farmNwife

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Tag: farm blogger

Farming in the Heart of the Midwest

1. Tell a little about you and your farm operation.Brandi in corn field

Hi! My name is Brandi. My blog is Lipstick & Tractors. The name is a perfect fit for my life; I am a farm girl who can keep up with the boys and look good doing it. I said ‘yes’ on December 23, 2013 to my ruggedly handsome farmer. I am a registered nurse and my fiancé is an ag mechanic. We have a baby – a black lab-mix named Jules that we rescued from the local shelter. In our free time (haha –free time, what’s that?) we enjoy spending time with family and friends, outdoor activities, dining out, catching a movie, and heading to tractor pulls. Kyle sold his first pulling tractor and is working on his second, so he may be pulling again this year.

Our farm is nestled right in the heart of the Midwest. Northeast Iowa to be exact. My fiancé is part of a family farming operation that farms 5600+ acres of corn and beans each year. As well as owning 12 hog buildings. I help out when and where I can. Kyle started his own ag repair business and does this in addition to working at his dad’s ag repair shop.

2. What made you want to start your blog?

I wanted a way to connect with other people who shared my lifestyle. I also wanted to share our story of agriculture, as well as our life in general.

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

The support of my blog has been overwhelming and I am very thankful for that! I am surprised by the amount of followers, views, pins, etc. I am very grateful for all the connections I have made. I didn’t expect some of my blog posts to get so popular.

4. What posts topics are a favorite with your readers?

My most popular posts are my Better Than Sex Cake recipe and Why I Don’t Like Your Blog. My response to 23 Things To Do Instead of Getting Engaged Before You’re 23, I’m 22 & Engaged also topped the charts. In general my readers enjoy my posts on agriculture, beauty product reviews, wedding, and recipes.

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

I meet obstacles often – in life, in agriculture, in blogging, in nursing. I rely on my fiancé, family, friends, my blog, and God to help me overcome them. When times get tough I just remember that it could be worse and things will get better.

 

Social Media:

Lipstick & Tractors

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lipstickandtractors

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cornfedfarmgirl

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/brandilang

 

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 Winkle
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.

Ed’s blog HyMark High Spots is a wonderful find. I am so glad I am able to feature it here. You can follow him on twitter @EdWinkle  Can you beat Ed’s blog post total of 390 posts in a year?


Faith, Family, Friends, Farm and Fun

At Matt’s blog he ponders deep subjects like Who the Real Santa Is and the Chicken and Egg Debate of which he has interesting points of view. This is what he has to say about his ag blog.

1.Tell a little about you and your operation.

Boucher Farms is a 4th generation, small to mid-sized Grain farm, Harvesting Corn and Soybeans in Northern Central Illinois. After graduating from Iowa State University, I was fortunate enough to be able to come home and take over the day to day operations of our family farm. Since then we have rented a few additional acres and improved our efficiencies with the increased use of GPS, VRT and Yield Mapping technologies. The result of using these technologies is a reduction in fertilizer and chemical use, as well as placing them more accurately where they are needed in the fields in a more timely fashion. My overall goal as a farmer is to manage and operate our farm as sustainably and as efficiently as possible so the next generation has the opportunity to farm as well.

2. What made you want to start your blog, offthecobb.wordpress.com ?

My social media experience began on Facebook over 2 years or so ago, and I’ve been on twitter (@boucherfarms) for about the last year. Both sites are great in their own right. Basically, I use Facebook to communicate with the people I already personally know, and use Twitter mostly to communicate with people who I do not personally know, but are interested in the same subjects as I am. Although both sites are great for basic communication, I felt there were some subjects that needed a longer post, explanation or discussion than 140 Characters would allow, Such as Faith, Family, Friends, Farm and Fun, which are the basic subjects of my blog. Off the Cobb was a project I had in mind for quite some time, however I didn’t jump into the blogging world until my other blog, “The 2% Project, The Farmers Story” www.boucherfarms.wordpress.com was born. It was conceived during the #occupywalstreet and #occupycombine movements of this past fall. While everyone seemed to be concerned about what percentage they fit into, 1%, 99% etc…I knew that the farmers are the 2%. Farmers make up a mere 2% (or less) of todays population yet grow the foods we the, 100% need to survive. The idea behind the 2% blog is to give farmers a chance to tell their story, to show who they are, what they do and why as well as give consumers an opportunity to meet a farmer and communicate with them. I hope the blog, which is a work in progress, creates a new form of understanding between consumers and farmers through quality communication and respect.

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

That’s a really great question. Since I was new to the blogosphere, I really didn’t know what to expect. I simply thought I would put my thoughts on paper, good or bad and if someone read them, great! If they didn’t, that was ok too. If they commented and we had an open discussion on whatever the subject matter was, well…you can’t get any better than that. What surprised me, and what I didn’t expect, was making so many new contacts, and new friends along the way. These new friendships were made through simple communication through the blog and social media alike, but were, in part, because of the blog. I am happy to say that more and more of them are joining my Facebook friend list (which I keep just for people I know) as I get to know them better.

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

The biggest obstacle I have run into is simply Time. I have a family of my own, my farm, and my seed business that keep me busy enough;I thought…how can I keep up with a blog too? But from time to time I do. I don’t know that I have or ever will overcome the time constraint, however I do see a huge value in keeping the blog(s) going and continuing The 2% Project well into the future. While my OTC blog as well as the 2% blog have been a slow process, I have some great subjects to talk about and farmers lined up to share their story in the coming months.

5. What advice would you give someone just starting a blog?

  • 1. Blog about the subjects you are passionate about.
  • 2. While blogs are opinionated in nature, remain as factual as possible and back your content up with links. This will give you more credibility.
  • 3. Remain Positive and throw in a little humor. For example, my “Which Came First, The Chicken Or the EGG?” post was actually serious in nature, however a picture of two chickens wondering where the egg came from and wondering what it was lightened the mood.
  • 4. Embrace all kinds of conversation, especially if that person doesn’t agree with you. Education, Respect, and Open-mindedness are the keys to understanding one another.
  • 5. Use social media sites like Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest (yes I and other guys are on it) and Stumbleupon to guide traffic toward your site.
  • 6. Above all, have some FUN with it! If you do, your readers will too!

I hope Matt continues to find time to blog. I do enjoy reading his insight to all kinds of topics. Matt’s blog: Off The Cobb  twitter: @boucherfarms

What do you think of Matt’s post? Leave a comment for him below.

 

 


Back Home on the Farm

Chris has only been blogging at Small Nebraska Farming for less than a month. His latest post shows he’s got what it takes to be a top notch blogger. He issmall nebraska farmer another one of whom I am jealous of their ability to put so much feeling and depth into his writing.

1. Tell a little about you and your farm background.
My Dad and I farm in Eastern Nebraska on our family farm with a few rented farms to add into the acres.  Since I was a kid I have always wanted to be a part of the AG world.  After high school I took a job working for DirecTV and then Regional Manager Central District in Oklahoma City.  That moved me away from the farm for 4 very long years.  I came back every fall to help Dad with harvest, but then back to Oklahoma City I went, always wanting to stay, but knowing financially I couldn’t.  Finally this year, 2012, with my new wife of 18months, we were able to finally move back home.  Now I’m back on the farm where I belong, wife next to me every step of the way, and learning what I’ve missed out on from Dad every day.  This year I’m hoping to work out a loan from the Beginning Farmer Program to start raising beef cattle of my own and see where it takes me from there.

2. What made you want to start your blog?Back in Oklahoma City I was using SN’s to talk with friends and what not.  Now out here, I wanted to communicate with other farmers, ranchers, and producers.  I wanted to learn from someone outside of our area, to see how things are done in different states with different climates.  Then along came the talks about how the consumer doesn’t know where it gets its dinner from and how its up to us as producers to share our story of how our lives are lived and how our animals are treated and cared for, and how our crops are grown so the rest of the world can better understand what it takes.  That’s when I thought of Small Nebraska Farming blog.  I wanted to give those that read my blog, a behind the scenes type of look at what its like on a farm, a small family farm.  We don’t have hired hands, we don’t have stock brokers or crop management offices telling us when and what to do.  We’re out here day in and day out to make a living.  I wanted the country, the world, to see that side of the farmer.  It’s not just about riding in a tractor out here, there is more to it than that and it’s up to us, the farmer, to show that.

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

My latest and so far most viewed blog “Occupation: Farmer” was just a simple blog that I almost didn’t write because it seemed to emotional for a guy to write.  But after much thought I figured why not, it was just a conversation between my wife….. well, a conversation FROM my wife to me, about being a farmer and a farmer’s wife, so why not.  In turn my views have 4x the amount of my last post.  That was something I didn’t expect, and now that I have an audience, I really look forward to sharing what the farm is all about to all these folks.

4. What was the hardest part about getting started? how did you overcome this?

WRITERS BLOCK!  I felt like I had this blog, this awesome way to communicate my thoughts with the world, so what do I write now.  It’s Winter in Nebraska, we’re grinding corn and feeding cattle, how boring.  I had to really stop and tell myself to calm down and be patient and let the events come to me.  If this blog is going to be about our farm, then let it be.  If we don’t do anything today, oh well, it’ll be there another day when something is going on.  And so I do exactly that. I let it go until there is something done around here worthy of writing about.5. What are you wanting to learn next? and why?

I’m still young, I have a lot to learn, and this blogging is something beyond new to me.  I’m open to suggestions about anything on any topic about any reason.  I want to know how to get to that audience of thousands instead of a hundred… but I know that answer as well… TIME.

Chris has seen what kind of post it takes to draw an audience. He just has to keep up the good work. Chris’ blog is Small Nebraska Farming follow him on twitter @OKCableGuy

 


 

Fresh Air Author

My favorite posts from Julie at Julie’s Fresh Air blog are the ones about her days growing up on the farm. This quote from her about page is very fitting.

For Julie, working and advocating for agriculture is simply a breath of fresh Air and the logical place to celebrate her roots!

Tell a little about yourself:Julie from Fresh Air
You have to take a deep breath to say this: … but I tell people I’m currently “Marketing, PR and Ag Education Director for Arizona Farm Bureau.”

Though I’d like to tell you I was a secret agent prior to Farm Bureau, I simply ran my own business, where I supported several clients with public relations and marketing needs. 

And if you want to go even further into the ancient past, I was vice president for a Boston-based research firm and ran various national business magazines. In the crazy thick of it all, I partnered with my parents on a cotton, wheat and alfalfa farm.

A native of Arizona, ASU grad and Project CENTRL Alum, I grew up on a cotton and alfalfa farm with three brothers. I have six nieces and nephews that can talk me into just about anything including barrowing Aunt’s car to pass their driver’s test.

Oh, yeah, I wrote a book about the country life called Fresh Air: 50 ways to experience the best things about Country Life Wherever You Live. I’m in the thick of writing a follow up book. Guess what I’m going to call it … More Fresh Air … not Hot Air, but Fresh Air.

Why I started by Blog:
The book, Fresh Air …since there are so many continuing stories about agriculture and country life … and I’ve been told I’m full of hot air … that I had to begin a blog.

Biggest surprise!?
That someone would actually read it and that I’d garner a bit of a fan base beyond my mom and siblings.

Favorite Post:
I have more than one but probably my favorite is the blog post called “We were all Once Naked Vegetarians.” I thought it was clever ….and it  addressed an agriculture  misconception…. And a misconception about religion and eating meat

Obstacles:
The biggest obstacle is building the following and trying to become more versed at SEO. I resolve this by constantly reading, attending Agchat Foundation and listening to webinars. I still feel like I’m in a steep learning curve!

I think you are catching on fast, Julie. Head over to her blog Julie’s Fresh Air. and follow her on twitter @CottonAggie.