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Time for another edition of the Weekly Round Up. Buckle up, here we go!

  • This, from my broadcasting friend, Meghan Grebner. Meghan’s cousin is the star of the article and the article — and the story — is SO. WORTH. THE. READ. For more on Dalaney and her experience judging at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, check out Brownfield Ag News.
  • This blog, from Illinois farm mom, Emily Webel, was published last week and I loved it. Then, I promptly forgot about it. Because I’m awesome. So, I’m posting it this week. In her post, Emily writes a letter to her local County Market, calling them out for misrepresenting conventional agriculture.
  • This. Because, of course. Pasture Bedtime
  • Did you see this? I mean, how awesome would hangover-free wine be? Sign me up, please!
  • This article, from NPR’s The Salt, which combines two of my favorite things: food and marketing. It’s super interesting, and in an added bonus (or not?) it will make your mouth water.
  • This, because it’s oh so true. Don’t ask me how I know.   Ponies
  • And did you see this story (and the follow up video) from Indianapolis about a farmer who saved a calf who had been born in the cold by warming the calf in his family’s hot tub? How do you clean that up?   
  • And, finally, this, which was posted a couple of weeks ago but I just had a chance to read this week. As a new (does mothering a 10 month old mean I’m still a new mom?) mom, it spoke to me. Both because of the food information in there, but also because of its message to all moms: no judging. We’re all doing the best we can.

Did you know today is National Ag Day (even, National Ag Week)? For someone like me, with many friends involved in production agriculture or the agricultural industry, it was pretty hard to miss — especially on social media:

Ag Day If you ate today National Ag Day - AFBF National Ag Day - Iowa Soybean National Ag Day - Prairie Farmer National Ag DayAg Day - Erin National Ag Day 1 National Ag Day 2 Why Farm Yield 360But if you aren’t involved in all things ag, today’s ‘national holiday’ might have slipped by you.

So what is Ag Day all about, really?

National Ag Day, which began in 1973, is a product of the Agriculture Council of America (ACA), which is made up of leaders in agriculture, food and fiber:

“National Ag Day is a day to recognize and celebrate the abundance provided by agriculture. Each year, producers, agricultural association, corporations, universities, government agencies and countless others across America join together to recognize the contributions of agriculture.”

In a nutshell? It’s a day for all to learn all things ag! What could be better?

To help further the goal of celebrating the contributions of agriculture, writers, ag groups and farmers across the U.S. are sharing their stories in an effort to shed some light on today’s modern farming techniques. if you’re looking for some light reading on this National Ag Day, be sure to check these out:

It’s time for another edition of the Weekly Round Up (Friday the 13th Edition!). This week’s cool stuff:

  • This meme. Because, obviously. Ewe
  • This blog, from our friend Katie and Rural Route 2: The life and times of an Illinois farm girl. As always, Katie takes a topic with a lot of heat around it and makes it easy to read and easy to understand. Well worth your time.
  • This, because the information is awesome!Milk Safethy
  • This story, from the NY Times. It’s long, but such a good read. If you’re not familiar with the rodeo or ranching life, it’s an awesome inside look.
  • And this. Because, well, that’s Illinois in March.  Weather in Illinois
  • This blog, which does an excellent job of explaining the difference between organic and conventionally raised crops.
  • And this final infographic. Again, it provides great information and answer so many questions!Antibiotic Use

Oh my gosh, you guys. It’s March. How did that happen?

Time for the Weekly Round Up – March 6 edition. There was some really good stuff this week, so check it out:

  • This story from CBS Evening News. It’s old — really old. In fact, it was originally reported in 1978 by Charles Kuralt, and for some reason, CBS Evening News decided to repost it yesterday. It’s an awesome story. Seriously awesome.
  • Also yesterday, ABC News posted this story about an FDA study which recent found that there’s little evidence of antibiotics in milk. No surprise to Illinois’ dairy farmers, but might be surprising to some consumers. From the story by the Associated Press:

“In an encouraging development for consumers worried about antibiotics in their milk, a new Food and Drug Administration study showed little evidence of drug contamination after surveying almost 2,000 dairy farmers.

In response to concerns, the agency in 2012 took samples of raw milk from the farms and tested them for 31 drugs, almost all of them antibiotics. Results released by the agency Thursday show that less than 1 percent of the total samples showed illegal drug residue.”

  • This. I love this because it’s so true. Snooze Button
  • A few months ago, Bill Nye the Science Guy (I love him!) took a stance on GMOs. He didn’t say they were bad, necessarily, but he did say he felt like they hadn’t been around long enough for him to say, definitively, they were safe. This week, he modified his opinion on GMOs to say that he supports the science after learning more about it:
  • I’m also a big fan of this. It’s something that farmers live by, but something that people outside the farm don’t always realize. Lady
  • And one last one. Good info. Just for you. Did You Know

As long as this isn’t your first time here, it should be no surprise to you my love for the blue corduroy jacket.

Anytime FFA comes up in conversation, I’m the first to back the program, the first to tout its benefits and the first to encourage any kid, farm kid or not, to join one of the best youth organizations in the world. Heck, it’s the one thing I’m going to require my kid to try, at least once. Well, that and vegetables, I guess.

FFA has been top of conversation this week (at least among my friends because the number of my friends who were members of FFA number in the…well, a lot). Why? Because it’s National FFA Week!

Each chapter, section, district and state association celebrates its own way, but the end result is always the same: bringing attention to and celebrating an organization that changes youth for the better.

So, in honor of National FFA Week, this week’s Weekly Round Up is all things FFA:

  • This blog. Oh, I just love this blog so much. This FFA mom put the highlights of FFA into words in such an awesome way. SO. WORTH. THE. READ. FFA Mom
  • This. Because it’s oh so true. FFA Week
  • Don’t know a whole lot about FFA? Don’t worry, I can help – in infographic form! If that’s not enough, or it just piqued your interest, check out www.FFA.org or www.illinoisffa.org. FFA History
  • Another I-wasn’t-in-FFA-but-doggone-it-I-wish-I-would-have-been blog, this time from our friends at Mackinson Dairy Farm. Mary, who didn’t have an agriculture program available to her in high school, is now married to an agriculture teacher and gets to see firsthand, day-in and day-out, how FFA benefits the kids who decide to join. It’s an excellent perspective, and there are cute pictures of her daughter (in a little, tiny FFA jacket!) included. Win-win.Pontiac FFA
  • Oh, and this one, too. I’m sorry —  I just can’t help myself. 10994427_10205627862753158_4292863657505471462_n
  • Oh, Culver’s, you’ve discovered more than one way to my heart! For every view of the video below, Culver’s will donate a $1 to the National FFA Organization — up to $50,000!
  • And this. It isn’t making the rounds on the internet because it’s not a meme and it’s not a picture of anyone famous. It’s just me and a shout out of four of my favorite guys who were my partners in ‘crime’ and my big brothers for the entire year we served as Illinois Association FFA state officers. In the words of my buddy, Bruce, they were, and still are, pretty awesome. FFA Week 2

Weekly Round Up

It’s time for another edition of the Weekly Round Up. Here goes:

  • It was brutally cold here in Illinois this week. BRUTALLY. COLD. And this? Well, it’s a nice reminder of what farmers do. Even when it’s brutally cold. (From our friends at Mackinson Dairy Farm)
    Wind Chill
  • This. I mean, c’mon. Adorable.
  • Are you worried about antibiotics in your meat or milk? CommonGround dished out some excellent information — and a video! — to help answer your questions.
  • Did you know this? Most people don’t realize so many of America’s jobs are tied to agriculture. Largest Employer
  • The Dietary Guidelines Committee submitted its final report to the USDA and Department for Health and Human Services Thursday and they had some interesting recommendations, including reducing consumption of lean, red meat, increasing plant-based foods and decreasing animal based foods. Their reasoning? Plant-based diets are more sustainable. Check out Prairie Farmer for the full story.
  • Have you seen all the stories floating around the internet about fairlife milk? Long story short, Coca-Cola decided to partner (well, more like back the company) to get the new milk option onto more store shelves. But that connection has a few consumers more than a little confused. Which is why Carrie Mess over at Dairy Carrie decided to round up the facts on fairlife to share with her readers. Hey, if a dairy farmer isn’t concerned about a new option in the dairy aisle, you shouldn’t be, either.

Weekly Round Up

Let’s try something new, shall we?

It’s always a challenge to find new and exciting things to post — and then to actually write a post about them.

So what if we, every Friday, post just the top few things from the week? Interesting news stories? Check. Fun agriculture-related memes? Sure, why not. Fascinating blog posts? You got it. Agriculture myth busting? Of course. We’ll call it the weekly round up. And it starts NOW!

  • This. I love this! And I think most farmers would agree, too. Oh, and happy Valentine’s Day (you know, with the heart and stuff…)Life on the Farm
  • Have you seen this pretty awesome blog by Lindsay Mitchell from the Illinois Corn Growers Association? Her Open Letter to Americans Who Don’t Believe In Science is making the rounds on the internet — and it’s a good read. Be sure to check it out. Corn Corps
  • Speaking of pretty awesome reads, Missouri Farm Bureau President and farmer Blake Hurst penned a biting response to the New York Times’ Food for Tomorrow Event. Here’s just a snippet, but don’t let that be your only snippet:

“We can argue about how agriculture should be constituted, and we clearly will, but I thought more interesting was Bittman’s choice of the word “peasant.”  He could have talked about traditional agriculture, he could have extolled the virtues of small holdings, he could have explained how farmers in the third world have adapted their methods to the resources at hand.  Nope – he chose to use the word “peasant,’ and as a person whose speaking and writing fees depend upon his ability to use a word that exactly says what he means to say, I’m going to pay him the respect of believing that he said exactly what he meant.  Farmers should be peasants, with all that implies.”

  • You may have already seen this guy on the Illinois Farm Bureau Facebook page, but if not, take the time to check out the video now. Farmer Johnny Georges was on Shark Tank recently and spoke about his life and convictions as a farmer and, well, they’re just too good to pass up.
  • It’s Girl Scout cookie time! Thin Mints, here I come. But did you know that the Girl Scouts have recently come under attack because their cookies use some GMO ingredients? Check out Canadian farmer, Cherilyn Nagel’s take on the situation — she provides some interesting insights.Girl Scout Cookies
  • And finally, I stumbled across this blog last week and, honestly, might not have read it if I didn’t immediately recognize the author’s name. Trent Loos, who farms in Nebraska, is an awesome agriculture advocate and an excellent speaker (he was the keynote at the Illinois FFA Convention a few years back and was PHENOMENAL). Trent puts an interesting spin on “humane animal production” and it’s definitely worth your time. Trent Loos

 

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