Blogging is Gratifying
Discovering a new farm blog is the high light of my week. And when I found Ed’s site HyMark High Spots, I knew I had to ask him to be a featured farmer. Looking at his archives, you can see what a prolific blogger he is. Amazing.
1. Tell a little about you and your operation (blog title).
Ed and LuAnn Winkle, HyMark High Spots, Martinsville, Ohio
We raise no-till corn, soybeans, wheat, barley in southern Clinton County Ohio, an hour east of Indiana and Cincinnati, Ohio and an hour north of the Ohio River at Maysville, Kentucky. I am 62 and retired from 31 years of public service as an agricultural educator with 12 years as a sub bus driver and 10 years on the school board I first taught at. I taught 16 years at Blanchester, 7 years as County Agricultural Agent in Warren County and 8 years at Clermont Northeastern. I started HyMark Consulting in 1994 after leaving Extension and started scouting crops for a fee in 1985.
I was a Citizen Ambassador to China in 1985 and taught agricultural education during the 30 days I was there. My Extension Pesticide, Newsletter and Radio Programs were named first in the nation by the National Association of County Agricultural Agents. I was named National No-Till Innovator of the Year in 1999 which led to presentations at that conference for the next 11 years. I have traveled across the country and to Canada, Europe and New Zealand to teach no-till cropping practices.
2. What made you want to start your blog?
My wife LuAnn challenged me to start my own blog in 2008. I didn’t even know what a blog was. I wrote my first blog January 1, 2009 and have written one nearly every day since. I have always been a curious person and learning to teach, writing became a necessary part of my skills and my life. I enjoy sharing what I learn as my teachers have greatly influenced my life.
3. What has been the biggest surprise since you started? or something you didn’t expect:
I am surprised at how gratifying it is to blog. I have developed a following whom I communicate regularly with from all over the world but mainly the midwest, where my writing most applies to. My blog has brought me visitors from far away and brought us to meet our followers far away.
4. What is your favorite post and why?
My favorite post is the Hybridization of Corn because without the work that produced that discovery, you and I might not be here. It led to a great increase of food that has caused world populations to sky rocket since the 1800’s.
5. What obstacles to blogging have you met and how did you overcome them?
My greatest obstacle is finding a topic I am passionate about. I am very active and see a lot of different things and talk to many different people which really gives me broad subject matter to select from but finding that right topic is often difficult. My first obstacle was finding a platform that was easy to use and I chose Google’s blogspot. I wonder now if I should have chosen WordPress instead so I could have maintained control of my content. I feel like I have given Google millions of dollars worth of material, that is what my blog is worth to me. I have thousands of hours invested that few people could duplicate. I should have set up my own website but my tech was not that reliable at the time and one of my former students. He’s a good guy, just not dependable to maintain a website with a daily blog.
I need to update my blog but like it just like it is. I was told to remove word verification for posting comments. I had few comments until I did.