This was my first time blogging on a consistent basis, first time blogging at all for that matter. At first I didn’t like the idea of having to blog every week, I’m still not sure I like being forced to blog every week. However I have found that I like being able to share by experiences in the woods or on the water in my own words. There is something different about putting the story into typed words not by telling someone face to face. Many would argue that you can’t get the expression and excitement out of words but I disagree. There is only one way that words can be read, they may be interpreted differently than intended but not influenced or exaggerated by the listener after they have already been typed. It is sort of like the old adage that’s my story and I’m sticking to it! I also got to meet some very interesting people such as Carrie Mess who have opened my mind about the Ag community as well as how to approach its different outlooks and how to share mine. Overall this was a good experience and has really help me with how to interact on a somewhat official stage in the public that has my name on it.
With the weather not cooperating on opening weekend Missouri’s deer harvest was down for the second year in a row. Last year was a 20 year low for Missouri’s deer harvest with 69,614 deer and this year is 12 percent lower at 61,446. MDC states that this is not to alarming however considering that last years numbers averaged out for the whole year too rank as the third most successful year ever, and they expect the same trend to continue in this years harvest. Lower numbers were somewhat expected due to high acorn numbers and a lower overall deer population. The bottom line is that opening weekend more myself much like many people through out the Midwest was a major let down. I had some luck as I had the opportunity to harvest a bobcat on Sunday morning which is a first for myself. It sure would of been nice to have a nice frost and calm morning instead of 50 mile an hour winds and spring like weather that enticed the beads of sweat out of most hunters.
Last week my class got to talk to Carrie Mess via a video phone call. Carrie is a well know activist for agriculture, she is the author of the well-known blog Dairy Carrie and is a member of the AG Chat board which is a website dedicated to telling the stories of a variety of figures in the Ag Community. Carrie has some unique but very well thought out and researched out looks on the Ag industry and especially the dairy side agriculture. One of the most interesting things about her story to me was the fact that much like myself she did not come from an agriculture or farm background but rather became interested in it after she married a dairy farmer. She also makes it very clear that the farm that her and her husband operate is very average in size to other Wisconsin dairy farms with only about 100 head on it. As a very well-known Ag activist who is still gaining followers one of the main points she stressed to us was that the Ag community has been playing defensive way to much instead of being on the offense. Not too many of us got what she was saying when she first made that comment but later in our conversation she explained it in a simple situation. She described how many farmers and advocates are against laws prohibiting animal cruelty because they prohibit them to do their jobs they believe, which is a very defensive way of looking at things. She explained that instead of being against these laws that the Ag community should indeed be against animal cruelty because that is the morally right thing to do not the fact that there is laws against it. Carrie also described how one of the largest challenges in her mind for the Ag industry as a whole is hitting their target market, many will never come around on some subjects but the ones that are supporters or on the edge are the ones that need to be focused on.
I recently came across these videos on AG Web called Why I Farm and they had a similar affect on me as last years Dodge commercial narrated by the late Paul Harvey did. Granted I grew up and hunted very near to where Paul Harvey lived in his final years so that intrigued me more than the average person during that commercial but I thought that the content was also very good and it has gotten a lot of attention and advertisement for Dodge. These videos although on a small scale of viewers compared that is doing much the same thing for Becks Hybrids who produced them and shows the real feelings that many farmers have. The video provided me with a little stronger connection because he describes how in the first part of his adult life he did not work on the family farm because of the amount of people that it could support was limited much like my fathers contracting business is in my life right now. However he has professional career and has eventually returned to what he loves which is farming. These are very good videos put out by Becks Hybrids and if you get a chance check a few out here is a link to one of them.
Ozarks FN magazine is a regional magazine that is dedicated to the rural way of live and in particular southwest Missouri and some of the nearby bordering states. I recently had the opportunity to listen to Lynzee Glass speak on behalf of the magazine and their recent introduction into the social media world.
Ozarks FN magazine is about monthly subscription and has about 58000 readers most of which are mid aged males with cow calf operations. They are currently trying to reach a younger demographic and get them engaged in important issues in the agricultural community. That is why Lynzee and her team have started utilizing social media mainly Facebook and Twitter. The first couple of years Lynzee admitted that her company did not keep on post enough to draw attention but now they have hired her and that is a major step in the right direction as she is dedicated to keeping an updated page to entice people to revisit the site and not be a one and done viewer. They currently have about 1400 followers on Facebook and there are more everyday she explained. She also started to explain to us how it was a great way to increase readership, build their brand, and expand on their number of views, not to mention it is free publicity. She believes that it has definitely brought her company in to the new age, and increased who they are appealing to because now readers can get a feel for what the magazine has to offer and decide they are interested or not by looking at summaries of articles or drawing interest about general AG topics. Overall she thinks that it will increase there business greatly and even more in future, and after her presentation I believe they are on the right track as well.
Here is a link to a video between my self and another friend about GMOs and how they are useful and can be used in a safe and beneficial way.
I am a student at Missouri State University, this is my second year there. I transferred in from Jefferson College which is in St. Louis where I grew up. I did not actually grow up in St. Louis city though I am from about forty five minutes south in Imperial which is a fairly small town. It is home to me and I love it even though it is rough in some areas and most would not think to much of it. It is perfect I can be in the city to catch a sporting event such as a cardinals or blues game in less then an hour or I can be hunting or fishing which I love to due right around my house or farther out in the sticks in no time. I also love to be at the lake fishing or doing anything on the water with by best four legged friend Bruce.
As I state I now attend Missouri State University as a senior, I am an Ag Business major with a minor in agronomy. I am very excited to hopefully be graduating this spring if everything goes right these last two semesters. I can not wait to get back to the St. Louis area or better yet my home town and hopefully find a decent job. I did not grow up on a huge farm with row crops or cattle, as many in this class and my fellow students have, although I have grow to love and hate agriculture as a whole for a variety of reasons, however I am very much tired of school and ready to move on to something else in my life.