Category Archives: Uncategorized

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

Dear Joey and Rory: Your Life Is a Song

If you’re a fan of country music, or an Indiana resident, you may have heard about the story of Joey and Rory Feek. They’re a husband and wife country duo that burst onto the national scene in 2008 after competing on CMT’s ‘Can You Duet?’ Since then, they have written numerous country and gospel albums and won the Academy of Country Music’s “Top New Vocal Duo” award in 2010. Rory has two adult daughters, Heidi and Hope, and the couple has a 21-month-old named Indiana.

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Photo courtesy of Joey+Rory on Instagram.

Joey Feek has been battling Stage 4 cervical cancer. In June of this year, it was announced that her cancer had returned. She recently underwent surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, but the doctors told them there is nothing more medicine can do. So they made the decision to end her treatments and she is now in hospice care, spending her time with family in her hometown of Alexandria, IN.

As a fan of Joey and Rory’s, I have been following their journey, especially over the last few months, through Rory’s blog “This Life I Live”. It has been amazing to see their courage through this whole journey and the eloquence with which Rory talks about such a difficult situation. But his blog isn’t just about the sad parts of Joey’s illness. In fact, it’s the opposite. With every blog, Rory somehow finds the strength to be more inspiring to others, even if he doesn’t realize it.

The whole time during this heartbreaking journey, I have felt that I wanted to help in some way. Through cards, food, gifts, or even just a kind embrace, people from their local communities, and all across the country have already been helping Joey and Rory. But as I read each new blog Rory posted, the thought of finding some way to lend my support was still in the back of my mind.

So I decided to give the gift of words.

Dear Joey and Rory,

Written, spoken or sung, there is an amazing power in words. They can change your attitude, perspective, and even provide inspiration and strength.

It is my hope that these words can be a small gift to you in return for all of the powerful words you have shared with the world, and the words that inspired me to write this letter. It might not seem like much, but if it can provide even just a small smile to help brighten your day, I will feel like I’ve helped in some way.

A couple of weeks ago, the day after the town of Alexandria and the entire country music community held a nationwide prayer vigil in Joey’s honor, I decided to turn on Spotify and listen to your music.  

After coming to your page, I hit shuffle and the first song that started playing was “The Life of a Song.”

I stopped instantly. I had never heard this song, but I was in pure awe as I listened to the words.

Me, I’m just a singer, though I may be well-known.
The truth is I’d be nothing without the power of a song.
I’ve been blessed with fame and fortune, oh but in the end
A song’s what I wish I could’ve been.

A song lives forever and never, ever dies.
Sings enemies together and touches so many lives.
Words and melody will always be long after we’re gone…
Oh, how I wish I could live the life of a song.

I could mend the broke and wounded, I could prove that love is real.
And take someone from China to a Carolina cotton field.
I could comfort every soldier, hum all the homeless home…
I could change the world if I was just a song.

A song lives forever and never, ever dies.
Sings enemies together and touches so many lives.
Words and melody will always be long after we’re gone…
Oh, how I wish I could live the life of a song.

There’s an end for me, it’s my destiny.
But this song will carry on…and it’s just three minutes long.
Oh, how I wish I could live the life of a song.
Oh, how I wish I could live the life of a song.

Even though this song was published in 2008, all I could think after listening to it is how true the words were for what you’re going through today. But there’s one major difference. From where I’m sitting, you are already living the life of a song. Your song.

Your music has touched so many lives and your ability to tell your story through song is simply astonishing. No matter what happens and when your end actually comes, (even though I hope it’s a long time from now) have comfort in knowing that you have been doing what you were put here on Earth to do…writing and performing these inspirational songs to make a difference in this world and help the rest of us. And as the lyrics say above, your song will carry on forever.

Even though God has his timing for everything, it is my wish that you can continue to be here on Earth and make music for many years to come. This morning, I was on Facebook and came across your latest blog about Christmas time. Christmas is also one of my favorite times of year and your words brought me back to some of the great Christmas memories I’ve had over the years.

After I finished reading, I continued to scroll down the page and happened to come across this clip from the Ellen Degeneres Show. A 16-year-old girl from Toledo, OH was battling ovarian cancer and performed Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” during a talent show. Ellen saw this clip and brought her on the show, where she actually performed the song with Rachel live.

Joey, I couldn’t help but think of you during their entire performance. Through Rory’s eyes, I have been able to see how strong you are, but sometimes we all need a little “fight song” to get us through things. I hope this can give you a little added strength and inspiration as you continue on this journey.

Please know that I am praying for you both and hope you have a wonderful Christmas.

Love,

Chelsea

BoilermakerAg

Blogging, the Struggle is Real. 

Six months. It has almost been six months since I posted my last blog on BoilermakerAg! How did that happen?

As a blogger, I am ashamed that I’ve been quiet for this long. “One blog a month isn’t hard,” I tell myself. But then somehow time just slips by.

On the flip side of that, I’ve had a ridiculous amount of things going on lately. I’ve been working a lot more hours than normal, traveling a lot for work and family, my sister got married, other friends have gotten married and numerous other events like 4-H fairs, birthday parties, and baptisms. So when I get free time from everything, I just feel like I need a break, ya know?

But then I go back to…”all of your other blogger friends are just as busy as you, if not more, and they somehow still find time to blog. Get yourself together, Chels.”

Sometimes it gets to that point where I have so many ideas for blog posts, but can’t decide where to start. I debate back and forth and then end up wasting the time I had to start one.

Or I get good old fashioned writer’s block and can’t start one at all.

THE STRUGGLE IS REAL.

Does anyone else get like this?

As I was listening to a radio program the other night, someone said, “you have to make writing a discipline.”

And it hit me like a ton of bricks…I have failed to do that lately. I’ve only been blogging when I get inspired and have time. (Which isn’t very often on the time part.) Or when a deadline is due at work.

So I decided this morning that I would just start writing. Even if the writing is just about my struggle to write. It’s at least something.

As this year continues, I want to be able to blog more, but I also don’t want to end up more stressed trying to make it happen as I’m dealing with enough at the moment. But I do want to continue to share the message of agriculture, great recipes, and other topics with you.

Maybe this is a bunch of rambling you don’t care to read, but you all have been loyal to read my posts and I don’t want to leave you in the dark or let you down.

So I’m going to try a little experiment. Here are several things that I’ve been doing this summer, and I’m going to let you vote on which ones I write about. Will you help me do that? Having a little direction might help me get back in the swing of things.

1. Food  Ranch Chicken Bake

Parsley Pasta Alfredo

Pickled Cucumber Tomato Salad

  Cannoli Dip

 Chicken Salad

2. Planning my sister’s bridal shower!

3. 4-H Judging

4. Anniversary Trip to Gatlinburg, TN

  

5. Year of the Farmer at the Indiana State Fair

6. Spreading the word of agriculture through Why I Farm and The Henningsens

See my struggle with where to start? There’s so much to choose from!

Help me out by sharing your vote in the comments. Or if you have any other topics you’d like me to cover, feel free to leave your ideas.

I look forward to your votes!

– Chelsea

A Generous and Giving Breed

Such a great post from my friends over at Sarah Sums It Up about the true passion and dedication that farmers have for what they do. Please give it a read and a like!

– BoilermakerAg

Sarah Sums It Up

By Katie Thomas Glick and Sarah Thomas

It was a chilly December Saturday on the farm. The barn lot was covered with snow and filled with several semis, but our family didn’t own all of them.  So, why were there so many semis parked in the snow covered barn lot? While many of you were listening to Christmas music and finishing up your shopping, our family was trying to finish harvest.  Yes, just because the seasons according to the weather change does not mean they have changed for the farmer.  Only a few of those semis belonged to our family, the others belonged to different farmers. Farmers who were so generous to give up their time and help our family.  This year was a bountiful harvest (the largest in our state’s history), but it was a wet harvest. We needed more space to store the corn and soybeans we grow…

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The Peterson Farm Bros’ Beef with Chipotle (Part 1)

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!

-Chelsea

The Peterson Farm Blog

By Greg Peterson

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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#FarmsMatter Family Night at Indy Indians Game – Ticket Winner!

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!

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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

Family Night with Indians

Light Through The Boston Marathon Darkness

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I saw a rainbow on the way home from work today.. and with the sadness today in Boston filling my mind, it helped remind me that no matter how dark of a storm comes through, there is always light after the rain.

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Even though there was so much unnecessary tragedy today, I couldn’t help but notice how many people sprung into action to help those in need! Thank you to all of you who helped the victims and are working to give them some light in their time of darkness!

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My thoughts and prayers are with all those involved and I hope they can make it through this darkness and still see that there is light in the world, even if a few clouds try to cover it up!
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***UPDATE: After posting this yesterday, it makes me so inspired that so many people are displaying the “light” mentality and are looking to overcome the darkness of yesterday! Of course, the sadness for all the victims is still very present, but I found several great stories and posts on social media of people supporting everyone involved and asking what they can do to help. Here are some links of uplifting stories and inspiring social media posts.

USA TODAY: Overwhelming Kindness Follows Boston Marathon Blast

USA TODAY: Former New England Patriot carries woman to safety after Boston Marathon explosion

CNN: Bostonians and others rush to support stranded visitors

Back To Her Roots: Confessions… 

Look For The Helpers

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So PROUD to be part of such a great country! #PrayForBoston

And The Winner Is….

I am excited to announce that the winner of the FREE Indy Indians baseball game tickets is…………….Amber J – @Lady_Bawss!!!!

True Random Number Service

List Randomizer

Here are the top 2 in random order:

  1. Amber J – Lady_Bawss
  2. Jay – Purduebass

Timestamp: 2012-06-11 21:05:27 UTC

 

THANKS to INDIANA SOYBEAN ALLIANCE and the INDIANA FAMILY OF FARMERS for providing the tickets and this great event!

See you all at the ball park!

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