• P.J. Griekspoor

    Cherry Blossom Peak Tops Off D.C. Visit

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on April 15, 2014

    I am happy to report that the cherry blossoms hit peak bloom last Friday – one of the rare occasions when the most beautiful days of the bloom actually match up with the annual Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. I was in D.C. for a whole week now with all eight grandkids and their parents. And no, we still haven’t seen everything this amazing city has to offer tourists, though we did add one amazing tour – D.C. Ducks. This tour proved to be a fantastic experience and…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Old Eyes Can't Watch Basketball on a 20-inch Screen!

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on April 14, 2014

    My wife, Carla, and I took a journey to Georgia to see our oldest daughter, Allison, during the first week of April. She works for Coca-Cola and is based in Atlanta. It was the week of the NCAA Final Four, but I figured we could watch the Saturday evening semi-finals on her TV. Then we got to her apartment and I looked at her TV, or tried to look at it. Left from her days as a college student, the screen was 20 inches, being generous. Twenty years ago I could have sat in the comfortable…

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  • Mike and Sheilah Reskovac

    Savor The Crazy Spring Despite The Planter Dust

    Two Hearts, One Harvest

     by Mike and Sheilah Reskovac
     on April 14, 2014

    To us, spring is when the earth looks bright, new and fresh. The season has always reminded us of God’s love with the new beginning of a crop season. Mike: Some say spring is less stressful than harvesting. For us, planting season is way more hectic. It’s all about time – too little of it. It's the lead-off for the whole year. Our planting window is much narrower than the harvest window. Once all the equipment is ready to go and all the seed has been delivered in a…

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  • Don McCabe

    Documentary Captures Experiences of Young Producers

    Nebraska Notebook

     by Don McCabe
     on April 8, 2014

    I'm not much of a moviegoer, even though my wife prods me to attend one occasionally. So it was a bit unusual for me to catch two movies in a two-week span recently. I sat through two well-made documentaries about farmers and the challenges they face, the rewards earned for their work and the commitment they have to agriculture. The first was a premier screening of Farmland, a documentary film that gives an intimate look at the lives of six young producers, all in their 20s, who are…

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  • Mindy Ward

    The Face Of The FFA

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on April 7, 2014

    I saw the image on Facebook and had to investigate. It was of a young man whose passion for farming and the FFA was emblazoned all over his face, literally. With that one image Cade Ruether became, in my mind, the “Face of the FFA.” The idea was the brainchild of Drew Tignor, 7th grade civics teacher and yearbook sponsor at Troy Middle School in eastern Missouri. Mr. Tignor explained that there is a theme to every yearbook, this year it was “Half.” “We only see…

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  • Paula Mohr

    Nature's Symphony

    Northstar Notes

     by Paula Mohr
     on April 7, 2014

    Boy, was it noisy in the backyard and woods this morning as I walked with my dog. The birds were in full chorus. I closed my eyes and heard cheeps, calls and trills of robins, woodpeckers, cardinals, chickadees, crows, geese and sand hill cranes. And there were a few 'songs' I did not recognize. No matter. It was a true symphony of spring that I thoroughly enjoyed! And we know the wildlife and some other critters are on the move more now, too, after that last blast of snow on…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Confessions of a Farm Wife: Vol. 7

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on April 7, 2014

    Well. Our schedules have been a little crazy lately. And so it is that we are now re-capping Emily's experience as a panelist for the Bayer Ag Issues Forum at Commodity Classic...which was back in late February. But she had a fascinating experience, fielding questions from agricultural media and more. And so here it is. A little talk about the travel, the speaking, the issues, and our random run-in at Gate B26 in the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport. Proof positive, you have to leave…

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  • Tom Bechman

    The 5 Types of Auction-goers

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on April 7, 2014

    I'm an auction enthusiast. I've been to a ton of farm sales and household sales through the years, and lots of toy sales. Before the Internet, you could look the opposing bidder in the eye and try to guess how high he was going to go. People have different strategies when it comes to bidding at live auctions. Here are a few styles I've noticed, or even fell prey to at one time or another. See which of these categories might fit you. Internet bidding is a whole different animal. It…

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  • T.J. Burnham

    April Fool's Day - A 'Holiday' Sans Candy

    Western Ag Vignettes

     by T.J. Burnham
     on April 1, 2014

    Sure, it isn't a nationally-declared holiday, sure it's origins are cloudy, and sure, few get excited about preparing for it. Yet, I love April Fool's Day because it is a holiday uncelebrated, yet widely acknowledged if only with a passing shrug of the shoulders. You have to love a special day that isn't the subject of parties, decorating the lawn, sending and getting gifts, and without the tacky trappings of most celebrations. For this reason I revel in April 1 as a…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Teaching the Next Generation is a Privilege

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on March 31, 2014

    Graham, my four-year-old grandson, has "cowboy" boots so he can help grandpa at the barn with the sheep. Saturday morning he couldn't wait to get the boots on and his Carhartt jacket zipped. We got out the tractor. It's a John Deere utility tractor with a loader. He calls it Johnny Tractor. "What are we going to do, pa?" "We're going to clean out part of the lambing barn, Graham." "Oh, we're going to clean out sheep poop?" "Yes…

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