Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A Family First

Some parents talk about that first baby step or tooth, but I have a unique mommy first -- my daughter is the first person in our family to recieve the American FFA Degree. On November 1, she walked the big stage at the 87th annual National FFA Convention to receive her honor.

What is the big deal about this? Well, our daughter is a third generation FFA member and this honor is the highest bestowed to an FFA member. Less than one percent of FFA members receive this honor each year. My husband and I earned our state FFA degrees, but never got to experience this achievement.

Our daughter, Kaylyn, recieved her American FFA Degree on November 1, 2014 at the 87th National FFA Convention in Louisville, Kentucky.
And, what is even more special is that our daughter is an animal science/agriculture education double major at Oklahoma State University. Meaning, she grasped what she learned on our family farm and in her high school agriculture classroom and is pursuing an opportunity to teach the next generation of agriculturalists. For this ol' farm gal and FFA mom, this is very special. Congratulations Kaylyn!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

My Junk Gypsy Soul

You know how the old saying goes: The shoemaker's kids have the worst shoes.Why? Because the shoemaker is too busy making shoes for everyone else. Same is true for this ag communicator. Why haven't I written a new blog post in quite a while? Because I am writing "stuff" for everyone else! But that's okay. It keeps the creative juices flowing.

Recently I have become addicted to the Junk Gypsy show on Great American Country (GAC). I think I am so fascinated by it because they have a knack for taking old stuff and making it look cool. Plus, they do it cost effectively. My own Junk Gypsy soul has me excited about a couple of my own new projects. One involves testing out Annie Sloan chalk paint to redo an old rocking chair that was out under the old shed on the farm, and the other involves taking a pair of 1880s Singer sewing machine legs and redoing them so they support a table top. If the chalk paint project works out, I am using it again in the color white ochre to paint my parent's old bedroom suit that my daughter will use next year at college. (She also gets the teal rocker for college, too.) Not sure what I'll do once I refurbish the Singer wrought iron legs with some oil, but it should be snazzy and a great conversation piece when it is done. I like to sew, and this type of item will be one I can really appreciate. I am thinking of using old barn siding for the table top to make it personal. Reader friends, do any of you have suggestions I should consider?

Never a dull creative moment at my house. Stay tuned for the before and after pictures!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

NC Cooperative Extension Service -- Celebrating 100 years!

My husband, Sam, has spent over 20 years working for North Carolina's Cooperative Extension Service -- first as a horticulture extension agent, next as a livestock extension agent, and finally as director of our county cooperative extension service. But, those job titles don't really define everything that he does and the hours that go into his job. In fact, most of our state's extension agents wear many hats and participate in a lot of night meetings and educational programs. For example, not only does Sam oversee our county extension office, its agents and support staff, but he also has livestock, pesticide re-certification, and pasture management responsibilities, to name a few.

It still amazes me that this year is the program's 100th anniversary in North Carolina, yet many people have no clue how important this organization is or exactly what it does for our communities -- particularly those in rural areas.

What is the Cooperative Extension Service?  My definition.
The easiest way for me to explain what this organization does is by giving a logical definition. To me, cooperative extension is just that -- a teaching and service "extension" arm of our land grant universities. Here in my home state this includes North Carolina State University in Raleigh and North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro. Extension agents serve as teachers. They are specialist in various disciplines and can help lend a teaching hand to people in our communities who are eager to make things better. For example, if you are a farmer and need to learn about how to get soil testing completed for your crop fields or better understand how to treat certain weeds in your pastures, your local extension agents can help answer those questions -- free of charge! University professors and specialists can't be everywhere all the time, so this is where our extension agents come in to provide a valuable service. 

4-H is a part of the Cooperative Extension Service
A lot of people don't realize that the youth organization, 4-H, has a long standing history as being a part of the Cooperative Extension Service. If you grew up in 4-H and are now working in agriculture, you can probably thank your local 4-H cooperative extension service program for giving you a start. Whether it was going to a 4-H camp or raising a pig as a project, 4-H helps to develop our youth so that they can make a difference in their communities. To see how 4-H has grown over the years in North Carolina, check out this clip from our local PBS channel that was recently featured: 4-H link on PBS

What do you appreciate the most about your local cooperative extension service?