farmNwife

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Tag: farmer

Small Animal Vet And Her Farm

Featured Farmer: KayKay 4R Ranch
at 4R Ranch
blogging since Jan. 2008

1. Tell a little about you and your operation.
My husband and I purchased our farm 1996 and then built a house and moved here 3 years later.  We have since been able to purchase additional land and we now have about 500 acres.  We run 180 head of beef cows and retain ownership of the calves when we send them to a feedlot in Nebraska.  We have about 40 nanny goats that are uses for brush and weed control and we sell the kids in the fall.  We also have 7 horses that we train and ride in a variety of activities from showing to endurance riding.   Our 2 girls have been in 4-H showing horses and cattle.  Both were on the State 4-H horse judging team.  I also work part time as a small animal vet.

2. What made you want to start your blog?
I had a friend that sent me her blog link in a Christmas card several years ago.  I really didn’t know anything about blogs at the time.  When I looked at hers it was all about knitting and quilting.  I thought our farm activities would be just as interesting if not more so.  My husband said,  “you can do that.”  So my daughter set up the account and we were off.  I also thought it would be an excellent way to keep in touch with family and friends and let them know what all we were up to.  It has also come in handy as a farm diary of sorts, I can go back and see when we did things in the past.

3. What has been the biggest surprise since you started? or something you didn’t expect:
I don’t think I really expected to be doing it this long.  February will start my 7th year.  My family is amazed that I can come up with so many different posts.

4. What is your favorite post and why?
With 1200 posts I don’t think I can pick a favorite one.  I guess I really like the ones that include my family for obvious reasons but I also like the ones pertaining to training my horses.  I enjoy going back and seeing how much progress we have made.

5. What obstacles have you met and how did you overcome them?
A couple of years ago I ran out of space for pictures on my account.  I then started an account with photobucket but it was too cumbersome to use easily.  After much complaining and a little research I found out how to decrease the size of the photos and continue with my same picasa account.

Visit Kay’s blog at 4R Ranch. And say Hi.

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


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.

 

 


Farmer Blogger Podcaster

I’m a little partial to this featured farmer, since I married him.

1. Tell a little about you and your operation.Bill Graff
I farm with my wife and children on a central Midwest cash grain and purebred cattle operation.  I have in the past been very involved with farm organizations and politics.  For politics I have done two terms as a school board member, three terms as a township trustee, two terms as a township supervisor, so I have run my own election campaigns.  I have also been a major to minor advisor to four US Senator campaigns, four Governor campaigns, and a couple Presidential campaigns.  I have also been very involved at a whole lot of other political stuff.  I also worked almost 8 years as the State Executive Director of the Farm Service Agency/USDA in my state.  I also am getting back involved with some organizations after having to lay off when I worked for the Feds.

Our farm operation is a corn/soybean operation typical of many Midwestern farm, but also has a purebred cattle component that has been very good for my children to learn life skills, even though they do not fully understand that yet.  My wife also has her own operation which she farms along with us and is a very big reason that I am able to do all the “extra” stuff I do.  We have “enough” acres to stay busy, some small farm advocates would say too many, but I would like to expand since I think one if not two of my kids want to come back to the farm.  We also have finally got to the place with of purebred operation where we plan to start selling more show cattle to others.
2. What made you want to start your podcast?
My wife made me do it.  No really, she listened to several podcasts and thought I would be good at it.  We also get together every now and then with fellow farm policy wonks and we talk about things at “Garry’s office” and many times she has said she wished she had recorded what we were talking about.  So Judi set it up and trained me to do it and I started talking.

3. What has been the biggest surprise since you started? or something you didn’t expect:
The number of downloads of my weekly video and the farmers from way overseas that listen in.  I also was just surprised anybody would want to listen to me.

4. What is your favorite episode and why?
The one I did in the planter when I was upset with the Smithfield CEO saying that because of the price of corn his mother could not afford pork chops anymore.  Give me a break he is the largest producer of pork in the United States and a multi-millionaire  and he is just wanting cheap inputs for his industrial operation.  I was on a role.  Now, I am not against large farmers or any kind of business model, but give me a break, here is a guy who for decades has been able to buy his major input, feed, at below the cost of production, due to the subsidies of the farm program and now that he has to pay maybe what it is actually worth he is crying about the price.  Look at how the cost of many things has inflated for years and now that food is maybe feeling pressure from other people around the world who only want to eat better and can now afford it and he is “unhappy”.  I know we will have “cheap” food again, but for now it is at a good price for farmers.  Livestock just have to survive for a little while longer, eventually grain producers will over produce and livestock prices will rise and then livestock will have their day.  I do believe the days of sub $3 corn are probably gone for a long time.  Cost of production is just too high to be produced at those levels.

5. What are your future plans for your podcast?
I want to do two a week during the winter so I will have done 52 in my first year.  I also want to just get better at it and provide to my audience what it wants.  I also plan to blog more.  Lots of material will be out there over the next two years.

Follow Bill on his blog FarmAndRanchCountry.com or twitter @BillGraff and his podcast FarmAndRanchCountry