Category Archives: Agvocating

Why I Farm|A Planting Prayer for Farmers

Farmers are truly some of the most dedicated, hardworking, and passionate people I’ve ever met. As they go out to plant their crops this spring, their families will be praying for them to return home safe and sound, just like this sweet little girl.

This video is the latest in the Why I Farm series to honor farmers. I hope you’ll join me in sharing this video as a way to honor farmers everywhere and thank them for working tirelessly to provide for all of us.

 

United We Grow: Indiana Farm Bureau Young Farmer Conference

“You are a part of something bigger than you are.”

Those were the inspiring words of Wayne Humphreys during his opening keynote at the 2016 Indiana Farm Bureau Young Farmer Conference this past weekend. Held in Indianapolis, the conference brought together more than 500 young farmers and Ag professionals like myself to learn from industry experts (and each other) on hot topics within the agriculture industry.

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At the conference I was joined by five other Marion County Young Ag Professionals. On Friday evening we participated in a new volunteer event to help Gleaners Food Bank – “CANstruction”. We teamed up with the rest of District 6 to create a structure out of cans and decorate it for a competition. Attendees would then vote on their favorite during the conference. There were some really creative creations, but I am proud to announce that our district was voted the winning structure! All of the cans were donated to Gleaner’s after the conference.

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Saturday we spent the day attending breakout sessions and recognizing county chapters for their outstanding work during this past year. The breakouts I attended included two round-table discussions on livestock issues and niche markets, as well as a social media session from Brian Scott of The Farmer’s Life on how to effectively communicate your farm story on social media.

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All of these breakouts brought some great discussion, updates on current industry topics, and beneficial facts to take back to our jobs and farms.

To wrap up the conference, we enjoyed some evening entertainment with a live auction, Ag Olympics, and performance by country band, Darlington Road.

Leaving the conference I reflected back on something Wayne Humphrey’s said at the start of the day.

“Agriculture is becoming more complicated. Not only because of new technologies, but also because of the challenge of communicating about them and educating consumers. But we’re doing the best we can with what we have in this day. When something new arises, we find out what it is, we visit, we learn, and we grow together.”

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His message coupled perfectly with the theme of this year’s conference: United We Grow. And that is exactly what we did – we visited, we learned, and we grew to become better agriculturalists.

Thank you to Marion County Farm Bureau for giving us the opportunity to attend and expand our leadership in agriculture.

BoilermakerAg

Christmas in the Country 2015 Gift Reveal

The Christmas decorations may be down, but today’s snowy weather is the perfect atmosphere to share the fun things I gave and received in the Christmas in the Country Gift Exchange.

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This year I was chosen to send a gift to Amanda Spoo of The Good Stuff blog. Amanda is a fellow ag communications graduate who currently lives in Washington DC and works for the United States Wheat Industry. I had so much fun picking out gifts for Amanda and learned that we have A LOT in common! We are both Ag Comm grads and enjoy coffee, wine and crafting. Oh and her favorite color is turquoise. Can you move closer so we can be friends, please?  🙂

The gift I put together for Amanda included some fun items in all of those categories. Check out her reveal post here to learn about the items I sent. I’m so glad you enjoyed everything, Amanda! I look forward to staying in touch!

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The gift I received this year was from Laurie at Country Linked. Laurie is one of the hosts of the Christmas in the Country Gift Exchange so I was familiar with her blog, but enjoyed getting to learn more about her! Laurie and her husband farm in north central Missouri. She is an aspiring photographer and blogs about faith, family and farming, in addition to keeping up with her three little kiddos!

Laurie did an amazing job with my gift! She had me right from the minute I opened the package! Can anyone guess why?

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Not only did she take the time to individually wrap each gift – each one was decorated with an adorable Purdue button! My mom has always been a big believer in wrapping each gift so that was a nice touch that reminded me of home.  Then, to make it even more fun, she included a card that said, “please unwrap your gifts before reading this.” She sure knows how to make gift-opening fun! 🙂

Inside the packages I found homemade poppy seed bread, note cards from the Missouri Farm Bureau, a homemade glass ornament, dark chocolate, recipe cards from the Feisty Farmwife, a Christmas towel and chalk board ornament, a turquoise bracelet, and an awesome barn wood picture frame!

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The poppy seed bread was delicious! Since I also am a baker, she wanted me to have fresh baked goods to enjoy. I have never made poppy seed bread before but I may have to give it a try after trying hers. And she won my heart yet again with the dark chocolate – that is my favorite brand so great job, Laurie! (Now I just have to resist eating the whole bar in one sitting!)

To continue on with the food-themed gifts, I absolutely loved the cute recipe cards! Her friend, Lorin put together this collection of recipes from her kitchen that celebrate the seasonal bounty of their homegrown produce and reflect the traditions she experienced growing up in the kitchen with her mom. I can’t wait to try some of these recipes! They will definitely take me back to cooking with my mom and grandmas as a kid.

To give me a little glimpse of what agriculture is like in Missouri, Laurie included a pack of note cards from the Missouri Farm Bureau. The pictures on the front were last year’s winners from the state photo contest. I loved every one of these. The pictures are almost too cute to give away!

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Christmas was a little different for my family this year as my sister and her husband were going to be on their honeymoon over Christmas. So to make sure we could all celebrate together before they left, I hosted a dinner for them and my parents at my house the week before Christmas. Laurie’s packaged arrived just in time for me to use the fun Christmas towel and ornament as part of my decorations! The ornament was actually made by her middle child, Kendall as part of a 4-H project and had melted crayons inside to give it the pretty design.

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To top everything off, Laurie found a beautiful gold and turquoise bracelet that I can’t wait to wear, and made me a barn wood picture frame with a Purdue button on the bottom!  Laurie, I’m not sure if you saw from my blog or social media that I had barn wood at my wedding, but I absolutely love barn wood! I’m going to have such a hard time choosing what photo to put on it.

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Laurie, thank you so much for the thoughtful and creative gifts! You knocked it out of the park! I loved every single one of them and enjoyed getting to learn more about you and your family. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and look forward to staying in touch!

Finally, I also want to say thank you so much to Kirby Linebach of 15009 Farmhouse , Jamie at This Unchartered Rhoade, and Lara Durben of My Other More Exciting Self for helping Laurie host and organize this fun event!

To see all of the other bloggers who participated, click here for the link up!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and I look forward to sharing more blogs with you in 2016!

-Chelsea

BoilermakerAg

Boilermakers Continue to Celebrate Agriculture with Purdue Ag Week

Hello everyone! I hope you’re having a great week so far! Have you had a chance to catch any of my other posts about Purdue Ag Week?  If so, what did you think? Have you learned anything new about agriculture? If not, you can read about them here, here, here and here. (Then return to the question above and let me know if you learned anything new.) 🙂

Learning new things about agriculture is one of the main goals of Purdue Ag Week, and the ag students are doing a great job of educating their peers about all areas of agriculture. One way they are doing this is by daily agriculture quizzes. Each day members of the Ag Week Task Force have been giving away prizes when students take a quiz about agriculture. This year, they are having students take the quiz (which features different questions each day) on their phones so they can better record the scores. Once students are done with the quiz, a Task Force member will hand them an answer sheet and go over the answers with them, along with a fun prize!

Want to test out your knowledge of agriculture? Give the quizzes a try for yourself! Here is the link to Thursday’s quiz. Answers to the questions will be posted on the Purdue Ag Week Facebook page so check back at the end of the day to see how you did! (I’ll also add the link on here after they have been released.)

In addition to the daily ag quizzes there have been some awesome events so far, with even more in store for Thursday and Friday.

Purdue Ag Week - Thursday

Thursday is the ever-popular “Pet A (Goat) Kid” event, along with a diversity in agriculture session from the MANNRS Club, a “Truth or Myth” Ice Cream session from the Food Science Club, mini tractor pulls and various other club events throughout Memorial Mall.

Thursday Instagram Challenge: Take a selfie with a farm animal featured during Ag Week events. Then, post it to your Instagram account along with the hashtags #mAGnifyPurdue and #mAGnifyChallenge and you’ll be entered to win a prize!

Celebration of Agriculture: 8 – 10 p.m. (Memorial Mall)
Thursday night will be a Celebration of Agriculture, a social event for the entire Purdue student body, where students can join together in community to continue conversations about agriculture. They will have free pork burgers along with other food, games and music. The goal for this event is to create an opportunity to build a sense of community within the College of Ag and with students from other colleges, too!

Celebration of Ag Social

To wrap up the week, there will be three club events on Friday from the Cattleman’s Club, Ag Business Club and IAAE. As well as another daily ag quiz and Instagram challenge!

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Friday Daily Ag Quiz: See just how much you know about agriculture with the final daily quiz. To give it a try, click here. Then head over to the Purdue Ag Week Facebook page to find out how you did. (As mentioned above, I will post the link to these answers as well after they are released.)

Friday Instagram Challenge: “Favorite Photo Friday” – Post a picture of your favorite Ag Week memory and make sure to include the hashtags #mAGnifyPurdue or #mAGnifyChallenge.

 


Continuing the Conversation After Ag Week:
Purdue Ag Week will be coming to a close after Friday, but it is my hope that the conversation about agriculture will continue throughout the year. Agriculture, and the farmers and ranchers who dedicate their lives to growing our food, are so incredibly important to all of us and we shouldn’t take them for granted. I encourage you to join me in thanking farmers and appreciating our country’s advances in agriculture by following some of these agriculture causes:

Congrats to all of my fellow Boilermakers on a successful Ag Week!

 

BoilermakerAg

 

 

 

 

Purdue Ag Week: Wednesday – Farmer’s Breakfast and Oxfam Hunger Banquet

When you go to the grocery store to buy bread, apples, milk, eggs, cereal, cheese, spinach, etc., have you ever thought about how much of the price goes back to the farmer?

Probably not. The amount might surprise you.

Did you know that for every dollar spent on food in America, farmers only receive 12 cents back? 12 cents! The other 88 cents goes to packaging, food processing, transportation, retail trade, food services, energy to keep goods cool, and finance and insurance.

Farmer’s Breakfast: 9 – 11 a.m. (Class of 1950 Building)
This is another misconception that Purdue Ag students are trying to bring awareness to during Purdue Ag Week. Many people think they are paying a lot for food while farmers get rich off the profits. But in reality, farmers put a lot of time, effort and resources into growing a product they don’t end up getting much financial return on.

To demonstrate this, students from the Ag Communicators of Tomorrow and Collegiate 4-H are holding a Farmer’s Breakfast. During this event, students will receive a complete breakfast (that would normally cost them $2.00) for only 25 cents. This amount demonstrates how much the farmer would earn back from the cost of that meal.

The fact that farmers do so much work for not much in return just shows how much passion they have for what they do. Farming is truly a lifestyle and you can’t just be in farming for the money. Because on average, you won’t make a ton. Farmers simply do it for the satisfaction of helping feed the world.

So next time you see a farmer, give them a thank you for their hard work and selflessness. They deserve it.

 

Oxfam America Hunger Banquet: 6 – 9 p.m. (PMU Faculty Lounges) – RSVP Required
Also on Wednesday, Ag Week Task Force will be hosting 100 students for an Oxfam America Hunger Banquet where students will get a firsthand experience with the effects of global hunger and listen to a keynote address from Libby Crimmings of the World Food Prize.

But this isn’t just your normal dinner banquet. At an Oxfam America Hunger Banquet, the place where you sit, and the meal that you eat, are determined by the luck of the draw—just as in real life some of us are born into relative prosperity and others into poverty.

hunger banquetPhoto: Josh Kuroda – http://www.oxfamamerica.org/

When guests arrive, they draw tickets at random that assign each to a high-, middle-, or low-income tier—based on the latest statistics about the number of people living in poverty. Each income level receives a corresponding meal. The 20 percent in the high-income tier are served a sumptuous meal; the 30 percent in the middle-income section eat a simple meal of rice and beans; and the 50 percent in the low-income tier help themselves to small portions of rice and water.

That would give you a big dose of reality, wouldn’t it?

A master of ceremonies reads a script to guide participants through the interactive event. Finally, all guests are invited to share their thoughts after the meal and to take action to right the wrong of poverty.

I had never heard of this experience before, but I think it is such a creative way to bring awareness to hunger and poverty. Because as with as many resources as we have in this world, hunger and poverty shouldn’t be something people should have to worry about.

If you’re at Purdue and would like to attend the Hunger Banquet, sign up here: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0b4fabae2ca4fe3-oxfam

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Ag Week is only at the half way point, and I just have to say how impressed and proud I am to see students putting together all of these excellent events to help bring awareness to the various parts of agriculture.

I can’t wait to see the rest of the things they have in store!

Tomorrow I will be sharing about Ag Week events for Thursday and Friday. Thursday is the ever-popular “Pet A (Goat) Kid” event, along with mini tractor pulls and various other club events. Thursday night will be a Celebration of Agriculture, a social event where students can join together in community to continue conversations about agriculture. And wrapping up the week on Friday will be three club events from the Cattleman’s Club, Ag Business Club and IAAE.

Happy Ag Week!

 

BoilermakerAg

Purdue Ag Week Continues: Kiss a Calf, Facts on GMOs, and Hammer Down Hunger

Hello everyone! How was your Monday? Mine was fine, but definitely not as exciting as what was happening on Purdue’s campus for Purdue Ag Week!

Milk Monday was once again a success, with hundreds of students enjoying free grilled cheese and milk while learning some facts about dairy products. Check out these great Milk Monday photos from Purdue student and fellow blogger, Samuel at Life of a Future Farmer!

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Boilermakers ended their Monday with the privilege of listening to Dairy Carrie and Brian of The Farmer’s Life share about life on the farm.

Today, Ag Week continues with a variety of engaging events.

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Kiss A Calf: 10 a.m – 3 p.m. (Memorial Mall)
Kicking off the day is Heifer International’s new event. For a small donation ($1) which will go to Heifer’s global ag efforts, students can love on a little calf!

Getting to give these little calves a smooch is adorable, but the cause these donations will go to is the real star of this event. Heifer International’s mission is to work with communities to end world hunger and poverty and to care for the Earth.

Founder of Heifer International, Dan West, was a farmer from the American Midwest who went to the front lines of the Spanish Civil War as an aid worker. His mission was to provide relief, but he soon discovered the meager single cup of milk rationed to the weary refugees once a day was not enough. And then he had a thought: What if they had not a cup, but a cow?

That “teach a man to fish” philosophy is what drove West to found Heifer International. And now, nearly 70 years later, that philosophy still inspires their work to end world hunger and poverty throughout the world once and for all. They empower families to turn hunger and poverty into hope and prosperity – but their approach is more than just giving them a handout. Heifer links communities and helps bring sustainable agriculture and commerce to areas with a long history of poverty.

“For generations, we have provided resources and training for struggling small-scale farmers in order to give them a chance to change their circumstances.” – Heifer International

Ag Policy and GMOs: 10 a.m – 3 p.m. (Memorial Mall)
Also in Memorial Mall, will be the Agronomy Club and ASAP discussing Ag Policy and GMOs. These are both hot topics in the agricultural industry that most people don’t know much about.

GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are simply the process of intentionally making a copy of a gene for a desired trait from one plant or organism, and using it in another plant. This process is used to select valuable traits such as reduced yield loss or crop damage from weeds, diseases, and insects, as well as from extreme weather conditions, such as drought.

There are several misconceptions around GMOs that these students will strive to clear up. One is that GMOs are bad for our environment because the farmers that grow them spray huge amounts of pesticides. But in fact, GMOs actually reduce the impact of agriculture on their environment and their costs — by applying pesticides in more precise ways, for example.

Another misconception is that people think all crops are now being genetically modified. This isn’t true either. Did you know there are currently only eight crops commercially available from GMO seeds in the US? They are corn (field and sweet), soybeans, cotton, canola, alfalfa, sugar beets, papaya, and squash.

A lot of the crops that people think are GMOs are actually hybrids. (For example, a honeycrisp apple is a hybrid, not a GMO.) A hybrid produce is created when two different varieties of a fruit or vegetable, or two different types of a fruit or vegetable, are cross-bred with each other. This is not the same thing as a GMO where a selected trait has been inserted into a plant’s DNA.

To learn more about GMOs, I encourage you to visit www.GMOAnswers.com.

 

Hammer Down Hunger 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. (Memorial Mall)
The final event of the day will be the second annual “Hammer Down Hunger” meal packing event. Last year, students from Ag Week packed over 57,000 meals to send to underprivileged children in Haiti. This year, their goal is to pack 70,000 meals!

hammer down hunger2014 Hammer Down Hunger event

I don’t think they’ll have a problem hitting their goal. The Ag Week Task Force told me that the shifts for this event are already filled by around 500 students (from all over campus) willing to volunteer! How awesome!

I hope everyone has fun at all of the events today! I’d love to hear if you get the chance to attend any of them! If you post any photos or updates on social media, be sure to use the hashtag #mAGnifyPurdue so I can see how the events are going.

Also, be sure to check back again tomorrow for Wednesday’s events. One important event I’m looking forward to sharing with you is the Farmer’s Breakfast from Ag Communicators of Tomorrow and Collegiate 4-H! This unique event will be providing students with a complete breakfast meal for only $0.25 – check back tomorrow to learn the meaning behind this certain price!

Happy Purdue Ag Week!

BoilermakerAg

Purdue Ag Week: Milk Monday and Dairy Carrie

Purdue Ag Week has officially begun! As I mentioned in my last post, Purdue Ag Week is a campus-wide initiative at Purdue University that encourages meaningful peer-to-peer conversations about agriculture. Over 25 College of Agriculture student clubs are working to inspire others to See What Ag Gives by hosting interactive events this week across campus.

Purdue’s Collegiate FFA kicked off the week’s festivities with a Farmer 5K Run/Walk to raise awareness about agriculture and the unfortunate reality of food insecurity. It was a success! The event raised $720 for a new Food Finders Food Bank school pantry that will help feed school children during the summer and help battle food insecurity in the Lafayette area. Great work everyone!

Milk Monday: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. (Memorial Mall)
The next event on the schedule is Milk Monday! Hosted by the Purdue Dairy Club, Milk Monday highlights facts about the dairy industry and promotes the nutritional benefits of dairy products by providing students with free grilled cheese sandwiches. The Dairy Club plans to give out 1,000 grilled cheese sandwiches on Memorial Mall around lunchtime. (Seriously, who doesn’t love a good grilled cheese? Can you guys deliver one to my office?)

This event always holds a special place in my heart, because when I was a senior at Purdue, we (Ag Communicators of Tomorrow) partnered with the Dairy Club to hold the very first Milk Monday as part of Grand Alternative Week! It’s so great to see this tradition continue as part of Ag Week and spreading even more awareness for the dairy industry.

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Milk Monday - group

Oh and if you stop by, be sure to snap a picture of your Milk Monday experience and enter the #mAGnifyPurdue Instagram challenge! (More details below.)

Dairy Carrie: 4 p.m. (Krannert Auditorium)
Then, keeping with the dairy theme for the day, the Dairy Club is bringing in blogger Dairy Carrie to speak at 4 p.m. in the Krannert Auditorium! If you aren’t familiar with Carrie, she and her husband farm with his parents on their 100 cow dairy farm in southern Wisconsin. She writes about agriculture and her life as a dairy farmer on her blog, The Adventures of Dairy Carrie.

Purdue Ag Week - Dairy Carrie Ad

As part of Ag Week, Carrie will be sharing her agriculture story and giving students the chance to ask questions and learn more about what life is like on a dairy farm. And from what I know of Carrie, she’s pretty funny, so I’m sure you’ll also get a few laughs along with it.

I really wish I was in town to attend this event, because Carrie is a great blogger and has wonderful life and on-farm experiences to share with everyone. If you’re going to be in town, I really encourage you to attend her session! If, not you can learn more about her by heading over to her blog or Facebook page.

Ag Week Instagram Challenge
Another neat feature of Ag Week is their new Instagram challenge! Each day they will be having a contest on Instagram featuring a different challenge that coordinates with that day’s events. With each contest, you simply post a picture on Instagram that meets the challenge and enter by using the hashtags #mAGnifyPurdue or #mAGnifyChallenge.

Monday’s Challenge – Post a photo sharing about your experience at Milk Monday!

It’s only the second day of Ag Week and they already have a lot of great things happening! The events continue tomorrow with Heifer International’s Kiss a Calf, Agronomy Club and ASAP’s sessions on Ag Policy and GMOs, and the Hammer Down Hunger meal packing event. Check back tomorrow to learn more!

Happy Purdue Ag Week!

BoilermakerAg

mAGnify: A Closer Look at Agriculture with Purdue Ag Week

With the majority of our population being three generations removed from the farm, knowledge of how food is grown and where it comes from is decreasing with each generation.

But more recently, consumers are looking to know more about what is in their favorite foods and how they are grown. So in an effort to help increase awareness about agriculture, students from Purdue University created Purdue Ag Week.

Purdue Ag WeekIn its fourth year, Ag Week is a student-organized event that aims to show the campus of Purdue what agriculture gives. The Purdue Ag Task Force, a Purdue student organization, leads the effort and aspires to make Ag Week an event where the various facets of local, national and international agriculture are understood and celebrated.

The theme of this year’s Purdue Ag Week (April 12-17) is mAGnify: A Closer Look at Agriculture. Throughout the week, more than 20 student clubs and organizations will be hosting interactive events that highlight different aspects about agriculture. The goal of these events will be to give students a closer look at how farmers, ranchers and the agricultural industry produces the food, fiber and fuel that are so vital to all of us.

In addition, members at the Ag Task Force booth on Memorial Mall will be giving away t-shirts, stress balls and koozies when students take a quiz about agriculture. This year, they are having students take the quiz (which features different questions each day) on their phones to emphasize technology and better record the scores. Once students are done with the quiz, Ag Task Force members will discuss the answers with them and share additional facts about agriculture.

I realize many of you might not be able to physically attend if you are in different parts of the state or country, but I still wanted to help spread the word about this awesome event and pass along the important facts being shared at the various events.

This week, I will be publishing a series of posts highlighting the various Ag Week events that will be taking place. Be sure to check back to see all of the things they have in store!

SUNDAY, APRIL 12
Kicking off this year’s Ag Week will be Collegiate FFA’s Farmer 5K! In this farmer-themed run/walk, students are inviting runners to grab their bibs, flannel, and other farm gear to raise money for the Food Finders Twin Lakes Student Food Pantry. This race is aimed at raising awareness of the agricultural industry and supporting efforts to help end food insecurity.

Did you know that one in six Americans experience hunger or food insecurity? This combined with the fact that farmers will have to produce an estimated 70% more food by 2050 in order to meet the rising world population demand is alarming.

During the 5K, runners will blaze past agriculture facts as they complete the course, learning about different food, farms, and farmers around every turn. The race begins at 9:30 a.m., with on-site registration and packet pick-up taking place from 8:00am to 30 minutes before the race at the Purdue Engineering Fountain. All runners and walkers must be registered. If you’re interested in participating, or even just watching, you can find all the details on their Farmer 5K website.

Farmer 5KAg week continues on Monday April 13 with the Purdue Dairy Club’s Milk Monday event and a presentation by dairy farmer and blogger, Dairy Carrie! Check back tomorrow to learn more about these fun and exciting events. Also, don’t forget to follow along on social media by using the hashtag #mAGnifyPurdue and following @PurdueAgWeek on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Happy Ag Week!

 

BoilermakerAg

Create Great Moments More Often

This past weekend, I joined my fellow Indiana Farm Bureau Young Farmers for our annual leadership conference in Indianapolis.

I always enjoy attending this conference because I get to visit with friends from all across the state, learn more about the latest topics in agriculture, and hear some great messages from the keynote speakers.

In the four years that I’ve attended this conference, I always come away with some great inspiration. But there was something especially inspiring during this year’s keynote presentation from Kelly Barnes.

Kelly was born and raised on a small family farm in eastern Oklahoma and his message is centered around the stories, life lessons, and virtues he learned growing up.

His presentation was “Create Great Moments More Often” and what came from it was some very important reminders that I think we all should live by.

Three Ways to Create Great Moments

1. Be present. Be in the moment.
Truly be there. Whether it’s in class, your career, or with your family, take every opportunity to be engaged in what you’re doing. And also truly listen. I’ve learned over the years that you can always learn something from every situation. But if you’re not truly “present” you might miss something significant. So join me in putting those phones and computers down sometimes and just be present.

2. Appreciate the little things. Because sometimes they are all we get.
Never neglect the little things. I can’t always remember every conversation I’ve had with my parents or grandparents, but the unexpected care package Mom sent me during finals at school, the good luck letter Dad wrote me when I tried out for the Purdue softball team, the time my Grandpa carried me all the way back from the creek on his shoulders because I didn’t wear shoes and our 4-wheeler broke down, or the hand-written cards I get in the mail from my Grandma… THOSE things make the biggest impact.

“The thought does count, but it’s the action that makes the difference.”

Kelly also shared something that I learned to live by from a young age by playing sports. You can’t achieve things by cutting corners. Always catch the call with two hands. Don’t step inside the court when running laps. And run hard all the way through the base. Those lessons relate to every aspect of our lives whether you play sports or not.

3. Pack an extra sandwich.
At first, this sounded silly. But then Kelly told us about this story about his daughter’s classmate and it touched my heart.

Kelly’s daughter and his neighbor’s daughter are in the same pre-school class. Every Friday they take a field trip and have to bring their lunch. The night before the field trip, his neighbor was packing her daughter’s lunch when her daughter asked if she could pack an extra sandwich. Her mom kindly explained… “No, you have plenty. We don’t waste food.” So the daughter when off without a word. The next week she asked again, “Can you pack an extra sandwich?” And her mom said again, “No, you have plenty, it’s not good to waste food.” And the daughter nodded and went on with her evening again.

Then the next week came around and her daughter asked a third time if her mom could pack an extra sandwich. This time the mom asked more and her daughter explained how every Friday a little boy in her class comes and asks if she is going to eat the rest of her sandwich. Not because he is a bully. Because he didn’t have food of his own to eat.

When his neighbor finished telling Kelly this story, he talked about it with his wife and wanted to do something to help. He didn’t know the situation or didn’t want to overstep boundaries but knew he couldn’t sit back and do nothing. His wife said, “It’s simple. We’re going to pack an extra sandwich.”

I was fighting back tears at this point. What a heart wrenching story. And sadly, it’s a story that is true for too many people.

So what did Kelly suggest we need to do when we see these moments in our lives?

Create great moments for other people.
Be “we focused” in a “me focused” world.
Look for the things that need to be done.

Kelly ended his talk with this simple rule that we as a population need to get back to living by.

BE TO GET.

Be a friend to get a friend.
Be involved to get something out of it.
Be willing to fail to get success.
Be willing to do the small things to get the big things.
Be willing to love to get love.
Be positive to get that positive life.

Because if you be to get, you’ll get to be.

I hope this can serve as an inspiration to you as it did to me. I want to end by giving a HUGE thank you to Kelly for sharing these great messages and reminding us of what the important things are in life. Also, thank you to the Indiana Farm Bureau and Young Farmers Committee for bringing Kelly to speak and putting on a wonderful leadership convention. Go out and make some great moments everyone!

BoilermakerAg

Christmas In The Country: Gift Exchange Reveal

A few weeks ago I shared that I was going to be participating in the Christmas In The Country Gift Exchange and today I get to reveal what I received from my secret Santa, as well as what I sent as my gift to Darcy!

The gift that I received was from Amber Rugan of A Gentle Word. Amber is from Kansas and writes about faith, family, food, farming, fun and photography. I wasn’t familiar with Amber’s blog so I was looking forward to meeting someone new and learning more about her!

Amber’s Secret Santa gift to me came in two stages. First I received this large box on my doorstep which contained a real Christmas wreath from Delp Christmas Tree Farm, a local farm in her area. How neat!

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We always had a real Christmas tree when I was growing up so this was a nice little reminder of home for the holidays. She later revealed that she tried to send me a wreath with Purdue colors but it didn’t work out. (That would have been awesome though!) But the wreath she ended up sending worked perfectly and was right in time to add some more festive decorations for the Christmas Sweater Party we had at our house!

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The box the wreath came in didn’t have much description of who it came from besides her name so I was intrigued to learn more! A week or so after that I received Amber’s second package. It included a very sweet note sharing more about her and the story behind her gifts, some cute mini jars with mints in them for me to share, a package of M&M’s to share, a blog ornament and the infamous Christmas Gift Exchange lump of coal! (I’ll explain more about that in a minute).

Amber joked that the blog ornament was tacky and it was the only one that she could find. But I think it’s just perfect. I’ve never even seen a blog ornament before so great job to you, Amber, for even finding one! 🙂  I already have it hanging up in my office at home!

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Alright, now for the story behind the lump of coal. Back in 2013, this bag of coal was gifted to Amber as part of her Gift Exchange present by Colby Miller of MyAgLife.com. It serves as a light hearted reminder that coal-deserving sin places us on Santa’s naughty list. But thankfully, naughty boys and girls are offered the gift of Jesus.

In reading the tag closer, I realized it is actually a bar of soap colored and scented like real coal, but what a creative reminder about the real reason for the season! You can read more about Amber’s experience of receiving the coal here. On the back of the tag it has the history of where this coal has traveled each year so my job now is to keep it and pass it on to someone next year!

Thank you Amber for all of your creative and thoughtful gifts! I truly enjoyed them and am grateful for the opportunity to meet and learn more about you. I hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas and New Year and I look forward to keeping in touch!

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The recipient of my Secret Santa gifts was Darcy Sexson of Success is Reason Enough from Oregon! I had never been to Oregon so I had to do a little research on her blog to find out what type of things she  might like.

I wanted to send her something local, something fun, and something homemade. I started with a cute calendar from a local shop that featured images from Indiana. Then, in reading Darcy’s bio, it said she isn’t a huge fan of cleaning (who is, really?) and ended up finding the perfect little decoration for her! And my homemade item was an arm-knitted infinity scarf!

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I was really proud of this one because it was my first attempt at making one. It wasn’t the easiest of project at first, but it turned out great once I got the hang of it.

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I was really excited to see what Darcy thought of my gifts and based off of the sweet thank you card she sent me and her gift reveal blog, she loved them! You can check out her response and learn more about her here. Glad you enjoyed your gifts, Darcy! 🙂

Finally, I want to say thank you so much to Robyn at The Ranch Wife Chronicles, Jamie at This Unchartered Rhoade, Laurie at Country Linked, and Erin at Diaries From the Dirt Road for hosting and organizing this fun event!

To see all of the other bloggers who participated, click on one of the host’s links above for the link up!

~Chelsea

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