• Jennifer Vincent

    Playing Catch-Up With Family And State Needs

    Michigan Musings

     by Jennifer Vincent
     on March 4, 2014

    Having a little extra money is a good problem to have. In my household, after several years of belt tightening, there might be a little extra, which spurred plenty of discussion about home and yard improvements. Twice this winter the furnace, which is a 60-year-old boiler, left us heatless. To be honest, it's a wonder it didn't happen sooner… maintenance on the old beast has been scarce. Ignoring it seemed easier and cheaper than dealing with it – at least at first. Hubby…

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  • Jennifer Vincent

    There Are Ways To Help The Hungry

    Michigan Musings

     by Jennifer Vincent
     on January 7, 2014

    I'll admit it, I'm frugal. Maybe a kinder way to say that is I'm thrifty. Not necessarily because I have to be, but because I hate waste… of all kinds. I know it's the way I was brought up. I can still hear my mom saying, "Don't stand there with the refrigerator door open," or "get cleaned up quickly and get out of the shower," or "if you're cold, put another sweatshirt on," or, the ultimate, "eat all that you take on your…

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  • Jennifer Vincent

    The Most Precious Christmas Present

    Michigan Musings

     by Jennifer Vincent
     on December 6, 2013

    Twenty years ago, I asked God for a Christmas gift like no other. Regardless if He granted me this gift, I made a promise that I would continue a tradition I started that year from that point forward. This was a whopper of a gift – one I knew only God could fill. Earlier that year, my husband and I had learned we were expecting our first child. I was 20-something, fit as a fiddle with no health issues whatsoever. So, when the doctor asked if I wanted to have this blood screening test…

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  • Jennifer Vincent

    What Do You Want To Do When You Grow Up?

    Michigan Musings

     by Jennifer Vincent
     on November 4, 2013

    My youngest daughter, Emily, is 17 and a junior in high school, which means we're intently focused on developing a career path and identifying potential colleges. We've been talking about her interests for some time. She loves science and the outdoors. She's also very bright, task oriented and organized. In eighth grade, she told me she wanted to be an archeologist. Ok, I said, and left it at that. But, as she got older, I prompted her to think a little more about her career…

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  • Jennifer Vincent

    Conservation Compliance Not Always Clear

    Michigan Musings

     by Jennifer Vincent
     on October 4, 2013

    In this October issue of Michigan Farmer you'll find a couple of stories on farmers who are struggling with the state's Natural Resources Conservation Service to stay in compliance after land was cleared under varying scenarios. One thing is clear, if you want to remain eligible for federal farm programs, you best have a determination made before one tree is cut or one puddle drained. And, if you did something 20 years ago you're unsure or uneasy about, don't assume you…

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  • Jennifer Vincent

    'I Do' -- Rain Or Shine

    Michigan Musings

     by Jennifer Vincent
     on September 16, 2013

    I'm going to deviate from my normally ag-focused rambling to share a bit of my personal life. If you haven't already noticed – I have a new last name. On a perfect, not-too-hot day, July20, I married my best friend of the last 2 ½ years, Christopher Kiel. The outdoor wedding and reception was held at our best friend's mother's pond surrounded by beautiful woods. The afternoon wedding was preluded with gorgeous, sunny skies and a weather forecast of the same…

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  • Jennifer Vincent

    Senate Passed Immigration Reform Bill May Only Be A Tease

    Michigan Musings

     by Jennifer Vincent
     on June 28, 2013

    In recently talking with apple grower Jim Koan, the topic of harvest and the labor that it requires was a hot topic. America's failed immigration system has left a lot of uncertainty about the availability of skilled migrate labor. Michigan, in particular, relies heavily on migrant labor to pick our vast array of specialty fruits and vegetables from asparagus to apples. However, relief from this uncertainty is on the horizon as the U.S. Senate, June 27, passed an Immigration Bill…

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  • Jennifer Vincent

    Bring The Kids And Head Out To Ag Expo

    Michigan Musings

     by Jennifer Vincent
     on June 17, 2013

    To promote Ag Expo each year, I draw from my archived photos from year's past. In doing so, I came across several photos I'd taken of kids… including several of my own children. I've gone to Ag Expo, every year for probably the last 15 years, and each year my girls would ask to go as the official assistant photographer. I would go at least two of the three days, so I would spend one day with Emily and then one with Elizabeth. Bringing them both on the same day was not…

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  • Jennifer Vincent

    Bovine TB Situation Continues To Worsen

    Michigan Musings

     by Jennifer Vincent
     on May 22, 2013

    If you own cattle in Michigan, two of the worst words to hear are TB-positive. In March, bovine TB was discovered in a 100-plus head Saginaw dairy farm. Lesions, which are indicative of the infection, were discovered at slaughter. Any farm that's designed TB-positive is a concern, but it becomes extraordinary when it's outside of what's considered the TB core area of northeast Lower Michigan. Unfortunately, the bad news doesn't end there. On May 3, the Michigan Department…

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  • Jennifer Vincent

    See Season Through Farmers' Eyes On Web

    Michigan Musings

     by Jennifer Vincent
     on May 1, 2013

    Growers are generally well aware of what's going on in their own fields. But, what about what's going on the other side of the state or in neighboring states? It can be raining in one area and dry just five miles down the road. Pests and diseases sometimes develop in patterns, and sometimes not. To get a sampling of what is happening in the Midwest, Michigan Farmer, Indiana Prairie Farmer and Ohio Farmer editors have teamed up and lured in, or more accurately roped in, a couple of…

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  • Jennifer Vincent

    Only Thing Certain In Michigan Is Weather Uncertainty

    Michigan Musings

     by Jennifer Vincent
     on April 23, 2013

    Donned with my winter coat and three blankets wrapped around every exposed part of my body, last Saturday I watched as my daughter's softball team proceeded to snow blow and shovel the field they were about to play on. Last year at this time I was sporting a tank top and a pretty decent tan. Ah… it's Michigan. Love it or hate it, one thing is certain, there's complete uncertainty when it comes to the weather. After a parched 2012 summer, most farmers were rejoicing at…

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