Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Taylor Short - Missouri Agvocate!

Today we welcome Taylor Short from the Missouri Ozarks. Taylor is passionate about agriculture!
My name is Taylor Short and I am senior majoring in agriculture communications at Missouri State. I am proud to be from Missouri more so from the Missouri Ozarks.

I am a third generation Angus breeder; our family has raised Angus cattle for almost 50 years qualifying us for the distinction of Historic Angus Herd in 2014.

Our farm has been in our family for 5 generations. During the summer I show my cattle at various state and national shows/fairs. this has allowed me to make lifelong friends and awesome memories. I write blogs for I love Farmers they Feed my Soul as the lone catalyst for conversation in Missouri – I love being involved in this movement because it gives everything a new light making it cool to talk about agriculture. I am also involved in Farm Bureau at the local, college, and state level.

A typical day since I am still a student involves learning all I can about agriculture.

I live and breathe agriculture. Agriculture is awesome- I mean where we would be without agriculture. Agriculture is my passion. Therefore it is my goal to be an agvocate for my fellow agriculturists and educate anyone who will listen about who works to provide for their food supply as well as other products that are raised by farmers and ranchers. If we don’t agvocate our “services” then those with less experience will – like the media. As agvocates we want the true story from farm to market to enlighten the consumer. Advocacy needs to be progressive in order to attract consumers and be able to answer their questions.

Agriculture is my passion and I want to share my passion with everybody. I was told if we don't tell our stories someone else will tell our stories. agriculture means the world to me I want people know that.

I run into a lot of misconceptions on certain areas that I think a lot of people just are scared and confused about issues...but the whole telling you story is important.

You find me on acebook The Aggie Hipster and on my blog at
I am currently working on a vegetarian diet for 15 days to gain a different view on agriculture.

Thank you Taylor for the work you do and good luck with your vegetarian adventure!
Be sure to follow her blog!

You could be the NEXT feature!! E-mail us at today to learn more!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

HSUS Attempting to Override NJ Gov Veto

Animal rights advocates push N.J. Legislature to override Christie's veto on pig crates

Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a bill in June that would have prohibited the farm practice of placing pregnant pigs in gestation cages. (EPA)
Brent Johnson/The Star-Ledger 
on September 17, 2013 at 11:16 AM, updated September 17, 2013 at 3:33 PM
TRENTON — A coalition of animal-rights advocates today urged the state Legislature to override Gov. Chris Christie’s veto of a bill that would ban the “cruel” farm practice of keeping pregnant pigs in gestation crates.
The Humane Society of the United States announced it is launching a $150,000 television ad campaign in the state to educate voters on the issue.
“All animals deserve humane treatment — especially if they’re being raised for food,” Humane Society President Wayne Pacelle said during a teleconference call this morning. “If animals are being raised for food, by God, we have to make sure they are not suffering in the run up to their slaughter.”   READ MORE
HSUS is targeting the state of New Jersey with an emotional based campaign to override a veto by Gov. Chris Christie.  He vetoed the bill based on science not emotion. HSUS is once again attacking a state with very few families that raise hogs. It is our duty as people in agriculture to reach out to New Jersey residents and share the real story of how livestock is raised. How??  Social Media! It’s another place where Team Ag can work together.   -Stacy

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Greg Lemke - Arkansas Cattle Producer

Today we welcome a post from Jeralyn Stephens of the Beefmasters Breeders United. She has shared with us the story of Greg Lemke a cattle producer from Arkansas. 

Greg Lemke of Gentry, Ark., always had a passion for cattle. However a hog hunting accident in 2007 followed by a layoff as a result of downsizing in Latco in Lincoln, Ark., fine-tuned the passion into a livelihood necessity. Greg found himself wheelchair-bound, out of work and unable to use his engineering design degree but not his intelligence and determination.

Greg has 130 acres on which he runs 50 Beefmaster mommas. Greg is very partial to the Beefmaster breed. Greg said, “I always liked the breed and already had a small cow herd when I was young. Then I talked with a guy who raised Beefmasters. Many years ago we traded my labor for painting his truck for a heifer. Then I bought another and started my Beefmaster herd with two. I have never looked back at that decision.”

According to Greg, Beefmasters are the top momma cows in fertility and milk production with a higher weaning weight. The cows also have good fertility, longevity and can also be successfully bred at 14 to 16 months. Because calf weight can vary from 60 to 80 pounds and because Greg wants to take advantage of the latest refinements in the breed, he pays very careful attention to EPDs (expected progeny differences) and carcass scan data. He scans his cattle and matches them to bulls for his AI breeding program. In addition, he has a particularly good momma cow that he flushes twice a year before breeding her back. He then uses some of those eggs in his cows and freezes the rest for his personal use and for sale.

Greg said, “The Beefmaster Breeders United Executive Vice President Dr. Tommy Perkins, has done amazing work with EPDs and scan data.” Beefmasters are a three-way cross between Hereford, Shorthorn and Brahman. As a result of a strict culling process, and a sever Texas drought, three quarters of the original Lasater herd was sold off. The result was that the remaining animals had a higher fat content in the rump area, which has given them higher fertility and drought tolerance. Later Dr. Perkins began to pay careful attention to the technical data. Now many Beefmasters have higher marbling with enhanced taste and tenderness.

Greg said, “When you’re in the business of selling meat animals, EPDs are far more important than pedigree. You want the highest quality and weight animal with the least amount of expense and intervention. That means careful breeding.” The final critical component in Greg’s breeding program is his cleanup bull. It is the brother to the Grand Champion Bull at the 2012 Beefmaster Breeders United National Futurity. Greg leaves nothing to chance.

While Greg feeds his cattle sweet grain a couple of times a month to keep them docile and comfortable with the corrals, his cattle are mostly grass fed with free-choice minerals that contain high magnesium in the spring to offset Fescue poisoning and high potassium one month before breeding. Because of his heavy dependence upon grazing, Greg pays as much attention to his land as he does his cattle. He hays about 40 acres of mixed grass. The drought over the last two years caused a loss of 80 percent of his forage with the dominant survival species being Bermuda. One of the reasons Greg was able to survive the drought was being able to send most of his herd to Oklahoma on water rich creek-fed land that belonged to the man who originally introduced him to Beefmasters. Nonetheless Greg planned extensive replanting this fall. He explained that the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) recommended fall replanting because more moisture and lower temperatures for a longer period of time promote better and stronger germination.

One of Greg’s choices during replanting was the use of a strain of Fescue called Jessop Max Q. It is entophyte free thus eliminating most of the Fescue toxicity problem. Greg said, “The intent is to bring up the conception and production rates because regular Fescue is hard on cattle.” In addition Greg mixed clover seed with his fertilizer this year to add nitrogen which for better grass growth and because cattle love clover.

Greg said, “I love what I do. I catch myself in the middle of the night thinking about which cows to cull and new ways to optimize my operation and income. Cattle is my passion." Greg's accident has led to two additional changes. Because he needs the extensive, but willing, help of neighbors and friends, he has recently purchased a new cattle chute for better safety, efficiency and ease. He has also started an online business featuring a wide variety of Beefmaster semen. The business helps fill in a void in the accessibility of those Beefmaster materials.

Thank you Jeralyn for sharing this great feature!!! You can learn more about Beefmaster and cattle producers by checking out the United Beefmaster webpage, and check out their Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and Blog!
We need to hear your story! How are you involved in agriculture? To become a feature e-mail Jamie and Elizabeth at

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Mackinson Family Dairy Farm

Welcome to Mary Mackinson Faber as she shares with us about her family's dairy farm! 

Hello! My name is Mary (Mackinson) Faber and I am proud of my family’s dairy and grain farm located in Pontiac, Illinois. Where is Pontiac? Pontiac is in Central Illinois about 100 miles south of Chicago on Interstate 55. If you are ever traveling Interstate 55, it cuts our farm in half at mile-marker 203. You can call it living in the country but Interstate 55 and Historic Route 66 are the north and east borders to our home farm. We also have an airport and railroad tracks within 5 miles of our farm.

We cannot talk about where we are today without going to back to how Mackinson Dairy Farm (MDF) was started. MDF began over 100 years ago with a handful of cows and 161 acres. My great-great grandfather Daniel Mackinson was the original owner of our farm. Today our family continues to live and farm those same acres plus about 2,000 more. The dairy has grown to include about 165 milking cows and over 140 head of heifers and calves. We are proud to own a great herd of Holsteins, Ayrshires and one Brown Swiss! In addition to our cows we milk another’s family’s small herd of Milking Shorthorn. 

The farming operation is owned by my parents, (Donald & Rita) my uncle (Roy) and my brother (Matt). Donald and Roy are great-grandsons of Daniel, the original owner. I am confident to say that farming is all my Father, Uncle and Brother have wanted to do and they truly have a strong passion for the soil and cows. I am the oldest of three children. While I don’t work on the farm full-time, I am still actively involved. My husband, Jesse and I are proud parent’s of a one-year-old daughter. I work as the controller of a local cooperative that provides farmers in our area with feed, crop inputs and is a grain storage facility. Jesse is from a beef and grain farm and one of the agriculture teachers and FFA advisors at our high school. Matt is the middle child. He married Amy almost one year ago and she is a Registered Nurse and is also from a swine and grain farm. David is the youngest and lives with his partner Pato in Santiago, Chile. David is an economist and recently graduated with his Master’s in economics and Pato works as a family court clerk. We also have two employees. Dan Jones has been with us full-time for over three years and is getting married to Mallory this fall. Aaron Jenson started working for us last fall and just graduated from high school and is starting at the local community college this fall. Both are great assets to our operation!

Rita, Pato, Grandma Theresa, David, Matt holding Ava, Mary, Amy, Jesse, Donald
We milk our cows 2x a day (4:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.) every day in a double 6 parlor. The parlor was constructed in 1975 and remodeled in 2001. Our milk is picked up every other day and goes to the fluid milk bottling plant in Peoria, IL. We are proud members of the cooperative, Prairie Farms Dairy. The cows and heifers (older than 6 months) are fed a total mixed ration (TMR). TMR means we mix and blend a certain number of pounds of corn silage, haylage, soybean meal, corn gluten and other necessary minerals together. The milk cow ration consists of 11,600 pounds of feed! Our TMR is just like your Kitchenaid mixer but much bigger! The heifers are grouped according to age. In 2011 we constructed a new heifer barn which has 4 separate areas that can house 70-90 heifers depending on age. In the summer, we are able to utilize some pasture for the heifers, dry cows and milking herd. We have two free stall barns (almost 16,000 square feet) so the cows have a choice of where they choose to spend their time. The newer freestyle barn utilizes sand bedding. Yes, it’s just like the beach and the cows enjoy putting their hooves in the sand. 

Our crop rotation is corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa. We do grow a majority of the crops we feed our cows, the only exception would be the soybean meal and additional vitamins and minerals which we purchase. The excess grain is sold to grain storage facilities and is either moved via rail, barge or turned into ethanol. We try to utilizing minimum tillage and no-till on the highly erodible soil. Cover crops have also been implemented into the rotation. In the fall of 2011, we built a manure storage facility that is adjacent to the dairy. This storage facility holds 2.8 million gallons of manure which is applied to our fields in the fall. On a beautiful summer day it is not uncommon to find us baling hay, scouting fields, maintaining equipment or other jobs that require our attention. 

Donald, Matt and Roy
I asked my brother what is a typical day consists of and he laughs and says that every day is different. I will try to offer a glimpse into what we routinely do daily. Milking the cows, feeding animals (calves, heifers and cows), and cleaning the parlor and barns must be done every morning and night. Matt takes responsibility of the mating choices for the cows. A majority of the cows are bred through artificial insemination but we do have a bull if that is necessary. Heifers are bred for feet and legs, the first time around 14 months. All calves are house in individual calf hutches and are vaccinated twice and receive semi-annual boosters. MDF currently works closely with 3 veterinarians and a nutritionist to keep our cows healthy and comfortable. We are currently utilizing embryo transfer with a few of our top cows. Growing up, we showed our cows through 4-H and today are still competing at a few shows. You might see a few of our animals at the Illinois State Fair, All-American Dairy Show in Harrisburg, PA, World Dairy Expo in Madison, WI or the North American Livestock Expo in Louisville, KY. 

My Dad, Uncle, Matt and Dan put in a lot of hours every day from sun rise to sun set. Never once have I heard them complain (too much) because they are all doing a job that they love. We are committed to providing the consumer with a safe, high-quality milk and products. Our commitment to quality means taking good care of our cows and the land. Thank you to Faces of Agriculture for asking us to tell our story on your blog. If you are ever in Central Illinois, we would love to meet you and show you our farm. I encourage you to find us on social media - Facebook or on Twitter.

Thanks Mary for the look inside your dairy! Be sure to check Mackinson Dairy out on Facebook and follow Mary on Twitter! 

Could you be the next Face of Agriculture! We're looking for new features now! Contact us for more information! 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Stauffer Dairy

Please welcome Krista & Brandon on the blog today from Stauffer Dairy in Washington! Brandon & Krista have a small family farm where everyone helps out to make their dreams come true! 

Hello, we are Brandon & Krista Stauffer of Stauffer Dairy in Washington. Brandon is a third generation dairy farmer & I (Krista) is a second generation dairy farmer. We have three kids under 6 years old & milk on average 150-180 jersey/Holsteins/crosses.

Brandon was born & raised in Whatcom County which is well known as a dairy community. At a young age he worked for his uncle Craig & other local dairy farmers. He knew that when he grew up that he wanted to be a dairy farmer & nothing else. His senior year in high school he had them put in his year book that he wanted to be a dairy farmer!

In 2008, he decided that it was time to make his dreams come true. His grandfather & father no longer dairy farmed so he would have to figure out another way to get in the industry. He began the process & started seeking out potential dairy farms to lease. After going through all the motions he had found a dairy farm, had the startup loan, found some cows to add to the 20 he raised himself and it was go time! He moved away from everyone & everything he had ever known. In May 2009 he started milking cows. He worked endless hours, battled tremendously low milk prices & all with moving to a county where he knew only a couple people.

I was not born on a farm & knew next to nothing about farming especially dairy farming. My great grandma was a dairy farmer, but I knew very little about what she did or how she did it. I was just a kid when she was still milking cows. She did pretty much everything on her own. I met Brandon the summer of 2009. I was actually trying to set him up with one of my friends. We began dating the end of August. I had a daughter from a previous marriage & we found out we were expecting in May 2010. We had our son May 2010 & were married July 2010. I dove in head first into the world of dairy farming. I took on the books, the calves, helped with milking & basically anything to help take some work off Brandon. There have been plenty of times where I have had a baby in the front pack & carrying two five gallon buckets of milk or a stroller in one hand & a bucket of milk in the other. We had our youngest son in May 2012. I have taken on the task of agvocating for the dairy industry. I have a Facebook page & a blog. I try to post daily on Facebook but find it hard to make time for the blog. In addition to everything, I have taken a job off the farm two days a week. I felt it necessary to have something of my own.

Brandon is the brains of the operation. He is very business orientated & is the main laborer. An average day for him is up early in the AM to feed cows. He also feeds the calves as we have a new program & not too many calves right which means feeding calves doesn’t take much time. He fixes anything that needs fixed from fences to tractors. He tends to any cattle that may be sick or calving. Pretty much anything & everything on the farm he does it. Then most nights he milks the cows. When the kids are cooperating we help with the night milking. We are very fortunate after four years to have some reliable help. We have two part time milkers that do all the morning milkings so Brandon can feed cows. With the exception of 2013 the last couple summers we had all our hired help quit in the middle of silage season leaving everything to us. We got creative & made it work. If the weather was bad the kids watched a movie during milking in the milk house. If the weather was good, they played in buckets of water or a pool in the milk house. Our youngest son slept in the swing in the parlor or a pack on mommy’s back. Makes milking really fun! ;) We have chickens & love our farm fresh eggs! AND of course we have plenty of beef!!

What we both wish people understood about farming is everything! We wish that people understood what it takes to farm & that is not for the money. The public tends to think dairy farmers all abuse their cows & that we do not care about them. It’s simply not true. Dairy farmers simply cannot afford to not take the best care of their cows possible. Happy, healthy & comfortable cows produce milk. The cows have to be able to pay for what they eat & then some and in order to do that they have to be happy & healthy. We spend 24/7/365 taking care of our girls. Also we would like everyone to know how important it is to support all farmers from organic to conventional. From hobby farm to “corporate” farms. Every farm & farmer has something to offer & we need everyone to feed the growing population. There is not one way of farming that can be applied to everyone, to every farm or every part of the world. Farmers need support more than ever. Know your food, know your farmer.

The past four years have been tough as a new dairy farm especially operating on a cash flow only basis. We have amazing support & great relationships with our local farmers in which we buy feed from. Time spent with family & the way of life is why we do it. It’s not for the money, well because there is no money to be made in dairy farming. It’s 2013 and we are still going strong. Everyone said it would be over in the first year & we are not ready to give up. We have dreams of owning our own farm & plan on making that a reality some day!

Thanks so much to Stauffer Dairy for the great feature! Be sure to keep up with Krista on her blog, Facebook page & Pinterest account

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Hewitt Farms Inc. of Minnesota!

Today we welcome a great farming family from Minnesota! Meet Sara and Mark Hewitt!

Welcome to life as a young farm wife in rural, southern Minnesota! My name is Sara Hewitt and I farm with my husband, Mark, his brother, Ray and my in-laws on a 3,000 acre corn and soybean farm called Hewitt Farms, Inc. in Le Sueur, Minnesota. My husband and I were just married in September so we are still newlyweds on the farm!

I am a 5th generation farmer, growing up on a soybean, corn, cattle and hog farm. My husband and I currently rent the land that my parents used to farm. My parent's farm has been in our family for over a century now and was inducted into the Century Farms program! In fact, my family lives in the same house my great-great grandfather built in 1906! My husband is a 3rd generation farmer growing up around crop farming. Farming has a special place in our hearts as we continue the traditions our grandparents and great-grandparents started.

I grew up with all kinds of animals. I don't think my mom was too happy that I insisted this baby lamb come into the house with me.

Both my husband and I have jobs off the farm. My husband is a diesel mechanic for Ziegler CAT, working on farm equipment and heavy machinery. I work as an intern for the Minnesota Farm Bureau. My job at the Minnesota Farm Bureau involves working on the Ag Cab Lab. It is a tractor cab and a combine cab that allow children to get in and virtually plant or cultivate a field. It is really exciting to watch the kids interact with the game and the discussion that is sparked with their parents. Hopefully one day, some of these children might find themselves working in agriculture too!

This is an applicator, a piece of equipment we use to help combat weeds and bugs in our fields. We also do custom application for other farmers.

Something unique out about our farm, is our agriculture business that we have too. Hewitt Drainage Equipment specializes in water management for farmers all across Minnesota. We sell tiling equipment, Golddigger tile plows, tile stringers, and do custom tiling. We do a lot with GPS technology and mapping tile lines as well, making it a lot easier for farmers to know where their tile is and fix it when a problem arises. We think it is pretty cool that through agricultural tiling, we help the soil act like a sponge, soaking up more water preventing run-off, soil erosion, and reducing flooding. 

Our jobs on the farm change on a daily basis. I do a lot of marketing and media for both our farm and for Hewitt Drainage Equipment. I do everything from managing our Facebook pages, to updating our blog Hewitt Farms, Inc., to designing banners and flyers for the many farm shows we attend throughout the year. I also help during planting and harvesting season by driving combine, tractor and rock picking with the skid loader. My other job during those two seasons: professional sandwich maker. I can pack a lunch or supper for the guys complete with hot coffee and fresh baked brownies like no one's business.

One of my jobs on the farm is driving the combine.
My husband does a lot of upkeep on all of our equipment on the farm. He does routine maintenance work, but also fixes the combines, tractors and planters when they break down. During planting season, he is usually out cultivating fields. Planting takes us about two weeks if the weather is cooperating, and three to four if Mother Nature decides to throw some rain our way. During fall, he is often driving combine, working to harvest our crop.

Ray, can often be found driving semi and hauling our crop to be sold to the local elevators. A lot of our corn crop goes to the local ethanol plant to be made into fuel. Ray also has his applicators license so he is our fertilizer and crop protectant guy on the farm. Ray also sells seed corn, so he is out delivering seed to local farmers to help them get their crop in the ground.

Kevin, my father-in-law, is usually busy with our agricultural water management business. He does many farm and trade shows throughout the year selling tile plows and other tiling equipment. He drives all over Minnesota and often into other states, delivering Golddigger Tile Plows. He makes his way into the tractor during harvest to help pull the grain cart.

Last summer our U.S. Senator, Amy Klobuchar visited our farm to learn about our farming operation, agriculture business and some of the issues and problems we face today in agriculture. Pictured are Mark, Kevin, Jeanette, Ray and our hired-hand Nathan with Amy.

No farm is complete without animals. We raise a small flock of chickens so we have plenty of fresh eggs for our own family and friends. We also raise a pig or steer every other year to help feed our family. We take very good care of our animals making sure they have fresh water and plenty of food at all times as well as adequate shelter. We also have three dogs running around the farm: Cass, Denali and Charger. We have one Lionhead rabbit named Waffle. We also have plenty of farm cats.

We are constantly checking our fields, soil, and crop. Crop health is very important to us.

I am currently working on my Masters degree in Agricultural Education and Communication. At Hewitt Farms, we never stop learning. We are always looking to improve our practices and become more efficient and effective. We embrace technology on our farm because we know it is an important part of our overall farm's operation. Technology allows us to be even better stewards of the land because we can pinpoint areas where our soil needs more nutrients or reduce overlap or only use a select amount of fertilizer.

My favorite thing about farming is being able to work outside and always being busy. I don't have much down time and I enjoy that. I have to be productive with my time and farming allows me to do that. I love being outdoors so being able to work in an environment I love means a lot to me. I love looking out the tractor cab window to see a bright blue sky with a hawk soaring back and forth in front of me and a doe with her fawn standing off into the prairie grass curiously watching while I cultivate the dark, rich soil beneath me. There is nothing better than the views you get from the seat of a combine or tractor.

This is my husband Mark & me with one of the many dogs running around our farm. His name is Charger and he is a chocolate lab. The tractor in the background is a 1949 D Case that we are working on restoring.

You can find us on Facebook both at Facebook or You can also follow some of my stories about farming, life and work at

Signing off from rural Minnesota! Don't be afraid to stop by for a visit!

Thank you Mark and Sara for this great feature! Thank you for all your hard work! Good luck with the 2013 crop year!!

YOU could be the next FOA feature! Contact us today!!!!

Chad & Anna - Feeding pigs & the world

Please welcome Chad & Anna Wastell who share with us about their unique family business and love for agriculture, family & pigs. 

Hi! We’re Chad & Anna – Team Wastell – and we feed pigs to feed the world. This is our story.

I’m a small-town Kansas girl. Population 1200; wheat fields and milo as far as the eye could see. My high school had a nationally recognized FFA program and the school parking lot filled with farm trucks each morning. But I was a town kid, a drama and music kid, and I never participated in 4-H or joined FFA. I loved the county fair mostly for the snow cones and cute cowboys.

I attended a small liberal arts college in Kansas and lived in Eastern Europe for a while. I climbed the corporate ladder in the hospitality industry wearing high heels and a suit, and my marketing skills were further developed through a job as Director of Communications at our megachurch. But I always loved visiting my hometown; staring out at a wheat field and open sky filled my heart with a sense of total calm. 

My husband grew up in suburban Omaha. He was raised in the family business selling Crystal Spring hog feeders. From a young age, he spent time in hog barns, sat in on manufacturing meetings with his parents and celebrated his birthday each summer at World Pork Expo.

Chad left for Northwestern University in Chicago to pursue the field of computer engineering, but after graduation, he decided to come back to the business and his family in Nebraska. It wasn’t an easy choice; his classmates were transferring into jobs with glamorous, fast-paced consulting firms, and more than a few friends and mentors flat out told him he was crazy to choose the family business.

But it was the right choice. Armed with a desire to rebuild his relationship with his parents and fueled by the passion that drives everything Chad does, he threw himself into the business of feeding pigs to feed the world. He committed himself to extensive training, completing an internship with a hog production company and traveling to Europe and South America to understand of the needs of an international market. His engineering background provides the right skillset for product development with Crystal Spring Hog Equipment and the complex technical service of the Pro-Sort large pen auto sort system. He knows his products inside and out and is passionate about the benefits they can deliver to a producer.

As Chad and I were falling in love and getting married, I once (or twice…) declared that I would never work for the family business. I want my own thing, we need work/life balance, hog barns are really smelly, I’m just not gonna do it. No thank you.

But when Chad was offered an expanded Business Development role that would require him being on the road several nights a week to meet with dealers and customers, we remembered all the conversations we’d had, all the "If Onlys". If only we could travel together, if only we could spend time together out on the road.

It became clear that I could fill a role at Gro Master as Director of Marketing, handling advertising and developing training materials for dealers and redesigning the website and blogging and all the things I love to do. And I could travel with Chad. I should probably learn not to say “never.”

Now, as we travel around the country and solve problems for farmers and producers that use our products, I meet the people and families that work so hard to care well for their animals and provide safe, nutritious food for the world. I have learned so much about the industry visiting hog farms and talking with the growers. The barns are still smelly, but I want to learn as much as I can about how pigs are raised and the needs of our customers so we can provide the best products and the best solutions for them.

I love traveling with my husband. I love rural America and the small towns and big skies. I love that through blogging and social media, I get to help tell the story of feeding pigs to feed the world. At the end of the day when we're tired and smelly and road-weary, Chad and I love being part of the bigger story of agriculture.

Thanks Anna for the fantastic feature! To learn more about Chad and Anna and their family business you can check out their website, blog, & twitter

If you or someone you know is interested in becoming the next Face of Agriculture please contact us today to learn more!