Brownfield covers all aspects of agriculture: News, weather, markets, auctions... you name it. But not everything fits into one of those categories and we wanted to have a place to tell you about some of the things going on behind the scenes here in the newsroom. And to give you a place to talk to us. Return to Brownfield home page.
One of my favorite things to do every year during National Farm Safety Week is to head to west central Illinois for the annual Farm Credit Services of Illinois Meals in the Fields event. For the past 7 or 8 years (but who is counting?) I've tagged along with Mike Lonergan, VP of Financial Services and others from the Jacksonville Farm Credit branch office as well as Mike Loyd, VP of Marketing for Farm Credit Services of Illinois, as they delivered and enjoyed lunch on the farm.
Each of Farm Credit’s 21 branch offices selects a different farm family every day of the week to provide a lunch meal. Over the course of a week, approximatlely 200 to 300 Illinois farm families will be treated to a free lunch, or a total of about 1200 meals.
The reason for the program is to promote farm safety. It is important to take a break and make sure you get plenty to eat and drink. (We always do as you can see in these pictures.) It is also important to get out of the truck or combine and move around a bit.
Harvest had not yet begun on Don and Jason Headen's farm, but we all enjoyed the comraderie as several of Don and son Jason's farmer-neighbors joined us for fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, lettuce salad, rolls and PIE.
Since I started tagging along with the Jacksonville Farm Credit staff, we've served the lunch wherever the farmers happen to be working that day – whether that be in the fields, in the machine shed, or around the kitchen table. Two years ago we set up tables in Russell Maul's waterway in the middle of a corn field.
There is a story that features an interview with Don on the Brownfield website.
Brownfield Affiliate Relations Manager Mike Cady spends most of his days on the road, visiting affiliate radio stations and growing the number of stations carrying Brownfield and Waitt Agribusiness programming. On his most recent trip, he visited KJAN-AM, Atlantic Iowa.
KJAN put a new twist on the radio station "van." They sport around town in a Chevy HHR. - Mike
Brownfield Livestock Market Reporter Jerry Passer lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He's seen his share of bad weather and the repercussions thereof in the past year. He checked in this morning with a windshield-survey of crops from Cedar Rapids, Iowa to Princeton, Illinois.
Drove to Illinois yesterday and have to say I have never seen corn and soybeans in more varied stages of growth than I did on this run. Some corn looked like early August, some right across the road looked ready to be harvested, about every height you can imagine and colors from very yellow to very brown. Short beans tall beans lush green beans and very brown beans. An irrigated field in Whiteside County Illinois with the poorest stand I have ever seen, don’t know what the problem was there, ought to be an interesting harvest. Weekly crop reports should make for interesting reading at least in Iowa and Illinois.
Tom Steever has been traveling a great deal in recent weeks. Last week, his travels took him back to his radio roots:
It’s always nice to go home. In this case, ‘home’ is my first radio job out of college and the people I worked with. The KSOO reunion was this past weekend in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where I spent the first 19 years of my career. For two evenings I got to reacquaint myself with former colleagues as well as the second and third generations of the Henkin family, who for 65 years owned the station. Because of KSOO’s history including more than a decade association with KSOO-TV (now KSFY-TV), I also saw people who were part of that entity. The reminiscences included plenty of stories about news scripts being set on fire and other shenanigans that test the mettle of on-air personnel. My own are the verbal gaffs I managed especially in the early years of my career.
It's best described as a "micro-blog." "Micro" because the news posted to Twitter is limited to 140 characters (which isn't much for a windy old farm broadcaster). The posts (called "tweets") are short to make them easy to read on your mobile phone or Blackberry.
Along with headlines and links to our regular news stories, I'll be posting notes about upcoming stories, news events we're covering, or ag news from other sources.
Who says pork producers have no sense of humor? As I type this on Monday morning, Illinois Pork Producers Association (IPPA) are getting ready to or already have delivered informational material about pork production, a t-shirt stating "Nice Chops," and an original poem with the same moniker to the Obama and McCain campaign headquarters.
Apparently, following all the hullabaloo about putting lipstick on pigs, IPPA received media inquiries about what would happen if someone actually tried to put lipstick on a pig. Jim Kaitschuk, association exec thought this would be a good time to take advantage of an educational opportunity!
In the land of politics and campaigns galore, The rhetoric has shifted to lipstick and a boar.
Though putting lipstick on a pig may seem cute, It's one thing farmers will surely refute.
It wouldn't be sanitary, it wouldn't cross their mind, To apply a glycerin product -- derived from the pig's behind.
It's a noble profession raising pigs for a living, A pig is an animal that just keeps on giving.
From bacon to sausage, pepperoni to ham, We're even linked to your old friend, Uncle Sam!
But did you know we're more than just pork? Our value extends far beyond the fork.
By-products from pigs make heart valves and plastic, Crayons, insulin, buttons, even LIPSTICK!
Whatever you think of - bacon, lipstick or ham hocks, Doesn't matter to us… we say, NICE CHOPS.
Remember folks, this is meant to be fun. No pigs were cosmetically treated in the creation of this blog post.
Tom Steever, as was mentioned in the previous post, spent some time in Germany earlier this month. In his words:
Kyle Bauer (KFRM, Clay Center, KS) and I were the only two U.S. farm broadcasters among the international journalists covering Bayer CropScience’s Global News Conference in Monheim, Germany, September 4. Hosted by Bayer’s Steve Meister (RTP, North Carolina), we were also in the company of Pam Golden, editor of Southern Farmer and Rich Keller, with AgProfessional in Kansas City.
It’s interesting to hear reactions of other farm and business journalists from the far-flung corners when they learn there’s such a thing as a “farm broadcaster.” We met and visited with news types from Sweden, Denmark, Great Britain, Japan, Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Argentina and a TV crew from Serbia. I also visited with a local radio business reporter from Germany. Those are just the ones I remember off hand.
They seem to be just as interested in how we cover such an event as we are in how they cover it. It seems to be common for others to open conversation with an apology for their English. I’m quick to point out that it beats the dickens out of my Serbian!
I tucked the German trip between coverage of the Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa, which I did with Brownfield colleagues Cyndi Young and Julie Harker; and Husker Harvest Days, which I covered through its end Thursday, September 11 in Grand Island, Nebraska.
Brownfield's Tom Steever went from Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa to Nebraska State Fair for Nebraska Master Showmanship Contest to Germany (yes, I said GERMANY) with Bayer Crop Sciences. He slept in his own bed one night - maybe two - before heading to Grand Island, Nebraska for Husker Harvest Days.