• Jennifer Vincent

    Help Support FFA With Special License Plate

    Michigan Musings

     by Jennifer Vincent
     on April 18, 2014

    There's something about a blue corduroy jacket. It seems to transform young men and women into gifted speakers, aspiring leaders, fierce but friendly competitors and respected adults. It heightens self-esteem and instills a sense of pride. But, it's not just an ordinary blue corduroy jacket. This one is lined with integrity and is worn exclusively by FFA members in Michigan and more than a half million total in all 50 states. In March, Michigan FFA celebrated with the 86th FFA State…

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  • Holly Spangler

    The Beat Goes On and On

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on April 14, 2014

    A friend recently shared a photo of Main Street in her hometown and noted that when you go home, somehow you suddenly feel 17 again. That is truth for those of us who have moved away from the town in which we grew up. And though I now live in a rural Illinois town very similar to the one in which I grew up, visiting home brings back a torrent of memories. Most of them related to being 17: the cruising, the fair, the games, the practices, the band, the dinner theater. The dates and the mistakes…

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  • Holly Spangler

    The Friday Five: Food Edition

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on April 11, 2014

    When the Food Movement Does Not Move: 500 words on agriculture, GMOs and the food system, from someone far outside conventional Midwestern agriculture. It is worth a read to see what he thinks and how he arrived at those opinions. And we all need a little more information from outside our circles. Reader Comment: Change of Heart on Ag-Gag: Written by an activist who worked to stop the Bettencourt Dairy in Idaho but came to see that Mercy for Animals had another agenda entirely. Is Organic…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Life Beyond the Ring

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on April 10, 2014

    Confession: I have a tartan past. I was once the Illinois Shorthorn Lassie Queen. I wore a plaid kilt and black boots. It's true. Photographic evidence exists, but I will not provide it. I tried valiantly to become the National Shorthorn Lassie Queen. It was all just about as glamorous as you might imagine: show rings, essays, scrapbooks, ribbons, interviews and more. In truth, it was an early form of agricultural advocacy, even though we didn't call it that back then.   The…

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  • Holly Spangler

    The Friday Five: April Fool's Edition

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on April 4, 2014

    April Fool's Day came and went this week, and with little notice on our farm. Except for the children who tried to prank me by taping up the faucet sprayer. They only got themselves, when they forgot and flipped on the faucet. I'd like to say you have to get up pretty early in the morning to fool old mom, but really, it had nothing to do with me. They just forgot. And no fooling: here are five links to stories and information to catch you up on the week in food and agriculture. Big…

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  • Holly Spangler

    140 Characters for PETA

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on April 3, 2014

    It's been a big week for our local high school's biology department: they began their fetal pig dissection unit. My niece, Kaity, is a biology class member and she was pretty excited about this development. Excited enough to tweet about it. The next exciting development? PETA replied to her tweet. Technically speaking, it wasn't PETA, the radical animal rights organization, but "peta2," the youth arm of the radical animal rights organization. That should frighten you…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Swedes Take America (In the Nicest Way Possible)

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on April 2, 2014

    A lunch with friends. Conversation about farms and food, traveling and working, Broadway and the prairie. A delicious meal at DeStihl, complete with locally-sourced cheddar cheese curds, made by farmer friends at Ropp Jersey Cheese. A meal not soon to be forgotten because although the weather on the prairie blew wet and cold outside, the friendship around the table was warm, fanned by a deep love for agriculture and journalism that spans actual continents. It all began with my trip to Sweden…

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  • Mindy Ward

    Blogging Through Brazil: Exportese

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on March 29, 2014

    U.S. farmers can now truly understand the road a single seed takes from being planted in a field in Mato Grosso to ending up in the belly of a cargo ship at the Guaruja port on the western coast. The last stop on the Rabo AgriFinance Brazil Tour took American farmers to the TEG-Louis Dreyfus & Cargill Terminal in the Santo Amaro island. And as we had seen across the countryside this week, there were trucks lined up to deliver grain. Some traveled more than 1,250 miles of rough terrain to…

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  • Mindy Ward

    Blogging Through Brazil: Wacky Weather

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on March 28, 2014

    It is raining in Brazil. The wet weather dampened the Rabo AgriFinance Brazil Tour plans to visit the Chapada dos Guimaraes National Park for a 3-hour walking tour. But just as in the U.S., weather in Brazil can change plans and production. For Brazil farmers this year’s weather with its combination of drought and precipitation are taking a toll on yields. Right now, the country’s soybean harvest is in its final stretch. According to the farmers we visited, the soybean crop will…

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  • Holly Spangler

    The Friday Five: Ag Day Edition

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on March 28, 2014

    Tuesday was Ag Day and it was celebrated both far and wide across this country. In Washington, D.C., panels were convened, movies were shown and lawmakers were lobbied. On social media, every ag-related person shared the ag-related posts that spoke to them. On our farm, John hauled manure. I'm not sure whether he knew it was Ag Day or not. Regardless, here are five links to catch you up on this week in food and agriculture, with a whole lot of Borlaug and a little bit of Stine. Good Iowans…

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