Today’s website is pretty appropriate considering some recent news from Subway.

I blogged about Subway’s announcement that they were going to source meat only from animals who never received antibiotics here and here, and I might have even referenced this website in one of those posts.

If not, well, this is the perfect time to talk about it. As I mentioned earlier, there’s been a lot of talk lately about antibiotic use in farm animals and how overuse can lead to antibiotic resistance in humans.

Sounds scary, right? I mean, after all, if farmers are using antibiotics on their animals, you’re surely getting a dose yourself when you eat meat or drink milk, right?

Well, actually, no. Because farmers have to follow lots and lots of rules when they use antibiotics. And because government agencies test — rigorously — for antibiotic residue once an animal is marketed and slaughtered.

There is so much information surrounding this topic and some of the best comes from the Animal Health Institute. You can find all kinds of good stuff, including judicious use programs, benefits of antibiotics, risk assessments, how antibiotics are approved for use, information about the FDA’s Veterinary Feed Directive, frequently asked questions, and even information about how Denmark was affected after it banned use of antibiotics in feed.

They even put together a nifty fact sheet, in PDF form, about how antibiotics can be used to keep animals healthy without affecting our food.

Pretty much any question you have about antibiotics and how farmers use them can be answered here. Seriously.

To see the rest of the 30-day series, check out the links below:

I’m a firm believer in embracing differences and looking for similarities. Some of my best friends came from very different backgrounds than I, but have some kind of common thread, too.

4-H House 2

These gals were kind enough to ‘shower me’ when I got engaged many, many moons (and pants sizes) ago.


Take, for example, these girls. These are my 4-H House girls — at least, most of them.

All of us come from different backgrounds. Some of us grew up on farms; some of us didn’t. But the one thing we all had in common was 4-H and living in 4-H House at the U of I.

That one common thread has led to lots of friendships. And those friendships have morphed from Lord knows how many late night dance parties to a whole bunch of wedding invitations and a bunch of really cute kids — and regular email updates and get-togethers to keep everyone updated.

You can find the commonality in anything. It’s like the six degrees of Kevin Bacon — there’s a connection in everything.

And that’s what FindOurCommonGround.com was founded on; finding the common ground between consumers and farmers.

Similar to WatchUsGrow.org, FindOurCommonGround.com is a collection of farmers, mostly women, who openly talk about farm practices and topics, including antibiotics in meat, animal welfareorganic and local foods, GMOs, food safetyhormones, food prices, sustainability, farm ownership, and more. The only difference is these farmers don’t only farm in Illinois — they farm in states across the country.

You can even select your home state to find a list of farmers who can answer your questions about any topic under the sun. How cool is that?

Funded from checkoff dollars from the American Soybean Association and the National Corn Growers Association, FindOurCommonGround.com is an excellent source of information for all of your farming questions.

The see the rest of the 30-day series, check out the links below:

So, during my lunch hour today, I spent some time online looking for a new recipe for dinner tonight. I had some leftover egg noodles that need used up and I’m tired of the same old recipes that I keep cycling through.

Eventually I found a recipe that required no trip to the store and looks to be pretty simple. Bonus points: All told, it should take me about 40 minutes to whip up and get on the table.

But, you know what? I have do it all over again tomorrow night. And the night after that.


So what’s a mom (or dad) to do? Well, a good first step is to visit FarmFlavor.com.

What’s really cool is the fact that this portion of the website focuses on all things — and recipes — Illinois. They even featured one of my very favorite families on their homepage — Marcoot Jersey Creamery.

The Marcoot girls and I showed cattle together for many years, so I love seeing their faces smiling back at me!

Published by Journal Communications, Farm Flavor invites readers to grow their food knowledge along with their recipe collections.

Farm Flavor connects farmers with consumers, delivers an Illinois agriculture industry overview, and even lists some of Illinois’ top products.

And the recipes! Oh man, you guys, I can’t even tell you how much gold can be mined here. Search by meal type, theme, cooking method and ingredient to find your next favorite recipes.

Farm Flavor is an excellent blend of reliable ag information and super yummy recipes. Get your bookmark button ready — you’ll definitely want to save this one.

To see the rest of the 30-day series, check out the links below:

I’ve failed, you guys. We’re halfway through November and I’ve missed two days of the 30-day blogging challenge.

And I don’t even have good excuses. I’ve been derailed by an anniversary (seven years for the Hubs and I!) and a full day — and by full, I mean from 5:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. — of work and media training.

Okay, I guess the last excuse is kind of good. Either way, I’ve missed a couple of days, so my apologies.

To get back into the swing of things, I’m sending you over to one of my favorite personal blogs.

Rural Route 2: The Life & Times of an Illinois Farm Girl is an excellent blend of day-to-day farm life, beautiful pictures, yummy recipes (I’m serious. You might need to have a tailor standing by to alter your clothes), faith, farm kids and agriculture facts.

I love to read Katie’s posts because everything — from hot topics in ag to stories from the farm — is written with such honesty, conviction and genuineness. It makes it a joy to read and extremely credible.

If nothing else, it will give you all the happy feels when you read it!

To see the rest of the 30 day series, check out the posts below:

Today marked seven years of wedded bliss for the Hubs and I. We celebrated last night, without the tiny human, by going to dinner at a restaurant to which we had never been. And let me tell you, it was delicious (and oh so quiet!).

The steak was a little more than we wanted to spend, so we opted for protein in the form of smothered chicken (OH. MY. GOSH. So good.) and chicken and shrimp alfredo.

I cook a lot of chicken at home because it’s easy and inexpensive, but it was still nice to have a familiar favorite in a new (and delicious!) way.

As a mom, I’m always looking for new ways to fix the same old thing. There’s nothing worse than getting into a rut where you make the same four dinners over and over and over. It’s frustrating for me, and it’s certainly frustrating for my family.

That’s where www.meatpoultrynutrition.org comes in. There’s a nice little section of recipes, organized by cut of meat or cooking method, for all different kinds of protein.

But the website really wasn’t developed to house recipes. The best information can be found in their labels, studies and media sections. There’s lot of great information about common nutrient and health claims and what they mean, studies about how meat affects diabetes, brain development and more, and awesome videos.

It’s a wealth of information for all your protein-related questions.

To see the rest of the 30-day series, check out the links below:

Considering that I’ve spent most of my week with a sick toddler who, despite her sore throat and nasty cough, was still energetic enough to want to be entertained, today’s website is pretty appropriate.

Maybe not for my toddler (I’m trying – and failing – to limit screen time, you guys), but definitely for your (slightly older) kids, and maybe even you.

Luckily for me, a giant box from Amazon turned out to be pretty good entertainment...

Luckily for me, a giant box from Amazon turned out to be pretty good entertainment…

...as did her sunglasses.

…as did her sunglasses.

www.MyAmericanFarm.org, a special project of the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture, is home to games, activities and educational resources aimed at teaching agricultural literacy. Through the interactive computer game, players learn where food comes from and how those products get form the farm to the dinner plate.

The latest addition to the website, “The Buzz,” is an interactive game which asks players to travel to “Pollinatorville,” where they’ll learn more about the important role bees and butterflies play in food production.

The best part? The Buzz can be played both in the classroom and at home. For teachers, there’s a supporting lesson plan, “My Butterfly Book,” which will help young readers explore the pollinator process as they develop their own book.

And that’s not the only game on the website. In fact, there are more than 20 games which focus on a variety of subjects, including health and wellness, science and math. Games vary in target age, so there’s a little something for every kid in your life.

Oh, and your kids can play it on your phone (read: keeping kids entertained at the grocery store is AWESOME) when you download the app.

To see the rest of the 30-day series, check out the links below:

No flash, no artsy pictures, no fancy words. Just lots of good info for consumers who want to know.

And if you want to know about food sold here in the U.S., there’s no better place to go than the Food and Drug Administration, or the FDA.

The FDA is a federal agency in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and is responsible for protecting and promoting public health through the regulations and supervision of, well, lots of stuff: food safety, tobacco products, dietary supplements, prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceutical drugs, vaccines, medical devices, animal foods and feed, veterinary products and more.

For consumers who want to know about food, recalls, advisories and more, the best place to go is their resources page.

From there, you can learn more about all kinds of stuff, including:

That may seems like a (relatively) short list, hit up any of those links and you’ll be busy for hours. Lots of great stuff for anyone with questions about health and food.

To see the rest of the 30-day series, check out the links below:


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