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September 29, 2010

Being "Agriculture Proud"

Check out this great blog:

Agriculture Proud is a great place to read and share all things ag - and today's post is about my Lil Farmer!

I can't wait for him to get home from school to show him!

The post on Agriculture Proud:

Wordless Wednesday: Family Tradition

September 29, 2010
by Ryan Goodman
When it comes to production Agriculture, there is strength in numbers on the farm or ranch. People have joked for some time about having more kids because they are “free labor” but in reality the kids are a big part of a family farm operation. I was always at my dad’s side while growing up; helping him with the chores and projects and always looking to soak in more knowledge about the cattle business.
This week Jennifer Campbell from central Indiana shares with us a few photos of her son who is always looking for an opportunity to help his dad on the farm.
Cole is a 2nd grader who loves going to work with his dad on the combine. In fact, he loves it so much he does his homework at recess so he can go straight to the field when he gets home. For the same reason he wants to wear his work clothes and boots to school so he does not have to waste time changing when he gets home.
Jennifer says Cole is a little worker that wants to be just like his dad. Every morning he has his coffee because that is the way dad does it. When Cole is on the combine there is a great big smile on his face, but Cole is not one to just be along for the ride. When there is something to be fixed, Cole is right in the thick of things learning what has to be done. For his reading log Cole read the “The John Deere Combine Manual” because he did not want to leave the combine.
Cole is just one great example of the young farm kids out there interested in carrying on the traditions of their family. A big shout out to Cole (and his 2 sisters) in central Indiana for working hard and taking an early interest in the family farm.
Do you have a kid that loves to work on the farm and be in the middle of everything that happens? Maybe you were that kid once upon a time. The next generation of farmers and ranchers are growing up right now, so take the time to be a mentor to one of them and help to instill the passion for agriculture in hopes that they will carry on the traditions.
Do you have a story you want to share? Or maybe you want to connect with farmers and ranchers like the Campbells. Send me an email (agricultureproud@hotmail.com) or look us up on the I am Agriculture Proud Facebook group.

September 27, 2010


Blogs need a "Like" button!

I have said it - it shall be done!!!!  I think blogs need a "Like" button just like the one they have on Facebook - it just seems appropriate!  I read quite a few blogs now and also really enjoy the comments that I receive on mine; however I don't always have a specific comment - generally I "Like" what I have read but just don't have anything to say about it but want to let the writer know I have read it!  SOOOO - in comes the "Like"!  From now on if I read a blog post that I "Like", I am simply going to write "Like" in the comments!  I am sure that if no one is reading this it will appear strange when they read that in their comments - but hopefully I will start a trend - you just never know!  Maybe I will even start my own group:


no one may join but I still "Like" it!!!!!!!!

September 24, 2010

How Did I Get Here?

So I know everyone wants to know the answer to this question about all farmwives - so Heather on her blog 3 Kids and Lots of Pigs started this neat project as part of her Farmer Friday posts and at the end of my post is a whole list of others who answered this question as well!

Soooo how did I get here?

Oh how I hang my head in my hands and ask myself this everyday!!!
Well, I was born on a mountain top in Tennessee, greenest state in the land of the free - wait that was Davy Crockett

I was born a poor black child - nooo, that was Steve Martin in The Jerk

My Pa was a farmer and Ma a school teacher - really this is me, well Laura Ingalls too but this is about me! My Dad was/is a full time farmer and my Mom was a/now retired school teacher! I am the oldest of 3 kids - my sister is 2 years younger (fought our entire childhood) and lives in Gunnison, Colorado (best friends now - amazing what 800 miles will do) with her husband and 4 kids! My brother is 5 years younger than me, his wife and 4 kids live in the house I grew up in (my dad grew up in this house also).  My Dad raised corn, soybeans, Pioneer seed corn when we were growing up and also had a cow/calf herd as well as finishing out the calves. Now my brother farms with him and they raise the same crops but no longer have cattle.

That's right I started early bringing home the bacon and fryin it up in a pan!
(Sorry about that is was truly the only thing I could think of when I saw these two pics together)

Here is Mom and Dad and us kids in 1975!

This is probably Kindergarten and I only posted it because pig tails just make me smile!

This was in 1983 (I really should of made the year a guessing game) at The Grand Canyon!  The lack of rain during '83 rivals this years dry spell - so my Dad decided he was not going to sit around and watch 2000 acres of crops dry up and die - so he put all 5 of us in a 1970's something Winnebago and headed west for 30 days - It was one amazing trip, the experience of a lifetime!

It's OK - go ahead and be jealous (or laugh hysterically) I was FFA Chapter Sweetheart!

 Ah Yes - my 1988 Senior Picture!

I think I must have always wanted to live on a farm when I grew up - but honestly was something I didn’t really “plan”. After high school I attended Purdue for 2 years but was homesick the whole time and then there was also that studying thing you were supposed to do at college - yeah I was not so good at that - so I came home pretty much with no plan.

That is when I met Chris…..at a bar…..in downtown Indy called Cowboys - please tell me someone else remembers this place.

He spotted me across a crowded room, he thought I was beautiful, he wanted to meet me (seriously, I didn’t make this up - these are his words)! Luckily we had a common acquaintance and realized that we had lived only 7 miles (just across the county line) from each other our whole lives - but he was much older than me (really only 4 years but still older) so we hadn’t crossed paths!

 I include this picture only as example of how my hair looked when I met Chris - he thinks it should still look like this today - I will give you a moment to laugh hysterically!

The above 2 pictures were taken on our 3rd date - The Johnson County Fair Tractor Pull - the first time he held my hand and my heart!  Look at him - go ahead - he is so cute and young and he had hair (he says only because he had only spent 3 evenings with me now there is less and he somehow thinks that's my fault!)!!!!!

At the Indiana State Fair in 1992!

I loved getting to know Chris - I spent lots of time riding with him in the field and to sell hogs. That gives you lots of time to talk and get to know each other - he is funny, sweet, sarcastic and is passionate about family and farming and family farming. He knew what he wanted to do the rest of his life and I knew I wanted to do it with him!

Long story short we got married one year and two days after our first date. He hauled a load of hogs to Columbus one morning and then drove his truck and trailer over to the mall, walked in a jewlery store and bought a ring!

We were married in the small country church that I grew up in and then rode a tractor and hay wagon back to my parent's house for a hog roast (one of our hogs) in my parent's backyard!

 We were lucky when it came to house hunting - the original home on the farm had been sold off about 20 years prior and came up for sale as we were looking for a place to start our lives together, it was a no brainer that this is where we wanted to live- this is where we still live today, we have since done a major remodel (5 people in 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, kitchen cabinets from when indoor plumbing was put in . . . whole other story) with keeping the integrity of the history of the home! I love our home!
Our house (in the background) around the turn of the century! 

 In 1992 when we bought it!

A couple of years ago after we added on!

We have 3 amazing kids - 14, 11 and 7 (check out my Favorite People page). I am proud to say they are growing up in the midst of production agriculture, just like Chris and I did. I love the fact that everyday can be take your kid to work day. That Chris’ job is our way of life, something that we all work together to do and can all take pride in. That someday if they want to my kids can be the 7th generation to work this land that we work today. I just love living and working on our farm!

 Casey Elizabeth - 1/11/96

Emi Lou - 7/22/99

Coleman Jay - 12/13/02

So I guess I was born into it!  You probably wish I would of just said that at the get-go!  Today Chris and I farm 2000 acres of corn and soybeans, we have a farrow to finish hog operation and sell 2000 head of fat hogs a year.  I am lucky that I get to be a stay-at-home Mom but also get plenty of tractor and hog barn time!

I have lived every single day of my life in the midst of production agriculture and I wouldn’t want it any other way!

So I know you are just begging for more so check out these:

o   Heather at 3 Kids and Lots of Pigs
o   Amy & Liz at 2 Maids A Milking
o   Marybeth at Alarm Clock Wars
o   Leah at Beyer Beware
o   Jennifer at Farmgirl Follies
o   Jeanette at Fence Row to Fence Row
o   Lauren at Four Ransoms and a Farm
o   Jane at Going Jane
o   Cris at GOODEness Gracious
o   Meggie at Hoosier Farm Babe
o   Jent at My Front Porch
o   Denise at Who is the Grown Up?

September 22, 2010

I Have A New BFF

We met had a casual passing conversation last night at Midgets gymnastics lesson.

It went something like this:

ME: blah blah blah blah

MY NEW BFF: blah blah blah blah blah

ME: blah yadda yadda yadda . . .  yeah my other daughter is a freshman at the high school.

MY NEW BFF: You don't look old enough to have a daughter who is a freshman, I would never of guessed that!

That's all it took - we are now BFF's!

If you were at my daughters gymnastics class last night and we talked:
"Hey BFF (insert your name here) can't wait till our next meaningful conversation!"

On a side note:  Midget has taken 3 classes and jumped up on our trampoline last night and did this!

I was really impressed!

September 21, 2010

Farm Safety Is For EVERYONE!

This is officially Farm Safety Week!

**Please step back so that I can mount my soapbox**

Oh where to begin - I guess with yesterday's mornings news!  In my book it is always farm safety week on this farm - I have been Official Farm Safety Monitor Czar on this farm for quite some time - continually lecturing everyone and pointing out safety violations - like the Rolling Combine Mount/Dismount - this one just sets me off; the not putting the tractor in PARK when getting out; the line "I am in a hurry, I don't normally do that!"; 

Snapping out of it and getting back on track - - - -

 I was watching Channel 13 News yesterday morning when they did a short clip on Farm Safety Week - YEAH CHANNEL 13 for covering this very important topic!!!!

Maybe first I should tell you a little of my background and why Farm Safety is one of my things:

In the mid-50's by paternal Grandfather lost both of his arms up to his elbows in a corn picker accident.  The picker had become plugged with stalks and in true farmer fashion he did the job that needed done and as the stalks were released and pulled into the picker so were his hands.  My Grandfather was amazing he continued to farm until his death in 2001 at the age of 84.

In the 1974 my Mom's brother was 16 and loved helping on the farm.  During harvest that year he was getting out of the passenger side of one of the semi's while it was rolling and his pant leg got caught by the tire.  It pulled him under the wheel and he was killed.  I was only 4 at the time and can only imagine now what that must of been like for everyone.

This is why this is something I hold so dear to my heart.  I truly believe that Farm Safety is not just for those directly involved in production agriculture either - EVERYONE needs to keep this in mind!  The people driving on the roads with equipment, kids who love to watch equipment work while standing in their yards, kids who live on farms, farm wives, farm hands and FARMERS!  This is one area I don't mind being a nag about (OK there are probably several areas where I am a nag) but this is so important - it truly is life or death!

A couple of my favorite web sites for kids safety:

Farm Safety 4 Just Kids
(picture from web site)

(picture from web site)

These and other websites have coloring pages you can print off - a great thing to send with the kids to color while they are riding - a lesson and entertainment - and a great one on one time to talk about how they need to be careful!


September 18, 2010

I Cried Happy Tears

It was just so overwhelming to know that someone who was risking their life for our safety and freedom would take their own time and money to wish My Midget a Happy Birthday!

Let's go back to January:
I am a board member of The Johnson County Beef Cattle Association and last January we as a board decided that we would like to honor a unit of the military that would be shipping out of Camp Atterbury - we decided on a huge steak dinner to be served at The Indiana FFA Center in Trafalgar (just a hop skip and a jump from Atterbury).
One of our board members found a unit, a date was chosen (the next week, so we worked fast) and the meal was on!  Because we live in Johnson County and so does General Umbarger (The Adjuant General of the Indiana National Guard) and we love agriculture and he loves agriculture and he loves the military and we truly appreciate the military - you see what I am saying here -  we were able to get him to come speak to this unit during our dinner - this was really cool!
During this dinner My Midget notices that there are only 3 girls in this unit and says look at the one with the blonde hair, she is so beautiful!  I said well go on over there and introduce yourself and tell her you think shes pretty - and she did - and they formed an immediate friendship!

My Midget wanted to be her penpal so Kaitlyn took our address (because she didn't know what hers would be) and promised to write.  My Midget checked the mailbox everyday for the next 2 months  - I don't think she had any idea how long it would take Kaitlyn to get to Afganistan, get set up and do her job before she would have time to write.  I will never forget how excited My Midget was when she got that first letter - she showed it to everyone, slept with it, carried it everywhere - which is how we lost the envelope - the only thing we had with Kaitlyn's address on it!  There were tears!  Luckily this Mom knows people - like the Colonel in charge of all of Camp Atterbury - oh yeah that's right - one very pleading e-mail to Colonel Todd Townsend and within an hour we had the address - when a little girl needs the address to her soldier penpal in Afganistan the military was swift!  She immediatly wrote a 4 page letter to Kaitlyn and in the mail it went and they have written back and forth lots of times.  Recently though we had not received a letter and My Midget was very concerned, she was truly worried that something had happened to her friend!  Then I received this e-mail on Sept. 2 from another JC Beef Board member:

I just wanted to take the time to let you know that our pals in Khost, Afghanistan are doing all right for now. It was their base that was one of the Khost bases attacked last Saturday. Sgt. Elliott skyped in this week and said he was very proud of his unit. They had not trained for all the activities that took place that day, but their efforts were flawless. He said as they went after the attackers, the unit members were able to keep all of the front line people supplied with ammunition and supplies and they never were without what they needed. He was impressed with their effort and skills.

As a side note, he said the firefight that took place that day was the longest recorded firefight for the U.S. in Afghanistan. I think it was something like 10 hours. ugh.. and yes, if you follow the news.. Sgt. Elliott said the cornfield has now been chopped down. They paid the local nationals to " harvest" a little early.. ;)

They are expecting many more situations in their area, and especially this weekend. So I would ask that if you are not already, please add them into your prayer time.

This sent a chill up my spine, we didn't tell Midget for a few days - but she kept asking why she hadn't gotten a letter in so long that I finally told her that Kaitlyn had lots of work to do and that where she was working was not safe but she should say a prayer that Kaitlyn was safe and she should go ahead and write another letter to pass the time - and she did - and it simply said:

Dear Kaitlyn, I know that you are very very busy but if you could please just send me a short letter to tell me you are safe I would like that. 

I cried! - am crying now typing this!

But then the package came - the one that made me cry happy tears - it came in the mail yesterday (I am positive Kaitlyn has not even received the above letter) - it even brought tears to Chris' eyes (don't tell him I told you)!

She didn't rip it open, she didn't shake it to see what moved, she wasn't excited for herself - (go get a kleenex while I wipe the tear off the keyboard) - she simply hugged the box and said "This means she is safe".  In it was a scarf (the kind Kaitlyn has to wear over her head in Afganistan if she is not wearing her helmet), a beautiful braclet, a little jeweled elephant (because Kaitlyn knew that Midget collects elephants) and a letter!  My Midget loved the gifts for birthday but she truly treasured the letter and what it represented - that her friend was safe!

I can't begin to tell you how much this girl (she is only 24), this woman, this soldier means to me and my family - I truly hope that my girls turnout to be the kind of person Kaitlyn is.

September 17, 2010

Sharing The Road!

I have spent my fair share of time moving equipment from field to field!  I have traversed a lot of county roads, state roads, US highways, sat at stop lights in tractors and quite honestly my palms still get a little sweaty - I am always worried about the other drivers on the road with me!

There are several kinds of  "other" drivers that come to mind:

The Weaver - He is the car behind me that is absolutly positive I don't know he is back there!  He weaves from side to side like he is a Nascar driver warming up his tires for the big race.  Quite frankly he annoys me - I want to stop in the middle of the road and go back to his car and say "I SEE YOU AND WHEN I SEE A GOOD PLACE TO PULL OVER AND LET YOU AROUND I WILL BUT UNTIL THEN COULD YOU PLEASE STOP WEAVING YOU ARE MAKING ME DIZZY!"

The Stunned - He is the car coming at you that suddenly realizes how big the equipment is coming at him and freezes - right there in the middle of his lane, not moving, just staring at you!  He usually comes at an inconvient place where there is a sign, telephone pole, mail box on your side of the road and you can't pull off in the ditch.

The Insane - This is the guy who is in the back of the line - a couple cars in front of him and then you in the tractor - he doesn't weave or think twice he just guns it and goes flying around the cars and then around the equipment and tractor - most of the time he is in the ditch - he just wants around!  I have had this happen to me twice - it literllay scares the crap out of me - I truly wonder what is going thru his mind while he does this!

Then there are my favorites:
These are the cars that see you coming and pull off or slow down which allows me to pass over pull over in a safe spot and let them by.
The car that comes up behind you and stays a reasonable distance back and patiently waits for a chance to pass.

I know everyone is in a hurry to get where they are going - so are we!

Leadership Johnson County had a group project called Johnson County Road Safety Awareness Campaign - Share the Yield - they had signs posted around the county and a big bill board on US 31.

This was an awesome project!

September 14, 2010

I Finished It!

I can't believe it!  This project is a classic example of why I diagnosed myself ADD!  I started this project about 15 month's ago - and while I did have to wait for the pictures to be printed on canvas - this project really did not take more than 4 hours of my time!

But now it is done and hung on the wall AND I LOVE IT!

I wanted to spell our last name using pictures of letters from signs of places that mean something to us as a family!  This was challenging and fun - I made Chris and the kids help pick places!  Then we went around taking the pictures, I turned them sepia and had them printed on 5x7 stretched canvas frames.  Once I got the pictures back I used metal straps to hold the stretcher frames together then I asked one our neighbors for two old pieces of barn wood (which he gladly gave me) I measured the length and height of the letter pictures and used the jig saw to cut the middle out of the barn wood pieces then put the letters in holding them with metal straps screwed to the wood - then hung it on the wall using a picture hanging kit I got at the store!  I was going to take pictures of the process but wasn't quite sure it would all work (things like this tend to work in my head really well but not so much in real life) but this did and once it was hung there was no way I was taking it back down to get pictures of the back!

Here are our final choices that we used:

The Art"C"raft Theatre - this is the one screen movie theatre is town.  Chris and I used to go to movies here when we were dating, now it is a historical site and they show old movies here several times a year and we love to take the kids.

The Johnson County F"A"ir Grounds sign - have never missed a fair since we started dating (except for our honeymoon) and now that the kids are so active in 4-H this is a place we spend lots of time in the summer as a family!

"M"i Pueblo - Our favorite Mexican restaurant in town!

Indiana State "P"ark sign - we love to camp in the state parks!

"B"oggstown sign - where I grew up and we go to church!

John D"E"ere - self explanatory

The Wi"L"lard - one of our favorite bars/restaurants!

The Welcome To Frank"L"in sign!

September 10, 2010

Eatin' Local

Since we raise hogs and have a couple processed thru out the year - the first thing I did was go to my freezer and pull out a package of smoked chops! Can’t get more local than that!!!

My thoughts than turned to the rest of the meal - so I decided to go up the road a few miles to Taylor’s Farm Market and see what they had available -


I found some sweet corn they had just picked that morning, a slicing tomato just off the vine and a couple sweet potato’s that Jon Taylor had just dug up himself!

When I got my goods home I washed the sweet potatos put a big X in them and stuck them in the oven at 300 degrees for a couple of hours (had to go get parts for Chris so this worked out perfect). By the time I got back home they were done and the peel just fell off, I sliced them in thick slices and put them in a baking dish. I then whipped out my Mom’s secret sweet potato sauce (Mrs. Butterworth) and poured a fair amount over the potato slices, covered it with foil and right before dinner I stuck them back in the oven to warm them up and then of course covered them in marshmellows at the last minute and melted them under the broiler!

All I had were the giant marshmallows!

While the potatos were warming and broiling I shucked the corn and boiled some water, fired up the grill for the chops and sliced the tomato!

Served the meal with some really sweet tea and if I do say so myself it was delicious, easy and all grown right here in Johnson County!