Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Challenge of Feeding a Growing Population

Check out this video from Carl Peterson on the challenge of feeding a growing population. He addresses some key points in agriculture day.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Christmas Party Time

I have to first off apologize for the fact that I don't have any photos to go with this post! I did take my camera with me to the party last night, but every time I headed to my purse to grab it, I got sidetracked or started visiting with someone. So I have no photos to share, but we had a great Christmas party in Harvey last night with all of the wonderful employees from Weckerly Farms, Hurdsfield Grain/Agronomy Solutions, Freight Solutions/Freight Solutions Xtreme and the Farm & Family Center.

Some bad weather started to move in later in the day, so unfortunately not everyone was able to join us, but we still had about 55 people in attendance. We had a great meal, played our annual trivia game, gave out some door prizes and then danced the evening away.

Thank you again to each and every one of our employees who work within the businesses and who make our businesses work! Happy holidays!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

North Dakota...Where It's At

According to this article by Yahoo! Finance, North Dakota is the best run state in the nation. Several other states in the top spots also have large agriculture sectors. It's an interesting read if you have a few minutes.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wow, it's been over a month since I've posted anything! After harvest the guys worked fast and furious to try to apply fall fertilizer. That came to an abrupt end a couple of weeks ago when we had a storm come through.

It left us with lots of ice:

Almost all of the ice and a lot of the snow have since melted. Everything is brown now and in full autumn mode - almost winter.
Today the girls and I made an apple and a pumpkin pie to take to Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow.

I tried a new apple pie recipe and even though I have yet to taste it, it appears like it turned out pretty well so here it is, reposted from Our Best Bites:
Pastry for double-crust pie
6 cups peeled, sliced Granny Smith apples (about 1 1/2 pounds) (TW note: I actually used 6 Braeburn apples since they didn't have Granny Smith at the store I went to.)
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 Tbsp. butter, chopped
Place one pastry crust in the bottom of a 9" pie plate. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Combine lemon juice and apples in a large bowl.. Combine 1/2 c. sugar and next four ingredients, mixing well. Spoon over apple mixture, tossing gently. Spoon filling evenly into pastry shell and dot with chopped butter.
Top the pie with the other crust (I did a lattice crust, but you could just roll the top crust over the pie and put a couple slits in it). Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and bake 50 minutes more (TW note: I baked it closer to an hour). If your crust is getting too brown, you may need to put some aluminum foil over it.
I won't post my recipe for the pumpkin pie since I just used the one on the side of the can of pumpkin, but here is our youngest daughter's take on how to make a pumpkin pie:
We'd like to wish you the happiest of Thanksgivings from our farm to you. We hope you will be enjoying an abundance of health, happiness, family and food tomorrow. We give thanks, of course, for all of the farmers who have made our Thanksgiving meal tomorrow possible, for the employees we get to work with every day, and for the gift of family as we gather together.
As Marcie from Charlie Brown Thanksgiving put it, “Thanksgiving is more than eating, Chuck…we should just be thankful for being together."

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Corn Harvest

Corn harvest has been underway for a few weeks now and has been going great. The quality has been good and things are running smoothly.

The harvest is about 2-3 weeks earlier than it normally is, and it's been nice to be out there in some 50-60 degree temperatures. The guys have been drying most of the corn, but haven't had to dry it for long as the moisture has been around 18%, while last year it was around 24%. 

They should finish up this week with harvest if all goes well, and we are looking to have some nice weather in the coming days so hopefully it will be a good end to the harvest season!

And a pic of B & me taking meals out to the field last night.

I snapped a pic last week while getting all the meals ready to take out to the field:
Southwest egg rolls, cilantro lime rice, corn bread and a cupcake!
 And I'll wrap it up with a few I took as we left the field:

Monday, October 8, 2012

October: It's Pasta Month!

Among other things, October is national pasta month!

In honor of one of our favorite foods, I'm posting a recipe today from MMM...Cafe blogger Chelsea. I made this last week using Dakota Growers lasagna noodles, and the kids loved it. It has made excellent leftovers, too.

Chicken Alfredo Roll-Ups

9 lasagna noodles
2 1/2 cups alfredo sauce (TW note: Please make the homemade recipe below - it is easy and the taste is so worth it!)
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
garlic salt
3 cups shredded Mozzarella, or cheese of your choice (TW note: I used monterey jack)

Spray an 8x8" pan with non-stick spray and pour in 1/2 cup alfredo sauce, or just enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Boil lasagna noodles per package instructions. Important: Drain and rinse the noodles with cold water to prevent them from sticking to each other. Blot noodles dry with a paper towel.

Spread about 2 tablespoons alfredo sauce over each noodle (too much sauce = a big mess, so don't get crazy). Sprinkle oregano and garlic salt on top of sauce. Take 1/9 of the shredded chicken and spread it evenly over the noodle, repeat with all noodles until you've used all the chicken. Add approximately 3 tablespoons cheese. To roll up, start at one end and roll the noodle over the toppings. You may need to lift the noodle a little to prevent squishing out the inside ingredients while rolling.

Place the roll-ups in the pan, one by one, seam side down so they don't come undone. Once they are all in the pan, pour the remaining alfredo sauce over the top. Top with remainin cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

The Best Garlic Alfredo Sauce

1/2 cup butter
2 oz cream cheese
2 cups heavy cream (or half and half) (TW note: I used 1 cup cream, 1 cup half and half)
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon fresh minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2/3 cup parmesan cheese

In a medium to large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add fresh minced garlic and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add the cream cheese and whisk until smooth and melted. Whisk in the heavy cream. Season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer and whisk frequently until sauce thickens, around 15 minutes. Stir in the cheese and when melted, remove from heat and serve. (Makes 2 1/2 cups)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Measure 3 in ND

Boy is it obvious we are in full swing election time here. Just turn on the TV, and it seems like every other commercial pertains to the upcoming election.
I'll say it now and probably again before the election, but DON'T FORGET TO VOTE! If you think you might not be able to get to a voting site, get yourself an absentee ballot.
We've talked about what is now known as Measure 3 in North Dakota here and here on the blog before.
I thought I'd share with you a snapshot of Chad's letter to the editor that ran in several local papers:

Friday, September 28, 2012

Soybean Progress

We were out at the field today so a certain little girl could ride with her daddy in the combine. Then later we took supper out to the guys.

Her favorite factoid from daddy was that the soybeans they were harvesting today could be made into fun things like crayons!

 Soybean harvest should be finished on Monday. Yields have been good, but there has been a lot of trouble plugging up the combines because even though the beans are dry, the stems are green.

And of course the most exciting thing about riding in the combine (aside from spending some one-on-one time with daddy) is getting to pack a lunchbox.

Chad said they will likely go right into corn harvest once the beans are done. Harvest is moving right along!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Soybeans Are A Go!

Finally the guys headed out again today to combine soybeans, and it was a go!
The combines and grain cart parked and ready to go.

Friday, September 21, 2012


Still catching up with photos here. Over Labor Day weekend, Chad, Terry & Norman visited the steam threshing show at Rollag, MN.

The show featured lots of farm equipment from years (or decades, rather) past along with field demonstrations and highlights the use of steam threshers.

a steam thresher

a homemade four wheel drive tractor

Massey Harris side hill combine

field demonstration
Chad said he would like to go back again another year to take in the field demonstrations as there was a lot to take in.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Blue Flint Tour

Do I ever have some catching up to do! These photos are from a while back; Chad attended a tour and appreciation day at Blue Flint Ethanol in Underwood.

Blue Flint is an ethanol plant. They take in corn, make it into ethanol and they also ship out dried distillers grain, which is a by-product that is used as feed for swine, poultry and beef.
Our Freight Solutions trucks haul corn into and dried distillers out of this location often.

grain storage

Diagrams were posted throughout the tour explaining the different processes the corn goes through as it becomes ethanol.

Outside view of the plant where all the action takes place.

Here is a photo of one of the large dryers.

Here is wet dried distillers grain (DDG).

And this is dry DDG.

Trucks and railcars dump corn into the underground pit here.

ethanol tanks

Outside view of some railcars at the plant.

In harvest news, the guys took the combines out to try some soybeans today but they are still not ready. They will try again in a couple days.