Katie Pinke / Agweek Publisher
What do food choices mean for my Thanksgiving shopping and yours? The American Farm Bureau Federation's 32nd annual price survey of classic items found on the Thanksgiving Day dinner table indicates the average cost of this year's feast for 10 is $49.12, a 75-cent decrease from last year's average of $49.87. Farmers utilizing choices in seed technology, such GMOs, allow us to have an abundance of food choices at affordable prices. Americans spend just under 10 percent of disposable income on food, the lowest in the world, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
One in five adults have considered adoption. Of those, 72 percent have considered adopting through foster care more than a private infant adoption or international adoption. If roughly 47 million Americans have considered adoption from foster care, why are there still 110,000 children nationwide in the system waiting to be adopted? There is a disconnect — but thankfully there are organizations working to bridge the gap between adults who are considering adoption and kids in foster care who long for a forever family.
I try to live with a thankful heart year-round, but since it's November and we'll soon be celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S., it's a good time for me to be extra mindful of gratitude. This is the first of four columns rooted in thankfulness for rural life. Our home is located 97 miles from a Starbucks. I've used this line for a decade, not because I'm a frequent Starbucks customer but because when our little family moved from south Fargo, N.D., to rural North Dakota a decade ago I had to adapt to the contrast in conveniences and overall pace.
Earlier this year on my birthday, we went bowling with a group of couples in our small town. I bowled a 50. Yes, you read that right — I'm a terrible bowler. As my husband, Nathan, has said on a few occasions, "There are a lot of things you are good at, Katie, but bowling has never been one of them."
My grandma came to visit us last week. While chatting at one point, I was sitting in a pink chair that once belonged to my dad's grandma. I mentioned that I plan to have it reupholstered this winter. Then I went to my office and came out with an armchair and set it in front of our fireplace. My grandma smiled and said, "And that was my mother's. She bought in the '40s after the war, when there were better times."
On the 92nd annual Sauerkraut Day in Wishek, N.D., sauerkraut cooked with speck (pork fat) and the fixings were served to record attendance while German folk music and polkas were sung and played in the background. Following, the event that is held annually on the second Wednesday of October, we hosted a 40th anniversary open house for Pinke Lumber. My in-laws, Carol and Eldon, moved to Wishek in January 1977 after purchasing the lumberyard. They are just the third owners since it opened in the early 1900s.
Pink is my favorite color, and it's in my last name. But pink is the color that reminds me it's time to schedule an annual mammogram. While October turns pink for breast cancer awareness, I am going to relay my personal experience as a reminder for both myself and maybe for you and your loved ones.
How does a woman from rural North Dakota find herself at the Dole Institute of Politics in Lawrence, Kan., for a discussion group series? As I walked into the standout facility, a tinge of self-doubt entered my mind. Thankfully, a wave of confidence followed and I was eager to share a rural voice in the conversation.
Did you know September is National Family Meals Month? Less than 40 percent of American families eat meals together three or more times a week, and 10 percent of families never eat together, according to Food Marketing Institute and ConAgra surveys. As a mom, I know firsthand the importance of carving out time for family meals in a hurried world with full schedules.
There are two types of skyscrapers I enjoy seeing cut across the prairie skyline: grain elevators and churches. I often stop at rural churches to look around, not to be nosey but to pause and appreciate their humble beginnings, architecture and upkeep (or the lack thereof). When I visit churches I always find a quiet place to sit, reflect and think about the people who gave as much as they could and then more to make the church what was, what it is and what it will be. Then, I pray.