6 TYPES OF FARM MOMS

As a part of the agriculture community, we have all experienced different types of farm moms. It’s not right to judge or stereotype. Yeah, yeah… yeah. We also know we all do it and it can sometimes even serve a useful purpose. We all know that everyone’s mom has a different personality. That’s why we love them!

Here are six of the most common farm mom types I’ve encountered:

5-9-17fabulous1. The Farm Fabulous Mom

Usually decked out in the latest stock show trends, this mom always looks fabulous. Baby on hip and twisted-x on foot, this mom is always managing to pull it together. Her hair and makeup are done, and she looks amazing at all times even after spending all the day in the barn. Somehow, she always has everything in order. How does she do it!?

5-9-17million2. The Million Farm Animal Mom

We all know a family with a million different livestock on the farm. This mom seems to be just fine getting her three kids to soccer games and the entire barnyard fed on time. She is calm and confident and knows exactly which kid or animal is where and when.

5-9-17chore3. The Soccer (Chore) Mom

She looks like she is always coming from the gym or going to the gym. This is because she is one heck of a chore mom. Her workout is getting the kids ready the chores done, all while burning some major calories. Feeling bitter yet?

5-9-17rolled4. Just Rolled-Off-the-Farm Mom

This mom looks like she literally just came from the farm, well because she did. Yes, that is cow manure on her jeans but it is all part of the job. Sometimes there is no time to change out of those stinky farm clothes, but that’s what being a farm is!

5. The Show Mom

5-9-17showIf your family shows livestock, then more than likely your mamma is a show mom. This mom is always at the show, taking pictures while you are in the ring or balling a tail. She might even have a little black mustache from the fit job on your animal. She is supportive and always there for you win or lose.

6. The Forgetful Mom

“Did I remember to lock the cattle gates before I took the kids to school?” Mom. She might not always remember everything but she loves you and is willing to do what has to for family and livestock.

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Leslie Walker
Lakeland College

EDUCATING NON-FARMERS: WHY WE CARE

I rode the bus to school. Starting in junior high and until I finally had a car my senior year of high school, Bus Driver Louis and his passengers trekked the same path every morning of every school year. Prattville Junior High School (Go Cats!) and Prattville High School (Go Lions!) are separated by less than two miles in the growing suburb of Prattville, Alabama. So do the math and we did the same route at least 1,800 times across 5 years.

The schools are near the outskirts of town and the most common entry point between the two is Powell Road. The namesake belongs to the Powell family who owns most of the land on both sides of the road. Aside from the towing and wrecking service they operate, they farm cotton and sorghum on the surrounding land.

I had no idea that the Powell family farmed cotton or sorghum or even that they regularly farmed the land until searching the internet about 20 minutes ago. Seems strange considering I rode past the farm probably 3,000+ times. Also, it was the only farm that I saw regularly. Yet, I remained ignorant of general farming knowledge until I started working at IL Corn six years later.

So why am I giving you a personal history lesson? To prove a point: Most people, even if they have minimal access to a farm, don’t understand farming. I passed a farm every day for a quarter of my life and still didn’t take the time to learn. My school did not have an ag curriculum. Simply put, a majority of people have a minority of farming knowledge.

Our world depends on farming for sustenance, but non-farmers do not rely on farmers for their knowledge about food and farming. Non-farmers are being influenced by non-farmers based on fancy marketing and nebulous ideas not based in science. That’s where IL Corn comes in. We want to reach people like me who have barely any farming knowledge, have little access to farming, and unwittingly accept information from “experts” who suffer from our same condition (see the previous two items).

Here are the facts. Farms are overwhelmingly family owned and operated, often going back generations. Yeah, we are talking the 19th century, people. Farmers are not beholden to corporations or to government bodies. Also, farming is a booming industry with technological advancements that would stagger any Average Joe or Josephine. So let’s put this together: We have a wealth of straight talking farmers who have holistic knowledge dating back centuries with some of the smartest people making their jobs safer and more efficient. So why are we entranced by people that have overwhelmingly fewer credentials?

We have no intention to denigrate dietitians, food professionals, or people passionate about food. We are all in the same boat here. However, we have to be better about communicating opinions versus facts. At IL Corn, we are striving to connect with non-farmers and invigorate self-directed learning about farming without the black veil of clever marketing. To trust our food, we must trust our farmers. To trust our farmers, we must take the time to meet them.

It is okay to question. It is okay to doubt. It is not okay to take facts for granted. You want the truth. Farmers want to give the truth. Let’s meet in the middle.

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Taylor McDonald
Communications Assistant
IL Corn

5 THINGS YOU LEARN WHEN YOU JOIN THE AG COMMUNITY IN COLLEGE

  1. GMOs aren’t actually bad for your health

I watched all of the Netflix documentaries like Food, Inc. and Fed Up that unconsciously led me to not trust the food industry.  I wholeheartedly (and secretly) believed the Non-GMO and organic movement.  I was more inclined to buy a product if it contained both of those words.  When I arrived at college and most of my friends had an agriculture background, I learned very quickly that what I had previously believed about GMOs and organically grown food was far from the truth.  GMO labeling is a marketing tactic by companies that want you to believe that their product is the healthier choice.

 

  1. People from agriculture backgrounds are against Chipotle 

Did someone say Chipotle? Well, if they did they are probably not saying good things. Personally, I love 5-2-17 chipotleChipotle, and my Ag friends have not yet convinced me to stop eating it.  Through various commercials and marketing “movies”, chipotle has apparently misrepresented the way that food is produced, which shines agriculture in a negative light.  Chipotle also has a highly publicized push against GMO ingredients and for antibiotic-free meat.  I didn’t know these things or ponder them before I came to college. They bring about great points and are probably right, but I still really like to eat Chipotle.

 

  1. There are agriculture classes in a lot of high schools

In high school, we did not have an Ag program or an FFA program, so I had no idea what Agriculture Education was.  I have met so many AgEd majors in and it took a long time before I completely figured out exactly what they do.  It turns out, people that want to be Agriculture teachers are some of the most passionate people I have ever met.  They absolutely love what they do (because trust me, they do not go into their field for the money) and they will share their love for agriculture to anyone at any time.  I also learned about FFA (Future Farmers of America) because almost everyone in an ag-related major was in FFA.  The AgEd teachers double as FFA advisors, so the people who loved FFA never really have to leave it.  All in all, I really missed out.

 

  1. Farmers go to college too 

Cornfield BackgroundIn college, I learned that there is so much more that goes into farming than I had previously thought.  Farming is not easy.  Because of this, it is a very smart choice for people who want to go into farming to go to college first.  Earning a degree in either Crop Sciences or Farm Management or any agriculture related degree is a smart decision because the things that farmers learn in classes help them to grow their farm and use optimum technology to become the most profitable and effective at their work.  Another important lesson I learned is that it is not a failure to go back to the farm after college.

 

  1. There are so many career paths within agriculture 

I used to think that agriculture=farming. This is the furthest thing from the truth.  Agriculture is such a broad field and is really anything that has to do with food.  There really is a spot for everyone.  Between Food Science and Agribusiness, the career paths are endless.  Not only is it a broad field, it is a prosperous field.  There are so many well-paying and fulfilling jobs in agriculture, all over the world.

Kkylieylie Lindley-Bohman
University of Illinois student

 

9 THINGS YOUR MOM NEVER TOLD YOU

1. The last piece of pie

You know that last piece of a homemade pie that your mom let you have? Actually, she was craving it all day but instead let you have it when she came home from work.

2. Nothing gets done until chores are done

It’s your mom’s birthday and she expects to go out to dinner to celebrate as a family. However, it’s 6:30 and you and your siblings are just finishing farm chores, and come in smelling like the barn. Your mom never lets it show, however, that she was patiently waiting for hours for this ‘special dinner’.

chores

3. She knows the importance of riding in the field with dad

As a little kid, many of us loved to ride with Dad In the fields. Right away once you were home from school you’d ask for her to take you out to the field. She never told you she had loads of laundry, dishes, and meals to prepare but she instead took you anyways.

4. The nights taking care of the children by herself during planting and harvest season

Being a farmer’s wife while its harvest season can sometimes get old. Having a husband in the field until midnight and having to take care of the kids by herself is hard, but your mom does it anyways. Sometimes, she even brings a meal to your dad in the field. That is if he’s lucky.

5. The pros and cons of country living

Living in the Country is nice, except for when your mom sends you to go to the store and you forget an item. She hates the idea of having to drive all the way into town but does it anyways so you can have your favorite homemade spaghetti for dinner that night.

6. Tracking shavings into the clean house

While you are out in the barn walking and taking care of livestock and attract what seems like millions of shavings onto your clothing, your mom is inside cleaning the house. That is until you come in and leave a trail of shavings on the floor. She may hate it, but loves that you are working hard and following your passion.

7. Having to drive the truck and trailer to a show for you while dad is busy on the farm

It’s spring and your dad is still planting in the field. There is a livestock show that weekend, and although your mom hates driving the 24 ft. gooseneck and your dads’ truck, she does it anyways to see you happy.

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8. Saying goodbye

Growing up and moving into college is hard. When your mom dropped you off at your new place, she never told you that walking out of that dorm room was one of the hardest things she has had to do; letting her baby grow up. She never told you that even though she may have hated some of the things she has done for you growing up, she wouldn’t have traded it for the world and wishes she could do it all over again.

9. The one thing that YOU never told her

Throughout it all, your mom has been there throughout it all. She has grown to love and share the same passion as you and helps you in numerous ways whether it be in the field, at home, or in the barn. You have never told her that you can’t ever repay her for all of her selfless deeds and that she is your hero. That one day you hope to be half of the woman that she is.

mom crying

bridget_halatBridget Halat
Iowa State University

MEET A FARMER: REVIEW

Tomorrow marks the last day of Meet a Farmer month. Throughout April, we’ve learned how farmers can take completely unique approaches to their careers but all still retain the honor of being called farmer. We thank them for all that they do to provide for their families and their communities.

Did you miss any this past month? Miss all of them? Well, here’s a summary of all the farmers we’ve looked at with links to their stories:

 

 

MEET A FARMER: EVAN JODLOWSKI

jodlowski_evanToday our farmer to meet is Evan Jodlowski. Evan is a first-generation crop and cattle farmer; however, he is no stranger to the agriculture industry. Evan graduated with a degree in Agronomy Management from Illinois State University in the spring of 2017.

Evan is a part of a new generation of young farmers. Per the 2012 United States Department of Agriculture Census of Agriculture, 16 percent of farmers are under the age of 45. Evan, 22, and his business partner, Brent Henkel, farm outside of El Paso, IL under the farm name Henkel Family Farms.

Evan knew agriculture was in blood after growing up on a third-generation livestock farm. There were very little opportunities at the family farm, so he knew he had to take his farming dream elsewhere.

“I always knew I wanted to farm, however, I did not know how to start,” said Evan.

That large obstacle led Evan to pursue higher education at Illinois State University. Throughout college, Evan surrounded himself in farming by taking part-time jobs with local farmers and even going on a “Wheat Run”. Those experiences allowed him to learn even more about farming and the processes he needed to know to run a farm effectively.

4-25-172There was one job experience that allowed Evan to pursue his dream. Working with the Henkels, he was allowed the opportunity to not only work but take ownership of the farm and its projects. Evan explored cattle raising and agricultural technology, however, his passion grew for agronomy.

Evan decided to dig deeper into agronomy, through his studies at Illinois State University. Learning about styles of conservation, crop management, and farm safety grew his passion for farming. The knowledge he learned in his studies allowed Evan to become a smart, environmentally conscious, and productive producer of corn and soybeans.

After graduation, Evan started his farming career with Henkel Family Farms. He serves as the right-hand man for the farm and has a wide variety of tasks delegated to him on the farm. From planting corn, soybeans, and alfalfa in the spring to taking care of the cattle herd, Evan is busy ensuring the food he provides is safe for consumers to eat.

Many farmers wear many different “hats”, and Evan is no different. In addition to managing the farm, he runs a Wyffels Hybrids seed dealership. As a seed dealer, Evan advises farmers around the El Paso area on smart and productive choices on their seed. He provides service and data to help farmers make the best decision for their farm.

Evan is one of the many farmers who work hard to ensure that agriculture can provide for you and your family!

cameron-jodlowski

Cameron Jodlowski
Iowa State University

MEET A FARMER: DOUG GOFF

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I had the chance to sit down with fourth generation family farmer Doug Goff who is a row crop and commercial livestock producer.  He may not be like your everyday American but he is a prime example of Illinois’ farm families.

Leslie Walker: How long have you been farming?

Doug Goff: I grew up on my family farm in Woodhull, Illinois and from there I moved to Hopedale, Illinois and have been farming fu=-ll time for the past 24 years.

Walker: What made you decide to farm?

Doug Goff: It is my family heritage, ever since I was young I knew that I wanted to be a part of the agriculture industry.  Producing food and other agriculture-based products for the country has made me feel like I was part of something bigger.

Walker: What is your day-to-day routine?

goff_dougGoff:  Every morning I wake up and go feed our livestock. After doing this I stop into Hopedale Agri-Center for a cup of coffee. Then depending on the season, I will either go plant, harvest or mow hay.

Walker: Would you consider yourself well versed in agriculture?

Doug Goff: I would, after graduating college I worked at corn belt F.S. in Wapella, then as a senior chemical sales representative for American Cyanamid and Cargill with territories of Woodford, Tazewell, and Logan counties.  After doing that for 12 years I was fortune enough to find a perfect location to raise my children on the farm north of Hopedale.

Walker: What is your favorite thing about farming?

Doug Goff: Apart from working with nature I find bailing hay to be favorite. I enjoy the interactions with my customers and I also like to see my young employees have a chance to grow within the agriculture industry. More specifically seeing them develop the hard work and dedication needed to excel in life.

Walker: In your opinion, is Illinois a prime example of farming for other states and why?

1.jpgDoug Goff: I would definitely say Illinois is a powerhouse within the industry being that we are ranked the largest soybean producer in the nation and the second in corn production. Illinois farm families are what truly exemplify what it means to work hard and show pride in what we do. As a farmer myself, it has been very rewarding to watch my children grow up on a farm and develop these qualities. My 22-year-old son Cole is currently pursuing a degree in Ag business from Illinois Community College with hopes to return home to the family farm. My 19-year-old daughter is attending Lake Land College pursuing a degree in Ag accounting. Both of my children have grown up exhibiting cattle at the local and national level and have remained heavily active on our family farm.

leslie-walker
Leslie Walker
Lakeland Community College