It’s the middle of September.

School has been in session for a couple of weeks now and that energy you had to wake up early and get going … well, it’s gone.

Now your mornings consist of waking up on the edge of “barely enough time” and “we’re going to be late.”  The kids run around trying to pack lunches and book bags and you’re applying make-up in the car as you wait for the school bus.

There’s no time for breakfast.  But your family still needs something healthy to get them going and keep them full until lunch.  Enter, “the better breakfast.”

I define “the better breakfast” as something that is healthy, contains protein, is made ahead of time and can be portable.  And these recipes all qualify.  WOW!

makeaheadomeletsBREAKFAST OMELETS

Make them ahead of time and throw them in the freezer for a healthy breakfast fast.  I like to add salsa and some spicy cheese to mine!






Add any fruit you want and think about freezing in a paper cup if you want portable AND disposable.  I also add a little maple syrup to mine so that the kids like it more.



oatmeal barsOATMEAL BARS

I happen to like these with some extra cinnamon and some dried apples … I just love apples and it’s hard to make apples portable (I have to cut mine and hate just biting off the core!) without ending up eating a brown apple.  Anyway, a great recipe no matter what variety you love most.

breakfast burritos 3BREAKFAST BURRITOS

These are our ultimate favorite.  I leave the salsa off here though because we find that it can make the tortilla a little soggy.  Play around with it!  They are super easy!



Spend a Sunday afternoon prepping each of these and you’ll end up with healthy breakfast options all month!  Have fun!

mitchell_lindsayLindsay Mitchell
ICGA/ICMB Marketing Director


Whether it be in the car, at home, or (much to my roommate’s dismay) in the middle of the grocery store, I’m pretty much always down to jam out to some music. So while rocking out to some of the greatest hits, I figured I’d share my top ten greatest hits about farming.

Old McDonald
This song is a classic and a great example of how farm life works. Here a “moo.” There a “moo.” Everywhere a “moo, moo.” It really shows the farmer as many of us see him, working with his cattle.

Peterson Bros. – I’m Farming and I Grow It
This is just a farm parody of “I’m Sexy and I know it” by pop/ techno duo LMFAO. I really like this because it shows farmers hard at work but also having fun and loving what they’re doing.

Rodney Atkins- Farmer’s Daughter
While there’s always a possibility of finding that special someone while working on the farm, this song also shows the hard work put into farming and how rewarding it can be.

Kenny Chesney- She Thinks my Tractor’s Sexy
Being a farmer’s wife or girlfriend isn’t easy. Farmers work long hours and sometimes it’s hard to get in a date night. So sometimes you have to opt for date night on the tractor. Plus who doesn’t love a good ride on the tractor?

Farm Girls- The Real Deal
Some people think that farm girls are just pretty things for people to look at. Fun fact: Farm girls love to get dirt under their nails and work just as hard as everyone else.

Peterson Bros. – All I do is Farm
I like this one because it really talks about farm families and how farmers love talking about what they do. And while this one is also laugh out loud funny, it really hits home the fact that farmers are willing to answer any questions you have

Luke Bryan- Rain is a Good Thing

Rain really does make the farm life go ‘round. Plus who doesn’t love the rain? Crops grow, you can splash in mud puddles, and watching the storm can make for some great romance.

Florida Georgia Line- Dirt

Land is everything to farmers, conserving and utilizing it. So when they “build a 10% down white picket fence on this dirt” they’re also building a home. That “dirt” is everything to them and this song really shows the passion and love they have for what they do.

Jason Aldean- Amarillo Sky

This song really shows the life of the farmer. Hard work, family and determination help keep farmers doing what they love. Farming isn’t always a walk in the park but their passion drives them to just take the tractor another round, and pull the plow across the ground.

Alan Jackson- Where I Come From

While farming isn’t always glamorous, once you’re a part of the farm life, a part of you will always want to go back. Farming ingrains a lifestyle that really follows you everywhere you go.

Ellie 152Ellie Seitzinger
Illinois State University


Between meetings we’ve had this week and phone conversations, I’ve had the opportunity to catch up with some of our Illinois corn farmers.  I asked them all this one simple question, “What makes you really happy?”

Here’s what they said …

Rain  storm soaks field of corn on an Ohio farm.1. “Rain when we need it.”

A farmer’s life, well-being, and family are dependent on the weather.  Trust me, you don’t really know what gambling is until you risk every penny you have to put a crop in the ground and then wait to see if it produces something.

Every board meeting we have, we spend some time going around the table to review how the crops look in each area of Illinois.  Sometimes we talk about emerging plants, sometimes we talk about harvest and yields, sometimes we talk about soil health – but every single time we talk about moisture, whether it’s too dry or too wet in a given area, and when the last rain was.

Farmers depend on rain and they pray fervently for rain to help their crops grow.

pliers2. “A free pair of pliers.”

Honestly, a free anything makes farmers really happy.  This is why trade shows where equipment dealers, seed salesmen, fertilizer and chemical reps, and association staff are so popular with farmers.  I mean, they love talking about farming, but if they get to talk about farming AND get a free flashlight or a free pair of pliers?  They are in heaven.

And if we’re really honest with each other, isn’t this true of all of us?  Wouldn’t we all love a free cup of Starbucks or a free Thirty-One bag?  You see, they aren’t all that different from the rest of us.

Farmers use tools and gloves and flashlights every day of their lives and who wouldn’t want that stuff for free?

Corn and Sunset3. “An early morning scouting session.”

Picture it: a beautiful sunrise, a dewy morning.  The temperature hovers at 70 degrees and there’s a light breeze blowing.  You are driving through the country with the windows down catching a glimpse of the land your family has farmed for years.  Your heart swells with pride to see the corn seedlings emerging in long green rows that are barely visible right now, but will be inches tall soon.

This is the fruit of your labor.  You did this.  And you’re very, very happy.

Farmers are connected to the earth.  It’s no wonder that enjoying nature and seeing plants grow makes them immensely happy.

Marty Marr Family4. “Family and tradition.”

Everyone loves their family and farmers are no different.  But I do think there’s a special emphasis placed on tradition in farming families.  Because land doesn’t move, families stay in one town for many generations.  Extended families stay together.  Christmas at Grandma’s is the same every year, and it’s likely the same as it was when her Grandma did it.  Dad’s first tractor stays in the family, and everyone comes together on Memorial Day to care for generations of family graves.

This in-your-face tie to the generations before you is a different lifestyle than many Americans lead.  We have become a society where you move to find the best job and families are spread over the entire U.S.  There’s no “good” or “bad” here, just different.  And I definitely believe that feeling an anchor in your heart that roots you to generations of farmers before you is a big difference between rural and non-rural Americans.

Farmers are invested in their families and their farms long-term, because they have stood the test of time and they will last for years and years in the future.  It’s a part of the lifestyle on the farm.


What did I miss?  Are there things that make you really happy?  Let us know in the comments!

mitchell_lindsayLindsay Mitchell
ICGA/ICMB Marketing Director


This blog is awesome.  We readily admit that.  But what if you really want to see more from IL Corn and you’d like to interact with us on some other important issues?

il corn websiteCheck out our website:

It’s great for learning more about the ins and outs of farming including some complex farm policy decisions and details on why we pursue the legislative agenda that we do.  You can also get to know quite a bit about our board by clicking on the ICGA and ICMB tabs and taking a look at the regular farmers that decide what we’re going to do next!


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Definitely of more interest if you’re a non-farmer … our Pinterest is the perfect place to dip your toe in the water of agriculture.  If you subscribe to our feed, you’ll see lots of recipes, professional development opportunities, and rural living sorts of pins, but also lots of blog posts, articles, and infographics that will teach you something about farmers and farming.


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Instagram is the place to go if you love rural scenery and photography OR if you just want to keep up with us on a daily basis.  We try to tell you what’s going on what us and the farmers we represent here, and also include some fun facts and interesting quotes and statistics.  Our Instagram account is definitely everything I thought it would be … and more!!

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