• Jennifer Kiel

    Former editor honored for ag service

    Michigan Musings

     by Jennifer Kiel
     on April 9, 2015

    Here's a blast from the past. I recently tracked down and chatted it up with Richard "Dick" Lehnert. Does that ring a bell with anyone? I'm sure it does, especially with some of Michigan Farmer's older — umm, I mean longtime — readers. Dick spent 26 years (1965-1991) at Michigan Farmer, the last 15 as the chief editor. It was largely the work he'd done here, as well as at two ag publications thereafter, that recently garnered him the esteemed honor as one…

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  • Jennifer Kiel

    Hunters On Your Land May Pay Off

    Michigan Musings

     by Jennifer Kiel
     on January 6, 2015

    The opening day of deer season in Michigan is — almost — as holy as the Sabbath. Work gets delayed or skipped, televisions remain off, and fluorescent orange becomes a fashion statement. There might be even a little bit of praying for a trophy buck. My husband, Chris, is a bow hunter, not a gun hunter. But this year, for his son's birthday, we bought him a new barrel and scope. He turned 16 years old five days after opening day, so this present came early. The only thing…

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  • Jennifer Kiel

    I Get The Allure Of Chugging Across The Mighty Mac

    Michigan Musings

     by Jennifer Kiel
     on October 8, 2014

    I'll admit, I was excited, but also a little nervous about crossing  the  bridge  on  an antique  tractor,  especially when winds the night before were  gusting  to  40  m.p.h. and  sending  beach  chairs tumbling along Lake Michigan's shoreline outside my hotel room. I've been covering this event for six years, missing only the inaugural crossing as I was unaware of it. It's always a great time  seeing …

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  • Jennifer Kiel

    Farmers Markets Saved Me From My Failed Gardens

    Michigan Musings

     by Jennifer Kiel
     on September 1, 2014

    In 2002 when I bought the house I'm in now, I had visions of vine-ripened tomatoes and bushels of cucumbers dancing in my head.  I would have a grand garden that would allow me to line my shelves with canned tomatoes, salsa and pickles and load my freezer with cauliflower, broccoli, corn and a trifecta of peppers. I'm a veggie lover and there's nothing more tasty or gratifying then growing your own food. The journey to fruition can be almost as enjoyable as the end product. I…

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  • Jennifer Kiel

    Ram And Syngenta Are Connecting With Growers

    Michigan Musings

     by Jennifer Kiel
     on August 21, 2014

    Paul Harvey delivered his iconic speech of "So God Made A Farmer," more than 30 years ago at the National FFA Convention in Kansas City. You remember… "And on the eighth day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said I need a caretaker, so God made a farmer." In grand fashion, it was brought back to life by Ram Trucks, a division under Chrysler, during the 2013 Super Bowl. Captivated, the hair stood up on my arms when I watched and listened to Paul Harvey…

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  • Jennifer Kiel

    Old Magazine Issues Take Me Back In Time

    Michigan Musings

     by Jennifer Kiel
     on July 18, 2014

    Michigan Farmer has been around since 1843. It is the longest-standing agricultural publication in the state. People save magazines; they get stuffed into walls, trunks and hay mows only to be uncovered by a generation or two or three later. I get several calls a year from people around the state who have dusted off old copies and have offered them up as gifts. While I certainly appreciate the thought, I really don't have the storage for a collection of that size, which leads me to…

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  • Jennifer Kiel

    Film Puts Family And Faces Behind Food Production

    Michigan Musings

     by Jennifer Kiel
     on May 6, 2014

    Who would have thought a movie titled, "Farmland," would get me to openly laugh out loud and also shed a tear. For the full 90 minutes, I was consumed with the stories being told by six young farmers – all in their 20s. The cinematography is phenomenal. But, even more so, the film is about people, families and a lifestyle. It's about challenges and rewards. It looks at a variety of agricultural crops and production methods, including hogs, cattle, corn, soybeans, poultry…

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  • Jennifer Kiel

    There Are Ways To Help The Hungry

    Michigan Musings

     by Jennifer Kiel
     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 Kiel

    The Most Precious Christmas Present

    Michigan Musings

     by Jennifer Kiel
     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 Kiel

    What Do You Want To Do When You Grow Up?

    Michigan Musings

     by Jennifer Kiel
     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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