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Happy 80th Birthday, FFA Jacket!

Twas the night before Christmas (National FFA Convention), when all through the house (hotel), not a creature was stirring…… (wait…no. that doesn’t work either… who am I kidding, the kids are too excited to sleep!)

Come daylight, (probably as you’re reading this,) more than 50,000 FFA students from across America will be flocking to the Convention Center in Louisville, KY for the 86th National FFA Convention & Expo! All wearing the exact. same. thing. You know…those blue jackets!

If you aren’t familiar with the story behind these jackets, there’s a lot more to them than just corduroy and gold thread!

According to the National FFA Timeline and other sources, the jackets were originally created to be worn by the Fredericktown Band of the Fredericktown FFA Chapter, and soon the jackets caught on with other chapters. The Official FFA Jacket was adopted in 1933 as the Organization’s Official Dress and now serves as a symbol of professionalism and pride. For more on the history of the FFA Jacket, check out “Breaking Out The Blue Jackets”.

As a former FFA member, I know how proud these students are to represent their states and chapters by wearing this jacket. It shows their community involvement, leadership, and most importantly, their passion for agriculture.

And as I noticed while reading the Convention program booklet, this year the National FFA Organization is celebrating 80 years of the FFA jacket!

Wow! That is 80 years worth of students becoming great leaders through FFA, and based on the sheer number of students attending Convention this year, there are no signs of slowing down!

So Happy 80th Birthday, FFA Jacket! You sure do look good for your age! 🙂

Celebrating 80 Years Of The FFA Jacket

Graphic by BoilermakerAg.com – please give proper photo credits if shared and do not crop out logo. Thank you – share away!

See you at Convention!

Do you remember getting your FFA jacket?

Indiana Vino Adventure: Dinner

Here it is, finally!! The 3rd and final leg of our Marion County Farm Bureau Wine Tour!

I am extremely sorry for the delay on this, but with the last minute Indians Ticket Give-a-way, filming a TV commercial at work, 2 friend’s weddings and planning for my class reunion coming up in 2 weeks, I’ve been a little swamped to say the least!

But I didn’t want to leave you hanging, so here is the final part of our journey: Dinner! Better late than never right? (Please say yes so I don’t feel as bad for being so late on this).

Since it’s been a little while since Part 1:Breakfast and Part 2:Lunch, you might want to go back read them for a little refresher if needed.

After we left lunch at Oliver Winery, we headed to our last three wineries and then dinner! We traveled to Brown County Winery, Butler Winery and Mallow Run Winery to round out our vino-filled day.

Stop #3 – Brown County Winery!

Brown County Winery was such a cool place. I have been to their shop in downtown Nashville (IN) for a tasting before and I loved their Blackberry Wine and their Vista Red Wine! But unfortunately during this visit, I got a little car sick on the ride down there (don’t worry I didn’t physically get sick) so I didn’t feel like tasting the wine – but I did still get my souvenir! I got a Wine Cork Cage that was shaped like a wine glass!

I am very excited to add this to my decorations in my apartment!

After everyone finished tasting, we headed to Butler Winery for our next stop! I had never been to Butler Winery before but it was a pretty cool little place!

Did You Know? – You can’t call a Port Wine “Port” unless it’s made in Portugal, just like you can’t call sparkling wine “Champagne” unless it’s made in France!

Neat, huh? I never knew that before! If only I would have been able to take the Wine Appreciation Class at Purdue, I might have been better prepared for all of this wine trivia! Haha

Have any of you ever taken the Wine Appreciation Class at Purdue? I’m not joking, it’s a real class. 🙂

Thankfully, I felt better at Butler Winery and did try some of their wines.

My favorite was their Indiana Red! Just like its description, it’s a “fruity red wine perfect for picnics. If you are serving a meal & aren’t sure if you have dry wine drinkers or sweet wine drinkers, but you want to have a red, pick this one.”

Plus, the best part, its only $11.95! Great deal if you ask me!

By this point I couldn’t believe that our day was going by so quickly! I wish we could have stayed a little longer at each place, but we had to stay on schedule. But the little tease of a visit just gives me more incentive to go back later!

So after Butler Winery, we were on the road to our final destination – Mallow Run in Bargersville, IN.

This was one of my favorite stops of the day. It’s just such a neat place! Their tasting room is a remodeled barn that is beautiful inside and out, and they have a great patio outside with tables and chairs which allow you to enjoy the weather as you enjoy your wine.

They also have music and pizza for people who want to stay for nightly entertainment! I definitely want to go back again and stay for their events.

As far as their wine, all of it was awesome. Hands down. But if I had to pick a favorite, I LOVED their Picnic White! I ended up choosing that one as my “economic impact” and purchased a bottle as my souvenir.

The group at Mallow Run Winery! Having fun, obviously! 🙂

WHEW! Are you guys as worn out as I am after all of this fun? After a long but fun-filled day, our wine tour had finally come to an end. We had such a great time! I loved getting to tour several Indiana wineries, trying new wine, and building friendships and memories with my fellow Farm Bureau members.

I can’t wait to go back to some of these wineries and take my friends and family there.

THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO HELPED MAKE THIS DAY POSSIBLE!

If you have any questions about wine, our trip, or if you would like to learn more about becoming Marion County Farm Bureau member (which you totally should because you get to do cool things like this!)  I would be happy to share any information I have!

Beef is red, right?

As I was doing my regular check of the news and social media this morning, I came across an article on “Pink Slime.”  This is has been a viral topic in the news and social media which has been scaring consumers into boycotting beef, even though it is perfectly safe and we have been consuming it for over 20 years with no problems to anyone’s health or safety.

But that’s a whole separate topic… what I was most concerned about was a comment below the article from some reader which read:

“…The next thing that should be looked at is the red dye that is put on meat products either sent to grocery stores or put on by the grocery store to make the meat appear fresh. Real beef steak is not “red” it is grey. It is time to start providing consumers with the “real products” instead of “doctored” products…”

GREY! SERIOUSLY? I was instantly flabbergasted. I couldn’t believe that this person legitimately thought that steak meat was grey.

With all due respect sir, it’s called “red meat” for a reason.

WHY IS BEEF CALLED A “RED” MEAT?
Oxygen is delivered to muscles by the red cells in the blood. One of the proteins in meat, myoglobin, holds the oxygen in the muscle. The amount of myoglobin in animal muscles determines the color of meat. Beef is called a “red” meat because it contains more myoglobin than chicken or fish. Other “red” meats are veal, lamb, and pork.

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There is no “dye” which is used to make meat red. They only way it can look grey is if it sits out for a few days, is cooked, or is vacuum sealed which removes the oxygen. But even then, when you re-expose the meat to oxygen, it will return to its red color within a few minutes.

But this blog isn’t even about that “red vs. grey” subject. Most importantly, I’m using this as an example to highlight the serious DISCONNECT that most consumers have with the agricultural industry.

A large percentage of the public doesn’t even know where their food comes from. They just assume that it shows up magically in their grocery store. That is why they get so scared when media or anti-industry groups come out with dramatic or falsified articles regarding food or agriculture.

Being that I am an agricultural communications graduate, this is one of my most passionate topics. As an industry, we need to continue working to increase the public’s awareness of how things are produced. There have been a lot of programs started to help fix this disconnect such as agri-tourism businesses, farm to fork tours and Ag In the Classroom, but we still need to work harder to share our stories.

We need to work to create a clear line of communication and understanding between the public and our industry so that they can be informed to make educated choices about the food they eat.

How do you help share your agricultural story?

Send me a link to your “Ag-Story” and I will put a list together to post in a future blog. 

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