Farmfest Forums to Focus on Key Ag Issues

IDEAg Minnesota Farmfest, slated for Aug. 6-8 at Gilfillan Estate in Redwood Falls, Minnesota, will feature a multitude of forums on key ag policy issues including trade, the farm economy and pandemic livestock diseases. “We are pleased to highlight the most prominent issues facing rural America at this year’s Farmfest, issues that affect our community on and off the farm,” said Kent Thiesse, forum coordinator for Farmfest.

After the Storm: How the Farm Bureau Family Came Together in the Wake of Disaster

For three days in March, a perfect storm unfolded across the state of Nebraska. Heavy rains, abnormal for that time of year, pounded the frozen ground and immediately ran into already-full streams and rivers. Eventually, the state’s water containment system simply could no longer handle the deluge, and the Spencer Dam on the Niobrara River collapsed. Bridges and roadways were washed away, along with homes, farm buildings and fences. Sand from the streambeds of the state’s waterways was pushed. . .

Celebrating America’s Farmers’ Market, and Farmers’ Markets Everywhere

Every Friday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., residents of Washington, D.C., can find something a little unexpected in the bustling metropolitan area of the National Mall: a farmers’ market. The market, which is organized and hosted by USDA, has been hosting farmers, ranchers, growers and producers from around the D.C. area since 1995. For the 2019 market season, which runs until Oct. 25, more than 30 vendors assemble on the sidewalk around the USDA headquarters to sell local honey, fresh seafood. . .

Forging a Way Forward in Urban Agriculture

With the population of Americans living in rural parts of the country growing ever smaller, the agricultural community must begin to consider the ways in which it engages with the urban population. Recently a group of key stakeholders, including state and county Farm Bureau leaders and staff, met to discuss the role Farm Bureau plays in cultivating agriculture in an urban setting. The Urban County Farm Bureau Coalition Summit II was the second such meeting of the coalition, which is working. . .

From Tranquility Base to the Tractor Seat: How NASA Technology is Advancing Agriculture

While most Americans associate NASA with the famed “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” and missions like the Mars Curiosity Rover, the agency is much more than the projects that make headlines around the world. Today, NASA is doing more than ever to advance the human condition on Earth, particularly in the agriculture sector. In fact, the agency, which receives less than 0.5% of the federal budget, is working on several missions that have major potential to impact the way. . .

A Gen Z Message to the Next Crop

I was born in January 1997 and turned 22 this year. I will graduate from college just before I turn 23, entering into a moderately healthy job market. I was four years old when terrorists attacked our country on 9/11 and have almost no recollection of the immediate effects that event had on our country. But my entire childhood was spent living in a nation at war. All of this information about my life can be summed up in one phrase: I am one of nearly 61 million members of Generation Z.

A Four-Legged Farmhand

Alda Owen was 60 years old when she owned her first puppy, a Border Collie she named Sweet Baby Jo. The two bonded immediately, enjoying rounds of fetch in the pasture and going for rides in a utility vehicle. But Sweet Baby Jo isn’t just any farm dog and Owen isn’t just any farmer. Owen has been legally blind since the age of 10. At 58 she battled breast cancer and depression, along with frustration from a lessened ability to help her husband, Rick, around the farm due to decreased physical. . .

Farm Bureau Honors Communications Boot Camp Graduates

The American Farm Bureau Federation recognized 15 farm and ranch women leaders as graduates of the organization’s Women’s Communications Boot Camp summer session. The intensive four-day course completed by the agricultural leaders comprised hands-on sessions related to public speaking, working with the media and messaging. “Women’s Communications Boot Camp is the experience of a lifetime,” said Isabella Chism, an Indiana row crop farmer and vice chair of the AFB Women’s Leadership Committee.

Is Agritourism Right for Your Farm?

Agritourism is a booming industry in the Ozarks, with more than 500 operations listed in the Missouri Farm Bureau agritourism directory alone. Agriculturists may be able to increase revenue by opening their doors to visitors. Kelly Smith, director of marketing and commodities at Missouri Farm Bureau, said that many agritourism operations decide to open the farm doors to the public because of the need to bring in extra income to support another. . .
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