31 December 2008

Another List?

Not so much. I'm not a big countdown kinda girl.. So I'm going to just write some random thoughts. You know - I try to blog at least once a week.. I really suck at it - But I'm doing much better in the last three months of '08 then I did in all of '07 and the first nine of '08. So that's a plus, right?! As I think about the past year - I am curious as to where it has gone. It seems like just yesterday I was heading to New Orleans for AFBF last January.. when in fact I'm gearing up for another AFBF Convention - This time in San Antonio, TX.

We were talking this morning about how everyone resolves to lose weight for the coming year... I pose the question - does that set us up for failure? Do we hold our sights too high and then become discouraged and quit? I wonder if reverse psychology would work.. What if we vowed to eat crappier foods... Would that result in us eating healthier... I doubt it. But - I think we could be more successful if we made conservative goals for the next year. For example - I resolve to eat at better times and healthier meals. My schedule doesn't always allow for those things to happen - so I will do my best.

My biggest goal for 2009 - Become more patient. Learn to bite my tongue instead of be quick to respond. I think sometimes people get the wrong impression of me. I like to be correct. Sometimes that comes off abrasive. But, I really am a nice girl, I promise!

2008 Has been an incredible year... Professionally - I have been able to travel to great places and learn new things. I have witness first hand "The Tale of Two Cities" if you will... From record high commodity and oil prices - to a market that has turned a complete 180. High input costs, bad weather and a challenging planting, growing and harvest season. But yet - what did we see? Still - a phenomenal harvest. It is a testament to how successful and how amazing the Agriculture Industry is. As 2008 comes to a close - I am thankful for the opportunity to really enjoy what I do - the opportunity to connect with some really amazing people and the ability to continue my education.

This year has been a roller coaster of emotions personally. I lost two very dear members of my family. My Uncle Ducky this past summer and my Aunt Elise a few weeks ago. Not to mention I nearly lost one of my cousins this summer. It was Father's Day when I was on the phone with my dad and I overheard my mom talking to Aunt Diane. It was a day that the rest of us will never forget. Kristina was in a car accident and was being Life Flighted to OSF. That week following Kristina's accident was incredible for so many reasons. I saw the true strength and meaning of the word family. My aunt and my mom's faith was so incredible. Their actions and faith truly proved their power of prayer (not to mention everyone who prayed for Kristina's recovery). Unfortunately, we sometimes don't appreciate a life as much as we should until it is almost lost. A couple of days later the newest edition to the Grebner family came into this world. We welcomed Sophia Grace with open arms. Knowing Kristina was on her way to recovery and we were bringing home a new baby to love and hold - I reminded myself how truly lucky I am. No matter how much we argue or disagree or how little we see them... Our family is unique and I am blessed to have them. It's even been an interesting year in the realm of dating.. There was Sam and then there was Peter. Both of which where failed relationships. But both provided insight and life lessons that are irreplaceable.

Things have slowed down a little bit around the Holidays - but January, February and March are filling up so quickly. Which leads to my final "resolution" for 2009. To not forget to stop and smell the roses. Life is too short.

In closing - I'll leave you with my favorite Irish Blessing...

....“May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be ever at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face and the rain fall softly on your fields. And until we meet again, May God hold you in the hollow of his hand.”

Until next year...

Here's wishing you a Happy and Prosperous 2009.... God Bless.

29 December 2008

Breathing a *sigh* of relief...

Holidays are always stressful... And quite honestly this year was no exception. I try to remember the "Reason for the Season" but sometimes, the drama of the whole situation just gets overwhelming.

When I take a step back and look at everything from outside the box - I remember the reasons (no matter how much someone may be irritating me at the time) I have such a dynamic and incredible family. We had a small gathering Christmas Day with my Mom's side of the family... Grandma and Grandpa Faucon, Aunt Lorie and Uncle Todd, Mom, Dad, Mason and a girl that works with my mom at the hospital... Heather. It wasn't all my mom's family - but it was the fact that we are all together in spirit. We all remember how much we loved the big Christmas Day at my Grandma Faucon's. The big meal, the mounds of presents and Uncle Phil coming home. I miss those days - but quite frankly... the small things are so nice, too. As we've grown up - it's more about the fellowship and family and friendships and how thankful and lucky we are to have all of those.

This year was the first time we've had a little one to open presents from Santa on Christmas morning in years. Our friend, Mason, needed a place to stay.. and as my mom always does - she opens her heart and her door to all. So early Thursday morning, I drove out to the house - made sure all the presents were in place and crawled in bed with Mason to tell him Santa had been here and it was time to open presents. How fun it was! I had a nice surprise, too... My mom and dad got me a TomTom (I think it is because they're tired of me always grabbing theirs when I am traveling).

Saturday was a different story.. My dad's family is a different breed. The dynamic between family members is so different than I am used to with my mom's side. I'm not saying that as it is a bad thing - they're just all so different. My Uncle Stevie and Aunt Sandy live in Aurora - and they really enjoy having Christmas (I think it's because Uncle Steve gets to cook)... But oh man - I have no clue how they do it... The only way I can get through it all is with a bottle of wine and hopes that it is all over soon.. Now I don't say that to be catty or hateful... But it seems like everything with some members of my dad's family is a chore. One of my younger cousins came into the house with a chip on his shoulder and left with a bigger one. I guess I am still under the philosophy - life isn't that bad - as long as you have a roof over your head, a nice meal at your table and great people to spend your life with. I was in utter shock when he came in the door to do nothing but complain... about everything. I kept thinking (and reminding him) - it is Christmas - it is one time a year we all get to spend time together - and sadly enough - there aren't a lot left. But what should I expect with a 21 year old that knows everything?!

Dinner was fabulous - everyone brought their specialty - and when you have a family filled with food allergies it can make dinner difficult - but everyone was accommodated and the food was amazing! When I look back on the day - the only thing that really bothers me - is the fact that we don't all sit around and talk. I love that part of the holidays.. Sitting with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine laughing and sharing stories. It is the fellowship that the holidays are truly about.. A gentle reminder of how God loved us all so much he gave His only Son. That is truly the reason for the season.

I wish more people (myself included) would remember that... That we were blessed with one family - and no matter how much we like or dislike them... we always should love them.

I hope you had a Merry Christmas and will have a safe New Year's. Here is to an even better 2009.


23 December 2008

Dreaming With My Eyes Wide Open

I haven't sat down in ages to blog. The last few times I have started... then stopped.. then started again. I just haven't found the right thing to talk about. Today is no different... I'm going to start with a story... Hopefully - I'll make a point... at some point.

I was having a conversation with someone earlier today. He and I happened to be discussing what I wanted out of life. What my dreams and aspirations were. I had to stop and think about what I really wanted out of life. I know what I do every day - and how much I truly do love my job... But I also know how much those dreams and goals have changed over the years. I remember the dreams I had as a child - I had lofty goals of changing the world. Making it a better place to raise my children and my children to raise their children. I reverted back to what my mother used to tell me growing up "leave it nicer than how you found it". That is something that has always stuck in my mind.

As I have aged - that dream has changed and morphed into something different and it continues to change every day. I've often times said I wake up every morning excited about going to work. How amazing is this - I get the opportunity to educate a society that hasn't a clue about the importance of Agriculture in their daily lives. You know - from that Christmas Ham or Turkey (or Tur-Duk-En if you're some people) this industry has its sticky hands in everything we eat and use. Think about it, whether it is that hideous Christmas sweater that is inevitable for every Holiday party or the food we consume, the beverages we drink, the fuel we use to drive from point A to point B - their roots are found in this incredible industry of Agriculture.

So you may be wondering where all this is going - as I grow older - I think about what I want in the future. As I said in my conversation earlier - my goals as a 27 (nearly 28) year old woman... I want to have a family... I want to raise my children with the same determination, work ethic, admiration as I was raised. I want my children to have the same respect and admiration I have for the men and women across this country that make it their business taking care of others. You know who I am referring to - the soldiers that protect America, the farmers that feed a growing world, the doctors and nurses that give their time to heal... I could go on forever. But most of all, I want my children some day to appreciate and hold true the dreams my great-grandfather, my grandfather and my dad had and lived... I want my children to continue the education of society.

I guess what I am saying is - don't lose sight of what your dreams once were... No matter if they've been the same since you were a kid or they've changed over the years... They're always rooted in you somewhere. (and for some of us.. they're rooted in Agriculture... who knew!?)

12 November 2008

Kansas City Here I Come...

Oh.. Wait - I'm here already. Check out the view from my room! It's the Kansas City WWII Memorial. Holy cow it's been a long time since I've blogged. But it's really been crazy. Last week we wrapped up our 1st Farm Credit Services Harvest Tour, then it was an incredible Election Day (nothing like being able to take part in history first hand), and then to wrap things up, my first "real" Illinois Ag Leadership Foundation "class". It was held in the Quad Cities at the John Deere World Headquarters. What an incredible experience. I am so excited to be able to take part in this program. I will have a lot to talk about with that program over the next two years - so I won't bore you with all the details today.

I am not quite sure - but all the morning guys I work with (Greg, Danny and Dan) keep singing "Kansas City Here I Come" every morning preceeding my morning updates. It's very entertaining to hear all of them singing - yet somewhat scary at the same time. I may need to send them some new material.

So you may be wondering why I am in Kansas City. I thought I'd take some time to explain what goes on here so you don't think I'm just partying all the time. And there is plenty of that, too, but there is a lot of business that goes on over the next few days.

So - as your Farm Broadcaster I am a member of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting and every year many of us converge on Kansas City to learn about new things in Agriculture... From "Trade Talk" which is Thursday to the Presidents Banquet (aka roast) on Friday Night... There are numerous new things we take back from the sessions. On today's show you will hear from Cindy Cunningham with the National Pork Board about a program they are sponsoring Friday afternoon. All in all - it's a lot of work but it's very interesting and educational.

That's all the time I have for now - Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer is about to speak with his opening comments. I'll talk to ya'll on the radio..


23 October 2008

1st Farm Credit Services Harvest Tour

Yep - you read that right. Mike and I are headed to another 1st FCS Harvest Tour stop today and I'm blogging via my Blackberry. The next few stops are different than some of the ones we've done in the past. Don't get me wrong - those have been great, too. We love going to the elevators. Getting outside with the people hauling in the grain, the guys and gals that bust their rears this time of year working in and around the elevator and especially being able to be out with the guys from 1st FCS. It's always interesting to hear from Joe Springer about the financials and how our faltering economy is effecting the agriculture industry. We also get the chance to talk to Ryan Voorhees about Crop Insurance and he's always knowledgeable about what deadlines are coming up - what we need to remember for next year and the best way to plan for each of our specific needs for our own operations. So, again we thank 1st Farm Credit Services for their continued sponsorship of our Harvest Tour.

Back to today's stop. We're headed over to Shirley (hello) to visit with Matt and Connie Hughes. Matt is an At-Large Board Member of the Illinois Soybean Association. Mike and I have lunch in the back of the van (which smells so, so good) and we're going to meet them in the field. Where Connie is combining and Matt is hauling and dumping grain. You often times hear Matt on our program discussing some of the numerous things going on in the soybean industry or even talking to us about how important technology (the same technology that is allowing me to blog while we're traveling) is becoming to an always advancing industry.

Remote stops like these allow for us to recognize some of the best of the best in the industry. Today that's Matt and Connie Hughes of Shirley, IL.

Make sure you tune into The Noon Show on Classic Country 1290 WIRL and you can find out why we think they are so deserving.

Next week we'll be in Emden at the Kleinschmidt's.

A couple of thank you's - again... 1st Farm Credit Services for their sponsorship of the Harvest Tour and to Basta EastPort for providing such awesome lunches for our farmers! Here's to a continued safe and bountiful harvest for all of our listeners.

We'll talk to you on the radio.

All Our Blessings -
The Ag Chick

17 October 2008

Harvest Tour

Mike and I are on the road today. 1st Farm Credit Services Harvest Tour - today we're in Varna at Farmer's Grain Co-op. You often times hear me talk about how much I love this time of year. I think there are several reasons for it...

First - you see the reward for a very hard years work. Yes, the Spring and Fall are the busy times, but it takes a lot of planning to get through those times of year. From selection of seed, chemical application and creating a marketing strategy to allow for a profitable operation. Another thing I love is how it takes so many people coming together to do it all. It's never just one person that does it all. It takes all kinds to make it work.

When you see the drivers - you know they are part of a support staff or family. The women bringing lunches in the field. The people that drive the semi's, the tractors and even the transport vehicles. Sometimes they don't get enough credit. Everyone has to sacrifice something. Long days and nights, stressful months and sometimes nights where you don't get to kiss the kids good night. But you never hear anyone complain.

Then there are the people who work at the elevator. The managers, the girls in the office and the guys outside working with the grain. Everyone is always helpful, kind and generally have a smile on their face. They are a very important part of the harvest season, too.

Today we get to give back a little and recognize all the people that make harvest as easy as possible. For all their hard work, their patience and dedication. So - we're serving lunch and doing my show from 11AM to 1PM. Stop by and see us!

Thanks to 1st Farm Credit for sponsoring our Harvest Tour and thanks to all of the friends we've made along the way. Mike and I always enjoy getting to know you and all your visits. We truly do enjoy it. I suppose I should go - because we just arrived in Varna.


Meghan "The Ag Chick"

16 October 2008

More Pork?

On the heels of last nights debate and the already heated discussion this morning about McCain Vs. Obama... And the Oprah special that aired on Tuesday about Where the Food We Eat Comes From and the potential of Proposition 2 to be passed in the General Election in California... I have no clue where I even want to start. And if I want to be overly opinionated or keep my opinion rather moderate...

So I think today we're going to talk about the Proposition 2 on California's ballot... Now - you may be wondering why something on California's ballot is a concern for a farm broadcaster from Central Illinois. Here is what Proposition 2 is:

This Act shall be known and may be cited as the
Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act.

The purpose of this Act is to prohibit the cruel
confinement of farm animals in a manner that does not allow them to tum around
freely, lie down, stand up, and fully extend their limbs.

Chapter 13.8 (commencing with
Section 25990) is added to Division 20 of the Health and Safety Code, to

25990. PROIlIllITIONS.- In addition to
other applicable provisions of law, a person
shall not tether or confine any
covered animal, on a farm, for all or the majority of any day, in a manner that
prevents such animal from:
(a) Lying down, standing up, and fully extending
his or her limbs; and
(b) Turning around freely.

2599 I. DEFINITIONS.- For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms
have the following meanings:
(a) "Calf raised for veal" means any calf of the
bovine species kept for the
purpose of producing the food product described
as veal.
(b) "Covered animal" means any pig during pregnancy, calf raised for
veal, or
egg-laying hen who is kept on a farm.
(c) "Egg-laying hen" means
any female domesticated" chicken, turkey, duck,
goose, or guinea fowl kept
for the purpose of egg production.
(d) "Enclosure" means any cage, crate, or
other structure (including what is
commonly described as a "gestation crate"
for pigs; a "veal crate" for calves;
or a "battery cage" for egg-laying hens)
used to confine a covered animal.
(c) "Farm" means the land, building,
support facilities, and other equipment that
are wholly or partially used
for the commercial production of animals or
animal products used for food or
fiber; and docs not include live animal
(b) "Fully extending his
or her limbs" means fully extending all limbs without
touching the side of an
enclosure, including, in the case of egg-laying hens,
fully spreading both
wings without touching the side of an enclosure or other
(I) "Person" means any individual, finn , partnership, joint venture,
limited liability company, corporation , estate, trust,
receiver, or syndicate.
(g) "Pig during pregnancy" means any pregnant pig of
the porcine species kept
for the primary purpose of breeding.
(h) "Turning
around freely" means turning in a complete circle without any
including a tether, and without touching the side of an enclosure.

That being said - how does this affect Central Illinois agriculture? Actually - it doesn't just effect animal agriculture here... It could potentially effect how animals are raised all over the United States. By allowing a statute like this to be passed in one states - it opens a door to waves of these type laws to come in and take action and mandate how animals are being raised. Now I'm not saying we shouldn't care how or where are animals are grown. I am saying that these crates and cages for a reason - to raise healthy animals for American consumers to enjoy.

Here are some facts that the proponents of Prop 2 don't want you (the consumer) to know:

  1. This risky, dangerous, and costly ballot measure, sponsored by a well-funded, Washington, DC-based special interest group, has many negative, dangerous and expensive consequences for California. The measure jeopardizes our food safety and public health, putting us at greater risk for Salmonella and Avian Flu outbreaks; wipes out Californians’ access to locally grown, fresh eggs, and harms consumers by driving up prices at grocery stores and restaurants and creating a dependency on eggs shipped from other states and Mexico.
  2. Proposition 2 bans almost all current modern and safe housing systems for egg-laying hens on California’s egg farms; wiping out almost all modern egg production in the state. This dangerous measure jeopardizes food safety and public health in California, forces a reliance on out-of-state and foreign egg imports, and drives up restaurant and consumer prices.
  3. California egg farmers, working with leading animal scientists have developed modern housing systems to ensure that fundamental components of sound animal care are provided to egg-laying hens: optimal feed, light, air, water, space and sanitation for egg-laying hens. As recently reported in the news media, California and the nation’s food safety is already at risk with infection, poisoning and even death caused by food borne illnesses such as Salmonella. Banning these modern systems forces Californians to rely almost solely on egg imports at increased risk for dangerous diseases like Salmonella, which can be transmitted in the feces of egg-laying hens and other animals. Because California’s modern housing systems effectively separate eggs from feces and other fluids, Salmonella contamination has been virtually eliminated in California eggs over the last decade.
  4. Modern housing systems were developed to protect egg-laying hens from direct contact with migratory and wild birds, which can carry life threatening Avian Influenza (Bird Flu), Exotic Newcastle Disease and other diseases that can be deadly to humans or hens. According to the World Health Organization, transmission of Bird Flu from poultry to humans results in “very serious disease” and “could mark the start of a global outbreak (a pandemic)”. Proposition 2 wipes out almost all modern egg production in California, despite the U.S. Animal Health Association’s assertion that moving flocks inside has “contributed significantly to the improvement in health of the nation’s chicken and turkey flocks”.
  5. The cost to comply is at least 76 percent higher than that for current modern housing systems. California farmers would be obligated to build 8 to 16 times more hen houses as currently are in use to comply with the new law’s requirements and maintain current egg production. Buying the land and securing the necessary capital is prohibitively expensive and economically infeasible, given that California farmers will be forced to compete with out-of-state and foreign egg producers, who won’t be subject to these onerous restrictions.
  6. Yes, the humane treatment of animals, including farm animals, is already required by California law. Enclosing animals without proper care and treatment is prohibited and California law requires that animals have adequate room to “exercise” themselves. The United Egg Producers Certified Animal Welfare Program, established and maintained by an independent scientific advisory board, mandates that certified egg farmers follow responsible, science-based modern production methods in the care of their hens.

Here are some facts about modern food production:

  1. Modern housing systems were developed using independent scientific guidelines to ensure the fundamental components of animal care – optimal feed, light, air, water, space and sanitation for egg-laying hens. Modern housing systems for egg-laying hens are designed so hens can groom, lie down, stand, stretch, turn around and engage in other natural behaviors. By arbitrarily altering space configurations, Proposition 2 ignores how this change could negatively impact these other essential animal care components.

I know this is a lot of "technical" lingo that may or may not make sense. But the gist of it is this: The passage of Proposition 2 will undermine animal welfare and food safety in California (which could potentially bleed over into animal agriculture through the nation). It threatens food safety (free range chickens have a higher chance of carrying Salmonella). That alone jeopardizes public safety. AND It will drive up the cost to the consumer (you know - the more expensive it is to produce and the fewer eggs supplied leads to higher prices).

Just some food for thought... for the day.

12 October 2008

A very long road trip...

So here I am on my way home from my very first trip to Door County, WI. Yes - I am blogging in the car - from my Blackberry. For those of you that don't know - if I'm not driving I don't ride very well on long trips. I have to constantly be doing something... And yep - you guessed it - it drives my mom CRAZY!!! Anyway - It is absolutely beautiful up here this time of year. I love the crisp air and the warm sun. It is a perfect combination to a great day to spend with my mom. She loves this stuff - I have grown an affinity to it, too. I'm glad she decided to share it with me!

Peter, my "man-friend" is originally from Plymouth, WI which we passed by on our way up here. It's been a lot of fun talking to him throughout the day... Knowing how much he loves it up here. From the first phone call walking in to Target @ 8 this morning (somewhere North of Milwaukee) from the minute we pulled in to Lambeau Field (an intimate feeling only Packer's fans cam appreciate) to the short conversation I had with him telling him we've begun our descent from Door Co (and him saying Door Co can breathe a little easier tonight knowing we won't be staying there and causing a ruckus over night) have all been great conversations. All reaffirmed why I like him so much and why I am so excited to see him in three weeks. Currently he is at FT. Benning (in GA) going through Airborne School. Hopefully he will make it through safe and sound this time - with no broken bones. He really has turned out to be a delightful surprise. I am not really sure where things are going - but sometimes we have to sit back and just enjoy the ride. I'm sure there will be more about him later... I'll keep ya up to date.

We're currently somewhere between Port Washington and Milwaukee. Heading to Trader Joe's! Yay for us! Today has been pretty amazing... Great scenery. I got some amazing Door County Coffee's, a killer deal at the Lane Closeout Sale (all my Christmas Cards for $10) and this amaaaaazing Corsica Bread (which I shouldn't be eating - but tomorrow or Monday) is a brand new day! Right? Right!

Have a great remainder of your weekend!

<3 ~ mkg

07 October 2008

October is here...

This is always my favorite time of year... I love October... The crisp fall air, the pumpkins, watching the combines work in the field (although I don't particularly enjoy what the grain dust does to my allergies) but all in all - harvest time is amazing. Here is a picture on my way home yesterday from a corn field that had an irrigation system and has since been harvested. Guess what else is this time of year... Well, October specifically... National Pork Month! I <3>

Here are some fun facts for National Pork Month (you can use this trivia to impress your friends).

  • During the war of 1812 a New York pork packer named Uncle Sam Wilson shipped a boatload of several hundred barrels of pork to U.S. troops. Each barrel was stamped U.S. on the docks and it was quickly said that the "U.S." stood for Uncle Sam, whose large shipment seemed to be enough to feed the entire Army. This is how "Uncle Sam" came to represent the U.S. Government.
  • The saying "living high on the hog" came from enlisted men in the U.S. Army who would receive shoulder and leg cuts of pork while officers received the top loin cuts. So "living high on the hog" came to mean living well.
  • The phrase "pork barrel" politics is derived from the pre-Civil War practice of distributing salt pork to slaves from huge barrels. By the 1870's, Congressmen were referring to regularly dipping into the "pork barrel" to obtain funds for popular projects in their home districts.
  • Harry Truman once said "No man should be allowed to be President who does not understand hogs."
  • It takes 74 million bushels of corn to feed Illinois market hogs each year.
  • There are 4.4 million pigs in Illinois.
  • The pork industry contributes $1.7 billion dollars to Illinois' economy each year.
  • DeKalb County leads the state of Illinois in pork production.

As you can see the "pig" is vital to not only American political history... but to our economies and our daily lives as well. Now, the question is... Have you hugged a pig today?

Remember to support your local pork producers - because everything is better with bacon!

We're still going strong with our 1st Farm Credit Services Harvest Tour... Later this week we'll be in Mason City at the Mason City elevator. Keep checking the website for all the details of where we're headed each week.


30 September 2008

Help Grow Your Soup?!

One of the things I love about my job is the fact that I get to see new things before they really "hit the masses". Help Your Soup Grow. Did you know you could do that? Well Campbell's Soup, The National FFA Organization and (get this) Grammy Award nominee Jewel have started a new campaign to reinvest in the future of Agriculture. Not only are they willing to donate to up to $250,000 for those that go to the website http://HelpGrowYourSoup.com . Pretty neat, huh?! All you have to do is click on that link and then click on the Red Barn. Pretty simple. And for each click on the Red Barn - Campbell's will donate $1 up to $250,000. I've even got it linked on our website.

This is from the Campbell's Website:


We all rely on farms and farmers to nourish our families. Now it's our turn to give back to them.

As part of our corporate mission to nourish people's lives everywhere, every day, Campbell Soup Company is committed to supporting the farmers that have provided the wholesome ingredients for Campbell's® condensed soups for nearly 110 years. Through a partnership with the National FFA Organization, which is dedicated to developing our next generation of leaders through agricultural education, Campbell has committed a quarter of a million dollars to help support the future of American farming.

Join us as we help good things grow: Our Food. Our Farms. Our Future.

The other part of this program is the FFA Alumni is teaming up with the National FFA Organization and Campbell's to restore old barns across the United States. Why? Because Red Barns are iconic and represent America's Farmers. So they've decided to restore historic barns and there's even been a restoration here in Illinois. To see that restoration - click HERE. In my opinion - not only is Campbell's investing in the future of American Agriculture.. They are also preserving the thought and the history of what Agriculture means to us...

We'll have more on the Help Grow Your Soup Campaign later this week... check back to our website http://ag.1290wirl.com!


29 September 2008

Weekend Update

As you know - I mentioned last week Amos Moses was going to his forever home. I was ready for this... What I was not ready for - is proceeding to cry like a baby! To make matters worse... My mom was at the house with me - and we hardly got past the introductions and she was crying. Hrmm.. SO much for her not loving the little guy like I do!! The couple were so nice and in hindsight had I not felt such a strong positive feeling about them - I wouldn't have let Amos go home with them. Jim and Bonny came to the house and as soon as they walked in the door and introduced themselves Bonny got on the floor and Jim sat on my couch. They spent about an hour getting to know him and me. Amos left and part of me was so, so sad and the other part of me... Was incredibly excited for him to go to a home where two people can spend all of their free time with him!

Sunday was filled with sorrow around our family... Our beloved deaf dalmatian, Mati will have to be put down today. She's been battling cancer for awhile and her quality of life has seriously deteriorated over the past few days. So this afternoon mom and I will be taking her to Doc's office to be put down. She's been such an amazing dog and so loved and loved so many... Just a quick funny story - When Mati was younger and we would lost power at my parents and have to use flashlights... Mati would chase the flashlight beam across the house... or the flying' nun ears when she'd come to attention... All part of the things we loved and will always cherish about her. If you get a moment keep my mom in your thoughts today.. She needs them.

Now, on another sad note... "Sometimes, Nothing is a real cool hand." It's a quote from one of my all-time favorite movies. "Cool Hand Luke" and on Friday, Paul Newman lost his battle with cancer. His contributions to Hollywood were amazing. From Hud to the Hustler, Cool Hand Luke, Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, The Color of Money and even Cars... Just to name a few... There will never be another one like him. The piercing blue eyes, the amazing talent and the kind heart. Paul Newman will be missed. And in his manner - his daughter wants him to be remembered as a kind and giving man.. She is quoted as saying "And if anyone's interested in honouring his memory, you could bring a bowl of soup to a friend or you could be philanthropic in some way, and just, you know, look out for each other."

24 September 2008

Love... The unconventional route.

So many of you know I've been fostering a dog since April. His name is Amos Moses. I named him after a man of the cloth. Actually... It's a Jerry Reed song. But it is definitely one of my favorite songs by him. I thought originally I was going to keep him - because I fell in love with him. His personality is something else - he watches Animal Planet (AP for future reference) every morning while I'm getting ready (no, really - he actually watches it). This morning I was getting ready and there was some show on AP and it was about weird animal sex and his head was tilting back and forth. Like he was really getting in to it. Anyway (that was a huge rabbit trail) this dog is so hilarious. He's a great dog and I wish I could keep him. But with my travel schedule, living alone, and the additional travels with this Leadership Program it is nearly impossible. Because if I were to keep him - I'd be home even less and he deserves to be in a home that is loving and can give him the attention he deserves.
I got a phone call on Monday telling me they think they've found Amos a forever home. I almost cried! I guess when we decided to post him for adoption and there weren't any "hits" on his page - I wasn't worried about losing him so soon. After all, who knew you could become so attached to a dog that you didn't think you'd have forever anyway. I had thoughts of fully adopting him recently - trying to figure out how I could make it work. I thought it all figured out when I received the phone call. Part of me was excited for him and the prospect of his new home and part of me was so sad and quite frankly, I don't have the heart to tell the soon to be adoptive parents of Amos that I really want to keep him. They seem like great people. They're a bit older, retired and from the sounds of it really need him in their lives after recently losing the second of their previously rescued Cairn Terriers. I wish the best for them... They're coming to my house on Saturday - and if they like him... They get to take him with them. It really makes my heart heavy to think about him leaving... that day no less!

There are lessons in life... I guess this one is - we chalk up to loving someone or something you're willing to give them up so they can have a better life. I have a new found respect for parents that give their children up for adoption (saying that - our family has been so blessed with two amazing children that were brought to us from God via the birth mothers). I know my experience is nothing along those lines - and is not as deeply emotional and "tough", but I can (on a very small scale) understand how they come to make those decisions.
And now for my PSA - if you're looking for a puppy adopt from a shelter! Those dogs are greater recipients of love than others. Simply because it will be the first them they ever truly experience it. I'm not sure if I'll ever "foster" again... but I am certain - when I go to look for a puppy or dog - I'll certainly look at a shelter or a rescue organization first....

23 September 2008

So I'm Back on the "blogging" Wagon.

I am so horrible at this. Wait... atrocious at doing this. Let's face it... I'm a horrible blogger. I guess I figure I have better things to be doing then talking about myself. So.. I'm going to talk about what we've done this summer. The 2008 Prairie Farms Dairy Hometown Fairs and Festivals Tour ended a couple of weeks ago - and we had so much fun. I really am blessed with such a great staff to work with. Mike is an awesome engineer and he's always prepared. If you want to see more pictures of our 2008 PFD Hometown Fairs and Festivals Tour click on the picture and it will take you to the Ag website. We're getting ready to start our 2008 1st Farm Credit Services Harvest Tour. When we talked to Joe last it sounds like we'll be at a few elevators and a few farms throughout Central Illinois Currently it's National Farm Safety and Health week and this week we're headed to the Pharis Farm in Logan County as part of our Harvest Tour and the Meals In The Field Program that Farm Credit Services of Illinois does to promote a safe harvest. This is our first year doing that - I'll let you know how that works out for us!
So what else have we be up to at Classic Country 1290 WIRL this summer? We were in Boone, IA for the Farm Progress Show. It was a very, very wet three days in Iowa. But needless to say - it was definitely entertaining and educational experience. We're looking forward to the show moving back to Decatur, IL next year (hrrm, I suppose I ought to make my hotel reservations pretty soon.... maybe tomorrow).
A new thing we've added. We've embraced the "Twitter" technology. Keep track of what we're "twittering" about by clicking HERE.
I think that's good for now, right? Remember it's National Farm Safety and Health Week - and with harvest just around the corner... remember to take it safe!