Monday, September 15, 2014

September Madness!

Is anyone out there?........  I apologize for my absence but the last couple of weeks have been crazy busy!  A couple of the days I literally have forgotten what day it was.  The saddest news I have to share is that it is currently 54 degrees and I don't think it will be getting much warmer.  Is summer really gone?  While my fat really enjoys this cool weather because I don't particularly like to sweat I do miss the warm 70 degree days.....is it really over already?

In other news.....
Our fair was last week and while the bad part about that is I had way too many sausage sandwiches and milkshakes along with the staple fair fries and 50 thousand other delicious delicacy's that you can only get during the fair.  The good part is that my nephew won Reserve Champion Market Steer!!

Preparing to make his debut in the ring


 Once fair was over I had a little more down time and in honor of finally getting to sleep in I had extra ambition to try out a new breakfast recipe.  I love pizza so having it for breakfast is pretty much a genius idea!  I had a left over thin crust pizza crust from one of those Little Caesars pizza kits (i'm sure you all have some as they are the only fundraiser kids do anymore i swear!)  I basted it with olive oil and baked it for 10 min.  Meanwhile i scrambled up 8 eggs and cooked some bacon and ground beef so when the crust was done I loaded it up with egg and meat and topped with cheese and put back in oven for 5 minutes.....viola!

Pretty much amazing!

Last but not least....
I don't know why I have spent my last 10-12 years of my life using tweezers from walmart that cost approx $1.99 and wondering why they don't work?  It never dawned on me that perhaps all tweezers were not made equal?  Well my life was changed last night.  On a random trip to town with my sister I quickly realized at checkout that I forgot tweezers as mine have disappeared somewhere (I bet they are out in shop as hubs used them for god knows what).  My sister in all her glory was like "revlon slanted fine tip, get those"......what does that even mean?  I sprint to the makeup isle, grab what seemed to be closest to her description and run back to checkout...... $10.99 LATER!!!!!  Who buys tweezers for $11? Well friends, one I got home I decided to try them out on my eyebrows which seem to be growing a winter mane and have I never been so impressed with an $11 purchase in my life!!  Ladies stop wasting your time like myself using the $1.99 walmart tweezers and using both hands to try to pinch them together tight enough it may just pull something out and go get yourself some worthy tweezers......you can thank me later.  :)



Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Growing our family by +1

I am so excited to share the news with all of you!!  Yes, the rumors are true......our family is growing!!  I can already see the look of shock and disbelief on your faces!  Many thought we would never start a family but the timing just seemed right!

So without further ado.....I'd like you all to meet our newest family member.......

DAISY!

Oh my goodness is she not the cutest thing you have ever seen?  She is a pembroke welsh corgi.  She has definitely stolen our hearts!!


You secretly thought I was pregnant didn't you?  Not quite, but she is like having a child.....I think.  I mean I don't have kids but I imagine this is what it is like.  You have to entertain them, make sure they are fed, make sure they don't go to the bathroom all over the place, and you worry about them and wonder what they are doing all the time!   I got this parenting thing down :)  

Happy Hump Day Friends!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Toledo Water Crisis....Who's to Blame?

The glorious thing about the internet is that it gives many of those uninformed yet very vocal citizens a way to voice their opinion (insert sarcastic eye roll.)  This past week the city of Toledo was placed on a water ban that also included not being able to boil your water for drinking purposes.  This ban affected 3 counties including abut half a million people.  Yes this is a serious issue.  My problem arises with where the blame is being pointed to.

Lake Erie has a very large algae bloom that has been created from excess nutrients that comes from MULTIPLE sources....do you see that word multiple?  This didn't happen overnight or by just one cause.  When the lakes get lack of rain and warm temps the algae can create a dangerous toxin.  A toxin which reached levels in the city water that became dangerous to consume.

Photo Credit: NOAA/NASA

The past couple days all I have read in headlines is that this algae bloom is because of farmers......its always the farmers fault.  Then reports go on to say that nothing has been done over the years to try to stop this bloom or reverse it.  Well I am calling bullshit.  Excuse my language.  This is what is irritating to me.  The agriculture community especially in NW Ohio has made multiple strides to do our part to decrease and ultimately eliminate excess nutrients getting into rivers and streams that connect to the Lake.

With the help of Ohio Farm Bureau, farmers have made multiple strides over the past years including:

  •   Farmers are using soil tests to avoid applying excessive amounts of fertilizer. One survey showed 82 percent compliance with Ohio State University-approved testing practices.  
  • A pollution reduction project in the Lake Erie Basin reduced phosphorus application by more than 180,000 pounds across 8,653 acres
  • 4,421 farmers attended 163 nutrient and water quality training sessions put on by Ohio State University Extension. 
  • The state’s agribusiness community, working with non-government organizations, universities and government agencies, has developed a third-party certification program for commercial nutrient applicators that will encourage adoption of nutrient stewardship practices. 
  •   Farm organizations and agribusinesses contributed $1 million to match a federal grant that is funding a three-year study to measure nutrient runoff and identify preventative practices.
  •  Farmers are volunteering the use of their crop fields for the installation and evaluation of management practices to help reduce the off-site transport of nutrients.
  • Farmers supported state legislation that will help lead to improved water quality
  • In addition, Ohio Farm Bureau has launched the Healthy Water Ohio initiative to develop a long-range plan that will  sustainably meet current and future water needs while enhancing the economy and quality of life for all Ohioans.
Also, Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (OFSWCD), with the support of the Ohio Soybean Council, created the 4R Tomorrow program to educate and promote wise nutrient management to conserve water quality and soil health using the 4R nutrient stewardship principles and conservation practices.*  The 4R's include: 
      • The Right Source
      • At the Right Rate
      • At the Right Time
      • In the Right Place
And they say nothing has been done?.........

So now that we have debunked that statement that farmers are doing nothing and are horrible stewards of the land lets look at some other sources of nutrient excess that are causing this bloom.
  • Residential septic systems- old and deteriorated systems are dumping nutrients into rivers
  • Detroit River- this flows right into Lake Erie including industrial waste and sewage from Detroit....they don't call it the Dirty D for no reason
  • Lawn chemical-the glorious thing about urban city living is that we claim residential hierarchy on who has the best lawn.  With that comes copious amounts of fertilization to keep those lawns nice and green.  Once a rain comes in or over watering all of those nutrients wash right into the storm drains and directly head to the lake.....
  • Heavy Rain-when their is heavy rains the city is allowed a certain percentage of raw sewage to enter the river (that is enticing isn't it)
So instead of pointing your finger one direction lets look at the big picture.

As you can see the Agriculture community has recognized a problem long before this situation occurred and have taken steps to do their part to fix it......what can the rest of you say?

Good Day!




*Information from www.4rtomorrow.org






Friday, June 13, 2014

Country Fair Blog Party...Happy Fathers Day and Dairy Month!

Good morning from Nashville!  After a great night down on East Broadway and listening to live music all night long at the legendary Tootsies I could think of nothing better to do this lovely morning than to bring you this great link up :)   With fathers day in just a couple days and June being Dairy month what better way than to find great recipes to celebrate with or a wonderful gift for dad than this great link up full of just those things!

Here are last weeks winners:
AG


Food


DIY


So go on and share your great ideas that could make the best fathers day gift or that recipe that would make a great addition to fathers day dinner.....and remember to use a ton of butter, cheese, and milk to support those dairy farmers!!
Enjoy!


Friday, June 6, 2014

Blog Party!!!

It's Friday......and who doesn't love a good party?  These two things clearly go well together to start off this lovely weekend!  Here are a few of the Grand Champions from last week's party:

AG




Recipes




So now with summer pushing its way upon us I have been getting crafty with my outdoor patio area and need some great ideas for benches and a fun cooler......send your DIY projects this way!!!  As well as you yummy recipes.  I find throughout the warmer months I tend to eat a ton more veggies and fruit.  It is way more refreshing on those hot days!

Be sure to follow all the lovely ladies hosting the party:





Thursday, June 5, 2014

Robots, Drones, Big Data.....Oh My!



This year I was honored to be asked back to cover the events of the Alltech Sympoium as a guest blogger.  I absolutely love this event because it is full of information and actually keeps your attention.  Which is normally a pretty hard task for me......you know the classic hold your head up by resting it in on your hand in attempts to make it look like you aren't napping through the session.  Yeah that has yet to happen here!  This year's symposium was all about the What if......


Founder and Owner of Alltech: Pearse Lyons


I love technology and I love hearing about what is coming down the pipeline when it comes to awesome gadgets and technology that will help the Agriculture industry be more responsible and efficient.  During this year’s Alltech symposium I got to hear about just that and the future is looking quite exciting!!

 My favorite session was: A Farming Revolution, which discussed drones and GPS and what the possibilities look like.  Majority of the drones that are available today to the average buyer are a small drone with 4 propellers that has the ability to take a photo over your field or location.   That is cool and all and has come a long way from where we were before which pretty much consisted of climbing the nearest silo or antenna tower to look out across the field and farm. 

Some of the ideas of what the future of drones looks like was mind boggling to me and makes my inner tech geek excited!  Some of the ideas and even projects being tested include the idea of having drones keep real time over long periods of time by hovering over the field or farm (kind of like a blimp).  How great would it be to be able to see exactly when your crop started to mature or when a certain disease was really spreading throughout your field?  That is valuable information to be able to capture. 

One of my favorite ideas was multiple small drones in large numbers flying over your fields at all times and even going so far as being able to suck up harmful insects and recycle them into fertilizer to help eliminate the use of insecticides and even recycle weeds into fertilizer to replace herbicides.  How amazing is that?  The best part is that it’s a serious possibility for the future of farming. 

One of the key statements that was said multiple times throughout the session is that farmers really need to be open minded to technology innovations and try to look beyond the practices that have been in place for multiple centuries.  While these practices have been successful we still need to be more efficient to be able to feed the 9 billion by 2050.  Also stated was the fact that farmers need to work together to share ideas and advancements and I couldn’t agree with that statement more!  The more we work together as an industry the better we are as a whole!

This year’s symposium did such an amazing job of really making you think “what if”.  The possibilities for the future of Agriculture really are endless.  I leave you with this question that was asked to us….. “Do you want to be the disruptor, or do you want to be disrupted?”

Cheers!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

How you know its farming season again.....regardless if you're a farm wife or farm husband!

Yes, as many of you may have noticed from those large pieces of machinery driving around out in the fields that the spring farming season called "planting" (genius i know!) is finally underway!  Which is then quickly followed by wheat harvest and baling of hay and straw and before you know it fall harvest is just around the corner (here in the Midwest anyway).  I noticed by many in my news feed that the infamous comments such as "planting season makes me a single mom/lady again" or the "you can never plan anything due to farming" statements began to roll.

I don't know if it is feminist in me that is secretly trying to come out but the whole time I read those all I can think is....no, no, no, no, no!  Now grated this may be the case for many but I don't believe that it is "majority" anymore.  I have the opportunity to work with many farms of many sizes and different production types so I feel I get to see quite a bit of diversity.  Any more I see women becoming equal partners in the operation and having just as much responsibility; such as she plants the soybeans and he plant the corn, she is in charge of irrigation pivots while he sprays.   I also run into women that are the ones working at/operating farms while the husband works in town.

So while their are many lists out there of how you know you're a "farm wife" and planting season has started I decided to create my own list of how you know it is farming season again......regardless if you are the "farm wife" or "farm husband".  Mostly because I just don't seem to relate to many of the other lists. So here is my list of how I can tell that farming season has begun:


1. The laundry piles up.   When you leave early and get home late you find yourself washing the essentials such as socks underwear and jeans.  Yes this is a shared duty in my household so whoever notices the dirty jean pile first normally throws in a load into the washer.

2. Dinner is many times subway or pizza or whatever can be made and eaten in a slightly quick manner because falling into a nice slumber is slightly more important than consuming nutrients.  And yes this is a shared roll in the home as well......for instance the husband had burgers and steak grilled when I got home last night.  (you know he's a keeper when he grills you beef!)

3. You CAN in fact RSVP to things but you may be going alone.  We try to make sure that at least one of us attends the important things.  So if there is a wedding and the husband is super busy I have no issue going alone or with a friend.  When you come from a small town any large gathering is really just like going to see family.  Vice versa also.....if I'm working or away the husband is not afraid to go and make a presence.

4. When it rains and you turn on the TV to catch up on all your shows you started to watch on a regular basis over the winter you quickly realize your DVR is to capacity because you have had no time to watch the episodes.

5. You notice the amazing aroma of freshly turned dirt.  It is hard to explain but the smells of rural America are bar none the best!  I can't get enough of the smell of dirt or freshly cut hay.....if only we could bottle that stuff!!! 

Those are just a few and I'm sure that many of you could add to the list!  Whether you are finishing up or just getting started with planting I hope you all have a safe start and a plentiful crop!!


Enjoy!