How To Help a Friend or Family Member Who is Grieving


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A tragic loss is difficult in many different ways for many different people.  Of course the loss is most difficult for the people closest to the deceased person.

Here are three key ways that you help a grieving person:

Prayer – As someone who has suffered loss and experienced God’s healing, I’m confident that prayer is the most life-changing gift that you can offer.

Finances – If the family has immediate needs like food, mortgage, childcare, diapers, etc. and you are able to help with that please do so.

Time – Time is also a treasured gift that can help ease the pain.  How can you give of your time to help your friend or family member?

Here are some specific personal examples:

I have been blessed to have the love, help and support of many people.  I often see in mind’s eye the faces of those who gave and invested so much in helping me heal.  I’d like to share some of the stories in hopes that you pick up an idea on how to help others.

A handful of people showed up to my house the morning right after the accident.  I’m confident it was very difficult for them to come, but they did.  They insisted on being there and helping.  Some friends cleaned the hard water stains out of my shower.  Later they sorted through pictures to display during the calling hours and went shopping to find clothes that would fit me for the calling hours and funeral.  There were several phone calls and decisions that having trustworthy friends right there to help take care of for me was a huge help.

Think about what you can do to make that person’s life a little easier.  People dropped off paper plates, cups, disposable silverware, diapers, formula, really good chocolate and some high quality food.  It was helpful to have immediate needs met.  These are some of the items that made life a little easier.

Wise people simply asked what I needed.  There were many times right away after our unexpected loss where I just didn’t know.  When people asked me a couple different times I knew they were serious and that I could call on them later as I figured out what I needed.

When my grandmother passed away a family friend sent a card full of stamps to use on thank you notes in lieu of flowers.  I thought that was very kind.  I’ve also appreciated people that have sent stones with a nice saying, or some sort of treasured keepsake as opposed to flowers.

The biggest immediate need was for prayer.  I know that people prayed for us:

-To have the strength that we needed to get through each day

-To feel God’s love

-To keep faith

-To be able to make wise decisions as needed

-To be able to take care of baby Henry

-To have hope and know that we have a future

-For God to put a hedge of protection around our lives

-For critical relationships that change with the loss of a life

-For financial needs to be met

-For us not to feel alone and much, much more

What do I say to a grieving person?  “I’m sorry for your loss and I’m praying for you.”

Please don’t avoid facing the grieving family because you don’t know what to say.  Presence is powerful, you don’t have to give a speech.  Think of something short and sweet ahead of time to say that you care.  Scripture never fails.  These are one example of why it’s important to know and memorize scripture.  There are times when there are no human words and scripture is so comforting.

A dear friend shared that my goal was to be “healthy and whole” again.  She came to my house, brought salads from Wendy’s, helped me clean, she prayed fervently with and for me.  She encouraged me to call with any questions and I did.

Life goes on and so can your encouragement.  Your life may return to normal quickly, but the grieving people’s live have been forever changed.  Think about ways that you can help show love, through a written note, a meal, a small gift, a surprise visit.  Make a note on your calendar 3 months and 13 months out to remind you to show that you care.

a healing family

A dear friend babysat Henry some while I transitioned back to work. She took and shared this pic one day when I picked him up. I’m glad I have a nice picture of us together at this stage.

This Thanksgiving week I’m so thankful for all of those people that have invested in me and helped be become healthy and whole.  Without love, prayer, help and healing I wouldn’t be able to experience the fullness and joy of life on earth that I am now.

Life on a Turkey Farm


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The highlight of my year has been marrying Joe, aka the turkey farmer.

wedding pictures on the farm

Those are turkey finishing barns in the background

He grew up in western Ohio where he often helped his mom in their turkey starter house.  His dad worked off the farm until Joe was about 14.  Part of his dad transitioning to full-time farming was taking care of turkeys in a couple finishing barns.  Even though I’ve grown up on a farm I’ve never been around turkeys, so I have embraced the opportunity to learn.

wedding pic outside turkey barn

We tried to get a fun twirl going and missed the look I was going for, but that’s the turkey starter house in the background.

My first visit into this barn was in November of 2013.  I remember walking in through a utility room that has a large sink, water heater, paperwork and storage for supplies.  Then a door was slid open to the large area where the turkeys live.

Poults arrive in the starter house when they are one day old.  The barn is kept a toasty 80 degrees for these young birds.  The barn holds a group of 6,000 turkeys that are all the same age.

When the poults arrive there are ten cardboard rings dividing the barn into smaller sections.  The rings keep the birds closer to feed, water and heaters.  As the birds grow they need more space and the cardboard rings are removed.

baby turkey barn

This is the first time the Little Farmer and I were inside a turkey barn. The turkey farmer held a poult for Henry to pet. Check out the cardboard ring in between the guys.

For the first week the waters are cleaned every morning, and the turkeys are fed by hand twice a day.

taking care of turkeys on Christmas

This picture was taken as we did evening chores on Christmas day in 2015.

There are 40 bell waterers that hang in the barn for the duration of the turkey’s stay and an additional 40 fresh-flow waters that are used in the cardboard rings to help the turkeys get acclimated to drinking water.  Initially 6,000 turkeys have access to 80 waterers that are cleaned out daily.  That’s 75 birds per drinking fountain.  There are about 320 students in my son’s school and they all share 3 drinking fountains.

Once the cardboard rings are removed the waterers are still cleaned every day, and the automatic feeding system is monitored and maintained as needed.

The turkey food is made of corn, soybeans, vitamins and minerals.  Turkey feed is very nutrient dense which helps them grow quickly, efficiently and naturally.  No hormones are fed or administered to growing turkeys.

Another chore is tilling the coop.  The birds live on a layer of clean, fresh wooden shavings or sawdust.  The farmer works to ensure that the sawdust stays as dry and clean as possible so that the turkeys can maintain healthy feet.  The coop is tilled or turned up to help keep the litter (or bedding) dry on an as needed basis.

At five weeks old the turkeys leave the starter house and move to a finishing barn.  The finishing barns are much bigger because the turkeys need more room to grow.  These barns also have curtains to allow for more airflow because an older, heartier bird can handle slightly cooler temperatures.

Animal care is similar across all species.  The farmer must spend time each day making sure that animals have clean fresh feed and water and a dry place to rest.

The feeding system is automated in the finishing barn, so daily checks and regular maintenance ensures that turkeys always have access to feed.  The waters are cleaned every day and moved between a series of hooks to help keep the litter as dry as possible.  The coop is tilled as needed, about weekly.

tilling the coop

Tilling the coop

Joe’s family only raises male turkeys which are called toms.  The toms are full grown and ready to be harvested at twenty weeks old and 45 – 47 pounds.  So these turkeys are raised for deli meat because a forty pound bird wouldn’t fit in very many ovens.

I enjoy the enthusiasm and care that my turkey farming in-laws put into growing our turkey.  They are a big family and welcome all hands to help.  My little farmer and I were quickly recruited to help clean waters and feed baby birds.  We worked our way up to helping till the coop and even clean out barns.  We have enjoyed learning more about turkeys and the people that raise them!

Thank You for the Manure


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Dear mother-in-law and father-in-law,

Thank you for the poop.  I understand that your hog manure made our corn yield far better than it could’ve been without the crap.

thank you for the manure

Thank you for the manure and accepting my sarcasm. You guys are great!

You have a wealth of valuable organic nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorous and potash that you shared to make our crops and income better.  The corn needed nutrients to grow and your hog poop provided like commercial fertilizer can’t.

That’s really special how you applied the manure to the field and made sure to mix it in the soil right away.  We respect that you work to manage these nutrients responsibly and spread them out over different farms from year to year.

I read about people on the internet that call manure waste, but thanks for being responsible and sharing your wealth to benefit us.

Yours truly,


Tips For Tough Conversations About Food, Farming & Faith


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My job at the Ohio Pork Council has led to good things like access to many meals of properly cooked pork, a bi-weekly pay check and my recent marriage to Joe, aka the Turkey Farmer.  He is amazing!

turkey farmer promotes pork

Prior to our arranged marriage I was told that “he’s shy.” Look at him! He talks about farming and how to cook pork to princesses, cow girls, mothers, children, aunts, sisters, grandmas, daughters, etc. If Mr. “Shy” can talk agriculture to strangers you can too!

We’ve had some differences to work through, like living two hours apart, as in who would move and change jobs and food preferences like turkey versus pork (just kidding, we NEVER fight about protein, we just eat it).  Another topic of much discussion is we’re both Christians, but one of us attended a Protestant Church and the other a Catholic Church.

The two of us made the moving decision on our own; this was a big decision, but one that we were equipped to work through together.  The protein drama is purely make-believe.  Making a decision about church for our family has taken study, time, thought and prayer.  We spent a lot of time reading while dating and learning from others whom we trust and respect.

I can draw so many parallels between much of what I’ve learned regarding church to a person who has suddenly become more interested in food.  Circumstances in people’s life change, possibly health status changes, or family size changes, or someone develops a hobby or interest in food and cooking.  These reasons might prompt a person to study and learn more about their food and the food system in the United States.

An unexpected relationship sparked a great deal of honest inquiry in my life into a very personal topic.

We’ve asked questions and listened.  We’ve worked to actively listen and understand the new acronyms and how different study group opportunities (outside of regular worship) work.   After doing some homework the next step was a meeting to learn with church staff to learn more.

The meeting was held.  There was brief and calm sharing, some questions were exchanged and some concerns were shared.

A response was given that included a suggestion that one of our past upbringings was “unfortunate” and “incomplete”.  There were also misconceptions addressed that neither of us harbored.

Discussion resulted in confusion.  That conversation did not grow our interest in participating or supporting this group.  We had done homework, we’d genuinely tried to learn, and the meeting was held with the intention to put effort into learning more.  Yet, this conversation did not bring any more clarity to our lives.

I’m grateful for the deep rooted faith and personal experiences that we each have which were not swayed by a single conversation. We’ve learned and grown in our faith, I wish the same for you.

I could look back and critique every aspect of my life and find many faults.  Being wrong often, has been part of my human experience, so I’m not upset at this person.  I truly believe this conversation became tough because of deep personal beliefs that could’ve been better communicated to bridge the gap between us and them.

I think many of us can really feel empathy and wonder how this happened.  How could someone called to love people come across so cold and disconnected?

How often do we as farmers, confident in what we do, why we do it and how we do it inadvertently talk to our customers just to leave them more confused?  How often do we as farmers so often unintentionally come across as cold and disconnected to the people that buy our products?  When the answer to a question is so obvious that it’s just silly, how do we respond?  Do we invest enough time to really think through a sincere and honest answer?  I’ve found the people asking (the same people that buy what we grow) just honestly want to know what we’re doing and why and how that may affect their body.

There was no personal harm meant by disagreeing in our discussion, and there’s rarely that intention when food is the hot topic.

I’m writing this for the purpose of learning.  We’re all human, and we all have opportunities to improve.

Here are some tips that could improve our future conversations about food and farming:

-Know what you do on the farm and be able to talk about it in very simple terms

-Know what you believe and be able to share from your personal experiences

-Think of each person as valuable and worth the time to talk or type with

sandwich shop

The turkey farmer talking to the owners of a sandwich shop in the suburbs that serve the turkey his family grows. He shared his background and they had a great conversation.

Those of us involved in production agriculture have heard that we are less than 2% of the US population.  We know that we need to do more to tell our story, the story of our food, our family farms, the land, etc.

My hope is that the non-farming public would feel good about eating after talking to a farmer.

I’ve worked to improve how I share my personal story.  I’m nowhere close to having all the answers, but I truly believe having genuine conversations is worthy of our time and beneficial for our future.

A Fall Friday Night in Turkeyville


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The Turkey Farmer grew up in western Ohio, and he moved to central Ohio after we got married.  His parents have asked that he continue coming to western Ohio to help on the farm in return for the use of their equipment to plant and harvest his crops on his farm.  This is a pretty good deal.

We picked the Little Farmer up from school yesterday and headed west.  Harvest has begun!  The turkey farmers made a big upgrade to this New Holland combine.

new holland combine harvesting corn

New (used) New Holland Combine running corn

Last Christmas the Little Farmer wanted a toy replica of their old combine, I wonder if this purchase is going to affect my pocket book too?

There are computer sensors everywhere on modern farm machines.  Sometimes that can be very helpful to have more information and sometimes, if there’s a glitch it can shut things down unnecessarily.  There was a glitch earlier in the day with a sensor on the transmission, but some good trouble shooting and a couple trips for parts by Mama O, my mother-in-law, and the problem was fixed.

Girl unloading corn

This girl’s got unloading corn under control

By the time we arrived things were running smoothly.  Farmers were farming and it seemed as though everyone else was watching high school football.  We opted to change the tires on my car.

chevy equinox on lift in shop

Our car on the lift in Papa O’s shop

Conveniently for me Papa O, my father-in-law, is a mechanic by trade, so he’s got some cool machines.  The best part, he’s taught his boys how to use them.

Tire remover tool

Tire remover tool helping take the tire off of the rim

tire putter on tool

The same tool can put a new tire back on the rim – with some skilled guidance

Tire weight remover tools

Tire weight remover tools – used for balancing tires – a tool I could use!

tire balancing tool

This spins the tire and determines where weights need to be to balance the tire and make a smoother ride

I’m grateful for access to tools and time to hang out with a multi-talented turkey farming family!

Let’s Teach Our Kids to Be Thankful


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The Little Farmer had a great summer full of fun.  Many of his activities were sponsored by a business or family in the community.  My mom has impressed upon me the importance of writing thank you notes to those sponsors.

In my job I’ve had the chance to interact with lots of people and to sponsor programs.  I’ve taken notice of people that take the time and effort to say thank you and how sincerely they do so.

I want Henry to “have an attitude of gratitude”.

So when he won a prize in pedal tractor pulls, got a ribbon and dollar bill in pee-wee showmanship this summer, he wrote thank you notes.

Hartford Fair Pedal Tractor Pull

Hartford Fair Pedal Tractor Pull

pedal tractor pull class winner

1st place and the only full pull in his class!

pee wee swine showmanship

Pee-wee swine showmanship. What a great hands on opportunity to learn and have fun!

Street fair pedal tractor pull.  Another award!

Street fair pedal tractor pull. Another award!

To help prompt him and teach him the flow of a good thank you note I wrote out the words, and he copied them in his own writing.

Let's teach our kids how to write thank you notes!

Let’s teach our kids how to write thank you notes!

I plan to continue working to live and share an attitude of gratitude.

Thank you mom for setting a great example!  And thank you to those who help sponsor great activities for little people!

Are Farmers Really Rich or Poor?


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I was asked a good question yesterday, “How do some farmers seem to barely scrape by and some seem to be rich and have all kinds of fancy toys?”

Of course this is a very complex question. I’ll work to share some of the variables in as simple of a way as possible.

I think expenses, weather and off-farm income are the top variables.

Here are some personal examples:  The turkey farmer has purchased two farms at significantly different prices per acre.  The yield and income per acre is similar at the farms, but the cost of the ground is different.  When he gets those loans paid off that will significantly decrease the expenses and thus there will be more income.

Another big help is that his parents share their equipment with him to use on his land.  He wouldn’t be able to start farming by purchasing all of the tools needed at once.  His parents are very generous and want to do what they can to help their kids get started farming.

Weather is another huge variable.  Weather affects the yields, which affects the market price offered for the crops, which affects how much money is in our bank account.  The weather is a big deal to farmers.  Farmers watch the forecast regularly.  Farmers discuss and analyze the weather and how crops are growing continually.  I’m sure you’re tracking how drastically the weather affects a farmer’s income.

I’d like to give more examples on expenses.  The members of the turkey farming family that I’m proud to call my in-laws are all REALLY handy.  When things break they fix, weld, mend, and often improve the design in their shop.  Disposing of the item and buying new is often not the most efficient way to farm.  I have been so blessed by the skills that the turkey farmer has learned growing up in this type of ultra-DIY environment!

For example, gates in pig pens get wear and tear and weaken over time.  The quickest solution would be buying a new gate when an old one breaks.  I was helping in the shop one day this spring when my father-in-law (Grandpa O) was welding new pieces of metal on an old gate.

welding gate

Don’t buy toys, just give kids tools to play with.

no toys just tools

I was impressed when Grandpa O bought a new grease gun, walked by the Little Farmer, and without missing a beat handed him the new tool and asked him to put it together.  I think hands on practice helps build experience.  Hopefully the Little Farmer will learn some strong DIY skills of his own!


A part of me wishes this was sarcastic, but it’s not…at all…in any way.  Don’t buy clothes.  When we were dating and discussing serious things like budgeting, I asked the turkey farmer how much he spends a year on clothes.  He gave me a serious look and had an unusual, slight “duh” undertone in his reply, “I don’t buy any clothes.  I get all I need at Christmas or at work.”  I’ve since learned that his work pants come from a used uniform store and run a few bucks each.

cheap clothes

I couldn’t resist posting this picture to prove that it’s okay to splurge on a new coat in the winter if yours is grease covered, stained and from the last century.  But I also really respect the counter-culture value he puts behind his belief, “if you don’t need it, don’t buy it.”

Trucks and tractors are essential on most farms.  Having the latest and greatest can be very expensive.  Costs can often be cut by using older equipment until there is enough equity to upgrade.

The final variable I’ll share is off farm income.  If a farmer works off the farm and has that money for living expenses (house, transportation, utilities, food, etc) he or she may be able to re-invest all of the income from the farm back in the farm.  If the farmer needs to deduct living expenses from farm income, that leaves less money to use for farm expenses.  My Turkey Farmer has always worked off the farm and had some of that income available in case he needed it to help cover farm expenses.

Farmers are often self-employed and work to keep their business profitable just like other business people outside of agriculture.

I like to fill-up at this gas station.  They are typically the cheapest in my western Ohio route to Turkeyville.

old gas pump

As my Turkey Farmer pointed out, their overhead is pretty low, so they don’t have to charge as much to make a profit.

small town gas station

So the answer to the question, “Are farmers really rich or poor?” depends on how well they manage money as well as many other aspects of the farm.

Burlap and Lace Country Wedding Decorations


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We have been so blessed!  We want to say thank you to our family members and friends that worked together to make our wedding celebration so beautiful.  With God at the center of our union I think everything looks brighter and more joyful!

Our decorations were truly a collaborative effort and I wanted to share them with you!

I love the head table back drop (which we rented) and covered with strips of cloth.  I chose several different neutral colors and ripped strips one to four inches wide and tied a knot around a piece of sisal twine.

I made the Mr. and Mrs. banner by printing letters as large as I could on my home printer and then cutting them out to use for the template.  I placed the paper template on pieces of burlap and painted the letters black and strung them on another piece of twine.

The turkey farmer found small trees which he made a base for and lagged the trees to the base.  He spray painted them white and family and friends wrapped the trees tightly with white Christmas lights that I found on clearance for $1 per box!  Just remember to take some white extension cords along with you, for they can be hard to find at crunch time!

cake table and head table

The head tables formed a U shape and the cake table was in the center.

And how about that cake?!?  I’m so proud that my mom made that beautiful cake for us!  She also bought the wood stand and servers that I will always keep and treasure!  Great cake and memory.  Thank you mom!

mr and mrs burlap banner

I made our Mr. & Mrs. Burlap banner to hang behind head table.

burlap and lace wedding reception

The view as you walk in the front door.

burlap banner pic

An unexpected lovely picture. I love the spacing of our faces between the banner!

The mason jars have been in our family and I borrowed some of the more modern pieces of glass to vary the height.  We did purchase about four bunches of baby’s breath to sprinkle throughout the hall on Friday before the wedding.

wedding centerpieces

I wanted to use pieces that we had or could make and incorporate elements of our lives, corn, soybeans and feathers into the country wedding decorations.

corn filled vase with burlap ribbon

We borrowed these vases and filled half with corn and half we soybeans. We put one in the center of the decorations. My sister-in-law used these for decorations at our engagement party and I loved them!

country wedding centerpieces

The tea lights are turned on so the party is about to begin!

wood centerpieces

The turkey farmer sliced some logs to make the wooden coasters. He cut logs of varying sizes and heights and drilled holes for the tea lights to sit down in.

head table decorations

We used a slightly different treatment with logs and the tea lights at the head table.

head table decor

We had 34 chairs at the head table. There were two eight foot rounds on each side and this is how we decorated those. The bridesmaids put their bouquets in the vases.

burlap swag

My sister-in-laws rocks decorating. She used some extra sheer pieces from the back drop and burlap, worked in some lights and ta-da!

burlap swag with lights

The extra light was nice to have as the night went on.

card table decorations

Our card table with cloth strips and lights strewn underneath.

milk can decoration

My family actually used this milk can. Joe wanted a card holder that couldn’t easily be moved or knocked over, this fit the bill!

snack table

Snack table decorations also featured burlap and lace!

snack table

The snack table complete with snacks! Joe’s aunts and my mom and friends made 1,200 cookies and they all quickly disappeared!

These girls wrapped cardboard boxes with burlap and used long pearly pins to hold the burlap and lace in place.  I like how the boxes gave the table height variation.  That also allowed us to put more cookies on the table.  Access to more cookies more quickly is important people.  These girls didn’t drive from one side of the Midwest to the other for nothing.  They had purpose!

great friends!

They drove all night to get there (and back) to decorate the snack table and share in the party. Great friends!

entry table

We shared our parents’, grandparents’ and great grandparents’ wedding pictures on our entry table

I used the bucket milker from our families dairy farm along with some branches and glued burlap flowers onto the branches.  Our guest book sat on the table along with the man-style scrapbook that the Turkey Farmer and Little Farmer used to propose.

burlap wrapped hula hoop lights

Burlap wrapped hula hoops draped with icicle lights greeted our guests.

burlap silverware holders

A sweet friend loaned her burlap silverware holders. We have around 300 guests attend, so we alternated silverware wrapped in doilies and tied with sisal twine and the burlap silverware holders.

true sports

These kids are true sports! The little farmer had been fixing gates in the hog barn and came straight to help decorate. The warm smile must have covered up the fragrance enough for Miss A to enjoy the visit!

Thank you to so many people that helped with ideas, made decoration, food, helped set-up, tear down and pray and support us in many more ways.  We are truly grateful!

Worrying About the Mud Hole


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The Little Farmer has come to me many times in the past few days to discuss this mud hole in the driveway.

mud hole

Having fun in the mud during the fall of 2013

The primary concern is that people will think the muddy area is part of the driveway. After all there are tire tracks visible in the wet soil, so somebody (other than him) clearly drove through believing that it was the driveway. Don’t you dare blow this situation off, because it’s in the forefront of that little brain continuously.

I’ve tried to explain that it’s not really a big deal, maybe it was farm equipment that is wider than the driveway, or maybe someone wasn’t putting their full focus into staying in the center of the driveway and inadvertently made tracks in the hole. No matter how many times I tell the Little Farmer this is not a real problem and does not matter he can’t divert his focus.

I looked out the door one of those days and he was very seriously trying to outline the problem to my dad. His effort to recruit a sympathizer failed.

As I tried for what felt like the eighth time to explain that this “huge problem” wasn’t really a problem at all it hit me…this must be how God looks at many of our “problems”. He wants us to talk to Him, give our problems to Him, and then listen and know that He will take care of us. He doesn’t want us to focus on our worries like this boy has his mud hole.

The new perspective got better when I remembered that it was the Little Farmer himself who dug that hole. He spent hours using as much equipment as he could find. He became so engrossed in the enjoyment of creating the mud puddle last fall. I asked him multiple times to stop doing that.

Isn’t it ironic that he was oblivious to creating a problem just six months ago that he is agonizing over now?

While driveway puddles are a pretty straightforward mess to clean up, not all of our worries are. Our problems may require manual labor in conditions that aren’t pleasant.

fixing a puddle

Fixing another puddle in the driveway in March 2014.

Figurative mud holes take prayer and repentance. Prompted by a Bible Study and conversations with other Christians I’ve recently been prompted to repent and change. Change and the work to implement it are NOT easy. The reward, my spirit is glad to have a cleaner heart, and that is worth the change!

Matthew 6:27 Can anyone of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Butterflies – Fighting Hunger & Saving People


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I was coerced into going to a Women of Faith weekend event a few years back. My favorite speaker was Andy Andrews, a story teller talking about The Butterfly Effect!

Here are the rough notes I typed from the video I’ll share below: Henry Wallace was Vice President under Roosevelt and a former secretary of ag. He used the power of his position to create a station in Mexico whose sole purpose was to hybridize corn and wheat for arid climates. He hired Norman Borlaug to run it.

Nineteen year old George Washington Carver had a dairy science professor who allowed his six year old boy named Henry Wallace to go on weekend botanical expeditions and learn the importance of plants from Carver.

We can’t stop the story here, you need to know about the Missouri farmer named Moses and his wife Susan who lived in a slave state but didn’t believe in slavery. Raiders drug off a lady, Mary Washington, who wouldn’t let go of her little boy named George. Moses went to a crossroads in Kansas to meet raiders. Moses traded the last horse on his farm for what they threw him in a burlap bag. It held a cold, naked almost dead baby boy. Mr. Carver walked the baby out of the situation and promised him to raise him as his own.

While the details of this story have grown a bit fuzzy in my mind since the Women of Faith event I attended, the bigger meaning has stayed in my heart. We all have a purpose and can be contributing and changing the world around us far more than we can see now by the little things that we do. How about the Washington family doing jobs that can feel monotonous and can lack meaning like changing diapers and cleaning up after a kid? What if they hadn’t done the basic stuff? I love stories where the tedious tasks turn out to be some of the most important things we’ll ever do in our life.

I wrote this post to join the celebration of Norman Borlaug’s 100th birthday.

He is credited with saving two million lives through the course of his research, but look at of the people who contributed to his story!

As I’ve read about him, his granddaughter shares in this article that he would want people to focus on what’s next in terms of feeding a growing population.

I work in agriculture, I continually see restrictions being put on our food production system, but when I have conversations about the bigger picture people sometimes seem to zone out or become disconnected. I think it’s hard to live in the United States with a full belly and think about how our choices might affect someone on the other side of the world in ten years.

No matter your job, you (as a human or “butterfly”) are part of the food equation! You can affect lives by learning about GMOs and the potential they have to help contribute to the growing the hunger problem. You can study whether you want to live in fear at the grocery store, or purchase with confidence. You can be informed about food purchasing decisions and more confident about how you communicate those with others. What if one misinformed comment snowballs through other conversations into a regulation that ends up taking away food from someone on the other side of the world in ten years. You are a part of this. Please learn about what current researchers are doing to address this challenge and think about how you can support that. There certainly are a lot of myths about food that are being propagated.

You have wings that flap, how will you use that power to positively contribute to a growing world?