Last fall, I rode with a breast cancer survivor and farmer friend, Cara Myers, as she drove a grain cart during corn harvest. We did an AgweekTV story about her discovery of breast cancer the prior fall. I sat in the buddy seat in her tractor and listened about her past year of treatment and then being in remission. Her cancer was found early and treated quickly.
My husband’s family business is a small town lumberyard and home building business. The business has been rooted in building supplies since the building was built. The abstract is from 1896, my father-in-law tells me, and the earliest picture we’ve seen of the building as Thompson Yards was in 1904. Then it was Sayler Lumber until my in-laws purchased it in early 1977.
May is mental health awareness month. One in five American adults or 46.6 million of us experiences a mental health condition annually, according to the nonprofit Mental Health America. How will we ever break the stigma around mental health and mental illness if we don’t start sharing and speaking out more? I’ll start.
Do you ever make conversation with your car service driver? I usually do not, but in late February this year, I had the best Uber driver experience I’ve had. I’ve thought of the driver a few times since then and wished I had encouraged a bit more than I did.
What’s the value of a farm show or conference? I have considered this as I’ve spent the past few days attending Bayer’s AgVocacy Forum and now Commodity Classic in Orlando, Fla. I realize I’m “mid-career” at age 40, working for the past 17 years in a variety of agriculture communications roles. In that time, I’ve attended more than 100 farm trade shows or conferences. I’m not a newbie to this gig, and I think that puts me in the “experienced” crowd now. Farm shows require the time and work of many organizations, businesses, sponsors and attendees.
Are you against corporate farming? In 2016, 75 percent of North Dakotans voted against exempting dairy and swine operations from corporate ownership laws, instead sticking with the family farming law that’s been intact since 1932. Eight other states — Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wisconsin — also have corporate farm laws on the books. North Dakota’s law is the most restrictive and the only one that doesn’t allow an exemption for livestock.
The words across the top of our fifth-grade daughter’s word study and vocabulary worksheet said: “Being a Vegetarian.” Normally, our girls put their school papers in the wire file folders hanging on our kitchen wall, but Elizabeth left this particular worksheet on the dining room table. She didn’t mention anything about it, but she put the paper where I would find it right away when I came home.
COLFAX, N.D. — For farmers and ranchers, there’s no time for getting sick. But just over a year ago, Colfax farmer and business owner Cara Myers was diagnosed with breast cancer, just as harvest was getting underway. This year, she’s back farming. I climbed in the tractor cab with her when she was driving a grain cart during corn harvest to talk about the year she’s had and lessons from her breast cancer journey.
If you want to know where your turkey comes from this holiday season, get to know a turkey farmer. On our AgweekTV “Thankful for Ag” episode on Nov. 24, I’ll introduce you to Chris Huisinga. Here’s some of the backstory:
My maternal grandfather passed away in the summer of 2017, but every time I drive on Interstate 94 between my prairie home and Fargo, I remember a trip I took with him to sell cattle. It was a hot summer day in the late 1980s. Triple-digit temperatures and a historic drought dealt a one-two punch that wouldn't let up. As the oldest child and grandchild, I often got to tag along with my grandparents. This particular day, Grandpa asked me if I wanted to go with him to haul a load of cattle to West Fargo, which is 100 miles from my grandparents' farm.