• John Vogel

    Even A Tree Can Have A Shining Moment

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on December 27, 2013

    At least once in your life, you’ve probably been struck by the awesome beauty of a simple tree. A couple weeks ago, my wife and I were stopped in our tracks by such a tree – naturally flocked by wintery white flakes. We in agriculture are blessed with many such moments for reveling in nature’s beauty. That’s one of the most awesome benefits of rural America – if we take the time. Yes, I know some of you may be groaning, especially after surviving two or three…

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  • John Vogel

    In Defense Of Being 'Born In A Barn'

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on December 20, 2013

    Used to be, when somebody would hit you with the remark: "Were you born in a barn?!", you were supposed to be offended. Not me. No, I wasn't born in a barn – but not far from one. I'd turn it around and ask: "So what's your problem? Got something against being born in a barn?" Think about it. Most of the finest animals you and I have raised were born there. And, the most influential baby to come to the earth was laid in a manger – presumably in…

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    Hey, Ag Student! Here's How To Snag A Top Ag Job

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on November 27, 2013

    A while back, I blogged about young people excited about food production and agricultural careers. (See Insiders_secrets.) They were right to be excited. While many industries have scaled back jobs, U.S. agriculture grew and prospered right through the Great Recession. It's still a booming industry. No, not everyone will go back to the family farm after finishing school. But today's agriculture is far larger than the family farm. I'm an expert, of sort. I rode that road. While I…

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  • John Vogel

    Psst! A Insider's Secret For Young People

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on October 22, 2013

     You hear so much about farmers getting older and no one wanting to farm anymore. Well, the getting older part may be true, but the rest is a myth! Young people are being attracted to agriculture in increasing numbers. And farming isn't the only ag game in town. Last week during the World Food Prize convo in Iowa, hundreds of bright, young people came from all over the country to learn about agriculture's exciting future. And back home, the Future Farmers Club at Spring…

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  • John Vogel

    Even A Farmer Can Need To 'Smartphone Detox'

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on September 23, 2013

    I'm all for having alcoholics and drug addicts coming to church on Sunday, anytime for that matter. And I'll do my best to make sure they feel comfortable with the rest of us "sinners." After all, there's no more powerful assistance for kicking an addictive habit than divine help. But last Sunday morning, I was confronted by another form of addiction. In the middle of the church service, a young couple strolled up the isle in jeans, cowboy boots and belt buckles to…

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    Life Can Change In A Blink

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on August 9, 2013

    Last week, while traveling in New York's North Country, I was reminded just how quickly life can profoundly change. And, I'm not talking about winning a lottery. A week ago, a very serious accident on a dairy farm shook every member of a widely respected family – the Porters of Porterdale Farms at Adams Center – and their surrounding community. The family, if you'll recall, graced American Agriculturist's cover in August 2011 after being named…

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  • John Vogel

    Reflections From Farm Friends' Funerals

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on May 20, 2013

    Yes, this is an unusual thing to be blogging about. In recent months, I've gone to funerals of two farm friends, and came away from both thought-filled and inspired. That's as it should be. Like most of you, I'm not fond of funerals. I don't even want to attend my own! But a funeral or wake can be a wake-up call with redeeming value. That's why I'm writing this. I was reminded of a few things, none of which the preachers preached. The "few things" were…

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    Does Your Farm Host A 'Cereal Killer'?

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on April 26, 2013

    I'm betting that you don't munch down Corn Flakes or Post Toasties for breakfast as much as you used to. So you or your family's chief food shopper may just might be a 'cereal killer". As a farm kid, I grew up in the Corn Flakes era. And in my first Animal Science class at college, my animal nutrition professor said: "Breakfast is your most important meal. That's true for animals, too." Too many of today's generation (farm and non farm…

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  • John Vogel

    Change Is In The Air: Young Farmers Are Bringing It On!

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on March 15, 2013

    No. the change in the air has nothing to do with spring, although it's almost here, too. It has certainly nothing to do with President Obama's recycled campaign theme. The fresh whiff of prosperity is drawing more and more young, energized wanna-bes back into farming. In the past year, I've seen exciting signs that Northeast agriculture is being revitalized by enterprising young men and women. Record grain and forage prices no doubt bolster ag attractiveness. New ag…

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    Give Thanks For What You Didn't Get

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on November 19, 2012

    While major retailers would have us skip over Thanksgiving, it would be a huge mistake to do so. Taking time to reflect on what we have and don’t have makes every single one of us more complete. It’s a necessary life balancer that, if nothing else, keeps us humble and appreciative. And that impacts everyone and every creature we care for – even the dogs and cats. Remembering the things that happened so far this year are relatively easy. But sit down and make a list…

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