Monthly Archives: August 2012

Politics and Farming

In the fall many states hold election primaries to decide who will be running for elected office in the BIG election this November.  Primaries are where all the candidates are listed on the ballot and the people choose one from each party.  The November election is where those parties run against each other.

In Missouri we held our primary elections in the beginning of August.  Just after that Farm Bureau met for FARM-PAC, or Political Action Committees.  Farm Bureau looks at the candidates from each party to choose who to support, or endorse.  We spent all day last Friday in Jefferson City listening to the candidates and making our choices we think will be best for the farmers of Missouri.

Do you know who is running for office in your state?  A simple internet search will help you figure out who is running for office in your district.  Now search again.  What do those candidates stand for?  What will they fight for?  Who do you agree with?

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Farm Photo

It’s the time of year of State Fairs!  This farm photograph was on display at the Missouri Farm Bureau building at the State Fair.  It won 1st prize in the “animals” category, but I think you’ll agree the little girl in it is priceless as well.

Farm Photo

Photography is one of my favorite types of art, and on the farm we have so many beautiful things to take pictures of!  Great photographs need great lighting as well, which makes the outdoors the best place for taking pictures.  Take your camera outside and see what you can come up with!

For more farm photos, check out the Mo Farm Bureau contest webpage!

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What is Drought?

Maybe you’ve heard about it on the news, or maybe you can look out your window and see it, but what is a drought?  And why is it so important this year?

Drought brings to mind hot, dry summers, but the actual meaning of the word is just that there is not enough water supply to meet the demand.  There are actually three types of drought and one of them is called agricultural drought.  It means there is not enough water for plants to grow.  Usually agricultural drought is caused by a lack of rain, but it is possible for farmers to be experiencing drought while others in the cities and towns are not.

The reason is that plants need water more at some times that others.  If the corn is ready to pollinate or if the kernels are filling out the plant needs more water than usual.  If the ground is dry just for these important steps it can mess up the entire plant.  A well-timed rain can be just as important as lots of rain.

Agricultural drought affects everyone.  This year the drought is over many places in the US.  That means food of all kinds is struggling to grow.  But drought is affecting even more than food this year.  Some towns are having problems with getting enough water for people to use for drinking, cooking, and cleaning.  These towns must stop people from washing their cars, watering their gardens, or filling pools.  Wild animals are also struggling for food, since the grasses, bushes, and berries they usually eat are burnt.  Trees are already loosing their leaves.

Brainstorm a list of all the ways you use water.  Which can be affected by drought?  Leave me a comment and tell us if you already see signs of the drought where you are.

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Green Farming (with red!)

On our farm we drive red equipment, but on Wednesday of this week our family learned a bit more about going green.  Environmentally speaking :-).

Tractors, combines, sprayers, and other farm equipment are powered by diesel engines and engines create two things– basically dirt and gas.  Companies who build these tractors and such have been working hard to make engines much cleaner.  Check out the picture below.  The red box shows how much pollution was created by a tractor in 1996.  The blue box shows how much pollution is created by engines built in 2011.  The green represents the changes that will be in place just two years from now in 2014.

Green Farming (with red!)

You can see how much progress has been made!

Of course, not everyone solves problems in the same way.  Our red equipment is made by a company called Case IH, but I bet you’ve heard of another company called John Deere.  Deere and Case both have found ways to lower the amount of pollution, but the methods are very different!  If you’d like to learn more about these methods check out this Case website and watch their video.

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