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CCFB News» Joanie Stiers

News & Publications


    At the Farm Gate

    Back to School not business as usual
    09/01/2019 @ 4:30 am | By Joanie Stiers

    A classic yellow school bus against a cornfield backdrop on a rural road says American as much as the homemade ice cream we crank for the Fourth of July. Sometimes, I snap a photo of the approaching bus as it rounds the bend, stirring a dust cloud on the gravel road to our home farm.

    At the Farm Gate

    Small stuff softens Stressful Summer
    08/01/2019 @ 7:45 am | By Joanie Stiers

    Spots nibbles contently off the top of his feed pile. Hunter likes to burrow his face in the twice-daily ration, And Shadow attacks his feed trough like an alligator; the white pig with a shadow of red on his back swoops the length of the trough for a mouthful, lifts his head to swallow, and rapidly returns for more like a competitive eater.

    At the Farm Gate

    Storm of stressors strike Farm Country
    07/01/2019 @ 8:30 am | By Joanie Stiers

    Some call this spring’s collision of farm stressors the perfect storm. Unprecedented planting delays trouble farmers throughout the Corn Belt. Long-duration flooding halts barge movement of crops and fertilizer. A trade agreement with our nation’s neighbors needs ratified to improve markets. Agency actions reduce ethanol volumes and thus corn demand.

    At the Farm Gate

    Cousins bond on and off farm
    06/01/2019 @ 9:45 am | By Joanie Stiers

    When’s the next time we’re going to see our cousins?”

    That question takes the No. 2 spot behind, “What are we doing tomorrow?” from the mouth of our 11-year-old son. Primarily, he wants to know when “something fun” makes the itinerary, and cousins always fit that description.

    At the Farm Gate

    Bud not such a Buddy
    04/01/2019 @ 9:00 am | By Joanie Stiers

    The Super Bowl beer advertisement brewed belly-aches in my living room full of corn farmers. For a pain-staking 60 seconds, we watched Bud Light knights transport an oversized and unwanted barrel marked “corn syrup” in its medieval-themed advertisement.

    At the Farm Gate

    Modern moms, Manure and Monarchs Mainstream, unusual mix on the farm
    03/01/2019 @ 8:00 am | By Joanie Stiers

    You could call me a modern, mainstream mom at times: I use grocery pickup services. The touch of a smartphone app locates my 13-year-old’s missing cell phone. And home-delivery subscriptions supply our household’s toilet paper and laundry detergent.

    At the Farm Gate

    Agriculture Hopes Pain Leads to Long-Term Trade Gain
    02/01/2019 @ 9:00 am | By Joanie Stiers

    On a recent winter night, my silent kids in the back seat reminded me of the bedtime car rides that rocked me to a light slumber as a child. With my childhood eyes closed, the car’s sounds and motions acted as my GPS between Grandma’s house and our rural abode.

    At the Farm Gate

    Best Bargains Made Early on Farm Supply Buys
    01/02/2019 @ 10:00 am | By Joanie Stiers

    My husband will attest that my obsession with holiday-time bargains unleashed when the kids slept. Morning and night, I glanced through bookmarked web-pages for product price drops in November and December.

    Farm Gate

    Farm creates country-style Christmas
    12/01/2018 @ 8:20 am | By Joanie Stiers

    I love this time of year. My infatuation with the holiday season seems fitting for a Christmas Eve baby who literally traveled home from the hospital in a Christmas stocking. I’m so in love with the Christmas season that my husband and I decorated a “wedding tree” at our late-summer reception in the farm shop: a 12-foot scotch pine under which guests placed presents – the tree itself was a gift from the local Christmas tree farm.

    Farm Gate

    Farmers work to put harvest on the done list!
    10/01/2018 @ 7:20 am | By Joanie Stiers

    I vividly remember looking over the spiral-bound, wide-ruled notebook folded open on Grandpa’s farm shop bench. On the paper, he scribed a list of things to do in thick pencil lead and all capital letters. His distinctive, slanted, all-caps handwriting emulated the feeling of authority and speed with its raw, yet refined, formation of words.

    Farm Gate

    Friends Celebrate a Century of Farm Bureau Impact
    09/02/2018 @ 7:15 am | By Joanie Stiers

    Farmer Dale delighted passengers with rides in his 1919 Ford Model T on that pleasant summer evening at the fairgrounds. The ride from yesteryear stirred thoughts about how the automobile dramatically changed life. Those thoughts continued under a nearby tent, where tractors from every decade of the last century sat on display. The earliest models replaced horses in a dramatic shift for farm life and food production.