FRIDAY FARM PHOTO: BLESSED

sunsetPhoto courtesy of Adam Baker – Aledo, IL

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LOCAL AND ORGANICALLY GROWN FOOD

This video was originally posted on Common Ground’s website, and the original post can be found here. 

How do you define local food? Maryland farmer Jennifer Schmidt wants consumers to know that even some canned foods could be considered local for many people. Listen to her story in the video.

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WHAT LINGO DO FARMERS USE?

Of course farmers and non-farmers see things differently – their life experiences have been completely different!

Check out a few words farmers use that don’t mean quite the same thing off the farm!

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6 THINGS YOU COULD DO INSTEAD OF OBSESSING ABOUT YOUR FOOD

Listen: I understand that the way your food is grown scares you.  You have never seen it and you don’t understand it, the same way that I don’t understand how you actually get your groceries home if you live in New York City and you don’t have a car.  Do you grocery shop everyday?  Take a cab?

Admittedly, we have a lot we could learn from each other.  But I’d like to share one thing with you … your food is safe.  Really, it is.  It is safe, and it is grown by people who actually care about safety because they are feeding their families the same things.  The fact that farmers never even dreamed that non-farmers would stress out about how their food is grown should be the first clue.  We can’t even understand why anyone would think that we’d grow anything other than safe food!

So, instead of obsessing about your food, your food labels, and food ingredients, the people who made your food, and whatever else you might stress about, think about doing these things instead.*

8-24 food-purple-chocolate-dessert-large1. Cook something.

Maybe the best solution for a fear of food is just to get back to enjoying it again. Cook something you really love or something that feels particularly gluttonous. Chocolate cake anyone? Pasta carbonara? There are some amazing recipes out there just waiting for you to try them out. Get back in touch with what’s fun about food again.

2. Focus on food groups.

If there’s one thing that our families could never spend enough time on, it’s focusing on balanced diets and teaching our kids about the food pyramid. Instead of fearing your food, put energy into serving something green at every meal – no matter if its organic or conventionally grown, since science tells us there is absolutely no difference.

11-18-11 IFF3. Plug in to farmer information.

It’s tempting to read every anecdotal story from your mom’s sister’s neighbor, but instead of wasting your time there, read the information farmers are offering to you every single day. If you have concerns about how your food is grown, isn’t the best place for answers with the same people growing it? Illinois Farm Families and Food Dialogues are really great places to start.

4. Enjoy your family – outside.

If you really want your family to be healthy, a walk outside after dinner would be more useful than spending an extra dollar on specialty food. We know from years of scientific study that GMO free and organic food aren’t offering you any additional health benefits – but a family walk outside would certainly benefit your body AND your mind. Reconnect with your family and get moving!

8-24 food-salad-healthy-vegetables-large5. Think about colors.

Kids love a colorful plate – and it’s pretty healthy for adults too. Instead of stressing about providing various gluten free options (unless you REALLY have celiac disease), concentrate on making a colorful plate. A meal that includes red peppers, green asparagus, a blackened pork chop and a bright purple grape salad and sure to brighten your family’s faces and improve their health.

6. Breathe.

As I said above, it really is understandable to fret about something you don’t know and don’t understand. And misinformation is very easy to find on the internet. But I like to follow the wise advise: “Everything in moderation.” That includes stressing about my health and my food. Stress does a number on your body too so let go of those fears, do the best you can, and breathe.

*I am not a nutritionist and I do not claim to be. I am a writer and a farm girl. But I think most of these things are common sense!

Mitchell_LindsayLindsay Mitchell
ICGA/ICMB Marketing Manager

 

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HOW MUCH CORN IS IN A POUND OF …

corn in meat products

Puts a new perspective on the claim that corn prices increasing causes major price increases in meat at the grocery store, doesn’t it?

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#TBT AUGUST THROUGH THE YEARS

It’s the middle (the end?) of August.  School has started, farmers are thinking about harvest, and I’m thinking about my upcoming EIGHT YEAR anniversary with IL Corn.

Here are my favorite August photos – a collect of August through the years.  I hope you enjoy the throwback as much as I did!

buntingAugust 2008: Art Bunting was our President.  Not only is he an outstanding farmer, but he’s also an amazing friend.  He’s the sort of guy that will drive you home from O’Hare after you’ve been stuck there without a flight home in the early hours of the morning – not that this has ever happened to me!  This was a photo shoot I did to accompany an article on Art in a state farm publication.  I’m not saying it’s my best work, but I was proud of it in 2008.

cornbelters officersAugust 2010: Our first season partnering with the Normal Cornbelters was over and we hosted our past director dinner at the ballfield.  These gentlemen were the upcoming officer team – a group of guys that I’m so happy I’ve had the privilege to know.  WHAT. AMAZING. MEN.

Dave 3 Farm Progress Show

August 2011: Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Illinois.  It’s hot and sweaty and (for those of you that don’t know me) I don’t really do hot and sweaty.  But it IS a great time for old and new friends and this photo captures that for me.

This is Dave Loos, our ethanol guru in the office, and our two DC helpers, David Crow and David Beaudreau.  We lovingly call them Dave3 (or sometimes “Dave cubed” or just “Dave squared” or “D squared” if they aren’t all together!).  I love these guys.

drought ear of corn

August 2012: The year of a historic drought in Illinois.  Yield was cut in half and many ears of corn looked like this (this is WAY SMALL for an ear of corn) or worse (some had unfilled ears or other damage).  So glad to have that year behind us!

4-HAugust 2014: Ok, I cheated a little.  This is actually the last day of July 2014, but also my daughter’s first 4-H fair.  And I love this photo.

It’s a great photo of us, but it’s also a sweet memory and a #TBT of its own.  I grew up in 4-H and exhibited at every fair between the ages of 8 and 18.  Forgive me for being a little excited to start the process with her.  She’s made great friends and learned amazing things that will help her as she grows.

IL Corn staff

August 2015: Our first ever staff night at the CornCrib.  I work with such amazing people, that we really should have scheduled a staff summer outing long before this!  But it was a fun night, and this photo really encompasses the goofiness of our office.  We have a blast together!  Look at those silly faces!

I noticed a theme here – did you?  Turns out, my eight years with IL Corn have been about people.  The people I’ve met, the people I’ve helped, the people I’ve served with and even the people I’ve lived with.

Because although non-farmers like to think otherwise, this industry is 100 percent about people.

I can’t think of a person I’m sorry to have met and I look forward to all the new people I’ll work with between now and next August!  Bring it on!

Mitchell_LindsayLindsay Mitchell
ICGA/ICMB Marketing Manager

Posted in General, Who are Illinois Corn Farmers? | 1 Comment

PHOTOS FROM AG DAY

Today, some of our staff and board members had the chance to visit the Illinois State Fair for Ag Day.

They spent the day visiting and discussing current ag issues, and even sitting down with Congresswoman Bustos.

8-18-15 Bustos

Illinois Corn Marketing Board Chairman, Lou Lamoreux, discussing Cuba.8-18-15 Lou talking Cuba

Illinois Corn Growers Association Board President, Kenny Hartman, discussing general issues. Kenny on general issues

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