Author Archives: boilermakerag
As I write this, I am sitting on the couch watching the NCAA March Madness championship game (well listening and glancing over my laptop), but I couldn’t miss the opportunity to tell you about the awesome #AGtivities that are happening at my Alma mater this week.
Students from the Purdue College of Agriculture are hosting Purdue Ag Week on campus! Ag Week is a student-organized event at Purdue University that aims to show the campus what agriculture gives. The Purdue Ag Task Force, a Purdue student organization, leads the event and aspires to make Purdue Ag Week an event where the various facets of local, national and international agriculture are understood and celebrated.
This year’s theme is “ImAGine a World without Agriculture.” There will be over 25 different events allowing students to learn about various aspects of agriculture. Each event is organized by a different College of Agriculture group.
Events kicked off on Sunday with the Farmer 5k to raise money for Food Finders Food Bank, and a private screening of the movie, Farmland, which highlights the lives of six young farmers and the risks they face every day to run their own farms. I have also had the opportunity to see this movie, which hits theaters May 1, and I really hope you guys check it out at your local theater (but that’s a separate blog post all in itself).
Monday’s list of “AGtivities” included a SSC table where students could learn about sustainable agriculture, a Food Science – the Missing Link event which featured how ice cream is made and handed out samples to students, and an event that has a special place in my heart, Milk Monday!
When I was at Purdue, my club, Ag Communicators of Tomorrow, teamed up with Dairy Club to create Milk Monday as part of “Grand Alternative” events for Grand Prix week. In partnership with Dairy Promotions of Indiana, we handed out free grilled cheese and milk to students as a way to promote the benefits of milk and the dairy industry.
Since then, the event has been continued each year by Purdue Dairy Club and was held today as part of Purdue Ag Week.
Check out their recap from today’s Milk Monday festivities!
Purdue Ag Week is off to a great start and still has plenty of great events left, so be sure to check them out if you’re around campus this week!
I know not all of you will be able to make it to campus, so if you are out of town like me, but still want to learn more and keep up with Ag Week AGtivities, be sure to Like Purdue Ag Week on Facebook and follow @PurdueAgWeek on Twitter!
Keep up the great work, Purdue ag students! I’ll be here cheering you on with my Milk Monday shirt!
Farmers are caretakers. They care for their crops, to ensure they’re the highest quality products for consumers; their animals, to help them grow healthy and protect them from the elements; their equipment, to ensure that it runs correctly to get the job done; their family, to provide for them, love them, and help guide them in their lives; and also for the land, to ensure that it is around for many generations to come.
I was reading a blog where the author was talking about her husband, a dairy farmer, who when his alarm goes off at 4 a.m. each morning, doesn’t hit snooze like the majority of people (myself included some mornings), but instead, “jumps up, splashes water on his face, gets dressed, laces up his work boots, and heads out the door to the barn.”
Imagine doing that, every day of the year. No sleeping in, no sick days, no weather delays…4 a.m. sharp. His cows depend on him, and as a farmer, there’s no option of quitting or letting them down.
If you’re asking yourself why someone would want to do that, she answers it in her very next line. “It’s simple—dairy farmers like Scott work relentlessly hard 365 days a year. Deep within their hearts and souls, they genuinely care for their land, for their cattle and for their family.”
And she is exactly right. Her husband doesn’t think about himself, or how tired be may be…his cows, and his farm, are his first priority. They don’t need us to care for them, they don’t ask for recognition… but I think they deserve it!
What they’re doing is so vital to our society, but there have been many times where they don’t always get the recognition and “care” that they deserve in return. The agriculture community cares about farmers, but we want others to join us too!
This week we are celebrating National Ag Week, with Tuesday, March 25, being National Ag Day. Sponsored by the Agriculture Council for America, it’s a day to recognize and celebrate agriculture and the farmers who keep the industry going.
In our country, we are so blessed to have abundant, quality, accessible and affordable food, yet it isn’t always appreciated. Being 3-4 generations removed from the farm, consumers aren’t as informed about where their food comes from and all of the work and “care” that goes into it from farmers all across America.
This isn’t because farmers try to hide things from the public, or don’t want people to know about their food. It’s exactly the opposite! If you talk to a farmer, sharing their knowledge with others is something they actually enjoy doing.
Unfortunately though, in the last couple of years, all that’s been heard, or at least publicized about agriculture on the internet and news publications, are the “issues”. Most of the time, what reaches the public is misinformation, and overly emotionalized exaggerations from anti-ag groups with large marketing budgets, not from the true source, the farmer.
But in the last year, which was actually named the Year of the Farmer, the agriculture community and farmers have made great strides in trying to better connect with consumers to tell their stories and educate people about where their food comes from. As a member of the agriculture community and having grown up around farming, I am so thrilled to see agriculture be highlighted and honored on the national level.
Here are just a few examples:
“So God Made a Farmer” was the name given to a speech given by the radio broadcaster Paul Harvey at a 1978 FFA convention. The speech was used in a commercial by Dodge Ram during the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLVII in honor of farmers. Also, in support of farming, Dodge agreed to donated money for each view of the video, totaling $1,000,000, to the FFA Foundation. This goal was reached in less than five days.
The Great American Wheat Harvest is a documentary film that will tell the story of hard-working custom harvesters who travel from the heart of Texas to the Canadian border harvesting the wheat that feeds our Great Country and the World. This film is being produced by award-winning Director and Producer, Conrad Weaver. It shares the challenges that are now threatening that way of life passed on from generation from generation. Much has changed and from a historical perspective. It is important to document the lifestyle and heritage before it is lost. The Great American Wheat Harvest Movie is the behind-the-scenes look and tribute to those working daily to produce our food and those gathering the harvest.
Farmland the Movie -I get to attend a screening of this movie on Thursday and I’m can’t wait!
Through this film from award-winning director, James Moll, you’ll step inside the world of farming for a first-hand glimpse into the lives of young farmers and ranchers. You’ll learn about their high risk jobs and the passion for a way of life that’s been passed down from generation to generation.
This year, in honor of all farmers, Beck’s Hybrids has started a movement. A movement that tells the story of the American farmer. The “Why I Farm” movement pays tribute to farmers for their hard work, dedication, and passion to a job that they do selflessly, seven days a week. Through video, 16 Midwest farmers have shared their farming stories and the emotion and passion they have for what they do is inspiring. The video above is one of my favorites from their campaign!
Each of these videos highlight different aspects of farming and agriculture, but they have one common theme, they show that farmers really do CARE about what they do and CARE about the quality of their products.
During Ag Week, I want to encourage you to make more of an effort to learn and understand how food and fiber products are produced. But don’t just rely on searching Google! Get out there and talk to farmers, your local Farm Bureau, and agriculture organizations in your area. And join in on your local Ag Day celebrations!
From watching and learning from my grandpa and family on the dairy farm, to interviewing and talking with farmers on a daily basis, I have witnessed that farmers truly are caretakers.
Please join me in expressing care for farmers and thanking them…not only on National Ag Day, but every day throughout the year, as they do for us.
For more on National Ag Week, National Ag Day Agriculture and Farmers, check out the links below:
- Indiana Family of Farmers – http://www.indianafamilyoffarmers.com/
- Illinois Farm Families – http://www.watchusgrow.org/
- Old Blue Silo – http://www.oldbluesilo.com/2014/03/national-ag-week-2014-farmsmatter.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+OldBlueSilo+%28old+blue+silo%29
- Rural Housewives of America – http://ruralhousewives.com/2014/03/24/national-ag-day-and-a-movie-about-wheaties/
- Indiana Ag Day 2014 – http://www.queenoffree.net/2014/03/indiana-ag-day-2014/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+QueenOfFree+%28Queen+of+Free%29
- From Fields to Food Trucks: IN Ag Day 2014 – http://chaosisbliss.com/indiana-ag-day-march-25-2014-from-fields-to-food-trucks/
- Farming America – http://farmingamerica.org/category/national-ag-day/
- Ag Day at the Statehouse – http://basilmomma.com/2014/03/agday14-indiana-statehouse-indiana-family-farmers-farmsmatter.html
- U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance: The Food Dialogues – http://www.fooddialogues.com/
- Agriculture Proud on CNN’s Eatocracy – http://eatocracy.cnn.com/2013/03/19/celebrate-national-agriculture-day-and-talk-to-a-farmer/
- Sarah Sums It Up – http://sarahsumsitup.com/…/national-agriculture-day-2014/
- Why Montana is Agriculture Proud – http://mtstockgrowersblog.com/2014/03/24/why-montana-is-agriculture-proud/
- Top Ten Things I’ve Learning in Five Years of Farming – http://www.onthebanksofsquawcreek.com/2014/03/agday-2014-top-10-things-ive-learned.html
- Homestead Hill Farm – http://homesteadhillfarm.blogspot.com/2014/03/hey-there-its-national-ag-day.html
- Why You Should Know the Name Norman Borlaug – http://blogs.usda.gov/2014/03/25/why-you-should-know-the-name-norman-borlaug/
- Happy 100th Birthday Norman Borlaug on National Ag Day – http://www.cornbeanspigskids.blogspot.com/2014/03/happy-100th-birthday-norman-borlaug-on.html#sthash.8kQYYDk6.dpuf
- National FFA: 8 Ag Facts You Probably Didn’t Know – http://nationalffa.wordpress.com/2014/03/24/national-ag-day-8-agriculture-facts-you-probably-didnt-know/
- Flat Hats, Big Loops & Lipstick – http://www.flathatsnlipstick.blogspot.com/
(Header image graphic by BoilermakerAg.com – please give proper photo credits if shared and do not crop out logo. Thank you – share away! Photos for this graphic provided by Agriculture Council of America and Summerhouse Studios Photography.)
This is a great blog written by a family farmer in Kansas about the misinformation that is being spread about agriculture and the distrust of farmers that occurs because of it. This is a very well written and respectful article and I hope you guys keep these things in mind when you’re reading articles on the internet!
Many of you have probably seen or heard about Chipotle’s commercial, “The Scarecrow” and their recent video series, “Farmed and Dangerous.” Chipotle claims these spots are shedding light on the “inhumane” and “unsustainable” nature of “industrial farming.” They try to use the videos to inform people of the perceived problems with the current food system, such as the difference between meat that is ethically raised and meat that isn’t. Their approach seems genuine and sincere at first and is attracting a lot of attention from consumers.
To be clear, I do agree with the general ideals Chipotle claims they are supporting:
- The consumer does deserve healthy meat from humanely raised animals
- The family farmer is who should be raising their food
- Ethical behavior should be of greater concern than profit.
What I don’t agree with is Chipotle’s definitions of family farmers, humanely raised animals, and ethical behavior…
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Transforming Lives Through the Power of Food – Marion County Young Farmers Volunteer at Second Helpings
Here in the United States, we are very fortunate to have access to an abundant and low-cost food supply, thanks to the freedoms of our culture and the hardworking farmers that provide it. But have you ever had something you swore that you would use when you were in the store, but ended up tossing the entire package because you didn’t use it and it went bad? Or have you ever been to an event where they plated meals that ended up with empty seats and leftover meals?
I don’t like to admit it, but I have guilty of this before. I have gotten better at only buying the food I’m going to definitely use, but the unfortunate truth is that useable food is wasted every single day. With the bulk of that waste being in the food service industry.
And that is how, three chefs — Kristen Cordoza, Bob Koch, and Jean Paison, formed Second Helpings, Inc. They saw firsthand the tremendous amount of waste in the food service industry and were acutely aware that most programs serving the disadvantaged often struggled to provide for their clients’ most basic nutritional needs. So the three chefs set forth to solve all four problems—food waste, hunger, job training, and a source of skilled labor for the local food service industry—with one solution: turn unused food into meals and jobs.
Second Helpings began in 1998.They accept donated perishable and overstocked food to prepare nutritious meals for thousands of hungry children and adults every day, and distributes them free of charge through local social service agencies in Greater Indianapolis. Second Helpings also trains unemployed and underemployed adults for meaningful careers in the culinary industry with their Culinary Job Training Program.
“We’re more than a soup kitchen or a food pantry – we’re a community kitchen. We’re not just teaching people to cook – we’re providing an avenue for people to transform their own lives. We don’t just collect food – we rescue food because we can’t stand to see it go to waste when others have none. Today, the need is so much greater than we ever imagined when we began – so we’ll go on undeterred. ” – via SecondHelpings.org
In their first full month of operation, 37 volunteers helped rescue 7,000 pounds of food and prepare 3,074 meals. Thanks to their founders, partners, board, staff, and volunteers, they currently turn over a 100,000 pounds of rescued food into 50,000 meals every month! What an impact!
To reach this accomplishment each month, Second Helpings relies on 700 regular volunteers to fight hunger in our community. Volunteers chop vegetables and cook meals in their Hunger Relief Kitchen. They deliver food to recipient agencies and lend their expertise to office operations, and they also share Second Helpings’ story and impact in the community.
And last week I, along with the Marion County Young Farmers, got to be one of these volunteers!
We arrived and helped full-time volunteers complete various tasks in their Hunger Relief Kitchen. We prepped ingredients that would later be used to create the delicious meals they serve to the community, and helped clean up the kitchen at the end of the evening. The main ingredient we prepped was chopping onions. I did have to apologize to my fiance and coworkers for the intense onion smell that lingered on my hands (despite many hand-washings), but just knowing that I was able to help in someway made it a very wonderful and rewarding experience.
Marion County Farm Bureau (MCFB) has been a long-time supporter of Second Helpings and wanted to continue that support through volunteering. In addition to monetary donations, MCFB Incorporated and Insurance purchased eight livestock projects from Marion County 4-H youth and donated the meat to Second Helpings. This is the fourth year that MCFB has purchased livestock at the annual Marion County Fair and donating the product to help feed Indiana communities. Over 1,300 pounds of meat was provided to Second Helpings.
As a group, we had a great evening volunteering at Second Helpings and met some wonderful people. We hope to make it more of a regular event and are grateful to be a part of their mission to transform lives through the power of food. Thank you, Second Helpings!
If you live in the Indy area and would like to join us in volunteering, or learn more about Second Helpings, visit their website at www.SecondHelpings.org, LIKE them on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter.
As I scrolled through social media pages and blog posts over the weekend, I started to see the familiar “thankful” posts that are published each November. I always enjoy these. I have never actually written a “thankful” post on my blog or social media pages, but they do make me reflect on all the things I am thankful for in my life.
My health, family, friends, faith, and my job are among the few obvious things I initially thought of, but as I reflected more, I know that I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am now without the solid foundation of skills and values that my parents instilled in me at a young age.
One of the most important of those being reading. Growing up, I can remember learning my ABC’s, my parents helping teach me to read with books like, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” (anyone remember that one?), and taking trips to my local Library with my Aunt Beth.
At the time, I may not have realized how valuable those experiences were, but the very fact that I am able to sit here and share my experiences through words just shows how many things in my life, as well as yours, are affected by our ability to read and write. And looking back, I have really come to cherish those memories.
Last Friday, November 1, was National Family Literacy Day and in support of this cause, McDonald’s launched a National Happy Meal Books Program to invite families to celebrate the joy of reading. Through November 14, children who order McDonald’s Happy Meals will find one of four limited edition books featuring stories that bring nutrition, imagination, and play to life. Each book also comes with it’s very own bookmark that kids can personalize.
I think this is so neat! I mean, the toys we got in Happy Meals when I was younger were cool and all, but books are something interesting and practical that kids can keep instead of hiding them in between the car seat cushions, or leaving them on the floor for you to step on, when they get bored with them.
Have you seen these books in your kids’ Happy Meals yet?
Along with these books being placed in Happy Meals nationwide, McDonald’s of Central Indiana is leading a “Give a Book, Get a Book” campaign! By donating a gently used children’s book, customers will receive a “Be Our Guest” card for a free Happy Meal to say thank you for helping to share the gift of reading with others in the Indy community.
Book donation sites will be set up around the area at the Ronald McDonald House, local libraries, and Indy Reads from Nov 1 – 14. In addition, participating libraries are hosting a “Happy Meal Day” with activities for kids and McDonald’s Happy Meal Books. To find a full list of book donation sites and participating libraries, click here: http://www.indywithkids.com/2013/11/happy-meal-day-give-a-book-get-a-book-locations/
Now, I know not all of you are in the Indy area, but I hope everyone can help me promote this event! To help in promoting the “Give a Book, Get a Book” campaign, McDonald’s Happy Meal Books program, and National Family Literacy Day, I am hosting a give-a-way for anyone who shares this post on their social media pages!
By entering the contest, and sharing these events, one reader will win a week of happy meal coupons, a $10 Amazon gift card and a copy of a Happy Meal Book! (Everything will even be put together in a Happy Meal box!)
Here’s how to enter:
1. Share this blog on Facebook, Twitter and or Pinterest leave a comment below with the URL to your post. Be sure to use the hashtag #mcIndyMoms so we can see your posts as well!
For additional entries: (each of these need a blog comment with the URL as well)
2. Tweet About The Give-A-Way:
Help @Chelsea_PA @indywithkids & @MyIndyMcDonalds promote reading! #McIndyMoms http://bit.ly/McIndyMoms
3.Like IndyWithKids on Facebook
4. Subscribe to Boilermakerag.com
5. Follow @MyIndyMcDonalds on Twitter
6. Follow @Chelsea_PA on Twitter
What was your favorite book as a child?
We have a winner!! Congratulations to Angie MCKie! You are the winner of the McIndyMom’s prize pack! Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your prize! Thanks to everyone who shared my posts and followed the social media pages! Stay tuned to BoilermakerAg.com for more blog posts and potential give-a-ways!
Entries were put into a list randomizer via random.org and chosen from the results.
Here is the full list of results:
Happy Friday Everyone!
Ok, so…I have to admit. Lately I have been a failure at blogging. With moving into a new house, traveling with work, and planning this whole wedding thing, blogging had to take a back burner for a little bit. I feel like I’ve said this before, but a girl needs some rest every now and then. So thank you for sticking with me!
Things still are busy, but I couldn’t miss the opportunity to share this with you! A couple weeks ago I posted about the Why I Farm Movement to honor farmers. If you haven’t heard of it yet, be sure to read my last post and check it out!
But my reason for writing today is because they just posted their new video! Why I Farm has been highlighting Midwest farmers and sharing their stories about why they love to farm. As an advocate for agriculture, (Agvocate as we like to say) I absolutely LOVE this! I have seen so many people take for granted how cheap and accessible our food system is that they don’t always appreciate how much hard work goes into producing it.
The videos from Why I Farm do an incredible job of showing just how much passion and emotion these farmers have for what they do. Get your Kleenex ready.. because if your from a farm family, or grew up around farming… some of these may bring tears to your eyes (At least they did for me).
The new video highlights a young farmer from Warrensburg, IL named Nathan Wentworth. He shares his family’s farming history and what it means to him to be able to carry on that tradition. But this video is so much more than that.
My favorite part is that he also shares that there’s more to farming than just driving a tractor. It’s knowing about how to care for the crops, the land and … wait, why am I explaining this? I’ll just let Nathan tell you for himself…
“To put it simply, I love farming. I love figuring out problems. I love watching life grow, transform and develop. I love being a biologist, a botanist, a chemist, an engineer, a marketer and all the professions involved with farming. I love all of it, but nothing can hold a candle to farming with my family. To carry on the traditions, and values that the generations before me developed…and then pass those on to the generation’s to come. That is something God has blessed our family with and it is something we will not take for granted. That’s why I farm.” – Nathan Wentworth
What did you think? Powerful stuff, right? I may be the only one, but it sure makes me proud to be from a farming background and to be working in agriculture! Thank you Nathan, and all farmers, for all that you do!
Also, with harvest season in full swing and farmers out on the roads, please use this video as a remember to respect them on the roads and slow down! I know we’re all busy (myself included) but this graphic from Kelly at the Old Blue Silo is perfect to put it in to perspective.
Well said, Kelly. Well said!
So now that it’s the weekend, join me in unplugging from the digital world for a while and have some relaxation time! But before I go I wanted to share that I have joined the movement to honor farmers, and I hope that’ll you’ll join me too! Visit whyifarm.com to learn how you can help honor farmers.
Have a great weekend everyone!
Being an Ag blogger, I’ve written about farmers and agriculture several times, but I just can’t say it enough – farmers are some of the most hardworking, passionate and dedicated people I know. They truly do want to provide a quality product for consumers and are proud to be a part of feeding families everywhere.
Growing up in agriculture, and by interviewing farmers throughout the Midwest, I have seen a lot of these qualities firsthand. I always come out of these interviews feeling so proud to be a part of this industry and thankful for getting the chance to meet not only great farmers, but all-around great people. People that always remember your name, take time to actually get to know you, and would drop whatever they’re doing to help you…just like you’re a part of their own family.
That’s why this quote from farmer, Bryon Coffman, really hits home for me.
“You’re not just a part of your family farm, you’re a part of agriculture. And that’s a much larger family. That’s Why I Farm.” – Bryon Coffman, Moweaqua, IL.
This quote came from the new “Why I Farm” movement started by Beck’s Hybrids. Being a family owned company, and farmers themselves, they know what it takes to farm. So with the Why I Farm movement, their goal is simple – to honor farmers and give them the recognition they deserve.
To kick off this effort, they interviewed eight Midwest farmers and through video, brought their farming stories to life. And guys, these seriously are incredible! I seriously almost tear up the first time I watch these videos. They really are that powerful! They captured the true emotions from these farmers and you can really see their true passion and love for what they do.
Check out the rest of Bryon Coffman’s video below:
You can view the rest of these videos at www.whyifarm.com.
I don’t know about you, but I think farmers DO deserve to be honored for all that they do – so let’s help to spread the word about Why I Farm! To join the movement, like Why I Farm on Facebook, follow @WhyIFarm on Twitter, and use #WhyIFarm to share the videos and your farming stories!
So what do you say, will you join me in the “Why I Farm” movement? Let’s help honor farmers!
Disclaimer – This is not a sponsored post. I am an employee of Beck’s Hybrids but was not compensated in any way to write this post. All thoughts are my own.
Wow, thank you to everyone who entered the give-a-way for Family Night with Indiana’s Family of Farmers at Victory Field! As a fairly new blogger, I think this is the best response I have had with a give-a-way so far! And thank you to all my Indy blogger friends for helping share my post as well! You guys are great 🙂
Now for the news you’ve all been waiting on…
I selected the winner using random.org and here were the results! If names were listed more than once, that means they shared the post or followed my blog for additional entries.
Congratulations to Christy Ooley Todd- you were 1st on the list! You and your family have won a 4-pack of tickets to Family Night with IFOF at the Indy Indians game and the In-Game Picnic on Tuesday June 11 at 7:05pm. Thank you to Indiana’s Family of Farmers for providing the tickets!
Thank you to everyone for entering and be sure to check back for more great posts and contests! 🙂
See you at the ball park! #FarmsMatter
My last post was about my love for softball so for this post, it just makes sense that I show baseball some love too!
Are you a fan of baseball? If so, or even if you’re just looking for a fun summer outing, I have the event for you! Indianapolis is home to the Indy Indians baseball team and if you’ve never attended a game, you are missing out!
As a non-Indy native, last year was my first time going to see the Indians play but I had a blast!
Next Tuesday’s game on June 11th will be Family Night with Indiana’s Family of Farmers at Victory Field and I have your chance to join us for free!
Thanks to Indiana Family of Farmers, I am giving away a 4-pack of tickets to attend Family Night and join us for the In-Game Picnic in Coors Light Corner!
Gates open 90 minutes before the game and game time is at 7:05 p.m.
This contest will only be open until 11:59pm on Thursday June 6 so hurry up and make sure to enter!
HERE’S HOW TO ENTER:
- Leave a comment below saying that you’d like to join me and Family of Farmers at the game!
FOR ADDITIONAL ENTRIES:
2. Re-post this blog on your Facebook or Twitter page with the phrase:
“I want to go to the @indyindians game w/ @Chelsea_PA & @FamilyofFarmers on June 11th! #FarmsMatter – via boilermakerag.wordpress.com”
…and leave the link to your post in a comment below!
3. Subscribe to my blog!
I will select the winner via random.org and announce it in another blog post, on my Facebook page, and my Twitter page on Friday June 7th!
Hope you can join me at the game!! Best of Luck!