• 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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  • 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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  • Holly Spangler

    The Friday Five: Spring Edition

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on March 21, 2014

    It's supposed to be a glorious 67 degrees in central Illinois today and the people said Amen! With that, five things I've read this week that were both thought-provoking and share-worthy. General Mills Turns To 'Raja Of The Country Of World Peace' To Certify Its Costlier, Non-GMO Cheerios: This opinion piece from Forbes smartly and tightly dissects the unintended consequence when General Mills and Post slayed their flagship formulations of Cheerios and Post in favor of a…

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  • Holly Spangler

    The Friday Five: Global Edition

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on March 14, 2014

    Well, if this isn't a mish-mash of topics, I'm not sure what is. We've got everything from an agricultural editor report straight from Ukraine to the results of a historically-anti-biotech magazine sending a writer to research GMOs. And it's mostly good news, at least on the biotech item. Plus a couple more items that you'll want to take a look at, too. Regardless, here are five links that are worth the read on your Friday. War is Just a Shot Away: This piece was written by…

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  • Holly Spangler

    The Friday Five: Misguided Intentions

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on March 7, 2014

    If there's a theme to this week's links, it's the idea that which seems like a good idea, sometimes isn't. Or in the case of these organizations, often isn't. Like selfies for HSUS. Or Chipotle, the burrito chain that continues to make news, this time in the business press for their lack of sustainability reporting. Some young men in Kansas try to make sense of Chipotle's business model. And I continue to ponder one of the greatest questions I've heard all week…

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