HARVEST TIME IS NEARING

Continue reading

Advertisements

Honoring our farm dog

I have written about our sheep dog before.

When we worked outdoors, Nike was never too far from your elbow (if you were sitting or tying your boots) or your heels.

When we worked outdoors, Nike was never too far from your elbow (if you were sitting or tying your boots) or your heels.

Nike developed arthritis in his hips and could no longer come sit on the porch to be pet.

Nike developed arthritis in his hips and could no longer come sit on the porch to be pet this spring.

This winter was a cold one, as many farmers have shared. While that does mean that we take extra care of our animals, the combined old-age and cold-weather did a toll to the hearing and hips of our four-legged shepherd. Some may consider their pets to be part of the family, whereas we considered our dog to be much more than that – he was a part of our family business.

I’m sad to say that Nike has found a final resting place on the farm. He really enjoyed herding the sheep (and even visitors the way HE wanted them to come in the house) and taking walks down the dead end dirt road all the way through his last week. I cannot help but think how happy he must be to be at rest in his favorite place.

Father’s Day

I’m sure everyone will describe and celebrate  their father differently tomorrow. I look back and remember my father  instilling a sense of independence and fearlessness in me. Through his eyes I believed I could do anything. As I look at my husband I see him instilling a sense of interdependence in our children and grandchildren. They too believe they can do anything but they have an awareness of uncontrollable  conditions and an ability to be flexible that I had to learn later in life.   DSC03249Farming together we have learned that we all need each other because there are so many things we cannot control or change like the weather.

As we work through each day we realize this is the only time we will have this  moment, this decision and this opportunity. Make the most of every moment this weekend and every day that follows because,

Following in your footsteps.

Following in your footsteps.

Seed, soil and sparkles

Seed, soil and sparkles

Girls can farm too!

Girls can farm too!

whether it’s tutus or tractors we all need each other.

Some one is always watching.

Some one is always watching.

Remember some one is always watching us. What are we teaching them?

Dads - working together, learning from each other.

Dads – working together, learning from each other.

 

Happy Father’s Day!

Family farm or corporate farm?

We all live busy lives today. Add to that busy-ness, information overload. What do you do with all that information? Who has time to sort through all the information surrounding us? Let me help you with at least one question. What’s the difference between a corporate farm and a Family farm? I have read so many articles lately on the evils of corporate farms and how they are pushing family farms out of business. When I follow the resources I find conflicting information; farm sizes are shrinking/Corporate mega farms are growing, family farms are being pushed out of business/more families are bringing the next generation back to the farm, too much land is being used for food and fuel production/we need to feed more people today than ever before in history ??? My head is still spinning.

Welcome to our farm

Image

We are a family that grows corn for food and feed, soybeans for cooking oil and sweet corn for immediate consumption :-) My husband and I raise this food together with our daughters, sons in law, grandchildren and my father and mother in law. In order to be able to sustain our farm for future generations we incorporated several years ago. Our grandchildren love working the land with us and talking to our neighbors about what we are doing as well as sharing sweet corn with them in the summer.

Image

So, as you can see from our farm, things are not always as they are portrayed. We are a family farm that is incorporated. Statistically you will find us included in the “corporate farm” numbers and not family farm. I think that’s very misleading. Incorporating has nothing to do with size or mission and everything to do with financial and long term identity. For us that means we can pass the farm on to our children and grandchildren in a way that protects them in the future.

What’s the difference between a corporate farm and a Family farm? Most of the time NOTHING.

Why a Farm Bill Should Matter to You

Are you interested in Congress getting a Farm Bill passed? You may think that it isn’t important to you if you are not a farmer but the farm bill affects every citizen of the United States.

There are many misconceptions about this important piece of legislation. While it is called a Farm Bill, it really encompasses much more than just the farm. A large part of funding in the bill goes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to help needy citizens get the nutrition they need. SNAP is important to people all over the United States, especially during these difficult economic times.

There are environmental provisions to help protect our natural resources which is something that is important to everyone. One of the environmental programs we participate in on our farm is the Conservation Reserve Program(CRP). Some of the most fragile land we farm was planted to native grasses in order to control wind erosion. A healthy stand of native grasses keeps the soil in place during times when the Southwest Kansas wind begins to blow. Practices like these help keep our country from experiencing the Dust Bowl Days all over again.

As a farmer, I see the value of having a bill that makes sure that we have the resources we need to produce the food that feeds Americans as well as hungry people around the world. One in twelve jobs in America is tied to agriculture, that amounts to 23 million jobs. You can see that it is economically important for our county to have a healthy agriculture sector.

Healthy families, a healthy economy, healthy foods; if these things are important to you, I would ask you to consider contacting your member of congress and ask them to support passage of the Farm Bill.

My Little Slice of Heaven!

If you have never lived in a small town, you can’t believe the beauty you might be missing. I grew up in and still reside in Ulysses, Kansas, a small town in Southwest Kansas. I live closer to Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico than. I do to many areas in Kansas.

We only have one town in our county and that is Ulysses. You can travel 30 minutes any direction and find another similar small town. Our towns in this area revolve around two industries, agriculture and the oil/gas industry which means we have lots of open space, you can see forever. I want to give you a little taste of what I see most mornings on the way to work. If you live in the city, you probably don’t have the unobstructed view of the horizon that makes viewing the sunrises and sunsets spectacular.

Image

Beautiful sunrise in Southwest Kansas.

I want to share the beauty that I see living here in the dry, flatlands because if you have ever been through here, you may have missed the natural beauty that we enjoy. Our skies can be the bluest blue you have ever seen. You can see for miles with no hills or trees to block your views. At night, the stars pop out and light up the sky making it easy to pick out the Big and Little Dipper as well as allowing us to spy shooting stars.

Image

The end of a glorious day in Southwest Kansas.

Many travelers pass through here without ever realizing the beauty that exists in our somewhat barren landscape. There is nothing more beautiful to me than the sun rising or setting on our farm. If you are ever passing through, look around, really look around and appreciate the landscape that God bestowed on my little slice of heaven!