Home Sweet Home

Well it has been a heck of a winter for traveling for me.  After two trips to Illinois, one to Virginia and now finally I am back home from Texas!  I have learned that while I am extremely tied to the land, both literally and figuratively traveling as a passion of mine doesn’t have to go by the wayside.  These past 7 years of farming have actually allowed me to see more of the world than I ever thought, and usually with farming as a side note the whole time.

So as another trip is in the books, and only one lost wallet behind me (seriously I have the worst luck traveling!)  I am really excited to be getting home and not have another trip on my itinerary for awhile, plus my baby belly is getting a bit too big to be fitting nice and comfy in those seats!  I do know though that I am extremely lucky, because it’s not everyday that you get to join two things that you love in life and make it work.  And although traveling might become a bit more crazy with a kiddo in tow in the years to come, I doubt it will stop me from getting out there to enjoy what I love.

So here’s a few cartoons to give you a good Monday laugh on traveling…



John Deere in Moline, Illinois

Last week a group of young farmers headed back to the freezing cold weather to Moline, Illinois to enjoy some good old John Deere hospitality and see where all these green machines that we tend to favor (on our farm at least) get their start.



We were able to tour the Harvester Works Factory, Tractor Works, and Engine Works while on our three day adventure.  While I was there I realized that John Deere isn’t too different from our own farm back here in Oregon, for instance we both are the World Headquarters…

IMG_0693aPhoto outside what they call the “Rusty Palace”IMG_0723Photo of the front of our farm office….the door also reads…

IMG_0722Also another thing we have in common, they employee over 67,000 employees all over the world.  We employee 4 employees, who all love to travel all over the world!  Wow what similarities!  But in all seriousness I do have to say that John Deere started out in 1837 as just that, a family company.  And in many ways they are still holding true to core family values, even as such a large company that builds equipment for so many industries.

IMG_0709I was impressed by the thought to the future of prodcution.  It was something that was mentioned everywhere we went.  How do we feed the world in the safest and most prodcutive way possible?  They had displays with research showing what they were tracking and what they cared about.  A lot of is as you can see in the pictures below go over how to reduce our use of natural resources, and how do we continue to use technology to our hungry populations advantage.

IMG_0711 IMG_0712 IMG_0714 IMG_0715Another subject that was continuously seen was John Deere’s commitment to be always be linked to the land.  Linked to those farmers who are using their products, relying on their products, and then going out and feeding the world.  Throughout their headquarters even they had artwork that displayed just that message, like the mural below depicts.  It all started with some dirt, a plow sheer, and an idea of how something could be done just a little bit better.


I don’t have any photos of the actual manufacturing being done, they didn’t allow for photos to be taken while in the factories.  I will say though that the level of efficiency and production was truly incredible.  And if you ever find yourself back in Iowa or Illinois I would take the time to check out what is happening in those small little towns with such large factories.


IMG_0689Also I wanted to extend a big thank you to Pape Machinery & John Deere for hosting such a great event.

America’s Best Young Farmer & Rancher

Last week Matt and I along with my parents headed east, before the crazy weather thank goodness, to attend the Annual DTN/Progressive Farmer Ag Summit in Chicago.  The reasons were a little for fun and a little for business.  The first reason though was that I was very honored to receive an award from DTN, Progressive Farmer Magazine & John Deere for being one of America’s Top  Young Farmers and Ranchers for 2014!  I can’t even tell you how incredible it was to receive this award.  I am part of the fourth class who can be proud to say they are America’s Best Young Farmers & Ranchers!  The award recognizes not only your work on your own farm or ranch, but also what you do in your community, for your industry, and beyond just the day to day tasks that keep you plenty busy on a farm.

I have to say that being honored for something that I am so passionate about, well,  it was all very humbling.  As I was sitting up there listening to the short bios of the other award recipients I kept thinking about how each and every one of us, award or not, wouldn’t change a thing about what we’re doing.  All of us are doing what we love, we’re working hard because we’re passionate about being good stewards of the land.  Although all of our stories were very different, all of our backgrounds diverse in many respects, the one thing that remained obvious is that we all are proud of what we do, and we all were genuinely grateful for this honor.  And even beyond that, we’re all under 40 years old; this is the next generation of farmers that you’re looking at right here in the picture below.

1457610_10202747228431528_1222457964_nThere will be more written about each of the award recipients in the February edition of Progressive Farmer, so I’ll keep you updated once it’s up and you can see what I mean about these other amazing farmers & ranchers that I’m standing next to.  You can read a little more about each of us in this article posted right after the award lunch, click HERE.

The program at the annual Ag Summit was very interesting.  I have to say that I expected a lot more just corn and soy bean focus (since most of the people at the conference were from the Mid West aka Corn & Soybean country) but there were many topics and speakers that spoke to all industries.  For instance the President of the Dallas Federal Reserve, Richard Fisher, spoke about fiscal policy and was very candid about how he felt about where things are going today.  “The time is upon us to obtain a more humble monetary policy.”  Other topics included land prices, weather, commodity pricing in the future, etc.

We did get to go off in and around Chicago to have some fun while we were there.  So for the non-business business…we were able to visit with a few friends who farm west of Chicago, Katie & Andy Pratt.


We thought about seeing the Bears game (it was -12 out) so we went to the Bulls game instead!

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We headed up to the top of the Sears Tower, 103 stories!

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Matt stayed near the middle of the building 🙂

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Took a cab and saw “The Bean”


photo 1 (2)

Decided to be tough and walked back to the hotel…then realized that we might actually be getting frostbite (we are wussy…but we made it!)

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And had dinner with a T-Rex named Sue.


Having family there to support me was amazing.  Plus it was very interesting talking with other farmers, many times about succession planning, and having both generations there to speak to our experiences was so helpful to the conversations we had.  Plus my dad was able to boast that, “I’ve only taught her half I know and she’s already getting awards!” (haha!)  So thank you to DTN, Progressive Farmer and John Deere for this wonderful experience!  It’s something that I will never forget and forever treasure.  It will also always be something that I will look back on and make sure that I’m still doing my best to be one of America’s Top Farmers!

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