. Reese has now been in the hospital for 13 months, following a house fire. While she and her sister were staying at their grandparents’ house, an accidental fire started in Reese’s room and her grandmother, Patricia, literally walked through fire to get to her. Like any little girl separated from her animals, Reese misses her, too, specifically her cow, Pantene. So, Pantene came to Johns Hopkins to visit her. Cheers to the hospital for making it happen.
  • Truer words were never spoken…We Have Livestock
  • Speaking of livestock (see what I’m doing here?), check out this blog post from Jean’s Boots Are Made For Talking. Whether you show livestock or not, this is worth the read. When you’re on the sidelines at a cattle show or a soccer game, are you coaching character?
  • And finally, this from Modern Day Farm Chick. It’s a couple months old, but still sooooo good. It’s all about why farmers farm. No so much about how much or what, but the most important aspect: why.

Time for another edition of the Weekly Round Up. This week we’re talking women on the farm, food storage guidelines (because, honestly, we all need to be better at using up food before it goes bad) and more dairy! And, bonus, dads in honor of Father’s Day!

  • As my friend, Martin, said about this article: “Despite what some may think, agriculture’s actually a clear leader in professional gender equality. Almost any successful farm couple I knew was a true partnership, with a strong woman encouraging, reasoning with, running the numbers (or the planter) alongside, and when necessary, Gilligan-slapping their hardworking hubbies.”
  • This. Oh man, this. Hungry People
  • Ever bought a bunch of carrots at the grocery store and, a month later, found them in the fridge and thought, “Can I still use these? I mean, they look okay.” Let’s be honest, we’ve all done that. Now, you can whip out this trusty guide to find out the shelf life of all your favorite produce!
  • This, because it’s awesome. Despic-hay-bale
  • And, finally, this local-to-Illinois story featuring Lake County Farm Bureau Manager, Greg Koeppen, who organized the breakfast on the farm. Said Greg, “Who doesn’t like pizza for breakfast?” Well, he said a lot more than that, but you’ll have to check out the article to find out what breakfast at Golden Oaks means for the folks who took the time to participate.
  • Bonus: In honor of Father’s Day this Sunday, these pictures of my dads. Because I’m lucky, I get two.
    Trail Riding

    The whole family get ready to take part in my dad’s favorite activity: trail riding. Side note: this was our second trailer. The first one we got didn’t last long because when we bought the three-horse, dad said it would be fine because he didn’t ride and wouldn’t need to haul a horse. That lasted about three weeks.

    DSC_0717

    And finally, my second dad, Chuck. He married my mom a few years after my dad passed away and he, well, he’s pretty cool. I couldn’t ask for a better second dad.

It’s time for another edition of the Weekly Round Up! This week, we’re talking FFA (and you know how much I love to talk FFA!), more dairy facts, GMOs (again) and women on farms.

  • Another crop of Illinois Association FFA officers were elected this week during the Illinois Association FFA State Convention. I just love seeing another team of officers excited to begin their year of traveling the state, promoting FFA and agricultural education. It makes me think of the day I was elected 12 years ago. I was the only girl on a five person state officer team and I remember thinking, “Okay, I don’t know these guys very well. This year could either be really great, or really bad.” A couple of hours later, late in the evening at the hotel, the five of us were chatting and an incident involving frozen gummy bears being chucked at each other made me think this might be the best decision I ever made. And boy was I right. The boys, well, I don’t know about them. They had to spend the first month of our term carrying my food — and carrying me up and down the stairs — because I was on crutches. At least I hope they remember it as fondly as I do.

    I think this was taken a couple of years after we retired. They must not think I'm too bad, they still take pictures with me, even though they don't have to anymore...

    I think this was taken a couple of years after we retired. They must not think I’m too bad, they still take pictures with me, even though they don’t have to anymore…

  • This, because obviously. I mean, they’re Jerseys! And they’re so cute!How Now Brown Cow
  • Ever looked at a nutrition label on a gallon of milk and been confused? Or, better yet, wondered what that percentage means? 1%, 2%, skim and whole — what they heck? Well, if you’re confused, don’t worry — there’s help!
  • And this. Did you know this? Women have always played an important role on farms across the country, and they still do today, especially as those roles continue to change. Women Farmers
  • And finally, this story out of Oregon. If you read the news at all, GMOs shouldn’t be an alien term to you. Folks want to see GMOs labeled and removed from the market, regardless of what science says. In one Oregon county, they’ve done just that, voting to ban GMO crops in the county. But there’s one problem: How do you enforce it?
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