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Archive for November, 2011

It’s Wednesday at the Michigan Farm Bureau State Annual Meeting, which means it’s a big day for the Young Farmers. Today, they will compete for several awards including honor of winning the Discussion Meet. One year ago, I was one of those fortunate few.

It marked my tenth year as a discussion meet contestant, and quite frankly I’d begun to wonder if I would ever win the elusive contest I had tried in vain to conquer so many times before. But 2010 proved to finally be my year…so join me as I take you back to that awesome day.

Opening statement, first round

Talking with my hands...as usual 🙂

Receiving my certificate from MFB YF Chair Joe Ott after being announced that I'd made it into the 3rd round

Discussion meet finals with fellow contestant Adam Herford

Finals contestant Brian Sanford

With that look on my face, Lord knows what point I was making!

Giving what would be my final closing statement ever at a MFB YF Discussion Meet

With a couple of my besties, Betty Jo (aka Buff) and Kate at the reception just prior to the evening's Celebrating Rising Stars banquet. Buff was one of my best discussion meet coaches!

Receiving my finalist plaque from Joe Ott & MFB President Wayne Wood. Earlier in the evening I had been honored when Wayne stopped me at the reception to congratulate me on a great final.

Right after I won. Not the best picture but you get the idea!

With Allen Bontuis (a former discussion meet winner as well) from John Deere, receiving one of my awards for winning

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Giving Thanks

On November 23, 2011, many of us involved in agriculture took to the “Twitterverse” (that’s the Twitter universe to those less familiar with the world of social media!) Using the hashtag #foodthanks, we recognized the folks who work so hard to put food on our tables. Through Facebook, Twitter and our blogs, we flooded the internet with our appreciation.

But November 23 is my birthday. And while I had great intentions of adding my thanks to the list, the cowboy had other plans. So my “foodthanks” extend to today, when many of us gather with the ones we hold dear and reflect on all the things we are most thankful for.

As we celebrate Thanksgiving, I’d like to take a moment to thank all those involved in providing us all with a safe, plentiful and affordable food supply. That extends not only to the farmers and ranchers, but the countless others from the feed salesmen to the grocers and beyond. Take a moment to reflect and you’ll realize there are many hands involved in connecting farm to plate. Thank you to all those folks for your hard work each and every day.

I’d also like to add my own personal “foodthanks” to my sister Sherry and her husband Paul. One would have to look hard to find two people more passionate about agriculture, their farm and their cows. It’s not hard to tell theirs is a true labor of love.

Sherry & Paul at the All-Michigan Summer Show, a rare occasion they both can sneak away from the farm

 

The ladies of Rod-er-Dic Farm

 

"Gift" being milked

 

The girls heading out to pasture after milking

 

We had just sat down to dinner when Paul called from the barn needing help delivering twin calves. I volunteered to go...babies don't care about dinner times!

 

These girls are more than just cows to my sister and her husband. They are a way of life.

 

For more information about the AgChat Foundation and Foodthanks, visit their website at http://www.agchat.org/ 

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Hi y’all, howdy, & hello!

Well, I finally did it.

After months of talking about it, planning, brainstorming, and frankly, procrastination, I made myself find the time to start a blog.

It all started just under a year ago. We were in the opening session of a Michigan Farm Bureau (MFB) educational seminar, watching a video Michigan State University had done profiling agvocate extraordinaire Michelle Payn-Knoper. Lori Chamberlain, the director of our Young Farmer department, leaned over to me and said “Have you ever thought of doing something like that? You’d be good at it.”

I’d never really thought about it. My life had always revolved around agriculture in some way. I had just won the MFB Young Farmer Discussion meet (finally, after 10 years of trying!) and was coming off making it to the Sweet 16 in Atlanta at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmer & Rancher contest. I had the knowledge, and certainly the ability to speak. And though I’d never really thought about it, I realized I was already in some ways an advocate for agriculture.

So here I am. It’s time to put my experiences and gift of gab to work. I should warn you though…I have opinions and I’m not afraid to speak my mind! But if I can share with you even a little of my passion for agriculture, I will consider this new venture a success.

Now it’s time to mount up. I hope you enjoy the ride!

Follow me on Twitter! www.twitter.com/dynaracer33

 

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