Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Harvest Update

Wow!  Time has been flying by since harvest has begun on our farm.  Between driving the tractor with catch cart, running farm errands, trying to keep my house presentable, and going to weddings or wedding festivities, I haven't had very much time to blog.  Sad to say, but when I have been home, I've either wanted to just sit and relax or sleep!

Harvest has been going pretty good so far.  We started with corn harvest a few weeks ago and decided to take out our down (aka wind damaged) corn first.  That wasn't very fun to go through but things got better and actually went surprisingly well before we switched to soybeans now almost two weeks ago.  Hopefully we finish soybeans tomorrow and then move back to corn harvest.  I'm vowing to utilize my time at home better so hopefully it won't be so long before I blog again!

Until next time, here's a few looks at harvest so far this year:

Harvesting corn and dumping on the go in the catch cart

We've been using a corn reel so far this year to help
pick-up and bring-in "down corn" into the corn head
(My Farmer is looking at me like, why is she standing in the middle of the corn field?)

Emptying the catch cart into the semi-truck

My view from the catch cart

Harvesting soybeans
This is a nice view of the combine and soybean head

Look at those four-pod soybeans!  (The average is three beans per pod)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

9/11 - What? So What? Now What?

I traveled to New York City in July of 2007.
Here is a photo I took of where one of  the
World Trade Center Twin Towers stood.
They were still cleaning out debris
not quite six years after the attacks.
What?  Today is September 11th and 11 years ago there were terrorist attacks on the United States that forever changed the United States's future and history.

They always say you'll never forget where you were on September 11th, 2001 and I guess "they" are right.  I was a junior in high school and before first hour began I was sitting in a hallway with some friends talking when another friend came up and asked if any of has heard the news that a plane hit one of the World Trade Center Twin Towers.  None of us had heard because we'd arrived at school before it happened.  We then proceeded to our first hour class where we found out from our chemistry teacher that a second plane had hit the other Twin Tower.  Soon after class started, which consisted of watching the news in the classroom, a plane hit the Pentagon and a little later, another in Pennsylvania.  It was a crazy day.  No one knew what was going on and how the United States was going to respond.

My youngest sister at her
Iraq deployment ceremony in June of 2008.
So What?  So what should we be doing to remember the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  Take pride for being an American and realize that freedom isn't always free.  I've always been proud to be an Iowan but I do have to say, after September 11th I have more American Pride.  My American Pride has only grown as both my youngest sister and brother-in-law began their careers in the military.  My youngest sister joined the Army National Guard when she was seventeen.  She served one tour in Iraq and is currently in her eighth year of service.  My brother-in-law joined the Marines after graduating high school & served two tours in Iraq.  He's now in the Marine Reserves & is a police officer.

Now What?  I thought it was very fitting that yesterday Iowa's Governor Branstad and Lt. Governor Reynolds announced a new volunteer initiative.  Their "Volunteer Iowa:  A Call to Service" goal is for Iowa to become the national leader in service and volunteerism by 2015 (currently Iowa ranks second in the nation for percentage of population who volunteer).  One way of accomplishing that is through their "What's Your 50?" campaign.  Iowans are likely to volunteer but their volunteer hours are less than the national average.  The "What's Your 50?" campaign challenges all Iowa's to increase their service activities to 50 hours per year.  I hope you find something new to volunteer at or that you increase your volunteering efforts this year.  I love volunteering and am very proud of groups that I volunteer for such as my church, 4-H and Make-A-Wish!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Farm Friday

The corn fields are ready (or as good as they are going to get...) and

The moisture in the field looks good.

So ready...



I'm happy and excited to report that we started combining corn yesterday.  It felt good to get behind the wheel of a tractor once again!  The corn field we harvested yesterday had good moisture levels and weight but it took a long time to harvest due to the amount of down corn from a wind storm earlier this summer.

Do you have any questions about harvest?  If you farm, I wish you a safe harvest.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Green Thumb Journey

At the beginning of the spring when I first planted my salsa garden and began my Green Thumb Journey I said one of my goals was to have enough tomatoes to make salsa this year.  I am proud to announce that I made my first batch of salsa today!

I am so excited that this year I had a bumper crop of tomatoes and that I actually have some extra that I can make salsa with.  In fact, I have so many tomatoes this year I think I am going to have to do something more with them than just BLTs, cooking and canning salsa.  Do you have any suggestions?  What do you like to do with your tomatoes?  Any good recipes to share?

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Step Up and Be a Leader

Have you been thinking lately that you should get more involved in your community, your state, and/or the agriculture industry?  If you answered yes to any of these, you should apply for the ASA/Dupont Young Leader Program!

The ASA/DuPont Young Leader Program is a great opportunity for soybean growers and their spouses who are interested in developing their leadership skills and knowledge of the soybean industry.  The knowledge gained from the program is beneficial both on the farm and off.  This program is open to soybean farmers in the twenty-six soybean growing states and Canada.  One couple or individual per state will be chosen to participate.  There are two phases of the training:

  • Part I is held at Dupont Pioneer's headquarter in Johnston, Iowa November 27-30, 2012
  • Part II is held in conjunction with Commodity Classic in Kissimmee, Florida February 26-March 2, 2013

The program is managed and coordinated by Dupont Pioneer and the American Soybean Association.

My Farmer and I during Phase II
of the ASA/Dupont Young Leader Program
at the 2012 Commodity Classic in Nashville
My Farmer and I were the 2012 ASA/Dupont Young Leaders for Iowa this past year and had a great time! We both have been involved in leadership programs in the past and weren't sure if we would really gain any new information.  But after the first class session we both felt motivated to do more and tell our story of agriculture, and that is the main reason I actually started this blog.  Besides gaining leadership skills, social media insights, and soybean industry updates, we also gained a lot of great friends.  The networking that we both gained from this program will last us a lifetime.  It is unbelievable how well we got to know the other members of the class and the insight we gained about agriculture from across the United States and Canada.

So if you raise soybeans, are interested in getting more involved, would like to increase your leadership skills and gain new friends, you should apply today for the 2013 ASA/Dupont Young Leaders program!  Applications are now being accepted through October 1.

If you have any questions about the ASA/Dupont Young Leaders program be sure to ask me!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Summer Reading Reviews

This summer LP and I participated in our local library's summer reading program and since it is now September, I decided it'd be a good time to share our favorite books of the summer!

LP's Favorite Read - Bed Hogs by Kelly DiPucchio

This cute book is a story about a little pig from Sooey, South Dakota who is just trying get some sleep but the rest of his family (snoring Papa, dancing Mama, smelly feet sister "Miss USDA" Rose, drooling sister Flo, and giggling big brother blue-ribbon Ed) are being bed hogs.  As Little Runt says himself, "I'm squished!  I'm squashed!  I'm buried in this heap!  You're hoggin' up my space in bed.  I'll never get to sleep!"  Besides the cute story, there are beautiful illustrations to go with.  This is a fun bed time read for kids age toddler through early elementary school.

Bed Hogs has found a spot on LP's book shelf
My Favorite Read - Sacred Acre by Mark Tabb with the Ed Thomas family

This is a book about the life and legacy of Ed Thomas, a football coach and teacher from Parkersburg, Iowa.  Ed Thomas is known by many as a great football coach, but after reading this book, you'll think of him as a great husband, father, christian, mentor and leader.  This book gives you a closer look at Ed's courage after an F-5 tornado struck the town he lived, taught and coached in, as well as the power of faith, love and forgiveness after Ed was murdered by a former football player just a little over a year after the tornado.  It also lets you see how he lived and passed on his motto of "Faith. Family. Football."  I recommend this book for anyone who likes biographies, likes football, likes small-town life or who likes inspirational books.

Sacred Acre made it to the top of the stack on my bedside table this summer
If you've never heard of Ed Thomas, here is a video that ESPN made when Ed Thomas's family received the 2010 ESPY Arthur Ashe Award for Courage.  I highly recommend you watch it:

What is your favorite book you've read recently?  Or do you have any books that you think are "must reads" that you'd like to share?  Be sure to comment below and pass along your book list!