Monday, April 30, 2012

Down on the Farm

I tell you what, you know what really irritates me? Uneducated people. Now, I don't mean those who literally did not go to college or even those who didn't graduate high school for that matter. What I'm talking about are those extremists who listen to everything they're told without knowing the facts, especially when it comes to agriculture. For all of those out there who don't believe in farms or breeding animals... shame on you. The problem is that there are way to many extreme people out there who don't know the facts and unfortunately, they are loud.

There has been a scary bill within the legislation that would abolish those 16 and under to do anything on a farm. This could mean that a grandson couldn't help feed his grandparent's baby chickens or a neighbor kid couldn't help my dad open a gate while he's trying to get a tractor through. It's that ridiculous. The point of the bill was to avoid farming accidents. Really people? Shouldn't you be worried that kids aren't going to school, teen pregnancy is at an all-time high or maybe for the fact that on the East side of Des Moines this weekend there was two drive-by shootings? There would be a terrible trickle-down affect if this went into law. Not only when FFA and 4-H become a thing of the past, people don't understand what working on a farm means for a kid. It helped shaped me into who I am as a person. I think the US would see a dramatic decrease of farms and those going into agriculture 10 years from now since kids would have no experience and wouldn't be interested. When I say a decrease in kids "going into agriculture", I don't even mean farming specifically. You think we have a shortage of nurses now, that's nothing! We wouldn't have anybody in the nutrition field, food safety field, in turf management, etc. Can you imagine what would happen if kids under 16 couldn't play sports, but then once they turned of age, they could? Do you think we'd be watching Monday night football or going to cheering on our favorite NBA teams. Nope. We wouldn't because kids wouldn't be involved in sports since they weren't exposed to it as kids. Do you see what I mean?
If this legislation was passed, this picture wouldn't have happened. It's a picture of my nephew Tyler and I at the Linn County Fair horse show when we were young. This was a tandem bareback class where we had to dress up, ride and switch positions bareback. I'm actually laughing right now thinking about doing this. In this picture, we were hunters (and yes, that's a turkey decoy around my horse's neck). We had other great props over the years. One of my favorites that I wish I had a picture to show you is of when Tyler and I were crocodile hunters. That's when Steve Erwin was popular. My mom bought this ginormous blow-up alligator. I'm not sure why my horse didn't freak out when we were riding with it and Tyler was holding on to it, but she sure did when we had to switch positions (so Tyler was in the front and I was in the back). We fell off... and fell hard. Gosh it was hilarious!
This other picture above may not have happened either. This is of my husband Jake. We actually first met through FFA. 4-H and FFA would no longer be the same and I'm not sure what type of program it would be. With that in mind, we may have never met.

Well, although I heard rumblings last week that the Department of Labor was going to withdraw the ruling, I didn't see the official "okay" until today. I couldn't be more relived. So, no more fretting for now; however, I'm sure there will be something else at another time. There always is. Don't even get me started on the pink slime issue!

Check out the statement here: http://www.agrimarketing.com/s/74723.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Few Firsts

Tonight after work I had a few firsts... I had my first virgin martini and I learned a few things about the Civil War that I must have slept through in high school. I know, two very random things...

So the mission was to attend the State Historical Museum for a grand opening event of a new exhibit called, "Iowa and the Civil War- Nothing But Victory". It was a nice affair. There was food, drink and Governor Branstad spoke. One thing about Branstad is that he's everywhere! It's really neat to see him out in the community so much. In fact, did you happen to see him yesterday on the news at Iowa State University's campus with his "Dude, It's Beef" t-shirt? The gathering was to support the beef industry and to help educate and stop the outrage of pink slime. It made me proud to see the Governor in ISU colors with those words.

Going back to Civil War history... I'm serious, where was I in high school? I guess those were the classes where my friends and I were passing notes and clearly paying no attention. Anyway, it was interesting to see some of the pieces from the war that Iowan's had brought back, war artifacts that have been dug up over the years and learning a few fascinating stories.

What was fun to hear was a story Branstad actually mentioned when he was on the podium about a letter he received his first term in office from the Governor of South Carolina. Apparently, the South Carolina Governor found out that some Iowa veterans from the Civic War had stolen the South Carolina flag during one of the battles. Well, more than 100 years later, the letter said that the state of South Carolina wanted their flag back! Brandstad told the South Carolina Governor that we'd never give the flag back; however, we'd let them borrow it temporally for display. The Governor mentioned tonight how because of this new exhibit, it's probably time we get our flag back again.

Which brings me back to a new joint in Des Moines we tried out before heading to the museum. It's called the Lime Lounge and it's a martini bar in the East Village. It's a cute joint, which I could see getting really crazy with the DJ spinning records on the weekends. I had the bartender make me a virgin Raspberry Lemon Twist. It had raspberry puree, fresh squeezed lemon and and I think he substituted sprite instead of vodka. It was delish!  

So, I experienced two new firsts tonight that I would both recommend.

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