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Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day. — Winnie the Pooh

That day is today. I love kayaking. I love being in the water watching the wildlife listening to the running river with fresh air. But more importantly I cherish our waterways for what they provide for our farm: the tools to grow our crops.

Water quality is a huge topic in Ohio. From the algae blooms in our lakes and the issues with the contamination of the Toledo water supply, everyone is looking for answers. Unfortunately, the media has been pointing their fingers at Ohio’s farmers. While we aren’t totally innocent I think it is important for people to realize our love of water and concern for its quality as well. Most of us are being proactive in what we do. At our farm we truly believe that for our land to be sustainable we have to take care of our soil and our water. Our farm sits on both the Lake Erie watershed and the Mississippi River watershed. So what we do on our farm is not only important for our future but for those who rely on those bodies of water.

As stewards of our land it is important we share our story as to how we care for our water. I’m so proud of my husband and that we have almost 20 years of no-till on our farm and are recognized for conservation practices we employ on the farm. We can be sustainable and productive on the farm.

To learn more about what Ohio Farmers are doing to help Ohio water check out: http://soyohio.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/FINAL-Water-Quality-PDF-Version_May-22-2013.pdf

Crafty… a little late

This post was something I meant to do a while ago…but better late than never. I try to be crafty when I can. It gives my mind a break from the daily grind of the university and the farm. So when Harlie started cribbing (chewing on her crib) I knew I needed to get creative! So I made my own cover. So this is what I did.
1. I measured my crib length taking close notes of what was the space between each post and the length of the posts. I then marked my felt ( I just got a few yards of felt cloth) and cut the slits.

2. Once I had the slits made I went to the crib and tied them on to it. I double knotted it so I knew she couldn’t get it undone. Then I trimmed the ends. Below is my final shot. I did this a few months ago and it has stayed great!

My Kids

ImageI always said I didn’t need kids of my own because I had amazing ones I work with everyday at work. At the end of each school year I am reminded why I love my job so much. Getting to see my “kids” succeed and enter the world I know they are ready to conquer. Every hour away from my family, every late night and early morning, every email while on vacation or while sick is worth it to me if I can make a difference. We don’t teach to get accolades, but when the end of the year rolls around and my seniors say thank you it makes me so happy. I know that I have helped them, but am also happy because they in their own ways have helped me have an amazing life. This year I got several thank you notes from my seniors, and my club I advise nominated me for an advising award I received from the university. I hope some day Harlie knows that while I hate not being by her side 24-7, I love my “kids” at work and am making a difference.

Harlie’s First Birthday

We recently hosted Harlie’s first birthday party. As my friends have said…it was a pintrest party. I really wanted to have fun with the day and be creative. We had a turquoise and red theme. Beyond our fun favors, I made confetti chocolate popcorn, party hair bows for all the girls, and many decorations! We even had a fun ball pit for all of the kids who came! It was a hit. I’d love to share with everyone some of the fun crafts I make over the year. So if you want to know more about anything you see, let me know!

Farm Wife

Growing up my mom wasn’t the typical “farm wife” and my dad wasn’t the typical farmer. They are both well educated and they came into farming in their 30s after falling in love with sheep. We had over 100 acres and even more sheep over the years. And while I grew up on a farm, my example of a “farm wife” was an empowered woman who also held a very good job off the farm (as well as a dad working off the farm).

Now in my 30s I find myself married to a farmer who grew up with traditional “farm wives” all around him. I struggle knowing that for him I am not going to be that woman who is there every day to keep his house clean and three meals a day on the table. I’m going to make frozen food, get takeout, and hire a cleaning lady. I cherish my time on the farm, but when I’m home and not at work I want to be farming or with my family, not being the 30’s model of a perfect wife. I remind him when he looks at me with that look of “my mom used to do it” that he knew who and what he was marrying. I am more than happy to take him food in the fields and help with his laundry, but I cherish my job off the farm as well and my world doesn’t revolve around being his wife. Maybe I get this from growing up with a very liberal woman as a role model. As I think of what I want my daughter to be in the future, I hope she learns to be independent and a strong woman with the values of a farm girl, and a woman who can take care of her husband (or wife if she so chooses) and her family as good as I do.

Starting Over

In our world of constant communication I wonder some days if I’m “connected” enough. I like to think of myself as a “techie” as I tend to be an innovator when it comes to new technology. I used many social media tools long before others, and I even joined blogging in the early 2000s when it was still new. But as busy as I am on the farm and at work it is hard to keep things up online. But recently I find myself wanting to get back into using some of the tools more often. Specifically, I miss blogging. I’ve had several blogs with my last being Here.  But it is time for me to focus more on what my world is not just what my work world is. So welcome to my thoughts, my farm, my research, my life. I hope you enjoy my rants and my projects.

Ag literacy at its finest!

I love to check out the images of the week on MSNBC.com every once in a while, and was amazed at what I found today. The amount of ag literacy in America is depressing. If anyone can get it right, I’d hope it would be media. But if they are getting it wrong how can we expect general citizens too. I have been working with several of my students looking at portrayals of ag online, especially related to groups against ag. It is a never ending battle, but one we must win. I’m no animal science expert, but I did grow up on a sheep farm. I KNOW this is no goat! Reuters get it right please!

Social Technographics

So theories in new technology are still scarce. Many researchers are looking at the new media through old lenses, which they should. However, I have stumbled across Forrester’s idea of Social Technographics and I find it intriguing. His step approach to how individuals are using new media reminds me of classic Rogers’ Diffusion Theory, but puts it in a new perspective. See his chart below (which can also be found at the link above).

 

http://blogs.forrester.com/charleneli/2007/04/forresters_new_.html
http://blogs.forrester.com/charleneli/2007/04/forresters_new_.html

 

 

If you follow Roger’s theory related to this one you would see that in terms of “Web 2.0” we are still at a stage of early diffusion. Not surprising. What I find even more interesting is their discussions on how it can be used when we think of our audiences. Who are you trying to reach? With what new media. They note you should reach the creators who can give your message on down the ladder, but what about Ag where there are (I would guess) few creators. 

I am getting ready to do a survey with media… I will be adding this theory into it to test it out a little further.  I would love to test farmers as well (anyone interested in studying their reader/listenership?) Keep you posted…

A PR blog to follow

I have been following this blog for a while, and find it a thought provoking site. I thought I would share it with you http://www.briansolis.com/ Brian talks about Web 2.0 and its role and impact in public relations and marketing

Warm and Fuzzy

Ok I know blogging two seconds apart isn’t the point. But I just wanted to share something positive after my last post. I work a ton, and in my husband’s words “You are at work with your students more than you are at home.” I wonder some days if people I do stuff for realize what I sacrifice for them. But in the last week I have gotten notes from two of my recent graduates thanking me for all I did for them. Those notes make it worth it, they make the bad comments from frustrated students ok. Just a reminder to thank the people in your life who help you and mean something to you. You don’t realize how much that means to them.

Work

Right now I feel that “work” defines me. We are finishing our basement in between business trips and work days. But through it all I am getting so much done. I have gotten several research articles out the door the last few days and I have made some connections for some future research. I think at my age and place in life there isn’t much I can do about the work, but keep trying to have fun one day a week. I try my hardest to have one day for me… granted this week that day was spent putting on a third coat of paint before the carpet comes. Oh Well. It will slow down someday.