Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Thought s about trying Organic and weeds

This picture is from 10 days ago where my son and I are trying to pluck all the little weeds. However, today there was no brown dirt to be seen.

I just came in from trying to reclaim my garden (too embarrassed to show pictures).
I am now convinced that weeds grow at least twice the speed of any planted seed.
With all the talk about 'going organic' it crossed my mind to maybe try keeping my garden organic but after having to till my garden just to find items I planted (losing precious soil moisture)-- I think I'm going to rely on using some glyphosphate--otherwise I will not have any produce.
Now, I'm sure that some organic people will ask "why did you let your weeds get so tall?" My first response is "I have a life besides trying to raise food". And it has been raining and raining (which is good) - but it makes it really challenging to weed in the mud.
I planted a garden mainly to make sure my kids understand how food grows - but most importantly how much work goes into raising food. A garden is kinda like an animal - it most be cared for daily--if it goes ignored-- the weeds get out of control. That is a pretty good description of what is going on in one of the public debates. The agriculture industry has been so busy at feeding the world (and doing it more effeciently, because so many have moved off the land for easier and higher paying jobs in the cities) and trying to make a living over the last decade that we didn't realize that other (non-ag) people were telling the story of growing food and taking care of the land and animals. So now we have a population where the weeds (non-aggies and AR type)have been getting the focus instead of the planted seed (farmers).
However, I am excited to see that Ohio has stepped up and said 'enough is enough' it is time to tell our story and let the truth be told about the weeds. See more here.
I hope that everyone is trying to tell their story to any non-aggie they come across. One person at a time - will make a difference.
Who have you reminded today that food comes from farmers not the grocery store?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

What's on your Chore List

It seems like my chore list is expanding at a much faster rate than I think I can accomplish. However, I find new inspiration to get more done each day. What is my inspiration? My kids – our future! If you haven’t noticed by now, I am an agricultural activist. The first time someone called me that – I was taken back—I’m not an activist. But over the last 6 months I have come to realize I am an activist, ( I prefer advocate), for agriculture and my passion is to tell the real story of production agriculture. That is why my chore list continues to grow and I am asking you to add a new item to yours!

That item is: Tell Your Story, talk to anyone and everyone within your circle and at least one new person each week about how agriculture affects their life and your community.

How can you do that? It’s easy and simple. The best part is we have the truth on our side. The US food production story is the best in the world. We have the safest and most affordable food in history. The challenge is with less than 2% of the population in production agriculture – we have to get our story to the other 98%. And if we don’t tell it, there are many others trying to and it’s full of untruths.

Do your neighbors know the truth about what HSUS (The Humane Society of the United States) is really about? That they are working everyday to put you and I out of business and force everyone to become a vegan? Find more info here. Remind them that means no hamburgers and no leather boots and no animal testing.

Does your farmer neighbor know that nearly 98% of all soybean meal is fed to animals…the livestock industry is the soybean farmers number 1 customer. Find more facts about how soybeans are being used here.

Have you visited with your hometown newspaper editor and reminded him/her the value of agriculture?

Have you talked to your city friends and reminded them that all food starts on the farm…not at the grocery store?

I have learned how to use the latest in social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter and blogging, and that is how I am accomplishing the task of telling the story of ag.

I saw this from another farmer on Twitter that sums up my request:

@derekbalsley Farm Chores 2.0: Blog about your farm, tweet about your day, confront activists w/ truth, be an ag advocate!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Many believe it just won't work

Just wanted to share a few pictures of no-till soybeans following corn. Many farmers just don't think soybeans can handle so much organic matter (corn stalks/trash). Look at these soybeans. This field has been no-tilled for over 10 years.

I find it very interesting to see that the scientists have caught up with what us farmers knew long ago. "But removal of too much of that debris to use as a feedstock for biofuel could have a long-term impact on soil productivity, according to new research. The value of the organic matter is priceless in no-till operations.

So with the EPA saying that soy based biodiesel won't meet the RFS2 standard and farmers not willing to remove the cellulosic matter -- I just wonder how we're going to become more energy independent --more on that later.

Here's a few fun pics from our farm.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Keep the Animal Rights Industry out of YOUR Church

I wanted to share this from another friend in the fight for our freedoms:

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "I have so much to do today that I should spend the first three hours in prayer."

I've been thinking about that quote a lot lately. I was raised in a Christian family, and I don't know how I'd get through a day without prayer. Blessed with good health, wonderful friends, a loving family, and fabulous dogs - I spend a lot of time giving thanks. I also ask for the usual things - strength, inspiration, guidance. Lately I've had to ask the Lord for something new and unexpected - help in keeping the animal rights industry out of His church.
My investigation led to a mixture of good news and bad news. Here's the verdict. Christians need to be more vigilant in guarding the gate. The animal rights industry, whose hypocrisy knows no bounds, is coming soon to a church near you. (Check your Daily Devotional, they may have already infiltrated your place of worship.)

HSUS President/CEO Wayne Pacelle does his homework. He sees that American farmers are coming together to stand shoulder-to-shoulder against the animal rights industry. Farmers, now I'm speaking directly to you. Pacelle knows that you're ten times tougher and more savvy than the emotional AR cult members that he moves around like pawns on a chess board. He sees you speaking out against the animal rights movement. He knows that you are feeling a growing resolve to protect your families and your future from the destructive rampage of HSUS-driven laws.

see the rest at the Soybeans and Livestock

Monday, June 1, 2009

Real Pics of No-till corn in Nebraska

This field has not seen a plow or disc for over 20 years.
It is dryland (that means we rely on rain for moisture).
Learn more about the benefits of no-till corn compared to grasses here

Here's a few pics of our kids working with their bottle fed calves.