Tag Archives: Family

Wheat, the First Biotech Crop

Agfact #27 

Wheat is the product of a cross between three different grass species which is reputed to have happened about 10,000 B.C.  Our forefathers quickly learned this wild grass was a good source of food for humans and animals.  New species of wheat developed because early farmers selected kernels from their best wheat plants to use as seeds for planting the following year’s crop. That way, only the best wheat qualities were passed from one generation to the next.

Today, the method to select the best quality of corn-soybean-wheat-canola seed is selected in a lab. Biotechnology is not evil as reported in the media.  Just keep in mind Bio means “living things” and technology means “the discover of scientific discovery used to solve problems”. In general terms, Biotechnology is just the use of scientific discovery about living things to solve a problem.

Like the B.C. farmers, Biotechnology today involves the process of Natural Selecting a desired trait or gene.  The difference in the method. Presently, a machine can take the genetic footprint of a seed and identify the desirable trait (example, a plant species that uses less water to produce grain). Personally, this is an amazing innovation.

Scientific Definition of Biotechnology

Food for Thought about Biotechnology

Biotechnology products in the United States are regulated more strictly than any other
agricultural or food product in history. The first biotech crop was available in 1996 but the research began many, many years before. In 1986, the government developed a framework of regulations for biotech crops to ensure it would be safe for humans to consume and the environment.

It is also noteworthy that a record 15.4 million farmers in 29 countries are using agricultural biotechnology.  The grand total of biotech crop acreage of 366 million acres. Ninety percent (14.4 million) of these are resource-poor farmers in developing countries. This fact is a great example of how a scientific discover of living things can solve a problem- feeding nutritional food to people in countries where starvation is a leading killer. 

Read more – Biotechnology 101

The Myth About Who Grows Biotech Crops


Posted by on November 27, 2012 in Ag Facts


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Affordable, Abundant Food

Agfact Day #17

It takes just 40 days for most Americans to earn enough money to pay for their food supply for the entire year. In comparison with the 129 days it takes the average American to earn enough money to pay federal, state and local taxes for the year.

Since U.S. Farmers and Ranchers are more efficient agriculture managers, utilize new technology, and work to improve production practice; U.S. consumers are able to spend only 10% of their income on food while the…

  • French spend 18 percent,
  • British spend 22 percent,
  • Italians spend 23 percent, the
  • Japanese spend 26 percent, and consumers in
  • Indians spend up to 51 percent of their income on food.

Thank you to America’s Farmers and Ranchers for producing affordable, abundant food!

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Posted by on November 17, 2012 in Ag Facts


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Wooly AgFacts

AgFact #10 comes straight from the North American International Livestock Show.

Wool is comparatively fire resistant. This natural fiber is hard to ignite and will self-extinguish.  Historical, firefighters wore wool pants when fighting fires.

Columbia ewe

Ranches and farms raise sheep for meat and/or wool.  Approximately, 90 percent of the world’s sheep produce wool.   Sheep breeders shear their sheep.  One sheep can produce 2 to 30 pounds of wool annually depending on the breed, genetics, nutrition, and shearing interval.  The raw wool is sold to wool mill or to individuals that hand spinners.







In the United State, 29.3 million pounds of wool was harvested from 4.03 million head of sheep and lamb.

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Posted by on November 10, 2012 in Ag Facts


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Blazing Your Own Path

My daughter, Sierra, has reached a milestone in her life. This weekend she said good-bye to elementary ways and will enter the halls of high school this fall. I often tease her that school after the 8th grade is mandated by law and large fuss over 8th grade graduation is not real necessary but I am really proud of the INDIVIDUAL she has become.

My daughter’s maturity level reached years before graduating the 8th grade. I often contribute her good work ethic with living on farm. However in today’s world a child of a rural residence does not guarantee he or she will be raised with the same farm family values I was blessed with. Our parenting philosophy is old school. Raising  her in an environment that instills hard work, allows for disappointment, learning by doing, and old fashioned discipline.

Looking from the outside in, many may think we force our children into the world of agriculture but I disagree. We involve our children in activities on the cattle and grain farm.  We let them get their hands dirty and explore their passions.  Yes, the chore list around our house is different than our neighbors’ children but different does not make it wrong. We hope our children will leave our house with an independent spirit and strong pride of their agriculture roots.

So on 8th grade graduation night, my daughter a young lady that the school has classified as “shy” stepped up to the microphone and confidently delivered her speech.

Words wise beyond her years:

Quiet, outgoing, crazy, adventurous, competitive… All of these words describe our class from the inside out. It seems like yesterday we were starting kindergarten; that was over nine years ago. Along the way we argued, laughed, and we watched kids come into our class and we watched some go. For the past decade or so we have shaped into the young ladies and gentlemen that you see sitting in front of you today. As we get older we separate into different groups, but we still walk the hallways together just like that first day.

I would probably classify myself as a quiet, but crazy, and outgoing, but competitive person because

“I Show and I am the definition of dedication.
I have felt the despair of “the gate” and I know that I don’t want that feeling again, and                                                                                                                                 I have experienced the gratification of the handshake and I know that I want that feeling again, again, and again!
I have been to the first pen and I am going back for more!
I can see the beauty in a rock-solid “brace” and the grace in a “good drive.”
My favorite color is PURPLE!
If I have to, I’ll sort through 1,000 head and drive as many miles until I find “The One.”
There is skill in my hands, and magic and electricity in my step.
While my classmates are watching TV, I am feeding, weighing, exercising, planning and practicing.
If Mom’s got the video camera and Dad’s got a worried look it must be SHOWTIME                                                                                                                   I know that if it’s meant to be, it’s up to me.
I know the REAL value of groovy tops, jacked fronts, and crisp loin edges.
I know the best place to watch Grand Drive from is in the Ring!
I will avoid corners and “low spots” at all costs.
I can talk the talk and walk the walk and I’m not stopping until I grab the banner!
After God, my family, and my country, my stock comes next.
And if you need to find me … I will be in the barn!!!”

-Author Unknown

As most of you know this quote describes me 100 percent. To this day I’d rather wear a button down shirt, blue jeans, a belt, and cowboy boots with a harness on my back, my show stick in my left hand and my show heifer in my right instead of wearing this dress and heels. If you were to ask any person in my class who I am they’d tell you I am shy and that I have a passion they just don’t quite understand.

Now, if you asked my family and friends they’d tell you my life is something many don’t get the chance to experience. Because of the way I grew up, I was given the opportunity to take this dream and make it a reality.Since the day I could walk and carry a feed bucket, at the same time, my life has been revolved around the world of agriculture. I could not imagine where I’d be if I’d never been raised in an agriculture lifestyle.

Mom and dad, I’d like to thank you so much for allowing me to say that the life I grew up knowing is the life that I will forever live. But let’s face it if it wasn’t for you I could not say that my biggest passion is raising and showing Angus cattle. Also, I’d like to thank my family and friends for teaching me one important lesson in the past 14 years, chase your dreams.  I encourage every single one of you to find your passion and take it with you wherever you go. And I hope you allow it to lead you through the life you choose to live.

So, to the classes behind me I encourage you to open your eyes to start thinking about who you are going to be. As for my class, it might just be me, but it doesn’t seem right. It feels like only a couple weeks ago that we couldn’t wait to grow up. We couldn’t wait to finish high school, to go to college, and to take the path that we have always wanted to take. Even though we are stepping closer and closer to our adulthood, I pray that you never lose hope. That you always follow your dreams and never give up on something you can’t go a day without thinking about. I wish that you take the path less traveled by because chances are that it is meant for you. And most importantly I hope you all have thought about who you’re going to be because, kids, we’re going to high school!

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Posted by on June 3, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Sweet Corn the Rock Star of the Garden

Unquestionably, the sweet corn is the Rock Star of the Garden. From the minute the first seed is planted, I can actually taste this juicy nutritional flavorful vegetable.

Perhaps you share my fond memories of sitting on the tailgate removing husks from the sweet corn, picking out the tiny silk strings, and investigating each ear for bugs or worms to be removed. All the time it takes to place the seed in the ground, nurturing its growth, and hand picking it in peak of ripeness to serve as savory vegetable for my family’s dining pleasure is well worth it. Read More about my family’s sweet corn adventure.

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Posted by on May 11, 2012 in food


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Make Room for the Turkey

The main dish at the first Thanksgiving in 1621 was the Turkey.  Although wild turkey still roam the United States today, it was probably the Pilgrims who brought tame turkeys to the new world.  Through the years, Thanksgiving dinners has always been about the Turkey.

Traditionally raising Turkeys on the farm was a seasonal adventure due to the need of temperature control for the bird’s survival. In th mid-1920s, moderation of facility with a protective environment made it possible to raise Turkeys year round.

The United States in the number one producer of Turkeys, raising 7.1 pounds valuing at $4.4 billion. Minnesota is the leading state in Turkey production.

White or Dark Meat

Did you ever wonder why the breast and wings of chickens and turkeys have white meat while the legs and thighs are dark? The explanation is   a physiological one involving the function of muscles, which gives some   insight into humans as well as animals. The dark coloration is not due   to the amount of blood in muscles but rather to a specific muscle type  and it’s ability to store oxygen.

Other Main Dishes

If you are like me the Turkey is not exactly your meat of choice.  While the Turkey is the animal protein of choice for the first Thanksgiving, it does not have to be your choice.  Ranchers across the United States produce a wide range of nutrient-rich animal proteins. My personal favorite is Certified Angus Beef but you may enjoy a roasted pork loin or lamp chops.

As you sit down around the table with your family and friends to enjoy feast of choice and count their blessings, remember to say a extra thank you for the farm families that turn natural resources into food and products every household uses daily.

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Posted by on November 23, 2011 in food


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The Great Pumpkin

Thanksgiving is a holiday for family and friends to sit down around the table to enjoy feast of choice and count their blessings. The first Thanksgiving feast between the Pilgrims and Indians was a three-day celebration of a Great Harvest. Many American Families will partake in this annual feast first proclaimed by Abraham Lincoln as a National Holiday.

America is blessed with hardworking farm families that provide a variety of abundant, inexpensive food.  As Thanksgiving fast approaches, I hope you follow along as I share a glimpse from field to table on common food dishes served on Thanksgiving Day. I hope you see why we should be Food Thankful on Thanksgiving and every day.


I think it is only fitting to start with desert first.  After all my home state of Illinois-land of Corn and Soybeans-actually ranks #1 in Production.

The pumpkin originated from Central America.   In early Colonial times, the pumpkin was original used in the crust of pies and not the filling. Colonists actually cut off the top of pumpkins, removed the seeds and filled the inside with milk, spices, and honey.  The pumpkin was then baked over hot ashes to create the original form of the pumpkin pie.

Today, pumpkins are mainly grown for processing with a small percentage grown for decoration.  A total of 1.06 billion pounds of Pumpkins, valuing $117 million, were grown on 50,200 acres in the United States in 2010.  Illinois leads the states in growing over 4 million pounds.  Morton, Illinois has been crowned Pumpkin Capital of the World with 85% of the world’s pumpkins processed at the Libby’s Plant owned by Nestle Food Company.

The pumpkin is actually a fruit that grows on vines.  It is 90% water and packed full of potassium and Vitamin A.  The seeds of the pumpkins are edible and usually are roasted for a tasty snack. Pumpkins are used to make soups, pies, and breads.

You can Virtually Visit a large Pumpkin Farm;

Watch as they plant, grow, and harvest Pumpkins for Libby’s.

Other Videos:

Pumpkin Harvest in Illinois brought to you by Illinois Farm Bureau

Pumpkin Trivia:

  • The largest Pumpkin Pie ever made was over 5 feet in diameter and weighed over 350 pounds.  It used 80 pounds of cooked pumpkins, 36 pounds of sugar, 12 dozen eggs, and 6 hours to bake
  • The largest Pumpkin weighted 1, 140 pounds
  • Native Americans flattened strips of pumpkins, dried them and made mats.
  • Native Americans used pumpkin seeds for food and medicine.
  • Pumpkins were once recommended for removing freckles and curing snake bites.

Source:  University of Illinois Extension

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Posted by on November 15, 2011 in food


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Bee Thankful

A recent field trip to a local Apple Orchard -Curtis Orchard- reminded this farm girl to Bee thankful for the wonders of Mother Nature. The family at Curtis Orchard not only sell their products-apples, pumpkins, and honey- raised on the 80 acre farm but other products from nearby farmers.The Curtis Orchard’s History is rich with family traditions and still owned and operated proudly by family members.

On this field trip, classmates of my son started the behind the scene tour with a lively discussion about bees and the jobs they perform for the farm.  For you see the bees are the only workers on the farm that is not receiving a paycheck.

Did you know?


  • The Girl Bees, Worker Bees, do all the work collecting the Pollen, feed the Queen and other bees, and guard the hive.
  • There is one Queen Bee who lays 2000 eggs a day and never leaves the hive.
  • One hive can hold 20,000 to 100,000 bees. The hives at Curtis averae 80,000
  • The bees are the only workers on the Orchard that are NOT paid.
  • Male Bees, Drones, only job is to fertilize the eggs
  • When more eggs to produce Queens are laid, the current Queen uses her stinger to kill 4/5 eggs. The remaining new Queen Bee and the current Queen fight to death. The Strongest survives.


  • 300 Unique types of Honey produced in the United States
  • Honey can vary in color and flavor
  • The 60,000 or so bees in a beehive may collectively travel as much as 55,000 miles and visit more than two million flowers to gather enough nectar to make just a pound of honey!
  • Honey is a natural sweetener and contains a variety of flavonoids and phenolic acids, which act as antioxidants, scavenging and eliminating free radicals.
  • Honey is used in a variety of beauty products.  It is a humectant, which means it attracts and retains moisture-great for shampoos, cleansers, lotions, and conditioners.
  • Honey has antimicrobial properties. Most bacteria and other microorganisms cannot grow or reproduce in honey.  Therefore Honey does not go Bad.
  • Since Honey has the antimicrobial properties, it has been used as medicine.  It was found in King Tut’s Tomb.
  • In practical sense, honey can be used as ointment as tropical treatment to a wound. It also has been found to reduce scarring.
  • Honey is a natural cough suppressant.

Visit the National Honey Board’s Website for great recipes using Honey, Beauty Recipes, and great info on Honey.

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Posted by on October 30, 2011 in Dirt Trail, food


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Dear America

October 24, 2011-Food Day

Dear America:

I an American Farmer, urge you to start a real dialogue about the America’s Food System with me. For you see, today-October 24, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has declared it Food Day. For me, Food Day is 365. Disappointingly, instead of having an honest conversation with farmers, the CSPI has chosen to organize a campaign that spreads untruth about the way I raise my crops and animals to feed you.

Every day, I thank God for giving me the skills and natural resources to produce safe, abundant, healthy food for my country and the world. As a parent and consumer, I only support agriculture practices that are safe for my family and yours.

I raise corn, soybeans, and beef animals on my farm. I recognize the need to seek improvements, embrace new technology, and invest in continuing education to improve my part -the beginning- of food production to yield healthy choices to people everywhere.

Unfortunately, the CSPI purposely leaves one valuable nutrient-rich food from its list of healthy food choices –Beef, Pork, Lamb (Only seafood, low-fat dairy, and poultry). It is implied by the CSPI that animal proteins [excluding low-fat dairy and poultry] are unhealthy.

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines-My Plate, My Health– recommends a balanced diet from all food groups-Fruits & Vegetables, Grains, Dairy, and Protein- combined with physical activity for a healthy lifestyle. The USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans encourage people to “get more nutrition from their calories” by choosing nutrient-rich food among all food groups. The Meat and Bean group provides protein but not all proteins are created equally. Unlike most plant sources of protein, animal proteins such as lean meats supply’s most readily accessible and easily absorbed source of iron and zinc-essential nutrients for muscle growth and good health. Meat can help you to get the most nutrition-Protein, Iron, Zinc- all wrapped up in tasteful serving. Lean meat like Beef can help you get the most nutrition for fewer calories. Calorie for calorie, lean beef is one of the most flavorful and efficient ways to meet the daily value for 10 essential nutrients like iron, zinc and B vitamins and beef also provides 20 grams of protein per serving.

The fact remains most Americans including myself need to make better food selections, strive for portion control, and just simply get off the couch more.

My family is proudly among the 98 percent of U.S. Farms that are operated by a family or individual. As a ninth generation farmer, protecting the environment and my animals are a priority. The decisions my family makes on the farm is based on peer-reviewed science that is verified and respects the consumer values.

I urge you not to partake in questionable campaigns like the CSPI’s Food Day but engage in conversation with Real Farmers. It could be as simple as visiting a local farm or participate online- join the honest Food Dialogues everyday.

Thank you for attention on this matter and look forward to discussing the one thing that connects us all -our food


Cheryl Day, American Farmer

Read More on Food Day

Food Day – 365

Food Day?

USFRA Online

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Posted by on October 24, 2011 in Myths @ Ag


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Wordless Wednesday

The END of Harvest 11

Last Soybean Field



Posted by on October 12, 2011 in Uncategorized


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