Monthly Archives: March 2014

What Happens in ALOT

Gets published on the Internet!  Sorry guys!  Usually the happenings at the meetings of this hand-picked, higher education class are for the privileged members only, but when you invite a blogger to talk about blogging, well, you have now become public information! 🙂

ALOT (pronounced with a long A, not like the phrase “a lot.”) stands for Agricultural Leaders of Tomorrow, and is a two-year class designed to introduce members to a wide variety of ag related topics, businesses, and ideas.  Brian was selected for this latest class and has been across the state visiting an amazing variety of people and places, listening and learning about more topics than I ever dreamed our state could boast.

The group has met Presidents, CEOs, and leaders of some really amazing organizations, so I didn’t know if I should be honored or intimated when the coordinator of the program called Brian and wanted the group to visit Marshall Farms!

ALOT group visits Marshall Farms

The 25 members of the group visited Marshall Farms, providing some incentive to finish multiple projects on this shed!

Brian gave a talking-tour of the farm (since it was 27 degrees when we started– what happened to spring?!), sharing lots of information about the technology we use.  Being in the shed meant we could get a good look at the sprayer and planter.

ALOT visits Marshall Farms

Since members hail from across the state Brian shared practices used in our area to deal with our specific soil and land types.

Then Dennis, Brian’s dad and “Grandpa” here on the blog, went into some detail about the soil conservation practices we follow.  Dennis has been an early adaptor of conservation for the last 35 years he has been in business as a farmer and he is still trying new ideas.  The most recent practice has been the addition of cover crops (read about that here), including some brand new cover crop mixtures we’ve just tried for the first time.

ALOT class visits Marshall Farms

If you’ve ever wondered what a farm “nerd” sounds like you should have heard the conversation between Dennis and the class as they discussed the chemical make-up of soil-LOL!

Then those poor class members had to listen to me tell about my experiences blogging and how I try to share agriculture with those interested in where their food comes from.

ALOT visits Marshall Farms

Trivia, I’ve been blogging at Daddy’s Tractor for two years, but before that I blogged at

The best part was the box of chocolates ALOT gives to each of their presenters.  So as far as I’m concerned ALOT is welcomed back anytime!  As long as you’re okay with being published on the Internet that is!!

Categories: Technology | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Wheat Doll Lesson Plan

The Wheat Doll, a farm lesson plan

Our family recently returned from the Young Farmers and Ranchers conference and I have so much stuff I want to share!  One of my favorites is this lesson plan based on the book “The Wheat Doll” by Alison L. Randall.

The Wheat Doll, a farm lesson plan

The story is about a little girl in prairie times who owns one special doll stuffed with wheat seeds.  One day, while working in the garden, she sets her doll aside and must leave it when a sudden storm moves in.  After the storm her doll is missing, but the next spring the little girl discovers a patch of wheat growing in the shape of a doll.  She carefully tends the wheat and then harvests the seeds to make a beautiful, new doll.

If you’re interested, this book is an AR Level 3.9 and a Reading Counts Level 3.2!

After reading the book aloud they showed the kids boxes of products that contain wheat.  There were some basic foods, like cakes and pasta, but others were more surprising, like pet food!

The Wheat Doll, a farm lesson plan

The kids also had the chance to hold real wheat stalks and try to harvest the seeds from them!  It was lots of fun, and a huge, plastic sheet kept it from being too messy!

The Wheat Doll, a farm lesson plan

One of the most popular centers allowed the kiddos to make their own wheat doll or puppet. (Puppets in case the boys weren’t thrilled with dolls.  My very male first-grade son didn’t care all, however.  He just wanted to make something!)  They started by putting wheat seeds into an infant sock and rubber banding it to a jumbo craft stick.  After that there were squares of fabric, markers, moveable eyes, bits of wheat stalk, and a hot glue gun (used by an adult!) to finish creating!

The Wheat Doll, a farm lesson plan The Wheat Doll, a farm lesson plan

The activity my kids liked best was gluing wheat seeds on this printable card to create a doll shape.  The card includes directions for planting and growing the seeds, so they can see their own doll grow!  I’ll just add that using hot water really seems to help wheat jump out of the ground.  Wheat grows great indoors, so you can do this any time of the year!

The Wheat Doll, a farm lesson plan

This lesson plan sheet has lots of additional information, like a list of products made from wheat, how to thresh the wheat seeds, and a bit of background on wheat in the US.

The Wheat Doll Lesson Plan

And thanks to the MFB Promotion and Education Committee– we had so much fun!

Categories: Science | 2 Comments

What’s in the Bible?

Yay!  I’m pretty much bouncing up and down because its here!  We’ve been waiting for almost three years for this moment and its finally here!  The final DVD of “What’s in the Bible?” is available!

What’s more is that I have just been approved as an affiliate for “What’s in the Bible?”– meaning I get to link to their stuff on my blog (and if you click it, I get a commission!).  When I started this blog two years ago that was one of my goals: share about life on the farm, post great lesson plans and activities, and have a link to “What’s in the Bible?” ;-). (Yes, there are two. I’m excited.)

So, what is this great DVD you ask?

Just my family’s favorite kid’s program.  Possibly ever.

These thirteen DVDs walk you through the entire Bible and take a look at the big picture of God’s message to us.  The show is hosted by puppets, namely Buck Denver, and the man behind Veggie Tales, Phil Vischer.

The puppets do get a little carried away from time to time, but the slightly over the top drama is easily outweighed by a show that is enjoyed by our four and six year olds as well as my husband and I.  And I can’t believe how much I’ve learned from a puppet.

When Brett started kindergarten I looked for a religion curriculum for him, but found nothing for his age group, definitely nothing that I liked.  These DVDs have been great because he doesn’t need to be able to read or write, we all love watching them together on Sunday nights, and I can print coloring pages, memory verses, and other stuff from

We also took the DVDs to junior high church camp and the 12-14 year olds loved them too.

Try them– you’ll love them.  And if you click through with one of my little links,  I’ll love you too. 😉

Categories: Science | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Three Things Christians Should Know About the Food Controversy

Recently faith has entered the field of food. I think this is a good thing; faith belongs in every aspect of our lives. What I’m not so sure about, however, is that we’re drawing the right conclusions. Its been suggested that vegetarianism is what God would have you do, or being merciful applies just as much to your neighbor as it does to his dog. But before you make up your mind about the relationship between man and animal, here are three things Christians should know.

What Christians need to know about the food controversy

1.) God made everything for a reason.

Nothing was an accident. Nothing was superfluous.

I like how the scripture in 1Timothy 4:4 explains it. “For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving.”

The verse just before talks about someone telling you not to eat meat and responds with: “which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.”

And if you’d like to hear it worded, well… a little stronger just start at the beginning of that chapter! For now I think these verses make my point.

2.) God sent his son to die for mankind.

I don’t have a scripture reference for this one because there isn’t one. Animals, trees, rocks: God didn’t so love them and send his only son so they may have enteral life.

In fact it was people He created in his own image and likeness. Genesis 1:25. Could there be a higher honor? He set them apart, made them special. He made me and you to be children of The King.

Christ was the sacrificial lamb, but I don’t read that he died for sheep.

Clearly, God doesn’t see us the same.

Three things Christians should know abou the food controversy

photo credit: fusky via photopin cc

3.) God gave men dominion over His creation.

Actually it’s the very next verse after the “made in his image” paragraph in Genesis 1:26. And yes, I’m aware others far more scholarly than myself have written entire books on the subject of dominion. The word is negative. It means things like prevail against, reign, rule over.

Its just that the other side of this ruling business is responsibility. We are in charge of the animals God gave to our care and they are given to us for our use. But like the servants who were given 1, 5, and 10 talents, we will be accountable for how we care for what has been given to us.

History has proved there will always be those who look for something weaker to put down so they can pull themselves up. Animals can be an easy target.

Where real cruelty lies it should be eradicated.

But don’t confuse cruelty with animal agriculture. The pictures you see in the magazines while you wait in the grocery store checkout line are the extremes and a poorly worded headline can make us all look bad. Just remember, farmers are as outraged by abuses as you are.

What Christians need to know about the food controversy

photo credit: Walmart Corporate via photopin cc

Actually the vast majority of livestock producers understand– dominion and responsibility are just opposite sides of the same coin.
I’m certain you can make up your own mind on the food controversies that are part of our daily diet of conversation. If your opinion differs from mine, I’m okay with that.

But go ahead, bring your faith into the dining room.

Categories: Animals | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

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