As I sit down tonight to write this, there are exactly 10 days left before I embark on a journey across the state with the IL Farm Families Field Moms. That is, 10 days to prepare for my journey. Read: 10 days to prepare my husband for taking care of the kids and getting them where they need to be. Can anyone else commiserate with me? I have already begun the daunting task of listing out everything that I do with (but mainly for) the kids: when medications need to be taken, what sorts of food are okay for breakfast, how much T.V. we should really be watching, where the sunscreen and bug spray are, where they need to be and when, etc., you know the drill.
All that aside, I am excited to get yet another chance to talk about all the amazing things that agriculture in IL is about. I am so proud to be able to be part of the “soybean” focused tour because soy is such a vital part of my family’s livelihood, namely raising pigs. I hope that I can bring some new information and another voice to the discussion. I will be fresh home from World Pork Expo the three days prior, so I am hoping to be able to share some updated information on upcoming innovations in the Pork world, plus foster some more discussions about how closely knit the crop and animal sides of farming really are.
What will be most exciting about our journey is that it will connect all of the previous tours together. We will have the opportunity to learn about the soybean planting process (which the Field Moms have already begun at home!) and “in the field” views of how soybeans are grown. Our tour will also take us to the river to view a barge terminal and learn about where our corn and beans go from here. In addition, we will be discussing how much of the corn and soybean crops are used in feeding livestock here in ILLINOIS! No tour would be complete without some amazing meals, too! We are in for some great hospitality provided by Ron & Deb Moore, friends from the Warren/Henderson County Farm Bureau, IL Soybean Association, and the Cattleman’s Association. Another awesome treat is the Monsanto Research Farm Tour, where we will have an opportunity to ask lots of questions about things like why GMOs are okay and why we apply certain chemicals to certain types of crops.
I think all of this is going to fuel a new conversation on the bus ride back. We may be tired mommies, but we will most definitely leave with a renewed sense that farmers are doing their best to provide everyone’s families with delicious and nutritious foods.