You are not a farm widow.

Since social media and blogging has become a big scene, I have noticed a trend. Farm wives jokingly calling themselves ‘farm widows’. In this context farm widow refers to somebody (generally the wife) who spends long days and nights alone while the spouse (usually the husband) is busy farming.

Since planting season is in full swing in Iowa, I just wanted to take a moment to say: you are NOT a farm widow. Your husband will come home tonight and climb into bed with you. Your children will get to play with daddy again. You are not a widow. You have a hard working farmer husband, be thankful for that.

As a farm wife every time my husband leaves to run a tractor or climb a grain bin I can feel a little pang of anxiety deep down inside. Farming is one of the most dangerous occupation worldwide, killing thousands each year. Every year thousands of spouses and children never make it home. Thousands of women never get to kiss their husbands again. They are farm widows.

My husband works long hard hours to provide for not only us but for you. For the world. Be thankful for your farmer and don’t call yourself a farm widow as a joke.

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Farming – The Most Dangerous Job In The World.

American farmers are spending most of their day in the field, especially this time of year. Harvesting time is a busy period in a farmer’s life. This is the season that rewards the farmer for his green thumb and his months of hard work. Harvest time isn’t always about reaping the benefits; there are many risks that come along with it.

As the famer gives a big portion of his day to the crops, he makes himself more vulnerable to stress, pressure, fatigue and even the risk of injury.

It’s not that unusual to hear about farmers losing their life or getting seriously injured in a agriculture-related incident. Farmers agree that such mishaps can happen so quickly, the victim hardly gets time to react.

With increased production demands, the deadline for farmers is becoming tougher to achieve. Farmers are having to work harder and longer to meet these demands, putting them at an increased risk for an accident.

Deadly Statistics

  • Out of 335,000 annual workplace deaths, more than 50% are agricultural, reports International Labor Organization.
  • In the United States, agriculture continues ranking first as the deadliest industry in America.
  • Another study reveled that one-third of workplace fatalities reported in Iowa between 2001 and 2011 were agricultural.
  • Between 1991 and 2011, there have been more than 340 deaths and nearly 5,000 hospitalizations reported in Saskatchewan only.
  • Canadian fatalities related to agriculture amounted to 1,975 between 1990 and 2008. About 70% of these casualties were related to machinery.
  • Hundreds of Kenyan farmers die every year because of fungus and toxic fumes while Swedish fall victim to livestock accidents.
  • The causes among these deaths were found to be tractor rollovers, deadly fumes, electrocution, cattle rollovers, grain suffocation, and heatstroke. But tractors are by far the leading cause of deaths.

In The End
Farming accidents are something that hit the local farming community hard. But the issue is rarely discussed outside of those farming communities, but it has managed to draw some attention over the past few years.

More and more equipment is being equipped with safety devices; grain bins are now being equipped with harnesses and tractors with ROPS (roll-over protection system) and dead-man switches. Events are being held to give farmers a heads-up, safety lectures are being delivered and voluntary health inspection and farm audits are being carried out.

Maintaining safety during harvest is vital, but it can be challenging nonetheless. According to statisticians and researchers, this is the time where most deaths and injuries occur. They believe that staying sharp and attentive holds the key to fast, efficient and most importantly a safe harvest.

Farmers are advised to stay alert, avoid loose clothing, avoid dehydration, maintain a healthy diet, use machinery with utmost precaution, complete routine maintenance on implements, get enough sleep, and most importantly, stay sharp.

And please remember to share the road with farmers this harvest season!

This post brought to you by AECO Agriculture.

Celebrate National Ag Today!

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Take some time today to stop and think about where your food comes from and all the hard work that goes into growing it and getting it to your plate! Farmers are not only feeding you but are putting the clothes on your back. You’d be surprised what items are made from products grown or raised by farmers.

So remember to thank a farmer and celebrate ag!

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We planned our wedding around a tractor pull.


Yes, this is my life.

I thought June 27, 2015 sounded like a good date for our wedding. So we checked calendars, etc. for events that weekend. Then we realized that the Budweiser Dairyland Super National Pull in Tomah, WI was scheduled. Well change of plans! We wanted to make sure some people would attend our wedding since a good portion of our guest list attend the pull. 😉 So yes, we planned our wedding around a tractor pull.

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But I am happy to announce we have picked a date! 07.25.2015.

My thoughts on GMOs, fertilizer, organic foods, antibiotic use, and other controversial ag topics.

Now I don’t claim to be a expert on any of these topics, but I know enough to have an opinion. Growing up I’m sure we all heard ‘eat what’s on the table, or don’t eat at all’ maybe you even tell your kids that now. Well that’s what I’m telling you. Eat what’s on the table, or don’t eat at all. Farmers are doing their best, using the latest technology, to feed everyone, everywhere. You may go to the grocery store and buy your food, even bring it home and cook it, but I hate to burst your pretty little organic, vegan, antibiotic-free, GMO-hating bubble – WE grow it and without US you would not have food. Period.

If you want GMO-free, organic corn from a no-till field, have at it! Nobody’s stopping you. Go out and buy your OWN equipment and land. If you feel you can do better, do it yourself. I don’t know if you know it, but land and tractors cost a little more than your Prius. We don’t need to change the way we’ve done things for years to accommodate to you. Worry about yourself and the food you eat, not what the rest of the world is eating. Plenty of people are completely happy eating the food we provide. There are regulations in order to make sure the crops are nutritionally safe. GMOs, fertilizers, antibiotics are used because they need to be in order to provide enough food and are used in a safe manner. So if you’re not happy with what we’re working hard to put on your plate, grow it yourself. We’re not forcing you to eat what we grow. Yes, you have the right to your own opinion and to eat what you want. But you also have the right to grow your own food.

So you’re the consumer, you should have a say in what food is grown to feed you? True. But when the food is completely safe and nutritional, you don’t have a right to force your opinions and beliefs onto everyone else. You can eat organic food, be vegan or Paleo, or GMO-free, I don’t care that’s your choice. There are plenty of those options available. So take what you can get, and be happy!

It has to do with a lot more than food also. Corn and soybeans are used for so much more than human food, and farmers have to fill that demand too. There are many uses you might not even know about. For instance, corn is used in: penicillin, ethanol, starch, whiskey, oil, glue, plastic, batteries, diapers, matches, textiles, dyes, crayons, drywall, varnish, spark plugs, toothpaste, aspirin, tires, livestock feed, and so much more. Soybeans are used for biodiesel, ink, lubricants, crayons, foam, animal feed, adhesives, carpet, upholstery, varnish, lacquer, oil, flooring tiles, cleaners, and again so much more. GMOs and fertilizer help farmers to get the most of their crop, so they are able to provide the most that they can each year.

Livestock and antibiotic use is another hot topic. Just like humans do when they are sick, farmers treat sick animals with antibiotics. Without antibiotics animals would die from illness and spread it to the other ones around them. There are regulations on the use of antibiotics for livestock. Livestock cannot be sent for slaughter for a certain time period after they have received an antibiotic, once the time period has passed they are back to normal and healthy to consume.

And don’t get me started on anti-factory farming activists. 96% of farms are owned and operated by families. Factory farming is family farming.  ‘Factory farms’ is just a big scary word that activists like PETA have made up to make farmers look bad in the media. Most farmers don’t abuse their livestock, they take care of them, respect them, and treat them humanely. Occasionally, there are cases of abuse. And those people are worthless scum. I get that. But let me put this in perspective for you: There are some awful, worthless parents that abuse there children. But that doesn’t mean all parents abuse their children and we don’t treat all parents like they abuse their children. So why act like all farmers abuse there livestock?

For some people the problem is more about the equipment then the crops themselves. They are worried about emissions, diesel exhaust, our carbon footprint, erosion, and the ozone. I get that these are legitimate concerns, but farm equipment is not the only things that pollutes the air and many people besides farmers are far more detrimental to the environment. Erosion over the years has been greatly improved. Tractors, semis, and diesel trucks have emission equipment on them, they have been greatly restricted and produce much less emissions to harm the environment. Farmers use much less fertilizers these days, and the formula is safer. All other chemical are in their current safest form and scientist are constantly working to make them safer.

I think everyone needs to remember farmers are doing their best. We aren’t out to get you, we aren’t trying to harm you, we’re just trying to provide you with food (and many other things).

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Iowa Ag Facts.

Here’s just a fun post highlighting facts about Iowa agriculture.

    • Iowa ranks first in the nation in corn, soybean, pork, and chicken egg production (2010).
    • Iowa pork producers raise 28% of all U.S. pork.
    • Iowa has 92,400 farms. Farm land covers 30.8 million acres.
    • The average size of an Iowa farm is around 333 acres (as of 2008). One acre is about the size of a football field without its end zones.
    • Iowa has at least 11,000 different soils that make up some of the richest, most productive land in the world.
    • Iowa’s 40 ethanol plants have a combined annual capacity of 3.7 billion gallons of ethanol annually, more per year than any other state. Iowa produces nearly 30 percent of the nation’s ethanol. Studies show without ethanol, Americans would pay 20 to 40 cents more per gallon of gasoline.
    • Iowa produces the second most wind energy in the nation, helping generate enough electricity to power several hundred thousand homes each year.
    • Iowa raised more than 2.15 billion bushels of corn in 2010, or 17 percent of the total U.S. corn crop.
    • Iowa raised more than 496 million bushels of soybeans in 2010, or 15 percent of the nation’s total crop.
    • Iowa has 6 hogs for every person in the state. There are nearly 19 million hogs being raised in Iowa. Iowa producers marketed nearly 30 million hogs in 2010.
    • Iowa is ranked second in the nation in red meat production. Iowa ranks fourth in the United States for cattle on feed. As of January 2011, Iowa had 1.38 million cattle on feed.
    • There was an average of 209,000 milk cows on Iowa farms during 2010. A cow will produce an average of 6.3 gallons of milk each day. That’s more than 2,300 gallons each year.
    • Iowa ranked seventh in the United States for turkeys marketed with 13.2 million turkeys in 2010.
    • Iowa’s total cash receipts for farm commodities in 2010 totaled more than $23 billion – the second highest in the United States.
    • Iowa’s total agricultural exports for fiscal year 2010 were valued at more than $7 billion, ranking Iowa second in the nation in agricultural exports.
    • Livestock consume 400 million bushels of Iowa-grown corn annually.
    • Iowa’s climate is ideal for growing crops. Hot summers help plants grow and cold winters help the soil replenish itself.
Facts from Iowa Farm Bureau and Geisler Farms: Growing Family Fun.

What are some interesting ag facts about where you are from?

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Make Hay While the Sun Shines.

Have you heard the saying, ‘make hay while the sun shines’? I have. I’m sure most of your rural folks have as well. I understand what it means, but a lot of people don’t get it. It has nothing to do with actually baling hay, just going off the fact that you can’t ‘make hay’ when it’s raining so you’re having downtime and not getting done what needs to be done. Yes, you can take it literally, but that’s not what they’re really getting at. Yes, you make hay during the day (hehe, that rhymed). Well you could ask that guy with the FWA we hired to custom bale some round bales that showed up at midnight, but that’s a story for a different day… Obviously, farmers can’t plant or harvest in the rain. So you’ll hear them use this phase often. They have to use every ounce of daylight and good weather to get the most done, no doubt they can farm in the dark and they will. But there are certain things that are done best during the day. Oh, how I sometimes secretly wish for a rain day during planting or harvesting so we can have a date night. Shhh, though don’t tell Kyle :). I’m not the only one who does that right!? Well anyways, it’s a good piece of advice. It’s actually considered a proverb. Basically it means you have to take advantage of the chance to do something while conditions are prime. You have to make good use of time, or make the most of an opportunity when you have the chance. This is something all farmer live by, and something everybody else should too.

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it means that you take advantage of the chance to do something while conditions are good. In other words, you make good use of your time or make the most of an opportunity while you have the chance. – See more at: http://wonderopolis.org/wonder/why-do-you-say-make-hay-while-the-sun-shines/#sthash.1NcB4aS2.dpuf
it means that you take advantage of the chance to do something while conditions are good. In other words, you make good use of your time or make the most of an opportunity while you have the chance. – See more at: http://wonderopolis.org/wonder/why-do-you-say-make-hay-while-the-sun-shines/#sthash.1NcB4aS2.dpuf
it means that you take advantage of the chance to do something while conditions are good. In other words, you make good use of your time or make the most of an opportunity while you have the chance. – See more at: http://wonderopolis.org/wonder/why-do-you-say-make-hay-while-the-sun-shines/#sthash.1NcB4aS2.dpuf