• Holly Spangler

    Go back to college...with your grandkids?

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on April 15, 2015

    One of the perks of getting to this point in my life is that I get to sit on some pretty great boards of directors. Like, say, the University of Illinois College of ACES Alumni Association board. And through that board, we get to come up with some pretty great ideas and sometimes, we can even make them happen.   Case in point: The ACES Family Academies. It's a brand new program this summer, July 9-10, on campus. The idea is to invite grandparents to bring their grandchildren back to…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Confessions of a Farm Wife: Episode 17

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on April 13, 2015

    We have talked before about what food really means - that it's far more than just nutrients and calories. That it's emotional and it's tied to memories and family and childhood and more. That's entirely true. And yet, I've so often been a skeptic, especially of anything proclaimed to be healthier or ultra-whatever. Sort of like when the latest fad comes around (like, say, coconut oil pulled through your teeth, which I don't even know what that means but DeAnna swears…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Confessions of a Farm Wife: Episode 16

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on April 6, 2015

    There's more to the story, friends. Always. If ever there were a moral to the story, I think that might be it. And what happens when we don't read beyond the headline? My fellow farm wives and I are back with another podcast, talking about just those things, many of which I shared last week. New this time: it's shorter! We are told that shorter is better, so if you have any preferences on this, please let me know. Our thinking is more frequent and shorter podcasts, oriented around…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Things farmers shouldn't say out loud

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on April 1, 2015

    There are a couple things you shouldn't say out loud on the farm. Ever. Among them: "Calving is going really well this year!" Also, "The kids have been really healthy this winter!" Because you know what happens next: disaster and puke, though not necessarily in that order. I spoke those words last Wednesday as I visited with a farmer friend. He asked how calving was going. I said, "Great! Far better than last year!" I told him how our six-year-old had…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Confessions of a Farm Wife: Episode 15

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on March 30, 2015

    Friends, we took the show on the road! A year ago, Emily Webel, DeAnna Thomas and I sat at the (most excellent) Women in Agriculture conference in the Quad Cities with two trains of thought: first, Ron Hanson shared excellent and simultaneously disturbing advice for our farm families. And second, we quietly chatted at our table about the possibility that Emily could be pregnant. And I said, "Don't worry, you are not pregnant!" And now she has twins. So don't ask me for…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Confessions of a Farm Wife: Episode 14

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on March 17, 2015

    Well, friends, we took a little break. Our last podcast was yonder back in September, which was two whole babies ago for my fellow farm wife, Emily Webel. The babies were born in early October, spent a few days in the NICU and came home to settle into Webel family life. They are as adorable, intelligent, funny and successful as you might imagine them to be. And so we're back with a podcast: updating on babies, on DeAnna's career change (that's Mrs. Thomas to you…that's…

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  • Holly Spangler

    90 years of Prairie Farmer Master Farmers

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on March 12, 2015

    If I have a favorite day of my work year, it is the day of our annual Master Farmer luncheon. It's the culmination of months of work: nomination forms completed, support letters written, judging finished, cover photos shot, farms visited, interviews done, stories written, announcements made and finally, the luncheon itself, held yesterday in Springfield, Ill. (It may have also been my birthday and what better way to spend it than with a bunch of the best farmers in Illinois? They even sang…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Can a video change your life?

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on March 3, 2015

    In my travels this winter, I was fortunate to meet Heather Dineen, the Waxahachie, Texas, farmer who was chosen as Monsanto's 2014 Farm Mom of the Year. She is lovely and I could listen to her Texas accent all day long. She struck me most immediately as being of incredibly deep character, and well spoken. It was only when I asked about her children that she hesitated in her conversation. She and her husband, John Paul, are parents to four children but lost their son, Johnny, in a farm…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Farm Kids, Artificial Insemination and Church

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on January 28, 2015

    You know, we do a lot of talking with Chicago moms and groups like Illinois Farm Families, about how our families really aren't that different from theirs. We're all trying to make a living, raise our kids right, guide them through school, get the baby to sleep at night, cook good food. The stuff of life. But as the old saying goes that the devil is in the details, so, too, are the differences. Things like a pot of colostrum on the stove, next to the chili. A calf in the basement. A…

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  • Holly Spangler

    12 Days of Christmas: Cattle Remix

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on December 24, 2014

    There is not a whole lot to say about this except please watch the video. I beg of you. A couple of creative Illinois cattle kids, Emerson Tarr, 11, and her brother Jasper, 8, put this together. Please note their notebook paper notes, and their real and measurable enthusiasm at the end. And my personal favorite that the farm gave to me? Five hours of rest! Wishing you all that much and more this Christmas…

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