• Mindy Ward

    Which Hollywood star visited Holstein?

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on April 16, 2015

    Last October, I wrote a blog about a mystery guest who was investigating the area across from my home near the small town of Holstein. Well, this Sunday, April 19, the world will see Hollywood actor Bill Paxton walking the woods of southern Warren County. Paxton, best known for films like films “Titanic,” “Aliens, “Apollo 13” and “Twister,” and television series including “Hatfields & McCoys” and “Big Love," was searching for…

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    What this farmer does with his shovel may surprise you.

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on April 9, 2015

    Driving down state Highway 94 in southern Warren County, I slowed as a man with a shovel appeared along the roadway. He stepped out of his all-terrain vehicle and watched as car after truck after van passed by. Then with one swift movement, he did it. He stabbed the ground with the shovel and started to dig. It was a rainy morning yesterday complete with hail and flash flooding in the eastern part of the state. At my farmstead, we received 3 1/2 inches of rain in just two hours. Creeks were…

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    Easter chicks end up as dinner

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on April 3, 2015

    My family was backyard, free-range poultry producers long before it became a fashionable fad for city dwellers. It was the 1970s and moving from a subdivision to a small hobby farm provided endless opportunities for a wide-eyed, animal-loving third grader. And one special Easter morning, there was more than eggs waiting in, well, near my basket. As I traversed the dyed egg trail, I could hear a faint noise. My pace quickened when I heard the sound turn into chirping. There hopping in and out…

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    Blogging through the Beltway: DC Dialogue

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on March 27, 2015

    It might not have been the Hollywood Red Carpet, but there was no lack of agriculture star power during this week's Missouri Farm Bureau Washington DC Legislative Trip. Farm Bureau members did not judged those who appeared before the group on clothing, but on commentary. There were times of tough talk and moments of lighthearted lines. Here are some of the highlights: Ambassador Darci Vetter, Chief Agricultural Negotiator with the rank of Ambassador at the Office of the U.S. Trade…

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    Blogging through the Beltway: USDA People's Garden

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on March 25, 2015

    As I walked by the USDA's office building in Washington D.C. across from the National Mall, I spotted a small greenhouse tunnel and raised garden beds. A small winding path darted off from the main sidewalk. I had to investigate. At the fork in the path was a small shed with dormant strawberry plants on the roof. Affixed to the front of the shed was a sign that read "People's Garden." This week I am traveling with members of the Missouri Farm Bureau on their annual…

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    For farm safety sake, watch out for your wives

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on March 13, 2015

    We are minimalist livestock producers. I am not sure if it is because of lack of funds, lack of time or just my husband's desire to get "crafty" with our operation. His view is to use whatever is laying around the farm to build or rig the right tool for the job. Related: Farm Safety Tip: Carry a Fire Extinguisher, Know it Works However, our quest to make do with what we have creates a few more farm accidents than necessary. Case in point--tarps are good for moving things around…

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    You might have attended Commodity Classic if...

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on February 28, 2015

    As the 2015 Commodity Classic winds down in Phoenix, I am sure farmers will walk away with some insight from educational sessions, a wish list of equipment or technology purchases, and new friends that will last a lifetime. However, you might have missed a few light-hearted moments that truly reflect what it is like for America's farmers to attend the Commodity Classic. Here are 10 ways to know if you had the full Commodity Classic experience. You might have attended the 2015 Commodity…

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    Should I let livestock die?

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on February 20, 2015

    An early morning barn check revealed new lambs at Showtime Farms. In the frigid temperatures, we arrived just in time. Two little ewe lambs were weak but standing next to their mom. A quick look around the barn revealed a third lamb, not moving, lying in the corner. Her nose was ice cold. Her jaw locked. There was no reaction to touch. She appeared for all accounts lifeless. Then there it was--a flicker of hope, a movement in her chest. I scooped her up and ran to the house. It was the…

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    10 reasons a farmer is the perfect Valentine

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on February 10, 2015

    Famers are great Valentines. However, it takes a special person to truly understand what makes a farmer, well, so lovable. If you are searching for your Valentine, look no further. Here is the list of why a farmer is an ideal Valentine. 1. Loves animals. What is more adorable than a man who loves animals? Well, one who loves animals enough to allow you to keep not just the dog or cat, but also a calf, lamb, goat, or pig in the house. A woman can bring home any stray and a farmer will let her…

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    Should my child work at Monsanto's "Evil" Empire?

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on February 6, 2015

    In the back pages of a 2010-11 Warrenton High School yearbook, page 139 to be exact, is a quote from my daughter. That year she was voted to be the "Most successful freshman in 10 years." The yearbook staff asked about her future. "My plans after high school are to attend Mizzou, and after that hopefully things will fall into place. I want to major in plant biology and become a researcher for Monsanto." So imagine my disappointment when last week an email came to my inbox…

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    Barn birth announcement

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on January 29, 2015

    A text message announced the birth of our first lamb of the year. I was riding in the car in the middle of Oklahoma accompanying our daughter to her second semester of college. Picture after picture came to my cell phone and it made me think of how advances in technology are helping farmers stay abreast of the latest information in their industry and in their barn. When I was young, the arrival of a new lamb was followed by running to the house in the freezing cold to get assistance. Now, if…

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    How To Gather 50,000 Eggs A Day

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on December 29, 2014

    Just what does it take to gather 50,000 eggs in one day? Missouri's own Ron Campbell shares his process during a video series, which launched today. Citing Americans growing questions about food production, Randy Krotz, CEO of U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance said the videos set out to address some of those questions by showing just how farmers are growing and raising food. USFRA visited Campbell's farm in Monett to film just what it takes to gather 50,000 eggs in one day. It…

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    Top 5 Missouri Farm Bureau Annual Meeting Moments

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on December 12, 2014

    There is something to be said of an organization that has been serving farmers and ranchers for 100 years. This past week, the Missouri Farm Bureau gathered to celebrate its 100 annual meeting and while there were notable speakers, deserving recognitions, and exceptional achievements, there were the little moments that really symbolized agriculture. The theme of this year's Missouri Farm Bureau annual meeting was "Moments Matter," so I decided to count down my Top 5 moments from…

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    No Sick Days For Farmers

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on December 5, 2014

    A truck with stock racks pulled up to the barn with a mother and son ready to load ewes that were bred to our ram this fall. As my husband opened the backdoor, I asked if he needed my help. He smirked and shut the door. It was rude, but a correct response. I just had surgery and was no help in the barn, and quite frankly, would not be for weeks to come. As I stood watching at the window, I started thinking of how farmers, especially livestock producers, have a job that does not have time for a…

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    Helmet Head--The FFA/Ag Shop Fashion

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on October 30, 2014

    As I watch Facebook posts and Tweets about the National FFA Convention in Louisville, Ky., I take a minute to pause and reflect on the great times I had in agricultural education classes and the FFA in high school. However, it lasts just one moment because popping up in my email inbox is a notification that brings back one awful experience--helmet head. In agricultural education classes across the nation, students learn about animals, crops, farm management, floriculture and technology. But it…

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    Hollywood Comes To Holstein

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on October 24, 2014

    I looked out my second-story bedroom/office window to see a man walking on my road. A couple minutes later, he returned pacing back and forth. Now, when someone is about 20 miles from any large town on a rural, gravel road it is a sign of only one thing--he is lost. Grabbing my cell phone, I went down stairs and out the front door. I made it halfway down the driveway before I yelled, "Do you need help, or maybe a ride?" I think I startled him. He turned toward me and said, "No…

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    Fall Festivals Bring Out Small-town Traditions

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on October 17, 2014

    On a brisk fall morning, individuals lined the streets along state Highway 79 in Clarksville, Mo. They were anticipating the kick-off to a 40-year tradition in this northeast Missouri town that sits along the banks of the Mississippi River. It was time for Applefest. Last weekend, I attended my first Clarksville Applefest, Oct.11. I had a great reason--my nieces and nephew were in the parade. So my two daughters and my sister loaded up the truck and headed out to see the cutest bear and…

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    Holding 4-H Accountable For America's Youth

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on October 8, 2014

    It was Halloween time at our church. That year, our Wednesday night leaders and youth decided to dress up as their favorite Biblical character. I had the perfect idea for my husband, Jonah and the whale. But this would not be a typical costume with toy whale, no, I had too much skill for that. I informed my husband to pick up some chicken wire, wood, napkins and spray paint. We were going to build a whale. When the night finally came, my husband and his outfit were a hit--complete with wet…

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    Cream Of The 4-H Crop

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on October 2, 2014

    As we get ready to celebrate National 4-H Week, Oct. 5-11, I could not think of a better kick off than to revel in a few accomplishments of Missouri youth. Last week, I watched as 14 youth, representing the cream of the 4-H crop, received the highest award a 4-H'er can earn--the Missouri 4-H Key Award. For Jamielee Buenemann of Washington, the award represented the culmination of 10 years of work as a member of the Washington Eager Beavers 4-H Club in Franklin County. "I have enjoyed…

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    FFA Chapter Donates Sweet Corn Patch

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on September 25, 2014

    Members of the Troy FFA Chapter trudged out into the muddy field in boots and old tennis shoes to harvest a crop planted months earlier. The group did not intend to sell the sweet corn as a fundraiser, rather they were donating it to those less fortunate in their community. The group handpicked 12 rows of sweet corn just outside of Hawk Point. "We want to instill in our kids a little bit of a community service mindset," says Troy FFA advisor Rob Calvin. "Even though it may not…

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    Grass-fed Beef Takes On The Gridiron

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on September 4, 2014

    In my world, September signals the beginning of football season. And football season triggers an indulgence in football food. This year NFL fans attending the St. Louis Rams game will have a variety of food choices. My favorite is the hot dog, but even that is changing. There is the traditional hot dog, the pretzel dog, the 100% beef hot dog, and now the grass-fed beef hot dog. During the St. Louis Rams season opener at the Edward Jones Dome, Sept. 7, fans can choose to dine on grass-fed hot…

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    No Mamas Boys On This Ag Float Trip

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on August 20, 2014

    The description of the MR340, a Missouri River race, went something like this on www.rivermiles.com "Imagine a race across the entire state of Missouri, just you and your boat thrown against 340 miles of wind, heat, bugs and rain. This ain’t no mama’s boy float trip." Well, it is a good thing the Missouri agriculture community has strong men willing to take the challenge because Shane Kinne and Gary Wheeler suited up for the 340 mile trek to bring awareness to the…

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    Keep Missouri Farming, For Food's Sake

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on July 30, 2014

    I recently sat through a technology fair at the University of Missouri-Columbia where Dr. Bill Wiebold, professor of plant sciences was explaining the pending Federal Aviation Administration regulations of unmanned aerial vehicles, like remote controlled helicopters, when used for agriculture purposes. "There are personal freedoms when we do something for recreation," he said. "But as soon as it becomes a business people expect some regulation. It's frustrating, but that is…

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    Transporting Livestock Leads To Tragedy

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on July 18, 2014

    As I scrolled through my Facebook newsfeed, I noticed the pictures first--sheep lying in a ditch dead. Partially on the road and somewhat in the ditch was a torn apart livestock trailer. I gasped. That photo captured the worst nightmare of any farmer that hauls livestock with a stock trailer. The Phillippi family of Montana had been hauling sheep since 1991 with the same Featherlite livestock trailer. Rennetta Phillippi shared that the family hauled sheep to western Oregon through the…

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    How To Break The Show Stock Mom Code In 3 Days

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on July 1, 2014

    It was day three of prepping for the first livestock show of the season. Already, in the first two days I had broken my daughter's spirit and ridiculed my husband. Apparently, I had only one thing left in the barn that had not seen the unpleasant side of this Show Stock Mom--our livestock. This season, I vowed to be a more relaxed show stock mom. However, by day three in the barn, I capped off breaking my personal Show Stock Mom Code. Mindy's Show Stock Mom Code: 1. Smile and…

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  • Mindy Ward

    How To Break The Show Stock Mom Code In 3 Days

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on June 19, 2014

    It was day two in the barn preparing for the first livestock show of the season. Already I had broken the first Show Stock Mom Code--smile and encourage your children. But it was a new day, and I was determined to do better. Mindy's Show Stock Mom Code: 1. Smile and encourage your children. 2. Smile and help your husband. 3. Be calm with your livestock. My husband married into a show stock family. I grew up exhibiting cattle, hogs and sheep. He grew up in the small south-central…

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  • Mindy Ward

    How To Break The Show Stock Mom Code In 3 Days

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on June 13, 2014

    It's show season! And this year, I have vowed to be a more relaxed show stock mom. However, after just one day in the barn prepping for our first show of the season, I broke my personal Show Stock Mom Code. Mindy's Show Stock Mom Code: 1. Smile and encourage your children. 2. Smile and help your husband. 3. Be calm with your livestock. They sound simple. But it only took three days for me to break them all. Let's start with the first one. My 20-year-old daughter wanted to…

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    Uneasiness As A Firefighter Joins the Family

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on May 22, 2014

    Next year my niece will marry a firefighter. He was in my daughter's graduating class, so I have had the privilege of knowing him throughout his school days. Still, I find that as time draws closer to him being a member of our family, I become more nervous about the life he leads and what that will mean for my niece. There is something about fire that frightens me. It is so unpredictable. One minute it is a mesmerizing glowing ember, the next a raging inferno. In Minnesota, our home was…

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    2 Reasons Why Farmers Should Watch ‘Farmland’

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on April 29, 2014

    Roughly 200 people filled auditorium seats at the Danforth Center in St. Louis for a private screening of the new documentary film ‘Farmland.’ There were agriculture industry executives, ag commodity group leaders, farmers, consumers and children. As the lights dimmed, you could feel the anticipation mounting. Would this film tell the story of American agriculture? ‘Farmland’ is opening May 1 in theatres across the country. The documentary shows just how the food we eat…

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    Missouri FFA Wins “Border War” With Kansas

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     by Mindy Ward
     on April 25, 2014

    How did I miss an opportunity to flaunt a Missouri win over Kansas? I could blame an overloaded inbox and overworked editor, but the fact remains I missed the Missouri FFA winning the “Border War” with Kansas during the 2014 Western Farm Show food drive. So first, I offer my apologies. But in my mind, it is never too late to celebrate. The Windsor FFA Chapter took center stage at the 2014 Missouri State FFA Convention to garner its $500 award for being the top chapter in the…

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