Just your average Illinois farm-kid trying to make it as a successful farm-adult.

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Women in Ag: 20 Years Later

Two decades and two pairs of denim coveralls. That’s the difference between today and when this photo was taken. This is a picture of my brother and me back in the day when Dad used to raise pigs on pasture. I’m sure we weren’t much help, but we sure were cute!

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Women in Ag: Some Things Never Change

On the days that life seems to be moving 100 mph and I feel out of breath from trying to keep up with chores and emails and phone calls and errands, I truly cherish the moments when everything slows down. At our house, those moments look like getting back to the basics in life. A cup of coffee on the front porch, a walk down the road to Mom and Dad’s house, or deciding to take the ’86 Chevy with tempermental breaks into town to get milk (with the dog riding shotgun, of course). 

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Women in Ag: October Tomatoes

It's October, and we still have tomatoes growing like crazy in the garden. Don’t get me wrong – I love having fresh garden tomatoes, but this is getting ridiculous! I have made enough salsa and frozen enough tomatoes to get me through the winter and, quite frankly, I don’t feel like canning or processing anymore! So, here I am with a bucketful of tomatoes that need to be eaten. This calls for chili. Lots and lots of chili. 

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Women in Ag: You Don't Get Views Like This in the City

Coffee. Best enjoyed on a front porch or deck in rural America.

This is my favorite way to start the day. It seems impossible not to be at peace watching the sunrise with a view like this and listening to the birds wake up and start singing with a warm cup of coffee just barely steaming in the cool morning air. 

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Women in Ag: Early Harvest Means Early Fall Treats!

The combines are already rolling here in Illinois. An early harvest is exciting for many reasons: less pressure to beat snowfall, Dad isn't crazy stressed out if he gets rained out of the fields for a day or two, and everyone will (hopefully) be done well before the holidays so they can enjoy more time with their families. 

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Women in Ag: Plaster, Sledgehammers, and One Big Mess

We live in an old farmhouse. That means the house has a lot of character, great woodwork, sweet wallpaper from the ’60s . . . and plaster. Every single wall in this joint is plaster and lath, which is all fine and dandy until you need to remodel a room for a nursery, and it isn’t insulated, and you live in northern Illinois. At that point, the plaster and lath is anything BUT fine and dandy. 

Women in Ag: Baby’s First Shock

Mark it down in the baby book: August 2016 - Baby’s first shock from the electric fence.

If you live on a farm with electric fence, you’ve been shocked by it at least once. I am no exception to that rule, and now either is my unborn child. Before she even really entered the world, baby girl got to experience her very first shock via Momma! I was simply trying to make the hot wire safer since it backs up to our backyard; I didn't want anyone accidentally shocking themselves, certainly not kids. So, naturally, I shocked myself in the process. Figures. 

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Women in Ag: Time for Garden Veggies in Illinois!

It’s here! It’s finally here! 

The vegetables in my garden are ripening, and I’m prepping all of my supplies for canning salsa. There aren’t quite enough ripe tomatoes to start canning, so for now I’m just enjoying making meals out of the delicious fresh vegetables. I have tomatoes, green bell peppers, peas, and zucchini so far. Soon to come are jalapeños, cucumbers, onions, and more tomatoes.

My personal favorite summer tomato treat is serving it sliced on a piece of toast with cream cheese. So savory and fresh, it tastes like summer. 

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Women in Ag: Science and Gender

It’s not breaking news that women can find out the gender of their babies before they are born nowadays. Some women choose to; some choose not to. To each her own. This is my first pregnancy, though, so I have certainly been learning a lot of things that I didn’t know. 

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