Monday, January 27, 2014

Request From A Friend: 10 Questions

I know I promised to have the follow-up discussion to my "Thank God I'm A Country Boy" post this time around, but it's gonna have to wait until the next one. Recently I was tipped off that a friend of mine won an award and wanted to pass it on to some of her blogger buddies, but she needed us to answer some questions first. So here it is Janice, my best attempt to provide some "Love for Bacon" to the "Love of Beef"!

1. Describe your Agriculture Operation.
I grew up on a 650 sow farrow to finish pig operation in southwest Ohio. Recently we have converted our unit to a wean to finish operation that can provide nearly 25,000 market pigs annually.We work closely with the folks at Fair Oaks Farms Pig Adventure, which is where we buy our weaned piglets from. We also raise corn and soybeans to offset some of our feed costs. 

As a college student, I don't have a full time role on the farm besides asking my dad for constant updates about this, that and everything in between. But I help when I can and we continue to move the farm forward for the future.

We believe in transparency and consistency on our farm. Which is why my dad and I provide such unique aspects to the blogging world through our blogs. Because we come from different generations and educations, we look at the same issues a little differently, but provide for a more diverse impact from our advocacy efforts.

2. What Agriculture Operation would you never do and why?
Produce! I'm not much of a green thumb, and I don't understand the way a garden (of any size operation) works. I'm not one for humid air of greenhouses, and I'm not sure there is any way to sustainably be a produce farmer in Ohio without it. 

3. When was the last time you vacationed (agriculture events do not count)?
As many others farming families, vacation rarely happens, and when it does, it involves agriculture events! When I was young, we would vacation at the county fair while we were showing our livestock, but that is an ag event. Now that I'm older, dad and I often travel together, most recently last June to Washington D.C. for the Animal Ag Alliance Stakeholder's Summit, which is also an ag event. 

But to my family, agriculture is our pursuit of happiness, and we know that sometimes family time is sacrificed in order keep improving. But I personally feel that traveling with my dad provides enough of a vacation for us. No matter what the event we are going to is, we enjoy the company and have made some good memories on those trips. 

4. What is your least favorite food?
Clams and sushi! I'm not one for the texture…that's all I have to say about that.

5. If you could make a t-shirt today - what would it say?
"When the going gets tough, turn to God" - Faith is a farmers best friend. Both in religion and in practice. Having faith in what you can't see is the only way to wake up in the morning and know that all your work will pay off. And only God and reward you for your loyalty, both to Him through faith and to your passion for the land and livestock.

6. What is the last thing you pinned on pinterest?
I'll probably catch some wrath from my college buddies for this, but I DO have a Pinterest. I use it mostly to show my girlfriend what I'd like to eat someday in the near future, but also because I enjoy the humor section quite a bit. Lately I've been looking forward to graduating college and beginning my post-education career somewhere. Which means I won't be living at the Alpha Gamma Rho House anymore, which is going to be a bit of a culture change for me. So I'd say the last thing I pinned was some sort of barn siding table that I'd like to make someday when I have a house of my own. 

7. What are you cooking for supper?
Well, funny story…mom got me a nice cookbook for Christmas (I guess she plans on me graduating) and The Pioneer Woman cookbook may just give me an idea to try sometime (but probably not tonight). There is a few tasty looking recipes for the Super Bowl, so maybe I'l try one of them.

8. Who are you following in Basketball right now?
I'm not a huge fan of basketball, but I do go to The Ohio State University, which means B1G basketball is a part of my daily routine to check. Lately the Buckeye boys have been on a bit of a slide, but I have faith for a turn around in February, especially on the home court. #GOBUCKS

9. When was the last time you ate beef?
This weekend. I don't remember what day, but I'm sure it was in there. I, like many others, take for granted the food I eat and don't often think about exactly what the ingredients are.

10. What is your most motivational Bible verse?
Psalm 34:8 says, "Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him." As I said before, it takes faith to know that the work of a farmer will be rewarded by the Maker. To taste and see that the Lord is good, to me, means that I must always put faith in Him and try my hardest (although I will always fall short) of His glory, when I take refuge in the Creator, things become easier.

Well Janice, Hopefully this provides you with some sort of inspiration to keep writing. I mean, For the Love of Beef, you gotta keep it going!