This week I was finally able to come home! I never realize how much I miss farming, and my home until I visit. Harvest is unfortunately moving at an extremely slow pace this year. We have two combines that try to run around the clock. Over the week I have been home one has been broke down almost each day. My poor father may end up blowing a head gasket himself. The combines are old enough that we have to pick up parts, and fix them ourselves. The men are usually hard at it, but finding parts has been a struggle. On Saturday when the 9120 broke down the closest Case IH dealer with the parts we needed was 8 hours away in North Dakota. They wouldn’t ship it until Wednesday, and that is too long to have a combine not running. My dad left instantly to go get the necessary parts. That is dedication to say the least. I have learned nothing comes between a farmer and getting his crops out. Birthdays, anniversaries, none of it comes first.
You can bring dinner in the combine, and celebrate if you want to spend time with them. My dad went down and started fixing the combine on Sunday after his trek to North Dakota. That night another break down happens. If you have control issues farming is NOT for you. It is completely unpredictable, and extremely frustrating at times! The next day is Monday, and I drove about 4 hours getting some parts for my dad. Once I drop them off the rain starts coming down. Its only typical that mother nature would love to pour down all day during harvest. Our crops burned up this summer we prayed for rain constantly. It never really did come. Now when we do not want it, of course it decides to show up. Now no one can get in the field because it is too muddy. My boyfriend has gotten work off the last few days which is really nice. I have got to spend much more time with him than I originally anticipated. We went fishing in the freezing cold rain yesterday for over 2 hours. I only had a hoodie on, and my hands lost all feeling. I woke up this morning hardly able to swallow yay for sickness. It is time for this rain to go away so harvest can move on, and I can stay healthy. For now I will just keep singing rain, rain go away. I am sure Mother Nature will just ignore me like always.
I am so ready for FALL BREAK! It officially starts next Wednesday, and I am so excited. I want to go to Iowa and see all my loved ones already. My little brother turns 12 on Saturday, I hate that I have to miss it. My wonderful boyfriend is living in Iowa with my family learning to farm. It is a wonderful opportunity, but now I’m one lonely lady. I wasn’t thinking about the fact that I was going to lose my best friend ALL of harvest. That may be why I am very excited to go home. I’ve had so much more time since he left. Today I have a meeting for the Big Sister Program here in Springfield. I am hoping to find a child to mentor, and help change a life. Volunteering is a great way for me to stay busy, and feel really good about myself.
I also am managing to get plenty of homework done. I usually always do it, but I am not procrastinating nearly as much as I was. Netflix still may end up being my demise. Once I get started on a series I can’t stop watching it. I am having a massive cookout, and swimming party tomorrow night. I figure I can stay busy if I invite around 30 people over. That should most definitely be an ordeal. I can’t figure out why Springfield is still so hot. I still can’t go a day without sweating where is my chilly weather? My boyfriend called and said it had rained so they can’t get in the field, because the moisture levels are just to high. Anyway off to work on homework I go. Can’t wait until I can blog about my Iowa trip. I included a little video of what Harvest looks like in case people don’t fully understand.
This week for my Ag public relations class we had a guest speaker named Lynzee Glass; she works with Ozark Farm and neighbor. This is a paper written every three weeks about agriculture in Missouri, and surrounding states. It has almost 50,000 readers, but most are male between ages 35 and 64. It seems in modern day society the younger generations are using a lot more technology. The Ozark Farm and Neighbor paper decided to utilize internet sources. They now are connected to the world through Facebook and Twitter. Lynzee had mentioned that her boss almost seemed a little reluctant to join Facebook at first. He was simply trying to figure out how it could help him make a profit? This is the one of the most important questions when it comes to operating a business. But, what happens when these older men who read their paper pass on? I know that I personally haven’t read a paper myself in at least a year. I do happen to check my Facebook, and use the internet daily.
This lead them to using social media beyond just their paper. It is the best way for them to connect to the younger generation of the world. Once they made the Facebook page then they could track how many people liked it. The internet also has changed how they can get information out. The paper is only sent out every three weeks, this often means breaking news is often sent out a while after it happens. Social media has allowed them to get information out in a much more timely manner. They can also post community events, photos, and press releases through twitter. Even if they only have a few thousand followers, they are reaching additional people. Lets face it not a ton of older farmers check their Facebook page each day, that is if they even have one. Since making Facebook, and Twitter is free it seems like only a gain. Utilizing the internet has definitely only helped out their business. The world is changing, and if a business doesn’t keep up it may just be left in the dust.
The reason I started this blog is for my Agriculture Public Relations class. Each week I am required to write a post, often I am given the option on what I want to talk about. This week in class we really started delving into some of the misperceptions in agriculture. We were all given an hour to find a partner, and making a video relating to agriculture. My partner and I decided to see what PETA had to say about the beef industry. We were only required to have a two minute video, and we managed to make ours almost three minutes. All we ended up getting to explain was one mere sentence that PETA had made in the opening paragraph of their page. It seems to amaze me how many people have such a strong opinion on something they have no facts on.
There are so many misperceptions of Agriculture it should honestly enrage many people working in the industry. This class is important to any Ag major, because everyone needs a voice. We must defend our way of living along with the jobs we have. People aren’t necessarily trying to offend us they are simply misinformed. The video I made is nothing special by all means. But, just something as simple as a video, or blog can go viral. One thing you post online can change the opinion of so many people. I believe the Ag community needs to go out and get more involved with the internet. Modern technology is how the world is functioning. If more people decide to get onboard then it will make it easier to share OUR story. This will keep people who have no clue what they are saying from poisoning our industry. Even if you do just make a short video off your phone, someone will see it and that can make all the difference.
I’ve officially been living in Springfield for about a month now. I’m already having slight withdrawals from the farms back home. At least in the city of Council Bluffs I was able to drive to the country and escape it all. I now live in my own little one bedroom apartment directly in the middle of the city. It is a nice little home, but I am itching to find a horse to ride. My parents were supposed to come down and visit this weekend my 20th birthday is on Monday. Looks like that isn’t going to happen, harvest is coming early this year. Southwest Missouri seemed to get plenty of rain this summer, but Iowa is burning up! We only have a few hundred acres that are being irrigated. Most of the corn will be ready by this week to be harvested. I fortunately have wonderful friends and a boyfriend who will celebrate with me instead. My birthday has been close to harvest every year, I understand that the job comes first.
I’m feeling slightly depressed that I will miss it another year because of school. Not many people understand what harvest is like, but it is my favorite time of year. The air starts to cool down just to the perfect temperature it feels crisp in the morning. I can comfortably put on boots and flannels without being sweaty and miserable. Leaves change to brilliant radiant colors before they fall filling up yards. My favorite is driving the diesel truck through the hills looking at the corn ready to be picked. It is golden yellow, and to me that is what money looks like. It makes me laugh when people say “money doesn’t grow on trees.” In my family money grows on corn, because that is purely how we make our entire income. Red tractors and combines work around the clock to pick everything before it gets too cold. I love to ride around in the combine with my father, we never say much to each other though. Most farm men don’t, he simply loves to know I am next to him. That is all he needs to make his day better, and the same goes for me. I don’t know what it is, but there is something soothing and wonderful about harvest time. Most people would think it was boring sitting in a tractor for 15 hours a day, They simply don’t understand what its like to farm, but I would love to give insight of just what it means to me.
It all began in a tiny farm town in Hamburg, Iowa population 900. My great grandfather bought acres upon acres of farmland knowing one day it would pass down to his future generations of grandchildren. So here I am, going to school at Missouri State University with the dreams of farming for the rest of my life. I was raised in the Country life I was on a horse before I was in preschool, and had more animals than the entire town. I loved my tiny town, everyone knew who you were. It was safe, and I didn’t want to leave. In fifth grade my mother and sister decided it was best to move an hour away to the city of Council Bluffs, Iowa. I screamed and cried the entire time we were moving, my father decided to commute to the farms every day from the big city. I now consider myself to be a city slicking farmer because of my upbringing. My roots are strong for the country life I fish, love my guns, and could ride a horse everyday. But, I learned quick in the city if you want any friends you better learn to dress and go shopping. I now have a wardrobe that is completely full of dresses, heels, and clothes. Right below is a 12 gauge, six pairs of cowboy boots, and belts so binged out they could blind you. It isn’t uncommon for me to ride horses all morning in a dirty outfit then drive back up to the city and go out to dance clubs with a dress and heels. I’ve always just thought that I was fortunate to grow up with the best of both worlds. My parents farm close to 3,700 acres of pure row crop. Corn and soybeans are the only thing you will find out in the field. We also have many thoroughbreds my dad loves the horse racing business. I want to manage the farms until he retires, then hopefully take over and run the business. I live quite an interesting life, but I love every single minute of it.