News & Publications
"What is your superpwer?"
I have watched some of the Marvel and DC movies. These movies feature superheroes with amazing abilities. Wouldn’t it be fun to have blistering speed, tremendous strength, spidey sense, magic, ability to breathe underwater, or amazing gadgets. Unfortunately, I’m afraid one of those “gifts” would probably be wasted on me.
There is something special about having a legacy with farm history and connections. When I meet someone, invariably, the person tells me about their grandparents or uncle or cousins that farmed at one time. The conversation usually connects with the individual’s childhood and his or her memories gained through visits and moments on that farm. I am so glad that farm experiences are a special connection we all commonly seem to share.
I thought you might not be real but then I found your Facebook page. I hope that the recent META layoffs don’t end up damaging your communications with your many fans this season.
From the movies I watched about you, you seem quite powerful, and you certainly seem to be a fan of “good”. I believe that I’ve been a very good Farm Bureau manager this past year. Therefore, I thought I would draft a letter to you with some requests in case you would be willing to make a difference.
Cold, snow, wind, and weather discomfort season are approaching. For me, this also means biscuits and gravy season. The season is best survived from the comfort of a country café or one’s own kitchen.
"Two truths and a lie"
Farm Bureau is at its best when it is an in-person, person-to-person, interactive organization. Sure, during the last two years, we managed to Zoom. We got by with Microsoft Teams. Conference calls worked. Email sufficed.
BUT it is so very nice to be in-person in the office, in-person at programs, in-person at events, and in-person during meetings. I have a new appreciation for in-person meetings (not that meetings are necessarily great) which are so much better than sitting in front of the computer.
"A run-a-way story"
Earlier this summer, my wife and I drove through the mountains of New York during our northeastern U.S vacation. That drive reminded me of a book that I loved in my youth, My Side of the Mountain by Jean George. The book was about a boy named Sam who lived in New York City and decided to run away from home and live in New York’s Catskill Mountains. The book was great for my imagination…a young boy’s wilderness “how-to” survival guide for fire, shelter, foraging, hunting, and scavenging.
When I was growing up on the farm, market price to me always meant the price per pound we would receive for our hogs when we sold them at the market. That market price always meant a great deal because most of the family income came from the hogs during that period of time. My dad, the Farmer, spent a lot of time shaking his head when he heard Orion Samuelson announce the market price for hogs. Headshaking meant the market price was too low.
"A robot with a Spatula"
Every day, our society is one step closer to becoming a real-life version of the “Jetsons”. For those of you who are “junior” in age, the Jetsons were a 60s’ cartoon starring a futuristic family and society featuring pushbutton modern conveniences, magical wireless connections, voice command AI robotics, and driver-free (flying) cars.
"Appreciate a Teacher Today!" (Part 2)
Last month, I celebrated May’s Teacher Appreciation Week by writing a column reflecting on teachers that were very influential in my life. I quickly discovered that there were too many influential teachers in my life to fit into one column!
"Appreciate a Teacher Today!" (Part 1)
The Illinois Farm Bureau ad on Teacher Appreciation Week shown below caused me to harken back to consider and remember teachers that influenced me. I am sure that all of us have teachers who impacted us greatly in life. I certainly do! I was surprised by the number of teachers that came to mind immediately. I do have a lot of “appreciating” to do! Let me begin!
"Where was the Vanilla?"
Throughout the year, there are many National “Months” and National “Days” designed to bring special focus on something or some group. Just recently, March included National Women’s History Month, Irish-American History Month, National Celery Month, National Pig Day, National Snack Day, and many more.
"A Swig of Grape-Nuts"
About one year ago, the headline read, “The Grape-Nuts® Shortage is Over”! Back in 2020 and early 2021, when the pandemic was in full blown panic, I could no longer find Grape-Nuts in my local grocery stores. I joked with my wife that there has been a “run” on Grape-Nuts. It turns out, shockingly, that I was correct!