• Holly Spangler

    HSUS, CEOs and Squeaky Wheels

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on July 24, 2012

    Last week, I attended the Illinois Pork Producers visioning session. Among lots of discussion on feed supply (i.e., will there be any?) and gestation stalls and HSUS, they shared this video. It was released last week, only then it featured Costco. This week, the link is updated and takes you to the same video, but with Wal-Mart's name instead of Costco's. According to the Associated Press, Mercy for Animals had been preparing to release the video, which was shot in a sow barn at Minnesota-based…

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  • Holly Spangler

    A Bushel and a Peck and Something to Smile About

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on July 23, 2012

    Our county fair starts today, kicking off a week of showing, sweating and overall good times. (I'm trying to be optimistic, given forecasted temps of 102 for days on end. It will be fun. Right?) At any rate, the annual Fulton County Fair Talent Show is tonight and in honor of that, I share this little video. Maybe you saw it last year or back in 2010 when they first performed. It's my two oldest kids, singing and dancing to "I Love You a Bushel and  Peck" when they were just 5 and 7. I…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Buy Organic, But Not Because of This

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on July 19, 2012

    The other night, my friend, Katie, noticed an interesting chart shared on Facebook, so she sent it to me. As seen below, the chart was headlined "ORGANIC VS CONVENTIONAL." So I went to check it out. It was difficult to understand exactly what it was meant to show, as you'll see below. It was shared on a business page called "Raw Promise," alongside promotions for lots of so-called health foods and health plans. From what I gather, Raw Promise is little more than a guy trying to get people to…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Meet Burrus and Wyffel

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on July 10, 2012

    I hardly know where to begin so I'll take you back to the moment that caused me to laugh out loud – like, bust a gut laughing – earlier this summer. Meet Burrus and Wyffel. They are show lambs and they belong to my nephew, Kyle. He named them for seed companies. I really very much love it. Kyle's family has a long history of creatively naming their show animals. One year, they all started with A's. One year they were named for herbs. This year? Seed companies. As his mom…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Drought Hits Keep Coming

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on July 5, 2012

    It's been a week of high temperatures, no rain and sad corn. This being the digital age, photos are coming in from all corners of the state. The drought paints a sad picture. Allen and Chad Broster have graced our cover before in happier times on their Wabash County farm. They farm between West Salem and Allendale, not far from where I grew up, and to top off a sorry corn crop riddled by drought, a July 2 wind storm laid flat 62 acres of what Allen says would've been the best corn on their…

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  • Holly Spangler

    On Drought and Volatility

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on July 3, 2012

    Earlier this summer, I had the pleasure of sitting around the Martin Family Farm office with Doug and Erin Martin. Doug and Erin are excellent young farmers from the greater Mt. Pulaski area, and they farm with Doug's parents. Always thoughtful, Doug shared that they've spent more time this past winter thinking about what's ahead in agriculture and how it will affect their farm. And as he spoke about market volatility, he verbalized very well what a lot of us in agriculture have come to…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Is There a Prairie Farmer in Your Mailbox?

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on July 1, 2012

    If you didn’t get your Prairie Farmer over the weekend, keep watching your mailbox. It's gonna sound like I'm bragging, but I'm willing to do it anyway: I’m more excited about this month's cover story than I've been about any other story in a long time. We called it "Change on the Horizon," with good reason. The story started out simply enough, with a singular thought to profile a handful of the top young farmers in the state. Then I started thinking. Average age of the…

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