Thought of the Week

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Washington’s Fabulous Potatoes

Sure, I live in Idaho, the state of famous potatoes.  But our next door neighbor grows massive amounts of potatoes, too.  In fact, Washington has been declared to have “the world’s most productive potato fields.”

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That’s Farmer Ed Schneider of Pasco, Washington, sorting his potatoes with WeeLaddie

About 250 Washington farms produced 10.5 billion pounds of potatoes last year.  That’s enough to put a 33 pound sack of spuds into the arms (or wheelbarrow) of every person in the country!

Only one state tops that figure – Idaho (of course!), which produces 13.9 billion pounds last year on almost twice as many acres.

Collectively, the two states grow just over half of the potatoes grown in the U.S.A.  Wisconsin, North Dakota, Colorado and Oregon follow, in ranks 3-6.

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Farmer Ed’s crews sort potatoes

The main potato growing regions in Washington are the Columbia Basin and the Skagit Valley.  Growers in the Skagit Valley mainly produce specialty potatoes (reds, yellows, whites and purples).  The Columbia Basin grows mainly the russet varieties, and also some of the specialty varieties.

Approximately 170,000 acres of potatoes were planted in Washington in 2016.  Washington ranks first in the country in per-acre potato production.  In fact, the state is home to the most productive potato fields in the world.  The growing provides long days, cool nights, mineral-rich soils and controlled irrigation.  That, combined with the sustainable practices of its farmers allows Washington to rank more than 40% above the U.S. average in per-acre production!

WAY TO GO WASHINGTON POTATO GROWERS!  EAT MORE POTATOES!

-Western Farmer Stockman, March, 2017

Posted in #potatoes, Ag Production, Dirt, Education, Farm Families, Farmers, Feeding the World, For Kids, Soil, Technology, Work | Leave a comment

Recipe from a Farmer’s Table

ROASTED LEG OR ROAST OF LAMB
This is outstanding and super easy – from American Lamb

 

1 boneless leg or roast of American lamb, approximately 4-6 lbs.

Marinade:
4 cloves garlic, pressed
2 lemons, zested – use the zest and the juice of both lemons
1/2 Tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
1 bunch fresh parseley, chopped
1 Tbsp. freshly ground pepper
2 Tbsp. dried oregano*
1 C. olive oil*
1/4 C. kosher salt*

*You can use less than this amount – based on the size of the roast

In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients of the marinade.  Rub the mixture over all 6 sides of the roast.  Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in fridge overnight.  Bring lamb to room temperature, and sprinkle with salt.  Preheat oven to 375*.  Roast for 1 hours and 15 minutes, or until thermometer shows center of leg or roast to read 125-130*.  Cover loosely and allow to rest for 20 minutes.

OR

Put in a roast into a clay pot, and add 1-1/2″ water.  Set oven at 200* for 15 minutes, then increase heat to 300*.  Roast for 4-5 hours.  Falls apart, juicy.

Posted in #lamb, Education, Recipes, Women in Agriculture | Leave a comment

Thought of the Week

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“Whenever you do a thing,
act as if the whole world is watching.”

-Thomas Jefferson

Posted in Ag Production, Education, Farm Families, Farmers, Farmland Preservation, History of Agriculture, Thought of the Week, Work | Leave a comment

Idaho Is Rich With Agriculture!

It’s true that every state grows a large variety of crops and livestock.  Here is Idaho’s list – 194 products and counting!  This list was compiled by Idaho Ag. in the Classroom.

Alfalfa
Alfalfa seed
Alligators
Alpacas
Apples
Apricots
Aquatic plants
Asparagus
Austrian winter peas
Barley
Basil
Bass
Beans
Bean seed
Beef
Beer
Bees
Beets
Beet seed
Bison
Blackberries
Blueberries
Bluegrass
Boysenberries
Brandy
Broccoli
Bromme grass
Bromme grass seed
Brussel sprouts
Buckwheat
Cabbage
Camelina
Canola oil
Cantaloupe
Carrots
Carrot seed
Catfish
Cauliflower
Caviar
Celery seed
Cheese
Cherries
Chestnuts
Chickens
Christmas trees
Clover seed
Compost
Corn
Corn seed
Cucumbers
Dairy cows
Dewberries
Dill
Donkeys
Dry edible beans
Duck eggs
Echinacea
Eggplant
Eggs
Elderberries
Elk
Emus
Endive
Escarole
Fallow deer
Fescue
Fescue seed
Field corn
Flaxseed
Flowers
Flower seed
Forage crops
Game birds
Garbanzos
Garlic
Goats
Gooseberries
Grapes
Grass seed
Green beans
Greenhouse crops
Hay
Herbs
Honey
Hops
Horseradish
Horses
Huckleberries
Kale
Lamb
Lavender
Lavender oil
Leek seed
Lentils
Lettuce
Lettuce seed
Llamas
Malting barley
Melons
Milk
Milo
Mink
Mules
Mushrooms
Mustard greens
Mustard seed
Nectarines
Nursery crops
Nuts
Oats
Okra
Onions
Onion seed
Orchard grass
Orchard grass seed
Ostriches
Parsley
Parsnips
Parsnip seed
Peaches
Pears
Peas
Peppermint
Peppers
Persimmons
Plums
Pluots
Popcorn
Popcorn seed
Poplars
Pork
Potatoes
Prunes
Pumpkins
Quinoa
Rabbits
Radishes
Radish seed
Rapeseed
Raspberries
Red deer
Rheas
Rhubarb
Rutabaga seed
Rye
Rye grass seed
Safflower
Salmon
Sheep
Snap beans
Sod
Sorghum
Soybeans
Spearmint
Spelt
Spinach
Squash
St. John’s Wort
Steelhead
Strawberries
Sturgeon
Sugarbeets
Summer squash
Sunflowers
Sweet corn
Sweet corn seed
Sweet potatoes
Swine
Teff
Teff seed
Tilapia
Timothy
Timothy seed
Tomatoes
Triticale
Tropical fish
Trout
Truffles
Turkeys
Turnips
Venison
Vetch
Vetch seed
Vodka
Watermelon
Watermelon seed
Wheat
Wheatgrass seed
Wild rice
Wild rye
Wine
Wood
Wool
Yaks
Yogurt

Posted in #lamb, #potatoes, Ag exports, Ag Production, Beef, Bees, Dry Beans, Education, Feeding the World, For Kids, Garbanzos, Horses, Lentils, Livestock Production, Oats, Oil seed, Peas, Pulse Crops, Pumpkin, Sheep, Silage Corn, Wheat, Work | Leave a comment

Thought of the Week

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Now that is a beautiful udder!

-Livestock producers everywhere

YOU’RE WELCOME, AMERICA!

Posted in #lamb, Ag Production, Beef, Education, Feeding the World, For Kids, Livestock Production, Thought of the Week | Leave a comment

Thought of the Week

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“As a farmer, it makes me feel good
that all the long hours and risk we take to raise a crop
is appreciated by the public.”

-Drew Eggers, Farmer, Meridian, Idaho

Posted in Ag Production, Agvocacy and Social Media, Education, Farm Families, Farmers, Feeding the World, For Kids, Livestock Production, Ranchers | Leave a comment

Thought of the Week

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Norman Borlaug, winner of the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize. Photo source

“Anyone who can solve the problems of water
will be worthy of two Nobel prizes –
one for peace, and one for science.”

-President J.F.K.

Posted in Education, For Kids, Technology, Thought of the Week, Water | Leave a comment

Why Farm Kids Make Great Employees

Inspired by the July 1, 2016 post by  Karly Hanson of https://raisedinabarn.org.  Editions and additions have been made to suit Kiss My Tractor.

Whether your’s is an agricultural business or you’re involved in a different sector of our economy, farm kids make great employees.  They possess a unique skill-set unlike other people.   These are the most important reasons why farm kids make great employees:

1.  Farm kids understand the importance of being on time.  
Farm kids know that time is of the essence and wasting daylight is not an option.  Even if they are five minutes late to feed, their calves and pigs will notice.  If their dad asks them to be ready for harvest at 5 am, they know that if they’re late, it will be hard on Dad and the rest of his crew.  They’ve been taught that 5 minutes early is “on time.”

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2.  Respect is something they value more than anything.
Farm kids work hard.  They work hard on the farm, in class, on the ball court or in the show ring.  They practice hard, so that when they have earned the respect of the adults and peers in their life, they appreciate it.  Conversely, they understand that respect is to be given to others of their peers who have earned it, and also to those in authority.  They know that respect is earned or given, never taken for granted.

3.  A hard day’s work is the only way to work.
Farm kids are up to feed and do chores before they have their breakfast and go to school.  After piano lessons or ball practice, they’re often out in the field or barn until 10 pm, helping their mom and dad or working their own stock.  Most people know a 8 to 5 job; not kids raised on a farm.  They are accustomed to a 5 to 8 job, and they do it 110%.

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4.  They can speak their mind eloquently.
Between preparing a speech for National 4-H Congress or practicing oral reasons for the next FFA Livestock Judging contest, these kids know what they want to say, the importance of what they are saying, and the way to deliver it.  You won’t have to worry about them talking to your customers or clients. In fact, you will most likely want them to do the talking on behalf of your business.

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5.  They are willing to do the dirty work.
Whether they had to muck out the pig pen, clean the combine or the bathroom, farm kids understand that it all has to be done.  Their’s may not be the most fun or glorious job, but they will do it correctly, thoroughly, and with a good attitude.  They know that no person is too good for any job, big or small.

6.  You won’t meet someone more driven than a farm kid.
Farm kids strive for greatness every single day.  Many farm kids love to compete in contests- they know the tremendous preparation it takes to compete, and the thrill of winning, whether it’s being the star of the volleyball team, maintaining a 4.0 gpa or earning “best showman” at the breeding ewe show.

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And it’s not always contests that drive farm kids.  It may be cutting short their prom to get the disking done, or helping Dad get the harvest in before the threatening clouds hit their family’s year’s crop.  Or it may be helping their neighbor in the same way, or their little sister with her school project.  Farm kids have had the support of their family, their teachers and advisors along the way, so they tend to strive for better every day.

7.  Their record keeping skills are on point.
Farm kids have kept records since they were little.  4-H record books began when they were 9 years old, showing the value of their project.  Then they went on to FFA in high school, where they learned digitized business record keeping.  Many of their awards, grades and degrees depend on detailed and quality records, so making sure your business has records worth winning state contests won’t be a problem at all.

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8.  Farm kids are clean cut.  You won’t find a farm kid with ink, weird piercings, long shaggy hair or beards, or droopy drawers.  Sure, when they’re working they get dirty, dirty, dirty.  But after they’re shined up to go to town, you can count on their appearance to be tidy, with neat fitting clothes and trim hair.  

9.  They have experience in a variety of different areas.
Living on a farm has taught them a wide assortment of skills, from ag. economics to plant science to engine rebuilding to calf management.  Farm kids have to be resourceful, because sometimes if something breaks and must be repaired; if it’s 15 miles one-way to go to town, they may have to figure out how to fix it on the spot.  Although they might be the youngest person applying for the job, farm kids know how to do all kinds of practical and useful things, and what they don’t know they will learn very quickly.

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10.  Farm kids are very polite.
They were raised with “Yes ma’am,” “No sir,” “Can I help you with that,” or “Let me get the door for you.”  Farm kids know that they represent more than themselves – they represent their families, their teachers, their community, their state, the U.S.of A., and the farming industry as a whole!

If you want to do your company or business a favor, hire a farm kid!

 

Posted in Education, Farm Families, Farmers, For Kids, Ranchers, Work, Young Farmers and Ranchers | Leave a comment

Thought of the Week

Out here, water is like gold

-Ed Wiltse, Mayor of Ulysses, Kansas

Posted in Education, Feeding the World, For Kids, Thought of the Week, Water | Leave a comment