farmNwife

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Category: Featured Farmer

Faces of Farming & Ranching

USFRA just announced the winners of the Faces of Farming & Ranching.

Congratulations to Chris Chin, Will Gilmer, Katie Pratt, & Bo Stone. These four will be the spokes people for “food dialogues” nationally. They will be speaking faces of farming & ranchingabout how food is produced, specifically about their own farms.

I believe they all will do an excellent job of advocating for agriculture. And I look forward to seeing them out and about. They already have a good track record for speaking up on behalf of the farm industry.

Three of the four winners had their own websites. A coincidence? I think not!

Just think what your farm blog could do for you.

U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance Announces Winners of Its Search for the Faces of Farming & Ranching | The Food Dialogues.

What Life on the Farm Is All About

Trevor calls his farm blog The Road Less Traveled. In his latest post, he taught me about The Peanut Boil.

1. Tell a little about you and your operation.GA Farmer

My name is Trevor Smith. I am 32, married to a farm girl, raising two kids, ages 6 and 1. Church and family are the major influences in my life, which is reflected in my blog. I am descended from a long line of farmers and grew up on a small row crop farm. Currently I farm 2000+ acres of cotton and peanuts in partnership with my dad and brother. We also have 175 acres of watermelons this year, with my wife overseeing most of the watermelon operation. This is our fifth year growing watermelons.

2. What made you want to start your blog?

My primary social media outlet is Twitter, but I felt as if I had more to say than could be said in 140 characters or less. I wasn’t all that familiar with agblogs, but after reading a couple I thought, “I could do that too!”

3. What has been the biggest surprise since you started? or something you didn’t expect:

I didn’t expect the amount of interest in my blog that I have received. I feel like I bought into the stereotype that people see farmers as leading dull lives, and that no one was very interested in life on the farm. I see now that many people like to peek through the window of my blog at what life on the farm is all about.

4. What is your favorite post and why?

Dinner at Mama’s is my favorite post so far. It was a “suprise” for my mom for Mother’s Day, and she seemed to enjoy being featured.

5. Where do you get your ideas?

I read other ag blogs on occasion for ideas, but most of my ideas are just random thoughts accumulated from hours spent alone on a tractor. I also enjoy linking agriculture and farming to scriptural principals.

You can follow me on Twitter @GaFarmer80

 

You should also check out Trevor’s post about his Watermelon Queen.


Foodie Farmer

1. Tell a little about you and your operation.Foodie Farmer

Schmidt Farms is a 3rd generation (in the USA, multiple generations in Germany before ancestors immigrated to the States) family farm on the Eastern Shore of MD. When my husband and brother-in-law took over the farm from their parents nearly 20 years ago, they began a significant revamping of the way we do business. We transitioned from an outdoor farrow to finish hog and beef cattle operation to a 2000-acre grain, hay, fruit and vegetable farm. Schmidt Farms is probably one of the most diversified large farms in Maryland. (Yes, there are farms in Maryland, agriculture is its biggest industry!) Our goal is to find crops that add value to each acre so nearly all our wheat, barley and soybeans are grown for seed-, food-, or specialty markets except for our field corn which goes for feed for the local poultry industry. We also launched a custom vineyard management company 4 years ago to offer services to the growing Maryland wine grape industry.

 

2. What made you want to start your blog?

I started my blog about 9 months ago after joining the grassroots volunteer farm women organization called “Common Ground”. I have always loved to write but knew little about the realm of social media before joining Common Ground. My background is as a Registered Dietitian which I worked full time for 15 years before joining the farm full time. It is a wonderful integration of my training in nutrition with my practice of growing food. My blog is named “The Foodie Farmer” for that reason, blogging about how food gets from field to fork.


3. What has been the biggest surprise since you started? or something you didn’t expect:

While I have not had any particular surprises with my blog, I have been surprised on other blogs and in social media in general about how immature and unprofessional communication has become. I have served as a commissioner on my county planning and zoning board and so am used to handling people of varying opinions on contentious issues. I’ve always approached life as being able to agree to disagree but still be civil.  But in the social media realm, it seems to be a “blurt it” sort of attack with no forethought or consideration. I’m surprised by the lack of civility by adults of differing opinions. Perhaps I’m just naïve…

 

4. What is your favorite post and why?

My favorite post is from December of 2011:  “Know your farmer: Locavore or Globavore?” Because I’ve had the opportunity to live and work abroad in the field of agriculture, as well as travel and meet farmers around the nation, I’m a big fan of the “know where your food comes from” but less so of the “buy local” campaign. Certainly, I buy local foods but not because they are local, I buy them because I know the farmer who grew them. Many of the foods in the grocery stores are “local”, there just isn’t a face of a farmer on the jar or can. I buy Vlasic or Mount Olive pickle products because I know farmers who grow cucumbers for both those companies. I buy Furmano tomato products because we are growers for that cannery and know many of the farmers who also grow for them. Sadly, the general population has developed the idea that items from the grocery store are “corporate” and therefore not grown by family farms. My “Know Your Farmer: Locavore or Globavore” blog tries to portray the many family farms growing nutritious, high quality foods from all corners of this globe.

 

5. What obstacles have you met and how did you overcome them?

My greatest obstacle is understanding technology and I’m still trying to overcome that! It’s a learning curve that wasn’t around when I was in school. I ask other bloggers for help and since I teach high school Sunday school at my church, I have a good number of teenagers well versed in technology to help me too!

 

Social Media Links:

Twitter: @FarmGirlJen

Facebook Fan Page: The Foodie Farmer

Blog: http://thefoodiefarmer.blogspot.com

 

Your blog is looking really good, Jen. The pictures and video add lots of interest.


Born To Pharm

Melissa is a faithful blogger. I like that she adds lots of pictures in her posts to help tell her story. Born To Pharm

1. Tell a little about you and your operation.

born to pharmMy husband, Adam, and I are fourth generation farmers and we grew up on our family farms in rural Northeast, Kansas. Our story began when we met at our county 4-H fair when we were teenagers. Who knew that ten years later we would be married and farming alongside his parents and grandparents? Our operation is located near Atchison, KS. We have a diversified operation consisting of corn, soybeans, and a few acres of wheat. We also put up brome hay to feed the cattle in the winter and raise Angus, and Angus-Cross cows. Adam and his dad farm approximately 2,500 acres in Kansas and Missouri. Our cattle herd usually runs around 150 cow/calf pairs. I attended Kansas State University and earned a degree in Agricultural Economics. After graduation I decided to pursue pharmacy school and I was accepted at The University of Missouri-Kansas City. Adam attended North Central Kansas Technical College and earned his degree in Agricultural Equipment Technology. The combination of our professions is where the title for our blog came from. Adam and I are passionate about our careers and we love telling the story of Agriculture.

2. What made you want to start your blog?

I was inspired to start my own blog after following several friends who have Ag blogs. I saw the positive impact they were making and I wanted to make a contribution by telling our story. The blog has also been a creative outlet for me and allowed me to take a break from studying to write a post every now and then.

3. What has been the biggest surprise since you started? or something you didn’t expect:
There are several things that have surprised me since I started blogging. The first being that people are actually reading our blog and not just close friends or family members, but people from all over the world are reading it. Another surprise has been when people in our community or our friends come up to us to tell us they learned something about Agriculture or the pharmacy profession from our posts. It is reassuring to know we are making an impact in trying to bridge the information gap between the “pharmer” and the consumer. The last thing that has been surprising is how often our two professions overlap. Agricultural issues have been discussed in my pharmacy classes and medication treatments for the animals have been brought up at home.

4. What is your favorite post and why?
My favorite post would have to be The Truth About Being a Farm Wife. This post is one that comes from the heart and it was one that was easy for me to write. It has also allowed me to network with other farm wives and provided me with some comfort in knowing I’m not the only one experiencing the busy times during the year.

Adam’s favorite post is one he wrote titled, Saving Lives. In this post he details how he was able to save a newborn calf’s life and the satisfaction that comes from that.

5. Where do you get your ideas for blog posts?

Ideas generally come from personal experiences; what Adam is doing on the farm, or what I’m going through in pharmacy school. I also draw post topics from what is going on in the Ag community or pharmacy profession. I’ve also had relatives or friends come to me with an idea for a blog post and I will do my research and put together a post on that suggestion as well.

Twitter @BorntoPharm

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/borntopharm

Instagram @BorntoPharm


Daughter of a Cotton Ginner

I believe this is our first time featuring cotton farmers, next to a desert no less. Suzie tells wonderful stories about her farm at Kissed a Farmer.

 

1. Tell a little about you and your operation.kissed a farmer
Daniel & Suzie Wilde are cotton farmers in West Central Texas near San Angelo.  Our farms lie on the edge of the largest desert in North America, the Chihuahuan Desert.  We farm 700 acres of mostly cotton with no irrigation, “dryland cotton.”  We also farm some wheat and grain sorghum for rotation.  We had a small cattle herd but had to sell them off due to the drought last year.  Most of Daniel’s farms have been in his family for many years, some up to a century.  He does all the work himself except during harvest time.  I have been a crop insurance agent for over 20 years and I am the daughter of a second generation cotton ginner.
2. What made you want to start your blog?

I started my Facebook page, Kissed A Farmer, as part of an effort to share the story of agriculture through social media in conjunction with the Texas Farm Bureau Texas Agriculture Challenges Team (TACT.)  Once I started that, I soon saw that I wanted an outlet for more details and information than I was able to put on a Facebook status update.  I wanted to share more about the methods and practices we use out here that are unique to this part of the world.  That’s when I started my Kissed A Farmer blog.  I have been asked about the name “Kissed A Farmer” and why would I choose that.  I tell our story from the eyes of a farm wife who doesn’t work on nor live on the farm.  I kiss my farmer good bye in the morning and kiss him hello at night.  I help out when I can, but mostly I watch with awe the amazing things he does out there called dryland cotton farming and share the story from my unique perspective.

3. What has been the biggest surprise since you started? or something you didn’t expect:

The biggest surprise to me has been that most people don’t realize there are so many crops grown without any irrigation.  We only get about 12 inches of rain during our growing season and after reading that, one man commented that what we were doing was “extraordinary.”  Out here next to the Chihuahuan Desert, we go about our lives, hoping for one more inch of rain and one less day of 100 degree heat.  Having been here all my life, I was used to the extremes of our weather and the things we do to battle it or take advantage of it.  But learning that others are so fascinated by it, I now have a wonderful new appreciation of what we do.

4. What is your favorite post and why?

Serendipity is a post about the long awaited approval of a fungicide that will help us control Cotton Root Rot.  To get this product is next to a miracle for the producers who have fought this problem with their cotton for over 100 years.  All of our farms lie in an area with a heavy infestation of the fungus.  The day Daniel started planting, I left work just to watch the first seed go in the ground using the fungicide.  It caused so much excitement in our farming community that for the past 6 months, little else was the topic of conversation at coffee shops and cotton gins. It was a wonderful experience for me to share all this excitement with my readers.

 

5. What obstacles have you met and how did you overcome them?
The only obstacles I have met is lack of knowledge about effective blogging.  I read a lot of what I consider great blogs to see what is working for them.  I also visit sites and blogs about blogging to get as many tips and ideas as possible.  I have attended some seminars and presentations on the subject also.
Please head over and like Suzie on facebook at Kissed A Farmer