Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Happy Thanksgiving! I have a lot to be thankful for. Everything I've been given and work for is worth giving thanks.

   My family: they continue to teach me life lessons and love me every day.

   My friends: they are wonderful and will always be there for me.

   My husband: my best friend.

   My children: the love of my life, forever.

   My faith: which was formed and proven by all of those above.

Another thing that I am very thankful for this holiday season is the fact that I have a safe food source to choose from every day. I live in a place where I don't have any insecurities about the food I buy.

I am for my life. Happy Thanksgiving to you all, and remember to give thanks to Him:

   "for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and    invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities -- all things were created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together." -Colossians 1:16-17


2013-10 Kids


Monday, November 11, 2013

Iowa Soybean Association Environmental Discovery Tour

Happy Veterans Day!  I am thankful for all of those who have served, and who are serving for our freedom.

Harvest is complete!!!  Corn was finished up on November 3rd.  However, just because harvest is over, does not mean that we are ‘done.’  It actually means that the next crop year has just begun!  Now that our 2013 crop is officially harvested, we now start preparations for our 2014 crop. We've put on manure for fertilizer and tillage has begun. 

2013 11 04 Strip Till BLOG                                        Strip Tillage

2013 11 02 Strip Till                  Strip Tillage

2013 11 08 Disk Rip BLOGDisk Ripping

In late October we were able to be a part of the Iowa Soybean Association Environmental Discovery Tour. This tour was presented by the Iowa Soybean Association and Agriculture's Clean Water Alliance.  This tour included about 50 politicians, reporters and city officials.  The idea was to get these participants out to a real farm to see what tools we have been using to protect water quality by using some tools that are part of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. It was a wonderful tour! For this group to take their entire day to meet and visit with us about our farm shows me that they too, are committed to protecting water quality. 

Our focus of the tour was to show how manure and the Iowa Soybean Association's On-Farm Network ® correlate to water quality on our farm.  We enjoy doing tours like this we want to tell our story. Plus, we can get a better idea of what concerns consumers (or in this instance - Water Quality Experts and Legislators) might have. 

We believe it's important that we take the "voluntary" approach to the Nutrient Reduction Strategy seriously.  Now is the time to figure out and to show that we care about water quality and we are committed to this strategy.  However, this is also a time to step up and work together with all point and nonpoint sources to reduce nutrients in our waters.  We feel that if water quality is not improved in the state within a few years the voluntary Nutrient Reduction Strategy will become a mandatory Nutrient Reduction Strategy through legislation. This is a very important opportunity for farmers to show that we don't need legislation to make changes, and that we are willing to help improve water quality.   

Some of the highlights from our part of the tour included:

  • We have moved to no till and reduced tillage to help protect soil from erosion as well as increase soil health.
  • We test the nutrients in the manure and the soil to prevent over application.
  • We use cover crops to limit nutrient runoff and leaching.
  • We focus on the right rate, right timing, right placement and right source of nutrients.
  • We use technology to plan our nutrient applications, to apply those nutrients, and to evaluate those decisions. 
  • Manure is not a ‘waste’ product.  It is a fertilizer that we use and is carefully planned and placed for the crop needs. 
  • Our operation is constantly changing as we learn about how we affect water quality and what we can do to help protect it. 
  • A large part of what we do on our farm is evaluating our current farming practices and looking for ways to improve upon it. 

Below are some articles about the tour :)

Iowa Soybean Association:  Environmental Discovery Tour

The Daily Freeman - Journal:  Taking a one-water approach

DTN Progressive Farmer:  Discovering Conservation 

Brownfield:  Tour examines Iowa farmers' efforts to improve environment