Friday, July 31, 2015

Ag Question: What does 4-H mean to you?

Year #2 of the Jasper County Fair is in the books.  Congrats mom and dad! We survived and as we are preparing for State Fair we are already making a list of things do different next year. Things we need to buy, and other things we need to improve on.

2015 family picture

There are days when you are wondering why are we doing this? Why am I getting up early and staying up late to do chores? Who's project is this anyway? :)

Mason front and center for the beef show.
But the moment the kid head to the show ring for the first time, this mom gets a little teary-eyed, but don't tell the husband.

Ryan showing in mini 4-H swine show

Watching Macie improve her showmanship skills every time she went back into the ring was very rewarding. There are so many showmanship skills to work on!

Macie placed 2nd with Duroc gilt

I think she's growing up too fast!

I know the best part about 4-H is friends.  It's priceless and a forever bond.  Sure, there is some fun competition. These smiles, and the milkshakes, and the late nights make it all worth it!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Summer on the Farm: The Week Before the Fair

This post is for my daughter.  For when it's her turn to have kids with busy schedules and they may decide they "want" be in 4-H, she will understand that history has a way of repeating itself, and things are going to get a little crazy. Maybe all the craziness is self-inflicted, but you get the idea!

Sorry, but this won't be easy. Taking on a new project that doesn't get completed. This will happen.

Throw in a few late nights and early mornings. (chores)  Moments like these don't compare if you plan to have livestock year round on your farm. It will be more work but it will be worth it.

A few (many) evenings dad was home cooking supper while mom was doing chores with the kids!

Mason had chores figured out! Juice and his chair! He asked me if dad was home sleeping! 

If you need clean laundry, until fair is over, go look for it in the clean pile. Simple enough!

If you are thirsty, get a drink out of the hydrant.  If you hands get dirty in the barn, wash them at the hydrant. Dirt on your boots? Rinse them off at the hydrant!  Need a towel? Wipe them on your jeans.

If you need showmanship practice, take them showing!

Throw in a couple of general projects in the mix.

Your dad loves to help in the kitchen.  Meat and potatoes kind of guy.  He wouldn't mind a dessert afterwards as well.  A batch of chocolate chip cookie bars doesn't last long in our house.

This year food project  was baking a muffin that contained Vitamin A or Vitamin C.  Microwave cooking this year was microwave fudge.

The muffins were a family favorite.  I even brought to work, and they were a hit. They were delicious enough that she brought home A's on her muffins and fudge!

Hope next week goes smoothly too!

Berry & Jam Muffins

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup whipped butter
2 egg whites
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups oat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup strawberries, hulled and quartered
1/2 cup raspberries
1/4 cup reduced-sugar strawberry preserves

This recipe makes 12 servings

Preheat oven to 350°F. Fill cups of a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
In a large bowl, mix sugar and spread. Add egg whites individually and mix well after adding each. Stir applesauce and vanilla into mixture. Add oat flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir until dry ingredients are just combined, but do not over-mix. Fold in strawberries and raspberries.
Fill each muffin cup halfway with batter and spoon a teaspoon of preserves into the center of each. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until muffin tops are lightly browned and a toothpick can be cleanly inserted and removed from their centers.
Turn muffins out on a wire rack to cool. At room temperature, store in an airtight container for up to 2 days, or freeze for up to 1 month.

Monday, July 06, 2015

Ag Question: What is the flooding impact in Jasper County?

Indiana Governor Mike Pence, Congressmen Todd Rokita, and Indiana Farm Bureau President Don Villwock. visited the Culp Farm Thursday, June 3rd to survey damage caused by recent heavy rains in Jasper County. The USDA says 19 percent of Indiana's 5.7 million acres of soybeans and 21 percent of its 5.7 million acres of corn in very poor or poor condition.

As you can tell, they are standing in a field, but there is a huge wash out.  There were many roads closed due to high water, which lead to wash outs on many roads.

The State Climate Office says 18.06 inches of rain was measured in Jasper County in the month of June.

The Governor also visited Cass County the same day to view their flood damage.  I am very interested to hear what assistance will be available for farmers, if any besides crop insurance.

Brownfield Network  interviewed Governor Pence, and he said that by they had accessed nine counties by the end of June, and they had submitted reports to the FSA Office. None of those counties reached 30% of damage to declare a disaster. Farmers are encouraged to submit crop damage reports to their FSA office as soon as possible to help measure the extent of the damage for this year's crop.  July may prove a different story for those counties.

Congressman Todd Rokita visiting with Jasper County Farm Bureau members. Photo Credit: Wayne Belden