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Happy Sunday, all! Coming to you this weekend a little late because I’ve been doing the horse thing all weekend and hanging out at the Illinois Horse Fair.

But, as they say, better late than never! Let’s get it started…

  • First, take a look at this story from CNN. It’s all about dairy farmers, immigration and the presidential election. And yes, those things are all connected.
  • This, which is totally awesome. FB_IMG_1456888262647
  • These two stores, from WEEK and Prairie Farmer, which talk about what potential cuts could mean to local and statewide agriculture programs. If you haven’t heard, the governor has proposed to zero-out the ag ed line item again. And, if you’ve spent more than five seconds here, you know it’s a move that makes me uncomfortable.
  • This, because it’s true. No two farms
  • This, from Fox 2 out of St. Louis, because I know these people! I grew up showing cattle with the Marcoot sisters and have many fond memories of Illinois State Fairs and junior barn shenanigans. Now, instead of showing, the girls and their folks have transformed their family dairy into a cheese-making venture – and it’s AWESOME! Their story is a great example of how farmers are diversifying to stay relevant in an increasingly difficult economy.
  • This, because it’s true, regardless of your background. You never look good...
  • And finally, this blog post, from my new favorite blog, Rural Gone Urban. Author Brooke grew up on a farm, but is now a city dweller, and her perspective as a now-city dweller is an excellent one. Plus, she’s super funny. Seriously, check it out!

Commander-in-Chief…

…and farmer, too!

Lincoln

Short and sweet today, guys. I just wanted to make sure you saw this article on bon appetite, which includes some pretty awesome pictures and trivia about former U.S. Presidents who were also farmers.

Check it out!

It’s time for another edition of the Weekly Round Up! Here’s what’s on the docket for this week:

  • Ever wonder what happens to milk after it leave the farm and before it gets to your refrigerator? Well, if you do, take a look at the this Michigan State University article to get all of your questions answered. It covers all steps — and hopefully all of your questions!
  • And speaking of milk… Whats in milk
  • This article, from BEEF Magazine, which talks about Wendy’s stance on antibiotic use in food animals. Of note, this statement from Dennis Hecker, senior vice president of quality assurance for Wendy’s: “At Wendy’s, we have an opportunity and a desire to care for our customers and employees while also promoting the health and welfare of the animals that provide our food. Our goal is to work with our supply partners to refine, reduce, and replace antibiotic therapy through their judicious use and by exploring animal management practices that do not rely on medically important antibiotics to increase production yields.” They sure have a different take on handling the situation than other fast food chains (I’m lookin’ at you, Subway.).
  • This, because you may need to know it for a game of trivia at some point. Tractors
  • And this post, from Holly Spangler, which is oh so moving and beautiful. Farmer or not, you’ll find meaning in this.

 

So, you know how I love dairy cows? Wait, sorry, that was a stupid question. If you’ve spent more than three seconds here, you probably know that.

Anyway, it’s my love for all things dairy that drew my attention to this article in Forbes Magazine.

Okay, it was actually the article’s headline, Big Agriculture Gets Its Sh*t Together, which really sparked my interest. Then I saw cows and, well, I was a goner.

Despite the snarky title, which, let’s be honest, I love, the article is a treasure trove of information about how today’s dairy farmers are working to make their farms more sustainable with fewer resources.

If you’re curious at all about how big — and I mean BIG — farms operate, this article is for you.

The focus of the article is Fair Oaks Dairy, located in northwest Indiana. Fair Oaks is one of the largest dairy farms in the country, housing around 36,000 cows.

With that many animals in one spot — not to mention their hog operation — there’s bound to be some poop. And the way that Fair Oaks deals with manure is on the cutting edge of farm technology.

They’re turning their manure into an energy source for the farm, reducing their environmental footprint and greenhouse gas emissions.

To top it off, the dairy itself is open to the public for viewing, tours and questions.

How cool is that? Looks like they really did get their sh–well, stuff, together.

 

 

It’s Friday! I mean, seriously, were more beautiful words ever spoken? I think not.

Anyway, as is usually the case around here, Friday means it’s time for another edition of the Weekly Round Up. Here’s what’s on tap for this week:

  • You’re probably aware of my love for the Blue and Gold jacket. I was an FFA member all the way through high school and am not ashamed to say that it helped shape who I am today. Heck, it even helped me land on a career choice. Given that, it’s no surprise that I don’t take kindly to people who rail against it, like a PETA blogger this week, who said, “FFA is lame AF.” I was all piped up and ready to respond, when I saw something amazing happening: Rather than respond to the blog and effectively promote it just by sharing, FFA members and alumni across the U.S. started sharing their FFA memories, pictures and positive moments instead. Talk about powerful. Here’s my favorite post – be sure to check it out.
  • This, because you know I love a good play on words. And cheese. Sweet Dreams
  • This article, from the Huffington Post. We’ve covered Bill Nye’s (Bill! Bill! Bill! – you know you were singing it in your head) switch from anti-GMO to pro-GMO before, but this piece, from Dr. Robert T. Fraley at Monsanto, offers a different take on why he switched.
  • And, speaking of GMOs, this story which appeared on CBS Sunday Morning. If you have questions about GMOs, this story does an excellent job of presenting both sides of the story.
  • This video, from Steve Harvey. Yes, Steve Harvey. He’s a well-known comedian, but did you know he grew up on a farm, too? In a rare moment where he’s not cracking jokes, Harvey talks about what it meant to grow up on a farm, and what he learned from the experience. It’s beautiful.
  • This, because whether you’re a farmer, accountant, writer, office manager or kid, this is true. Always. New Start

 

Silence is golden, unless you have a blog to write. In that case, silence is most certainly not golden.

That’s my way of saying, “Sorry for the silence – whether or not you enjoyed it.”

Anyway, I came across this article the other day and wanted to share it in its own post, rather than saving it for the Weekly Round Up.

I’ve written before about the important role women play in agriculture and how women are increasingly taking leadership roles on farms across the country.

Growing up with an independent mom who managed our own farming operation, I love seeing stories about women who take charge, no holds barred, and get the job done.

Just like these gals last week:

That’s why I loved this story from the Washington Post about how today’s farming and ranching women are holding their own — and then some — on farms across the country.

That’s not to say that women haven’t been doing this for centuries — they have. But now, given social media and, well, a glass ceiling that continues to crack, women are forging their own ways.

It’s a great story, so be sure to check it out.

You guys. Did you know it’s January. And not just January – it’s January 15. We’re halfway through the month.

How the heck did that happen?

Anyway, it has been a while since we’ve done the Weekly Round Up and that means I have a lot of stuff to share. Like, a whole lot. So, let’s get right down to it:

  • First, this short video from the Center for Accountability in Science. It’s a great video which talks about how farmers use antibiotics and what that means for humans consuming meat from animals treated with antibiotics. If you have questions about how your meat is raised, and how it’s treated when it’s sick, this video is for you.
  • This article, from Forbes, which discusses Chipotle’s recent fall from grace. I’ve talked a lot about Chipotle here on the blog, and why I’m not a fan of their marketing campaign (Read: It’s a web of lies!). In December, the company, famous for its “Food with Integrity,” showed not only does it need to clean up its marketing campaign, but their restaurants in general. Ugh.
  • This. You know, just a little food for thought. Tomatoes
  • This article, from the Huffington Post, which has nothing to do with farmers, but everything to do with food — and how our kids eat it. Or in my case, how our toddler’s throw it on the floor, dump it in their heads, feed it to the dog and smear it on the table — basically anything but actually eat it. I found it quite a while ago, but it’s a really great article, and after testing it out with my own hard-headed munchkin, it’s got some pretty great advice.
  • This article, from U.S. News and World Report, about how today’s farmers are working hard to run sustainable farms. Excellent stuff in this one, folks.
  • Do you have questions about convention dairy farms vs. organic dairy farms? If so, this blog post, from The Farmer’s Wifee, does an excellent job of explaining just how many rules all dairy farms have to follow. It’s a great read.

And finally, a request: What do you want to see? I’m thinking of revamping things a bit, and I would love to know what you want to know. Would you like to see more myth-busting, agriculture style? Or, maybe you would be interested in farmer features. How about recipes? What would really get you excited to check things out? Let me know in the comments!

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