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 ;-)....