Freshman Year

Coming to its End

This will be my last official blog according to the syllabus I was given at the beginning of the semester in my agriculture public relations class, however I am still undecided whether or not I will continue to blog on my own about my life and whatever else I choose.

So for this blog I decided that it would take entirely too long to sum up what this year of my life has meant to me, therefore I am just going to talk about three F’s, family, friends, and future.

My Family

My Family

My Family

There has been no other experience quite like leaving for college that has opened my eyes to how important my family is to me. With all the time away from home I began to realize how amazing my home really is. My home is where my mom and dad are, where my sisters are, where my memories are and where I became who I am today. This home was created by the two most amazing people I have ever had the privilege of being a daughter to, my parents. Here three hours away from them, I have had to learn to take care of myself. The only reason I was able to come into college with big ideas and a plan I wanted to follow was because my parents taught me how. And my sisters! Who would have thought that I have come to miss seeing their beautiful faces everyday, and who would have thought they had given me the strength to go out on my own. But they did and I know now that there isn’t anyone else in this world that I could trust and depend on to be there when I need those two girls most.

My sisters and I when we were youngsters

My sisters and I when we were youngsters

My sisters and I today

My sisters and I today

My Friends

I have met sooooooo many people here at MSU! But there are some of those that mean the world to me and I couldn’t have survived this first year without. The School of Agriculture brought so many new faces to me that shared my passion and right from the get go we had a connection. I am so glad to have me them and I know that when the summer is over we will all be able to pick right back up from where we left off. My sorority sisters! What can I say about them except that I am so proud to be a part of such a unique, smart, fun, caring group of women! We laughed together and cried together, and already I am so excited to my into the sorority house next semester. And I can’t forget my dorm buddies, for lack of a better way to describe them. They ROCK. Late night dinners and ice cream parties, along with stories of missing home and wanting to grow up. Living on campus, in a dorm was the best decision ever. Because of this I got to know girls that are completely different in myself, who are in different majors, clubs, and organizations. This where you learn the most about all the opportunities available because literally everyone is involved in something!

Friends in the Agriculture Department

Friends in the Agriculture Department

 

My girls! Ag Majors!

My girls! Ag Majors!

 

The Guys! Ag Majors

The Guys! Ag Majors

 

More Aggies

More Aggies

 

My Special Family <3

My Special Family ❤

 

Baby Doves Fall'12

Baby Doves Fall’12

 

Living in the dorms !! whoop whoop

Living in the dorms !! whoop whoop

Couldn’t Forget Him…

My boyfriend of three years and three months, Tanner. He has been there through every struggle and has always managed to make me happy during every hard time. I couldn’t have achieved what I have without him, he is my rock!

Tanner!

Tanner!

And Finally My Future 

This summer I will be moving back home and I will be working as an intern at a local vineyard and winery. I am very excited to be getting started with my career goals and I can not wait to see what next fall brings me!

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Chuck Zimmerman

Guest Speakers in PR Class Rock

1. How has agriculture communication/journalism changed over the course of Chuck’s career?

Chuck Zimmerman graduated with a degree in journalism and went to work for a major broadcasting company, Brownfield Network. At that time radio was one of the best ways to get information in the agriculture community, however now years later there are many different media outlets and radio isn’t the only way to share information. Nine years ago Chuck and his wife Cindy left the Brownfield company with a plan that to some then and even know think is crazy! They left to start a business that focuses on relaying information through social media and networking. Their business is called Ag Wired and is one of the most widely know sources to get farm reports, interviews,  and coverage over AGRICULTURAL conventions.

The journalism and communication world has changed drastically! Now because of blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, the Vine and other social media channels people are able to and want information NOW, or WHILE it is happening. This is instant coverage, and this is why Zimmerman’s Ag Wired is so successful. They are able to get reports out and interviews recorded and put online before some newspapers have even started their editing process.

2. How did he embrace those changes to create a new ag business?

Zimmerman embraced this new social world because he saw an opportunity that others weren’t willing to take the risk for. His business has 4 main web publications, a Twitter account, a Facebook page, a YouTube Channel and a Flicker.

Not only has he made his company successful but as another way to generate revenue Zimmerman helps teach companies and business how to become relevant online as well. He shows them the reasons why they need to be there (online).

3. Looking into the future, do you see the role of agriculture communications/journalism changing or staying the same. If so, what changes do you anticipate?

I see it changing for sure! Everything has to change at some point, this is how our country keeps moving forward, we embrace changes and we become more efficient. The biggest change I see coming IS the presence of agricultural companies and business online. This industry is under constant attack and scrutiny. Farmers  have to be online to stay up with legislation and news, political leaders in the agriculture world need to be online to see the issues and to learn about the people and agricultural companies and businesses need to be online so that they can show their support and can reach their customers.

 

Thanks Chuck Zimmerman for making time to speak to our agricultural public relations class!

Living to Serve

It’s a Family Thing

This is my cousin Kyle. He is a senior in high school getting ready to graduate and continue an already promising career serving in the United States military.

Kyle's senior pictures

Kyle’s senior picture

Kyle and I grew up in different states, me in Missouri and him in New Mexico, but throughout my entire life he has been one of my very best friends . Yes we are family and that made us close, but for Kyle and I we shared a passion for exploration and because of that we were connected at the hip whenever we got the chance to see each other.

I wanted to make this blog post about him because he is one of those people who has grown up showing amazing character and hasn’t ever asked for any kind of recognition. Always striving to do his best Kyle has maintained a can-do attitude and has worked hard to find his place in this world. Finally his hard work has paid off and Kyle has found his place, serving in the military.

Dressed in his uniform Kyle is smiling for real

Dressed in his uniform Kyle is smiling for real

As a member of his family of course I was worried about what my cousin had gotten himself into. He is a few months younger than I am so I always felt he was part of my responsibility, even though I was hundreds of miles away. But as one of his best friends I couldn’t be happier, more excited and maybe a little jealous of him! As soon as I got the chance to talk to him about this major life decision, I couldn’t get him to shut up about it! Even through the military lingo (half of which I did not understand at all) and random rants abut rankings I could see his passion. And because I saw the passion myself, I knew it was genuine.

Kyle being proud, even in black and white

Kyle being proud, even in black and white

I am SO proud of Kyle for everything he is and everything he will become. He has set some pretty high goals but I know he will reach every single one of them.

Thank you Kyle, for all the good times and for choosing the most noble and self sacrificing career imaginable.

All grown up together

All grown up together

Always smiling and looking good

Always smiling and looking good

Opening Day!

Family Time 

Today marked day one for turkey  season, and for me marked a day that I got to spend much needed time with my family and much needed time outside city limits. This post will be expressed in pictures, enjoy!

This is was my defense mechanism against the cold weather and wind... to take a nap.

This is was my defense mechanism against the cold weather and wind… to take a nap.

This is what happens when I spend over 3 hours in the same spot without moving. I entertain myself :)

This is what happens when I spend over 3 hours in the same spot without moving. I entertain myself 🙂

The best part about hunting is spending time with my dad, sharing a passion we both love.

The best part about hunting is spending time with my dad, sharing a passion we both love.

Our family friends who let us hunt on their land also shared their new pet with us!

Our family friends who let us hunt on their land also shared their new pet with us!

They rescued two baby squirrels after the mother hand't come back... They are happy and healthy :)

They rescued two baby squirrels after the mother hand’t come back… They are happy and healthy 🙂

Got to spend time with my cousin Kyle, he got a big Tom turkey... and an even bigger story behind it.

Got to spend time with my cousin Kyle, he got a big Tom turkey… and an even bigger story behind it.

More time with my dad, he taught me how to fish along time ago but I still don't mind going through the lessons all over again.

More time with my dad, he taught me how to fish along time ago but I still don’t mind going through the lessons all over again.

Like Father...

Like Father…

like Daughter!

like Daughter!

End of the day spoils!

End of the day spoils!

Great times with family

Great times with family

Agriculture Proud

Spring Farm Fest 2013

Had a wonderful weekend and couldn’t wait to share these pictures !

The weather was finally warm enough to spend time outside this weekend and that it exactly what I had planned on doing. Here in Springfield, Mo, the Circus was in town, Spring Farm Fest was open and bonfires had been scheduled. SO I thought in my blog for the week I would just highlight a few reasons on why I am proud to be a member of the agriculture community.

 

I will start with Friday: This was the opening day for Spring Farm Fest and I was scheduled to work with my partner in crime Olivia, at the Greene County Farm Bureau Booth. All morning we got to talk to famers and agriculturalist from all around about their farms and businesses. Nothing makes an old man happier than to have someone to sit and chat with about all the lessons he has learned throughout his life time! The highlight of the day  however would have to be when one elderly farmer was determined to share the best peanut brittle that he had ever eaten in his entire life with Olivia and I. And it just so happened to be the recipe he taught his wife to make and it just so happen to be the peanut brittle he was carrying around in a paper towel in his pocket. I know you are all wondering, so yes, we did finally cave in an try the candy. It may seem strange and maybe a little weird to some but to me it was worth it, to make this mans day by sharing in conversation and peanut brittle.

Olivia and I volunteering at the county Farm Bureau Booth

Olivia and I volunteering at the county Farm Bureau Booth

Olivia and I posing with some really large rabbits in the barns

Olivia and I posing with some really large rabbits in the barns

Next I would like to share about Saturday morning: This was the day my boyfriend traveled to visit me, and my first instinct on what to do for the day was go back to the Farm Fest. So my boyfriend, Tanner, and I traveled to the fair grounds and ventured through all the vendors until we finally made a break for the barns. It was here that the agriculture atmosphere was the strongest. With all the restored tractors, livestock, and country folk it was easy for us both to blend in. No matter what stall we stopped to look in or what tractor we stood to gaze at, there was someone there willing to educate us or tell us a story. My favorite character that morning was another elderly farmer who was in the barns with his brahman cattle. He was fast on his feet when he saw Tanner and I checking out his prized calves! He was happy to engage us in a long conversation about the cattle breed he loved and the history of his cattle business. Never could it be more apparent to see the passion in someones life work. After thanking him for the education and conversation he proceeded to tell us that he was happy to share his knowledge and that he was glad to have us young people find his family cattle business interesting. Needless to say Tanner and I walked away knowing we had made a connection and that there wasn’t a better way to spend our time together than being around passionate agriculturalists.

Found 5 Corgie Puppies and almost took one home

Found 5 Corgie Puppies and almost took one home

While walking around the barns on the fairground we found this pretty calf.

While walking around the barns on the fairground we found this pretty calf.

Found these little guys at Spring Farm Fest

Found these little guys at Spring Farm Fest

Last I will share about Saturday night: Picture and farm girl in the middle of a city on the first warm day of Spring, where do you think she would want to be… the answer is a farm out it the country. I love my school campus but sometimes it is nice to get away from the car horns and truck sirens. Thank goodness for a good ole’ bonfire!

A big fire+ a great boyfriend+ s’mores + the students from the MSU Agriculture Department,  all add up to what? A good time! Breaking free from the stress at school to spend an evening in the dark listening to the coyotes, and dancing to the latest country songs. All good, clean fun with everyone just looking to enjoy each others company. That’s what I call a great ending to a good day.

My boyfriend and I sharing a beautiful night with a bonfire and friends

My boyfriend and I sharing a beautiful night at a bonfire with friends

The first warm night in Springfield

The first warm night in Springfield

Great shot from my Saturday night

Great shot from my Saturday night

After reading this post I hope you can understand the welcoming, easy-going, passionate group of individuals that make up the agriculture industry. I am proud to be a part of them and I am proud to have grown up within a  community that is based off hard work, friendliness, knowledge, and passion. I would recommend this life to anyone!

Love

Bringing it to the Table Quotes

 

I wrote in a past post about the benefits of growing up on a farm and I gave my top 5 reasons and promised to go more in depth… Here will be my first post doing this. This post is all about Love; when I saw it, how I learned it, and how I was taught to show it.

Growing up on a farm for me, meant I didn’t have many neighbors. I grew up in a rural community, with acres of farm land, pastures, ponds and woods. Of course living in an area like that you might think it would be lonely, and at times it was but to me these were the times you could see love.

I saw it between my parents, who depended on each other. I saw it between mother and daughter and father and daughter. Then I saw it in my mothers eyes as she went to take care of the horses, when she brushed their manes and fed them hay. I could see it when my dad looked over his land and his family and his animals. I saw it in his eyes when he would bring home a new goat or chicken or turtle for my sisters and I to take care of. And I saw it in my sisters eyes when they ran around in a yard full of green grass, chasing after goats and hold kittens and playing with the dogs.

I grew in an environment full of love and I learned how to treat others and how to be there and take care of those whom I loved. As I got older I had responsibilities on the farm; watering the horses, filling up the bird feeder, walking show cattle. Within those responsibilities I learned fast that those animals and my family members were counting on me, and if I failed to carry out my jobs I would be letting them down. So I learned to enjoy everything I did, I was taught to be excited to walk the show cattle, to feel important because I was in charge of watering the horses. And because of all of that I learned how to love.

Now it’s a whole other story to be taught HOW to love, but I found that the best way to practice (before trying it out on actual people) was to practice showing love to all the animals on my farm. As a little girl you always go through falling in love, and the embarrassing moments when you share your love to someone you doesn’t deserve it. But the plus side to living on a farm is you have space to run and hide, to evaluate your feelings and you have animals to cuddle or talk to about your problems because that kind of love doesn’t go away. Those bonds are unbreakable and they gave me the courage to stop hiding, to get over it and to share my love with the people in my life who would love me back.

I can’t say that I wouldn’t know all of those things if I grew up in a city or even a town, but I can say that my ability to love is one of my greatest and strongest qualities. Here in the present I have an amazing family that loves me, I am in a strong long distance relationship, and I am surrounded with honest, happy and caring friends. All of these people in my life deserve my love and because I grew up on a farm and experienced it had role models to show me, I know I can love them!!

Thank you FARMnWIFE

Lessons Learned 

A big thank you to Judi Graff, also know as FARMnWIFE, for speaking to my Agriculture Public Relations class yesterday!

For those of you who do not know about FARMnWIFE I really encourage you to check out her blog! It has a ton of helpful hints about how to blog and also includes her personal farm stories.

FARMnWIFE Blog

My assignment this week for class is to blog about the top 3 most helpful/interesting things Judi Graff taught us. So here we go…

1) An interesting thing I learned was how and why FARMnWIFE got started and why she is continuing to blog.

– Judi started her blog because she wanted to share pictures of her children showing animals at their county fair for 4H.

– Judi believes in preserving the story of her farm so that her children and grandchildren will know all the struggles the family farm has overcome. (Judi Graff was not born or raised on a farm, she married into farming)

-Judi continues to blog now because she wants to help others record the stories of their farms and also she helps agriculture businesses become more successful by using a blog. She also continues to preserve her own story.

2) A great tool FARMnWIFE taught our class about was how to create a contact page.

-This is a REALLY great tool for an agriculture business because the contact page allows the customers to get in touch with the company and ask questions they might not be comfortable asking online. ALSO this allows bloggers to see that there is a person behind the blog who is willing to build connections with customers and potential customers.

– I chose not to put a contact page on my blog just for the simple fact that I am  just telling a story. I am not in an official position therefore I will stay online and present to create conversations on my blog.

3) I LEARNED WHAT A GRAVITAR WAS!!

– Just a simple picture and a short about me was something I added after learning how and why I should from FARMnWIFE.

– I love this because now those who visit my blog can see ME right on the top of the page. Everyone can see  atypicalaggie really is real!!

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