Farmers & Baseball Come Together

29 Jun

This past week our local baseball team, the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes have been living up to their reputation of being a venue not to just enjoy watching some good ‘ol American baseball, eat a hotdog and have a cold beer, they are also a place that enjoys involving the community in which they serve.  They have been doing a series of games to honor those of us who work in agriculture and in this industry that is so strong here in Oregon.

The rural and urban divide is getting stronger here in Oregon as people get further removed generationally from the farm, but at the same time here in Oregon it seems like our urban neighbors physically are getting closer and closer.  Which is why there is an ever growing need to reach out, the need for farmers to tell their story, and the Volcanoes baseball program gave many of us farmers a chance to do just that last night.

Katy Coba, Marie Bowers Stagg, Macey Wessels, Kathy Hadley, myself, Shelly Boshart Davis, and Amy Doerfler Phelan

I was honored to be a part of this great event.  Not only was I one of eight women in agriculture to throw the ceremonial first pitch before the game, I was more honored to be one of the many to escort Scott Miller’s family out to home plate for a tribute to him and all he has done for our industry.  His legacy, as we saw last night, continues on as it rightfully should.

Scott Miller’s family, his wife Martha, son Ben, daughter Sara, and sister Brenda.

Along with base hits, cheering, and hotdogs, came toy tractor races, interviews with farmers, even a crop duster fly over and overall a great feeling of pride for showing what the bringing of two different worlds should look like.  When the Senior Account Manager, Jerry Howard came out to our farm to “pitch” the idea of an agriculture week to us, he said, “I have lived here my entire life, I have driven these back roads for many years.  I have enjoyed watching fields grow and crops harvested, and until now it never dawned on me that we need to honor those who grow our food right here in Oregon.  Until now, and that is where this idea began.”

Here is short video that was put together by the Volcanoes to talk about Kathy Hadley’s farm in Rickreall, and our farm here in St. Paul.

Thank you Jerry for a great opportunity, thank you to Salem-Keizer Volcanoes for letting us be a part of this great program, and thank you to all of those who came out in support.

The Weather

22 Jun

The weather is one of those things that doesn’t just annoy us farmers, at times it can infuriate, frustrate, and just plain get us down.  Now I say this all with the disclaimer that I really can’t complain too much here about the weather.  It’s fairly predictable when compared to other areas of the country.  But sometimes, sometimes it just breaks your heart what the weather can do.

Farmers take on incredible risk with the crops that we grow.  We work all year to nurture the plants as best as we know how, take care to meet their every needs.  Then we pray that harvest will come and it will go into the combine, come out as seed, and head to the market (just another thing we can’t control but more on that in another post).

So when Matt and I headed out to check on our crimson clover field to see if it was ready to start harvesting for the day, this is what we saw.

FullSizeRender(8)Not anything too crazy, just looked like a usual whirlwind type of damage, a fairly big pile, but nothing that was too devastating.  It wasn’t until we looked up from that pile to see the real damage.  It’s hard to see in the first photo and it didn’t look too bad even then looking from the seat of the pick-up.


It wasn’t until we walked out to see the true damage of what a whirlwind can down as it races across a field of swathed clover.


I was devastated.  All the seed for a large portion of our field was now no longer on the stem that is supposed to hold on to it while we harvest it with the combines, it was laying on the ground where it would lay and never be harvested.  The idea of a vacuum jokingly crossed all our minds, but that just isn’t feasible.  It’s one of those frustrating days followed by the days of having to now go deal with the stems, manually pitchforking them into the harvesters so they don’t get plugged taking in such large piles.  Just another thing that you get to deal with as a farmer, grin and bear it is what comes to mind with many of these situations, grin and bear it and pray it doesn’t happen again anytime soon.  It’s that eternal farmer optimism that keeps us all going on to the next crop, the next year, the next challenge.

As Will Rogers once said, “The farmer has to be an optimist or he wouldn’t still be a farmer.”

Step Two of Crimson Clover Harvest

19 Jun IMG_4198

We have started combining the Crimson clover for this year. With this warm weather we have been having, it only took 6 days to dry the crop enough to start harvesting.  

Since the crop is so early this year, about 10 days ahead of last year, our regular crew of drivers is at their tractor safety school this week. So the job has gone to Matt and I for the time being.  
 Matt in the yellow and me in the green. I also had a great helper to pass the day, my niece Lila came for a ride! 

 In her very practical combining outfit of course! Happy Friday everyone and happy harvesting farmers!


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