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Heger Family Farms

Honoring the Past, Working Today, Preparing for the Future

Month

April 2016

Suck it Up

Some days it is just down right dreary. Yah, things don’t go as planned. Kids decide to have melt downs at the “most opportune moments” and days of clouds and rain all add up and can start to get a person down. 

So what’s a girl to do? Shop! 

What do you think about buying when you are on a shopping funk? Shoes, jewelry, clothes, purses, chocolate for your secret stash? Most of the time I am right there with ya! But today, I tackled a list of things that needed to be purchased to finish the home one of our hired men on the farm live….

* A vanity mirror 

* Shower curtain

* Entry rugs

* Hanging baskets

* Cleaning products 

All ordered online. 

But then I decided that the house needed a decent vacuum!  So, being as kind and generous as I am 😉, I donated mine to the house. It is fairly new,  1 year, and my fabulous husband just washed all the filters and the canister! It was in much better shape that I had been using it for months! 

So then, in a moment of desperation and realization that I have a houseful of guests coming on Saturday and needed to clean and I wasn’t  going to the “big town” in the next 3 days, I sent the following message to my sister-in- law…. She pulled through, found me the same one I had just given away, on sale and in a fabulous gold color… I always liked gold, silver, wild flowers, chocolate, coffee, a good pair of sweatpants etc. So, a new GOLD vacuum was the cherry on the top of the sundae! 

So, when the Wednesday Shuffle ( I will explain in another post) was mostly over and I pulled up at church to drop kids at CCD and she delivered it to me, I was so excited and VERY grateful! I went home, put it together and decided that although things don’t always go well, patience runs low, and the weather has not been too much fun, that it was time to SUCK IT UP! 


Let the vacuuming commenence! 

FARM MOMs- America’s Farmers

Most farms have amazing women that stretch themselves thin almost everyday to be everything to everyone, seldom thinking of themselves!

Today, I met 4 AMAZING farm moms from various states around the country that do just that!  They have been nominated and selected to represent their region of the USA as an outstanding Farm Mom who not only works on her farm, but also works to ensure stability of her family and gives her time to her  community!

I am also honored to be one of the 5 Farm Moms to be recognized!

For me being a farm mom is about balancing the many hats that I wear each and every day. Keeping some level of sanity and order and getting tasks done in a “mostly” timely manner. It mean meeting the needs of others, serving our family, farm, community, and God before myself. It means sharing what we do on our farm, learning more each and everyday, supporting others, protecting our personal and property rights, honoring the culture and history of farming on our farm for three generations, but also all of agriculture since the beginning of our nation, while ensuring that upcoming generations can farm too.

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Picture Source: Ranch House Designs

As the America’s Farmers NW Region Farm Mom of the year, I have big plans to continue to do the things I have always done… work on the farm and raise a family on the farm developing work ethic, responsibility, respect and understanding of business and the growing and processing of food, fiber and fuel. I will also continue to share my story of city lights to prairie nights and how my life living in the city has provided an enhanced respect and heightened commitment to telling the story of farming and agriculture through my experience and on- going learning! This “title”  helps me stay dedicated to reaching out within my own community and to people around the country.

With that, I ask that between now and May 4th, that you submit your vote each day for America’s Farmers, National Farm Mom of the Year .

This vote will identify one of the five Farm Moms as the 2016 America’s Farmers Farm Mom of the year! The winner will be announced on May 6th , 2016!

Happy voting!

Vote  by clicking here: (http://www.americasfarmers.com/community-outreach/farm-mom/)

Farm Mom

 

 

My Farm Journey: The Beginning

I have not always been a “farm girl”. For many years, the highways, malls, and 10-minute pizza delivery promise was what I knew. In fact, there was a time that I thought that there was no place else to be than a “town” of 350,000+ people.

minneapolis
Picture Source: Trip Advisor

I even balked at the thought of living in a small town of 45,000. So what got me agree and see the value of living in a “village” of about 900 people, of which I am finding out a large percentage are “family”? It’s simple- Love and opportunity! Perhaps, even a bit of adventure and curiosity for the unknown played a role too. For you see, I was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN. I grew accustomed to busyness, noise, and lights. I grew to like variety, quick access to anything I could possibly need and want. I developed into an individual that took a lot of things for granted and never questioned whether or not the items I desired would be available at the store or not. I knew, in all my naiveness, they would be, and never thought to question what systems were in place to guarantee that notion.

And so my farm story begins in the fall of 1998 on an October day when I was convinced to travel a few hours away to attend a wedding with a friend, now more like a sister, for a couple from this village of Underwood, ND, of which I now call home!

Stay tuned to follow my adventure as I share my journey from city life to farm wife and mom!

Honoring Earth Day on the Farm

As farmers we live and work dependent on the Earth. Its soil truly is our past, present and future. So, that is why we not only celebrate Earth Day once a year, but all year long each and every one of the 365 (or  366) days!

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Image Source: Amazon.com

When I reflect on my family’s farm today and generations in the past, I can tell you that ensuring a healthy place to live, enjoy, and farm is at the forefront of what we do each day. There are two main tools that we use on our farm that help us ensure our land is as healthy as possible 1) soil sampling and 2) precision farming.

Soil sampling- a tub is inserted deep into the soil and removed. When it is removed a sample of the soil is removed. Layers can be seen when examined. This sample is then sent off to be analyzed for soil nutrient. It is much like taking a granola bar and breaking it apart to identify and list components and nutrient values/ amounts.  With this information we can provide the soil, when needed, with nutrients to help the crop planted grow without depleting the nutrient value to an unhealthy state.

Precision farming- use of images created through sensors on equipment to guide seeding and fertilizing process. This technology allows us to  monitor how much seed is planted to the nearest inch, how far apart the seeds are planted, how much fertilizer and exactly where it is placed, and adjust these setting as we go. That means that we can take a map and data from the past years, analyze it and know that certain parts of a field grow a smaller amount of crop than another. This can due to many reasons some of which include topography, soil type, moisture, wind, sunlight etc. We then can place less seed and nutrient supports in these areas. All of which can be programmed into the computer software ahead of time and can be done automatically through the software or manually by the driver in the tractor cab. The coolest part is that in addition to making adjustments, we can turn entire sections of our planter, seeder, fertilizer spreader and sprayer on and off as needed.

So on this day that many celebrate the Earth…. I continue on the path of honoring what it has provided and protecting it for future generations!

“Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.” —Theodore Roosevelt

 

Oh those Footprints! 

Rain….Desperately needed, yet handing me another challenge- mud! 

On the farm we have been praying for rain for the last few weeks. The wind has been blowing and that means the dirt is too! Seeds have been placed in the ground, our entire wheat crop has been seeded, and the dirt was still dry. So, when the skies became light gray, the temperatures dropped a bit, and my windshield needed wipers there was a sigh of relief! 

That being said, 3 full days of a beautiful rain may bless our fields and lawn, but creates the challenge of mud. Mudon everyone’s   boots, mud in all the cars, mud on anything that is on our bodies and everywhere we walk! It means the socks my kids run out into the garage in are now stained and their pants cuffs are coated. 

So what’s the big deal? Nothing in all reality. It is a “little” deal, but constant issue. 

Rain means that there is time to tackle a few things that just don’t get done often when we are in the field- sweeping the shop, cleaning and mopping the office, scrubbing the kitchen floor and catching up with laundry! Keeping the mud out of the office and house and wet mud filled clothes out of the dirty clothes basket is a huge challenge, one that drives me crazy! 

So after trying to keep up with everything  and explain for the nth time to the kids that muck boots stay by the door garage, that they really do need to wear their coveralls, if they come in the house they need to check their feet and pant cuffs for messes, and if their clothes are muddy that they need to be taken off at the door, I gave up! I just couldn’t repeat myself another time. 

I decided that yes, there has to be some level of controlling the mess, but that someday I will miss seeing these footprints and wish I could have these challenges back! 


For it is these moments that remind us that we are mortal, kids keep things real, and that with all of our blessings come challenges. We need to step back and think about what really matters and be grateful! 

Today, I am grateful for giggles, for raindrops, for the gray hairs that are coming, and the opportunities for my kids to run and play and joy the freedom to play in the mud! 

Farm life is crazy, messy and wild, but it is a lot of fun too! Which leads me to wonder if maybe there really is some truth to the term “funny farm”! 

Politics R Us

A sunny Saturday in April and where was I for 2 1/2 days? Inside at the state Republican Convention. In all reality, 5 years ago if you told me that I would be looking forward to this event, I would have said you were crazy. Today, I can honestly say that I am happy I was there.

Why? Was I not missing out of things back at the farm and with the kids? IMG_2536Yes, I was! But I try to find balance! My oldest daughter joined me for a few different events the first evening. She was reintroduced to Senator Hoeven and his wife Mikey. She came with me to the arena where the convention was held and met Randy, from our Congressman’s office, who has worked diligently on a few different matters directly for the farm. I was able to walk her through the nominating process and what all was going to happen the following days! It was a great educational opportunity and binding time for us. So yes, I was missing out on a few things back home, but gaining some insight and working for the future by becoming active, voting based on my beliefs, and conversing about various topics with people from all walks of life. In the words of my friend Annie Carlson, “If  you are not at the table, then you will be on the table.”

The one thing that I will boldly say that that it is everyone’s responsibility to be involved. It is our duty to vote. It is our duty to be informed and it is our right to run for office if we feel we can do diligence to the position. At no time should a person serving in office be sitting in office. They are servants to the citizens. It doesn’t matter if one is serving on a small local rural board or in a capacity as large as in DC. Being active and representing the people and/or state is what it is about. Attending the Republican Convention made some of this belief of mine clear. There was close competition for several people seeking republican support. It was clear that the incumbent can not sit in office but must be on the ball and active. They need to fight for their position and represent the people.

I close with this:  If you are unhappy about the actions of an official, ask them about it. If you want to see something different taking place become involved. If you have the time, skills and dedication do what our country is supposed to be set up to do…. run for office and serve the people. BUT always keep in mind that you are not in it for yourself.

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