Filed under: Ag education, Ag promotion, Farm, Farm Bureau, friends, Music, travel | Tags: AFBF, Agriculture education, american farm bureau federation, farm, Farm Bureau, friends, meeting, Nashville, Opryland Hotel, travel
We made the trip to Nashville for this years Annual Meeting. Since my sister lives just south of the city it was a dual event. Our weather started out really nice, and then went cold and rainy. Wish we could have brought some of that rain home.
Site of the meeting was the Opryland Hotel. It’s a huge place with 2881 rooms and 15 restaurants on 6 floors. Because of continued expansion and no understandable structural layout the hotel is bit confusing. Each hotel area has a central garden area that is really stunning, with each different in many ways. The attached convention area was also a bit confusing so keeping a map within reach was really helpful if you were going someplace new. They said we had almost every room in the place booked for Farm Bureau members.
Sunday morning started out for us with a Minnesota breakfast at 7:30 gathering. It was a place to get to see most of the folks who made the trip from Minnesota. It was also a chance for President Paap and his staff to give us our tasks for the event. Since I’m not known to be shy, I was assigned 4 radio stations to call back in Minnesota at specific times.
After breakfast we gathered for the opening session. Along with many awards and introductions of important people we all needed to know, we had an address from AFBF President Bob Stallman. Bob talked about the challenges and triumphs of the past year. Included in those challenges was the lack of a Farm Bill in the U.S. congress. This lack of a farm bill leaves a lot of uncertainty for all involved in agriculture. He also addressed some disturbing government regulations that we were able to stop. These included a regulation that would have prevented farm folks from employing their children on the farm, and threatened regulations on a small chicken producer that would have forced them to get a pollution discharge permit when nothing was being discharged.
We also got to spend some time at the trade show where they had displays from each state showing what they were doing to promote agriculture, as well as displays from several agricultural companies. We had our choice of seminars put on by companies and the Farm Bureau. I got to meet some old friends and make some new ones along the way. The evening was free to spend as we wished.
Monday included more seminars and demonstrations in both the morning and the afternoon. At noon I joined other county presidents for a luncheon and a speaker. Our closing session started at 3 in the afternoon and included more awards and contest winners. We also heard from U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack who spoke of the optimism he has for the future of agriculture. The real highlight of the day was Keynote Speaker Captain Mark Kelly. He had a great story to tell.That was the end of the sessions for the general public. Tuesday brought the delegate session and regional caucuses, wednesday was the AFBF Board of Directors meeting, none of which I attended.
With the rainy and cold weather, the rest of our time was mainly spent indoors checking out area attractions including one night spent in a country music bar, we just had to check out Vince Gill and It was a fun and restful trip, but it is good to be back home.
Filed under: church, family, Farm, friends, time, travel | Tags: blog, books, children, church, computer, family, farm, friends, reading, travel, writing, writing a blog
Driving down the road I think of some great story I would like to write, and then I forget it when I get to the computer. I miss a lot of stories I want to tell you all, I could tell them to you if I sat at my computer all day, or maybe not. An interesting life, and interesting stories come from getting out into the world and living it. After nearly 60 years of living life on the farm I have some interesting ones.
Opinions, I’ve got them. You don’t spend your life doing the many things I have done and not develop a few opinions. I miss telling you my opinion on many things because I’m not sitting at my computer all day. I’d love to sit here and tell you my opinion of everything, start me off.
My kids tell me I spend too much time on the computer writing blogs or reading facebook. The thing is that after the years I have spent, the need to get out and earn a living for a growing family is not as great. I’m not well off, but I am comfortable so I don’t need to be accumulating things. I live life a bit more simply than many and am content. I write what I want, when I want.
You’d never know it, but I hated writing in high school. My wife says my writing still leaves a lot to be desired. I still need to read and reread my writing to be sure I’m getting my point across, and I still mess up. I do enjoy reading, and rarely do not have a book that I am in the middle of, or several magazines that I am reading. I still prefer the old-fashioned paper book. I’ve read most of the ones in my library many times, they are old friends.
My family takes some time also. Three kids, two of them married, two grand daughters, a wife, parents, in-laws, sisters and their children, cousins, aunts and uncles, they all take up my time. Then there are activities with friends to attend. They also help provide stories to write about.
We love to travel, and I have been blessed to have traveled most of this country and several others. It can really crimp your writing time if you are on the road.
During the cropping season I am especially busy, and now record keeping and tax preparation will be taking up some of my time. I also have church and organizations that I belong which keep me busy, and provide more stories.
My life would be a lot more boring if I sat at my computer all day. Not only that, but I would have a lot less to write about. So I guess you are just going to have to miss out on some of those stories I could have written, if they were good enough, they will come back again anyway. In the mean time, I’ll be out living life, so I have some more stories to write about for you.
Filed under: family, Farm, friends | Tags: children, community, family, farm, friends, people, travel
In church today the pastor challenged us to think of what you would do different if you only had one more year to live, or one day. Only one day was easy, I’d spend it with my grand daughters. Who wouldn’t love spending time with them. They are a bit over a year old and busy as all get out.What I would do different if I had one year left was harder, because I already seem to be doing exactly what I want.
As a school bus driver I get to spend time with children. Now at times they can be difficult, but the wonder of everyday in a child’s eyes is something that I try to cultivate in myself. They help to keep me young.
I get some time for reading almost every day. Mostly it’s the news, but every once in a while I can get lost in a good book.
I grew up in a traveling family. We went to visit friends and relatives in the area often. I have relatives in many states and have been traveling with my family to see them all my life. I also get to visit new places when I can. Trips to Canada and Mexico as well as Europe, the Middle East and Africa are all thing I have gotten to do.
I have a job I love. It is varied and interesting. Let it look a little bit the same as last year and you will get a curve of some kind thrown at you. The money has not always been the greatest, but it has been enough. It makes me rely on my skills and education, yet is random enough to not be boring. There are others I can talk to that are going through the same things so I do not feel alone. My job has also given me time to live a life of service,
There have been several organizations I have given myself to over the years, lately it has been my church and the Farm Bureau. Both have given me an opportunity to travel and learn.
I was raised to be content. I just need enough money to get by and my job and hobbies have allowed me enough time and money to be content.
I have a wife and children who tolerate and take care of me. They are my best friends and my love.
I guess you could say that I have everything I need, why would I want to change a thing if I knew my time was limited.
So how about you? Would you change anything I you knew your time was limited?
Filed under: Ag education, Ag promotion, Animal care, family, Farm, farm animals, Farm Bureau, food, food safety, P & E | Tags: Agriculture education, farm, Farm Bureau, Food, food safety, friends
For a number of years now I have been helping Farm Bureau spread the message of what really happens on the farm. You would not think this would be something that needs to be done in a rural area such as ours, but it does. Most of our work here is to help reinforce the message the farmers really care about the land, water and people that they are taking care of. We are adding our own small voice, to those of many others, so that there are more chances for the message to get out.
Yesterday, we had a booth up at the Windom Farm and Home show. Although this is not some big city show, it does bring people of all ages to exchange ideas and visit with their neighbors. For one day, area businesses and groups turn the high school into an area to see, shop, learn and talk to friends old and new.
The county Farm Bureau had one area of their booth specifically for some educational media that we have. The new materials caught the eye of many and allowed us to spread the message that telling our story is something all should do.
If we did not see you at the show, please feel free to contact me about our activities. We are ready and willing to spread the message that farm folks care about Animals, Environment, Food and Family.
Filed under: Ag education, Ag promotion, Animal care, Farm, Farm Bureau, Hawaii, Minnesota, Politics, travel, weather | Tags: Agriculture education, american farm bureau federation, biofuels, Corn, farm, Farm Bureau, farm bureau federation, Food, friends, Hawaii, hawaii convention center, machines, Minnesota, politics
it’s 2012, the time has come again for the American Farm Bureau Federation to meet in Honolulu, and this year I decided to take advantage of the fact. Now I’m not a delegate or an exhibiter so I’m not getting my way paid by anyone, but I am a Farm Bureau Member and I do have a daughter who lives in the Aloha state, so I had at least two reasons to go.
As with any organization there were meetings for the whole group and meeting for special groups, like the Minnesota Breakfast for the about 100 of us from Minnesota, or the County Presidents Luncheon which I attended.
There were also breakout sessions on subjects that members might find interesting like these;
- Food and Farm Facts, Navigating Waves of Change in Advocacy and Agriculture Literacy
- American Farmer: Heart of Our Country
- Election 2012
- 2012 Farm Bill
- It’s Not What You Say, It’s What They Hear
- Business Development
- 2012 Crops Outlook Conference
- 2012 Livestock Outlook Conference
- Asia in the Present and Future of U.S. Agricultural Trade
- Celebrating Differences:How to Capitalize on Diversity in Times of Change
- Protecting your Estate:Essential Questions to ask your Estate Planning Professional
- Operating in and Era of Hyper Regulation
- Farm to Table, Aloha Style
Whew, I only had time to get to three of those, I wanted to go to many more.
All of this was held in the Hawaii Convention Center in Ala Moana neighborhood of Honolulu.
The Hawaii Convention Center is a four level combination of open air spaces and closed meeting rooms with all that the over 6000 farm folks could want, and plenty of space to do it in. The exhibiter area was large, There were multiple areas for breakout sessions and meetings as well as banquets and grab a quick meal areas. Several restaurants were just across the street.
The beauty of Hawaii is that the temperatures are usually good. Closed rooms usually have air conditioning, but all hallways are open to allow the out doors in. Dress code for Farm Bureau conventions is Business Casual, but in Hawaii casual is the Sunday-go-to-meeting-norm, a Hawaiian shirt is dressed up. To Hawaiians we were over dressed.
Inside and out the building was beautiful. Even from the back, everything was designed to welcome. This water wall was hidden away where few conventioneers had to go.
I expect that in about ten years the American Farm Bureau Federation will be back again to visit the Aloha State.
Filed under: family, Family History, Farm, friends, garden, harvest, history, Minnesota, pond, rain, safety, seasons, snow, South Africa, tillage, time, travel, weather | Tags: children, farm, friends, harvest, Minnesota, politics, rain, safety, snow, South Africa, weather, winter
When I started blogging two and a half years ago I really did not know what I was getting into. As time has gone by my blogs have fallen into a pleasant cycle of comments. I write about farming, politics and family. What is happening in my life shapes everything I write about. So it is again. Here’s some of the highlights from 2011.
January was cold and snowy, and the blog http://minnesotafarm.wordpress.com/2011/01/10/minnesnowta/ told the weather story. On a more personal note I buried a friend after a farm accident. That lead to a farm safety blog.
In February I traveled with others from Southwestern Minnesota to South Africa as we visited with folks from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in South Africa. Learning to understand their joys and struggles as we helped them with some gardening projects.
March blogs were about politics and snow.
Snow again was a subject for Aprils blogs, along with how slow the snow was to melt, and the advent of rain which kept us from getting into the fields to plant our crops.
In May we got our planting done just a little bit behind schedule. I also posted stories of the new decorative pond I was installing as part of a long planned for landscaping addition. The plans had to be hurried because we had a wedding coming up in June.
Our daughter, Elizabeth married Michael Feltes on June 10, our anniversary. Postings of crop conditions, wedding planning and pond creatures are the main topics for the month. My favorite is the copy of the wedding toast I gave http://minnesotafarm.wordpress.com/2011/06/10/father-of-the-bride/. I hope you enjoyed it.
July’s weather brought rapid crop development and hot humid weather. Our garden was starting to give its produce and most of the field work was drawing to a close.
August brought us http://minnesotafarm.wordpress.com/2011/08/30/flash-drought/ and more postings of the happenings in our pond.
September found our crops rapidly reaching maturity, wood cutting and a farm safety program for area fourth grade children. I got to tell the stories of farm accidents I and others have survived, plus the death of my friend Doug back in January in http://minnesotafarm.wordpress.com/2011/09/22/scared-safe/. The birth of twin granddaughters at the end of the month also highlighted my month.
October was harvest. I do not recall a fall where harvest went so fast, nor so easy. The lack of moisture after such a wet spring was a big part of that speed. Oh yes, I did post about those cute little girls that joined our family.
November was a bit slower month, but I was surprised by the popularity of a “how to” post I made called http://minnesotafarm.wordpress.com/2011/11/30/santas-peeking-in/. It caused a big jump in readership of my blog.
December has been a winding down month. The lack of snow and warm weather has been most of what I have written about. I did have to put in a post or two about the new girls in my life with http://minnesotafarm.wordpress.com/2011/12/25/christmas-with-granddaughters/.
It has been an interesting year for me. There have been joys and hardships and a lot of learning. So here’s the best to you as you look forward to the new year. There is one thing for sure, It will hold a lot of new opportunities for me to write about life. I hope you join me in 2012.
Filed under: charity, Christmas, church, family, friends, Holidays, travel | Tags: children, complaints, discontent, Food, friends, simple life, simple man, stuff, travel
I recently heard reports of the tweets of discontent this holiday season. People were tweeting each other about what they didn’t get for Christmas, or of the things they did get that were not right. I have also heard reports of how much parents are spending on children for Christmas presents, I am shocked. Why do we spend so much? Why are we so discontented? I don’t understand.
Now to be fair, I’ve never wanted for material things in my life. True, I didn’t always have what I wanted, but I always had what I needed. My parents, while not really rich had enough to live and travel well, we worked hard and always had what we really needed, and I was raised to appreciate what I had. Because of that, my tastes are simple. I’ve got a job, make that several jobs, that supply me with what money I need, a much better wife than I deserve, and three children who are now supporting themselves. I consider that a success. I have books to read, friends to visit with and a church and community that I enjoy, all things that I consider worth while.
When I hear people complain about not having the right smart phone, the right color whatever, the best food, I do not understand. Perhaps because of my reading and travels, I know that we have it really nice with our good enough cars, phones and house. I’ve seen and worked with so many that have so much less than I do, and are content. I’ve visited with many who have so much more, and are less happy than I am. I’ve learned that money does not bring happiness, but more worries. I’ve learned that having things doesn’t bring contentment, but a desire to have more and better things. I’ve learned that having just enough, is so nice.
Yep, I’m a simple man. Yes, I enjoy good things, but get no more happiness out of eating a $50 meal than I do a $5 one. My phone is just smart enough to allow me to answer calls where ever I happen to be, and survive the abuse I give it. My home is rather medium in size for our area, nicely decorated and comfortably furnished. I’ve got a bunch of books to read, and re read, a few movies and more than enough TV sets. My wheels are not that old, but not that new either. I live just well enough for me, thank you.
There is a song I am remembering about a simple man, it pretty well sums up my feelings about life. You’ll have to update a few things for today, but it fits: ”I got a hump back mule, a plow and a tater patch, eggs that are gonna hatch someday, I got the Lord above and a good gal that loves me, I’m the richest man in the world.”
Filed under: family, friends, history, safety, time | Tags: friends, herefor, history, safety, senior moment
So you walk into a room, you stop and think, now what did I come in here for. Yep you’ve got the “herefors.”
The “herefors” can and do strike with no warning. Your day is going well, and they can hit you. You can get them at home or at work. It’s even possible to get them on vacation, except that when you are doing nothing they are less likely to find you. Don’t be concerned, they are not deadly, you will recover quickly if you just go back to what you were doing before they got you. You do remember what you were doing before the “herefors” hit you, don’t you?
“Herefors” are merely annoying if you are alone. When you are at work, they can be embarrassing, just brazen it out, and act like you came for something else.
“Herefors” are no respecter of age. They strike the old and the young alike. As you get older you can joke about having a “senior moment,” but they are not only for senior citizens.
There is no cure for the “herefors,” although a more organized mind will cut down on their incidence. Just accept it as part of life. Admit it, you came for a reason. Just stop and think, “Now what did I come in here for?”
Filed under: Minnesota, School bus, seasons, summer, time, travel | Tags: attitude, children, friends, school, school bus, summer, vacation
The summer is drawing to a close and many kids are back in school. My daughter has been teaching at her school for most of the month. School started here this week. I hear the lament “Where has the summer gone?” I’m here to tell you that summer is still here and will be until September 23.
School for many signals the end of summer. The end of vacation and a slower pace we all look forward too, at least if there are school age children or teachers in the house. I think we are giving our children a false message when we lament the end of summer. We make it seem as if school was not a good thing.
A friend of mine was lamenting that he had to cover the spot of one of our youth who got a job and then quit after one day. The fact is that school, like work demands our time and attention. Quiting is not an option if you plan to make something of yourself. There are too many “summer people” in this world, and not enough fall, winter and spring people.
When I pick up the younger children in my school bus I see the excitement in their eyes. They are getting to be with friends and learn new things. The world is exciting, new and full of adventure. We need to somehow keep that new and exciting feeling in our lives. We need a school time attitude, not a vacation attitude.
When you travel to other countries you see how easy we have it here. We in America seem to live in a summertime attitude. We vacation and play so much, we have so much, even our poor people have so much more than the poor in other countries.
If we want our country to remain great we need to get back into that start of school time attitude where we are always busy and always learning. We need an attitude of the start, not of the end. The next time I hear the lament that the summer is over, I’m likely to reply that is a good thing. America and her people need to end their summertime attitude. It’s time to roll up the sleeves and get to work. This is the end of summer, it’s an exciting time.
Filed under: family, fish, friends, garden, pond, water garden, Wildlife | Tags: family, fish, friends, Koi, painted turtles, pond, turtles, water garden
Today was the after wedding party at our house. Since most of Michael’s family had come a long distance for the wedding, we invited family members from both sides to our farm for the gift opening. This party was the reason I had been working so hard on the landscaping and pond.
The house had been cleaned, plants had been planted all around the house, and grass replaced. A pond with all of it’s plants and fish had been completed. The new porch had received new furniture. A large tent had been erected and decorated. We were ready to party.
Part way through the party I got a call that I had been waiting for. The turtles were coming.
Our town’s annual celebration has turtle races each year and I had been promised the turtles found by our landscaper after the race. In the middle of the party they were delivered.
Yertle and Crush were instant celebrities with all present except the Koi. Young and old peered into the pond to watch them. The Koi were visibly upset. They did not like these new neighbors.
The turtles are Painted Turtles common in our area. It is hoped that they will like their new home and assist me in keeping it clean. They definitely add a new bit of interest to the pond,