09 October 2007

Support Your Local Pork Producers....

... Because everything is better with Bacon!

It's October and it's National Pork Month. All this month listen during The Noon Show and I'll ask one question that has to do with Pork (some way, shape or form) and you can win The Illinois Pork Producers Association "Celebrating 60 Years of Service to the Pork Industry" Cookbook as well as a Gift Certificate for a Pork Product all courtesy of the Illinois Pork Producers Association.

Here are some fun facts about pork....

** Due to its similarity to human skin, pig skin is used to treat burns in humans....

** Pigs are found on every continent except Antarctica

** Pork is the world's most widely eaten meat.

** The world's largest hog was "Big Bill"... Weighing it at more than two tons, he was 5 feet tall and 9 feet long... He was a Poland China.

** A female pig that has not had babies is called a Gilt.

** A female pig that has had a litter of piglets is called a Sow.

** Since 1990, pork has become 31% leaner.

** All of these products are made from pig byproducts: Glue, Paint Brushes, Cosmetics and Linoleum.

Also, this month we're going to talk to a few Pork Producers throughout the area that are doing remarkable things. Today we talked to Steve Ringger who works for United Feeds and he and his three brothers own Gridley Meats. His family has stepped up and raised the bar for producers and people involved in agriculture. Two of Steve's brothers still own and operate a 600 sow farrow to finish operation. Here is where the raising the bar comes in to play... Steve and his brothers are taking their cull hogs and light hogs and slaughtering them in their meat locker and in return taking the processed ground pork and sausage and donating it to the Midwest Food Bank. With Steve's connections through the feed and livestock community he has arranged for several pork producers to pledge their cull and light hogs (and Gridley Meats will cover the processing) and the finished product (the ground pork and sausage) is given to Midwest Food Bank. As it is now, the Midwest Food Bank is receiving between 3,000 and 4,000 pounds of pork products a month courtesy of Gridley Meats.

Kudos to the Ringger family and stay tuned for more excellence in agriculture!

For more information email: ag@1290wirl.com

Until next time... Remember to support your local pork producers because everything IS better with bacon!!!

08 October 2007

Weekend Fun...

This past weekend... Courtney Lynne (Program Director and Afternoons on WIRL) and myself (The Ag Chick)... put us together and you get "The WIRL Girls"... traveled West to take part in the first weekend of the Spoon River Drive. We took the WIRL Van on an adventure like it's never been before! Cranking the Classic Country and armed with a pair of tickets to see The Oakridge Boys we traveled the hills of the Spoon River Drive. What an experience. I guess you could say we traveled it "backwards". We started at the Southern Tip of the Spoon River Drive and then worked our way back north. We went to Lewistown, Ipava, Marietta and then we hit Smithfield... Apparently people forgot to forewarn us that it is one of the "hot tickets" to the Drive. Courtney and I no sooner got out of the van and this couple came up to me and was telling me how the station was her favorite and she said the "secret word" to win the tickets. It was pretty cool. Okay, back to the drive adventures... After almost being killed by a car... We made our way up to London Mills... What a mess that was! It took us almost an hour to get in to London Mills. Apparently... another blip on the map that's the "hot spot" of the Spoon River Drive.

I'd be curious to know how much added revenue those little towns get from all the added traffic. It has to be a huge source of income to their towns and villages. I think next week we may venture to Canton and just set up shop and let them come to us!

The rest of the weekend wasn't too out of control... Friday was a lot of fun. Courtney and I went and saw The Heartbreak Kid (it was absolutely horrible... extremely disappointed). Then I headed over to Christy's in Washington to hang with some co-workers.

Sunday was little Collin's 4th birthday... Man I feel old. There is such a generational gap between all of us... The "cousins" are lined up like this.. Me - 26, Kristina - 22, Derek - 19 and Collin - 4... It is almost like he's more of a nephew than a cousin. Especially since I have a Goddaughter that is soon to be 7 and a Godson that's 4 (they are my cousins kids on my mom's side of the family's). Anyway, it seems like just yesterday he was a tiny baby and I was driving home from WIU to come and see him because he is just that cute. There is a funny story about the birthday party yesterday though... Apparently Collin is a HUGE fan of the Disney movie Cars. Collin loves the cactus' that are in the movie... So I asked what to get him for his birthday... So I got him two cactus'... Everyone at the birthday party couldn't figure out why I would buy him cactus'. However Miss Meghan has rocked the birthday again... He loved it (second year in a row, btw). I generally like getting him loud and noisy educational toys... Just to irritate his parents.. (that would be the loud and noisy... NOT the educational aspect of the toys).

Okay enough for now.. I need to get my work finished before the show.


A whole new lifestyle... You may have thought I was going to talk about some of my travels, which indeed I am... But a different kind. More of the start of a personal journey and where I'm headed.

As most of you know I started as the Agri-Business Director in May of this year.... I think my official first day was May 18th.... But those are just details... Anyway -- It's been a whole new world for me..

I hit the ground running this Spring.... What a lifestyle adjustment this has been. I've always been very much a night owl and I've had to completely turn my schedule around. I have to be at work by 4:30 every morning. So my late night and early mornings have been changed to early nights and very early mornings. It's been a good change. I've become more mindful of the things that surround me. I have noticed some personal changes more so than anything. I started in this journey kind of timid and unsure of myself. Through a lot of help and guidance and encouragement from my friends, my family, my coworkers... I've taken that timid more reserved person who isn't afraid to share her opinion... Who isn't afraid to take the jump and build her wings on the way down. I guess I'm finding my way now.

So here is the adventure at hand... New job, Lifestyle changes, New adventures in life... It will all be here... for you to read and even you can comment on what's going on. I forewarn you... Some posts may be political.... some may lean towards hot topics in the Agriculture world and if you know me... as always... They will be rather opinionated...