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Farmland: Meet America’s Next Generation of Farmers

Did you know that fewer than 1 percent of our population of 317 million are farmers? At one time, it was common for everyone to grow their own food. But with the immense amount of growth of our country has experienced, most Americans are now five generations removed from the farm. This means less people growing our food, and less land to grow it on, but that doesn’t mean there is any less care that goes into it.

Being five generations removed from the farm, a huge disconnect has developed between the farmer and the consumer. So much so, in some cases, that people couldn’t even tell you where their food comes from aside from in the grocery store. When in reality, about 90 percent of the food grown in America comes from a family farm.

It really saddens and frustrates me to see this happen, which is one of the reasons why I became an ag communicator. One of my greatest passions is helping to educate people where their food comes from and how it’s grown. But with anti-ag groups presenting misinformation, it’s sometimes hard to give people a firsthand look into what it is REALLY like on the farms across America. That is why I am so excited to share with you the new documentary, Farmland!

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Released in theaters today, Farmland lets you step inside the world of farming and take an intimate look at the lives of farmers and ranchers in their ‘20s, all of whom are now responsible for running their farm and producing the food we all depend on.

As the trailer said, “When people see farmers, they think GMOs, organic, certified organic, all natural, treading an animal humanely” and all of the other buzz words that the media reports on, but what they don’t think about is that the farmer growing their food is a regular person just like you and me. And farming isn’t just a job to them, it’s their livelihood. Their lives depend on ensuring that their crops and/or livestock are healthy or nutritious. Not only because they feed them to their own family, but because hundreds and thousands of people are depending on them. To the outside eye, making sure that happens might look easy.  But from firsthand experience, I can tell you that farming is anything but.

“We put so much time and so much effort into making something happen, when it finally does happen, we’re pretty proud of it.” – Farmland.

Thanks to the Indiana Soybean Alliance, the Indiana Farm Bureau, and BASF, I had the opportunity to attend an advanced screening of the movie and I absolutely loved it! I’m not sure if it was because it was such a great representation of the different areas of farming and what all it takes to be grow the food we all depend on, or because of how proud it made me feel to be a part of agriculture, but I truly hope that everyone takes the time to watch it! (Oh and maybe bring a tissue just in case, as I may have gotten a little tear-y eyed at the end.)

Farmland and meeting Leighton Cooley

We got to meet one of the farmers from the movie, Leighton Cooley! A fourth generation poultry farmer, Leighton operates four farms in georgia with his father. In addition to chickens, he also has a cow-calf operation and grows hay. Leighton and his wife have two sons.

Farmland will be released in select theaters across the country starting TODAY! Please check www.FarmlandFilm.com for screening dates and locations. In Indiana, it will be showing at the Landmark Keystone Theater in Indianapolis.

If you don’t see a theater near you, their Facebook page said to send them a message with your email address and they’ll add you to the list to receive updates about the digital download and DVD release of the film.

Please do me, and yourself, a favor and go see this film! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Chelsea

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Honoring Farmers with #WhyIFarm

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:

Why I Farm: Bryon Coffman from Becks Hybrids on Vimeo.

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!

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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.

#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

Family Night with Indiana’s Family of Farmers at Victory Field: TICKET GIVE-A-WAY!

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!

Last year's Family Night with Indiana Family of Farmers with @bekah102

Last year’s Family Night with Indiana Family of Farmers with @bekah102

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!

Here is a map of the field and where to find us in the Coors Light Corner!

Here is a map of the field and where to find us in the 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:

  1. 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!

A few more of my blogger friends have chances for you to win too so be sure to check them out: Indy with Kids,  Family Fun in the CitySolid Gold Eats and Katie UnScripted.

Want to know more about Indiana’s Family of Farmers? Check out their websiteblogFacebook page or Twitter account to learn about how they’re making a difference promoting agriculture!

During Family Night we will be using the hashtag: #FarmsMatter so be sure to follow @FamilyOfFarmers on Twitter too!

Hope you can join me at the game!! Best of Luck!

These could be your seats!

Hope you can join me at the game!! Best of Luck!

~Chelsea

Free Family Event: Earth Day Indiana Festival

In honor of Earth Day, there are several activities happening around Indianapolis! Events like these are great ways to get the whole family involved and explore new ways to make our planet a better place.

One exciting event is the Earth Day Indiana Festival on Saturday April 27 in downtown Indy. This is a free outdoor festival with over 130 environmental and conservation exhibits, special activities for the kids, great music and wonderful food.

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Here is a photo of some of the exhibitors and visitors at last year’s Earth Day Indiana. You can see the whole slideshow on their website.

The festival is being held at the White River State Park and goes from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

With over 130 exhibits there’s going to be a lot to see so I wanted to point out a few neat booths that you won’t want to miss.

Indiana’s Family of Farmers – a proud sponsor of Earth Day Indiana – will have two booths at the event. Now you might be wandering, what are a group of farmers doing at Earth Day? Well, a famer’s livelihood depends on the land so they also have to be good environmentalists to make sure their fields last from year to year. Indiana’s farm families work hard to be good stewards of our land and they want to help promote taking care of the soil.

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The first Indiana Family of Farmers booth will be in Exhibit Tent D – booth 93 with their popular “Wheel of Ag” encouraging visitors to learn more about being good stewards of the land. A variety of farm families from across the state will also be at the booth to answer questions about their farms.

Land conservation is becoming more and more important and farmers are doing a lot of great things to preserve their soil. Management practices like no-till farming, using cover crops, and preserving waterways and wildlife buffers. Be sure to stop by the Indiana Family of Farmers booth to learn more!

IFOF EarthDayBadge

The second Family Of Farmers booth will be in the Children’s Tent – booth 122 and will help kids plant popcorn seeds in biodegradable CowPots to celebrate the “Year of Popcorn” at the 2013 Indiana State Fair.

Indiana is the number two state in popcorn production in the U.S. and Indiana Family of Farmers wants to help share all of the cool facts about popcorn.

All of these activities sound so fun! So be sure to mark Earth Day Indiana Festival on your calendar and get the kids ready for a day full of fun and learning!

And if you’re up for an extra challenge, as you visit the Indiana Family of Farmers booths, share what you learn about conservation and agriculture on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter by tagging @FamilyofFarmers and using the hashtag #FarmsMatter.

Hope to see you at the festival on Saturday!

~Chelsea

IFOF Ambassador

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