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Meet Miss Mildred Clara Frketich

4 Apr

We are pleased to introduce Mildred “Millie” Clara Frketich.

She is awesome, her brothers are absolutely in love and Matt and I are totally exhausted…oh yes, and also in love with this new addition to our crazy Frk house!  She got here on March 22, 2018.  Weighing 7 lbs, 9 oz and 19 inches long.

That says “Frketich GIRL” on her wristband….gosh I still can’t believe we had a girl!!!

Farming has been chugging along like crazy.  The weather cooperated and rained the whole time we were getting to know Millie those first few days in the hospital.  Then we headed home, the sun came out, and farming ramped right back up.

I’ve been home recovering from a C-section, while Matt (and many days Hoot) and the rest of our very dedicated workers started to work ground, plant, fertilize and spray all the crops.  It’s been a hectic start to Millie’s life but I “think” I wouldn’t have it any other way…or maybe I just don’t know any better! I’ve had a village of helpers here at the house.  Jobs as simple as picking up Auggie, who doesn’t quite understand why mama has such an “ouchie wah wah”, making us dinners, holding Millie so I can shower, and wrestling with the boys because Mom really has become totally boring since having a baby!  I’ll be back boys don’t you worry!!!

So all is well here on the farm, hectic, totally insane and some days really really freaking hard to have three kids under four.   The word “teamwork” comes up a lot and we are continually thankful for all the help!!

For those who wonder where we got the name, Mildred “Millie” is after my great Aunt Millie on my mom’s side of the family.  She was one feisty, loving, incredible lady.  She passed away before meeting Hoot our oldest son, but I was able to let her know that if we did have a girl during this whole adventure, she would have to be named Millie.  She was so excited and I just know she’s smiling down on us right now.  The middle name, Clara, is after my grandma on my dad’s side.  A dedicated farm wife, wonderful mom, and loving grandma to all us kids.  She died when I was fairly young, but left s all with a lifetime of memories that we talk about often.  So our little Mildred Clara has some big shoes to fill, but I have no doubt she will do just that in her own time.

So with that we would like to welcome little Miss Millie, seems as though the world has been waiting for you!

Thank You All Again!

21 Nov

Receiving to AgLink award Friday evening was truly incredible!  Thank you again for all those who supported me, and continue to cheer me on!  It’s appreciated more than you will ever know.

Here is the video that was presented along with the award on Friday night.  It turned out great thanks to some big efforts from a lot of folks!  Enjoy!

Also for those of you who could not attend, here is my thank you speech…I know that it goes without saying for many people, but it truly takes a village to accomplish what we have in our industry, and the work isn’t over yet!

I started my blog nuttygrass.com 5 years ago. It was never meant to go far, it was truly meant to share good farming stories that I told all my friends.  Mostly funny things like what I broke around the farm that day, or about how I regularly dunk my head in hydraulic oil, because if you don’t know me, I’m a huge klutz! 

But those stories have transformed into a glimpse into my life as a farmer, one story at a time, and that’s vitally important for our industry in an environment where people don’t understand what we do or why we do it.

My stories put a face on farming and provide an opportunity for consumers to feel like they know me and can ask the hard questions. The stories on my blog have evolved into conversations and moments of true honesty with urban neighbors about the very real demands of being a farmer and how we are at times unsuccessful. It presents an honest dialogue where people get to hear that sometimes we spray pesticides, and here’s why.

It’s transparency at a level that I believe in many ways is demanded by anyone who happens to have a computer, a laptop or smartphone because that transparency leads to trust. It is our responsibility to educate the consumer, because no one else will do it for us – no one else can tell our story but us. If we don’t tell our story, those who try to do it for us, they’ll get it wrong.

We are under a microscope in many ways and usually the burden of proof is on us. Not just to tell them why, but to beat them to the punch and get our voice out there. While we all sit here tonight supporting a cause such as adopt a farmer, I know I’m preaching to most of the choir here. But I also believe that our ability and willingness to engage is always changing.

They are hungry for our stories, and we as farmers, as only 2% of the population, should answer back. Which may mean something as small as sharing a blog post on Facebook, or something more challenging like having a real conversation at the grocery store about the safe food that we grow, or speaking up to your representative about policy issues that impact our way of life.  Join a commission, participate in your industry!

However you do it, have your voice heard.

Truly thank you to everyone in this room for your involvement in promoting our industry, including tonight’s other honoree Sharon Livingston. 

Thank you to my husband Matt, my parents, my whole family, my great friends, all who have supported me and will continue to work as a team with me to connect agriculture across the rural and urban divide, I thank you from the bottom of my heart, for this recognition!

Ask a Farmer at the Smithsonian

8 Aug

final-134Last week Dad and I got to take advantage of quite the opportunity.  We were asked by the US Farmer and Rancher’s Alliance if we would come speak on a panel at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.  The panel was called, Ask a Farmer: Family Farms, Family History.  We were joined by two other farm families.  Evergreen Diary from St. John’s Michigan, represented by Carla Wardin and her mom Cherie Anderson.  And Cooley Farms, a chicken and beef farm from Roberta, Georgia.  Who had three generations there representing, Larry, Leighton and Lawson Cooley.

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The event was featured within an exhibit called “Enterprise” which looks at history through the eyes of business.  Including the business of agriculture, which as we all know has shaped many ways that our country operates still today.  The panel’s moderator started off by asking some great questions, hitting on topics including the struggles and joys of working with family in business.  Also touching on how the younger generation decided that they even wanted to come back to the farm.  For one, Leighton Cooley, it took only 6 months off the farm to realize it’s where he wanted to be.  For Carla Wardin it took starting a whole career in marketing and living completely away from the dairy for years with her husband to decide to make the call home to ask her parents, “Please don’t sell the cows!” They wanted to give it a go.  And then for me, a college degree from Loyola Marymount University, a lot of concrete life in LA, and I was ready to be back in the dirt.

We were also asked questions from the audience, which included an awesome group of school kids.  Asking everything from, “How do worms make holes in the ground?” to “Do farms have names?”  All in all it was truly a great event.  The panel itself was recorded and will be available in a few weeks, stay tuned and I’ll share that once it’s up and running.

I think the best part for me was getting a chance to meet other farmers from across the nation who also have a passion for agriculture and doing what they love  with the people that they love everyday.  We had no problem all becoming fast friends.

While I was heading off across the country things at the farm didn’t slow down.  The crew was at home finishing up our swiss chard harvest, getting things all switched over for wheat and also keeping all our fresh crops irrigated.  So it obviously wasn’t ideal to take off, but since it was only 36 hours away from the farm, since it was the Smithsonian, and since I got to go talk about what I love the most, family and farming, it was an opportunity that I knew I couldn’t pass up!

I want to thank the USFRA and the Smithsonian for this wonderful chance to spread my family’s farm story!final-136

To learn more about Carla Wardin you can follow her on her blog, Truth or Dairy.
And Cooley farms has quite a large role in the movie Farmland.  For another look at their family operation check out this commercial from Farm Credit.

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