• Holly Spangler

    Drought: 1988 All Over Again?

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on June 28, 2012

    I remember 1988 well. It was the summer my parents completely remodeled their house. We lived in a 22-foot camping trailer for four months. And the only time it rained all summer was the week they had the roof off. So. Anybody have a roof that needs replacing? A sacrificial lamb/roof? It's getting dire, across a lot of the state. Last week on the summer beef tour in Peoria, Marion cattleman Jeff Beasley told me it looked like a lush oasis up here, compared to his farm. He's right; I've mowed…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Wedding Photos? On the Bin, of Course

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on June 27, 2012

    A week or so ago, we were riding high on the after-glow of our nephew's wedding. Matt and Haley Spangler are now a ripe old married couple of 10 days, give or take, and we're all still pretty excited about the whole thing. Four-year-old Caroline, in fact, cannot stop talking about weddings. She has made many a craft project in the past few days that "had to get done for the wedding." So earnest. Because Matt has worked for us on the farm since his early junior high days, and because he…

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  • Holly Spangler

    GMOs: They're Still News

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on June 21, 2012

    So, remember how I said I'd share more pictures from my nephew's wedding? Well. Given all the food talk going on this week, I decided to push farm wedding photos to next week and talk GMOs instead. I know, I know. Wedding pictures with tractors are way more fun. And I know, I know (again). We've been talking about GMOs in farm magazines for 15 years. This is not news to the agricultural community. But it's becoming news to a whole lot of our country. Even as Europe begins to take a…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Big Tractor for a Big Day

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on June 18, 2012

      Guess what we did this weekend?! We had a wedding! My nephew, Matt, married his beautiful bride, Haley, just down the road from the farm in our country church. And it was only fitting that since he'd spent so many hours driving this tractor on the farm already, they take it for a spin after the ceremony. It was, in a word, awesome. Matt and Haley are adorable and they had a most beautiful God-centered ceremony which included colorful farm metaphors such as, "treat your wife…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Finding your Farm Passion in Work and Life

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on June 13, 2012

    My family and I led our show calves last night under the setting sun, with three generations represented and the occasional barn cat trickling out to see what was up. The weather was gorgeous, the calves did well, Jenna regained some confidence. And it struck me, as we turned the calves loose and headed to the house: this is the life. It's the dream, right? For the farm girl from southern Illinois who really just wanted to show cows, to get to spend an evening at a 4-H meeting, then leading…

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  • Holly Spangler

    White Knuckles and a Ringside Seat

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on June 11, 2012

    So, last week I shared that we were off to our oldest child's first-ever cattle show, which we happened to be pretty excited about. And you know how you read those glowing blog posts with sunkissed photos and reports of joy and perseverance and hard work all paying off? Well. This isn't one of them. I would say that our day at the Cuba Livestock Show was about as close to worst-case-scenario that we could get, barring any actual ER visit.   The day started off well. Nathan showed his…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Goin' Showin'

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on June 8, 2012

    The sun is pulling up over the prairie, and the truck and trailer have pulled out. Inside are a few head of cattle and the small, excited children. The youngest is still in bed; she and I will head out in a couple hours. It's a big day: the first cattle show for our oldest, Jenna. She has a heifer and a steer – Granite and Gus – and Nathan will show his bottle calf, Buddy. Panda (heifer, not bear) is along for the ride, to be shown by our nephew. Jenna has the usual nerves: will…

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