30 August 2009

Me and Hank Snow Are Tight...

If you're not aware - Hank Snow sings that song "I've Been Everywhere". It is one of my favorites.. But I truly live that lifestyle. We travel a lot during the summer - locally for all the county fairs and festivals- but things really kick up this time of year and run through March/April of the following year. I'm currently sitting in my hotel room in Jacksonville, IL (hello)- not the most exotic of places - but definitely something to talk about.

Today we had the opportunity to hear about Liberty Link with Ignite from not only the folks at Bayer that work with the product but from other companies that are using the technologies. It is always interesting to hear from the growers as well as the companies that are going to be using and selling these products.

Tomorrow is slated to be a day full of educational things. We're starting our day at the plot in Athens and wrapping up at the Research Station in White Heath. This has been such an interesting and trying year for producers - I'm anxious to see what is in store tomorrow. That means you'll have to check back for more information.

After tomorrow we head to Decatur for Farm Progress City. I am really excited for Farm Progress Show this year... I think there are going to be some great things going on in Decatur and I urge you to make the trip down there! If you are - we'll be at the NuTech booth on Tuesday, Illinois Corn Growers on Wednesday and Illinois Soybean Association on Thursday. Make sure to look us up!

Until tomorrow night...

From a different hotel room..

In a different city...

25 August 2009

ENOUGH Already

I've had it.

I'm fed up.

I am sick and tired.

And if you don't like it - find something else to eat. What am I talking about? The recent attacks on production agriculture. From Food, Inc., The Omnivore's Dilemma, and most recently the Time Magazine Article about "the high price of cheap food". After hearing Anne Burkholder's (a feedlot manager/owner from Cozad, NE) story I've reached my limit. I'm so tired of agriculture telling their story and then the mass media failing to not relay that same story. But twisting what they have been told into their version of the truth.

I love the fact that Bryan Walsh of Time Magazine spent hours interviewing people involved in production agriculture to only use one quote. And a quote that was misrepresented at that. I'd love for Bryan Walsh to come out to our farm. Let's talk. Let me take you on a tour of our facilities as well as my listeners farms. Talk to them. Sit down at their dinner table and have a real conversation about the farmer's struggles, their love of an industry, how technologies are improving to produce more with less, etc. (Should I continue to list how farmers are continuing to better the world?) But why don't you tell their real story? The story they love to tell. How about the story of how two percent of the worlds population feeds the remaining ninety-eight percent. Not to mention they do it on less ground, fighting things they have no control over - like weather. No one is perfect - nor do we expect them to be. People make mistakes - there is the occasional "bad seed". But, farmers are a master of their trade. Let them do their job to the best of their ability.

My favorite part of Walsh's article? He refers to Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser as investigative journalist who are "awakening a sleeping public to the uncomfortable realities of how we eat". I wouldn't call that awakening - I'd call that instilling fear into a society that is becoming further and further removed from the farm and has no grasp nor desire to learn the realities that go along with farming and how their food gets from the field to the fork.

I'll admit - I didn't want to see Food, Inc. I knew I'd get all out of sorts not only watching the movie but from the comments that would undoubtedly come from the peanut gallery. That's why I refused to drive to Chicago to see it. I figured if it came to Peoria - I'd go see it. It did. I kept up my end of the bargain. To my surprise I wasn't as "upset" as I thought I would be. I was more in shock of what I saw. I spent the majority of my time shaking my head in disbelief. I had to pry my eyes from the back of my head from several parts. I actually laughed out loud at a few things. It wasn't a heartless laugh... It was a more "wtf" kind of chuckle. Well, except when the chicken farmer pulled up to the farm and says "smells like money" when he gets a whiff of the stench of the manure. That statement brought back memories of my childhood - when I'd complain that we lived downwind from the farm "Meghan, That's the Smell of Money" my dad would say. (If only that was the case today).

My point of all of this? I love seeing Agriculture standing up for themselves. There is no rolling with the punches anymore. We're moving into a time where we have to be heard. Thank you to people like Anne Burkholder, Blake Hurst who wrote The Omnivore's Delusion, The National Cattleman's Beef Association, The American Farm Bureau Federation, all of those involved in all aspects of agriculture using tools like social media to educate the consumers.

Say what you have to say loudly.

Say it proudly.

14 August 2009

Lessons in Life Often Forgotten

We're headed to the state fair. Actually, I am already here. I got here this morning to a wonderful surprise. Let's just say it was unexpected and I was ecstatic for such a wonderful morning.

Things are great down here.. Some of the things I have always loved are still here- the smell of the barns, the dust that makes breathing impossible and parking, oh parking how I love you - which as usual was a bitch... But it's the state fair... What else did I expect?

I just watched the Champion Crossbred Barrow drive and I was excited to see one of our local kids take Champion. It reminded me of my love of this time of year. But when I look back and relive the "glory days" in my mind I realize things have changed so much since my last year in 4-H... 10 years ago. The rings are different, the attire is different and most definitely the industry standard has changed. That's the amazing thing about life - so many things can change but so many things can remain the same. I've been removed from the show ring for a few years... As I've started attending more shows, as I watch the kids in the show ring and get acclimated with some of the new families I remember how much I loved it and how much 4-H was such an influential part of my life. The people, (from the new ones I am just meeting to the ones I have know most of my life) are just as nice as ever. They're friendly, competitive and no matter what - generally willing to lend a helping hand.

I preach (and sometimes yes it feels like preaching) how important the 4-H program is. The more I see it in action - the more fond I grow of its effects on the youth and the future leaders of the agriculture industry. I couldn't be more honest when I say this - and it is a little embarrassing to admit - I think my appreciation for the participants and the life lessons they learn has grown more so now than it did ten or even fifteen years ago when I was active in 4-H. I also have a special place in my heart for all the people that make this thing happen. It certainly isn't an easy task and it takes quite a lot for them to prepare as well.

Mike and I attend and broadcast from over 20 county fairs and town festivals every year and no matter where we are - I always get the same vibe.. 4-H is an important part of their life and their childhood. They're learning the lessons on their own that we often times forget to reinforce. Kids learn how to speak, they learn responsibility and most importantly they learn how to win and lose graciously. I am constantly impressed and amazed by these kids. They bring excitement to the future of agriculture.

So no matter how much things change... One thing will always remain the same.. 4-H does an amazing job shaping our youth into responsible and accountable young adults. I look forward to the hundreds of county fairs in my future and I am blessed to be able to tell their story. I think it is a story that should be told over and over and over again.

Remember the stories... Remember the lesson. I think sometimes we forget how important both are to our future.

08 May 2009

Doom and Gloom.

Yeah. It's that exciting. It's May 8th and we've seen such very little activity in the field - I'm starting to get depressed. Yeah... Really. It has been an interesting week, though, to say the least.

We started our new Early Morning Agriculture Program. It has presented some challenges but really opened the door for new things, too. We're working with Chip Nelliger a Market Advisor with Water Street Solutions with our closing grain analysis. Chip's been great! He has been a nice addition to our coverage of the agriculture world. Everything else just comes down two timing and getting comfortable in my own skin with a new program. It is nice to know - in a world where there has been a lessening emphasis on the agriculture industry - the company I work for has allowed room for growth. It made me laugh a little bit during the first show - I was nervous. I don't mean a few butterflies. I mean I was all in - feeling like I was going to get sick. It all worked out - things have been rolling along. We're having fun doing it, too.

On another note - one of the many "fun" things we get to do is our Rain Gauge Report. It's interesting to find out where it rained and how much rain fell across Central Illinois. However... I'm starting to get emails from listeners that are asking to turn it off for awhile. I was hoping for better news this morning - not so much. Guy - our weather guy (hehe) - said more scattered shows today... tonight... and then towards the backside of the weekend. Blah. Blah. Blah. I won't tell you the text message I received from a farmer friend of mine from a little North of here. It was rather vulgar - but funny and oh so true. Needless to say - we need some sunshine. For the fields... For the sanity of those wanting to get in the fields. Not to mention - I may be suffering from that SAD. Isn't that what it's called? I need some Vitamin D processed.

While I am blogging about grumpy things - I always find it amusing with people chastise things they don't know about or understand. Certain people were expressing their disgust about the use of social media - Twitter in particular. Said people were complaining about how people use Twitter to post everything they're doing at every minute of the day. I agree - some people do do that. However - there are people that use it to post interesting things - news stories - and discuss topics of importance. I think the world of agriculture is using Twitter to the best of its ability. From the #agchats to the topics that are discussed and posted on a daily basis - it allows for so many beneficial things. From the common person to obtain that connection to where the food they consume, to the people in the agriculture industry to see what is going on in places other than their general location and most importantly and instantaneous way to quickly (140 characters or less) open a door to education about the industry we all love and fight to protect.

I guess my point of saying all of this is - new technology provides a wonderful opportunity. If you embrace it, it can open up a whole new world of education, resources and opportunity to network. If you don't like it - don't use it... But don't berate or chastise those of us that do!

Here's to a sun-shine filled weekend... and a better mood on Monday!

05 May 2009

We've got some catching up to do...

Why is it I can never remember my password when I attempt to log in and actually blog? Oh - that's right - it's because I rarely (even though I say I'm going to be better at it) sit down to write.

It's been one of those weeks. I love a plan. I love a man with the plan. I love to be the (wo)man with the plan. I have learned to roll with the punches, be flexible, relax (not really - but I try hard) ... I have learned to do all those things because I have to - not everything always goes the way I like it. This week has been a true testament to my patience. The weather has manipulated my plan. Today was the Woodford County Farm Bureau's Ag Extravaganza. It is one of the great things the Ag In The Classroom Program does for schools. All the fourth grade students from Woodford County converge on the Farm Bureau Park in Eureka to learn about the agriculture industry. They see animals, they learn about using GPS, they see equipment. All the things talked about by the Ag Literacy Coordinators are put in the visual form. It's a great event. It was started when I was in fourth grade (that was a really, really long time ago). We've attended and broadcast from there since I took this job three years ago. We missed today's. I was a little sad. There's always next year!

See - we were scheduled to kick off our BASF Planting Tour tomorrow in Mattoon for the Operation SAFE Fly-In. Because of the lingering and uncertain weather we decided to move it up a day to make sure we could kick off the Planting Tour in style. And that, we did. Today we were in a hanger - of the Coles County Airport learning about how agriculture aviators (crop dusters) test and calibrate their equipment. A string - some dye - and papers. I know I have probably over simplified it and made it sound antiquated - but it really isn't. After they collect the samples from the string and the pieces of paper - they run it through a lot of very technologically advanced equipment. If there are adjustments that need to be made to provide fore more efficient and effective release of product - they make the needed adjustments to the equipment and retest until they have it where they want it. Pretty cool? Crop dusters have been around since the 1920's and like everything else - technology has evolved to make them the most productive the possibly can.

It's all part of the growing process. Mike loved the planes. I loved the fact that we were able to do a remote outside and it wasn't raining and the weather was gorgeous. I know I'm not the only person hoping that this looming weather system misses us and our fields can continue to dry out. Surely - if it does - we'll start to see planters rolling in Central Illinois.

We're excited to team up with BASF this Spring for our 2009 Planting Tour. They're great people to work with and we're all waiting with anticipation to start our travels across Central Illinois.

Some other big news for the Ag Department (oh, that's me)... As of Monday we've expanded our commitment to the agriculture industry in Central Illinois. We launched our Early Mornings in Central Illinois Agriculture Program. Catch us 5:30 to 6:00 on Classic Country 1290 WIRL. It's been an adventure already this week... But it is well worth it.

To find out where we're headed next - visit http://ag.1290wirl.com or http://ag.1470wmbd.com There's a link to the BASF Planting Tour.

As always - you can follow us on Twitter, too...

We'll get it updated as weather permits ;-)....

20 April 2009

Into Every Life...

A little rain much fall. And this Spring - again - has been no exception. Every year we follow how much rain listeners receive with our AgLand FS Rain Gauge report. This morning when I opened my email I have rainfall totals from all over Central Illinois and I honestly just let out a huge sigh. We're getting reports from 3/4 of an inch to over two inches over the weekend. Our ground is already so saturated - I wonder if it is ever going to end.

Then I look at the forecast... Possible rain showers today and tonight and tomorrow... BLECH! Friday on my way home I saw equipment moving... I got a little hopeful. Today - I have a feeling of blech. May 1st.. My goal to do our first planting tour stop is by May 1st. With the weather the way it is - I won't hold my breath...

Later this week looks nice though - mid 60's on Wednesday, mid 70's on Thursday and on Friday - 80.. 80? Seriously!? Honestly - I'd be happy with 75 and sunny every day... Is that too much to ask?

I suppose this is enough for now - I should get into the office and get real work done.

08 April 2009

Are You Helping To Grow Your Soup?

Those that know me.. know I get excited about some of the silliest things. When I say silly - I don't mean childish silly - I just mean things that most people wouldn't normally get excited about. For example - I love "Double Cross" Mornings at the radio station. I love simplistic beautiful architecture. Like Martha Stewart, I too, love "Good Things" (that's the only thing I want to compare to Martha Stewart). I even like the Fine Young Cannibals song "Good Thing". So when I get excited about something, especially... Good Things I want to share it over and over and over again.

I'm sure you're wondering where this is going.... Today, on The Noon Show - I had John Faulkner who is the Director of Brand Communications with Campbell's Soup Company back to talk about their Help Grow Your Soup Campaign that they started last Fall. Today he talked about how successful the campaign was. Today... we also talked about their new campaign. It's still called Help Grow Your Soup but this time... Campbell's is teaming up with the National FFA Organization and Urban Farming to plant gardens in six urban areas across the United States. In addition - Campbell's is partnering with Partners in Active Learning Support (PALS), a mentoring program of the National FFA Organization, to help build agricultural learning greenhouses in schools.

So - yes.. I get excited for interesting things. I really, really get excited over companies wanting to educate consumers about where their products originate.

Ones last thing... If you go to http://helpgrowyoursoup.com/ and click on the grow button you can donate seeds to the greenhouse... through Campbell's. If you purchase a can of Campbell's Soup and enter the codes... You can get your own packet of Campbell's Seed to grow for yourself. These aren't any seeds... These are seeds that Campbell's uses to grow tomatoes for their soup... Pretty Cool, eh?

One last thing (I promise)... Here's a video that John sent me that talks about the campaign even more.

Enjoy... and Help Grow Your Soup!!! It's a Good Thing, Marther.

06 April 2009

Mission: Blog.

I keep telling myself (and you) that I'm going to sit down and blog. I have so much to say - I'm just not sure if my thoughts are organized enough to put everything in writing. What's more - I'm a little scatter brained this morning.... I'm not sure if it is from the snow... Or the creepy voice mail that was on the phone in my office when I came into work this morning.

So here's what's been going on recently... The last time I wrote - I was getting ready to leave for Germany. I wrote on the 18th of March - before Germany. My goal was to blog from there about the trip... But I didn't succeed... So now.. I'm playing "catch-up". Hopefully I'll be able to post every day... That way I can give you multiple stories and pictures from Germany!

I'm going to break this down day by day in separate posts. This way - this isn't such a long post!

Day One "I'm Leaving On A JetPlane":

The day I left for Germany was the last day of National Agriculture Week. So my mom and I headed for breakfast at the Knights of Columbus Hall off of Radnor Road in Peoria to support the Peoria County Farm Bureau's Farmer Share of the Dollar Breakfast. It was pretty tasty and a great way to start off my trip! My mom dropped me off at the airport in Peoria and I started my journey. I landed in Chicago with an eight hour layover - and I used every minute of it! I ran into some fellow broadcasters, and participants of the trip. We loaded up for our flight and were on our way to Germany.

I had the most entertaining and one of the most interesting people I have ever met next to me on my flight. It made for some interesting conversation, to say the least. We landed in Germany around 8AM local time (that's about 2AM back home). We headed to he most amazing hotel to a little R&R and to tour the sites in Dusseldorf. Here are some photos from Day 1.

Those are some photos from the tour of Dusseldorf. After our tour some of us grabbed some dinner (lunch to normal people) in the hotel and relaxed before our evening. I really, really love those trees!!!

I love food - that should be no secret. However - we had the most amazing food while we were in Germany. Our first night kicked it off right... Our dinner consisted of soup, the man course, dessert and bier! We went back to the hotel to get some rest because our first day of sessions in Monheim are going to be a busy one. And that's coming up next....

Before I sign off this morning - here are some photos from our dinner that first night...

P.S. Mission: Accomplished.

18 March 2009

Where Do I Start?

I really am not quite sure where to start this... There's been so much going on lately. The last time I wrote I was in Grapevine, TX for Commodities Classic... I had a great week but it was tiring - as trade shows and meetings of that caliber are. I got home on Saturday - went to the wildest birthday party I have ever witnessed - and then left at 5 o'clock the next morning for a week long trip to Washington, D.C. for my Illinois Agricultural Leadership Program. Now that trip was AMAZING. You can read more about that rip by clicking HERE

We arrived back in Chicago around 3 o'clock that day... When I turned my phone on - I had a message regarding an opportunity to travel to Germany with Bayer CropScience and extension personnel from around the United States... After the decision was made that I could go - the real challenges began.

*Side Note* When I was accepted to the Illinois Agricultural Leadership Program last August I had a very silly (at the time) conversation with my mom... It went something like this:

MOM - "Meghan - you better get your passport now so you have it "just in case".

MEGHAN - "Nah, I have two years.. I'm not planning any big trips any time soon."

MOM - "But, Meghan.... You never know."

MEGHAN - "Okay. I'll think about it."

Guess what... I didn't get my passport. Whoops.

So last Thursday I had a meeting in the 'burbs. I figured... Ahh... I'll make an appointment at the Kluczynski Building... It'll take a few hours and I'll head to my meeting... I arrived at the Kluczynski Building at 10am... 5 hours later... Mission accomplished. I was told my passport would be processed on Friday and shipped no later than Monday - in my hands by Tuesday. I was urged to call the Travel Agency's 800 number to monitor the progress of my passport... I did... and I also have the FedEx Tracking number memorized because I have put it so many times over the last five days. So anyway.. back to my story... I call the passport number on Friday - wait on hold FOREVER - and they tell me it hasn't even been looked at yet and to call back later that day... So I did - still nothing.

Monday came and I was still in the same bind. They had at least started the process. A friend of mine (Tom B) suggested that I call my Congressman's office. So I start at the office in Washington, D.C. I spoke to two interns in Congressman Schock's office. Neither one of them could get my story correct let alone understand what I was referring to with problems obtaining my expedited passport. My favorite line "So, um, like you lost your passport while you were here in Washington last week.". *sigh* No... So - I called the Peoria office, District 18 headquarters... And they are my new favorite people in the world. Tiffany from Representative Schock's Peoria office is truly was a Godsend. She got to the bottom of the passport issue and it was processed on Monday and printed on Tuesday and should be here by 10:30 this morning. At least that's what the FedEx website said. Not only did she call once.. She called to follow up again and again. And everytime she followed up - she let me know what was going on with the passport. She definitely went above and beyond what she had to do and I most certainly appreiciate it.

I truly feel sorry for the people at the 800 number - I think I was calling three to four times a day. So Sorry! But the issue is resolved and the passport is in Bartonville waiting to be brought to me at the station. Woohoo!

This morning - on my way into work.. I stopped by the gas station to get a Diet Coke... I stop at the same place every morning... Same time.. Same routine. This morning I left and was headed to the McCluggage Bridge and in the middle of the road was a pack or herd or whatever you want to call it of seven or eight deer. I decided to go "dowling" or "deer-bowling". I took out three - in one swipe. Luckily - I'm fine... My car is fine. The deer kind of rolled up gave me a little wink and a smile and ran off. Apparently they think "no harm, no foul". I was a little pissed... But that's okay. I"m sure I'll survive.

I'm hoping that I'll be able to blog from Germany fairly easily. That way I can keep you abreast as to what's happening.

And hopefully - Things will relax a little bit today.. I am not sure if I can take much more of this!


25 February 2009


So you may wonder what exactly Genuity is - but Monsanto just gave us the details.

"Genuity is the family of traits that enables farmers to so what they do best, even better.". We're at Monsanto's new product announcement and they're trying to unite producers with the technologies they embrace. The three key terms are Unite, Simplify and Differential.

Dion McBay who is a member of the Monsanto family said when producers helped to make the choice of the branding - McBay said farmers identified "Genuity" they saw "genuine". McBay elaborated and said they're trying to keep things more simple.

You can expect to see "Genuity" in your product line up starting in 2010 Genuity SmartStax (pending regulatory approval).

We'll have more details as the week goes on... This is "their next step forward towards the future of technology." Here's a quick look at what the Genuity lable may look like going forward....

Bayer, Day 2.

I'm sure you're thinking you're pretty blessed this morning... Two blogs from me in two days.. Yeah - you got that right. Today is Day to of the Bayer CropScience Ag Issues Forum. Yesterday was a great day - we heard from Murray Wise (as we discussed yesterday), Aaron Hager and then a great Grower Panel which consisted of growers from all over - Kansas, Illinois, North Dakota, Iowa and Oklahoma. One thing that was consistent - no matter where growers are from... their concerns run solid throughout the nation.

That was the business at hand yesterday. Then there was the fun.... and OMG was it ever fun. Last year was awesome and I wasn't sure if they could top it.. This year was amazing. Great food, Great fellowship and an opportunity to socialize in a non professional setting. Now - I'm sure you're wondering how exactly that benefits those of us in the professional setting.. But I value it just as much as being able to attend these types of functions on the professional side. It allows all of us to be able to let our hair down.. To relax and get to know the people we work side by side with every day. People know I love my job - but I love learning and these are great ways to do that, too.

So let's talk about the Phil Vassar concert last night. It was amazing... Not over exaggerating either. He was a phenomenal piano player, amazing entertainer and he was down to earth, too. He sat on the edge of the stage, talked to all of us and I got to snuggle him during our time backstage. The picture below is of the three farm broadcasters lucky enough to end up backstage at the Phil Vassar concert....

I have to personally thank the folks at Rhea + Kaiser as well as Bayer for a phenomenal night. It hands down topped many of the events I've been too in recent years. Great speaker line-up, great entertainment and Day two has been just as interesting.

Our morning started off with Phil Needham - from Needham Ag Technologies, LLC. We saw photos of wheat fields that averaged yields of 200+bu/ acre. No.. SERIOUSLY. Pretty cool, eh? Needham highlighted the importance of Global Crop Management. Following Needham's session we broke out in the cereals and corn/soybean sessions. Dr. Bryan Young of Southern Illinois University talked about weed control and weed management (remember me telling you how much I've started to really enjoy learning about weeds and agronomy? oh yeah - I've become a dork.. I admit it). I love the fact that we're learning about the emerging technologies.. New Soybean traits, things that area already in the pipeline. We even got an insight of something really new.

Up next is Don Young of Ducks Unlimited... We're going to talk sustainability... We're trying to get him on the show today at Noon... So you'll have to tune in... It is definitely a project that we'll have to see if it's all it's "quacked" up to be. Sorry for the silly joke - but I couldn't help myself!

That's all for now...

After today - Commodities Classic starts in full gear and we'll let you know what exactly is going on in Grapevine, TX.

24 February 2009

For the love of all that's...

Yeah... You know - I made a "resolution" to be more diligent in my blogging... I still am horrible. Sorry. That's just how it is.. You'll be lucky to get an update once a month. I have no clue how people blog more than once a week - let alone once a day. I salute them. Seriously. It takes some serious diligence and dedication to accomplish that. I'm sitting in the back of the Bayer CropScience Ag Issues Forum. Talk about interesting - and we're only halfway through today's session. Earlier today we heard from Dr. David Kohl who is a Professor Emeritus at Virginia Tech. One of the thing he talked about was the past century of Super Cycles. Later today or tomorrow I'll get the audio uploaded so you can hear what he was talking about. He showed the correlation between the major wars and the effect on our economy.

The picture of the slide to the right illustrate the correlation he was talking about. I hope you're able to see its details.
We just finished hearing from Murray Wise with the Westchester Group. Wise touched on some of the crop land issues as well as to what growers in the US are doing correctly. In all the negativity going on in the ins and outs of our daily lives - it was a nice change of pace. Don't get me wrong - Wise didn't sugar coat anythings. Things are a mess... and we know this. But he gave a different view - one that almost resembles a glimpse of hope. Psst... I'll post that audio, too. :-)
We just started our next session with Aaron Hager. He's a weed scientist at the University of Illinois. Actually - one of my favorite people to talk about on one of the topics most interesting to me. He just started talking about the difference or similarities of Weed Control vs. Weed Management. Using Illinois as an example - Hager says Illinois corn farmers have relied on a combination of tactics to control weeds. From tillage, soil-applied, POST herbicides, etc.
Did you know weed interference begins to reduce corn yields long before it effects soybean yields? Yikes! We're learning lots of new things today. Hager says it depends on the crop, the weather conditions, the year and the weed.
Here's an interesting face.. of 877 people polled if glyphosate resistance weeds will change the way we manage our weeds... 91% of people said yes.
So yes - it's been very interesting and I'm excited about tomorrow, too. Another great lineup is in store -and I could quite possibly keep continue to be impressed.
I promise - I'll get the audio posted as soon as I can.
Until next time..

28 January 2009

The OFA Stinks!

So I thought I should write a follow up to my blog from Monday. Just to make sure you all know I'm not crazy. Sometimes our emotions get us all wrapped up and warped and tangled. I may never know why I have the issues I do with commitment, but the only thing I really can do is take steps in the right direction. Whatever direction that may be. That being said...

Let's talk about something even more disturbing then function of my brain... Let's talk weather.

It is 51 days until Spring. Yep - you heard correctly... There is still 51 days until Spring. In my opinion it can't come soon enough. Last night on the phone with Scott he told me it was snowing like crazy in Western Illinois (where he lives). I had hoped it would go South and East and miss us.... When I heard the snow plow going by my house at 2 this morning.. I figured I better get up and head into work. Boy was I right... It took me an hour and twenty minutes to get here. It was wicked this morning. I keep telling myself... Only 51 days until Spring.

Here is what The Old Farmer's Almanac says about this years weather...
After a mostly mild November, snow at Thanksgiving will signal the
coming of a very cold period, especially in the west. Temperatures will
seesaw from January through March. Precipitation will generally be below
normal, with above-normal snowfall in the southwest and below-normal
snowfall in most other parts of the region. The coldest periods will
occur in December, early and mid-January
, and in early and
. The snowiest periods will be in early and mid-December,
early to mid-January, early February, and early March. April and
will have above-normal temperatures and below-normal precipitation,
with hot temperatures in mid-May. Summer temperatures
will be near or slightly above normal, on average, with below-normal rainfall.
The hottest temperatures will occur in early and mid-June and
mid-July. September and October will be cooler and drier than

Seriously? More of this crap? I can't take it. No - honestly... I may have to move to somewhere along the coast of the Pacific. I want sunny and 70 all year long. I generally don't complain about Winter - because I hate the hot, hot, hot of Summer. But I am pining for the days of being able to sit on a patio and drink a beer and relax.

I'm not sure - but I think this has been the longest Winter, ever. It seems like it is never ending. Maybe it's because there is talk of some sort of snow in our forecast just about every day. Whether it's snowing or there's more snow coming, or we had snow... You hear about it every day. Not to mention the bitterly cold temperatures. I don't think I've been warm since October. Honestly! This is crazy! It's freezing in the building at work, too.

Check this out - here is the upcoming "forecast" from the Old Farmer's Almanac:

January 2009: Avg. Temperature: 29° (5° above avg.)Precipitation: 1.5" (1" below avg.)

Jan. 1-2: Rain showers, mild Jan. 3-8: Snow showers, cold
Jan. 9-12: Snow, then sunny, mild
Jan. 13-16: Showers, then sunny, mild
Jan. 17-19: Rain to snow Jan. 20-22: Snow showers, cold
Jan. 23-26: Rain and snow showers, mild
Jan. 27-29: Sunny, mild
Jan. 30-31: Snow north, showers south

February 2009: Avg. Temperature: 24° (avg.)Precipitation: 1" (1" below avg.)
Feb. 1-4: Snow showers, cold
Feb. 5-8: Rain and snow
Feb. 9-21: Snow showers, cold
Feb. 22-25: Sunny, mild
Feb. 26-28: Rain to snow, then sunny

Ahh - how nice does Spring look now? This is what I'm looking forward to again... Flowers, warm weather, fishing, the beach. Anything outdoors. I definitely am having Winter-itis. How about you?

What do you do to beat the winter blues? Myself - I keep a picture of my feet in front of the ocean from our vacation last year on the beach to Florida. A simple reminder of how I'll be complaining that it's too hot in about six months.

26 January 2009


I don't normally use this website to talk about my personal life - unless however it is somewhat work related. But today - I am.. So I apologize. I'm in kind of a funk lately.. In fact - I've been in kind of a funk for a little while. I met someone a couple of months ago that I really started to like. Our relationship grew - I knew there were things I really, really liked (he made me laugh and smile, he really understood my job, he wasn't intimidated by my sometimes overly opinionated mind, etc) and there were things I didn't like. I won't list those (it just seems petty). As time went on - our feelings developed. He used the "L" word. I didn't know what to say. I was so taken back by the fact that he said it first - with no prompting. I felt like I had finally found it. Then Sunday came. We spent the day together yesterday - and today - I'm trying to figure out how to not let my guard down and let him in and sabotage it. The last couple of weeks have been hot and cold. He attributes it to 'we fight because we care'. Last night's good bye kiss didn't feel like I cared. I felt like I was kissing a fish. Am I being overly critical? Am I looking for something to be wrong? I wonder if I am setting it up to fail before it ever has a chance to make it on its own.

I'm not sure - but I think I have a huge problem with commitment. I'm fine until I feel forced to spend time with said person. My family has always asked what my attraction to men that didn't leave near me was - and I never could answer that honestly. I think I've figured it out. I think I am terrified by commitment. I love talking to people... I like men that stimulate my mind. The rest follows in suit. But when that relationship has a chance to become tangible, I freak. I don't mean freak out like I clam up, get nervous, etc... I mean I totally change who I am. I make every excuse to push them away. I find a way to keep my distance and keep myself guarded. I pick fights. I find every little thing wrong with them to convince myself to not like them. You would think I had a horrible childhood, witnessed a bad marriage. But I haven't. My parents have been happily married for 30+ years, both sets of my grandparents well over 50. I just don't get it.

I was emailing with a friend of mine who is married and has kids and I said I have a lot of great things in my life - amazing friends, a wonderful family and a great job that allows me to be creative and intellectual at the same time. I get to travel. I get to meet interesting people. That being said - I wonder how the other half lives. What is it like to have kids? Or to have a husband that you love and loves you unconditionally? What am I missing? I know I'm missing out.. I get that.. But am I not only missing the wonders of that love... But am I missing the commitment gene? Was I born defective? Or is it that I haven't met "the one".

I think believe in soul mates - there are too many happy and amazing marriages for there to not be "that one". Right?

I'm on a quest.. Not to find "the one". If it is meant to be - it will find me. Time and patience. Time - I hope I have plenty of, but patience - I don't think I have that much of that. But I have to figure out what the hell is eating at me. I know I have been through some crap. I know Jacob left me broken. I would have though after four years that would have fixed itself. I have lost count of the great men that have walked into my life and I've pushed right out the other one.

My heart is heavy tonight and my brain hurts from thinking. I need a bottle of wine and some House, M.D. to fix what ails me.

06 January 2009

A New Year

So we're close to a week into the New Year and already it's been incredible. I'm sitting here this morning and for the first time in awhile... I feel refreshed, rejuvenated and excited about what I'm doing. Don't get me wrong - I love my job. Just about every aspect of it. Maybe it's the travels... Maybe it's just a better attitude - I'm really not quite sure. I do have to say - I think some of this feeling of "fresh air" comes from my interview yesterday.

Every morning with Greg and Dan about how important the American Farmer is to our society. One of the things we trying to lessen is the disconnect between the consumers and the producers. Sometimes we forget how much each relies on the other. In this new book American Farmer Paul Mobley photographs farmers from 35 different states and highlights their story. I think this is beneficial for both parties. It shows the labor of love that farmers - who are truly the heart and soul of America - go through every day to provide our country with the safest most reliable food supply in the nation. In addition - without asking - it gives the farmers the recognition they don't necessarily want... but do deserve. In this coffee table book - you find stories of Walter Jackson - the 104 year old Citrus Farmer from Florida to the story of Jim Taber - a young single father of two who is a cattle rancher in Montana. The stories inspired me.

In a time when we hear a lot of negative - From the battle over Food and Fuel and the worries of a financial meltdown... This book gives us a chance to highlight some of the history in America. Some of the good in our every day lives that we don't always see.

I fell in love with the stories. With the people that Mobley photographed. Their eyes. Their hands. Every wrinkle or scar on their face tells a story. A story of history and a passion and fire to live.

The introduction to the book was written by Michael Martin Murphey - who said this "Those outside of rural American need to see what is in this book. Paul Mobley's photographs convey a sacred connection between the food we eat and those who provide it."

To find out more information about the book or to see some of its photos - or even hear the interviews... You can visit our website http://ag.1290wirl.com/ or http://ag.1470wmbd.com/ .

Katrina Fried and Paul Mobley will be in San Antonio, TX for the AFBF Annual Meeting... Hopefully we'll run into them there.

...The best looking-glass is the eyes of a friend....

**All photos are courtesey of Paul Mobley**