Katie Pinke / Agweek Publisher
Costco pulled Roundup from its shelves this year as a reaction to a California's jury decision to award a man $80 million in his claim that Roundup was the cause or factor in his non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. My reaction is science is under attack and farmers feel it. Agriculture feels it. Scientists and science and research-based companies certainly experience it firsthand. But now it's reached your everyday basic gardeners.
When the high temperatures rise above freezing and the daily lows stay below freezing, the sap starts to run in maple trees. On Saturday, April 6, at Maplewood State Park near Pelican Rapids, Minn., the volunteer group, Friends of Maplewood, put on a demonstration to show how maple sap is captured and made into maple syrup.
I started this column four years ago this month. Agweek management at the time asked for a name of my column and I didn't know what to call it. The name of my blog, The Pinke Post, was given to my column. I asked how often I should write and the feedback was "weekly." Now, 400+ columns later, here we are.
What is the most boring town in your state? Do you live in it? If we were sitting around together, with a show of hands, I think many of you may admit that you live in a boring town, if not the most boring town. But I wouldn't raise my hand. I don't believe in boring towns.
The first Sunday that we aimed for a 4-H meeting followed by a tour of Rocky and Kelly Brown's sheep barn, it was post 16 inches of March snow. As we all needed to dig out from the blizzard, the meeting and tour were pushed back to the following Sunday. On Sunday, March 24, I counted 29 kids between Cloverbuds, ages 5-7, and older 4-H club members, age 8 and above, in the Browns' garage. The Browns' son and fellow 4-H club member Berkeley gave a demonstration to the group on raising sheep and lambs and his preparations for the county fair in the summer.
My girls heard the helicopter first and bounded up the basement stairs to alert me. "The helicopter is landing!" they announced. On the edge of our small town, we can see the helicopter air ambulance when it directly lands on the street in front of our rural hospital and clinic. But long before we see it land, we hear it. We wait to see it as the noise comes closer. The helicopter flies over our house and our daughters have watched it their entire lives.
With the convergence of Women's History Month, International Women's Day on March 8 and National Ag Day on March 14, I'm at the crossroads of many aspects of my life. Quite frankly, as a 40-year-old American woman in agriculture and business, I thought we'd be farther along with gender equality issues in 2019. I'm also a former athlete, coach and mom of three kids who all participate in an array of sports. A few weeks ago, I showed my daughters, ages 9 and 11, a Nike commercial I saw on Serena William's Instagram account. Narrating the ad, Williams says:
Twenty minutes south of Minneapolis-St. Paul, tucked into what is now the sprawling suburbs, is a family farm, Zweber Farms of Elko, Minn.
What's the value of a farm show or conference? I have considered this as I've spent the past few days attending Bayer's AgVocacy Forum and now Commodity Classic in Orlando, Fla. I realize I'm "mid-career" at age 40, working for the past 17 years in a variety of agriculture communications roles and the past three years in ag media with Agweek and AgweekTV. In that time, I've attended more than 100 farm trade shows or conferences.
Last month, at the top of my personal Facebook feed, was a series of photos of Holstein cows. They caught my attention. I looked to see more from the post. A Minnesota farmer I knew had posted about the award-winning dairy herd of cows he and his wife were selling. The farmers, Glen and Melinda Groth of Ridgeway, Minn., are people I first was connected to via social media circles in agriculture for many years. We met in person through Farm Bureau events. Since then, we've stayed connected through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.