May 27, 2022

The 2021-2022 Illinois FFA State Officer Team’s year is coming to a close. We are in the heat of convention planning and we are super-excited to see the streets of downtown Springfield filled with blue corduroy jackets.

Matt and I were married in 2012. On Oct. 11, 2013, Matt’s father took his own life. We had been married a mere 13 months and suddenly had to navigate both being young and newly married and taking over the family farm, hog and cattle operation.

Do you consider yourself a lifelong learner? If you’re nodding your head, then you know that label is a badge of honor for those of us who often find ourselves asking, “Why?” or “How?”

Over 2 million farms dot our nation’s landscape, across all 50 states and in territories like Puerto Rico. You can find farmers and ranchers raising nearly every type of crop and livestock to keep our nation fed.

You don’t need to be a vegan to know that livestock and poultry aren’t “harvested,” the squeaky clean verb that’s become fashionable among farm and ranch groups to minimize the end — as in The End — of most animals their members grow.

The Consumer Price Index, a gauge of inflation, hit a 40-year high last month, and most economists expected the same report this week to show an improvement. In fact, there was nary an economist or analyst that was not looking for some improvement and easing of inflation.

Across farm country, folks show up for one another. No need is too big and no task too small for us to pitch in and help our neighbors in rural America.

Two of our favorite high school students are winding down their senior year. They are wrapping up their FFA careers and giving their mothers roses on “senior night” at their final athletic competitions.