Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Farmers + Politics = An Essential Combination

Farmers become involved in politics for no other reason than they have to. For it is those at the table that make and influence decisions.We live in a time when most of our state and national representation are from urban and suburban areas.
(ND Legislative districts- concentration of districts around the towns of Fargo, Grand Forks, Bismarck, & Minot)

It is also a time that the majority of our representatives are so disconnected with agriculture, farming, ranching and agribusiness that we need to become involved, share our stories and ask questions regarding proposed legislation and current law. Farmers are involved in politics to limit the constant threat of an over burdensome government. We live in a time where environmental, animal welfare, food safety, and nutritional special interest groups are driving policy and practices based on the amount of money they can sink into a campaign and the amount of fear they can drive into people's hearts.

Farmers become involved in politics as a way to connect with those representing them.
They become involved to put a face and a story to actions being contemplated. Farmers provide a specific examples of how certain rules or practice guidelines will be beneficial or detrimental to their business. Farmers become involved so that they can be knowledgeable, help their family farm and businesses prepare for the future, defend their heritage and rights as a property owner, small business owner/ operator and invest in the future of the land, agriculture, and their families.

Farmers become involved in politics because if it is not us, the farmers, then it is everyone else. If we don't get involved now, then when?
We know that we need to be present, active, and knowledgeable so that we are not forced to compromise our beliefs, heritage and future and risk the demise of the oldest industry and the backbone of our national economy at the hands of those who "think" they know what is best for us, but have never asked.

So, step up and get involved. Agriculture today and tomorrow needs you!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Vacations, Viruses, Vomit, & the Virtual World

After being gone at the national Farm Bureau Annual meeting in San Antonio, I arrived home to a tidy house, some closets cleaned out, and sickness! 

My four year had come down with Influena! Which means, coughs, fevers, weeping eyes and lots of snuggle time! It also means that we all get to be on Tamaflu! Yippee!! 

In addition to a virus (or several I presume- given the runny noses of other kids), I was greeted with a phone call from the school letting me know that my 10 year old had vomited in the hallway! Yippee #2!! So of course we go and pick her up and she is instantly better! Supposedly her stomach was irritated by the Tamaflu! So she got to hang out at home and get her bed and bathroom clean and homework completed! 

As a result of Vacation, Viruses, & Vomit, most the work I had planned on doing got put on hold again. Except for the privilege of the virtual world for meetings and work!  This was a lifesaver! When the "sickies" were resting and cleaning I was able to attend a meeting to develop a 501c3- nonprofit corporation, download forms that needed to be submitted and respond to several business & personal emails and work on a presentation! I must say that when times throw plans into a tizzy, the virtual world saves me every time!!

So, I ask... Would all this have happened if I had been home or is it payback? Hmmm... Most likely not too much would have changed... Viruses and vomit strike no matter what and the virtual world is something I depend on regularly. So, the next time I attend a meeting away, I simply pray that everyone is healthy upon my return so we can enjoy each other in healthy times.... 
"Vacations" don't make viruses and vomit!!

Friday, January 3, 2014

My New Year

As I set out this morning to gut and organize my office, I stumbled upon items that had been tucked away for years! Yes, years! Talking more than 5 and I only moved into my office 3.5 years ago! 

Some things like old teaching materials, grad school notebooks, magazines, dried  out markers and yes, a backpack with snacks, I was EXCITED to find and throw away. But it was the miscellaneous projects from my kids, materials from projects and classes I have taught, pictures and a few books that made my heart jump for joy. I paused to ask myself how do these things get shoved to the back? How can I bring them and new things of similar importance to the front of the closet, cabinet etc? 
Ok, the obvious is organization! The next step is to throw more things! And finally I decided I needed to let go of so many things that eat away at me, my sprit, my energy, my being every day. Some of them I control, but many of them I don't. 

So in 2014 I tackle letting go and being more gracious! I think I will start with finishing cleaning the office and then placing these next to my bed....  I wish you all well in 2014!